Ataul Mujeeb Rashed, Missionary-in-Charge UK
It has been 39 long years since my dear father, Hazrat “Khalid-e-Ahmadiyyat” Maulana Abul Ata Jalandharira passed away. However, his charming and sweet memories are still fresh as ever. I narrate, herewith, a few anecdotes based on my personal observations. (I humbly request the readers to remember my respected father in their prayers. May Allah continue to exalt his ranks in heaven and bless him with His unceasing pleasure! Amin.)
Relationship with Allah
By the grace of Allah the Almighty, my respected father was a saintly person blessed with divine revelations and visions. He had true dreams frequently, but he was so modest and humble by nature that he seldom mentioned these great blessings. More often, he preferred to keep his relationship with Allah to himself and that is the feature of the real divines. At times, I heard him mention these blessings but always with gratitude to Allah and His praise and not to highlight himself or to boast about it.
During the critical situation in 1953, every Ahmadi Muslim had become prayers personified. Once, talking about those circumstances, my father stated that news of dangerous plots by the enemies was being received daily. A central committee would deliberate on such news, discuss it and take necessary steps. He said, “This distressing and frightening news kept me worried and made me especially inclined to prayers. One day, I was in a state of immense anxiety and prayed fervently. Allah the Almighty comforted me with His revelation:
اِنَّا نُنَفِّسُ كُلَّ كُرْ بَةٍ مِنْ كُرُبَا تِ الدُّنْيَا
“‘We will blow away all the trials and tribulations of the world.’”
That is to say that all the hardships would vanish, and Allah would safeguard the Jamaat during those critical circumstances. History bears witness that this divine promise was fulfilled and continues to be fulfilled magnificently.
This reminds me of another faith-inspiring event that shows his relationship with Allah and His support. My father, Hazrat Maulana Abul Ata Sahib Jalandhrira used to tell us that while in Haifa, once, he was walking back to Kababir at night with an Ahmadi friend after a tabligh programme, and as they walked through the jungle, they felt as if there was some movement in the bush, but they didn’t pay much attention to it and moved on. After a little while, they heard two gunshots, one after the other from behind but they considered that to be a chance occurrence and did not pay much attention to it.
“Apparently, it was a trivial incident that we did not even remember. After quite some time, we found out what happened that night. It was a fateful journey that was completed safely under divine protection. There were some anti-Ahmadiyya people who had been trying for some time to kill me. That night, there were two young men who were armed with two new guns and were hiding in the bush and lying in wait for me. My friend and I were talking with each other and as we passed them by, one of them fired at me but his gun did not work. Then the other person tried to fire at me, but his gun did not work either. We were completely unaware of their assassination attempt.
“Under the help and protection of God Almighty, we moved on unharmed. After we had moved past them, both fired their new guns again and they operated perfectly well. There was absolutely nothing wrong with their guns. The fact of the matter is that when those guns were aimed at two mujahids of Islam, the dominant decree of the living God prevented them from firing!”
Trust in Allah
The late Sahibzada Mirza Khurshid Ahmad Sahib, then nazir-e-ala and amir-e-muqami, narrated to me that Hazrat Maulana Abul Ata Jalandharira once told him that Allah had blessed him with the revelation:
“I have named you mutawakkil” – the one who puts his trust in Allah.
Trust in Allah was a salient feature of my father’s entire life. Conviction in the existence of Allah the Almighty was well entrenched in his heart. He always regarded the Omnipotent and the Almighty God to be his first and last Helper. And like a true believer in one God, he would always incline to Allah and sought His help at every juncture. He did not care in the slightest for anyone other than Allah. He was truly and perfectly a servant of God who put his trust in Him alone.
We, his children, used to go to him requesting specific amounts of money for educational needs. He would put his hand in his pocket and give it to us straight away. However, if he did not have it, as was the case most often, he would tell us to come for it the next day. He was a waqif-e-zindagi (life devotee). He was not wealthy but was enriched by the belief and trust in Allah.
The following day, when we would approach him, he would put his hand in his pocket and give us the required amount with pleasure. We talked to each other, very often, saying, “He hasn’t got the money today, where will it come from tomorrow? Perhaps he has got a minting machine that he uses at night and the money is ready by the morning”.
Well, he did not have such a machine. What he did have was the supplications that he made during the darkness of night, the conviction and trust in Allah, and that was his most valuable asset.
A life full of love for Allah
My father lived a perfect and successful life, by the grace of Allah. Under the canopy of divine mercy and blessings, he lived a peaceful and spiritual life, replete with service for his faith, and filled with divine support. He was blessed with a nafs-e-mutma‘inna (soul at rest). He lived in this world, but was totally detached from it. He had gone cold on worldly matters, and the love of Allah dominated every aspect of his life. That state of mind took the edge off all hardships and adversities, and his heart was filled with the praise of Allah and gratitude to Him. That peaceful life was the abode of bliss and a living model of blessings of Allah.
He gave precedence to seeking the pleasure of Allah the Almighty over everything else in his life. Throughout his life, he taught verbally and practically that He was the only One Whose being, as well as His fidelity, was trustworthy.
Living faith in Allah was the central point of his life. Complete trust in the living and All-Sustaining God was his characteristic feature. He used to exhort to maintain a strong relationship with Allah for He is the most faithful and Who helps during every hardship, and never to rely on worldly means and worldly people.
Observance of prayers
Every true Ahmadi, by the grace of Allah, observes the prayers with all its requirements. This feature stands out in the life of my respected father. Our house, “Bait-ul-Ata”, in the Dar-ul-Rahmat Wasti neighbourhood of Rabwah, was located about mid-way between two mosques, Masjid Nusrat of Dar-ul-Rahmat Wasti and Masjid Nasir of Dar-ul-Rahmat Gharbi. My father and all of us used to offer our prayers in both of the mosques. As per my father’s directive, we had put up a board on the veranda with prayer timings of both the mosques written on it. We could join the congregational prayer in either of the mosques as was convenient at that time. His focus on prayers reminded us of the hadith that a believer’s heart remained attached to the mosque; after having offered one, he waited for the next prayer.
He loved to go to the mosque to offer his prayers. I remember that during summer, sometimes it was so hot that one would rather offer the prayers at home. Even during such extreme heat, my father used to cover his head with a towel, drink a glass of water and go to the mosque for prayers. Given such extreme heat, on several occasions, I heard him recite the verse:
“The fire of Hell is more intense in heat.”
Those who have experienced the extreme heat of Rabwah or a place like it can well imagine how difficult it is to go to the mosque during such heat and how much reward it would earn.
My father’s duroos-ul-Quran (lectures on the Quran) were very popular. It was very informative and interesting. His style of recitation of the Holy Quran was particularly attractive. In keeping with the short time, his translation and commentary were quite comprehensive.
A long time ago, with days of his dars during Ramadan approaching, I thought of getting his dars recorded. (Recording was not common those days.) I did not want my father to be aware of the recording so that it was recorded in his natural, familiar style. I requested respected Qazi Aziz Ahmad Sahib, in charge of the loud-speaker, to record the whole of the dars on one tape, in a way that my father did not get to know of it.
I acquired a tape for him and he recorded the whole dars, spanning over three or four days, directly from the amplifier. On the last day, I told my father that I had all his dars recorded. He said, “You should have told me of the recording beforehand. I even told a few jokes during the dars.” I said, “That’s why I did not tell you beforehand, we wanted to record it in your original style.” That recording has been preserved. The recitation parts of that recording have been audio-taped separately.
Proficiency in Arabic
Allah the Almighty had blessed my father with proficiency in Arabic. I heard him deliver short speeches at times and conversing with Arab friends in Arabic. He spoke fluently in a very relaxed manner.
During my stay in London, Arab Ahmadi visitors from Palestine, Syria, Egypt and Jordan frequently mentioned, among other things, my respected father’s proficiency in Arabic and his forceful style of speech. Allah the Almighty had granted him extraordinary capability in that field. In this context, I heard an interesting anecdote from him several times. He used to say that once, he happened to be in Lahore when he learned that there was a public conference going on in a big hall. The theme was that Arabic should be promoted in Pakistan, since it was an Islamic state. He went there immediately to participate, along with some friends and was greatly surprised as he listened to the proceedings. While talking about promoting the Arabic language, all the speakers, except the Arab guests, spoke in Urdu. Anyway, he listened. The speeches were very forceful.
Afterwards, before the president’s closing remarks, it was announced that if anyone among the audience would like to say something could do so. My father immediately sent a note with his name in it and was called straightaway.
He went up the stage and delivered an extempore speech in Arabic supporting the motion to promote Arabic in Pakistan. He gave references from the Quran and hadith and said that Arabic was the mother of all languages. The speech lasted for a few minutes; however, Allah granted him a special ability in this field.
His speech was followed by the closing remarks of the chairman, who was an Arab. About his speech, he said that he was so pleased to hear it that he could not find words to express it. He said, “When this Pakistani (unknown to me) came to the stage and started speaking in Arabic instead of Urdu, I asked myself, ‘How could this Pakistani speak in Arabic?’ I resolved to note his mistakes in Arabic and write them on paper. Therefore, I started to listen to him carefully. I am pleased to say that I could not pick up a single error in the whole of the speech by this non-Arab Pakistani and I failed miserably in my attempt to do so. I am surprised to hear such wonderful Arabic from a Pakistani. I congratulate all the Pakistanis from the core of my heart for having such talented and capable persons!”
My father would say that at the end of the conference, the attendees surrounded him shouting felicitations and gratitude with warm handshakes and hugs. Everyone was uttering these words: “Maulana! You have upheld the honour of Islam and Pakistanis today; thanks for your favour.” Then they enquired: “Maulana! Where did you come from?” “When I mentioned Rabwah, they would get embarrassed and slip away. That was a scene worth seeing. They would come up to me warmly and congratulate me; however, as soon as they heard ‘Rabwah’, they turned away out of their prejudice!”