Volume 79, Number 2
- Reminiscences of my beloved
Some eye-witness events of the Imam of the Age,
by Dr Mirza Yaqub Baig.
- Stoning to death: Is it really Zia-ul-Haq’s legacy?
Pakistani press article and our comments,
by the Editor.
- Some questions and answers
1. Non-acceptors of prophets receiving salvation
2. Extent of obedience to khalifa
- The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore — the
beginning in 1914
From the English translation of Mujahid-i Kabir,
- Foreword to Light of the Holy Quran
by Dr. Mohammad Ahmad, Columbus, Ohio
Reminiscences of my beloved
‘To recall your beloved is no less than meeting him’
Some eye-witness events of
the Imam of the Age
by Dr Mirza Yaqub Baig
[Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad died on 26 May 1908, and consequently
our magazines covering the month of May, as this present issue, usually contain
some material about his life. Earlier this year I translated from Urdu such
an article by Dr Mirza Yaqub Baig, reproduced below. It had appeared in our
Urdu organ ‘Paigham Sulh’ long ago on the 15th anniversary of the Promised Messiah’s
death, in its issue dated 26th May 1923 on pages 6 to 9.
Dr Mirza Yaqub Baig (d. 1936) was a distinguished medical practitioner
and University medical faculty lecturer. He was one of the earliest Ahmadis
and also attended as a doctor to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and his family members
and to prominent Ahmadis including Maulana Nur-ud-Din. He was appointed by the
Promised Messiah to the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, the executive board of the Movement,
and was one of the leading Lahore Ahmadi figures when the AAIIL was founded
in 1914. — Editor]
Although fifteen years have passed since the death of the Imam of the Age,
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib of Qadian, the Promised Messiah, but as I spent a long
period during my younger days, a period of almost sixteen years, in his company
the events and conditions of that time are always fresh before my eyes and can
never be forgotten. Besides this, during the last thirty years I have had occasion
to meet all sorts of people, and I find his life to be the best and most noble
example. Today, leaving aside his claims and the exalted rank bestowed upon
him by Allah the Most High, I put before the readers some events of his life
which show the exalted status of his morals, and it appears even at a cursory
glance that a man of this illustrious rank, far from making a false claim about
God, cannot even utter an untruth about any human being. Such a truthful man
cannot possibly be an impostor, and one who entertains so deep a love and adoration
for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) cannot present
himself as a rival to him. On the contrary, he considers it his greatest honour
to be his servant, as he writes:
The glory of Ahmad is beyond all imagination and comprehension,
Whose servant, observe, is the Messiah of the age.
His physical appearance
There are hundreds of people still alive from among the earliest followers
of Hazrat Mirza sahib, who spent a long time in his company, and there are thousands
who had the opportunity to see him. However, there are millions of people who
never had the chance to see him, and for them I want to say that the description
of the coming Messiah in Hadith — that his colour will be wheatish, his hair
will be straight, and it would always look as if he had just had a bath — is
exactly how Hazrat Mirza sahib would be described in brief. That is how he was
shown by Allah to the Holy Prophet Muhammad by means of a vision thirteen centuries
earlier, and that is precisely what the appearance of this promised one was
like. He was of a very handsome, wheat-like colour, with a brightly radiant
face. He had a high forehead and a bushy beard, whose hair were slightly turned
at the end. As his hair had turned grey at a young age, he used to apply henna
to his hair. His face always appeared to have a smile on it, and his eyes always
half open. He was of medium height. The hair on his head were not thick; he
did not have any bald patches but his hair were spaced apart. His appearance
was quite distinct from the description of the Israelite prophet Jesus as given
in Hadith, who is described as being reddish white in colour with curly hair.
He wore a turban of a very simple form. Sometimes he would have
a Turkish cap on his head, and sometimes he would wear a turban over the cap.
His [Indian style] coat, trousers and other garments were of the simplest kind,
and most frequently he wore traditional Indian shoes.
There were no artificial airs about him, nor did he keep any special
place or seat reserved for himself. In every way he behaved simply. He would
take his seat wherever there was a vacant place. Sometimes he would be seated
on the floor while some of his followers, due to lack of space, sat higher up
on a couch.
He usually went for a walk in the early morning, accompanied by
a crowd consisting of his own followers and visitors. During the walk many people,
in order to listen to him, would pass him and walk ahead. As they passed him,
dust raised by their feet would blow on him but he would not care in the least.
Again and again someone would step on one of his shoes causing it to slip out
of his foot, but he would never look to see who did it. Someone would step on
his walking stick and knock it out of his hand to the ground, but his face would
never show any sign of displeasure. In gatherings he would sit like an ordinary
person and talk without assuming any artificial airs. If a humorous remark was
made he laughed so heartily that his face turned red and his eyes streamed.
Sometimes while laughing he covered his mouth with the end of his turban cloth.
Socialisation and hospitality
His food was absolutely simple. Whatever was cooked in the house he would eat
without any fuss. He ate very little. His hospitality was of the highest degree.
He looked after his guests with the greatest care. Whenever a guest took his
leave to depart, Hazrat Mirza sahib would clearly be grieved. In the early days,
he served his guests personally and would go and bring a guest’s meal to him.
Quite often during the meal he would rise and go to bring some drink or pickles
or something else for his guest.
While eating he took very small morsels of food. Tiny bits of bread
collected in front of him as he ate. He would eat at most one chipati
at any meal. He would also take out pieces of meat from the curry dish and place
them before the guests seated near to him.
He said the five daily prayers in congregation. Sometimes he led the prayer,
but usually a senior member of the community would be the imam. Maulana Abdul
Karim of Sialkot led the five daily prayers and the Friday prayer till his death.
After that, Allama Hakim Maulana Nur-ud-Din used to lead the prayers, although
sometimes Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan or another senior member led the prayers.
After almost every prayer Hazrat Mirza sahib engaged in conversation
about some religious matter. Everyday there were new people in attendance who
had come from distant places, and often a question asked by one of them would
become the subject of a talk by him. He sometimes talked about family matters,
or if he was writing a book at the time he would talk about the issues under
discussion. After the morning prayer he did not sit for long but, after taking
a short rest, he would come out and go for a walk of about two to three miles
accompanied by his friends. All through the walk conversation continued. He
walked so fast that most people had to run to keep up with him to listen to
his talk. He would speak with a constant flow and at speed.
Between the zuhr and asr prayers he would usually
stay in the mosque, and likewise between the maghrib and ‘isha
prayers. Almost all this time was spent on talking about various religious topics,
answering questions from people, and giving goodly preaching. Except for those
days when he was engaged in writing some book, he spent most of his time with
guests in conversations on religion. After maghrib he would usually have
dinner with them and retire to his room after the ‘isha prayers.
Aside from praying in congregation for the five daily prayers, he was regular
in his tahajjud prayer. Although his humility before Allah in every prayer
was enviable, his tahajjud prayer was quite without equal. He would be
in the state of prostration for hours, beseeching Allah from the bottom of his
heart to grant success to Islam and the Muslims. While doing so, the thought
of the moral plight and pitiable condition of the world would make him shed
tears, so much so that his cries could sometimes be heard. In the early days
the neighbourhood around his house was sparsely populated, and when he said
his tahajjud prayers on the roof in the hot summer months, the sounds
of his pleading and crying before the Almighty with a painful heart could be
heard far outside the house.
His love and affection
While he had thousands of followers, most of them so devoted that they would
give their all for him, he too was no less in showing love and devotion towards
them. In fact, his devotion towards them was much greater, and it made each
one of them feel as if Hazrat Mirza sahib loved him specially, more than he
loved any other follower. He was in reality a model of the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s
quality of being a mercy to all. He shared in the grief or the joy of every
one of his followers. If anyone was in distress or difficulty he would do his
best for him practically as well as by prayer, as if he were striving for his
own success. He remembered all his sincere followers in his prayers and in his
tahajjud prayers he went so far as to pray for everyone of them by name.
Not only for his friends but he also prayed for his opponents and
the Maulvis who called him kafir, especially praying for them in his
tahajjud prayers that they be guided aright. As he writes in a poetic
“My soul is eaten away in sorrowing after your faith, my friend,
The wonder is that you consider me to be a kafir.”
Penmanship and writing
Apart from his walks outside, the Promised Messiah used to stroll within his
house as well. He had a separate room where he sometimes sat down to write.
However, he did most of his writing while walking. At both ends of the courtyard
he would place an inkpot in a niche in the wall. With pen and paper in hand
he would write while strolling from one end to the other. After having done
some writing he would fold the paper over to reduce its length so as to facilitate
writing further on it.
It was not as if his courtyard was reserved for him. The women
and children of the house would be moving about in it. He often likened his
house to a railway train station due to the hustle bustle. It was in that tumultuous
environment that he did his writing work, but the noise never distracted his
attention from his writing. He would be as deeply absorbed and engrossed in
his work as if he were in utter solitude and silence.
So absorbed would he be in his writing as to be entirely oblivious
to what was going on around him. In the early days his father used to have his
meals sent to him in his room. Sometimes a dog would come and eat his food and
he would not notice. Nor would it occur to him that he had not eaten. He never
asked for another meal to be sent.
Once, in the later days, it so happened that Hazrat Mirza sahib
wrote a long article and put the papers by his side. His son, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad,
at present head of the Qadiani Jama‘at, who was a child at the time, while sitting
next to him and playing with a match box, set the papers alight. Hazrat Mirza
sahib did not notice. When he needed to look up those papers, he found them
burnt to ashes. All he said was: “There must be some Divine wisdom in why this
happened”. He rewrote the article, and it was better than the one burnt.
Love of friends
His relationship with his devoted followers was that of a close friend. He
addressed everyone of them with respect. When I and my late brother Mirza Ayub
Baig took the bai‘at we were the youngest people in the Movement, yet
whenever he wrote us a letter he addressed us as: “My dear brothers”. He found
it difficult to accept a complaint against a friend. Once when Maulvi Abdul
Karim, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and some others made a complaint about a friend from
the town of Gujaranwala, Hazrat Mirza sahib told them: I cannot believe that
he could have done such a thing, you must make enquiries again.
When friends came from other places to see him he would not let
them go quickly. When he did bid them farewell, he would walk with them for
a long distance to see them off. Sometimes when seeing off us two brothers he
would accompany us for two miles outside Qadian.
Unequalled forbearance and tolerance
I and my late brother Mirza Ayub Baig entered into the bai‘at of Hazrat
Mirza sahib in 1892. He had come to Lahore after having been to Delhi. The ulama
had just then issued the declaration against him denouncing him as a kafir.
He was staying at the house of Mehboob in Lahore where afterwards the Railway
Station Dispensary was located for a long time. Opposition to him was so fierce
that the main gate of the house was kept locked, and only a narrow, side entrance
was open for those going in and out. However, some malicious persons used to
slip inside even through there. One day Hazrat Mirza sahib was sitting in a
room on the first storey with many people who had come to see him. Some Hindus
were present as well. A man came and started hurling abuse at him. Hazrat Mirza
sahib simply hung his head down and kept on listening. When the man got tired
of insulting him, Hazrat Mirza sahib said to him: Brother, if you have any more
to say, then say it also. The man was deeply embarrassed and regretful and asked
for pardon. There was a Hindu sitting there who saw it all. He commented about
Hazrat Mirza sahib: “This man will be successful” and then added: “In the Gospels
we read about the forbearance and tolerance of Jesus, but we had not seen any
person practising it till now”.
In those days he used to go to the mosques of the general Muslims
and pray behind their imams. He was returning home after prayer from a mosque
when he was assaulted by a lunatic who claimed to be the Mahdi. As he was pushed
by that man, Hazrat Mirza sahib’s turban fell to the ground. Accompanying Hazrat
Mirza sahib were Sayyid Amir Ali Shah, sub-Inspector Police, his brother Sayyid
Fazilat Ali Shah, Inspector Police and many other friends, who could have dealt
a blow to that man. Sayyid Fazilat Ali Shah grabbed him by the neck, but Hazrat
Mirza sahib said: Let him go, he is an helpless man. So no one did anything
Apart from the fatwas of kufr he frequently used
to receive abusive mail from his opponents. He used to say that he had two chests
full of such letters. But they made no impression on him. One day he said: “If
my opponents knew that this sort of obscenity does not upset me in the least,
they would kill themselves with disappointment”. He refers to this evil behaviour
of these people in a poetic verse as follows:
“The foul stench produced by the jealous opponents cannot harm
As I am kept fragrant all the time by the musk of the remembrance
Qadian in his time
I first visited Qadian in 1893. After that, during my student days I used to
go to Qadian almost every day that was a holiday. During the summer holidays
also most of my time was spent in his company. After finishing my education
I became house surgeon in the medical college. Later on I also spent most of
my employment as a lecturer in the medical college. In those days whenever anyone
in Qadian fell ill the Promised Messiah used to send for me. In addition to
that, being a member of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya I had occasion to visit Qadian
once or twice a month in that connection as well.
Whenever I went to see him in Qadian, my faith in the existence
of God was refreshed. I would see the truth of Hazrat Mirza sahib and the truth
of the Holy Prophet Muhammad appear in a new glory. The reason why this place
had such an effect was that the Qadian of that time was entirely different from
the outside world. I said to my friends several times that the very earth and
sky of Qadian was godly. No worldly business or concern or fire of worldly ambition
was at all in evidence there. On the contrary, it was a habitation populated
by godly persons who had been attracted there, to that true servant of the Holy
Prophet, by nothing other than spiritual aims and love of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
Being in his company really cleansed you of sin, and all worldly cares and anxieties
disappeared by going to him. His love and affection for his followers was so
great that in no physical relationship, whether of father, mother or any other
kith or kin, was such an example to be found of a heart-felt connection and
passion for the sake of Allah. Nor could such contentment of mind be found in
Besides this, his love and devotion for the Holy Prophet Muhammad
and his engrossment in matters of faith was so thorough that when you went to
meet him there was no other talk except about the teachings of the religion.
Moreover, his talk was entirely different in nature from that of the ulama.
Every single word he spoke entered into your heart, his speech melted most people’s
hearts and breathed the spirit of sacrifice into them. Just as he obtained the
promise from every follower, during the bai‘at, of preferring religion
to the world, so did his preaching always teach the lesson of acting on this
golden rule. Being in his company created within you the strength to withstand
difficulties and trials in the way of Allah, and it produced within you such
unshakeable faith in his truth and in the truth of Islam that no declarations
of kufr or opposition by the Maulvis could scare you, nor could the attacks
upon Islam by its detractors make the least impression upon you. He established
the whole of his Jama‘at upon such a firm rock of faith that no power could
shake them. Even though at this time the Jama‘at has split into two groups,
both sections in doing religious service are holding the cause of religion above
the world. Even the section that has exaggerated the status of Hazrat Mirza
sahib is doing work of propagation of Islam that is an example for other Muslims.
His power of attraction
Before Hazrat Mirza sahib’s mission, no one in the world knew of Qadian. Even
in the Punjab very few people had heard of it. But since he began his mission,
there is no part of the world from where people have not come to Qadian. Similarly,
there is no worldly blessing or comfort which has not reached there. His presence
brought people to Qadian from all over the world. This is an evidence of his
truth because at the time when no one in the world had heard of Qadian Hazrat
Mirza sahib told of a revelation, which he also published in Barahin Ahmadiyya
in 1882, that “people will come to you from every remote path”. Events proved
the truth of this revelation, and today its veracity is evident.
His victories witnessed
Being with him we always saw the hand of Allah the Most High acting in his
support. He had a revelation: “I will help him who intends to help you and I
will disgrace him who intends to disgrace you”. His helpers, despite facing
widespread opposition, were always made victorious by Allah and by His grace
we progressed and prospered. Each and every one of us can compare his past and
present conditions and testify to that. Those who tried to disgrace him, as
they were really opponents of the truth, were always brought down low.
Debate with Abdullah Atham
I was present at the debate between Hazrat Mirza sahib and the Christian preacher
Deputy Abdullah Atham which took place in Amritsar in 1893. Details of the proceedings
of the debate have been published. One point is worthy of special mention, and
that is that for each of the two parties, i.e. Abdullah Atham and Hazrat Mirza
sahib, four helpers had been appointed. Abdullah Atham used to seek assistance
from his helpers when preparing his replies but Hazrat Mirza sahib required
no help. He had only the Holy Quran in his hand and consulted it on every issue.
Whenever he spoke, a river of knowledge flowed forth. Someone asked Hazrat Mirza
sahib how he could locate verses in the Quran without help. He replied: When
I thumb through the pages of the Quran to look for a particular verse, that
verse comes before me as if it were highlighted. “This is Allah’s grace which
He grants to whom He pleases”, as the Quran says.
After the debate was concluded Deputy Abdullah Atham and the Rev.
Henry Martyn Clarke extended an invitation to the Ahmadi side through Maulana
Nur-ud-Din for a meal. The Maulana replied that he would let them know after
asking Hazrat Mirza sahib. When the Maulana mentioned this to Hazrat Mirza sahib,
he said: Can your self-respect tolerate that you accept an invitation for a
meal from an enemy of the Holy Prophet Muhammad? He added: It is a fact that
although I was engaged in a debate with Abdullah Atham for fifteen days yet
my self-respect could not tolerate that I look at the face of such a dark hearted
opponent of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
All thinking persons should ponder on this, and also those who
today make Hazrat Mirza sahib equal to the Holy Prophet Muhammad as well as
those who call him a kafir should both take a lesson from this, and they
should realize the depth of love that Hazrat Mirza sahib entertained in his
heart for the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his closeness to and affinity for his
We too are witness to the fact that in reality Hazrat Mirza sahib
never cast a glance towards the face of Abdullah Atham during the debate. He
used to be keeping his attention turned towards the Holy Quran, and when he
spoke his eyes would be cast downwards.
Love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad
Apart from the events mentioned above there were many examples of how Hazrat
Mirza sahib showed love for and devotion to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. I was
present with him at the end of the period of his prophecy about Abdullah Atham,
when on the day of the expiry of that period he wrote the announcement, on the
basis of Divine revelation, that as Abdullah Atham had repented due to his fear
of the prophecy, so Allah had granted him respite. About two or three days before
the expiry of the limit of the prophecy he said: I have no worry about myself,
my worry is about the honour of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. He added that if
he were to be killed, his family butchered and cut to pieces in front of his
eyes, and his house destroyed to the ground, but at that moment he were to be
told that the honour of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and of the Holy Quran had
been established in the world as it deserves to be established, he would regard
himself as the most successful person on earth. If someone abused Hazrat Mirza
sahib and used bad language about him he never became angry, but he could not
tolerate abuse directed against the Holy Prophet Muhammad. He never prayed for
punishment for anyone who abused him but he used to get very roused against
those who vilified the Holy Prophet Muhammad. He has prayed for punishment for
such vituperators, as in the prophecy about Lekhram he has warned him about
the fate that will befall him due to his wickedness.
During the debate in Amritsar with Abdullah Atham in 1893, Hazrat Mirza sahib
held a mubahila with his opponent Maulvis — the two parties stood in
the same open ground confronting one another and prayed to Allah to send His
verdict against the liar and to make the truthful one steadfast and show in
his support a clear evidence from heaven.
The mubahila took place at the Eid prayer ground in Amritsar.
On one side was Hazrat Mirza sahib with a group of his followers, their hands
raised in prayer, and on the other side was Maulvi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi with his
supporters. It is noteworthy about this mubahila that while Maulvi Abdul
Haq Ghaznavi prayed for punishment to befall Hazrat Mirza sahib, but Hazrat
Mirza sahib did not pray for punishment to befall Maulvi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi
or any other opponent. In fact, he prayed for punishment for himself, saying:
“O Allah, if I am the impostor and not from You, then destroy me and save the
world from my mischief; and if I am from You then grant me aid and help, and
support me openly so that my truthfulness may be clear to the world”. He prayed
aloud and his followers who were standing behind him in rows said Amin.
I was one of them.
At the time of the mubahila his devoted followers numbered
313. Hence in writing about this incident he has recorded their names and likened
this encounter to the battle of Badr. Consequently, Allah the Most High bestowed
upon him progress day after day following this mubahila. His Movement,
from being in the hundreds, reached thousands, and hundreds of thousands. Today
the services of this Jama‘at to Islam and its work of the propagation of Islam
have set the seal upon the truth of its founder, the Promised Messiah. As against
this, the opponent Maulvis, particularly those who took part in the mubahila,
were not blessed with any progress; on the contrary, today those who call Muslims
as kafir are denounced and reviled by everyone.
The awe of truth
It was because of the awe and fear of the power of truth that Maulvi Muhammad
Husain Batalvi, despite being the staunchest adversary of Hazrat Mirza sahib
and the originator of the fatwa against him declaring him as kafir,
did not come forward for the mubahila. He was actually present at that
time in that very Eid prayer ground and was attempting to ensnare people into
opposing Hazrat Mirza sahib but he did not come forward for the mubahila
himself. Likewise, Maulvi Sanaullah openly refused to engage in mubahila
with Hazrat Mirza sahib.
According to the prophecy made by the Promised Messiah, Pandit Lekhram died
after receiving a wound in his abdomen with a knife. By coincidence, when he
was brought to Mayo Hospital [Lahore] after being stabbed, I was in the hospital
as I was in my final year of my medical studies. In fact, I bandaged him myself
and assisted Colonel Perry in operating on him.
As Colonel Perry lived some distance from the hospital and his
arrival took time, Lekhram kept on repeating dejectedly and despondently: “O
my qismat (misfortune), the doctor is not here yet”. The Pandit’s friends
said to him: Premshar (God) will save you. In reply it was only once
that he said: Yes, Premshar can save me, but he was convinced that he
would die and kept on repeating his earlier words till the doctor arrived.
Some people have accused Hazrat Mirza sahib of having had Lekhram
murdered. But I am prepared to testify on oath that the Pandit held no view
of this kind about Hazrat Mirza sahib, even though this situation was one in
which he had the best opportunity to express such an opinion.
Even during my student days I was not called by my forename but
as Mirza Jee. In those days the late Dr. Ragbir Sahay was house surgeon
and lived in a room above the operation theatre. So when Lekhram was brought
in, Dr. Ragbir Sahay called me saying: Mirza sahib, please come here, a serious
case has just been brought in. When I came I saw a man of height six feet or
more lying on the table. On his abdomen there was a cut from one side to the
other, some seven to eight inches in length, and his intestines were outside.
Dr. Ragbir Sahay asked me to place a warm sponge on his abdomen and then to
take his temperature, which I did. In brief, I was with him for about an hour
to an hour and a half, until he was given chloroform to anaesthetize him. During
this time Dr. Ragbir Sahay called me Mirza Jee several times. When I
realized that the injured man was Pandit Lekhram, I paid particular attention
to remembering everything that happened so that I could inform Hazrat Mirza
sahib of the last hours of his life.
I say with certainty that whenever Dr. Ragbir Sahay called me Mirza
Jee, Pandit Lekhram looked towards me with sorrow in his eyes and he remembered
Hazrat Mirza sahib as well as his own prophecy he had made that Hazrat Mirza
sahib would be destroyed. It had become clear to him that his prophecy had turned
out to be false but that the prophecy made by Hazrat Mirza sahib had proved
If without the memory of Hazrat Mirza sahib being reawakened in
his mind he had remained silent, then it would have been another matter. However,
because of the calling of my name he was repeatedly reminded of Hazrat Mirza
sahib, and yet despite being fully conscious and able to speak he only expressed
regret at his fate and made no accusation whatsoever against Hazrat Mirza sahib.
Although the Pandit was brought directly to the hospital without
any dying declaration being taken from him by the police, nonetheless any statement
made by the patient in such circumstances in front of the doctor is regarded
as equivalent to sworn testimony in court. However the Pandit made no statement
even though, in addition to Dr. Ragbir Sahay, as far as I remember there were
also two doctors present who came with other Arya Samaj members, Dr. Heera Lal
and Dr. Dev Kee Nand, and they remained there till the end.
Hazrat Mirza sahib had already announced his prophecy about Pandit Lekhram
when in 1896, while on his way probably to Multan, he was at the mosque which
used to be to the west of Lahore railway station in those days, performing his
ablutions (wudu) before prayer. By coincidence, Pandit Lekhram
was passing and, after learning that Hazrat Mirza sahib was there, he went into
the mosque to see him. However, Hazrat Mirza sahib did not raise his sight to
look at him. The reason was that same deep love he had for the Holy Prophet
Muhammad which made it intolerable for him to cast a glance at the face of a
man who reviled and abused the Holy Prophet. So Hazrat Mirza sahib paid him
When Pandit Lekhram was killed the newspapers speculated about
who the murderer might be. Some expressed suspicion that the murderer was a
Sanatam Dharm Hindu, others that he was a Christian, and yet others that he
was a Sikh, because the Pandit used to abuse not only Muslims but all religions
and parties that he was opposed to. Some suspected one of his own friends in
whose house he lived. Some, of course, expressed suspicion about Hazrat Mirza
sahib as he had made the prophecy. When these news reached Hazrat Mirza sahib,
he expressed regret that all those people were being suspected and said that
no decent person could be involved in an act of murder like this. He added:
Even though I had made the prophecy about Lekhram, but if I had been with him
when he was stabbed I would have done my best to save him and done everything
possible to procure treatment for him.
Journey to Delhi
In 1904 when he went to Delhi I was with him. During the journey he told of
a dream in which he had seen that the gates of Delhi were locked. He took it
to mean that the people of Delhi would not benefit from him and their hearts
would not open to him. So did it happen. He stayed there for more than one month.
Everyday he gave a lecture but people did not take advantage from his presence.
So he went to the tombs of all the famous saints buried in the outer areas of
Delhi and prayed for them. He thought it better to visit these truthful deceased
saints than the living persons of Delhi.
The illness and deaths of Maulvi Abdul Karim and Mirza Mubarak
When Maulvi Abdul Karim, his beloved and devoted follower, fell fatally ill
I was in Qadian on three months’ leave. I spent almost all my leave in attending
to the late Maulvi sahib. Hazrat Mirza sahib showed his deepest love for his
disciple by procuring every kind of necessity for the treatment of the Maulvi
sahib to an out of the way place like Qadian. Let alone other things, when the
Maulvi sahib died there was a huge stock of ice in his room, a provision which
in those days was very difficult to transport from the railway station to a
Everyday Hazrat Mirza sahib used to wait restlessly for the latest
news about the Maulvi sahib’s health. He prayed for him day and night and made
all possible arrangements to obtain medicines. When he died some of us, including
Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib, myself and other friends, could not contain our grief
and some screams emerged from our mouths spontaneously. Hearing this, Hazrat
Mirza sahib came and called us together, and exhorted us to accept the will
of Allah the Most High. Despite the fact that his connection with the deceased
was the closest of all of us, and he should have been more grief stricken than
anyone else, yet he not only showed the most perfect example of patient acceptance
of the Divine decree but imbued others with the spirit of resignation as well.
He showed the same example at the death of Mirza Mubarak Ahmad
even though he was his own son. He spent many sleepless nights attending to
his care and treatment, but when he died and was being lowered into his last
resting place, Hazrat Mirza sahib was telling his followers and all others present
that this kind of trial and tribulation is sent by Allah upon man for his spiritual
reform and for establishing his permanent relationship with Allah, the Being
Who is ever living, and that those who fail to show patience and resignation
under these trials, destroying themselves with grief, can never attain the pleasure
The Promised Messiah’s migration and death
The Promised Messiah had received the revelation dagh-i hijrat (‘Shock
of Separation’). He had been informed by many other revelations that his death
was approaching. This last time that he left Qadian, to go to Lahore, he felt
as if he would not return alive to Qadian, where he expressed regret on this
separation. However, it was necessary for destiny to be fulfilled.
He stayed first at the house of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din in Ahmadiyya
Buildings. Here he received the revelation from Allah: ‘I will safeguard everyone
who is in this house’, the same revelation he had received about his own house
in Qadian. As Hazrat Mirza sahib preferred to stay on an upper storey he moved
to the house of Dr Sayyid Muhammad Husain, which adjoined the Khwaja sahib’s
house. Here he penned his last writing, Paigham Sulh (‘Message of Peace’),
whose object was to create harmony between Hindus and Muslims. While writing
this message he had a severe attack of diarrhoea. Although he had previously
had attacks of diarrhoea, this time he succumbed to it.
In those days I lived in the inner city area of Lahore. It was
at two o’clock at night [on 26 May 1908] that Hazrat Mirza sahib sent for me
in this state of illness. When I arrived, he was sitting on the toilet seat.
He said to me: “Mirza sahib, recommend a medicine for me”. Then he said: “Also
pray for me”, and he added: “In truth, the medicine is by decree from heaven”.
When he died he was remembering his True Master, Allah, in the
words: “O my beloved, O my beloved”. It was with the love of Allah that he was
entirely intoxicated and it was to Him that he went in the end.
Stoning to death: Is it really Zia-ul-Haq’s legacy?
Pakistani press article
and our comments
by the Editor
Recently our brother Tariq Ahmad of Washington D.C., U.S.A., posted us an article
from the website of the famous Pakistan English newspaper Dawn entitled
Stoning to death: Zia’s legacy, which appeared in its issue dated 6 June
2002. It is reproduced below, followed by our comments.
Stoning to death: Zia’s legacy
by Qazi Faez Isa
Does religion prescribe the punishment of stoning for adultery? The Jewish
answer to this question would be ‘yes’. The Old Testament explicitly depicts
various adulterous sexual acts, and prescribes that those indulging in them
be “put to death” (Leviticus 20:10-21).
If a husband accuses his wife that she was not a virgin when he
married her “and no proof of the girl’s virginity is found, then they shall
bring her out to the door of her father’s house and the men of her town shall
stone her to death. She has committed an outrage in Israel by playing the prostitute
in her father’s house: you shall rid yourself of this wickedness.”
If, however, the accusation turns out to be false “they shall fine
him a hundred pieces of silver because he has given a bad name to a virgin of
Israel, and hand them to the girl’s father” (Deuteronomy 22:20-21). “When a
man is discovered lying with a married woman, they shall both die, the woman
as well as the man who lay with her: you shall rid Israel of this wickedness”.
The Christian answer to this question is found in the amazing and
touching story narrated by the Apostle John. One day when Jesus Christ was teaching
in the Temple, “the doctors of Law (Rabbis) and Pharisees brought in a woman
caught committing adultery. Making her stand out in the middle they said to
him, ‘Master, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. In the Law
Moses has laid down that such women are to be stoned. What do you say about
“Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they continued
to press their question he sat up straight and said, ‘That one of you who is
faultless shall throw the first stone.’ Then once again he bent down and wrote
on the ground. When they heard what he said, one by one they went away, the
eldest first; and Jesus was left alone, with the woman still standing there.
Jesus again sat up and said to the woman, ‘Where are they? Has no one condemned
you?’ She answered, ‘No one, sir.’ Jesus said, ‘Nor do I condemn you. You may
go; do not sin again’ ” (John 8:1-11).
The aforesaid is the only reference in the Bible (New Testament)
to adultery and stoning. The Bible does, however, have other references to stoning,
all of which mention Jews stoning the prophets or the apostles of Jesus (Luke
13:34, 20:6; John 8:59, 10:31, 11:8; Acts of Apostles 7:58, 14:5, 14:19 and
the 2nd Letter of Paul to the Corinthians 11:25). The Bible records the propensity
of the Jews to stoning.
The anguish of Jesus Christ is heart rending. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the
city that murders the prophets and stones the messengers sent to her! How often
have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her brood under her
wings; but you would not let me. Look, look! There is your temple forsaken by
God. And I tell you, you shall never see me until the time comes, when you say,
‘Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ” (Luke 13:34).
The Holy Quran does not prescribe stoning as the punishment for
adultery. There is not a single verse to this effect. The Holy Quran stipulates
the punishment of “a hundred stripes” for the act of adultery, zina (24:2).
If a particular sentence is prescribed in the Holy Quran a harsher one cannot
be imposed. The Holy Quran also requires the fulfilment of an almost impossible
condition before conviction can result. Four eye-witnesses have to testify to
sustain the charge (24:4).
And if those who accuse a woman and fail to “produce four witnesses”,
they are then to be flogged eighty times. If there are no witnesses and a husband
accuses his wife of adultery he has to repeat his testimony and on the fifth
invoke the “Curse of Allah” on himself if he is lying (24:6-7). The punishment
is averted if the wife similarly swears (24:8-9). Therefore, the Holy Quran
here places greater reliance on the testimony of a woman.
In none of the verses pertaining to adultery in the Holy Quran
the term stoning (rajama / rajím) is used. Rajím means ‘stoned’,
‘accursed’ or ‘damned’ and is used as an epithet of Satan (3:36, 15:17, 16:98:
Shaitán nir rajím, Satan the stoned or accursed). The verb which derives
from rajím is rajama, and it means ‘to stone’, ‘the act of stoning’,
‘a missile’, ‘something to stone with’, ‘guesswork’, ‘guessing’ or ‘stoned’
(11:91, 18:20, 19:46, 36:18, 44:20, 18:22, 67:5 and 26:116). However, none of
the verses refer to adultery. The Arabic word rajím / rajama is
similar to the Hebrew word ragam, which means ‘to collect’ or ‘cast stones’.
How is it then that some Muslims followed the Jewish practice and
prescribed stoning as the punishment for the sin of adultery?
General Muhammad Ziaul Haq discovered ‘Islamic law’ to secure his
tenuous position. He enacted a ‘law’ which for the first time in the history
of Pakistan ordained that “whoever is guilty of zina shall … be stoned
to death at a public place”. Zia gathered around him semi-literate and self-styled
ulema, legal and other sycophant advisers and introduced laws which purported
to be Islamic.
Every legal enactment is or ought to be preceded by an open debate.
There was no debate when any of the Hudood laws were enacted. The one
in which stoning was prescribed, The Offence of Zina (Enforcement of
Hadd) Ordinance, 1979, was enacted overnight. The arrogance of the lawmakers
knew no bounds. Since the Hudood laws claimed to be implementing God’s
intent, it was expected that every care would be taken to ensure against the
possibility of any mistake, but none was taken.
The sycophants surrounding Zia had the audacity to refer to him
as a modern day Ameer-ul-Momineen (Leader of the Faithful). Any opposition
to such a ruler was it not opposition to Islam itself? The craftily drafted
question in Zia’s referendum suggested as much.
Twenty-three years have passed since the law prescribed the punishment
of stoning and we have seen governments of democrats, technocrats and autocrats,
but not one has been able to undo Zia’s legacy. No one is apparently prepared
to seek the truth, if it entails being perceived as assailing mazhab.
The facts of the Zafran Bibi case have shocked the nation. A judge
has sentenced her to death by stoning relying upon Zia’s law. Zia enacted the
stoning legislation contending it to be a Hadd law. Hadd is a
legal term for the offences and punishments which are defined in the Quran.
The fact that the punishment of stoning for adultery does not find mention in
the Holy Quran did not deter Zia’s Zina enactment.
The propagators of stoning support their contention by relying
on reports attributed to Hazrat Umar; that certain verses prescribing stoning
had been revealed but had been left out from the Holy Quran when it was compiled.
This effectively calls into question the very infallibility and sanctity of
the Holy Quran as contained in the texts handed down over fourteen hundred years
and is anathema to believers and is to be rejected. We are then left with certain
traditions attributed to the Prophet reported in the recognized works of hadith
The most famous collectors of the Sunni Hadith were al-Bukhari
(Sahih), Muslim (Muslim), Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasai and Ibn Maja. All
these compilers died between 256 to 303 years after the Hijrah (or between
870 to 915 AD). The Shiah collections of hadith are called khabar and
were compiled even later, between 320 to 454 after the Hijrah (or between
932 to 1062 AD). The five recognized Shiah compilers were Abu Jafar (Kafi),
Shaykh Ali (Man la yastihzau-hu al-Faqih), Shaykh Abu Jafar (Tahdhib
and Istibsar) and Sayyid al-Razi (Nahj al-Balaghah).
It is an acknowledged rule in reading hadith literature that if
a reported hadith purports to record that which is contrary to the Quran, it
should be disregarded since the Prophet (p.b.u.h) did not act contrary to Allah’s
But even if one examines the hadith recorded by the compilers of
hadith which purport to prescribe stoning there is no instance when the Holy
Prophet ordered stoning of a Muslim who was caught committing adultery or against
whom a charge had been levelled.
The instances that have been recorded by the hadith compilers are
of Maaz bin Malik and of the woman from the tribe of Azd Gaib. The two are separate
instances but the stories are similar. It is reported that they voluntarily
appeared before the Holy Prophet and without being confronted with a charge,
accusation or being coerced confessed their own guilt. Then too the Holy Prophet
is reported to have been extremely reluctant to hear them.
In both these instances it is reported that the Holy Prophet upon
hearing the confessions turned his face away, this he did no less than four
times, but the persons persevered and repeatedly confessed before him. Thereafter
he questioned whether they were mad or drunk. Only then stoning was ordered.
The Holy Prophet then read their funeral prayer (namaz janaza) which
was a singular honour and prayed for them. The hadith reports that the Holy
Prophet then said that the person stoned had sought such profound forgiveness
that if it was spread over the entire community (ummat) its blessing
(sawab) would be enough for all.
Some hadith compilers record that once the stoning had commenced
the person being stoned ran away and was brought back. When this was reported
to the Holy Prophet he said: “if you had let him go then it is entirely possible
that he would have sought forgiveness and Allah would have accepted his forgiveness”
(Muslim, transmitted through Abu Huraira).
The hadith which are relied by the propagators of stoning are really
examples of extreme atonement and expiation and can hardly be used to expound
a tradition (hadith) prescribing stoning. These incidents have also not been
fixed in time. It is possible that these incidents took place before the verses
ordaining the punishment of whipping for adultery were revealed (the revelation
of the Holy Quran having taken 23 years).
On such slender facts Zia prescribed that a person who commits
adultery “be stoned to death”, forgetting the tradition reported by Hazrat Ayesha
that “if the Imam (ruler) wrongly forgives it is better than if there is a mistake
in sentencing” (Tirmidhi).
By relying upon the Holy Quran it cannot be contended that adultery
is a hadd for which the punishment is stoning, but this could be contended
if reliance were placed upon Jewish scriptures. Ibn Khaldun had noted just such
a tendency in the ignorant: “They turned for information to the followers of
the Book, the Jews … so when these people embraced Islam, they retained their
stories which had no connection with the commandments of the Islamic law … commentaries
on the Holy Quran were soon filled with these stories of theirs” (Ulum al-Quran,
End of article
While we are no defenders of the late Zia-ul-Haq, it is quite unjustified to
lay the blame on him for this penalty. It is true that he introduced this penalty
into the law of Pakistan, but this has been regarded as the punishment for adultery
by the vast and overwhelming majority of the Muslim Ulama throughout the world
for centuries. It is mainly Ahmadis who have opposed this wrong view. There
are very few other Muslims who have opposed it as being contrary to Islamic
teachings. The article says:
“Zia gathered around him semi-literate and self-styled ulema, legal
and other sycophant advisers and introduced laws which purported to be Islamic.”
The author should tell us which Ulama would have given him different advice
The author correctly points out the two chief grounds on which
this penalty is considered as taught by Islam: (1) the so-called verse of stoning
mentioned by Hazrat Umar in a hadith, and (2) the reports in hadith of stoning
being inflicted by the Holy Prophet’s orders. Regarding the first he writes:
“The propagators of stoning support their contention by relying
on reports attributed to Hazrat Umar; that certain verses prescribing stoning
had been revealed but had been left out from the Holy Quran when it was compiled.
This effectively calls into question the very infallibility and sanctity of
the Holy Quran as contained in the texts handed down over fourteen hundred years
and is anathema to believers and is to be rejected.”
What he is calling “anathema to believers” was widely accepted by believers!
The argument which was used (to show that this does not contradict the belief
that the Quranic text has not suffered any loss) was that the verse of stoning
has been abrogated as regards its recitation but is in force as regards
the commandment contained in it. Then to back up this groundless assertion,
it was claimed that abrogation of verses of the Quran is of three types:
command and recitation abrogated,
- only command abrogated, not recitation,
- only recitation abrogated, not command.
This theory is repeated in the English book Ulum-ul-Quran
by Ahmad Von Denffer. The relevant chapter is available online.
(Go to www.islamworld.net/UUQ/chapter_5.html, and search for the following
text: Three Kinds of Naskh.)
While the theory of abrogation is preposterous in any case, the
aspect of it which suggests that a verse of the Quran can be abrogated only
for recitation yet its command remains in force is even more senseless and
Probably due to influence of Ahmadiyya arguments, the theory of
abrogation as such became less and less accepted, so much so that even Maudoodi
has rejected it. So to uphold stoning for adultery, they began to rely only
on the second ground (that it is found practised in Sunna), as Maudoodi does.
The article says:
“On such slender facts Zia prescribed that a person who commits
adultery ‘be stoned to death’…”
This is simply wrong. Zia was only following the almost unanimous view of the
Ulama. Perhaps the author of the article has difficulty in accepting that the
vast majority of the Ulama could be wrong, which is the actual truth.
Some questions and answers
1. Non-acceptors of prophets receiving salvation
On our ‘Holy Quran Study’ forum (accessible through our website www.muslim.org),
a questioner quoted the following verse of the Holy Quran:
“Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians,
and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good, they
have their reward with their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall
they grieve.” (2:62)
Since ‘belief in Allah and the Last Day’ is equivalent to belief
in Islam, and a ‘believer’ is one whom accepts all the Prophets of Allah, does
this verse mean disbelievers (ones who don’t accept all the Prophets) can still
The answer I gave is quoted below:
What this verse means is that whether you are a Muslim (those who believe),
or are a Jew, Christian, etc., all of whom claim to believe in God and
the Day of Judgment, the way to heaven is indeed through these beliefs and the
practical doing of good deeds, but of course you have to follow the true concept
of these beliefs.
The Jewish or Christian belief in God and the Judgment Day is true
at its root but these beliefs are then rendered ineffective by various
corruptions (e.g. belief that yours is the favoured nation of God damages the
true concept of God, and belief in atonement nullifies belief in the last day
when actions will be requited). If the Jews or Christians follow belief in God
and the Last Day that they already claim to follow but do so in the correct
sense then they will find salvation.
So whether it is people calling themselves Muslims, Jews, Christians,
etc., they have to live according to the true concept of what is God and what
is the Last Day, to attain heaven. And that true concept is only available through
the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Someone who doesn’t accept the
Holy Prophet does not have knowledge of the true concepts of God and the Last
You can also compare this verse to the following two verses in
the same chapter 2:
- And they say: None shall enter the Garden except he who is a Jew, or the
Christians. These are their vain desires. Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful.
- Nay, whoever submits himself entirely to Allah and he is the doer of good
(to others), he has his reward from his Lord, and there is no fear for such
nor shall they grieve.
Again, this lays down the principle of how to reach heaven: by a complete
submission to Allah and the doing of good to others. It is not by calling oneself
a Jew or a Christian or even a Muslim that a person finds salvation but by acting
on these teachings. And the only way to have the true knowledge of how to do
so is through Islam.
There ensued some discussion of this point when another contributor argued
that this verse means that those who believe in God and the Day
of Judgment and do good deeds but “who don’t accept Islam because
they either never heard of it or anyhow get the false image of Islam
through media etc.” will attain salvation in the after-life.
So I posted a further clarification, an edited version of which
is given below:
Note that this verse (2:62) does not deal with the question of reward for good
deeds done by followers of other religions. That is dealt with elsewhere in
the Quran and we are told that anyone who does any good will be rewarded for
it. This verse deals with how to reach the high stage described by the
expression “there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve”. According to
verse 10:62 this is the stage attained by the auliya of Allah.
Our friend is suggesting that, even after the coming of Islam,
the followers of earlier religions may still reach this high stage by following
their respective faiths, providing that they have not knowingly and actively
rejected the real teachings of Islam. If this were true then there would have
been no need for Islam to come into the world as the earlier religions still
had the power to lead their followers to God.
This verse is referring to various groups who consider that they
and only they can attain salvation because of their particular doctrines, i.e.
Christians holding the belief that accepting that Jesus died for their sins
guarantees them salvation and everyone else is doomed to hell, or the Jews holding
the belief that their nation has been exclusively selected to receive salvation.
Even Muslims have generally come to hold that if a person recites the Kalima
just before his death this guarantees him a place in heaven. There are also
Muslim sects believing that they are the only ‘heavenly’ sect among Muslims,
the 73rd one.
The meaning of 2:62 is very clear, especially when read along with
2:111-112 which I quoted in a previous post. It says that salvation is not attained
by having any name such as believer (Muslim), Jew, Christian, or by adhering
to extraneous doctrines that are claimed to lead to deliverance, but by a belief
in the very basic principles of the existence of God and one’s ultimate accountability
for one’s actions, a belief which must be reflected in practice by doing good.
Having explained the principles of attaining salvation, Islam then goes
on to show how its teachings are now the only ones which can establish man on
those principles in the most true and perfect way.
2. Extent of obedience to khalifa
A member of the Qadiani Jama‘at at the University of Cambridge, England,
e-mailed our website about an article he read on the website entitled Reply
to a Qadiani Article on Khilafat. He quotes the following passage from our
“It is perfectly correct and reasonable to say that a Muslim religious
community requires a leader who should be obeyed. But this does not at all justify
the Qadiani khilafat which regards the leader as the representative
and spokesman of God on earth, who speaks and acts directly under the command
of God, and who must be obeyed by the followers absolutely and unquestioningly
without any reference to whether his orders comply with the Holy Quran and Sunna
He regards our statement as wrong because he says:
“Examining the conditions of bai‘at for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama‘at,
point 10 says:
‘That he/she shall enter into a bond of brotherhood
with this humble servant of God, pledging obedience to me in everything
good, for the sake of Allah, and remain faithful to it till the
day of his/her death; that he/she shall exert such a high devotion
in the observance of this bond as is not to be found in any other
worldly relationship and connections demanding devoted dutifulness.’
It was the Promised Messiah who wrote these conditions but when
these conditions are read by new ahmadis then we normally refer to the current
leader of the time, whom we know as the Caliph. So my point is the Caliph is
requesting the initiators to follow him in everything good which contradicts
what was said in the article:
‘… who must be obeyed by the followers absolutely
and unquestioningly without any reference to whether his orders
comply with the Holy Quran and Sunna or not.’
Can you explain why this statement was made in the article?
Thus our correspondent argues that as the Promised Messiah required obedience
from his followers only in everything good (ma‘ruf)
that he may command, and as his Jama‘at take the
same oath in respect of their khalifa, so our statement is
wrong that they are required to obey their khalifa absolutely
and unquestioningly without regard to whether his orders comply
with the Quran and Sunna or not.
I sent the following reply:
Thank you for reading the material on our website and writing to
If you were to ask this question from your Khalifa
or other officials of the Qadiani Jama‘at whether they believe that the
“must be obeyed by the followers absolutely and unquestioningly without any
reference to whether his orders comply with the Holy Quran and Sunna or not”
they will reply that anything whatsoever that the Khalifa
does or orders you to do automatically complies with the Holy Quran and
Islamic teachings, and it is impossible for the Khalifa to do
or order anything that is against Islamic teachings. Therefore, they will tell
you, the Khalifa must be obeyed in everything!
This is against Islam. According to Islam the leader or khalifa
is accountable before his followers and they have to judge whether he is acting
according to Islamic teachings or not. It cannot be assumed that the khalifa,
because of being khalifa, is by definition following Islamic standards.
In the times of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar in particular, people (including
ordinary members of the public) questioned them regarding the validity of their
orders and actions, and the Khalifa had to prove that he was acting
according to Islam.
You should ask from your khalifa or your Jama‘at
whether, when the khalifa says or orders something, you have the right
to check for yourself its validity from Islamic teachings, and whether you have
the right to hold and express the opinion that the khalifa was wrong
in some belief or action of his. When they give you their answer to this, you
will then know that what we have said in the above quotation is correct.
In response our friend has said that he will raise this question with some
official of his Jama‘at and let us know what reply he was given.
The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore — the beginning in 1914
Some extracts from ‘Mujahid-i Kabir’
[Below we quote some sections from the English translation of
this biography of Maulana Muhammad Ali which we are finalising these days —
After migrating from Qadian, Maulana Muhammad Ali settled in Ahmadiyya Buildings,
Brandreth Road, Lahore, where Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig and
Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah, who were members of the Sadr Anjuman’s executive
from Lahore, lived and had their houses. Here the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at
Islam was founded. The nearly fifty years of the Anjuman’s life till today,
first during Maulana Muhammad Ali’s life up to 1951 and after that till now,
is connected with this place,* and so it seems appropriate
to relate a brief history of Ahmadiyya Buildings.
Note: This was written in 1962. In the early 1970s the Anjuman’s
headquarters moved from Ahmadiyya Buildings in the centre of
Lahore to the suburb of New Garden Town about six or seven miles
away. Ahmadiyya Buildings is still maintained by the Anjuman.]
The foundations of the Ahmadiyya Buildings were laid in 1906. The land on which
it is situated was owned by Chaudhry Allah Yar, who was the father of the respected
elder of the Movement Chaudhry Zahur Ahmad. At the beginning, it was taken on
a very long lease from him by Dr. Syed Muhmmad Husain Shah, Dr. Mirza Yaqub
Baig and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. First the Shah sahib and the Khwaja sahib had
their houses built by the main road side, and sometime after that Dr. Mirza
sahib and Babu Manzur Illahi had their houses built as well. At that time the
whole of the area was not densely populated, though Islamia College had already
been built on the other side of the road. In 1908 the Promised Messiah first
stayed at Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s house and after a few days went to stay with
Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah. On 23 May 1908 Friday prayers (Jumu‘a)
were held for the first time at Ahmadiyya Buildings. Before that, the Friday
prayers were held at Mian Chirag-ud-Din’s house outside the Delhi Gate. After
Friday prayers on 23 May, Hazrat Mirza sahib made a speech which was published
afterwards under the title of Hujjat-ullah. Hazrat Mirza sahib also produced
his last writing, Paigham-i Sulh, while staying at Ahmadiyya Buildings.
On 26 May 1908, the Promised Messiah breathed his last in the house of Dr. Syed
Muhammad Husain Shah.
At that time the present mosque in Ahmadiyya Buildings had not
been built. Some time later a terrace was built, upon which the daytime prayers
were held, and sometimes lectures and classes were given. The Friday prayers
were held in a large room in the house of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. Hazrat Maulana
Nur-ud-Din visited Lahore two or three times while he was head of the Movement
and stayed in Ahmadiyya Buildings. Once he addressed a large gathering on this
terrace, where the mosque stands today. Later on Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din started
a series of lectures every Sunday from the same spot. His delivery of speech
was so attractive that the general public, members of the nobility, learned
people and government officers used to come from far and wide to attend. After
a short while, a mosque was built upon this terrace, though in the beginning
it was very small.
After the death of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din, Maulana Muhammad
Ali came to Lahore and settled in Ahmadiyya Buildings, as will be explained
in full detail later. The first consultative council (Majlis-i Shura)
was held on 22 March 1914 on the courtyard of the upper storey of the house
of Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah; and when there remained no hope of a reconciliation
with Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, as he violated the Will of the Promised Messiah by
reducing the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya to a powerless body, the foundation of the
Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam was laid here on 3 May 1914.
Though the Anjuman had been founded in name, the position was that
it had no funds, offices or assets. Missionaries and workers were all in the
opposite camp. The founders of this Anjuman had used up their life earnings
in Qadian by spending them on having buildings and property built for the Anjuman
of Qadian and had come to Lahore empty handed. Here there were very few houses.
The offices of the Anjuman and the guest house were set up in the houses of
various members. The construction of the house adjacent to the mosque, which
was later Maulana Muhammad Ali’s residence for a long time, was started at
that time by Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah for the offices of the Anjuman. Later,
however, the offices were moved to the house which is to the west of the present
offices. After that the offices were shifted to the houses of Dr. Mirza Yaqub
Baig, and that is where they have been located till today. Later on, at the
Annual Gathering of 1920, when Maulana Muhammad Ali appealed for donations of
one hundred thousand Rupees, the Shah sahib and the Mirza sahib, who were always
among the major contributors on such occasions, donated these properties to
the Anjuman. In the same way another respected elder, Babu Ahmad Din, gave the
Anjuman his house which was in the western part of the present Muslim High school.
In the beginning the guest house was located in it, but later on it was demolished
and incorporated into the school building.
This is a brief history of the houses at Ahmadiyya Buildings, but
the most important house is the one which became the House of God, from where
sounds of Allahu Akbar rose and echoed as far as Europe and most parts
of Asia, and which illuminated countless hearts with the light of faith. For
37 years Maulana Muhammad Ali delivered his spiritually uplifting sermons in
this mosque, exhorting and urging the community to spread the name of God, the
message of Islam, in the world. For years he taught here the meanings of the
Holy Quran, and after him other elders continued this work. The Maulana lived
for 22 years in the house adjacent to it and here he penned those renowned books
which were published in large numbers, translated into many languages and spread
throughout the world. Thus, not only was a wealth of invaluable knowledge created
here for the Movement but also the name Ahmadiyya Buildings became famous all
over the world.
Newspaper and journal Paigham Sulh
The newspaper Paigham Sulh had been started before Maulana Muhammad
Ali came to Lahore. In July 1913, by when much friction and disagreement had
arisen within the Movement, and Mirza Mahmud Ahmad and his faction were spreading
false propaganda against the members from Lahore, trying to turn Maulana Nur-ud-Din
against Maulana Muhammad Ali, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and the Lahore members, at
that time the Ahmadiyya community newspapers Al-Hakam and Badr
in Qadian were largely under the influence of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad. There was
an urgent need to counter this propaganda. Also, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din had gone
to England a year earlier and issued from there a monthly magazine entitled
Muslim India and the Islamic Review, and there was a great need to publish
in Urdu selected material from this English magazine for the benefit of Indian
readership, as well as inform people in India about the activities of the Woking
Muslim Mission founded by the Khwaja sahib.
In view of these needs, Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah floated a
company by the name of the Paigham Sulh Society, and under its auspices
the paper Paigham Sulh was started in July 1913. Maulana Nur-ud-Din approved
of its publication and purchased a five Rupee share as a token of his blessing.
Its first editor was one Ahmad Husain of Faridabad, who was secretly connected
with Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s Ansarullah party. In its first few issues he tried
to use Paigham Sulh for expressing the views of that faction. So he was
dismissed in November 1913 after he published some statements fabricated by
himself, and Maulvi Dost Muhammad was appointed editor. In those early days
the persons who played a special role in the development of this newspaper were,
firstly, Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah himself, secondly Babu Manzur Ilahi,
and thirdly Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi.
When, following the death of Maulana Nur-ud-Din, the khilafat
was taken over by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, with prearranged help from his supporters,
who became an autocratic head by altering the regulations of the Sadr Anjuman
Ahmadiyya, and it became necessary to set up the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam,
then the Paigham Sulh became the property and the organ of this Anjuman
and the Paigham Sulh Society ceased to exist.
Early stay in Lahore
Following the death of Maulana Nur-ud-Din when conditions had deteriorated
in Qadian, Maulana Muhammad Ali had sent his wife and children to his wife’s
father Dr. Basharat Ahmad who lived in Rawalpindi at that time. On 20 April
1914 Maulana Muhammad Ali migrated to Lahore all by himself. It was decided
that he would live in a house adjacent to the mosque in Ahmadiyya Buildings
belonging to Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah which was still under construction.
Two rooms had already been built on the ground storey but still needed plastering
and laying of the floor. In one of these rooms he had a door fixed and made
it his office, and the other room was for receiving guests. On the second storey
there were two rooms for his family; these did not yet have doors so they managed
by hanging sack cloth curtains in place of doors. A hearth in the courtyard
was used for cooking. He sent for his family to stay in this house and they
managed to live there under these difficult conditions.
Light of the Holy Quran
by Dr. Mohammad Ahmad, Columbus, Ohio
After reading Mu‘araf-ul-Quran by the late Nasir Ahmad Faruqi (may Allah
have His Mercy on him), I felt the strong desire in my heart to translate this
beautiful exposition of Quranic knowledge into the English language. The task
was a spiritually moving and rewarding experience for me. The original work
in Urdu was meant to be a series of lectures to be broadcast on radio. I therefore
took the liberty to assign headings to various subjects to make it more readable
and added twelve more lessons by the same author to this translation. I have
also included a few footnotes from Maulana Muhammad Ali’s English translation
and commentary of the Holy Quran. I am extremely grateful to Dr Hamid Rehman
for editing the translation, and to my wife Lubna Ahmad who proof read all the
materials. I accept full responsibility for any oversights and errors and ask
for forgiveness from Allah. It is my humble request to the reader to focus on
the subject matter, which is like a running stream of Quranic knowledge, the
salubrious waters of which are destined to revive many a dormant souls. May
Allah have His choicest blessings on the author of this original work!
I would like to quote the words of Mr. Nasir Ahmad Faruqi from
the preface to Mu‘araf-ul-Quran:
“I am not a learned scholar, nor are these lessons
meant for such elite. I started writing these lessons for the plain and simple
Muslims of a country far away from Pakistan. Any light of spiritual knowledge
and understanding you may perceive in these lessons is the result of the grace
of my spiritual mentor, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (Mujaddid of the 14th
century Hijra), and my elders, in particular Maulana Muhammad Ali,
and my respected father Dr. Basharat Ahmad. May Allah have His mercy and forgiveness
upon all of them. I owe a special debt of gratitude to my father for kindling
in me the spark of that love for the Holy Quran that his heart was imbued with
in abundance. This interest was generated by those Quranic lessons I heard
from him or he gave specifically for me.
I would be extremely ungrateful if I do not mention
that according to the word of Allah, ‘Again on Us rests the explaining of it’
(75:19), it is Allah (the Blessed, Most High) Who bestows knowledge and understanding
of the Holy Quran upon whom He pleases. ‘That is the grace of Allah, He gives
it to whom He pleases. And Allah is the Lord of mighty grace’ (57:21). In gratitude
to His mighty grace, I attempted to convey through these lessons what I received
from His bounty. If Allah accepts them it will be because of His caring and
nurturing of an insignificant one like me. One cannot undertake to do anything
without Allah, the Most High, the Great.”
[The translation, of which the Foreword is given above, is
now ready for publication — Editor.]