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It is not correct that language is the invention of man. Research has established that the inventor and the creator of human languages is God Almighty, Who created man out of His perfect power and bestowed upon him a tongue that he may be able to speak. Had language been the invention of man, it would not have been necessary to teach a baby to talk. It would have invented its own speech as it grew mature. But it is patent that if a child is not taught speech, it would not be able to speak. Whether it is nurtured in a Greek forest or in the British Isles or at the equator, he has to be instructed in the art of speaking, and in the absence of such instruction he would not be able to speak.

The notion that languages undergo changes under human influence is an illusion. These changes do not result from conscious human effort, nor can we determine any rule or principle whereby the human mind brings about changes in languages at certain times. Deep reflection would reveal that linguistic changes also take place under the direction of the Causa Causens like all other heavenly and earthly changes. It cannot be established that at any particular time the whole of mankind collectively, or its different sections separately, had invented the different tongues that are spoken in the world. It may be asked why should it not be supposed that as God Almighty constantly brings about changes in languages, in the beginning languages might have been originated in the same way without the need of revelation? The answer is that in the beginning God had created everything simply through His power. Reflection on heaven, earth, sun, moon and on human nature itself would disclose that the beginning and origin of everything was through the pure operation of Divine power, in which no physical means were involved. Whatever God created was a manifestation of His supreme power which is beyond the concept of man. . . . The circumstances of today cannot serve as a precedent for the beginning and origin of creation. For instance, today no child is born without the agency of parents, but if in the beginning the same condition had been essential man could not have come into being. Moreover there is a world of difference between changes that naturally occur from time to time in languages and the birth of speech itself in the original void. The two concepts are entirely different {Braheeni Ahmadiyyah Volume IV, pp. 308-339 (Amritsar, Riadh Hind Press, 1884); Now published in Ruhani Khazain, Volume 1 (London, 1984)}

Are Languages The Invention Of Man?

Some stupid Aryas, holding Sanskrit as the language of Permeshwar, consider all other languages which comprise hundreds of Divine wonders and curiosities as the invention of man, as if while Permeshwar revealed one language men invented scores of languages better than that one. We would inquire from the Aryas that if it is true that Sanskrit has issued from the mouth of Permeshwar, and all other languages are the inventions of men and have no relationship with Permeshwar, what are the particular characteristics of Sanskrit which are not to be found in other languages; for the speech of Permeshwar must have superiority over the inventions of men. He is called God because He is matchless and supreme in His Being, attributes and works. If we are to suppose that Sanskrit is the language of Permeshwar, which was revealed to the ancestors of the Hindus, and that other languages were invented by the ancestors of other people who were cleverer and wiser than the ancestors of the Hindus, then could we also suppose that those other people were somewhat superior to Permeshwar in that they, through their perfect power, invented hundreds of languages and Permeshwar could invent no more than one? Those whose very natures are permeated with polytheism consider Permeshwar as an equal entity with themselves in many respects, perhaps because they esteem themselves as uncreated and, therefore, partners in the Godhead. The notion: Why did not God content Himself with the creation of one language; results from lack of reflection. If a wise person were to observe the diversity of modes and temperaments of people of different countries, he would be convinced that one language would not have suited all of them. The people of some countries can easily pronounce certain letters and words, but for the people of some other countries the pronouncing of those letters and words would be a great hardship. How was it then possible that the All-Wise One, loving only one language, should have ignored the principle of putting everything in its proper place, and should have abandoned that which would have been appropriate for the diversity of temperaments. Would it have been proper that He should have confined people of different temperaments in the narrow cage of one language? Moreover, the creation of a diversity of languages would have been proof of the multiple power of God Almighty. The praise of God offered by His humble creatures in a variety of languages is in itself a most attractive spectacle {Ibid. Pp. 374-381.}

Arabic Is The Fountain-Head Of All Languages

This book designated Minanur Rahman is a wonderful production to which we have been directed by some of the verses of the Holy Quran that are replete with wisdom. Among its other bounties the Holy Quran includes one whereby the true philosophy of the diversity of languages has been set forth, and we have been apprised of the deep wisdom underlying the source of all languages. We also learn therefrom how greatly are those people mistaken who do not admit that all languages have developed under divine direction. In this book it has been established as the result of research that the Holy Quran is the only book which has come down in the language which is the mother of tongues, is revealed, and is the source and fountain head of all other languages. It is patent that the whole beauty and superiority of a Divine book consists in its being in a language that has proceeded from the mouth of God Almighty and possesses higher qualities than other languages, and is perfect in its pattern. When we find such qualities in a language that are superhuman and beyond human skill, and of which all other languages are bereft, and we discover in it such properties as cannot be invented by any human intellect and proceed only from God's true and eternal knowledge, we are compelled to confess that such language has proceeded from God Almighty. Our perfect and deep research has revealed that Arabic is that language. Many people have spent their lives in such research and have made great efforts to discover which language is the mother of tongues, but as their efforts were not rightly directed, nor were they bestowed the relevant capacity by God Almighty, they could not achieve success. An additional reason was that they were prejudiced against Arabic and did not pay due attention to it. Thus they failed to discover the truth. Now we have been guided by the Holy Word of God Almighty, the Noble Quran, to the truth that the revealed book, the mother of tongues to which the Parsees, the Hebrews and the Aryas have laid separate claims, is Arabic, and that all other claimants are in error.

Reason For The Superiority Of Arabic Over Other Languages

In contrast with Arabic words, the words of those languages appear lame, maimed, blind, deaf and leprous, and entirely bereft of a natural pattern. The vocabulary of those languages is not rich in roots which is a necessary characteristic of a perfect language. If any Arya or other opponent of ours is not convinced by our research, we wish to inform him by means of this announcement that we have set out in this book in detail the reasons in support of the superiority, perfection and excellence of Arabic which fall under the following heads:

  1. The perfect pattern of the roots of Arabic words.
  2. Arabic possesses an extraordinarily high degree of intellectual connotations.
  3. The system of elementary words in Arabic is most complete and perfect.
  4. In Arabic idiom a few words convey extensive meanings.
  5. Arabic has the full capacity for the exposition of all human feelings and thoughts.

Now everyone is at liberty after the publication of our book to try, if possible, to prove these qualities in Sanskrit or any other language {Dhiaul Haqq, ( Qadian, Ziaul Islam Press 1895) ,p.2 Now published in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 9}.

Characteristics Of The Holy Quran

The Holy Quran is such a brilliant ruby and a glorious sun that the rays of its truth and the flashes that indicate its Divine origin are being manifested not only in one aspect but in thousands of them. The more the opponents of Islam strive to put out this Divine light, the stronger becomes its manifestation, and the more it attracts the hearts of those who possess insight, with its beauty and loveliness. Even in this dark age, when the Christian missionaries and the Aryas have spared no effort to denigrate it and to bring it into contempt, and have on account of their sightlessness attacked this light in every form that could be employed by the bigoted and the ignorant, this eternal light has furnished every type of proof of its being from God. One of its grand characteristics is that it sets forth its claims with respect to its guidance and its excellent qualities and itself furnishes the proof of those claims. This grand characteristic is not possessed by any other book. Out of the reasons and proofs that it has set forth in support of its Divine origin and its high-grade superiority, one great proof is that for the detailed exposition of which we have compiled this book. It is a product of the holy spring of the mother of tongues, whose water shines like the stars and slakes the thirst of those who are thirsty for comprehension, and washes out the dirt of doubt and suspicion. No previous book has set forth this proof in support of its truth. If the Vedas or any other book has set forth such proof, the followers of such a book should present the claim for such proof in the words of that book. The purport of this proof is that a comparative examination of different languages discloses that all languages are related to each other. Further and deeper study establishes that the mother of all these related languages is Arabic, from which all these languages have emerged. A complete and comprehensive research then discloses that its extraordinary qualities compel the acknowledgment that Arabic is not only the mother of tongues but is a revealed language which the first man was taught by the special design of God Almighty, and that it was not invented by any man. This leads to the conclusion that Arabic alone is suited for the complete and perfect Divine revelation, inasmuch as it is necessary that the Divine Book that has been revealed for the guidance of the whole of mankind should be expressed in a revealed language which should be the mother of tongues so that it should have a natural relationship with every language and the speakers of every language, and that being revealed it should possess the blessings with which everything that proceeds from the blessed hands of God Almighty is invested. But as the other languages were also not deliberately framed by men and have all emerged under Divine direction from this holy language, and have been corrupted but are all the progeny of this language, it was not inappropriate that for particular people guidance should have been revealed in those languages also. Yet it was necessary that the highest and most perfect Book should be revealed in Arabic because Arabic is the mother of tongues and is the true revealed language, having issued from the mouth of God Almighty. As this proof is presented only by the Holy Quran and it alone claims to be from God, and no other Arabic book makes this claim, we are compelled to acknowledge the Quran as manifestly proceeding from God and its being a guardian over other books. Therefore, I have compiled this book so that with God's help I may establish the mutual relationship of all languages, and may thereafter set forth the proofs of Arabic being the mother of tongues and the true revealed language; and then, on the basis of the specialty that it alone is the perfect, pure and revealed language, should expound the certain and conclusive proof that out of all revealed books the Holy Quran alone is the highest, most exalted, most complete, most perfect and Khatamal Kutub, and that it alone is the mother of books as Arabic is the mother of tongues. In this research project we would have to pass through three stages:

First stage:     Proof that all languages are interrelated.

Second stage: Proof that Arabic is the mother of tongues.

Third stage:    Proof that on account of its extraordinary qualities Arabic is a revealed language.

The interrelation of languages has been established so clearly in this book that no further research in this respect can be imagined.
The second issue is that out of interrelated languages Arabic alone is the mother of tongues, the proof of which has been set out in detail, and we have established that one of the special qualities of Arabic is that it possesses a natural pattern and displays the beauty of Divine manufacture in the same way as the other works of God Almighty. We have also established that all other languages present a distorted picture of the Arabic language. To the degree to which this blessed language has been preserved in those languages in its true form, to that degree they shine like a ruby and attract the hearts with their beguiling beauty; and to the degree to which a language has been corrupted, to that degree its beauty and attractions have been reduced. It is obvious that a thing that proceeds from the hand of God continues to display extraordinary characteristics so long as it retains its original form, and man is not able to produce its match. But as soon as it falls away from its original condition, its shape and beauty are debased.
The Arabic language operates like the delicate-minded wise person who can express his meaning in diverse ways. For instance, a clever and intelligent person can sometimes accomplish with the movement of brow, nose or hand that which normally requires expression in words; that is to say, he can convey his meaning through delicate nuances. This is a method also employed by Arabic. Sometimes by the use of the definite article it conveys a meaning that would need several words in other languages. Vowel points often serve a purpose which would require long phrases in other languages. Some brief words have surprisingly rich connotations; for instance, arazto means 'I have visited Mecca and Medina and their environs', and tahfalto means 'I am accustomed to eating whole-meal bread and have decided not to eat any other kind'.

One of the characteristics of Arabic is that all the miscellaneous qualities of other languages are comprised in Arabic. Thus as careful study and deep research reveal that Arabic is comprehensive of all the miscellaneous qualities of other languages, it has to be acknowledged that all other languages are branches of Arabic.

Some people raise the objection that if one language is acknowledged as the root of all languages, it becomes difficult to accept that within three or four thousand years languages which had emerged from one root became so diverse. This objection is an instance of a fallacy upon a fallacy. In the first place it is not definitely established that the world is only four or five thousand years old and that heaven and earth had no existence before. On the contrary, there are clear indications that the earth has been peopled since a very long time. Besides, distance in time or place is not the only cause of diversity in language. A powerful cause of this diversity is that every region of the earth affects the throats, tones and pronunciation of its inhabitants in a particular way in consequence of its longitudinal or latitudinal situation, or its juxtaposition vis-a-vis other planets, or on account of some other unknown causes, and these factors produce a particular form of speech. That is why the peoples of certain countries are not able to pronounce Z or R properly. As complexions, spans of life, manners, morals and healths differ from country to country, likewise speech also differs, for the same causes affect speech also; and the degree of difference is determined by the degree of the causes. This difference is not arbitrary but is determined by physical laws. Thus a change which occurs in the shape, or manners, or morals, or thinking of people under the influence of earthly or heavenly causes, also affects their speech. If a foreign word or phrase finds its way into their language, they change it about. This is clear proof that speech is affected by earthly and heavenly causes. The Jews and the Christians are compelled to acknowledge that Arabic is the mother of tongues as the Torah clearly affirms that there was only one language in the beginning.

Some people raise the objection that the relationship of some languages with Arabic, for instance that of Hebrew, is much closer than that of other languages like Sanskrit or European languages. The answer is that despite this difference it has been ascertained that the elementary words and phrases of these languages have been derived from Arabic and have been further developed through natural changes.

Special Characteristics Of Arabic

There are five special characteristics of Arabic which prove conclusively that Arabic is a revealed language, which we shall expound in detail in their proper places. These are:

  1. Arabic has a perfect pattern of roots which is suited to human needs. Other languages lack this pattern.
  2. The names of God, and heavenly bodies, and vegetables, and animals, and solids and human limbs in Arabic comprise great wisdom. Other languages cannot compete with Arabic in this respect.
  3. The Arabic system of elementary words is perfect, which comprises all nouns and verbs of the same roots, and illustrates their mutual relationship by arranging them in a wise pattern. This characteristic is not found in other languages in the same perfect degree.
  4. In Arabic idiom a few words comprise extensive meanings. Arabic conveys extensive connotations through the use of the definite article and vowel points and sequence, for which purpose other languages have to employ several phrases and sentences.
  5. Arabic possesses such roots and idioms as furnish a perfect means for the expression of the most subtle human thoughts and reflections.

As we have undertaken to prove and illustrate all these special characteristics of Arabic, it is necessary that we should do so in Arabic, thereby furnishing illustrations of all of them in that language, so that we might require anyone who may claim another language to be revealed and the mother of tongues, to illustrate these characteristics in the same way. If we should be proved false in our claim that Arabic possesses those five characteristics to a special degree, and any scholar of Sanskrit or any other language should succeed in proving that that language partakes of these characteristics to the same or even to a greater degree as Arabic, we make a firm and definite promise that we shall immediately pay him five thousand rupees.

What we demand from the advocates of other languages is that they should prove that their respective languages possess the qualities that we have established in the case of Arabic. For instance, it is indispensible that a language which is described as revealed and the mother of tongues should comprise a full stock of roots, for the purpose of transmuting human thinking into words, in such manner that when a person should desire to make a detailed exposition, for instance, of the Unity of God, or polytheism, or the obligations due to God, or the rights of man, or religious doctrines and the reasoning supporting them, or love and human intercourse, or rancor and hatred, or the praise and glory of God and His holy names, or the refutation of false religions, or stories and biographies, or commandments and penalties, or the hereafter, or commerce and agriculture and employment, or astrology or astronomy, or physics, medicine, or logic, etc., the roots of the language should be capable of helping him in such a way that there should be available a root apposite to every idea that may arise in his mind, so that it may be established that the Perfect Being Who created man and his ideas also created from the very beginning roots for the expression of those ideas. Our sense of justice would compel us to acknowledge that if this characteristic is found in a language -- that it comprises in itself a beautiful pattern of roots corresponding to the natural structure of human ideas, and is capable of illustrating in words every subtle distinction between acts, and that its roots are adequate to fill all the needs of ideas - then it is without a doubt a revealed language, inasmuch as it can only be the act of God Almighty that, having invested man with the capacity of expressing a complex diversity of ideas, he should have been supplied with a stock of verbal roots corresponding to his ideas, so that the word and the work of God Almighty should correspond to each other at the same level. However, to possess the quality of utilizing roots in particular formations in the expression of ideas is not the specialty of any particular language. Many languages suffer from the defect that they are compelled to employ compounds in place of elementary words, which shows that those compounds were formed at the time of need by those who used those languages for the conveyance of their ideas. Therefore, the language that is secure against such deficiencies, and possesses the capacity of filling its needs with its roots and elementary words, and is capable of matching its words to the works of God Almighty-- that is to say, to the upsurge of ideas at their proper level - - would doubtless deserve to be called a revealed language in accord with Divine nature, on account of its extraordinarily high level, and on account of its possession of a specialty which is not shared by other languages. Honesty would require the affirmation that the language that is characterized by the high rank that it had issued from the mouth of God Almighty, and possesses extraordinary qualities, and is the mother of tongues, is the only language which was truly qualified that the highest and the most perfect revelation should be clothed in it. Other revelations are only branches of this revelation as other languages are branches of this Language. Therefore, we shall at a later stage expound that the Holy Quran alone comprises the true, complete and perfect revelation that was to be sent to the world. We shall also develop the thesis that, by acknowledging Arabic as a revealed language and the mother of tongues, not only must we acknowledge that the Holy Quran is the Word of God, but we have also to acknowledge that it is the Quran alone which is the complete, perfect and true revelation which should be designated Khatamal Kutub {Minanur Rahman (Qadian, Manager Book Depot. Talifo Isha’at, 1922) pp. 3-17 Now prited in Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984) vol. 9}

Faculty Of Speech Is The Basic Reality Of Man

It is necessary to point out that observation of the book of nature compels us to acknowledge that the principal sign of all that has been created by the hand of God, or has issued from Him, is that it serves to bring about the recognition of God according to its respective rank and station, and that it proclaims in its own peculiar manner that the true purpose of its creation is to serve as a means of the recognition of the Divine. This is confirmed by the study of the diverse species of God's creation. Thus as the Arabic language has issued from the mouth of God Almighty, it was necessary that it should also display this sign so that it may be established with certainty that in truth it is one of those things which have proceeded solely from God Almighty without the intervention of any human effort. All praise, therefore, belongs to Allah that the Arabic language displays this sign most plainly and clearly. As the verse: I have created men, high and low, so that they may worship Me (51:57) declares the true purpose of the creation of man and his faculties, in the same way the same verity is established about Arabic which is man's real language and is a part of his creation. There can be no doubt that the creation of man can be deemed complete and perfect only when it is accompanied by the creation of speech also. For that which reveals the true beauty of humanness is the faculty of speech, and it would be no exaggeration to affirm that humanness means speech accompanied by all its essentials. Thus the affirmation of God Almighty that He has created man for His worship and comprehension means in other words that He has created the reality of humanness which is the faculty of speech, together with all the capacities and actions that are subordinate to it, for His own service. When we reflect on what is man, it becomes obvious that he is an animate who is completely distinguishable from other animates by virtue of his faculty of speech. This shows that the faculty of speech is the basic reality of man, and that his other faculties are its servants and are subordinate to it. If it were said that human speech is not from God Almighty, it would amount to saying that man's humanness is not from Him. But it is patent that God is man's Creator and is, therefore, also the Teacher of his speech. Of which language He is the Teacher can be determined by the consideration that it must be the language which can serve man for the purpose of the recognition of God, as the other faculties of man serve him according to the purpose of the verse: I have created men, high and low, so that they may worship Me (51:57); and we have already explained that Arabic alone possesses those qualities. Its service is that it possesses such power for conveying to man the comprehension of God as it displays beautifully in its elementary words the distinction between Divine attributes which is found in the law of nature. It makes manifest the delicate and subtle distinctions between Divine attributes which appear in the book of nature, and the proofs of the Divine Unity which are indicated in the same book, and the diverse types of Divine designs relating to His creatures which are also discoverable from it, in such manner as to present a delightful picture of them. It illustrates very clearly the subtle distinction between the attributes and qualities of God Almighty on one side, and His designs and works on the other, which are testified to by His law of nature. It thus becomes obvious that God Almighty has created the Arabic language as an adequate servant for the manifestation of His attributes and works and designs, and for illustrating the accord between His words and His works, and has from the beginning appointed this language as the key for resolving the mystery of all that relates to the Divine. When we appreciate this wonderful and majestic characteristic of Arabic, all other languages appear to suffer from darkness and deficiencies. No language possesses the quality which is inherent in Arabic, that it serves as a mirror for Divine attributes and Divine teachings, and presents a simple reflective diagram of the natural pattern of all aspects of Divinity. When we observe, with the aid of sane reason and clear intellect, the division between Divine attributes which is naturally reflected in the book of the universe from the beginning, we find the same division in the elementary words of the Arabic language. For instance, when we consider into how many aspects the mercy of God Almighty is elementarily divided, according to intellectual research, the law of nature instructs us that His mercy has two aspects, before any action on our part and after our action. The system of prudence clearly testifies that Divine mercy was manifested for mankind in two aspects according to its primary division.

Two Aspects Of The Mercy Of God

First is the mercy which was manifested for man without any action having proceeded from man; for instance, in the creation of the earth and heaven and sun and moon and planets and water and air and fire, and all those other bounties upon which man's life and survival are dependent. Without doubt all these bounties are a mercy for man which have been bestowed upon him without any right, through pure grace and beneficence. This is a grace which came into operation even before the coming into being of man who had no kind of hand in it.

The second type of mercy is that which follows upon the good actions of man. For instance, when he supplicates God earnestly his prayer is accepted, and when he cultivates the earth laboriously and sows the seed, Divine mercy fosters the seed, with the result that a large quantity of grain is gathered. In the same way careful observation would show that Divine mercy accompanies everyone of our righteous actions whether they are religious or secular. When we labor according to the laws prescribed by God, Divine mercy comes into operation and makes our labor fruitful. These two types of mercy are such that we cannot survive without them. No one can doubt their existence. These are the bright manifestations which support the whole pattern of our lives. When it is established that Almighty God has caused the springs of two mercies to flow for our sustenance and perfection, and they are two of His attributes which are manifested in two aspects for the watering of the tree of our being, we must find out how these two springs, when they are reflected in the Arabic language, are designated. By virtue of the first type of mercy, God Almighty is called Rahman in Arabic, and He is called Rahim by virtue of the second type of mercy. It is in order to illustrate this quality of the Arabic language that we have mentioned the expression Rahman in the very first line of our Arabic discourse. As the attribute of mercy by virtue of its elementary division comprises two types according to the Divine law of nature, the Arabic language has two elementary words for it. A seeker after truth would find it most helpful to adopt as a criterion the Divine attributes and works that are visible in the book of nature, for the purpose of discerning the subtle distinctions of the Arabic language, and to seek for these divisions which appear according to the law of nature in the elementary words of Arabic. Whenever it is desired to bring out the distinction between such Arabic synonyms as are related to the attributes or works of God, attention should be directed towards the division between those attributes and works which is exhibited in the law of nature, inasmuch as the true purpose of Arabic is to serve Divinity, as the true purpose of man is the comprehension o God Almighty; and the qualities of everything can be appreciated only by keeping in mind the purpose for which it has been created. For instance, an ox is created for the purpose of ploughing or transport. If overlooking this purpose we seek to use it as a hunting-dog, it would fail utterly and would prove useless and valueless. On the other hand, if we try it in the field of its true purpose it soon proves that it carries a great responsibility within the system of the means of maintenance of human livelihood. In short the worth of everything is proved by its being utilized for its true purpose. Thus the true purpose of Arabic is to illustrate the bright countenance of all manifestations of Divinity. As the proper carrying-out of this delicate and subtle operation, and to be safeguarded against mistakes, was beyond human capacity, God the Noble and Merciful revealed the Holy Quran in the Arabic language, a miraculous illustration of the qualities of the Arabic language, and of the delicate distinction between the different elementary words, and the extraordinarily rich connotations of its compounds, in such manner that all heads were bent before it. All these qualities of the Arabic language were not only acknowledged by the highest contemporary linguists, but their failure to match them established that human faculties are not able to set forth those verities and insights, to illustrate the true and real beauty of the language. We have learnt the distinction between Rahman and Rahim from the same Holy Book which we have cited, as an instance in our Arabic discourse. Every language contains many synonyms, but till we become aware of the distinctions between them, and so long as those words do not relate to subjects pertaining to Divinity and religious teachings, we need take no account of them.
It should also be remembered that man cannot invent these elementary words, but once they are created by Divine power man can by study discover their subtle distinctions and their proper use. For instance, the grammarians have not discovered anything new, nor have they framed any rules which other people must conform to; but having studied this natural language they discovered that it was illustrative of a system of rules, and they proceeded to formulate those rules in order to facilitate the study of the language. Thus the Holy Quran by using every word in its proper place illustrated how the Arabic elementary words can be manipulated, how they serve the subjects of Divinity, and how subtle are their mutual distinctions.

Connotation Of Some Arabic Words

Now we proceed to set forth some of the connotations of another Arabic word which we have selected from the Holy Quran and which is Rabb. This word occurs in the very first verse of the first chapter of the Holy Quran where it is said: Every type of praise belongs to Allah who is the Rabb of the universe. Lisanul Arab and Tajul Urus, which are the two most reliable Arabic lexicons, have set forth that the word Rabb comprises seven connotations: Malik (Master or Owner), Sayyad (Master or Chief), Mudabbir (Regulator), Murabbi (One who nurtures), Qayyum (A11-sustaining), Mun'im (Bestower), and Mutammim (Perfector). Of these seven, three refer to the personal grandeur of the Almighty. Of these one is Malik, which connotes that He owns the universe and can use it as He likes and His ownership of it is not shared by any other. This word in its true meaning cannot be applied to anyone save God Almighty, inasmuch as full control and complete power of disposal and perfect rights cannot be attributed to anyone except God Almighty.

Sayyad is one who has subordinate to him a large number who should serve him out of sincere eagerness and natural obedience. The distinction between a sovereign and sayyad is that a sovereign subdues people by his might and the strictness of his laws, and the followers of a sayyad obey him voluntarily out of their sincere love and eagerness and inclination and call him their chief out of sincere affection. A sovereign can be obeyed in that spirit when he becomes a sayyad in the estimation of his people. This word can also not be used for anyone beside God Almighty, inasmuch as true and eager obedience which has no personal purpose in view cannot possibly be accorded to any beside God Almighty. He is the only One before Whom the souls prostrate themselves, for He is the true source of their creation. That is why every soul naturally bows down to Him. The worshippers of idols and of men have also the same eagerness for His obedience as a righteous believer in His Unity, but they fail, on account of their error and faulty desire, to recognize the true spring of life, and on account of their blindness they direct their unique eagerness towards a wrong object. That is why some of them deify stones, or Ramchandra, or Krishna, or the son of Mary, under the mistaken belief that the object of their worship is the true God. They ruin themselves by investing creatures with Godhead. In the same way those who pursue their own desires have been misled in their spiritual search for the True Beloved and Sayyad. Their hearts also sought a beloved and a true Sayyad, but having failed to recognize the true desire of their hearts, they imagined that the True Beloved and Sayyad, whom the souls seek and whom they are eager to obey, are worldly wealth and properties and delights. This was an error on their part. The true inciter of the spiritual desires, and the true source of pure connotations, is the Being Who has said: I have created men, high and low, so that they may worship Me (51:57); meaning that He alone is the purpose of the creation of man and all his faculties, which have all been created so that God should be recognized and worshipped. This verse indicates that man by his very creation has been invested with the search and recognition and obedience of God. Had man not been invested with these, there would have been no pursuit of passion, no idol worship, and no worship of men in the world, inasmuch as every error results from pursuit of the discovery of truth. Thus God alone is the true Sayyad.

Another of these attributes is Mudabbir. This means the keeping in mind, with reference to every enterprise, the whole system of events in the past, and of consequences in the future, and the putting of everything in its proper place having regard to that system, and not to embark upon anything outside it. This attribute also cannot be applied to anyone beside God Almighty, inasmuch as perfect planning demands knowledge of the hidden, and that belongs to God Almighty alone.

The remaining four names-- Murabbi, Qayyum, Mun'im and Mutammim -- indicate those bounties of God Almighty which are bestowed upon men on account of His Perfect Mastership, His Leadership, and His Planning. Murabbi means he who nurtures, and perfect nurture means that all aspects of man, like his body, soul, faculties and capacities, should be nurtured and the system of nourishment should extend to the climax of man's physical and spiritual progress. The manifestation of the point at which the name of humanness or its elements begin, and its features begin to move from nothingness towards existence, is also nurture. This shows that in Arabic idiom rububiyyat has very wide connotations, and that it covers the whole expanse from the point of nothingness to the climax of perfection. The names Creator and the like are derivatives of Rabb.

Qayyum means one who safeguards the system. Mun'im means one who bestows all bounties, which man or any other creature can receive, according to its capacity, and is desirous of obtaining, so that it might arrive at its climax, as is said: Our Lord is He Who has bestowed upon everything a perfect creation and has then guided it towards greater perfections (20: 51). Thus everything was bestowed all the- faculties that it needed, and was furnished with the guidance needed for achieving its climax. Mutammim means that the system of beneficence should not be left deficient in any respect, and should be carried to its climax in all its aspects. Thus Rabb comprises all the diverse connotations that we have set out briefly above.

We have to record with great sorrow that a stupid European Christian writer has set out in one of his books that Christianity possesses this superiority over Islam, that it has named God Almighty 'Father', which is a very dear and lovely name, and that this name has not been applied to God in the Quran. We are surprised that this critic has not considered what honour and greatness the lexicons have attributed to the expression 'Father', for every word acquires true honour and greatness from the position assigned to it by a lexicon, and no one is entitled to bestow such honour upon a word as the lexicon does not bestow. That is why even the Word of God does not disregard the lexicon, and according to all sensible people, in order to determine the honour and greatness of a word, recourse must first be had to the lexicon, in order to ascertain what robe of honour it has bestowed upon that word. Keeping this criterion in mind, we find that all that the lexicon discloses is that when a person is in fact born of the seed of another, and he who drops the seed has no further connection with his birth, it is said that that other is his father. If it should be desired to indicate that Almighty God is Himself the conscious Creator of a person, and Himself leads him towards perfection, and out of His great mercy bestows appropriate bounties on him, and is Himself his Guardian and Supporter, the lexicon does not permit that these connotations may be expressed by the employment of the word 'Father'; the lexicon provides another term for the expression of this concept, and that word is Rabb, the true meaning of which we have just set out on the authority of the lexicon. We are not at all entitled to invent our own lexicon, and must follow the division of words established by God from the beginning.

The Use Of The Word 'Father' Is Derogatory Of God

This would show that the application of the word Father to God is disrespectful and derogatory of Him. Those who have invented against Jesus the charge that he was in the habit of calling God Almighty Father, and in fact believed that God was his father, have been guilty of accusing him of a false and hateful offense. Can any sensible person imagine that Jesus was guilty of such stupidity as to have applied to God, The Glorious, a name the etymological meaning of which should be so low and humiliating and indicative of weakness, powerlessness and helplessness from every point of view?

The word Ab (father) is so low and humiliating that it does not necessarily import any kind of design or nurture or love. For instance, a goat that covers a she-goat and drops its seed or a bull that satisfies its lust with a cow and then turns away from it without any thought of a calf being born of its action, or a pig which under the surge of its lust is constantly occupied in satisfying it and has no notion that through its repeated action whole litters of piglets might be born and spread in the earth, would no doubt, if its lustful activities produce its young, be called their father. According to all the lexicons the word 'father' does not in the least imply that a father after dropping the seed should take any further action so that a child may be born, or that this should be his design at the time of cohabitation; indeed the word 'father' does not necessarily imply desire for progeny, and all that it imports is that he should drop the seed, and it is only on that account that lexicographically he is called father. Then how can it be permissible that such a worthless word, which is so appraised in all languages, should be applied to the All-Powerful One, all of Whose works are manifested by virtue of His Perfect Designs, Perfect Knowledge and Perfect Power? How can it be right that the same word which is used for a bull and for a pig should be used for God Almighty also? What impertinence is this which the stupid Christians persist in committing;? They have been left with neither shame nor modesty nor any understanding of human values. The doctrine of the atonement has affected their human faculties like paralysis, so that they have been rendered utterly worthless and without feeling.

We would here advert to some doubts which Max Muller has expressed in the first volume of his book Science of Languages. He has said:

This statement shows that the writer is critical of the Arabs and imagines that the expression Ajam, applied by them to those whose language is other than Arabic, is used out of bigotry and contempt for those people. He fell into this error because his Christian bigotry stood in the way of his finding out whether the expressions Ajam and Arab were devised by man or by God Almighty. He has himself acknowledged in his book that man has not the capacity to formulate the elementary words of a language on his own. Arabic has two words in juxtaposition to each other. One is Arab which connotes those who are eloquent and possess mastery of expression; and the other is Ajam which means non-eloquent and tongue-tied. If Mr. Max Muller thinks that these two words are not ancient and Islam has invented them out of bigotry, he should specify the original terms which were used in these connotations, for it is not possible that a people should not have had any appellation in ancient times. If it is found that these two expressions are ancient, this would mean that they were not coined by man but that the Almighty Knower of the unseen, Who has created man with diverse capacities, has Himself applied these two names to different peoples corresponding to their respective abilities.

Another consideration is that if these two expressions, Arab and Ajam, have been coined by some human being out of bigotry and contempt, then doubtless they would be contrary to fact and would be altogether false. But we have established in this book that the word Arab expresses a reality, and that it is true in fact that the Arabic language, on account of its system of elementary words and its delicate structure and other wonders, occupies so high a position that one is compelled to affirm that in comparison with it other languages are like the dumb. Moreover, we observe that other languages are motionless like solids and are so bereft of any movement towards development as if they are lifeless, and we are compelled to acknowledge that they occupy a very low position. The Arabic language describes non-Arabs politely as Ajam but in truth they did not deserve even this appellation. Had the low condition of their languages been correctly described the most appropriate expression to be applied to them would have been that they were dead languages {Ibid pp.20-36 footnote}.

Glory be to Arabic, how beautiful is its countenance, looking out of perfectly-illumined mantles! The earth has been brightened with its exalted lights, and it has been proved to possess the climax of the yearnings of man. In it are found wonders of the All-Wise and Powerful Maker, as they are found in everything which proceeds from the Great Creator. Allah has perfected all its limbs and has not left out anything from its beauty and splendor, and no doubt you will find it perfect in expression, comprising all the objectives of man. There is no action that begins at any period of time, nor is there any attribute out of the attributes of Allah, the Bestower, nor is there any doctrine out of the doctrines of mankind, but there is in Arabic an elementary word apposite to it. Should you have a doubt let us know the contrary {Ibid, pp. 68-69}.

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