100 Years Ago… – Daily Diary of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II: Opposition in foreign countries, views on Baháʼu’lláh and Báb and answers to general questions

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Last Updated on 3rd December 2021

Al Fazl, 14-17 & 28 November 1921

1 November 1921

Opposition in foreign lands

Hazrat Khalifatul Masihra said:

“Our opposition has now started in foreign countries as well. There is a periodical owned by a Lord [Alfred Bruce Douglas (1870-1945)] called The Plain English. It published an article, inciting people and urging the government against us for standing in parks and preaching against their Lord Jesus, and saying that he was not God. Further it said that if the religion of Islam spreads there, then the same ruin would come upon the world as it once did in the past. Moreover, it says that the Asians spoke with an innocent front and the ignorant people were deceived by it. The article then aims at the clergy as to why they don’t oppose them [Ahmadis] and even wrote about the government that the government was showing cowardice as it wouldn’t stop them owing to the fear of the Indians.”

Title page of the issue in which the reference given by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra appears

Bahá’u’lláh’s claim

A letter about the Bábi Faith was presented. Huzoor[ra] was reading the letter when Maulvi Ghulam Rasul Sahib Rajeki[ra] asked, “What is our stance regarding Báb and Bahá’u’lláh?” Huzoor[ra] said: “I will give an answer once I have read this letter.” 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih then asked Maulvi Sahib about his question. He submitted, “Should we Ahmadis consider Bahá’u’lláh a muftari [a liar] or something else?” 

Huzoor[ra] replied:

“If, by muftari, you mean to fabricate revelations by oneself, to be certain that he was the one concocting them and to attribute it towards God, then Bahá’u’lláh was not a muftari

“Maulvi Abdullah Sahib Kashmiri once met me in Kashmir. He said that the verse of ‘Taqawwala’ [forging a lie against God] applied to Bahá’u’lláh because he lived for more than 23 years. If this verse is not for general use and is particularly about the Holy Prophetsa, as it is stated in the Bible that it [the said punishment] would come to “this very prophet” if he lied, then the said verse does not prove the authenticity of Mirza Sahib.

“I told him that Allah the Almighty had stated لَوۡ‭ ‬تَقَوَّلَ‭ ‬عَلَيۡنَا [if he had forged a lie against us]. [God] did not say لو‭ ‬تأله‭ ‬رجل i.e. if a person claims to be a god then this punishment will be meted out to him.

“Then there are two rules for ‘Taqawwala’ in the dictionary. The first is that the identity of the proclaimer differs from the one he is attesting to because the word ‘Taqawwala’ carries exaggeration and honour. That is, if one claims that a certain person has said something and he knows that the said individual has never said it, then that is called ‘Taqawwala’. However, on the contrary, if the person is mistaken, then according to the Arabic language, it won’t be considered as ‘Taqawwala’.

“According to both of these conditions, this verse is not applicable to Bahá’u’lláh. First of all, he is a claimant of godhood; it is, therefore, invalid to apply the verse of ‘Taqawwala’ on him when it is substantiated that he was a claimant of divinity. Hence, it is impossible to use ‘Taqawwala’ for oneself. This word requires some level of modesty but a claimant of godhood does not acknowledge any element of modesty. The second condition is to have modesty as well as the knowledge that the person to whom he is attributing those words did not say them. This too does not apply to Bahá’u’lláh. Bahá’u’lláh attributes himself to Báb and although he adds and subtracts to the Bábi shariah [law], he does not oppose Báb in terms of beliefs. His example would be that of nasikh [abrogating a verse of the Holy Quran] and mansukh [abrogated]. Nasikh and mansukh only take place in dos and don’ts, and not in universal truths. For example, a person may increase the number of prayers from four to five, or five to 50, but it cannot be said about a person that he is not a human. Hence, in terms of the existing facts and beliefs, he was following Báb, the contradictions only lie with regard to his [Báb] shariah.

“Let us now take a look at the claim of Báb and its foundation. There is a sect in Iran called Shaykhiya, they believe that there is a person in every age whose word is the one of the Imam. Since Imam Mahdi is absent, the Báb becomes a medium for Imam Mahdi, through which the sayings and instructions of Imam Mahdi are manifested to the world. Regarding the sayings of Imam Mahdi, they believe that there is no difference between the Mahdi’s words and the sayings of God. The Mahdi says what God says, and Báb says what Imam Mahdi says. Consequently, they believed that the words of Báb were the sayings of God. According to this belief, many Bábs have passed among them. After the death of the last Báb, Muhammad Ali claimed to be the Báb and the people of the Shaykhiya sect joined him in large numbers. They also believe that when a person reaches the status of Báb, his words become the words of God and he does not err in his sayings. That is why they consider the words of Báb to be the words of God.

“Bahá’u’lláh being a disciple of Muhammad Ali Báb considered himself to be the one who fulfilled his prophecies. His belief in this matter should be in accordance with the belief of Báb and as Bahá’u’lláh considers himself superior to Báb, his words should be more deserving of being called the words of God because of his [Báb’s] belief. Since this belief is prevalent in the said sect and has been passed down from generation to generation in their branch of Bahá’ism, the claim of Bahá’u’lláh cannot come under ‘Taqawwala’, nor can he be subject to the punishment mentioned in the said verse. Therefore, we cannot call Baha’u’llah a muftari or mutaqawwil, but we can call him a liar.”

Maulvi Ghulam Rasul Sahib Rajekira submitted that he was still being followed.

Huzoorra said:

“Alexander Dowie also had a following. Emerson, a famous American, has written that there are two kinds of people:

1. Those who represent a previously established school of thought

2. Those who cause a new idea to be accepted.

Those people who present others’ ideas, their acceptance has no significance. Báb made his claim at a time when both Britain and Russia had their eyes on Iran. Báb said that a great man was about to appear and he was his forerunner. He did not express himself as highly as his enthusiastic colleagues did. They already adopted a policy of overstating their numbers. The Russian ambassador sided with them and so these people became pro-Russian. That is why many of their books are found in Russia. Russia’s councils sided with them for political gains, so they were inclined towards them naturally and because of this association with Russia, the prevailing ideas of Europe became embedded in them. 

“Hence, their views are the same as that of Europe. For example, they oppose polygamy, emphasise women’s rights according to European views, and so on. Then it is their usual practice that they also change their teachings on a daily basis according to prevalent views of that time, just as education diminished the greatness of the Holy Quran and the importance of its miracles among the Muslims of India, so they came to know the thoughts of Syed Ahmad Khan Sahib and every learned individual became a follower of his ideas. This was not due to any miracle of Syed Ahmad Sahib but the effect of that time and education. The same thing happened in Iran with people who were inspired by the new age and were hesitant about religion, when they heard of the Bábi and Bahá’i teachings and observed that by staying within their religion, they could attain the freedom which could not have been attained without first leaving their own religion, they turned their attention to it and adopted it. 

“It is the rule of Bábis that wherever they go, they present the prevailing ideas of that place in the form of their own views. Mufti [Muhammad Sadiq] Sahib was asked about them. He writes that in America, these people teach others to remain Christians, go to church, and simply accept Bahá’u’lláh as the great avatar of God. In India, they discuss the subject of the Mahdi and Messiah. The recognition of such people does not matter at all as they change wherever they go. 

“The real success belongs to the Promised Messiahas, not taking others into account yet, even the Muslims themselves denied that God Almighty speaks and sends revelation. The Promised Messiahas convinced millions of people of otherwise. Then people were deniers of miracles, but the Promised Messiahas persuaded the world.

“On the other hand, the situation of the Bábis is such that since Europe is not ready to accept miracles, the great preacher of the Bábis, Khairullah, who was in America, wrote a chapter in one of his books that miracles didn’t exist and Bahá’u’lláh had refuted that illusion. However, Bahá’u’lláh himself promised to show miracles to his opponents in Baghdad. […]”

Al Fazl, 28 November 1921

4 November 1921

The last Jalsa of the time of the Promised Mahdi

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said:

“Nowadays, as many people as are under the canopy in Masjid Aqsa on Jumuah prayers, half of that used to sit in the last Jalsa of the time of the Promised Messiahas. Their number was around one thousand and at that time, it was said that a lot of people had come on that occasion. Now, there are around 1,000 people at just Jumuah prayers.

Recruitment in the state’s army

A person asked whether it was permissible to be recruited for fighting against Mustafa Kemal Pasha’s forces [or not].

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said:

“We surely consider it permissible. For us, if the government’s advantage is in fighting them, then we will be recruited. However, in our view, if the government fights the people of [Mustafa] Kemal to destroy Islam, then we will not be recruited, and it is not compulsory to be recruited.”

Khilafat and Empire

The same person asked if kingdom was necessary for the Khalifa.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said:

“One of the meanings of khilafat is kingship and the other is of a successor. Whoever will be a khalifa of someone, he will follow the same guidelines as that of his source [master]. The purpose of the advent of the Holy Prophetsa was also spiritual reform. In Arabic, it is also correct to refer to a khalifa as a king. Every sultan is also a khalifa. However, Muslims have specified its meanings.”

6 November 1921

Champions of Islam are Ahmadis 

Syed Dilawar Shah Sahib, Secretary Tabligh of Lahore, submitted, “Munshi Khadim Hussain Sahib Bhervi is currently residing in Lahore. As this time [a debate] is going on between Shiites and Sunnis, the Sunnis needed some references while responding to some of the questions of the Shiites. They met me and I introduced them to Munshi Sahib. Munshi Sahib has promised to help them by pen.” 

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said:

“It is by the grace of God Almighty that we have members from every field of life. Ahmadis have members to compete with Shiites. Ahmadis have members to compete with Aryans as well. Ahmadis have members to also compete with Christians.”

Huzoor[ra] said:

“Why don’t our opponents reflect that all the champions of Islam are present in the Ahmadis. Did all these Islamic champions have to take bai‘at at the hand of an antichrist? The acquaintance with Ahmadis of the people of every religion leads to two conclusions from which non-Ahmadis should learn a lesson. The first thing is that all the champions of Islam have believed in him, so he cannot be an antichrist, but in fact, he is true in his claim of the Messiah. Secondly, if this person is called an antichrist, then they also have to accept that any person among the Muslims who has information and knowledge and who has intellect, is disgusted with Islam and God forbid, becomes a follower of the antichrist.”

Modern historical research in Islam

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said:

“As of now, no expert in the history of Islam has been born in our country. Generally, one person looks at only one aspect in this world, but to some, God Almighty gives special knowledge about all aspects. For example, the points which God helped me understand about the beginning of dissensions in Islam were not understood by anyone else before, so much so that even a person like Hazrat Shah Waliullah Sahib could not prove the innocence of the Companionsra.”

Amulet

The mail was presented before Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. A person wrote to Huzoor[ra] [and requested him] to suggest an amulet for him. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said, “I consider amulets to be permissible, but I do not consider them to be a great thing.”

Ahmadiyyat in Africa

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said:

“A recent letter from Africa shows that the situation there is very good. 80 disbelievers or Christians have converted to Islam. This number is in addition to those who have joined the Jamaat from the Muslims. The name of one of the said Ahmadis is Isa. He has a letter of Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib with him. The strange thing in the letter is that the words “Amirul Momineen” have been added along with the signature of Maulvi Sahib. Master (Abdur Rahim Sahib Nayyar) called the said person and when he came to meet and his boat ran aground, it was observed that he was an emissary and his bodyguards were dancing around him.”

Huzoor[ra] said:

“Letters from the people of Lagos also show that the situation there is very good. They had a jalsa in which chanda of 3,500 rupees was collected. The said contribution is not small. The minimum amount is 75 rupees per person and the maximum is 300 rupees. The land seems very extensive [for tabligh]. If Allah the Almighty wills, perhaps a jamaat of millions of people will be established.”

The behaviour of our missionaries

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said:

“One of the things that my heart longs for and which is also being done in Africa is that our missionaries should go [to people] but not like ordinary missionaries. Their behaviour should be like the companions, peace be upon them, and the disciples. Their character should be like that of a father who goes to hug his son and they should show by their behaviour that the people are their lost sheep whom they have come to protect. They should show by their actions that they recognise their responsibility over them and at the same time, they should understand and believe that they have brought the message of God which is the duty of people to obey.

“I have observed that Master [Abdur Rahim] Sahib has this approach. Wherever he goes, he does not distinguish himself from the people of that place but in fact, makes them feel that he is their well-wisher. He is not there to quarrel with them but to benefit them, so the people need to appreciate that. For example, he would write a letter to someone saying that he had been there for a long time but unfortunately, they had not met each other. In this way, the person comes to meet him and a bond is formed. However, verbal expressions are not needed as much as there is a need of manifesting them through actions and gestures. The [missionaries] should not say that they are just performing a duty and there is nothing else involved in it. By doing so, their entire objective will be lost. On the contrary, they should have this in mind that they are the messengers of the Khalifa of God’s appointed one and that the people should not have any doubts and uncertainties in believing this fact now.”

Preaching to chuhras [dalit caste in India and Pakistan]

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said:

“Thus far, no attention has been paid to chuhras [members of one of the lowest castes in India and Pakistan] etc. There is a need for special missionaries for them. It is also a kind of prejudice, which even remains after believing [in Islam], that such nations are hated, whether or through actions.”

Huzoor[ra] said:

“If these nations are awakened, then it will be a grand work which will influence others as well. The missionaries of the chuhras should also be distinguished, just as Christians have separate priests for the chuhras.”

9 November 1921

A divine dream about the Paighamis [those who did not take bai‘at of the Second Khalifa]

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said:

“I have seen a divine dream which had a lot of subject matter but I only remember a little of it. I saw two Paighamis [those who did not take bai‘at of the second Khalifa] and the argument seems to be that they were accusing me of elevating the status of the Promised Messiahas. I told them that it was easy for them to decide that matter by either swearing on oath and announcing that (1) they did not consider the prophethood of the Promised Messiahas as an embodiment [of Prophet Jesusas] or a reflection [of the Holy Prophetsa], or (2) they should swear and proclaim that I considered the Promised Messiahas to be a superior prophet than an embodiment [of Prophet Jesusas] and a reflection [of the Holy Prophetsa].”

Huzoor[ra] said:

“I found an old notebook of mine which contains my following revelation:

اِنَّ‭ ‬فِرۡعَوۡنَ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬هٰامٰنَ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬جُنُوۡدَهُمَا‭ ‬كَانُوۡا‭ ‬خٰطِئِيۡنَ

“[‘Verily, Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts were wrongdoers.’]
Along with this [revelation] is also recorded the divine dream on the basis of which I formed the organisation of Ansarullah.”

Each person’s commitment to their work

Huzoor[ra] was presented a letter of an American from the mail who had requested that since he [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih] received letters from every country, he may send stamps of different countries from his mail.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih[ra] said:

“Everyone thinks about the work they are committed to, so when he [the said American] found out [about me], he did not ask about religion, but rather wrote about the matter related to his work.”

Present the atrocities that were committed against the Promised Messiah

The programme of Jalsa Salana was presented to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. Huzoor[ra] made some changes and amended it. While doing so, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih[ra] said:

“Our writers, speakers and correspondents hide the atrocities committed by opponents against the Promised Messiahas. In fact, it is something that needs to be explained. It should be presented in detail as to what the Promised Messiahas sacrificed to save the world and what kind of suffering he endured. 

“The incident of the cross of Jesus of Nazareth is a painful event and Hazrat Imam Hussain’s incident of Karbala is also a very sad happening. However, the incident of Prophet Jesus’as crucifixion has attracted almost half the world, and in spite of so much evidence, it is obvious what the incident of the martyrdom [of Hazrat Imam Hussainra] has created among the Muslims. On the other hand, it should be shown about the one [the Promised Messiahas], who said:

كربلائيست‭ ‬سير‭ ‬هرآنم

صد‭ ‬حسين‭ ‬است‭ ‬درگريبانم

“[‘I am going through Karbala at all times. Thus, my each and every moment’s sacrifice is equal to the sacrifice of Hussain’], as to how he used to sacrifice his every moment for the good of the world.

“After some time, the arguments will not produce the effect that will be created by showing the incidents and cruelties that were committed against the Promised Messiahas. Thinking that opponents will laugh at these things is a very low opinion because the mockery and glee of opponents is short-lived, but when the future generations will hear the said accounts, they will get guidance from them. At that time, the people of Sanaullah would go around hiding that newspaper of Sanaullah in which he might have mocked [us].

“Our newspapers should be full of these incidents and should never try to hide the atrocities that had been or are being committed by opponents against the Promised Messiahas or members of the Jamaat.

“Hakim Khalil Ahmad Sahib was attacked in Madras and he suffered a head injury. I instructed it to be published in the newspaper. I was told that this would bring the Jamaat into disrepute and when this incident was published, letters carrying similar views from some people were received from outside [of Qadian]. However, these [are accounts] that will be a source of guidance for generations to come. If the sufferings, afflictions and atrocities inflicted on the Promised Messiahas and those who believe in him are concealed, then the arguments alone will not be the source of guidance for the world because the world observes as to what that person did for them and in which difficult times he strived for their betterment.”

Prophet Jesusas understood his claim of Messiahship close to the incident of cross

On the mention of opponents’ objections – for example, the Promised Messiahas could not understand his claim for 11 years –  Hazrat Khalifatul Masih[ra] said:

“If we look at history, this is the case with almost all the prophets.” Huzoor[ra] said, “It is clear from the Gospel about Jesus that he did not understand his claim for three years; rather, he understood his claim of Messiahship at the time of his crucifixion.

“Prophet Jesusas asked all his disciples one by one as to who he was. Some said something and others said something else, but when Peter was asked, he said, ‘You are the son of God.’ Jesus said, ‘Surely, you have understood me, and my religion will be founded on you.’ That is, he would be the cornerstone of his religion.

“Being the son of God was a term that was common among the Zoroastrians and they used to address Azrael, who is the angel of torment, by the said title.  As it was written in the scriptures about Jesus that the kingdom of Israel would be destroyed at his coming, so when Peter called him the son of God, it was as if he was expressing Jesus’ Messiahship in other words. From this incident, Peter was named Petra, or Stone, otherwise his name was Simon.”

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu in the 14-17 and 28 November 1921 issue of Al Fazl)

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