What does the Qur’an say about revelation and poetry?
In Surah 36, verse 69 Allah clearly states that the Prophet (pbuh) was not taught poetry:
“And We have not taught him poetry, nor does it behove him to be a poet. It is but a Reminder and a Qur’an that expounds and makes things plain.”
Below can be found the commentary on this verse taken from the alislam.org website:
“It is inconsistent with the dignity of a Divine prophet that he should be a poet, because poets are generally given to idle dreaming and making castles in the air. Prophets of God have before them very high and noble ideals and programmes. The verse, however, does not mean that all poetry is bad and that all poets are dreamers, but it does mean that a Divine Prophet is far too dignified and spiritually exalted to be a mere poet.”
The Qur’an also states the following:
So it is clear that the word of God has nothing to do with poetry. Indeed, even the Ahmedi commentary seems to agree with this notion. The Qur’an is a miracle from Allah, in that no man-made poetry can compete with it.
What did Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claim Allah revealed to him about poetry?
Mirza’s claimed revelation also seems to confirm that prophets do not receive mere poetry:
Sample ‘revelations’ from Allah to Mirza:
Below I present two so-called ‘revelations’ that can be found in Tadhkirah. Apart from the fact that the underlined portions make no sense in the context of the surrounding ‘revelation’, there is an even bigger problem. As we shall soon see:
So, what’s the bigger problem? Well, Mirza stole this so-called revelation (the red-underlined portions) from pre-Islamic poetry. Namely, from a poet called Labid ibn Rabi’ah.
Who was Labid ibn Rabi’ah Al-Ameri?
He was a companion of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), when he heard the Qur’an recited he immediately embraced Islam and gave up poetry altogether. When he was once asked to recite some poetry the former master-poet replied: “What! After the Qur’an?”
His poetry was so renowned by the Arabs that one of his poems is contained in the Mu’allaqat. His finest poem, when recited at Ukaz (competitions in poetry were held there), caused all the people present to prostrate themselves before him in admiration.
The poetry of Labid:
The above Arabic poem is called the ‘Golden Ode’ and is Labid’s finest work. A translation of it can be found here. It was translated into English in the book Arabian Poetry by W. A. Clouston in 1881.
The verses underlined in red correspond exactly to the underlined revelation taken from Tadhkira. Almost letter for letter.
Didn’t Allah tell Mirza that the poets have no access to what he says? Didn’t Allah tell us in the Holy Qur’an that the words of God are not poetry?
Why would Allah send The Messiah to spew pre-Islamic poetry at us? The author of that very same poetry stopped composing when he heard the Qur’an!
The answer is obvious. Allah didn’t reveal Labid’s poetry to Mirza. Mirza stole them from Labid’s poetry and passed them off as revelation. He was not a prophet of God. He was in fact a fraud.
Ahmedis! At the very least take stock of your situation and think! Would Allah really give us man-made poetry as revelation? Would Allah contradict His own words in the Qur’an when he says that revelation is NOT poetry?
I pray that Allah guides you to the right path and fills your hearts with the truth. Ameen.
(With thanks to br. Fuad who provided the source material for this article)