Since 1907, Ahmadis have been arguing that Khatim and Khatam have different meanings. In fact, it was Maulvi Noorudin who first used this argument, (see Hayat-e-Nur pp.300, 301, via Maulvi Noorudin by Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, online english edition, 2006, page 138) and it was later recycled by Mahmud Ahmad and the Qadiani branch of Ahmadiyya. However, the Lahoris recanted this entire line of reasoning after 1914. Lastly, I have written a similar study on RAFFA in the Quran. Khatam in 2:7 and in 33:40 are exactly the same word, they are both derivatives of the same root word. “Khatama” in 2:7 is a verb while “Khatam” in 33:40 is a noun. “Khatama” is 2:7 literally means “he sealed”, while “Khatam” in 33:40 is the “the one who has sealed”. Khatim vs. Khatam is argued by an Ahmadi writer M. Ataur Rahman in 1914, “The Ahmadiyya Movement and Ahmad’s place among the Prophets” (Part-3) is published via the ROR of Dec-1914.

The Data
1——YU-KHTIM,  یَخۡتِمۡ

The very first instance where Allah uses the word K-T-M chronologically is in Chapter 42 and 45. It is uncertain as to which of these chapters were revealed first. Chapters 40-47 all begin with HA-MIM, they were all revealed very early on at mecca.

In 42:24, Allah uses the word Khatim as he speaks to Muhammad (saw) and tells him that Allah could seal his (Muhammad’s (saw)) heart to protect it from the disbelievers. The 5-volume commentary by Malik Ghulam Fareed acknowledges that Allah used the word Khatim to describe the sealing of the heart of Muhammad (saw) to protect it and make it devoid of all mercy. This was a protective and unbreakable seal that was designed to protect the heart of Muhammad (saw). Khatim does not mean last in this case.
2——–KHA-TA-MA, خَتَمَ

In Chapter 45:23, Allah uses the word Khatam to describe the sealing up of the hearts/ears/eyes of the disbelievers. Allah says: “who will guide them after Allah has condemned them?”

3 and 4———–MUKH-TOOM and KHI-TA-MO-HU,  مَّخۡتُوۡمٍ and خِتٰمُہٗ

For the 3rd and 4th instance refer to 83:25 and 26, in these successive verses Allah discusses the sealing of a drink that will be served in the hereafter. Allah promises to Muslims that the chosen ones will be seated on couches in a state of bliss and will be served the best drink which will be sealed to protect its taste, and it will be sealed with musk to protect its pureness. The words here are pronounced MUKHTOOM (25) and KHI-TA-MU (26). Even though these words are pronounced differently they still carry the same meanings as khatim or khatam.
5—————–NUKH-TI-MU, نَخۡتِمُ

Next is 36:65, wherein Allah again speaks of the Khatim that will be set on the mouths of the Kafirs on the day of judgement as they stand trial in the court of allah. This khatim will stop the disbelievers from speaking. Khatim cannot mean LAST in this case.
6————————–KHA-TA-MA, خَتَمَ

The 6th instance is in 6:46, this is where Allah speaks to the Kafirs yet again and warns them that he could take away their vision and hearing and Khatam their heart, then Allah says, “who could bring it back to you?”
7————————————-KHA-TA-MA, خَتَمَ

The 7th instance is occurs after hijra, this is 2:7, where Allah again admonishes the Kafirs and says that their hearts have a khatam on them. Allah says “khatamallahu their hearts”.
8————————————————–KHA-TA-MA, خَاتَمَ

The final instance of the use of the word KTM in the Quran is the famous 33:40. We have to use the same definition that was established in the previous 7 instances. Allah tells Muslims that Muhammad (saw) does not have any sons, but he is the KHATAM of the prophets. He is the sealer of the prophets.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________The words seal/sealed/sealing occur in the Quran an additional 11 times

But, the letters KHA-TA-MEEM weren’t used exclusively by ALLAH when describing the sealing off of something. There is another Arabic word that translates into the english word seal/sealed/sealing. That word also has variations. It uses the root of TA-BA or T-B, with 2 variations. YUT-BA and NUT-BA are the variations. The English equivalent would be Y-T-B or N-T-B.

In conclusion, it didn’t matter how KTM is pronounced, it always has the same meanings. Even when the sound was changed, for example khatim, or MUKTUM or KHI-TA-MU, Allah nonetheless used the letters K-T-M when joined to mean the sealing off of something.

It seems that Mahmud Ahmad tried to pull a fast one on his followers. Obviously, Mahmud Ahmad lied about the meanings of khatim and khatam. Hopefully, this article proves to the reader that these words are interchangeable and mean the exact same thing.  It should be noted that the Lahori-Ahmadis totally rejected this view by Mahmud Ahmad.  

The 2nd Khalifa, wrote a book entitled, “Dawatul Ameer” in 1926

on page 59 it is stated:

“””In the translation of the verse the Arabic appellation Khatam al-Nabiyyin is retained because on it hangs the meaning of the verse. It is argued from this that, according to the Holy Quran, there can be no prophets now, even from among the followers of the Holy Prophet. But many seem to forget that in the divine text the word khatam is used by God with a fatha, that is, a stroke above t, not with a kasra, a stroke below t. Khatam means ‘seal’. Khatim would mean ‘the last person’ or ‘the last one’.”””

The second khalifa is making an argument out of the fact that khatam is used and not khatim. This means that the second khalif was either unaware of the different qiraat or he rejected all qiraats with a kasra on the t.

However, in the original Urdu text there is no mention of “…Khatim would mean ‘the last person’ or ‘the last one’.” You can find it here on page 50:

I found this video response

clarifying the Jamaats position regarding the quranic verse 33:40.

From my understanding the person in the video is accepting the validity of the different Qiraats of the verse i.e. Khatam and Khatim. However, this is in direct contradiction to the position of the second khalifa.
Tafseer-e-Kabir Volume 10 page 381-382

“This was the fatwā of Hazrat ‘Alīra that the qirā’āt of Khātim-an-Nabiyyīn with the kasra under the tā’ is subordinate to the qirā’āt with the fatah over the tā’. However, the scholars say that the qirā’ah of Khātaman-Nabiyyīn with the fatah on tā’ is subordinate to the qirā’ah with the kasra under the tā’. If khātam had meant that which the scholars say, then Hazrat ‘Alī ra should have been happy that ‘Abd-ur-Rahmān Aslamī is teaching his sons to recite with the kasra under the tā’. Instead, he gives instructions that his children should not be taught to recite with the kasra under the tā’. This proves that according to Hazrat Alīra, the phrase Khātam-an-Nabiyyīn with the fatah on tā’ was more secure. In general, the kasra under the tā’ is also permissible. However, since there was a danger that Hazrat Hassanra or Hazrat Hussainra may take it to understand that there is no prophet after the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa even if he is a student of his, he told the teacher to teach his children to recite with the fatah on tā’ and not with the kasra under the tā’. This also helps us understand that according to Hazrat ‘Alīra, Khātam-an-Nabiyyīn does not mean that which can [possibly] be understood with the kasra under the tā’, that is, “the one who ends the prophets.” Otherwise, he would not have stopped the teacher from teaching with the kasra under the tā'”


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