100 Years Ago… – Nayyar’s travelogue: Qadian to London

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Al Fazl, 23 August 1919

“Master Abdul Rahim Nayyar Sahib is a proficient literary person and a skilled writer. He had promised before departing for the UK that he would continue to send accounts of his journey of Qadian to London in writing on a regular basis. Sadly, owing to poor health, during the course of the journey, he was not able to do that and sent only a single article.

“This should be considered the preface of his travelogue and meanwhile, [we] shall await the detailed accounts. Hopefully, now that he has reached the UK, he will be able to complete this article with comfort.

“Below is the article sent by him:” (Editor Al Fazl, 23 August 1919)

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Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahim Nayyarra

15 July 1919: I am extremely joyful over my good fortune. I recall the bounties of my Lord and today, looking at the practical fulfilment of a long-held desire and pure yearning of my heart, I say happily:

للہ الحمد ہر آں چیز کہ خاطر می خواست

آخر آمد زپس پردۂ تقدیر پدید

[All praise belongs to Allah that everything He desires to be done, it finally came to pass through divine authority.]

Today, those things that were once dreams and those ambitions that were mere thoughts are materialising through the pure appearance of the Messiahas and the special attention of Fazl-e-Umar [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra]. Glory be to God! Limitless peace be upon Muhammadsa of Arabia! May blessings shower upon Ahmadas of Qadian!

The unknown Abdul Rahim departs for the propagation of Islam as a Nayyar [star] of Ahmadiyyat. My heart possesses a series of thoughts. The map of my life is in front of my eyes. I am a living example of resurrection of the dead:

مِرادم معجزہ ہے انکے دم ان کی توجہ کا

میں زندہ ہوں اگرچہ قصہ لازرہے افسانہ

[My life is a miracle of his spirit and attention. Although, the tale of Lazarus (of Bethany) remains a legend, I am alive in reality.]

I was a child when I saw the carriage of the Holy Prophetsa in a dream and I touched the blessed feet of the chief of the universe. My mother interpreted the dream, “My son, you will become a scholar when you come of age or you will happen to find the Imam Mahdi.”

Praise belongs to my Lord that I came across the carriage of Allah’s Prophet Muhammadsa and I embraced his feet and became the servant of the Mahdi. When I was extremely sick and doctors were hopeless about my life, I wrote to God’s Messiah, “Huzoor, pray for me as you did [with the prayer that you carried out] for Abdul Rahim, son of Nawab Sahib. My heart desires to witness the victory of Huzoor.”

In reply, Hazrat Jariyullah [the Promised Messiahas] stated, “I have prayed. Keep me informed about your health.”

Exalted is Allah Almighty with all His glory for I regained health. I am alive in the age of the Promised Son [Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra] to witness the triumphs of the blessed Messiah. Once, Dr Syed Muhammad Hussain Shah Sahib and Dr Mirza Yaqub Baig Sahib were present before Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira and the topics under discussion were the lack of courage of Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib and the appointment of a missionary to England. Hazrat Khalifa Ira was expressing, “He [Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib] is not a very courageous person.” (Perhaps his name was being discussed as a missionary to England). Both doctors said, “Huzoor, even Khawaja Kamaludin Sahib has become brave after reaching there.”

Meanwhile, this humble one said “Assalamo alaikum” before Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira graciously provided me a seat and asked, “Shall we send you to England?”

It was not the time for me to travel so I abruptly responded, “Huzoor, they [pointing towards the doctors] are men of high ranks. I am a simple person. What could I possibly achieve?”

Huzoorra replied, “Tasks are in fact achieved by men of simple natures.”

All praise belongs to Allah that the [chosen] one appeared, who is elevating the status of simple men to high ranks, and the words uttered by the mouth of revered Nuruddinra became true today:

ایں سعادت چو بود قسمت ما

رفتہ رفتہ رسید نوبت ما

[As this good fortune was written to be my destiny, my destination is becoming nearer each moment.]

اللھم صل علی محمد وعلی الہ و اصحابہ وعلی عبدک المسیح الموعود

[O Allah, bless Muhammad, his followers, his companions and Your servant, the Promised Messiah.]

At the time of departure, the coming out of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih [IIra], along with the revered members of Qadian Jamaat, on the road to say farewell and the taking of the Half-e-Ita‘at [oath of obedience] by Huzoorra from his servants whilst walking and also praying for them is an honour that only Allah, by His sheer grace, can grant to an utterly incompetent person like me.

ہے عجب میرے خدا میرے پہ احساں تیرا

کس قدر شکر کروں اے مِرے سلطاں تیرا

[My Lord, Your ways of showering bounties upon me are astounding. How grateful should I be to You, O my King?]

A series of thoughts, which revolved around the remembrance of Allah’s blessings, honour given by Hazrat Khalifa IIra to this humble servant, slight thoughts of my ailing wife and my day-old son, lingered till Batala. When I looked at my watch, it appeared that I was late, but the God of this Messiahas caused the train to stand past the scheduled time and we had plenty of time to complete our preparation before boarding the train.

Brother Sheikh Fazl Haq Sahib accompanied the servants of Hazrat Fazle-Umar from Batala to Amritsar in order to remind everyone of the fresh blessings and grace of Allah that was descending upon us. Fazl Haq Sahib remained with me personally until I had sat on the Bombay Mail train (the donkey of the Dajjal – Antichrist) and I had parted from the people in Amritsar with the train’s sudden motion. May Allah reward him the best of rewards.

At the Amritsar Railway Station, Ataullah Sahib, son of respected Dr Karam Ilahi Sahib, and Babu Faqir Ali Sahib, on behalf of Amritsar Jamaat, welcomed us and showed hospitality to this servant of Mahmud[ra].

Babu Sahib said, “It is an interesting coincidence that when Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahib was travelling to the UK, I was on duty to signal the train driver that the track was clear to go and today, I am also scheduled to offer this duty.”

I considered this as a very good omen and prayed to God Almighty that He grants progress to Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Amritsar. Although we embarked on the train, the second-class compartment was overcrowded to the extent that we had to travel while standing for a long time. It is quite a surprise that three young men are on the same train who are on their way to London. Two of them are Hindu by faith and the third one is a Muslim. Hence, our mission of tabligh in the UK has begun from them.

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