Dreams, Visions and Revelation Islam Languages

The Promised Messiah’s (as) English Revelations: Divine Inspiration & Human Limits (Part II)

This is part two of a longer article titled “The Truthfulness of the English Revelations of the Promised Messiah (as)”.

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Azhar Goraya, Puerto Rico

Forgetting the Revelation or having a Slight Departure in Memory from the Actual Revelation

The Promised Messiah (as) on multiple occasions explained that since the revelations he received at times came quite speedily, it was possible that he might have forgotten some of them, or that there might be a slight variation in his memory of it. This was especially true regarding revelation in foreign languages.

He states on one occasion:

“Hardly a night passes when I am not shown some vision concerning the future. Many of these matters slip from memory by the morning and I am unable to record them to prevent them from being forgotten. Therein lies the wisdom of God. He makes me remember what He desires to be remembered and makes me forget what He desires to be forgotten.”[35]

He also writes in his work Aina Kamalat-e-Islam, regarding the visions he saw in his early forties:

“And in those days, I saw many righteous and truthful visions, close to two thousand or more. Some of them I preserved in my memory, and many I forgot. It is possible that Allah will repeat them at another time, and we are among the hopeful.”[36]

He writes about these revelations in foreign languages in his work Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya:

“Moreover, occasional revelation in a foreign language of which my humble self has absolutely no knowledge and then the fact that the revelation comprises a prophecy is one of the rare wonders which proves the vast powers of the Omnipotent God. All of the words of the foreign language are not retained in my memory and, at times, some variation in their pronunciation occurs on account of the speed with which the revelation comes down and unfamiliarity with the accent and language; nevertheless, little difference occurs in respect of the clear and uncomplicated sentences. Occasionally, some words are not retained in my memory because of the revelation’s speed. However, when the sentence is revealed two or three times, the words are remembered very well. At the time of revelation the Omnipotent God exercises His control over the conversation in which there is no mixture of any internal or external means. At that time the tongue is an instrument in the hand of God and He uses this instrument—that is, the tongue—as He pleases. It often happens that the words continue flowing with force and speed. Sometimes it occurs as if someone is walking gracefully and elegantly, takes a step, and then pauses before taking the next, thus displaying the beauty of his gait. And the wisdom behind adopting these two styles is that the divine revelation should remain totally distinguished from selfish and Satanic thoughts and that the revelation of the Absolute God should be recognized at once through its majestic and beautiful blessings…”

After this, the Promised Messiah (as) relates many of his English revelations. At the end of the discussion he reiterates,

“Likewise, there were many phrases, some of which I remember, while others I have forgotten.”[37]

He writes in his work Haqiqatul Wahi along the same vein:

“As these revelations are in a foreign tongue and revelation comes fast, it is possible that there may be a slight departure from the pronunciation.”[38]

The deviation from what is perceived to be the correct wording in the English revelations are always very slight. Slight modifications in the sentences render them perfectly acceptable according to the present rules of grammar. For example, the revelation “I am quarreler”, with slight modification could be rendered as “I am a quarreler” or “I am the quarreler” or “I am quarreling”. Any of these would be acceptable.

It speaks to the unshakeable integrity and trust of the Promised Messiah (as) in Allah that he never sought to hide the more subtle realities of revelation, even though he knew that they could become a source of objections for the uninitiated. He was the personification in this age of the verses:

“Those who delivered the Messages of Allah and feared Him, and feared none but Allah. And sufficient is Allah as a Reckoner.” (Qur’an, 33:40)

“…They strive in the cause of Allah and do not fear the reproach of a faultfinder. That is Allah’s grace; He bestows it upon whomsoever He pleases…” (Qur’an, 5:55)

His description of revelation as:

  • something that at times occurs quickly
  • the possibility of the recipient forgetting the revelation, either completely or partially
  • remembering the revelation with slight deviation

have all been a source of confusion for his detractors. Nevertheless, are all confirmed by the Qur’an and Sunnah as part of the revelatory experience.

Moreover, it would be incorrect to conclude that despite the inherent speed of the revelations in a foreign language and the subsequent possibility of forgetting them, that neither Allah nor the Promised Messiah (as) took measures to preserve these revelations for the public. Multiple steps were taken to preserve the revelations whenever it was in the interest of the public to be made aware of them.

Whenever it was necessary for the Promised Messiah (as) to remember the exact wording of the revelation, Allah would repeat the revelation several times so that he fully captures it. The Promised Messiah (as) alludes to this in his work Nuzul-al-Masih:

“Occasionally, some words are not retained in my memory because of the revelation’s speed. However, when the sentence is revealed two or three times, the words are remembered very well.” [39]

Regarding the revelation “We can what we will do”, the Promised Messiah (as) states,

“Such revelations in English have often been repeated”. [40]

Whenever it was important that he understood the meaning of the revelation, it would be accompanied by its translation. For example, the revelations, “A word and two girls” [41], “Yes, I am happy” [42], “You must do what I told you” [43], and “The days shall come when God shall help you. Glory be to this Lord God, Maker of earth and heaven.” [44], were all accompanied by their translations in languages that the Promised Messiah (as) understood.

Another aspect of revelation is that the recipient of the revelation is often powerfully inspired by Allah as to the underlying meaning of the revelation and who or what it relates to, especially if it relates to prophecy. The revelation may be ambiguous or contentious to others, but not in many cases to the recipient [45]. The English revelations of the Promised Messiah (as) also carry this hallmark of true revelation.

For example, he states that he understood that the revelation “I am by Isa”, meant that someone with Christian inclinations would send him some criticisms related to Islam. An Arya was sent to the post office after he received this revelation, who confirmed that he had indeed received a letter with such objections [46]. In another place he writes that he perceived that the revelation “this is my enemy”, was about a student who had come to visit him. This was also fulfilled, as the student turned out to be someone who had many spiritual weaknesses [47]. On another occasion he saw that he had received a letter on which was written “I am quarreller”. About this revelation he stated, “I understood clearly that I was about to receive a letter relating to some dispute”. That afternoon, he received two letters informing him that he was being called as a witness in court regarding a certain dispute [48].

Through these arrangements, Allah ensured the preservation of the English revelations of the Promised Messiah (as) whenever it was required. Revelation would at times be repeated so that the Promised Messiah (as) could memorize the words and phrases correctly. Occasionally, the full meaning of the revelation would be preserved in Urdu, Arabic or Persian; languages the Promised Messiah (as) was completely fluent in. In other instances, he would be taught the underlying message in the revelation directly by God via inspiration.

Evidence from the Sunnah

Can Revelation be Forgotten?

The question arises as to whether it is permissible for a recipient of revelation to forget the revelation given to him, either completely or partially, according to the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The answer is in the affirmative.

Before delving into this matter in relation to the Prophet Muhammad (sa), there are a few points to keep in mind. The revelation of the Qur’an is the highest level of revelation that was ever vouchsafed to mankind. Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad (sa) was the most perfect man to have ever existed with the largest and best capacity for receiving revelation [49]. Nevertheless, where an absolute comparison cannot be drawn, one of degrees certainly can, for though the light of revelation may shine more brightly in some prophets, all of them share in its essence.

Revelation (wahi) by default is something that occurs quickly. The very word wahi in Arabic means to point towards something in a quick and hidden manner [50]. The Prophet Muhammad (sa) would receive revelation at times like the ringing of a bell, an allusion to its great speed. The experience of the revelation would occur in this way and only after it passed would he remember what was revealed [51].

The quickness of the revelation at times is one factor of what leads to revelation possibly being forgotten. The possibility of forgetting revelation is quite real and was, according to Ibn-e-Abbas (ra), the reason why the Prophet Muhammad (sa) would initially quickly move his lips alongside the revelation of the Qur’an to memorize it. This was until Allah assured him that this was not necessary in this case, as He Himself had taken the responsibility to ensure that the Qur’an be perfectly retained in his mind [52]. The Qur’an states in 75:17-18:

“Move not thy tongue with this revelation that thou mayest hasten to preserve it. Surely upon Us rests its collection and its recital.”

This exception was made because the revelation of the Qur’an was that upon which the future of mankind was dependent. Every word and verse were sent down in perfect order, meant to illuminate and guide mankind in all their needs. Allah therefore promised that he would be the guardian of the Qur’an and would ensure its perfect preservation. He states in 15:10 of the Qur’an:

“Verily, We Ourself have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian.”

This protection also had its practical elements. The revelation was sent down piecemeal, which would have aided the Prophet (sa) in memorising it [53]. Allah sent the Angel Gabriel to review the revelation of the Qur’an with him every night in the month of Ramadan [54]. The Prophet (sa) would revise the Qur’an during the five daily prayers and during long hours of the night. Nevertheless, owing to the human condition from which even the Chief of Prophets (sa) was not exempt, he would at times temporarily forget certain passages of the Qur’an. On at least one occasion, a few verses slipped his memory until he was reminded of them by the recitation of his companions [55]. It is perhaps in reference to these temporary bouts of forgetfulness regarding the Qur’an that Hasan is recorded as having stated that the Prophet (sa) would recite the Qur’an and then forget it [56].

Forgetting revelation therefore is a real possibility, and so required the direct intervention of God in the case of the Holy Qur’an. Regarding other revelations that the Prophet Muhammad (sa) received, there was no such guarantee. In fact, there were strong indications that he would at times be made to forget other types of revelation. Allah states in 87:7-8 of the Qur’an in relation to the Prophet (sa):

“We shall teach thee, and thou shalt forget it not, except for what Allah wills.”

There is also an indication of this in 17:87:

“And if We pleased, We could certainly take away that which We have revealed to thee and then thou wouldst find in the matter no guardian for thee against Us, Except mercy from thy Lord. Surely, His grace towards thee is great.”

All things are ultimately in the hands of Allah. Not only is remembering revelation dependent on His grace, but forgetting it also happens due to His will.

In consonance with the above verses, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) is recorded to have forgotten some non-Qur’anic revelations. For example, it is narrated that he was shown the date of Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Destiny) in Ramadhan, but thereafter forgot it due the quarrelling of two of his companions [57]. Many narrations mention that he was made to forget it, but Sahih Muslim has brought the narration from Harmala who stated that he forgot it himself, and not that he was made to forget it [58]. This supposed contradiction can be resolved with the previous explanation: memory rests in the hands of Allah. If the Prophet (sa) forgot the revelation, it was due to the will of Allah, and so both narrations are correct. In the case of Laylat-ul-Qadr, it was a partial and not complete forgetfulness, as it is narrated that he instructed his companions to search for it in the last ten nights of Ramadan, specifically the odd nights, with a greater possibility of it being on the 7th, 9th, and 5th nights of the last 10.

Ibn-e-Abbas (ra) is recorded as stating that the Prophet (sa) would receive revelation at night and then forget it in the morning, upon which Allah revealed to him 2:107: “Whatever Sign We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than that or the like thereof. Dost thou not know that Allah has the power to do all that He wills?” [59]. Imam Tabari stated that based on the evidence, it is not impossible that the Prophet (sa) forgot some of the revelations given to him [60]. These declarations make sense when they are taken as referring to the non-Qur’anic revelation that he received.

Besides the Qur’anic revelation, every word that the Prophet (sa) uttered and every action that he would carry out was also a form of revelation. The Qur’an states in 53:4-5:

“Nor does he speak out of his own desire. It is nothing but pure revelation that has been revealed by God.”

This type of revelation is also known as ilham (inner inspiration) which after receiving, he would express in his own words and actions. We find instances of forgetfulness in this type of revelation as well. At one point he became forgetful of his activities over the course of several days or weeks [61]. On some occasions, he would forget the number of Raka’at he offered in Salat. The Prophet (sa) offered the following explanation for these and other episodes of forgetfulness:

“Verily I am a human being like you. I remember as you remember, and I forget just as you forget.” [62]

Nevertheless, we believe that these and other such lapses were also necessary, for without them it was possible that he be taken as more than a man and worshipped. Moreover, it was necessary so that there remain a clear distinction between the revelation of the Qur’an and other revelation that he received. It was also necessary so that the Sunnah may be established for the members of his community who were much more prone to forgetfulness than he was [63].

So, if the Promised Messiah (as) forgot or was not able to perfectly retain some of the revelation that were granted to him, that it in no way diminishes the truthfulness of those revelations according to the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Rather, it was necessary that this occur to some degree and was permitted and facilitated by Allah to maintain the superiority of the revelation of the Holy Qur’an.

We find confirmation from the Prophet Muhammad (sa) that these and other acts of forgetfulness are not only part of human experience, but Allah in His great mercy has forgiven the Muslims in what they partake of it. He stated:

“Allah has overlooked for my nation their mistakes and forgetfulness, and what they are forced to do.” [64]

The Beliefs of our Opponents Regarding the Prophet Muhammad (sa)

The opponents of the Promised Messiah (as) in many cases attribute even greater lapses of forgetfulness to the Prophet Muhammad (sa). These allegations we deem as sinful because not only are they contrary to his high standing, but they uproot the very truthfulness of Islam. Nevertheless, to demonstrate the duplicity of those who maintain such beliefs yet object to the revelations of the Promised Messiah (as), it is necessary to expose their crude theories in this regard as well.

Satanic Revelation that was Forgotten

Those Muslims that object to the Promised Messiah’s (as) explanation of a slight lapse in his memory regarding his English revelations themselves believe that the Holy Prophet (sa) not only received Satanic revelation, but that he soon forgot that revelation as well.

Classical historians such as Ibn Ishaq [65], Ibn-e-Saad [66] and Ibn Jareer [67] have stated that once, an incident occurred while the Holy Prophet (sa) was reciting the following verses of the Qur’an before a large crowd:

أَفَرَأَيْتُمُ اللَّاتَ وَالْعُزَّىٰ وَمَنَاةَ الثَّالِثَةَ الْأُخْرَىٰ

“Now tell me about Lat and ‘Uzza, And Manat, the third one, another goddess!” (53:20-21)

They allege that the Holy Prophet (sa), God forbid, came under the influence of Satan. The subjugation was of such an extraordinary degree that Satan gained control of his mind and tongue and used him to recite in front of the crowd before him:

وَ تلک الغرانیق العلٰی و انّ شفاعتھنّ لترجٰی

These are majestic, long-necked goddesses whose intercession can be hoped for (on the Day of Judgement)

Imam Zamakhshari writes in his commentary Kashaaf that after this extraordinary episode, Satan again brought him under his control and made the Prophet (sa) forget that he had recited these verses. He remained in this state until the Angel Gabriel informed him of the lapse [68].

Such concocted stories against our Holy Master (sa) are within the beliefs of only our opponents. Not only do they demonstrate how they belittle the Chief of the Prophets (sa), but moreover throw a hard light on their double standards when it comes to the Promised Messiah (as). How can they object on the one hand to something as relatively simple as a slight lapse in memory regarding a few revelations in a foreign language (amongst many thousands received in Urdu and Arabic and preserved without any objections), when on the other they loudly declare that the Holy Prophet (sa) unconsciously received a Satanic revelation in his mother tongue, recited it, and then promptly forgot it until reminded by none other than the Angel Gabriel?

Permanently Forgetting the Holy Qur’an

Our opponents are also of the opinion that not only the Prophet Muhammad (sa), but also the companions permanently forgot large portions of the revelation that at one point formed part of the Qur’an. This is the theory of Nisyan, which is a corollary to the theory of Naskh, or abrogation. Many Muslims trace support for this theory to 2:107 of the Qur’an:

“Whatever Sign We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than that or the like thereof. Dost thou not know that Allah has the power to do all that He wills?”

There are several episodes of this forgetfulness mentioned in the works of the commentators. Ibn Kathir narrates from the father of Salim:

“Two men recited a surah that the Messenger of Allah (sa) had recited to them, and one night they stood up to pray and could not recite a letter of it. They went to the Messenger of Allah (sa) and mentioned it to him, and the Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “It is something that has been forgotten, so leave it alone.” [69]

Therefore, if Muslims believe that Allah caused the Prophet (sa) to forget some revelations permanently or temporarily, and that in no way affected the truthfulness of those revelations, then why do they deny the validity of the exact same situation when found in the life of the Promised Messiah (as)?

Does All Revelation need to be Conveyed to the Public?

Another objection that could be made is how is it that the Promised Messiah (as) forgot certain revelations without conveying them first to the public?

The answer is that not all the revelations that a prophet receives are destined to be shared with the public. Those that are necessary for the reformation and education of the people must be conveyed. Some episodes of revelation may have been repeated, and it was not necessary for them to be presented multiple times before the public. Nevertheless, some revelations are for the personal benefit of the recipient, or regarding private affairs. In these cases, the recipient is at liberty to withhold them completely or partially. In the case of the Promised Messiah (as), some of the revelations that he mentioned he had forgotten were received before the beginning of his mission, at which time he was not at all obligated to share any of his revelations with others, and therefore did not endeavor to remember or record them for the future.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) was instructed in 5:68 of the Qur’an,

“O Messenger! convey to the people what has been revealed to thee from thy Lord.”

Nevertheless, the Qur’an also indicates that some of the non-Qur’anic revelation he received was kept private or not narrated completely or exactly as received. The Holy Qur’an states in 66:4,

“And when the Prophet confided a matter unto one of his wives and she then divulged it, and Allah informed him of it, he made known to her part thereof, and avoided mentioning part of it…”

Imam Nawawi in his commentary of Sahih Muslim presents the opinion of Qazi Ayyaz that most scholars agreed that the Prophet (sa) could forget the revelation conveyed to him that was not part of the Qur’an and was not necessary to be conveyed to the people.[70]

Moreover, some of those that ascribe to the theories of nisyan and naskh themselves believe, according to the narration of Ibn-e-Abbas (ra), that he would receive revelation at night and forget it in the morning, meaning that the Holy Prophet (sa) would forget revelation before conveying it to the people.

Consulting English-Speakers about his Revelations

Due to not knowing the English language, whenever the Promised Messiah (as) would receive such revelations which weren’t accompanied with their translation, he would naturally seek out English-speakers who could tell him the meaning of the words that he had received. At times, due to the speed of the revelation, he would be unsure of whether his recollection of the revelation was exactly as revealed. Wherever such a situation arose, he would, whenever appropriate, consult with those who knew the language to try and recall the original wording and rectify his recollection of it.

One letter of the Promised Messiah (as) addressed to Mir Abbas Ali contains several revelations in foreign tongues. In this letter, he expressed the need to revise them carefully as the possibility existed of a slight difference in the actual revelation from what he remembered. He writes:

“…because this week several English revelations, among others, have been revealed, and even though some of these have been understood by the help of a Hindu boy, the matter is not reliable. And some of the revelations had been revealed by God as a translation. Some words are perhaps in Hebrew. Research and correction of all of these are necessary so that after correction, as is proper, they may be added to the end of the last volume which has not yet been published… The speed of revelation left some of these words indistinct… After that there is another English revelation, whose translation is not revealed but was explained by that Hindu boy. The correctness of the order of the words is not known, and in some revelations the placement of the words is at times reversed. This should be analyzed in detail… These are the sentences. Write them with the necessary corrections and please send as soon as you can so that, if possible, some of them may be included in the appropriate places in the final volume…” [71]

An objection could be raised that why did the Promised Messiah (as) consult English speakers about his revelations? The explanation is found in the famous hadith:

“Deeds are judged by motives” [72]

The Promised Messiah (as) never consulted anyone about his revelations to confirm their truthfulness. He always expressed his absolute conviction that the revelations he was receiving were from Allah. This conviction was based on his repeated experiences of revelation and their fulfilment, as well as the divine knowledge and spiritual impact that these revelations imparted upon him. On one occasion he published in a leaflet:

“I believe in all the revelations which are being bestowed upon me from God Almighty as I believe in the Torah, the Gospels, and the Holy Qur’an… I fully partake of His pure revelation as far as a human being can partake of it when in perfect nearness to Him. When a man is put into the blazing fire of Divine love—as all Prophetsas have been—then the revelations which he receives are not accompanied by confused dreams. Rather, just as dry fodder is burned in an oven, so are all his apprehensions and self-induced thoughts put to fire, and there remains only the pure revelation from God… I declare in the name of God, Who controls my life, that I have been informed with categorical arguments—and I am informed continuously—that whatever is conveyed to me and is vouchsafed upon me as revelation is from God and not from Satan. I believe in it as I believe in the existence of the sun and the moon, or as I believe that two and two make four.” [73]

After confirming that there could be a slight deviation in his memory from the actual revelation and that such a thing was not against the Qur’an and Sunnah, there was no reason for him not to seek advice about the wording of the English revelations. In fact, he sought out the opinion of those who were highly proficient in the language to get the best possible view on the matter. Seeking clarity in matters pertaining to faith is obligatory. The Holy Qur’an states in 4:95:

“O ye who believe! when you go forth in the cause of Allah, make proper investigation…”

Moreover, he did not blindly follow the advice or recommendation of anyone in this matter. Rather, he would carefully weigh their opinions against his own recollections, and if it seemed like what they suggested was closer to what he had heard, he would modify what he had written, otherwise he would leave it as it was [74]. Or, he would not publish the revelations at all. It is probably for this very reason that we find English revelations that were against the common idiom of his time recorded in his published books. In these cases, it appears that he trusted more in his recollection of these revelations than the advice of the accomplished English speakers around him and published them as they were, despite possible objections to their grammatical structure.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) would extensively consult his companions according to the commandment of the Qur’an in 3:160:

“…and consult them in matters of administration…”

He would do this even though his every word and action were inspired by Allah. Evidently, this consultation was not because he doubted his inspiration or revelation, but in part to understand and implement it better. We find the same purpose in his visit to Waraqah ibn Nawfal, a Christian monk, after the commencement of revelation to him [75]. Nevertheless, he wasn’t bound to accept their advice, and at times chose not to do so.

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About the AuthorAzhar Goraya is a graduate from the Ahmadiyya Institute of Languages and Theology in Canada. He is currently serving as an Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Puerto Rico. He is also the Central American Coordinator for The Review of Religions en Español.


[35] Malfuzat vol. 10, English Translation, pg. 9

[36] Aina Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khazain vol. 5, pg. 548

[37] Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyyah, part 4. Eng. Trans. Pgs. 362, 363, 367

[38] Haqiqatul-Wahi, Eng. Trans. p. 384 footnote #2.

[39] Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyyah, part 4. Eng. Trans. Pg. 363

[40] Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya, vol. 4, Eng. Trans. Pg. 363

[41] Tadhkirah, pg. 787

[42] Tadhkirah, pg. 80

[43] Tadhkirah, pg. 144

[44] Tadhkirah, pg. 122

[45] See Haqiqatul Wahi, Ruhani Khazain, vol. 22, pg. 438

[46] Tadhkirah, pgs. 79-80

[47] Tadhkirah, pg. 39

[48] Tadhkirah, pgs. 68-69

[49] See Essence of Islam, vol. 2, pgs. 248-253.


أصل الوحي: هو إعلام سريع خفيّ، الإشارة السّريعة، ولتضمّن السّرعة (المفردات)

(Al-Mufradat Fi Ghareeb-il-Qur’an, by Imam Raghib)


أَحْيَانًا يَأْتِينِي فِي مِثْلِ صَلْصَلَةِ الْجَرَسِ وَهُوَ أَشَدُّهُ عَلَىَّ ثُمَّ يَفْصِمُ عَنِّي وَقَدْ وَعَيْتُهُ وَأَحْيَانًا مَلَكٌ فِي مِثْلِ صُورَةِ الرَّجُلِ فَأَعِي مَا يَقُولُ (بخاری، کتاب الفضائل، 2333)

At times it comes to me like the ringing of a bell and that is most severe for me and when it is over I retain that (what I had received in the form of wahi), and at times an Angel in the form of a human being comes to me (and speaks) and I retain whatever he speaks. (Bukhari, the Book of Virtues, #2333)

[52] See Bukhari, The Book of Tauheed, Chapter: Move not your tongue alongside it, #7524

[53] See Qur’an, 25:33


كَانَ جِبْرِيلُ ـ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ ـ يَلْقَاهُ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ فَيُدَارِسُهُ الْقُرْآنَ (بخاری، کتاب المناقب، 3554)

Gabriel used to meet him every night during Ramadan to revise the Qur’an with him. (Bukhari, The Book of Manaqib (Virtues and Merits of the Prophet (sa) and his Companions), 3554)


عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ: سَمِعَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ رَجُلًا يَقْرَأُ فِي سُورَةٍ بِاللَّيْلِ، فَقَالَ: «يَرْحَمُهُ اللَّهُ لَقَدْ أَذْكَرَنِي كَذَا وَكَذَا، آيَةً كُنْتُ أُنْسِيتُهَا مِنْ سُورَةِ كَذَا وَكَذَا» (بخاری، کتاب فضائل القرآن، 5038)

Narrated Aisha: Allah’s Messenger (sa) heard a man reciting the Qur’an at night, and said, “May Allah bestow His Mercy on him, as he has reminded me of such-and-such Verses of such-and-such Suras, which I was caused to forget.” (Bukhari, The Book of the Virtues of the Qur’an, #5038)


عَنِ الْحَسَنِ أَنَّهُ قَالَ فِي قَوْلِهِ: {أَوْ نُنْسِهَا} قَالَ: إِنَّ نَبِيَّكُمْ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أُقْرِئَ قُرْآنًا ثُمَّ نَسِيَهُ۔۔۔

See Tafseer Ibn-e-Kathir, under 2:107, مَا نَنْسَخْ مِنْ آيَةٍ أَوْ نُنْسِهَا نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِنْهَا أَوْ مِثْلِهَا , Vol. 1 pg. 377.


إِنِّي خَرَجْتُ لأُخْبِرَكُمْ بِلَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ، وَإِنَّهُ تَلاَحَى فُلاَنٌ وَفُلاَنٌ فَرُفِعَتْ۔۔۔(بخاری، کتاب الایمان، 49)

“I came out to inform you about (the date of) the night of Al-Qadr, but as so and so and so and so quarrelled, its knowledge was taken away (I forgot it)…” (Bukhari, The Book of Belief, #49)


أُرِيتُ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ ثُمَّ أَيْقَظَنِي بَعْضُ أَهْلِي فَنُسِّيتُهَا فَالْتَمِسُوهَا فِي الْعَشْرِ الْغَوَابِرِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَقَالَ حَرْمَلَةُ ‏”‏ فَنَسِيتُهَا (مسلم، کتاب الصیام، 1166)

I was shown Lailat-ul-Qadr; then some members of my family awoke me up, then I was caused to forget it. So seek it in the last week. Harmala said: (The Prophet did not say:” I was made to forget,” but he stated):” But I forgot it.” (Muslim, The Book of Fasting, #1166)


عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ: كَانَ مِمَّا يَنْزِلُ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الْوَحْيُ بِاللَّيْلِ وَيَنْسَاهُ بِالنَّهَارِ، فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ، عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: {مَا نَنْسَخْ مِنْ آيَةٍ أَوْ نُنْسِهَا نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِنْهَا أَوْ مِثْلِهَا}

See Tafseer Ibn-e-Kathir, under 2:107, مَا نَنْسَخْ مِنْ آيَةٍ أَوْ نُنْسِهَا نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِنْهَا أَوْ مِثْلِهَا , Vol. 1 pg. 377.


وغير مستحيل في فطرة ذي عقل صحيح، ولا بحجة خبرٍ أن ينسي الله نبيه صلى الله عليه وسلم بعض ما قد كان أنزله إليه. فإذْ كان ذلك غير مستحيل من أحد هذين الوجهين، فغير جائز لقائل أن يقول: ذلك غير جائز.

See Tafseer Tabari, under 2:107

[61] See Bukhari, The Book of the Beginning of Creation, #3268


إنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ أَذْكُرُ كَمَا تَذْكُرُونَ وَأَنْسَى كَمَا تَنْسَوْنَ

Sahih Muslim, The Book of Mosques and Places of Prayer, 5720


 إِنِّي لأَنْسَى أَوْ أُنَسَّى لأَسُنَّ

The Prophet (sa) stated, “I forget or I am made to forget so that I may establish the Sunnah” (Muwatta, The Book of Forgetfulness in Prayer)


إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَضَعَ عَنْ أُمَّتِي الْخَطَأَ وَالنِّسْيَانَ وَمَا اسْتُكْرِهُوا عَلَيْهِ (ابن ماجه، کتاب الطلاق، 2045)

“Allah has forgiven my nation for mistakes and forgetfulness, and what they are forced to do.” (Ibn-e-Majah, The Book of Divorce, 2045)

[65] Ibn Ishaq. Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah. English Trans. Oxford University Press, Karachi, Pakistan, 2004. Pg. 165-166.

[66] Al-Basari, Muhammad bin Saad. Tabaqat Ibn-e-Saad. Urdu Trans. Vo.1. Darul Ishaat, Karachi, Pakistan, 2003. pg. 201

[67] Al-Tabri, Abu Jafir Muhammad bin Jareer. Tareekh-e-Tabri. Vol. 2. Nafees Academy, Urdu Bazaar, Karachi, Pakistan, 2004. pg. 81


لم یفطن له حتی ادرکته العصمة فتنبھه علیه (تفسیر کشاف، ۲۲:۵۳)

He hadn’t realized that he had recited these verses until the angel Gabriel informed him of it. (Tafseer Kashaaf, see under 22:53)


عَنْ سَالِمٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ قَرَأَ رَجُلَانِ سُورَةً أَقْرَأَهُمَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عليه وسلم فكانا يقرآن بِهَا، فَقَامَا ذَاتَ لَيْلَةٍ يُصَلِّيَانِ، فَلَمْ يَقْدِرَا مِنْهَا عَلَى حَرْفٍ فَأَصْبَحَا غَادِيَيْنِ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَذَكَرَا ذَلِكَ لَهُ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: “إِنَّهَا مِمَّا نُسِخَ وَأُنْسِي، فَالْهُوَا عَنْهَا”

Tafseer Ibn Kathir, under 2:107, مَا نَنْسَخْ مِنْ آيَةٍ أَوْ نُنْسِهَا نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِنْهَا أَوْ مِثْلِهَا , vol. 1, pg. 376


قال القاضي عياض – رحمه الله : جمهور المحققين جواز النسيان عليه – صلى الله عليه وسلم – ابتداء فيما ليس طريقه البلاغ ، واختلفوا فيما طريقه البلاغ والتعليم (شرح النووی عل مسلم، کتاب الصلاة المسافرین و قصرھا، 788)

Sharah Sahih Muslim by Nawawi, The Book of the Prayer of Travelers and it’s Qasr, 788

[71] Maktubat-e-Ahmadiyyah, vol. 1, pp. 68–69, Letter dated December 12, 1883, addressed to Mir ‘Abbas ‘Ali. Referenced partly inTadhkirah, pg. 143. Maktubat-e-Ahmadiyya (typed version), vol. 1, pgs. 583-584.


إِنَّمَا الْأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّاتِ (بخاری، کتاب بدء الوحی، 1

Bukhari, The Book of the Commencement of Revelation, 1

[73] Essence of Islam, vol. 4, pgs. 20-21

[74] The Promised Messiah (as) wrote in his letter to Mir Abbas Ali after mentioning his English revelations: “These are the sentences. Write them with the necessary corrections and please send as soon as you can so that if possible, some of them may be included in the appropriate places in the final volume…” (Maktubat-e-Ahmadiyya, vol. 1, typed edition, pg. 584)

The inference that the Promised Messiah (as) would carefully scrutinize the suggestions and after comparing them to his own recollections and memory, make a decision as to whether the suggestions were correct or not.

[75] See Bukhari, the Book of Prophetic Commentary, 4953