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August 2nd, 2007

‘Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala’: Qadiani Jamaat’s new English translation

The Qadiani Jamaat has very recently published a new, revised English translation of Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala, ‘A Misunderstanding Removed’. Their previous translation had been in circulation for many years. The new translation is at this link on their website as a pdf file.

My translation of the same pamphlet, with introduction and notes, has existed on our website for about 5 years. Its formatting needed some improvement. So I have taken this opportunity to improve the formatting (although there is no change in the translation or notes), and have also expanded the introduction which can be read here. One addition to the introduction is to present the original Urdu quotations from Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad’s discussion of this subject. Previously, only the English translation had been given.

In the new Qadiani Jamaat translation, it is written in the Publisher’s Note:

“Apart from resolving once and for all the extremely vital and contentious issue of Khatm-e-Nubuwwat, Eik Ghalati Ka Izala is also the last word in settling the dispute between those who believe the Promised Messiah to be a Prophet of God and those who do not.”

So it is “the last word” in settling this dispute, is it? Interestingly, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad wrote as follows:

“The first evidence of the change in this belief is found in the announcement Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala, which is the first written evidence.” (See my introduction for reference)

“Change in this belief” is, according to him, the change in the Promised Messiah’s belief from considering himself not to be a prophet to claiming to be a prophet. So this pamphlet, according to Mirza Mahmad Ahmad, is the first word on his claim to prophethood but today’s Qadiani Jamaat calls it the last word.

Can any Qadiani Jamaat member in the world explain how what they used to consider as the Promised Messiah’s first declaration of being a prophet can be his last word on the subject?

Mirza Mahmud Ahmad also writes in the same place:

“The issue of prophethood became clear to him in 1900 or 1901, and as Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala was published in 1901, in which he has proclaimed his prophethood most forcefully, it shows that he made a change in his belief in 1901″

There is, of course, no mention in their Publisher’s Note of the above Qadiani standpoint, namely, that in his writings before this pamphlet the Promised Messiah was making the mistake of denying being a prophet, and was now correcting his own misunderstanding. The most likely reason is that the writers of the note are ignorant of the whole background.

24 Responses to “‘Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala’: Qadiani Jamaat’s new English translation”

  1. August 3rd, 2007 at 8:36 pm
    From Abdul Momin:

    “Apart from resolving once and for all the extremely vital and contentious issue of Khatm-e-Nubuwwat, Eik Ghalati Ka Izala is also the last word in settling the dispute between those who believe the Promised Messiah to be a Prophet of God and those who do not.”

    Well this statement raises a lot of questions.

    1. Why did the question of the status of HMGA (Prophet or non-Prophet) within the Ahmadiyya Jamaat rise some 3 years after his death (10 years after Aik Ghalti…..)? Was this such a trivial issue that all his disciples accepted his (new) claim of prophethood in Aik Ghalti Ka Izala without any debate or discussion? If so what made some of his followers abandon this belief 6 years after his death (at the time of the split)?

    2. Why dId HMGA’s opponents spare HMGA over this alleged change? In his post Aik Ghalti ….. books HMGA should have had a very busy time defending himself from his opponents’ attacks over this alleged change in his status. Is there any evidence of this in his writings? The history of the last 100 years bears ample testimony to the fact that Muslim passions in the sub-continent can be aroused just by the mere mention of violation of Finality of Prophethood. If previously HMGA was accused of being a claimant to prophethood when his claim was that of only a saint, why was HMGA spared by his opponent Mullahs (who were looking for any excuse to go after him) after he “announced” his prophethood to the world in Aik Ghalti ………?

    3. Why did Khalifa II in front of the Munir Tribunal in1954 state that “As far as I can remember he (HMGA) claimed prophethood in 1891? One would think that nearly half a century after the founder’s death, Khalifa II would at least get his facts right and be clear in his mind when HMGA first claimed to be a prophet.

    4. Why does HMGA continue to refer to himself by the (lower) rank of Mujaddid in his post Aik Ghalti Ka Izala writings?

    5. HMGA throughout his writings again and again tries to explain why he is the Promised Messiah and Mehdi. But the status of prophethood should have had a much greater importance in his writings. After all, a “prophet” had appeared for the first time in 1300 years. Why does he not devote any effort to explain this change from sainthood to prophethood?

    6. Why was the belief in the “prophethood” of HMGA not made a part of the ba’iat (allegiance) for the members of the Ahmadi Jamaat?

  2. August 4th, 2007 at 1:30 am
    From Ansar Raza:

    Dear Sir,
    If you had read it with unbiased and clear mind you would have certainly realized that the book ‘Aik Ghalti ka Azala” has been declared the first word of the Promised Messiah (Peace be upon him) chronologically, i.e., this is the first pamphalet he wrote to clear and remove this misunderstanding. However, regarding the importance and stature of this issue, this booklet, being the words of the Imam and divine judge of the age, is the last word in the sense of final word, not chronologically but being the highest.

    I am amazed that why were you not able to distinguish this apparent meaning of the word ‘first’ and ‘last’.

  3. August 4th, 2007 at 5:57 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Response by the author Zahid Aziz on Mr Ansar Raza’s comment:

    assalamu alaikum

    Thank you for submitting the comment.

    1. Unless a person has background knowledge of the matter, he cannot at all realize by reading this translation and the Publisher’s Note that: “the book ‘Aik Ghalti ka Azala’ has been declared the first word of the Promised Messiah (Peace be upon him) chronologically”.

    Calling it the last word clearly gives the impression that he had been saying the same thing before, as what he is now alleged to be saying.

    2. Not only this booklet, but other comprehensive books are also “the words of the Imam and divine judge of the age”. Nowhere in any writing or statement of the Promised Messiah do we find it stated that this booklet has some special position, overriding other books.

    3. I know that “the last word” need not be chronologically the last, but it is also true that “the last word” means that the same point had been presented before. Something said for the first time, especially when it contradicts and overturns what was said before, can’t be the last word. (An example, although not an ideal one: Can President Bush suddenly announce one day: “The US invasion of Iraq was wrong. That’s my last word on this issue.”!)

  4. August 13th, 2007 at 1:46 am
    From Bashir Shah:

    Mian Mahmud Ahmad says that Mauvli Muhammad Ali believed that the pm was a real nabi, but after the split the lahoris changed there theory. Obviously this is incorrect.

    here is the proof.

    Muhammad Ali was editor of the Review of Religions. This is a fact.

    In May 1903 he writes concerning the tomb of jesus.

    Pg. 197

    An opponent visited the tomb of jesus. This opponent remarked that the tomb was of a Islamic saint who was a NABI. Not that of Jesus.

    Muhammad Ali remarked :

    ” no intelliegent man would think that a person who was reputed as a prophet by the muhammaddans(muslims) was a saint.

    ” Even if a saint worked miracles, muslims would take him as a wali at best and never as prophet”

    ” They(muslims) believe that the Holy Prophet is the seal of all prophets and that he is not to be followed by any other prophet”

    ” we do not know of any prophet who has appeared in Kashmir in the last 200 years”

    ” The fact that he was known as a prophet or nabi shows that he was not from india”

    ” the word nabi shows that he was an Israelite prophet, for that name is only applied to the Semitic prophets”

    also what is the qadiani response to the letter written by Maulvi Muhammed Ahsan of Amroha.

    After EKGA was published, some Muslim said that the PM declared prophethood. The PM ordered that someone should explain my claim to this man.

    Maulvi Muhammed Ahsan of Amroha wrote a letter to this gentleman explaining that no claim to prophetood was laid.

    So what is the Qadiani response to this ?

  5. August 13th, 2007 at 8:38 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    With regard to the article from The Review of Religions, May 1903, quoted by Mr Bashir Shah, it is important to make the correction that this was not written by Maulana Muhammad Ali but is signed by Maulvi Sher Ali (p. 204) who was later on a leading scholar of the Qadiani Jama`at and produced their English translation of the Quran.

    The fact that it was Maulvi Sher Ali who made these comments strengthens Mr Bashir Shah’s point even more! It shows that, far from the Lahori elders believing Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be a prophet before the Split, it was the Qadiani Jama`at elders who believed before the split (and after 1901) that no prophet could come after the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

  6. August 15th, 2007 at 2:08 pm
    From Ansar Raza:

    Alhamdolillah you acknowledged that the word ‘last’ need not be chronologically the last. This is what I wanted to respectfully submit that before ridiculing or making objections about something the benefit of doubt must be given to the other party. This saves one from humiliation and embarrassement. While it was written that “Aik Ghalti Ka Azala” is “THE LAST WORD” of the Promised Messiah (Peace be upon him) regarding Prophethood, it was meant to be “HARF-E-AKHIR”.

  7. August 15th, 2007 at 7:14 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Dear Mr Raza
    assalamu alaikum

    While acknowledging that the expression “last word” need not mean the last in time, I also stated in my post that the last word, in the sense of conclusive and definitive, cannot apply to something said for the first time, particularly if it contradicts and overturns what was said before.

    Zahid Aziz

  8. August 16th, 2007 at 3:47 pm
    From Ansar Raza:

    Plz explain that how did you come to this conclusion that something, though very decisive and firm, cannot be called “THE LAST WORD” if it said for the first time and if it contradicts and overturns what was said before?

    What linguistic and vernacular rules support your claim?

    Don’t you find any contradiction in your two statements: “something said for the first time” and “what was said before”?

    The later seems to have clear relation and link with the earlier. So, it is not “something said for the first time” in its essence. This ‘something’ is being said to explain ‘what was said before’.

    The Promised Messiah (Peace be upon him) said that these words like “NAZEER” and “MURSAL” are found in his writings since the days of ‘Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya’. So he is explaining those terms for the first time in a decisive and firm manner and closing this debate for ever whether he proclaims to be a prophet or not and of what kind.

    Ansar Raza

  9. As you believe that he is “closing this debate for ever”, and you also believe that in this pamphlet he has revoked his previous denials and interpretations of prophethood as being wrong, it means he is closing this debate by announcing that he now realises that he was previously wrong.

    I agree that in that sense it can be his last word, but it would be the last word of admission of wrong! For years he denies the accusation of his opponents that he claims to be a prophet. Then suddenly (according to your view) he announces that he was wrong and mistaken for all these years and he really does claim to be a prophet, and this is his last word.

    So, yes, if someone for years denies an accusation and then says that he was wrong to deny it and admits the accusation, then this admission can be his last word.

    You say: “So he is explaining those terms for the first time in a decisive and firm manner…”. Barahin-i Ahmadiyya was published during 1880 to 1884. After more than 17 years, you say, he explains these terms clearly for the first time!

  10. August 17th, 2007 at 1:57 pm
    From Ansar Raza:

    My dear Zahid Aziz Sahib


    Alhamdolillah. The matter is clear now that there is no contradiction between what Hadhrat Khalifat-ul-Masih-II (ra) said and what was written in the updated translation of the pamphelete “Aik ghalti Ka Azala”. Thx for acknowedging that fact.

    As far as the question of the Promised Messiah (Peace be upon him)’s prophethood is concerned, I think this is not the forum to discuss that. This fundamental dispute is lingering on since almost a century now (You probably know very well that next year is our ‘Khilafat Centenary) but you are still adament.

    However, if you wish I can submit here what I have learnt after my joining Ahmadiyya Movement in 1982, and seek your insight over my arguments.


    Ansar Raza

  11. August 17th, 2007 at 3:44 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    I acknowledged that according to your beliefs you can justifiably call it the “last word” because at long last Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad came to realise that he was wrong to deny being a prophet. It would be the last word in the admission of wrong by him. Yes, you can call it that. So if the new translation’s introduction had stated this, then there would be no contradiction between it and the pronouncements of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad sahib. Unfortunately, it does not say this, nor does it mention his pronouncements.

  12. August 17th, 2007 at 9:37 pm
    From Abdul Momin:

    From this URL it is clear that Last Word has more than one meaning :

    last word
    1. The final statement in a verbal argument.
    a. A conclusive or authoritative statement or treatment: The report was considered to be the last word on the hazards of smoking.
    b. Power or authority of ultimate decision: The treasurer has the last word in all financial matters.
    3. Informal The newest or most fashionable example of its kind; the latest thing: a food processor that is the last word in kitchen equipment.
    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

  13. August 18th, 2007 at 6:11 pm
    From Abdul Momin:

    If I may, I’d like to have my last word (I hope) on “last word”.

    1. The Qadiani Jamaat believes that in Aik Ghalti Ka Azala HMGA announced his prophethood to the world. Their Khalifa MM Ahmad Sahib says that this was his first written evidence of his prophethood.

    2. The Qadiani Jamaat’s publisher states about Aik Ghalti Ka Azala:

    “Apart from resolving once and for all the extremely vital and contentious issue of Khatm-e-Nubuwwat, Eik Ghalati Ka Izala is also the last word in settling the dispute between those who believe the Promised Messiah to be a Prophet of God and those who do not.”

    3. My comments: One, Khatm-e-Nabuwwat was never a contentious issue between Muslims until MM Ahmad Sahib made it into one. The general belief has always been that Prophet Muhammad (saw) was the last of the prophets. The only snag was that most Muslims believed that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was due to return a second time to earth which was a potential violation of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat. HMGA cleared this difficulty by stating that his second return was only a metaphorical return and that prophecy was fulfilled in his own person (a non-prophet but a Mujaddid).

    4. Second, If Aik Ghalti Ka Azala is the “last word” according to the Qadiani publisher (meaning most authoritative) and the first word according to MM Ahmad (meaning chronologically first) about HMGA’s announcement to the world regarding his prophethood, still, the irony would not be lost on AAIIL members when they see the words “first” and “last” about the same document which they have always contested with very solid reasoning that it does not at all point towards a new belief regarding his claims.

    5. I am very far off reading all of HMGA’s works (which I hope to do someday). But from whatever I have seen, HMGA ‘s post Aik Ghalti Ka Azala works plus the circumstances of his life post-1901 do not support the contention that he made any changes regarding his beliefs. This is the reason why to the publishers of Aik Ghalti Ka Azala this seems the most authoritative word about a claim to prophethood on the part of HMGA.

  14. There is an Urdu expression: “Machhur chaanna aur oont nigalna”.

    Since our Qadiani friend seems fond of Urdu verses, perhaps he could ponder this expression. Mirza Sahib has used it in one of his writings to describe the condition of the ulema of his time who choose to spend their time in minutia while ignoring the main issues.

  15. August 19th, 2007 at 7:41 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    It was said by Jesus to the formalist Jewish religious scholars: “You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” (Matthew, 23:24)

  16. August 19th, 2007 at 9:12 pm
    From Ansar Raza:

    Hahaha… No offence meant….I am sorry but I can’t stop myself laughing or at least smiling over the use of this expression, machar channa aur oont nigalna, for me, ‘your Qadiani friend’.

    Yes I am very fond of using Urdu and sometimes Persian proverbs. If you see my new book, Manji – Another Pawn Advanced, which I wrote in rebuttal of Irshad Manji’s book ‘The TRouble with Islam Today’, you’ll find many Urdu and Persian expressions.

    What I am laughing at is it is your AAIIL friends who started this trivial argumentation by accusing our Jama’at of having so-called contradiction with Hadhrat Khalifat-ul-Masih-II (ra) about the ‘First’ and the ‘Last’ word, because you seem to spare no moment to vent your frustration against Hadhrat Khalifat-ul-Masih-II (ra).


    If you choose, we can discuss big issues. I offered earlier to Mr. Zahid Aziz in my one of the earlier posts, but he simply ignored.

  17. August 20th, 2007 at 5:43 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    The reason why I ignored Mr Ansar Raza’s offer is that, as people know, I have had many discussions of this nature on the Internet with members of the Qadiani Jama`at. There was an extensive discussion between myself and Dr Tahir Ijaz in 2003/2004 which can be read here.

    I am willing to enter into a discussion with him, provided that Mr Ansar Raza’s Jama`at affirms that he is representing them in that discussion and that whatever beliefs he ascribes to them are the beliefs of their Jama`at.

    As he is an author of his Jama`at, and I am an author of this Jama`at, the discussion could be published on behalf of both Jama`ats.

  18. August 21st, 2007 at 3:56 pm
    From Ansar Raza:

    Dear Mr. zahid Aziz
    Just being an author doesn’t give anyone entitlement to be a representative also. Above all, hadhrat Khalifatul Masih-II (ra), a great representative and more greater than that head of our Jama’at has done extensive and well researched explanation of our beliefs about the Prophethood of the Promised Messiah (Peace be upon him).
    So, there is no need for me to enter in another representatives dialogue. What I was trying to do was to know what you, the next generation of Lahori Bazurgaan, understand about that dispute. I also wished to compare my understanding with you what I learnt after join ing Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam.
    Meanwhile, I am reading your discussion with Dr. Tahir Ijaz and shall come back after few days.

  19. Dear Mr Raza
    I am keenly awaiting your surmise of the discussion between Doctors Tahir Ijaz and Zahid Aziz. Would be obliged if one can have your view. Sometime it is helpful to have new thoughts on an issue.

  20. July 10th, 2008 at 10:51 pm
    From Saad Ahmad:

    I am confused by the comments here about what last means.  Does the Lahore Jamat deny that
    1. “Aik Ghalati Ka Izala” was written by Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad?
    2. That this book was published after 1900

    If they do not deny it then what is the debate? 

  21. July 11th, 2008 at 7:22 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    I am surprised you haven’t understood my points. The Publisher’s Note in this translation does not mention the very key belief of the Qadiani Jamaat about this booklet, which is that it abrogates all the previous statements of the Promised Messiah that he did not claim to be a prophet. This is the whole significance of this booklet according to your Jamaat’s view.

    Your Jamaat has recently (and I commend it) published translations of Asmani Faisala and Nishan-i Asmani. Both of these contain denials of claiming prophethood. If someone accepts those statements, you can’t blame him!

    I also objected to the Publisher’s Note in AGKI saying that it is: “the last word in settling the dispute between those who believe the Promised Messiah to be a Prophet of God and those who do not”.

    If he is now changing his belief to the opposite of what he always said before, how can it be called his last word on the subject? It’s the first time that he has said it. The last word has to be a confirmation and re-iteration of one’s previous views, not the opposite.

  22. July 11th, 2008 at 10:10 pm
    From Saad Ahmad:

    My question is what does that have to do with the bigger issue? Is it first word or last word is a childish debate.
    So with that, can you point me to a link where I can read the “aik ghalati ka azala” – if the one posted at is not correct (since both of us can read Urdu, lets skip the translation discussion for now). If you trust that this is accurate, then just read from the second last line on page#3 onwards – that states that “zilli” prophets can come.  Or to make it easy for everyone, why don’t you translate from that point for a couple of pages and post it – and no need for any commentry, just translate.  Commentry can be done later

  23. July 12th, 2008 at 5:37 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    I never made any comment about the translation. What I said was that by reading your translation no one will reach your conclusion, that he was cancelling his previous denials of claiming prophethood, because your translator/publisher has not stated this belief in his Foreword.

    If you had read my first post which began this thread, you would not be asking me translate “a couple of pages”. There I gave a link to my introduction (which is here) through which the translation can be accessed. You can also go to the translation directly from this link. (Both links will open in a new window for convenience.)

  24. July 12th, 2008 at 1:06 pm
    From Abdul Momin:

    It has happened again. Frequently a new poster comes to the AAIIL forum from the other jamaat, we have to (sort of) reinvent the wheel all over again. It is truly amazing.

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