100 Years Ago… – A discussion with Khawaja Kamaluddin Sahib

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Al Fazl, 1 July 1919

Hakim Khalil Ahmad

Mumbai, India

Khawaja [Kamaluddin] Sahib arrived at Bombay [now Mumbai] and stayed there for a week. He did not deliver any lecture during these days. Although he used to say that his mission no longer needed the support of Chanda [monetary funds], he privately appealed for Chandaon a number of occasions during his short stay. It is not known if he collected anything or not.

Apparently, Khawaja Sahib seemed healthy but he said that he was unwell. The doctor had also prescribed him to sit aside and abandon all activities because of poor health.

In the given circumstances, Khawaja Sahib constantly complained about his health, so it was not easy to have a regular conversation with him and to have a detailed discussion on the issues of mutual dispute was all the more difficult.

However, this humble one met him twice in those days. We had incoherent discussions on the issues of mutual dispute; the incoherency was due to the fact that whenever the conversation would ensue, Khawaja Sahib would complain of suffering from extreme headaches and the conversation would have to be halted. Either that or at times, someone would come to meet Khawaja Sahib and he would discontinue the ongoing discussion and begin to talk with that person. As a continuous coherent discussion was not held with Khawaja Sahib, therefore I was unable to comprehend the actual idea behind his disputes with the Ahmadiyya Jamaat.

Neither did Khawaja Sahib publicly announce his adherence towards a particular stance nor did he speak against it. So, we can say that in one manner Khawaja Sahib stands by the Lahori group while on the other hand, he stands against it. Therefore, Khawaja Sahib has even admitted on certain occasions that the Lahori Jamaat is also mistaken as is, according to him, the Qadiani Jamaat.

Below is the summary of Khawaja Sahib’s strange and unique discourse which was held during the discussion:

1. Speaking about the tabligh activities of Hazrat Mufti Sahib and Qazi Abdullah Sahib, Khawaja Sahib half-heartedly complemented the works of Qazi Abdullah Sahib while he expressed great displeasure regarding Mufti Sahib. He said:

“It is not at all difficult in London to persuade someone to accept the prophethood of any person and it is a common practice that eminent persons are called prophets over there. For this reason, certain people even call me a messenger and a prophet. Therefore, it is rather insignificant if Mufti Sahib managed to persuade a few persons to accept the prophethood of Mirza Sahib.”

Perhaps Khawaja Sahib forgot to use the word “poison” during the course of the discussion and just because of the enmity which he had for respected Mufti Sahib, the same work which he previously considered as a deadly poison became a trivial matter.

2. Responding to the question as to why he refrained from mentioning [the name of] the Promised Messiahas in London, Khawaja Sahib gave two answers. Firstly, he said, “Maulvi Nuruddin Sahib instructed me to only persuade [the people of] London to accept لَا اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللّٰہ [There is none worthy of worship accept Allah], but we even manage to convince them to accept مُحَمَّدٌ رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰہ [Muhammad is the messenger of Allah].”

Secondly, he said, “How could we mention [the name of] Mirza Sahib in London? Mentioning [his name] would require us to present his prophecies … but the people of London do not understand these matters.”

I replied, “Are you unaware of the manifest difference between the prophecies of prophets and non-prophets?” He said that he was aware of it but considered it inappropriate at that time.

I asked him, “What did you say about the Holy Prophetsa and how did you mention his name?” He said, “We do not even distinctly present Hazrat Muhammadsa. Islam is against any kind of distinction, therefore we mention [his name] in passing during discussions. Thus, if we do not even present the Holy Prophetsa openly, how can we mention [the name of] Mirza Sahib?”

This humble one deduced from Khawaja Sahib’s discourse that either he lacks true faith in the prophecies of the Promised Messiahas or if he believes in them, then he is unaware of the difference between the prophecies of prophets and non-prophets. Yet if he is aware of it, then he lacks the courage to present them or he has been overawed by the soothsayers of London to the degree that he refrains from presenting even the prophecies of the Holy Prophetsa. Keeping this in view, the way he persuaded people to believe in the existence of the Living and Self-Sustaining God is surprisingly difficult to comprehend!

Khawaja Sahib would give lengthy answers and left very little time for me to ask questions, as a result of which he would refute some of his own previous statements in the extensive discourse.

3. During the discussion on Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya and its registered principles, Khawaja Sahib clearly admitted the fact that it was he who prepared its manuscript and the article was also his, and the Promised Messiahas just signed it. [He further said] that utilising all his abilities of law, he had deliberately prepared that manuscript so that the Anjuman could function exclusively and the series of successorship may not advance.

4. Khawaja Sahib was asked as to why he denounced Khilafat when he had himself published an announcement on behalf of the Anjuman regarding Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira that the directives of Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin Sahib would be worthy of acceptance as were that of the Promised Messiahas.In the same announcement, he urged people to take Bai‘at at the hand of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira?

Answering this question, he replied that even he wanted Mian Sahib [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra] to become the Khalifa but Mian Sahib himself refused when people asked him.

I asked Khawaja Sahib, “What is the reason for not accepting Hazrat Mian Sahib as the Khalifa now?” He replied by saying, “I can have a conversation with you at another time perhaps. Currently, I am experiencing another extreme headache.”

5. Discussing the issue of prophethood, Khawaja Sahib said, “There is only a verbal dispute between the Jamaats of Lahore and Qadian [concerning prophethood]. The sense in which Mian Sahib [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra] considers Hazrat Mirza [Ghulam Ahmad] Sahib to be a prophet in his book Haqiqat-un-Nubuwwah [Reality of Prophethood], in short, is that a new Shariah [divine law] is not mandatory for prophethood and instead, receiving divine prophecies is a category of prophethood as well. Hence, the meanings in which Mian Sahib has declared Hazrat Mirza Sahib as a prophet in Haqiqat-un-Nubuwwah, we too consider Hazrat Mirza Sahib to be a prophetin that sense.”

Regarding Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib’s book Al-Nubuwwah fil-Islam [Prophethood in Islam], Khawaja Sahib said that Mualvi Muhammad Ali Sahib claimed that a new Shariah was mandatory for prophethood and making all efforts, he had only presented a single argument in his widely extensive book, i.e. “And if there comes to you guidance from Me” [Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.39]) and interpreted “guidance” as a new Shariah.

Khawaja Sahib did not outright reject Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib’s book Al-Nubuwwah fil-Islam and its argument in plain words. However, he carried out the above-mentioned discussion in a tone which suggested his rejection. At that time, our friend Saith Ismail Sahib and Shah Muhammad Khan Sahib were also present. Khawaja Sahib said something peculiar during the discussion … He said that true faith denoted practice and the true meaning of belief could not be fulfilled if it lacked practice.

The conclusion which he drew from that discourse was that practice is a part of belief and the commandments of the Shariah must be practiced, therefore the person on whom it is mandatory to have one’s belief and whose denial makes one fall in the category of a non-believer, he should be a law-bearing prophet. Hearing Khawaja Sahib’s ingenious scholarly discussion reminded us of sihrun-mubin – plain magic – about which people say that as Hazrat Mirza Sahib was not declared a magician by anybody, therefore he is not that prophet or “Ahmad”whose coming was foretold in (the verse):

يَأْتِي مِنْ بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ

“He who will come after me, his name will be Ahmad.” (Surah al-Saff, Ch.61: V.7)

I asked Khawaja Sahib, “As you have explained the wisdom behind the belief, please tell us the meaning of Shariah”, but he did not pay heed to our question. Then I asked him, “Is there a separate Shariah to have believe in God?” Khawaja Sahib replied:

تخلقوا باخلاق اللّٰہ

“Adopt the ways of God.” I then said, “What is meant by having belief in the Promised Messiahas and a mujadid [reformer]? Also, what is meant by believing in Jesusas, Mosesas, all other prophets, angels, hell, heaven and the Hereafter? Is there a separate Shariah of every prophet and is it mandatory for every prophet to have a new Shariah?” Khawaja Sahib did not respond to this question and it was said that Khawaja Sahib’s headache began to worsen.

Our friend, Shah Muhammad Khan Sahib began to massage his head with oil and Khawaja Sahib lay down. I stayed seated in the hope of resuming the discussion after he recovered and in fact to have some more discussions on the issue of Khilafat.

Meanwhile, a person came to meet Khawaja Sahib. He got up and spoke with that person for a significant period of time. Fortunately, he did not experience any headache during that period. Despite having a long discourse, his condition continued to improve. As it was a Sunday and it was time for my lecture in the Ahmadiyya Hall, I left.

A peculiar trait was observed in Khawaja Sahib in that he saw the Jamaat of Qadian and the people of Lahore with the same lens. He does not mention the name of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat before non-Ahmadis at first. However, if he does mention it, then apart from saying that the Jamaat of Qadian is erroneous, he moves on to say that the people of Lahore are mistaken as well, meaning that both are treading the wrong path. In this manner, he responded to the respected non-Ahmadi who came to meet him in my presence.

In one way, I am grateful to Khawaja Sahib, but on the other hand, I am displeased; grateful in the sense that he acted with patience when he came across the name and mention of Hazrat Khaliftul Masih II and did not use any harsh words while talking with me, however I complain … on the grounds that Khawaja Sahib did not show tolerance when he came across the mention of Hazrat Mufti Sahib and, in fact, became furious.

(Translated by Junaid Ahmad Waraich, Pakistan)

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