100 Years Ago… – Al Hakam and its Helpers

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Hazrat Sheikh Yaqub Ali Irfani r.a.

Al Hakam, 14 August 1918

Hazrat Sheikh Yaqub Ali Irfanira

Editor, Al Hakam (Urdu)

Al Hakam is reminiscent of the blessed age of the Promised Messiahas. This was the first organ of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, which, by the grace of Allah, shouldered heavy responsibilities at difficult hours. The services which it has rendered under Divine decree is no secret to anyone. 

After the demise of the Promised Messiahas, in the era of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira, Al Hakam experienced financial difficulties due to [problems in relation to] the machine [printing press] and had to incur losses of over 7000 rupees. To date, the remnants of that effect are felt. 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira was conscious of the need of Al Hakam to such an extent that he made me pledge not to have it closed down, not on one single occasion but thrice. In his last speech, he appealed for 6,000 rupees for Al Hakam and in his final illness, he entrusted Al Hakam to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II. In this manner, he practically passed my hand into the hand of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II. 

The Anjuman was present. Its renowned workers were at hand, yet Huzoorra entrusted the responsibility of Al Hakam’s continuation and endurance to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra and pledged to offer 1000 rupees from his own earnings. However, Divine will had it otherwise. His time to depart was nearing. For this reason, having committed Al Hakam to the trust of his successor, he returned to the threshold of the Most High. 

At that juncture, the continuation of Al Hakam was crucial. In the midst of the disorder which arose at the demise of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira, Al Hakam, by the grace of God, was at the forefront in the capacity of a successful and experienced soldier. 

However, various people, ignorant and short-sighted, assumed that Al Hakam was responsible for this revolution, hence Divine decree postponed its publication. Let it be clear that it is solely the Hand of God which acts in support of Khilafat. Around two years later, Al Hakam was reinstated once again and this is now its new era. 

It is the collective responsibility of every sincere Ahmadi to preserve this memorial of the blessed age of the Promised Messiahas. This is the newspaper which Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi declared to be his “arm”. This is the newspaper which succeeded as a great sign in all that which the Promised Messiahas presented. Thereafter, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira made an appeal in relation to its establishment and sustenance. In the final days of his life, he entrusted its responsibility to his successor, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II. 

In this scenario, readers will be able to comprehend the degree of their responsibility in relation to its establishment and sustenance. Three suggestions have been proposed in order to sustain Al Hakam

1. 50 members who will annually contribute 20 rupees

2. 100 members who will annually contribute 10 rupees 

3. 50 members who will contribute 10 subscribers each 

Aside from this, every individual can be a helper of Al Hakam. Whoever can assist it in any way should inform us after reflection; how can you assist Al Hakam

[Such were the circumstances in the early days of Al Hakam, and although this was just over twenty years after its inception, it was still in its primitive stages, as was the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. Thus, financial constraints were a massive hurdle for many tasks, yet our Jamaat’s pioneers faced such challenges head-on, seeing their completion and success no matter the circumstances. In all such adversities the Jamaat’s early scholars remained composed despite the difficulties and continued to fight for what they truly believed in. This goes to show that in the relatively comfortable climate and era of ease that we reside, a huge responsibility lies on our shoulders as servants of the Promised Messiahas.]

[Translated by Fateh Alam, UK]

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