Al Fazl, 10 May 1919
I went to the main part of the city today (22 April 1919). There I had the opportunity to meet and talk to an Arab who was well versed in Persian. We had a conversation for almost an hour. Drawing his attention towards the prophesies of the Holy Prophetsa, Iasked him, “Is it still not the time for the arrival of the Mahdi and the Promised Messiahas?”
I then explained to him almost every prophecy regarding the Messiah and Mahdi. Highlighting the root cause of the catastrophes and wars of the present age, I informed him about the claim of the Promised Messiahas.
Accompanying him were two persons belonging to Kurdistan. One of them raised the issue regarding the Mahdi’s reappearance that he would kill all the kuffar [infidels] and ensure the victory of Islam. I replied that he was completely mistaken because the Holy Quran openly stated:
لا اکراہ فی الدین
“There is no compulsion in religion.” So, taking this manifest guidance into account, I asked him how one could believe that the Mahdi would kill the kuffar. Moreover, I highlighted the fact that the Holy Prophetsa and his Companionsra never took up the sword to convert anybody to Islam by force. When the brutalities of the kuffar had exceeded certain bounds, the sword was drawn in defence.
Had the opponents refrained from carrying out extreme acts of cruelty, violence and inflicting pain on the Muslims, the Holy Prophetsa and his Companionsra would under no circumstances have drawn the sword. In fact, the principles of Islam are so firm, clear and easy to act on that every fortunate soul accepts them instantaneously.
Further, I laid emphasis on the fact that in the period of 1300 years after the exalted Seal of all Prophets, Muhammadsa, Islam was only able to spread in Arabia, Syria, Afghanistan and Egypt etc. while there are a number of other religious groups who are still thriving in most of these countries, and the majority of the world is deprived of this blessing [Islam]. I asked him, in his view, whether the coming Mahdi or Jesus, who would convert the entire world to Islam in a matter of days, would surpass the greatness of the Holy Prophetsa. (As Islam progressed gradually in the past, likewise it would progress in the latter days.)
I informed him about the progress and present condition of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, which was a source of delight for them all. Thereupon, the objector left the first allegation and presented another, saying that the Mahdi would appear soon but there was still time. I replied that in raising this allegation, he had made an even bigger mistake than the previous one because accepting his view, the denial of both the Holy Quran and the Hadith became inevitable.
It is stated in the Holy Quran that the appearance of a prophet is imperative before a universal catastrophe can occur. This is evident from the verse:
وَمَا کُنَّا مُعَذّبِیْنَ حَتّٰی نَبْعَثَ رَسُوْلًا
“We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.” I then said to the gentleman that he could not deny the fact that the world had witnessed a great catastrophe.
On the other hand, it is stated in a Hadith that a mujaddid [one who revives Islam] would appear at the turn of every century. This is clear from the Hadith:
إنّ اللّٰہ یَبعَث لہذہ الأمة علی رأس کل مِائة سَنةٍ من یجدّد لہا دینَہا
“Verily, Allah shall appoint for this Ummah, at the head of every century, a person to revive their faith for them.” (Sunan Abi Daud)
37 years of this century have passed, but so far, their Mahdi has not appeared. So, I explained, this would naturally cause frustration because this could be none other than Hazrat Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi.
The one who was to appear had descended, I informed them. “The decision rests in your hands whether to accept him or not.”
Then, I reminded him that the one who does not recognise the Imam of the age dies the death of ignorance.
In addition, we had a comprehensive discussion about the Jamaat and on the life and death of Jesusas, which resulted in securing a positive impact on this person regarding the Jamaat.
He now asks for Arabic books of the Promised Messiahas. Thus far, I have duly conveyed the message of the Jamaat to the successor of Hazrat Sheikh Abdul QadirGilanirh, a bookseller Numan Afandi and a mualim [teacher of theology] who has been reading the books I have been sending for a while. Alongside them, I have conveyed the message of the Jamaat to several other individuals through Numan the bookseller.
I also had the chance to converse with a scholar belonging to the town of Imam Azam [“The Great Imam” – title of Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifarh], who was left speechless and unable to give a reply to my questions. He was briefed in detail about the Jamaat.
Similarly, there are a number of other individuals to whom I have conveyed the rightful message. Allah will grant the strength to whoever He pleases from among them to enter the Jamaat. The members of the Jamaat should pray that Allah the Almighty grants success because mere words, without the prayers of fellow members, are not enough. Surely, Allah the Almighty will fulfil our tasks.
I request members of the Jamaat to pray for this humble one because the intensity of the hot and cold weather is extreme. May Allah the Almighty grant me peace and safety through His blessing and benevolence and save me from pain and suffering.
Wassalam. Syed Fateh Ali Shah, Baghdad
(Translated by Al Hakam)