One of the Greatest Discoveries of the Age [Arabic is the Mother of Languages]
The Review of Religions (English), February 1902 Issue (Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 79–80)
It is more than five years hence that the Ahmadiyyah sect started an important investigation at the instance of its head. That investigation is now complete so far as to enable us to announce the result, which was partly printed in the form of a book, still in press. We intend now to take up this subject in the pages of the Magazine [The Review of Religions]. We shall show that Arabic is the mother of languages or that languages which are supposed to have no connection with it, have sprung up from it.
We are not unaware of the conclusions at which modern philologists have arrived. We know that most of them are, in the first place, far from admitting a unity of origin of speech, and then doubts have been entertained as to the existence of any possible relations between, what they call, the Semitic languages and other families, the Aryan especially. We know that our announcement will be startling to the students of languages as well as to others. But we hope that our assertion shall not be discarded for the only reason that it goes against the investigation that has hitherto been made by learned European philologists. We think that sufficient attention has not been paid to the Semitic family of languages and among it especially to the chief member which alone could throw a light upon many obscure linguistic questions. It is only because the proper material has been wanting that the question has been left unsolved. Now that light has been thrown upon it after a due consideration and deep study, we hope it shall be taken for what it is worth.
The surprising richness of the vocabulary of Arabic which supplies simple words for complex and refined ideas, notwithstanding the extreme simplicity of the conditions of life among the ignorant people that spoke it and the very limited range of their ideas, and the expression of the slightest modification by a distinct word, are among the notable facts admitted by all philologists. But more wonderful than all is the fact that the descriptive words of ignorant Bedouins disclose treasures of scientific facts which, we know not, how many thousands of years afterwards, were discovered by the world. From a religious point of view, it is no less surprising and significant a fact that of all the sacred languages, viz., languages in which religious laws were revealed to the world, Arabic is the only one that is living, and living a glorious life too, thus pointing to the life and glory of the religion which it reveals, whereas all others have, by their death, attested to the corruption of the principles which they taught.