The Word Zaneem in Qur’an
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The Word Zaneem in Qur’an

The allegation of the non Ahmadi Muslims is that Ahmadas has translated the last word of the verse which is “zaneem” as illegitimate birth. The ayah states:


عُتُلٍّ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ زَنِيمٍ {14}


This is a complete ignorant allegation. This translation is accepted by the non Ahmadi Muslims themselves as well. There is an Urdu translation used by many non Ahmadi Muslims of the Qur’an which is done by Maulana Mahmud Ul Hasan which also has comments and notes by Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani who are known as great scholars of India. It states :


“The meanings of zaneem according to some classical scholars are waladul zina, and haramzaday. The unbeliever about whom these verses were revealed was such a person”


The translation of Waladul zina is illegitimate and the word haramzaday is translated as “bastard”. In the English translation of the Qur’an by several scholars, this verse is translated in the same exact way. Here are some examples:


In the Engllish translation of T.B Irving also known as Talim Ali states: “Brawling, and a bastard besides that”


In the english translation of Dr. Muhammad Taqi Ud Din Al Hilali and Dr Muhammad Muhsin Khan, the word zaneem is clearly translated as base born with illegitimate birth in brackets.


The famous translation of Yusuf Ali and Shakir which is used by millions of non Ahmadi Muslims worldwide also translates this word as base-born.


Ahmad(as) in Izala Auham has stated:


“Abuse is one thing and a correct description, however bitter and harsh, is quite another, It is the duty of every speaker of truth to convey the truth to an erring opponent even though he might thereby.”


He also states:


My words had assumed some severity against my opponents in my writings, but I was not the one to start such severity. Those writings were undertaken in reply to the severe attacks of my opponents. They had used such harsh and abusive language as called for some severity. This can be perceived by the comparison which I have instituted between the harsh language used by my opponents – and that used by me in the foreword of my book which I have called Kitabul Bariyyah. As I have just stated the harsh language used by me was by way of retort. It was my opponents who first used such language against me, I could have endured their harsh language without making a retort to it but I had recourse to a retort on account of two reasons: One, so that my opponents, being faced with severity in reply to their harsh strictures, might change their tactics and might revert in future to the use of civil language; and two, that the general Muslim public should not be aroused by the defamatory and provocative language used by my opponents.”( Kitabul Bariyyah, pp. 10-11)


Again Ahmad(as) states:


“We seek refuge with God against defaming righteous divines and civilized respectable people, whether they are Muslims or Christians or Aryas. We consider all of them worthy of honor. We are not concerned even with foolish people. Our severe language is employed only against those who have become notorious on account of their vile language and foul-mouthed utterances. We always mention in good terms those who are good and are not given to abuse and we honor them and love them like brothers.( Lujjatun Nur, p. 61)


And further:


“All ulema are not the same: Some of them are God-fearing while others are wrongdoers. Those who fear Allah, we always think well of them; Allah will soon guide them and they shall perceive the truth. When they are told to declare this man a kafir who is claiming to be the Messiah, they say ‘We will not say anything without full knowledge, and we fear Allah((Al-Huda, Ruhani Khazain Vol. 18, p. 320)


Ahmad(as) also states in Izala Auham:


“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 (Chapter 21 verse 99)


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” [98:7], 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” [9:74]? Has it not been stated to be a sign of the believers that they are “hard against the disbelievers” [48:30]?”(Izala Auham Pages 13-14, Ruhani Khazain Volume 3, Page 109)


Furthermore Ahmad(as) explains an example of Isa(as)


“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.” (Izala Auham Pages 14-15, Ruhani Khazain Volume 3, Pages 109-110) (The references are in Gospel of Matthew Chapter 12 verse 39, Chapter 21 verse 31, Chapter 23 verses 13,15,17, and 33)




“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” [2:162-163], and: “These it is whom Allah curses, and those who curse, curse them too” [2:160]. 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” [8:55]. 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 68:9–17 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.”


(Izala Auham Pages 25-29 Ruhani Khazain Volume 3 pages 115-117)


Ahmad(as) states:


“There is another wisdom in the use of harsh language, that it awakens dormant hearts and rouses those people who like to nod in agreement. … 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’ [2:11].”


(Izala Auham pages 29–31; Ruhani Khaza’in, v. 3, p. 117–118)