100 Years Ago… – The Governor of Punjab invites Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II at the reception ceremony of the Prince of Wales

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The Review of Religions [English], March, April & May, 1922

Qadian Dar-ul-Aman

At the reception of His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, an express invitation was extended from His Excellency, the Governor of the Punjab, to His Holiness, the Khalifatul Masih [IIra]. Though it is not his habit to take part in such public ceremonies, but keeping in view the fact that non-cooperation was in the air and that loyalty to the throne and the British Government was an article of faith with him and his following, he set out for Lahore on 23 February [1922], lest abstention at such a juncture might be construed as in anyway lending countenance to this nefarious movement. He was accompanied by Sahibzada Mirza Sharif Ahmad, Maulvi Rahim Bakhsh MA, and Ch Fateh Mohammad Sayal MA.

At Lahore, he [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih] put up with Ch Zafarulla Khan BA (Bar-at-Law) and most of the people who had flocked to the latter place on hearing of his visit, were accommodated in the Ahmadiyya Hostel. 

The Lahore Ahmadiyya Anjuman is to be congratulated on the splendid public spirit with which they met the board and lodging expenses of all the guests whom a conservative estimate puts at eight hundred. Ch Zafarulla Khan, the energetic Ameer and president is to be specially congratulated for his bearing a lion’s share of the expenses out of his own pocket. 

M Sher Ali who had been specially deputed to Bombay for the printing of the nice little book to be presented to His Royal Highness as well as the making of the silver casket in which it was to be presented reached Lahore in due time to be present at the public reception that was to be accorded to the Prince. 

An ordinary sightseer of a new place generally passes his time in lolling about the streets or visiting the various sights with which Lahore abounds, but not so with our leader. His was a religious duty. The ceremony being over, he lost no time in addressing various meetings of the Ahmadi students, the Ahmadiyya community of Lahore, the Ahmadiyya Community that had assembled at Lahore from various parts of the province, and a public meeting as well. Moreover, he gave long and extended interviews to some of the literati of Lahore, foremost among whom were Mr Roy, Principal Dyal Singh College, Messrs. Abdul Qadir and Ghulam Abbas, of the Islamia College, Lahore, and Mr. Khalilur Rahman, Supdt. NWR Office Lahore. Some of these meetings extended over six hours and he had to sit up till late in the night. However, he never felt tired; it was all a labour of love. 

In his public lecture, he [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih] dealt with the question of spiritual regeneration which he exhaustively dealt with. He passed in review the various theories held by different schools of thought in connection with the problem of soul and the way how its regeneration can be brought about. After exposing the absurdity and defective nature of all such beliefs, he passed on to the Islamic view-point and convincingly established the irrefragable nature of this view. As a finishing touch to his masterly review of all this he showed that Islam was the only living religion, for all other religions were devoid of the signs of life and in support of the vitality of the Islamic belief he held forth the ever-recurring phenomena of the raising up of heavenly reformers within the fold of Islam and cited the instance of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad[as] of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, and the messenger of the Latter Days, whose miracles and writings have established the proof of the truth of Islamic doctrines beyond the shadow of a doubt. 

It would only be fitting if we added that the Prince’s reception was a complete success. We would not be guilty of exaggeration if we say that it was a marked, splendid and unparalleled success, for if one can judge from appearances the concourses that gathered on various occasions, one could say with confidence that the whole of Lahore has turned out to give a hearty welcome to the distinguished visitor, the heir to a worldwide empire.

(Transcribed by Al Hakam from the original in The Review of Religions, March, April & May, 1922)

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