Below is a post kindly sent to me by brother Abdullah.
To: Talib al-‘Ilm From: Abdullah
Re: Cousin Mumtaz
بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم
Dearest brother Talib
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
Now, now brother there is no need to be upset. I know that the shenanigans of our cousin, the erstwhile Mullah of Streatham, Shaykh Mumtaz-ul-Haq have hurt. Rest assured I am sure that he will not have impressed anyone remotely concerned with the family name. True it was an incendiary and vitriolic speech merely aimed at stirring hatred, reinforcing misconceptions and had a negligible relationship with all that is good and decent, but it was comic as well. Comic? O Yes. For a scholar of Islam the shaykh’s ignorance about his own scripture is worthy of our contempt.
Now Talib I don’t think there is need to cover old ground. Naeem Osman Memon’s books (Three in One and Ahmadiyyat or Qadianism) covers a great deal of the allegations made: the idea that, God forbid, the Promised Messiah sought to degrade Jesus (see p85 here); that he, God forbid, claimed to be God (see here) and the allegation that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s use of the phrase dhuriyat-ul-baghaya translates as sons of prostitutes (see p336 here). Why reinvent the wheel when these maulvius are too lazy to make even a half-hearted attempt to avoid misquotations which already have been thoroughly answered. But deal I will with the thrust of our sniggering Shaykh’s speech – the weird and wacky idea that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian was simply too well educated to be a prophet.
So there are three allegations: (1) Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote and [note this] “No Prophet ever wrote, ever wrote a single volume or even a single word” (see 5:52 of Sheikh Mumtaz’s speech here); (2) Mirza Ghulam Ahmad composed poetry and prophets cannot compose poetry and (3) Mirza Ghulam Ahmad spoke several languages and every prophet can only speak one language. Now I could disprove this quite simply from the Bible. Ezra was “a ready scribe in the law of Moses,” (Ezra 7:6) David composed the Psalms and quite obviously Moses spoke the Hebrew of his people and the language of the Pharaoh. All too obvious really. I am grateful for the Shaykh’s own admission on Youtube that he follows the “ولا حرج” [“There is no objection”] hadith-text in Bukhari which sanctions the Islamic scholars to use past scripture if not in contradiction with the Quran. Yet I do fear, brother Talib, that cousin Mumtaz is coloured by that chameleon complexion of expediency that so tinges the clerics of the subcontinent. So let us examine the Shaykh’s arguments from Islamic sources alone.
(Answer 1) So to the first issue. As is well known and Quranically attested the Prophet (sas) was indeed unlettered. Yet Allah Almighty is not, God forbid, a deity who randomly deprives His most beloved creation for sheer joy, there was a reason for why that was so. The reason, dear Talib, (though I should really CC the Shaykh into this as he is the one who needs to know) is so that none could raise the objection that the Prophet had read previous scripture and was a mere plagiarizer of the past tradition. This specific limitation on this specific prophet served a specific purpose. I thought this was obvious and known to all but perhaps only an Ahmadi Muslim can understand this. Now Prophets have certainly written in the past. Read Sura al-Naml , the Prophet Sulayman wrote a letter to the Queen of Sheba prefaced with بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم. Prophets have also read in the past. Read Sura al-Araf and see Allah Azz wa Jall declaring وكتبنا له (“We wrote for him [Moses]” the tablets) i.e. Moses could read. Yet there is a more patent example than either of these two just given. Did the Shaykh really say “No Prophet ever wrote, ever wrote a single volume or even a single word?” Well how does he explain that the greatest scholars of the Muslims celebrate the fact that the Holy Prophet (sas) did write. On the day of Hudaybiya when the Prophet (sas) was concluding a pact with Suhayl b. ‘Amr, the representative of the Quraysh, Suhayl demanded that the pact must contain no mention of the Prophet’s divine title and the Prophet was only to be identified by his family name. Ali (ra), the scribe, who had already penned in the words Rasul Allah, upon being told by his master to efface them from the parchment felt such humiliation that he swore by God that he would not to so. Yet the Prophet was to insist. As the account of Muslim relates:
فأراه مكانها فمحاها وكتب ابن عبد الله
“So Ali showed him where the writing was and the Prophet effaced it and wrote [in the words] ‘the son of Abdullah.’ ”
(Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Jihad wa al-Siyar, Bab Sulh al-Hudaybiya fi al-Hudaybiya)
What was this but a miracle. As Bukhari commented ولا يحسن أن يكتب فكتب “It was not possible for him to write and yet he still wrote.” While Shibli Numani argued that the Prophet (sas) may have at least acquired by that time enough knowledge to write his name (this not diminishing from the fact that he was unlettered), a hadith in Bukhari goes so far as to state the Prophet (sas) wrote the whole pact!
So what now of our Shaykh’s objection. With the Hudaybiya miracle is he denying Imam Bukhari? Is he denying Imam Muslim? Is he even denying the Prophet (since his statement quite clearly is ‘no prophet ever wrote,’ i.e. if Muhummad (sas) wrote is he now, God forbid, not a Prophet?) And in the incident of Sulayman (as) is he denying the author of the Quran? And none can be under any illusions that I have misrepresented the Shaykh, I have at least had the courtesy of providing some context compared to his mis-quotations and mis-contextualisations of the Promised Messiah!
(Answer 2) Shall we touch upon the second now? Talib, did the Shaykh really claim that a prophet cannot compose poetry? True, the Quran declares that the Prophet (sas) was not a poet – but again context is everything. Yet again this is not some random limitation on prophethood; there is a reason for it. The Prophet (sas) lived amongst the Quraysh who were most proud of their literary tradition. The annual poetry fair at Ukaz boasted the greatest of Jahiliyya poets; the best 7 poems hung in the Kaba. The myth was that each of the great Arab poets had a demonic companion – a Qarin, who inspired them with verse. So accordingly the point was made that this Quran was not the like of the genre, it was divine revelation gifted to a man who did not indulge in the vocation of poetry. There was no human or jinn based inspirational element within it. So again a specific limitation for a specific period to a specific prophet. Yet that does not mean that no prophet could ever compose poetry. Indeed the Noble Prophet (sas) did on one occasion issue perhaps the most famed and almost certainly the most beautiful battle couplet ever composed. On the day of Hunayn, a day, when because of the greatness of number he could have sent his forces to fight and stayed behind like a king, he chose instead to be in the heat of the battle. When his own forces, made slack from their pride in number, took to flight, he advanced and uttered:
I am the Prophet!
No lie is this;
Abd al-Muttalib’s child,
here in the midst!
What a declaration! It was an assertion that that same God who had protected him during the blockade at Mecca, during the departing of his own house at the time of the Hijra, in the cave with Abu Bakr, at Badr when he was outnumbered, at Uhud when he was wounded, at Khandaq when he was besieged was true and His divine protection held! Temptation of wealth had not in the slightest diverted him, his belief remained absolute. Indeed the fourth Caliph of the Ahmadi Muslim community, that is the Khalifatul Masih IV, declared that if one would wish to know whether the Noble Prophet (sas) was true he need ponder on this event alone.
So then if the Noble Prophet (sas) could compose a couplet I see little objection in the Promised Messiah doing so. (Again cc this to the “shaykh”, he may learn a thing or two from this very average Ahmadi).
(Answer 3) Finally, I remain perplexed by the Shaykh’s insistence that a prophet can only speak one language. Really? True that the Quran affirms that every prophet certainly speaks the language of his people but did the Hebrews really speak nothing but cuckoo given that God has declared in al-Naml that Dawood (as) spoke mantiq al-tayr (the language of the birds). We remember of-course that the shaykh could never interpret this metaphorically given his compatriot shaykh-of-the-night Gani’s mocking the Ahmadis for not interpreting literally in all instances. Presumably Isa when he returns from Heaven will still be speaking Aramaic and instructing the Umma in a language that only a handful of Muslims can actually understand! And again for our literalists in al-Naml perhaps they wish to explain how Sulayman (as) understood the language of the ants!
A word by way of conclusion.
I conclude with a message addressed in all seriousness to all Talibs and Talibahs – and all those who seek the truth in earnest: Do not mock Ahmadi Muslims with figments of the imagination of what a prophet is – else you will only end up falling on your own sword. A Nabi, according to us, is the highest rank a man can be gifted in reward for his righteousness. It has nothing remotely to do with literary merit (or even merit based on knowledge). A Nabi is the greatest of reformers – he pulls his community out to higher and greater moral truths. Whenever the verse ظهر الفسد في البر والبحر (‘Corruption has appeared in land and sea’) applies, God is not so unkind to leave his people lingering in darkness without bestowing an individual an abundance of revelation to counter all that is satanic. In this hour of darkness where we have been subjugated, where our moral standard has fallen and where we hark back to the nostalgia of yore, Allah the Almighty has not left the Muslims. A divine reformer has come. Think, consider and read.
والسلام على من اتبع الهدى
(Peace be upon all those who in whatsoever situation they when divine guidance comes are prepared to study it without prejudice and follow it if true).
Your loving brother in Islam Abdullah