Practices of the Promised Messiah a.s. in Ramadan – Part III

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Hazrat Mian Abdullah Sanaurira narrated to Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra the following account which took place around the year of 1884:

“Once in the month of Jeth [of the Hindu Calendar], that is in May or June, the Promised Messiahas, having offered Fajr prayer in Masjid Mubarak, headed into the adjacent room where there were bathing arrangements and which was cool on account of the fresh plaster on the walls. He lay on the charpoy [Indian bedstead] which used to be kept there. There was no mattress or pillow upon the charpoy. The head of the Promised Messiahas was positioned towards the Qibla and he was facing the north. He had pillowed his arm beneath his head whilst resting the other over his head. I sat down and began pressing his feet.

“It was the sacred month of Ramadan – it was the 27th day and a Friday. Hence, I felt elated that blessed occasions such as these had come together for me. In other words, I was serving a blessed person of elevated stature as the Promised Messiahas; the time was of Fajr prayer which is a blessed time; the month was Ramadan, which is a blessed month; it was the 27th day of this blessed month and the day was a Friday. Moreover, the previous night was Lailatul-Qadr [the night of destiny] because I had heard the Promised Messiahas mention that it was certainly the night of destiny when the 27th day of Ramadan and Jumuah both occurred together.

“I was contemplating over the blessings of the moment when the body of the Promised Messiahas suddenly trembled. Huzooras, gradually shifting his arm from above, looked towards me. I noticed at that moment that his eyes were full of tears. He then returned his arm to its previous position. Whilst pressing his feet, I reached the shin of the Promised Messiahas and observed that there was a drop of red liquid on his foot on a firm part just under his ankle, still congealed on account of having apparently dropped there recently. I touched it with my right hand’s index finger to see what it was. Thereupon, the drop spread onto the ankle and also remained on my finger. I smelt it but there was no smell of any kind. I had smelt it because at the time, I thought that it would possess a fragrance, being some sort of gesture from God Almighty. Then, I reached near the ribs of the Promised Messiahas and observed another large drop of the same red liquid upon his shirt. I examined it and found it too to be damp.

“I was perplexed as to the source of the red liquid. I rose quietly from the charpoy so that the Promised Messiahas would not wake up and began to search for a sign from where the red liquid could have dropped. It was a very small room. I searched every nook and corner, be it the roof or the surroundings but could not trace anything visible from where it could have dropped. It also occurred to me that the tail of a house lizard may have been cut on the roof and its blood might have dripped. Accordingly, I examined the roof but found no sign that this had occurred.

“I finally sat down, fatigued, and continued pressing the body of the Promised Messiahas as I was doing earlier. A short while later, the Promised Messiahas sat up and heading out of the room, went and sat in the mosque. I began to press his shoulders while sitting behind him. Thereupon, I enquired from Huzooras where the red liquid that was on him had fallen from. Huzooras answered casually, ‘It could be mango juice’ and avoided my question. I again submitted, ‘Huzoor, it is not mango juice but red liquid.’ Huzooras gestured with his head, using his chin and asked, ‘Kithey hey?’ [Punjabi: Where is it?] Showing him the mark on the shirt, I said, ‘Here it is.’ Turning his head towards the shirt, Huzooras pulled the shirt towards him and saw the drop.

“Thereafter, he did not say anything to me on the matter but narrated a few accounts of former saints with regard to experiencing God and explained matters seen in visions taking physical form. He informed me that the Being of God was beyond the beyond and eyes could not see Him in this world.  However, some of His attributes pertaining to His beauty or majesty are shown to saints in physical form. ‘Hazrat Shah Abdul Qadir Sahibrh said that he had seen Allah the Almighty in the form of his father. Hazrat Shah Sahibrh once said that God Almighty once visited him, endowed him with a handful of turmeric and informed him that the turmeric was His own knowledge and insight and that he should protect it. When he awoke, the handful of turmeric was physically present in his hand.’

“Another saint, whose name the Promised Messiahas did not relate, was sitting in his chamber at the time of Tahajud and was reciting something on his prayer mat, when he observed in a vision that somebody had come from outside and taken the prayer mat he was sitting on. When he awoke, he found that the prayer mat was actually not beneath him. Upon the break of dawn, when he departed from his chamber, he discovered that the prayer mat lay in the courtyard.

“After relating these accounts, the Promised Messiahas said, ‘These were matters related to the phenomenon of visions, but God Almighty materialised those objects in physical form in order to show the excellences of those saints. As far as my account is concerned, whilst you were pressing my feet in the room, I saw in a vision a beautiful, vast and clean building. There was a throne in it on which was sat an imposing figure in the form of a ruler. It was vouchsafed to me that that was the Ahkamul-Hakimeen [the Highest of Judges], that is Rabbul-Alamin [the Lord of All the Worlds]. I deemed myself to be a humble officer of the Divine Court. I had noted down certain commandments on fate and decree and I took them along with me before the Almighty for His signatures. When I approached Him, He sat me beside Him on the throne with deep affection and love. At that time, my condition was akin to a son who meets his father after being separated for many years and his heart spontaneously feels a surge of emotions. At that moment, I also pondered over the fact that this was the Ahkamul-Hakimeen (or Rabbul-Alamin) and the extent of love and affection with which He had sat me beside Him. Then, I presented those commandments which I had written for His signature. He dipped His pen in the red inkstand, flicked it a little in my direction and then signed the papers.’”

Hazrat Mian Abdullahra mentioned that the Promised Messiahas physically demonstrated the actions of flicking the pen and of the signing with his own hand. After that, the Promised Messiahas said, “This is the red ink which emanated from that pen. Look, a drop has fallen upon you as well”.

Hazrat Mian Abdullahra said, “I surveyed my entire shirt and submitted, ‘Huzoor, no drop has fallen on me.’ Huzooras said, ‘Take a look at your cap.’ In those days, I used to wear a white cotton cap over my head. I removed the cap and observed that a drop was upon it as well. I was overjoyed and said, ‘Huzoor, I also have a drop upon my cap.’ Then, I felt a longing to acquire the shirt and keep it as a holy relic because it was greatly blessed.

Hazrat Mian Abdullah Sanaurira alongside the red inkstained shirt of the Promised Messiahas

“Fearing that he would swiftly forbid it, I firstly enquired of the Promised Messiahas whether it was permissible to possess objects of a righteous person as holy relics. He replied, ‘Yes, it is permissible. The Companionsra kept the sacred relics of the Holy Prophetsa.’ Then I submitted, ‘Huzoor, I have a humble plea’. Huzooras asked, ‘Tell me, what is it?’ I said, ‘Huzoor, please grant me this shirt to keep as a holy relic.’ The Promised Messiahas replied, ‘No, this is something I cannot give away.’ I said, ‘Huzoor, you have just said that the Companionsra possessed the sacred relics of the Holy Prophetsa.’ He responded, ‘I will not give this cloth away because idolatry will spread through this after you and I pass away. People will worship it and turn it into a shrine.’ I said, ‘Huzoor, idolatry did not spread from the sacred relics of the Holy Prophetsa.’ He replied, ‘Mian Sahib, the fact of the matter is that those Companionsra who possessed sacred relics of the Holy Prophetsa instructed, before their own demise, to have them buried with their shrouds and thus, this was followed. Whichever holy relics were in the possession of the Companionsra were buried with their shrouds.’ I said, ‘Huzoor, I too shall ensure that this shirt is buried with my shroud, before my passing away.’ The Promised Messiahas agreed, saying, ‘If you do make this pledge, then take it.’ As it was the day of Jumuah, after a short while, Huzooras changed his clothes having bathed and the shirt came into my possession.”

Hazrat Mian Abdullah Sanaurira relates, “The Promised Messiahas was still wearing the shirt when I mentioned this sign to a few guests who had come from vicinities close by.” Thereafter, they went to the Promised Messiahas and informed him that Hazrat Mian Abdullah Sahibra had related to them this account upon which he said, “Yes, that is correct.” Then, they requested Huzooras to grant them the shirt and said that they would distribute it among themselves as they all held a right to it. Huzooras granted them permission and did not impose any conditions on them or make them pledge.

Hazrat Mian Abdullah Sanaurira says, “At that moment, I became extremely worried that this sign would be taken away from me. I was alarmed and for this reason, I submitted to the Promised Messiahas, ‘Huzoor, you hold no control over this shirt now as it has come into my possession. It is within my power to grant it to them or otherwise because I have already taken it from Huzoor.’ At that moment, Huzooras smilingly said, ‘Yes, Mian Abdullah has of course taken this from me. It is now up to him whether he grants it to you or not.’ Then, they greatly insisted that I grant it to them but I declined.”

Hazrat Mian Abdullah Sanaurira goes on to mention, “To this day, the very same mark of red is present on the shirt and has not changed in the slightest. The material of that shirt, in Punjabi, is called nenu. The Promised Messiahas was wearing this shirt for seven consecutive days. I did not used to show people this shirt because Huzoor’sas words that the shirt should not be made into a shrine was constantly present in my mind. However, people greatly desired to see it and this bothered me very much.

“I mentioned the dilemma to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II that I resented displaying the shirt due to the words of the Promised Messiahas and that people bothered me. I enquired from him the best course of action. He replied, ‘Show it to people repeatedly and frequently so that many emerge who become witness to having seen it and so that every person in our Jamaat can declare that they have seen it.’  Afterwards, I began to show it to others, but I still do so only for those who desire it of me. I resent showing it to others of my own will because the words of the Promised Messiahas are embedded in my mind. I keep it with me at every journey because there is no guarantee for when death overtakes me.”

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra said, “I have seen this shirt. It has a light red colour that is slightly pink and I have come to know from Hazrat Mian Abdullah Sanauri Sahibra that its colour has been like this from the beginning.”

(Taken from the compilation of narrations related to the life of the Promised Messiahas, Sirat-ul-Mahdi, compiled by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra. Translated by Fateh Alam, London.)

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