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”.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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”.
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.
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