‘A Misunderstanding Removed’ [A Book by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian]

New Translation by Qadiani Jamaat

The Light (UK), September 2007 Issue (pp. 7–8)

On the Qadiani Jamaat website www.alislam.org, a new English translation of the Urdu pamphlet Ayk Ghalati Ka Izala by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has recently been published under the above title. An earlier translation of the same pamphlet by them was first published in 1978 and has been in circulation for several years on the Internet. They have been putting forward this pamphlet to prove that the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement [Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian] claimed to be a prophet.

The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement first published its English translation in June 1951 under the title Correction of An Error. The translation was ably done by Maulana Shaikh M. [Muhammad] Tufail, who also added a valuable introduction as well as an analysis to refute the notion that Hazrat Mirza sahib was claiming to be a prophet in it. More than thirty years later, in the light of experience of doing translations during the South Africa court cases, I (Zahid Aziz) made a new translation under the same title, with extensive explanatory notes. This has not been published in print but has been available on our websites for about eight years. Please see the link:


While the Qadiani Jamaat presents this pamphlet to prove that the founder of the Movement claimed to be a prophet, that is not the entire story of what they believe about this publication. Their belief is that in this booklet, published in November 1901, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadannounced to the world for the first time that he was claiming to be a prophet and that he thereby revoked his previous denials of claiming to be a prophet which he had been announcing for the previous ten years. They also hold that he was mistaken during all those ten years in denying claiming to be a prophet, because he was actually a prophet but failed to realize it. The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement has, of course, always held that those previous denials were correct, remained valid and were always confirmed by the founder till his death.

The architect of these Qadiani doctrines, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, their second Khalifa, wrote as follows:

“He [Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad] did not know that the nature of the claim he was putting forward was that of a claim that only prophets can make, and no one else, and yet he was denying being a prophet. But when he discovered that the nature of his claim that he had been putting forward since the beginning of his claim was that of prophethood and not sainthood, he declared himself as a prophet…” (Haqiqat-un-Nubuwwat, published March 1915, p. 124)

It is patently absurd and laughable to say that a prophet, after being given that office by God, does not realize for ten years that he has been made a prophet. All this time, when his opponents accuse him of claiming to be a prophet he denies it vehemently, even to the extent of taking oaths in mosques to deny this charge, and declaring that he considers anyone who claims to be a prophet as a liar, impostor and an accursed man. If such a man suddenly announced that he was actually a prophet, as the Qadiani Jamaat holds that he did, what credibility would he have left?

Due to the utter absurdity of this standpoint, the Qadiani Jamaat has felt it best not to mention it for the past several decades. Their new translation carries a Publisher’s Note, but this makes no mention of it. The Note does, however, say that this pamphlet 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.”

How can it be the last word when according to Mirza Mahmud Ahmad it was his first word about his claim! If a man denies something continuously and forcefully for ten years and then, out of the blue, admits to it and revokes all his previous denials, he would face so many questions and objections that it could not possibly be his last word on the subject. He would have to spend a long time explaining and justifying this complete turn-about in his beliefs.

In Ahmadiyya literature after 1901, during the life of Hazrat Mirza sahib, we often find instances where the so-called pre-1901 beliefs, allegedly revoked in 1901, are reiterated again. An example brought to our attention recently is an article in the Review of Religions for May 1903, in connection with the tomb in Srinagar known locally as the tomb of a prophet called Yus Asaf, which we consider to be that of Jesus. Ahmadis argued that it could not be the tomb of a Muslim saint after the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s time because then Muslims would not have called it the tomb of a ‘prophet’ as the Holy Prophet Muhammad was the Last Prophet. The article mentioned above is by Maulvi Sher Ali, who was later a leading scholar of the Qadiani Jamaat. He is replying to an article in a Christian journal in which the writer suggested that the person known as Yus Asaf was a Muslim saint of Kashmir who died no more than 200 years before. Maulvi Sher Ali writes in refutation:

“The fact that he is known as a Prophet or Nabi  refutes the idea of his being a Muslim Saint. No intelligent man would think that a person who was reputed as a prophet among the Muslims was a Muslim Saint. Even if a Muslim Saint works miracles, they would take him as a Wali at the best and never as a prophet. They believe that their Holy Prophet is the seal of the prophets and that he is not to be followed by any other prophet. Hence the fact that Yus Asaf is believed to be a prophet by the Muslims of Kashmir clearly shows that he lived prior to the time of the Holy Prophet of Arabia and one who takes him for a Muslim Saint only, betrays his complete ignorance of the beliefs prevailing among the Muslims.” (Review of Religions, May 1903, p. 198)

This is just one example of such statements in Ahmadiyya literature after 1901. Also after 1901 we find some pre-1901 letters and statements of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad about his claim published again. They carry no indication by the publisher or editor that those views had changed since the time when they were first expressed before 1901.