We are pleased to publish the English translation of a lecture delivered in urdu by Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad(ra), second Successor of the Promised Messiah(as), entitled, Islam Mein Ikhtilafat Ka Aghaz[The Outset of Dissension in Islam]. The lecture was delivered at the Islamiyyah College Lahore, on 26 February 1919. The primary purpose of this lecture was to provide a correct and accurate historical account of the conflicts which arose most prominently during the khilafat of Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra).
The lecture is an academic masterpiece of scholarship and explains the events of the era of the third khilafat in a manner that no other historian has been able to match, be it Muslim or non-Muslim.
It is an extremely significant lecture because it deals with a very important era in the history of Islam. Furthermore, the narrations, which detail the actual historical account of that era are hidden from the eyes of most people. Some historians have claimed that these conflicts arose due to the incapability of Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra), while others assert that this was the doing of various companions of the Holy Prophet(sa), due to their greed for power and political control. The lecture, however, refutes both of these two notions with ample proof and categorically establishes that conflicts arose due to the conspiracies of the enemies of Islam.
In this lecture Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad(ra) has shed light on the life of Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra), his piety and righteousness, and his status in the eyes of the Holy Prophet(sa). Moreover, he has expounded upon the virtues of the companions of the Holy Prophet(sa) and has explained how these conflicts actually arose and the causes behind them. Furthermore, contrary to the belief of some historians, he has also explained that the companions of the Holy Prophet(sa) did not dislike the leadership of Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra), rather, they all loved him dearly and demonstrated an unparalleled degree of loyalty until his last breath.
Please note that, in this translation, words given in parenthesis ( ) are the words of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih II(ra). If any explanatory words or phrases are added by the translator for the purpose of clarification, they are put in square brackets [ ]. When this lecture was revised by Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih II(ra) for print, he added certain footnotes throughout the text of the lecture as explanatory notes, and these have been included as endnotes in the original Urdu text, in Anwarul-‘Ulum, volume 4, published by the Fadl-e-‘Umar Foundation. We have included all of these endnotes as footnotes throughout the English text. All additional footnotes, which have been added by the publishers are marked [Publishers]. All references, unless otherwise specified, are from the Holy Quran. Biblical references are from the King James version.
It was imperitive that an English translation of this lecture be rendered for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, because it deals with a significant and tragic era in the history of Islam. Furthermore, since such obscurity and ambuiguity surrounds the events of that era, it was necessary that the true events be brought to light. Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih II(ra) has explained these events in a beautiful, eloquent and simple manner. It is also worthy of note that when this lecture was delivered, the attendees were college students; therefore, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih II(ra) has taken great care to explain these events in the form of a simple and interesting narrative.
The English translation of this lecture was first rendered by Atta-ur-Rahman Khalid and was then revised and prepared for print by Ayyaz Mahmood Khan. We are also indebted to the Research Cell, Rabwah, who checked and verified the various references provided in the text. May Allah reward them all abundantly for their efforts. Amin!
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