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Books Section > by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of Qadian > A Correction of an Error [Ek Ghalti ka Izala] by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib > English Translation of: 'A Correction of an Error (Ek Ghalati Ka Izala)'
English Translation of --
A Correction of an Error
(Ek Ghalati Ka Izala):
by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of Qadian
by Dr. Zahid Aziz [appears with slight modifications by the Webmaster; incorporating the older translation by Sheikh Muhammad Tufail Sahib]
Translator's Notes: a) Round brackets ( ) are usually used to show the exact original term used by the author; in a few cases the original term is given in the main text, followed by the translation within round brackets. b) Square brackets [ ] are used to enclose any text added by the translator.
Webmaster's Notes: a) This translation must be read in conjunction with the two commentaries [#1; #2] that have been published on our website. b) The blue-coloured superscripted numbers [e.g., 13] indicate that the commentary of that particular part of the book appears in commentary #1, under the same number [e.g., Translator's Comment No. 13, in the above example]. c) The pink-coloured superscripted numbers [e.g., 5] indicate that the commentary of that particular part of the book appears in commentary #2, under the same number [e.g., Note 5, in the above example]. d) The best way to use both of these commentaries is to read the translation of this book, and as you come across either one of these colourised numbers [e.g., 1 or 1] you can take a break and read the related text in the appropriate commentary, based on the colour of the number. e) Commentary #1 at times refers back to the translation's paragraph number (e.g., [Paragraph No. 1]). This paragraphing was not a part of the original Urdu book; it was a feature added by Sheikh Muhammad Tufail Sahib in his English translation of the book, in order to aid the reader back to the translation, while reading his commentary.
[Paragraph No. 1] Some people in our Movement who are not well-acquainted with my claim and the arguments relating to it --- not having had the occasion to study my books carefully, nor having stayed in my company for a sufficient length of time to complete their knowledge --- in some instances in response to an objection of the opponents give a reply which is entirely against facts. So, despite being on the side of truth, they have to face embarrassment1.
[Paragraph No. 2] Thus it happened a few days ago that a person faced from an opponent the objection that "the man whose pledge you have taken claims to be a prophet (nabi) and a messenger (rasul)". This was answered by only a denial, while such an answer is not correct. The fact is that the holy revelation of God Almighty which descends upon me contains words such as rasul, mursal and nabi, not once but hundreds of times. So how can the reply be correct that such words are not present?2 1 In fact, at this time these words occur more clearly and explicitly than in the earlier days. And in the Barahin Ahmadiyya too, published 22 years ago, these words are not few.3
Thus, in the Divine communications published in Barahin Ahmadiyya, one revelation from God is as follows: "He it is Who sent His messenger (rasul) with guidance and the true religion in order to make it prevail over all other religions" (see p. 498, Barahin Ahmadiyya). Here, this humble one has been clearly addressed as rasul. Then after this, in the same book, is the following Divine revelation regarding myself: "The messenger of God in the mantle of the prophets" (p. 504). Then quite near this in the same book is the following revelation: "Muhammad is the messenger of God; those with him are firm against disbelievers, compassionate among themselves. (The Holy Quran: 48:29)" In this revelation I have been given the name 'Muhammad'2 as well as rasul.4 Then there is the following Divine revelation noted on page 557 of Barahin Ahmadiyya: "A warner came into the world." Another version of it is: "A prophet (nabi) came into the world."5 Similarly in many other places in Barahin Ahmadiyya the word rasul has been applied to this humble one.6
[Paragraph No. 3] If it be said that the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the Khatam an-nabiyyin, so how can another prophet come after him, the reply is that there certainly cannot come any prophet, new or old, in the way in which you people consider Jesus to descend in the latter days and believe him in those circumstances to be a prophet. In fact, it is your belief that wahy nubuwwat [revelation exclusive to prophets] shall then continue for forty years, exceeding even the term of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.7 Such a belief is undoubtedly a sin, and the verse "he is the Messenger of God and the Khatam an-nabiyyin"3 [the Quran, 33:40] along with the hadith "there is no prophet after me" is conclusive proof of the absolute falsity of this view.8
I am strongly opposed to such beliefs, and have true and full faith in the statement "he is the Messenger of God and the Khatam an-nabiyyin." This verse contains a prophecy which our opponents know not. It is that God Almighty says in this verse that, after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, the doors of prophecies have been closed till the Day of Judgment, and it is not possible now for a Hindu or a Jew or a Christian or a nominal Muslim to apply the word nabi to himself. [Paragraph No. 4] All the windows of prophethood have been closed, but one window, that of the path of Siddiq, is open, viz., fana fir-rasul.9 4 The person who comes to God through this window is made to wear, by way of zill, that same mantle of prophethood which is the cloak of the prophethood of Muhammad.10
His being a prophet, therefore, is not a violation of sanctity because he gets all this, not from his own person, but from the fountain of his Prophet, and it is not for himself but for the glory of that Prophet. It is for this reason that his name in heaven is Muhammad and Ahmad. It means that the prophethood of Muhammad was in the end given only to Muhammad, though in the manner of burooz, but not to anyone else.11 Hence the verse: "Muhammad is not the father of any man from among you, but he is the Messenger of God and the Khatam an-nabiyyin (The Holy Quran: 33:40)" means: Muhammad is not the father of anyone from among the men of this world, but he is a father to men of the other world because he is the Khatam an-nabiyyin, and there is no way to the graces of God except through his mediation.
[Paragraph No. 5] In short, my prophethood and messengership is in my capacity as Muhammad and Ahmad, not on account of myself. And I received this title in the position of fana fir-rasul. Hence, it makes no difference to the meaning of Khatam an-nabiyyin. However, the descent of Jesus would certainly make a difference.12
[Paragraph No. 6] It is also to be remembered that the meaning of nabi according to the lexicon is one who gives the news of matters unseen, having received it from God. Wherever this meaning applies, the word nabi will also apply.13 5 And a nabi must necessarily be a rasul, for if he is not a rasul he cannot receive news of the holy, unseen realm, the following verse being a bar against it: "He [God] does not make His unseen known to anyone except a messenger (rasul) whom He chooses." [the Quran, 72:26-27]14 6 If, after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the coming of a prophet according to this meaning is denied, it implies that one should believe that this Umma is destitute of Divine communication and revelation, because the person through whom news of the unseen from God is manifested, to him the meaning of nabi shall apply according to the above verse.7 Similarly, he who is sent from God will be the one we shall call rasul.15
The difference is that, after our Holy Prophet Muhammad8 till the Day of Judgment, there is no prophet to whom a new shariah is to be revealed, nor one who is granted the title of prophethood without the mediation of the Holy Prophet and without attaining to such a stage of fana fir-rasul that he is named Muhammad and Ahmad in heaven.16 And whoever makes such a claim indeed commits heresy.
[Paragraph No. 7] The real secret in this is that the meaning of Khatam an-nabiyyin requires that, so long as there remains a veil of separation, if a person is called nabi he would be breaking the seal which is upon Khatam an-nabiyyin. If, however, a person is so lost in that Khatam an-nabiyyin that, due to a complete union and absence of difference,17 he has received his name, and the face of Muhammad is reflected in him as in a clear mirror, he will be called nabi without breaking the seal, because he is Muhammad, though in the manner of zill.9 Hence, despite the claim to prophethood of the person who has been given the names Muhammad and Ahmad by way of zill,18 our master Muhammad still remains Khatam an-nabiyyin because this second Muhammad is the image and the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him. Jesus, however, cannot come without breaking the seal because his prophethood is a separate one.
[Paragraph No. 8] And if no person can be a prophet and messenger in the sense of burooz,10 then what is the meaning of the following: "Guide us on the right path, the path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favours." [the Quran, 1:5-6]19
Author's Footnote [#1]: Remember that this Umma has been promised every blessing which was bestowed upon the earlier prophets and the truthful ones (siddiq).a Among those favours are the prophecies and predictions on account of which the prophets were called nabi.b But the Quran closes the door of the knowledge of the unseen to all except a nabi, or in fact a rasul, as is clear from the verse: "God does not make His unseen known to anyone except a rasul whom He chooses."c So to attain knowledge of the holy unseen, it is necessary to be a prophet. The verse "on whom Thou hast bestowed favours"d testifies that this Umma is not deprived of the holy unseen which, according to the verse quoted, implies prophethood and messengership.e But the direct path of attaining it is closed, and hence it must be acknowledged that, for this gift, the way of burooz, zill and fana fir-rasul is open.
It should be borne in mind that, according to this sense, I do not deny prophethood and messengership.20 It is in this sense that the Promised Messiah has been called nabi in the Sahih Muslim.21 11 [Paragraph No. 9] If one who receives news of the unseen from God is not to be called nabi, tell us what he should be called? If it is said that he should be called muhaddas, I say that in no lexicon is the meaning of tahdees 'making known the unseen.' The meaning of nubuwwat is, however, making known matters of the unseen.22 12 Nabi is a word which is common to Arabic and Hebrew. In Hebrew this word is naabi, and is derived from naabaa which means "to prophesy, upon receiving intimation from God.'23 13 And it is not a requirement for a nabi that he should be a bearer of shariah.24 14 This is a mere gift by which matters of the unseen are disclosed. As I have received up to this time about 150 prophecies from God, and seen with my own eyes that they were fulfilled clearly, how can I deny the application of the word nabi or rasul to myself? And when God Almighty has himself given me these titles, how can I reject this, or fear someone other than Him?25
[Paragraph No. 10] I swear by God Who has sent me --- and about Whom it is the work of the accursed to make fabrications --- that He has sent me as the Promised Messiah. And just as I believe in the verses of the Holy Quran, similarly, without an iota of difference, I believe in the clear and open revelation of God which I receive, the truth of which has become evident to me by its repeated signs. I can swear on oath in the House of God that the holy revelation which descends on me is the word of the same God Who sent His word to Moses, Jesus and Muhammad mustafa, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him.26 15 The earth testified for me, and so did heaven. So also did both heaven and earth proclaim that I am the khalifa (appointed one) of God. However, according to the prophecies it was necessary that I should be denied, so those upon whose hearts are veils do not accept me. I know that God will certainly succour me, as He has ever been helping His messengers. None can stand against me, as he has not the aid of God.
Wherever I have denied prophethood and messengership, it is only in the sense that I am not the independent bearer of a shariah, nor am I an independent prophet. However, in the sense that, having gained spiritual graces from the Messenger whom I follow, and having attained for myself his name, I have received knowledge of the unseen from God through the mediation of the Holy Prophet, I am a messenger and a prophet but without a new shariah.27 I have never denied being called a prophet in this sense. In fact, this is the sense in which God has addressed me as nabi and rasul. Nor do I now deny being a prophet and messenger in this sense.28 And my statement, "I am neither a messenger nor bearer of a scripture," means only that I am not a possessor of shariah (sahib-i shariah).29 16
Nonetheless, it must be imperatively remembered, and never over-looked, that despite being addressed as nabi and rasul, I have been informed by God that all these graces have not been bestowed upon me without mediation, but that there is a holy being in heaven, namely, Muhammad mustafa, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, whose spiritual benefit I have received. On account of this mediation, and by having submerged in him and having received his names Muhammad and Ahmad, I am a rasul and nabi, i.e., one who has been sent and one who receives news of the unseen from God.30 In this way, the seal of Khatam an-nabiyyin is preserved because I have received the same name in the sense of image and reflection, through the mirror of love.
If anyone is indignant at this Divine revelation, as to why God Almighty has called me nabi and rasul, it is his own folly because the seal set by God is not broken by my being a prophet and messenger.
Author's Footnote [#2]: What a fine point it is that, in this way, neither does the prophesied seal of Khatam an-nabiyyin get broken, nor are all the members of the Umma deprived of that sense of prophethood which corresponds to the verse "God does not make His unseen known to anyone ...". But by bringing down Jesus, whose prophethood was established 600 years before Islam, nothing at all remains of Islam, and the Khatam an-nabiyyin verse is clearly falsified. The opponents will only abuse me for this, so let them. "The unjust shall know which final destination they will return to. (The Holy Quran: 26:227)"
[Paragraph No. 11] It is obvious that, just as I say about myself that God has addressed me as nabi and rasul, so do my opponents assert about Jesus, son of Mary, that he shall return to the world after our Holy Prophet, and as he is a prophet the same objection applies to his coming as the one levelled against me, namely, that the seal of finality of Khatam an-nabiyyin will be broken. But I say that after the Holy Prophet, who was actually the Khatam an-nabiyyin, my being called by the words nabi and rasul is not a matter for objection, nor is the seal of finality broken by it. For I have explained over and over again that, in accordance with the verse "others from among them who have not yet joined them" [the Quran, 62:3] I am that same prophet, the Khatam al-anbiya,31 in the sense of burooz, and twenty years ago in Barahin Ahmadiyya God named me Muhammad and Ahmad and declared me to be the very embodiment of the Holy Prophet.17 Hence, in this way, the Holy Prophet's being the Khatam al-anbiya does not suffer at all by my prophethood because a reflection is not separate from its original. And as, in the sense of reflection (zill), I am Muhammad, the seal of Khatam an-nabiyyin does not break because the prophethood of Muhammad remained limited to Muhammad. In other words, Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, is the Prophet and no one else.32 [Paragraph No. 12] As I am Muhammad in the sense of burooz, and all his attainments including his prophethood are projected as an image by way of burooz in my mirror of reflection, who is the other person that has made a claim to prophethood separately?
If you do not accept me, then understand it in this way that the promised Mahdi is to be akin to the Holy Prophet in creation and nature, and his name is to correspond to that of the Holy Prophet, i.e., his name too shall be Muhammad and Ahmad, and he is to be from his line (ahl bait).
Author's Footnote [#3]: It is known from the history of my ancestors that a grand-mother of mine belonged to the noble family of Saadaat and the Bani Fatima. The Holy Prophet has also confirmed this, and said to me in a dream: "Salmaan is from the people of my house, having the disposition of Hasan." He named me Salmaan [a companion of the Holy Prophet, of Persian descent], which means "two salm". Salm in Arabic means reconciliation, and thus it is destined that two kinds of reconciliation will take place at my hands. One is internal which will remove the internal enmity and discord, and the other is external which, by eliminating the causes of external opposition and demonstrating the greatness of Islam, shall incline the followers of other faiths towards Islam. It appears that by the Salmaan mentioned in Hadith is also meant myself, for the prophecy of two reconciliations was not fulfilled by Salmaan himself. I say, having received revelation from God, that I am of Persian descent, and according to the hadith in Kanz al-Ummal the Persians are from among the Israelites and the Holy Prophet's household. In a vision, Hazrat Fatima put my head upon her lap, and showed me that I was from her lineage. This vision is in Barahin Ahmadiyya.
In some hadith reports, it is said that "he shall be from me." This is a profound indication of the fact that, from a spiritual view-point, he shall be an offspring of the Prophet and an image of his spirit. A very strong evidence supporting this is that the words in which the Holy Prophet has described the relationship --- so much so that the names of the two have been made into one --- clearly show that he wanted to convey that this promised one would be his burooz, just as Joshua was a burooz of Moses. It is not necessary for the burooz to be a son or maternal grandson of the original person. However, it is necessary that, in terms of spiritual relationship, the burooz must be his offspring, and from the very beginning there must be mutual attraction and connection between them. It is, therefore, totally derogatory to the status of the Holy Prophet's knowledge to think that he would leave aside the description which is necessary to express the significance of burooz, and instead declare that he would be his maternal grandson. What has being a maternal grandson conceivably got to do with burooz? If such a connection was necessary for being a burooz, why was the imperfect relationship of being merely a maternal grandson required? It should have been son. However, God Almighty in His Holy Word has negated the Holy Prophet being a father of anyone, but has given the news of a burooz. If burooz is not meant, how could the comrades of this promised one have been considered as companions of the Holy Prophet in the verse "others from among them"? Denial of burooz implies a rejection of this verse.
[Paragraph No. 13] People who think in physical terms have variously considered this promised one to be a descendant of Hasan, or of Husain, or of Abbas. But the Holy Prophet only meant that, like a descendant, he would be his heir --- heir to his name, heir to his nature, heir to his knowledge, and heir to his spirituality --- displaying his image within himself from every aspect.33 Not of his own self but from the Holy Prophet would he acquire everything, and would reflect his face through annihilation in him. Just as he shall receive his name, his nature and his knowledge in the sense of reflection (zill), in the same manner shall he receive his title nabi, because the burooz image cannot be complete if it does not possess the qualities of its original in every respect. Hence, as prophethood also is a quality of a nabi, it is essential for it to be manifested in the burooz image. All prophets have held that the burooz is a perfect image of its original,34 so much so that even the name becomes one. Therefore, it is obvious that, just as by being named Muhammad and Ahmad in the sense of burooz, there are not two Muhammads and two Ahmads, similarly by using nabi and rasul in the sense of burooz is not meant that the seal of Khatam an-nabiyyin has been broken, because the burooz does not have a separate existence. In this way, the prophethood bearing the name Muhammad remains limited to Muhammad,35 may peace and the blessings of God be upon him.
All prophets, peace be upon them,36 have agreed that there is no duality in burooz, for the station of burooz is as described in the following saying:
"I become thou and thou become me, I become the body and thou become the soul, So no one can thereafter say: I am one and thou art another."19
[Paragraph No. 14] If, however, Jesus returned to the world, how could he do it without breaking the seal of Khatam an-nabiyyin? In other words, the term Khatam an-nabiyyin is a Divine seal which has been put upon the prophethood of the Holy Prophet. It is not possible now that this seal could ever break. However, it is possible that the Holy Prophet, not only once but a thousand times,37 come into the world in the sense of burooz and express his prophethood in the manner of burooz along with his other qualities. And this particular burooz was a confirmed promise from God, as He says: "Others from among them who have not yet joined them."
The prophets do not feel their dignity violated by their burooz because such a one is their very form and image, but they would certainly feel it in case of someone else. Consider how Moses, when he saw the Holy Prophet Muhammad on the night of miraj rise higher than his station, wept to show his sense of self-esteem. So, considering that God has said that "no other prophet shall come after you",38 if He were to send Jesus against His own word, how very hurtful would this act be to the Holy Prophet!
[Paragraph No. 15] In brief, prophethood in the sense of burooz does not make any difference to the finality of prophethood, nor is the seal broken. But the coming of another prophet does undermine Islam, and it is a big insult to the Holy Prophet Muhammad that the great task of slaying the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) be accomplished by Jesus and not by him. And the holy verse "but he is the Messenger of God and the Khatam an-nabiyyin" is, God forbid, falsified by it. There is a hidden prophecy in this verse, namely, that a seal has been put upon prophethood till the Day of Judgment. And except for a burooz, which is the being of the Holy Prophet himself, none has the power to receive knowledge of the unseen from God in a clear and open manner like prophets. As the burooz of Muhammad which was promised of old is myself, prophethood in the sense of burooz has been bestowed upon me. The whole world is now helpless in the face of this prophethood because a seal has been put upon prophethood. A burooz of Muhammad, having all his qualities, was destined for the latter days, and therefore he has appeared. Except for this window, there is no other window left for obtaining water from the fountain of prophethood.
[Paragraph No. 16] To summarise, the seal of finality is not broken by prophethood and messengership in the sense of burooz. But the concept of the descent of Jesus, which implies denial of the verse "but he is the Messenger of God and the Khatam an-nabiyyin," does break the seal of finality. There is no trace of this meaningless and contradictory belief in the Holy Quran; and how could there be, as it is clearly opposed to the above verse. However, the coming of a burooz prophet and messenger is established from the Holy Quran, as is clear from the verse "others from among them."
One subtlety of expression in this verse is that that group has been mentioned here which is considered as being included among the Companions of the Holy Prophet. But there is no explicit mention here of the burooz, i.e., the Promised Messiah, through whom these people came to be considered as the Companions and regarded, like them, as being under the guidance of the Holy Prophet himself. This omission of reference is meant to indicate that the burooz does not have an existence of his own, and hence the seal of finality is not broken by his buroozi prophethood and messengership. Therefore, in this verse he is treated as a non-existent being, and the Holy Prophet is mentioned in his stead.39
Similarly in the verse "We have granted thee al-kausar" [the Quran, 108:1] there is the promise of a burooz in whose time kausar (abundance) will appear, i.e., fountains of spiritual blessings shall flow forth, and an abundance of people in the world shall become true followers of Islam. In this verse also, the necessity for physical progeny is belittled, and a prophecy is given of buroozi offspring. And although God has bestowed upon me the privilege of being an Israelite as well as a Fatimi, having a share of both stocks, I give precedence to the spiritual relationship which is the burooz connection.40
[Paragraph No. 17] Now by all of this writing, I mean to say that ignorant opponents accuse me of claiming to be a prophet and messenger. I make no such claim. I am neither a prophet nor a messenger in the sense which they have in mind. However, I am a prophet and a messenger in the sense which I have just explained.41 Hence the person who maliciously accuses me of claiming prophethood and messengership is a liar and evil-minded.42 It is the form of burooz which has made me a prophet and a messenger, and it is on this basis that God has called me nabi and rasul again and again, but in the sense of burooz. My own self does not come into it,43 but that of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him. It was on this account that I was called "Muhammad" and "Ahmad". So prophethood and messengership did not go to another person. What belonged to Muhammad remained with Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.20
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian,
5 November 1901 C.E.
This page was printed from the 'Official Website of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-e-Islam Lahore (Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam)'
located at http://aaiil.org or http://www.aaiil.org