Some allegations of plagiarism were raised during Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's lifetime, especially by Mehr Ali Shah, which Mirza Ghulam Ahmad refers to in the book Nuzool-ul-Masih. His defence was mainly that they were very few sentences and that such borrowing was common with other authors.
The examples below prove that to be a weak defence. Also, please refer to the following articles: Arabic Challenge
Claims of Arabic Prowess
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani (MGAQ) made two main claims concerning his Arabic writings:
First Claim: His Arabic Books are from Allah
((All my Arabic books are type of revelation since I wrote them with special support from God. Sometimes I do not understand the meaning of some words and sentences unless I use a dictionary)) – (Seerat-ul-Mahdi, Narration No. 104)
((I confess that all my books were written through the power of Allah)) – (Rouhani Khazain, vol 18, Ijaz-ul-Masih, page 1)
Second Claim: He Never Read Arabic Literature Books
((It is a sign for people that Allah has developed the Arabic knowledge of the promised Messiah and kept him devoted to the right path and to the wisdom. The promised Massiah is not an Arab, he didn’t have good knowledge in Arabic language and he never read Arabic literature books, even so, no human could beat him in this field)) – Rouhani Khazain, vol 22, Haqeeqat-ul-Wahi, p 629.
((All the knowledge of the [promised] Messiah descends from heaven. He does NOT get any help from [the people of] earth)) – Rouhani Khazain, vol 5, Aina Kamalat-ul-Islam, page 409
Analysis of Claims
To examine MGAQ’s claims about his Arabic books, let us read his book “Hujjatullah”. This Arabic book is small in size; if we remove its Urdu texts, translations and poems, the Arabic text would cover around 25 x-large-font pages or 7 normal-font pages only.
MGAQ challenged all his opponents to write something similar to his book “Hujjatullah”. He claimed that the Arabic of this book is far superior to the Arabic of any other book ever written by humans. He writes:
((Whoever ponders over this book, he would realize the fluency of its sentences and the perfectness of its style. He would also confess that it is far superior to the official Arabic writings and that its attractiveness is far better than any human writing)) – Rouhani Khazain, vol 12, Hujjatullah, page 140
However, if you read this book you’ll realize that – out of its 25 pages – dozens of sentences and paragraphs had been stolen from an Arabic book titled “Maqaamaat al-Hareeri”, which was written by the famous Arab novelist Abu Muhammad al Qasim ibn Ali al-Hareeri (1054-1122).
MGAQ himself considered al-Hareeri to be one of the greatest Arab writers of all times. He mentioned him in one of his challenges to his opponents. He writes:
((The followers of Muhr Ali claimed that he is a complete scholar and a great saint. After he claimed that he is a scholar, I invited him to accept my challenge by writing a Tafseer like my Tafseer, he was stupid and didn’t accept my challenge. I say: even if he was as good as al-Hamazani or al-Hareeri, he would not be able to write a Tafseer like my Tafseer)) - Rouhani Khazain, vol 18, Ijaz al-Masih, page 24
A Strange Challenge
Whenever I read the following challenge written by MGAQ in his book “Hujjatullah”, I remember the Arabic adage which says “Sometimes, the guilty person would almost say: come on, arrest me, I am the one”:
((If we show our opponent some paragraphs from our writings and some other paragraphs from the writings of a great Arabic writer without showing the names of the authors; if our opponent is really truthful and can distinguish between the writings then we will give him fifty Rupees as a reward)) – Rouhani Khaza’in, vol 12, Hujjatullah, page 144-145
Indeed! his opponents could not distinguish between those paragraphs! You know why? Because MGAQ’s paragraphs and the other paragraphs are almost copies! Here are some examples:
Plagiarism from Maqamat-ul-Hareeri
Detailed Example 1
Copy and Paste from Maqamat-ul-Hareeri, page7
((The man suffered the grin of horridness and the warfare of anxiety; he felt the sparks of the envious one and fallen down ill with the black cataclysms. This situation sustained till the palm of his hand was busted. The place became empty and the spring became dry. The light showers of spring took off, the throng vamoosed, the somnolence was discomposed, the circumstance was transmuted, the brood lamented, and the barn became empty… He fallen in the traps of the knavish life and hit by the debasing penury till he wore the barefootedness as footgear, gobbled the lumps in the throat and experienced the doldrums)) -Maqamat ul Hareeri, page 7.
((The hardship attacked him – Atham. This situation sustained till the palm of his hand was busted, the money was stolen and the brood lamented. He fallen in the traps of the knavish grief and hit by the debasing penury till he wore the barefootedness as footgear, gobbled the lumps in the throat and experienced the doldrums. He spent his life with sorrow and fallen down ill with the black cataclysms. He immigrated then to India unassisted and blameful, and lived his life with injury and wound. He suffered the grin of horridness, the warfare of anxiety, the curses of cursers, and the abuse of abusers. This situation sustained till the problems continued, the trials increased, the throng vamoosed and the light showers of spring took off)) – Rouhani Khazain, vol 12, Hujjatullah, page 211-212.
Detailed Example 2
Copy and Paste from Maqamat ul –Hareeri, page 46
If you’ll read the whole Hujjatullah book, you’ll realize that MGAQ had copied most of al-Hareeri’s sentences without any change, but sometimes he tried to make minor changes. However, MGAQ couldn’t make big changes since it seems that he was not sure if the modified Arabic sentence would still be valid.
However, even when he was copying a sentence as it is, sometimes MGAQ couldn’t avoid invalid Arabic expressions. See this example from the same page 7 of Maqamat ul Harreeri
MGAQ copied all the sentences which are marked by red lines, however when he copied the sentence which is highlighted in yellow, he couldn’t use it correctly in his Ilhami paragraphs.
The original sentence by al-Hareeri
((I became a brother of AYLAH, and didn’t own a place to stay in for one night)) – Maqamat ul Hareeri, page 7
((They would become a brother of AYLAH and would not own a place to stay in for one night)) – Rouhani Khaza’in, vol 12, Hujjatullah, page 190.
- MGAQ copied (a brother / AKHAA) as it is, while he should use (brothers / IKHWAT).
- As the phrase was being copied, the context changed from single to plural, but was copied (a brother / AKHAA) as it is, while the copied phrase should have been adjusted for the plural (brothers / IKHWAT).
- Lack of Meaning: The phrase (AKHAA AYLAH) has been translated into Urdu in the original book as bhookay nangay ho jayen gai – they will become destitute (lit. will be hungry and naked). It is possible that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad did not understand the phrase as being two words, and took it for one word and came up with a translation not supported by the Arabic language. That would also explain the lack of plural.