Allegation of using abusive
language about his opponents
The false allegation that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has used abusive
words about his opponents in his writings is commonly advanced against
him. One place in which this accusation is refuted is in the book
Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement by Maulana Muhammad Ali
within chapter 12. Please
select this link to go to that location.
The following two basic points are important in understanding this
- In the Holy Quran, as well as in the Bible, strong language
has been used against the bitter opponents of the message of the
prophets. This language is not abuse but is used to portray the
low moral condition of those opponents, which the prophets came
to expose starkly. For example, the Quran says: They are
those whom Allah has cursed and upon whom He brought His wrath
and of whom He made apes and swine, and who serve the devil
(5:60). Likewise, the prophets in the Bible denounce their people
in stinging terms such as the following: you sons of a sorceress,
offspring of an adulterer and a prostitute (Isaiah, 57:3),
and For on every high hill and under every green tree you
have lain down as a harlot (Jeremiah, 2:20). Further examples
are given later on.
- In the Hadith reports of the Holy Prophet Muhammad relating
to the distant future, the Ulama of the latter days have
been condemned in strong terms such as apes and swine.
These were the very leaders of the opponents that Hazrat Mirza
Ghulam Ahmad faced and they fulfilled the Holy Prophets
prophecies about the state of the Ulama of the latter days.
Thus Hazrat Mirza spoke of the evil ones among them, and only
the evil ones, in harsh terms.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmads own reply
What Hazrat Mirza has himself said in reply to this allegation
in his book Izala Auham is as follows:
I say truly, absolutely truly, that I have not, to the best
of my knowledge, used even one word which can be called abusive.
A misconception arises because most people fail to differentiate
between hurling abuse and narrating the truth, and consider them
to be the same. They regard what is the relating of a fact in its
proper place to be abuse, solely because of a degree of harshness
in it which is unavoidable when speaking the truth. Actually, the
definition of abuse and offensive language is that it is something
which is against facts and false, and used merely to cause hurt.
If we label every harsh and hurtful statement as abuse solely because
of its bitterness, unpleasantness and hurtfulness, then we shall
have to admit that the entire Holy Quran is filled with foul language.
The harsh words used in the Holy Quran to degrade the idols and
to disgrace the idol-worshippers, and to curse and condemn them,
are not such as would please the idol-worshippers. On the contrary,
they would undoubtedly further spark off their rage. When God the
Most High addresses the unbelievers of Makka and says:
“Surely you and what you worship besides Allah are fuel
of hell” [21:98],
is it not included in abusive language according to the criteria
coined by the critic? Likewise, is it not abuse in the opinion
of the critic when in the Holy Quran God the Most High calls the
unbelievers “the worst of creatures” [98:6], and says that they
are even worse than the most disgraced and filthy of creations.
Has not God the Most High said in the Holy Quran: “be firm against
them” [9:73]? Has it not been stated to be a sign of the believers
that they are “hard against the disbelievers” [48:29]?
(Izala Auham, pages 1314; see Ruhani Khazain,
v. 3, p. 109)
He then refer his critics to the example of Jesus:
When Jesus calls the respectable religious lawyers and Pharisees
of the Jews as swine and dogs, and their most honourable leader
Herod a fox, and compares their respectable priests and jurists
to whores, and as regards the revered leaders, who were accorded
the highest respect by the Roman rulers and made to sit with honour
in the Roman courts, he speaks of them in these offensive, very
hurtful and uncivil words, calling them illegitimate, adulterous,
evil, dishonourable, faithless, fools, hypocrites, satanic, doomed
to hell, serpents and brood of vipers — are not these words very
serious, filthy abuse in the opinion of the critic? From this it
becomes evident that the objection of the critic does not only apply
to me and my books but in reality he has attacked all the Divine
scriptures and prophets with a burning heart.
(pages 1415; Ruhani Khazain, v. 3, p. 109110)
(For reference, see the following places in the
Gospel of Matthew: ch. 12 v. 39; ch. 21 v. 31; ch. 23 verses 13,
15, 17, 33.)
Giving examples from the Holy Quran, Hazrat Mirza writes:
How openly the Holy Quran uses harsh language cannot remain
unknown even to the most unintelligent and ignorant of people. For
example, the civilized people of today consider it the height of
abuse to curse someone. But the Holy Quran pointedly curses the
unbelievers. It says: “These it is on whom is the curse of Allah
and the angels and men, of all of them, abiding therein” [2:161-162],
and: “These it is whom Allah curses, and those who curse, curse
them too” [2:159]. Similarly, it is obvious that to liken a human
being to a beast is a form of abuse. However, the Holy Quran not
only calls them beasts but declares that the unbelievers and deniers
are worse than all the creatures on the face of the earth, as it
says: “Surely the vilest of beasts in Allah’s sight are those who
disbelieve” [8:54]. In the same way, it is clear that it is against
the manners of present day culture to make a particular person a
target of abuse by taking his name or by referring to him, but in
the Holy Quran God the Most High has applied to some the name Abu
Lahab, and to some the titles dog and swine. Then Abu Jahal is well
known as such.
Similarly, regarding Walid Mughira the harshest possible words
are used which apparently are terms of filthy abuse, as it says:
Here the Quran 68:816 is quoted in Arabic
In other words, do not follow what these unbelievers say, who
wish from the bottom of their hearts that you abstain from abusing
their gods and disgracing their religion, so that then they shall
also apparently approve your religion. Do not be misled by the
slickness of their tongues. This man who has appealed for compromise
is a man who takes false oaths, is of weak opinion, and a degraded
individual. He indulges in fault-finding in others and causes
division among people by back biting. He hinders from the path
of goodness, is guilty of illicit sexual acts, in his character
he is a man of the worst morals, and besides all that he is of
illegitimate birth. Very soon We shall brand his snout, which
has grown long like that of swine. By a long snout is meant adherence
to the customs and codes of honour of society which are a hindrance
to the acceptance of the truth.
(pages 2529, footnote; Ruhani Khazain, v.
3, p. 115117, footnote)
Word zaneem in verse 68:13 of the Quran
In the above extract Hazrat Mirza has translated the last word
of verse 68:13 of the Holy Quran, which is zaneem in the
original Arabic, as he is of illegitimate birth. Below
we show how some Muslim translators of the Quran have rendered this
1. There is an Urdu translation of the Holy Quran by Maulana Mahmud-ul-Hasan
with commentary notes by Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, both
of these scholars being very famous and renowned Ulama of the Indian
subcontinent. An edition of this book is published by the Saudi
Arabian government and presented free as a gift to pilgrims. It
has a note on verse 68:13 (on page 749) whose image is displayed
The second half of this note says:
The meanings of zaneem according to some
classical scholars are wald-uz-zina and haramzaday.
The unbeliever about whom these verses were revealed was such a
The word wald-uz-zina means illegitimate and
the word haramzaday is a common Urdu term meaning bastard.
3. In the English translation of the Quran by T.B. Irving (whose
Muslim name is Talim Ali), verse 68:13 is translated as:
brawling, and a bastard besides that.
4. In the English translation of the Quran by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din
Al-Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, the word zaneem is
translated as: base-born (of illegitimate birth), where
they have inserted the words of illegitimate birth in
Therefore, several orthodox Muslim scholars of the Holy Quran,
of classical as well as modern times, agree that the Holy Quran
used the term illegitimate and bastard to
characterise an opponent of Islam in the time of the Holy Prophet
One purpose of using harsh language has been mentioned as follows
by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad at the same point in Izala Auham
as the above quotations:
There is another wisdom in the use of harsh language, that
it awakens dormant hearts and rouses those people who like to nod
If the truth is declared to them bluntly, with
all its bitterness and unpleasantness, the good result of this is
that their pretence to agreement is at once removed and they openly
express their unbelief and ill-will, as if their suppressed ailment
now manifests itself as burning temperature. So this incitement
which severely provokes the minds, although it may be highly objectionable
in the view of an unwise person, but an astute man can well understand
that it is this arousal which provides the first step towards the
acceptance of truth.
The strong language used by the prophets was really for the same
purpose of arousal, so that a stirring be created in the people,
they awaken from slumber by this jolt and start pondering and
thinking about religion, they make a movement for this purpose
even if it is in opposition, they establish a connection with
those who are proclaiming the truth even if it is a connection
of hostility. It is to this that Allah the Glorious refers in
the words: In their hearts is a disease, so Allah increased
their disease [2:10].
(pages 2931; Ruhani Khazain, v. 3, p. 117118)
Another case in which use of strong language may be permitted is
mentioned in the Quran as follows:
Allah loves not the public utterance of hurtful
speech, except by one who has been wronged (4:148).
Thus a person who is wrongfully verbally abused is allowed by the
Quran to use hurtful language in self-defence, provided that it
conveys only the truth and is a measured and proportionate response.
The link given at the beginning
of this article from the book Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement
gives some examples of the vile abuse that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
was subjected to by his opponents. His response was much milder
than their vituperative attacks.