A series looking at the high standard of morals of the Promised Messiahas, his Khulafa and the hospitality of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community when receiving visitors
Awwab Saad Hayat, Al Hakam
Oscar Brunler was born on 12 May 1892. His father was a renowned German inventor who later settled in Brussels, Belgium. Brunler studied at London University, graduating with an engineering degree in 1914. Brunler was a multifaceted genius, with 49 patents accredited to his name. He gained prominence for two particular patents:
The Brunler Flame, a distinctive flame employed for underwater welding, earned him the Bessemer Prize in physics in 1926.
A specialised process designed to impart shine to steel.
After gaining his engineering degree, Brunler pursued a career in medicine, enrolling at the prestigious Sorbonne Medical School in France. He received his medical degree in 1931 and subsequently returned to London to commence his practice. (Journey of Hope by Barbara Colby, 2011, Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC, pp. 104-106)
One of Brunler’s significant but controversial works was the development of a system to quantitatively measure radiation from an individual’s body, linking it to their consciousness states.
Dr Brunler also measured the “radiation waves” on the Shroud of Turin, which he concluded exhibited a radiation level of 1050° biometric, the highest he ever recorded. This shroud, believed to be the burial cloth of Jesusas, bears a semi-photographic imprint of a man with wounds matching New Testament descriptions. (The Ultimate Reality by Joseph H. Cater, Vol. 2, p. 488)
Brunler passed away in Santa Barbara, California, on 1 August 1952. (Facts on File Yearbook, Vol. 12, 1953, Facts on File News Services, p. 251)
In 1946, Dr Oscar Brunler, travelled thousands of miles from Europe to reach the town of Qadian in the state of Punjab, British India, during the Jalsa Salana of Qadian.
Visit to Qadian
Dr Brunler had the opportunity to visit various well-known places in India during his multiple visits. However, based on his observations, he would say: “Among all the places he visited, the trip to Qadian had an enduring impact on his mind, as the Jalsa was truly one-of-a-kind in the world.” (Tehdis-e-Nemat , p. 468)
Friendship between Dr Oscar Brunler and Hazrat Sir Zafrulla Khanra
Oscar Brunler was a close friend of Hazrat Chaudhry Sir Zafrulla Khanra during his student days in England. In November 1911, Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khanra first met this friend outside the college in London. At that time, Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khanra was a law student, while this German fellow was pursuing an education in engineering.
Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khanra speaks of his friend with great admiration, saying that his friendship and companionship were a blessing for him. During his stay in England, he proved to be a very compassionate brother, says Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khanra. “The bond of friendship forged in 1911 lasted until the end – a little more than forty years.” (Ibid., p. 53)
After their student days, both friends continued to maintain contact even after returning to India. For example, Chaudhry Sahibra writes that a year after the end of the First World War, the last communication from him had come from Brussels in August 1914, just before he was set to join his regiment in Germany. “I had been deeply concerned about his safety and well-being throughout the war and had prayed for him. In his letter, he revealed the tragic loss of his parents and the family’s wealth, glory, and grandeur. He had been wounded in battle with a fractured knee that shortened one of his legs but didn’t hinder his movements. He had shown remarkable gallantry and faced the hardships of the war with unwavering courage.” (Ibid., 215)
After completing his student days, Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khanra returned to India in 1914. Then, in 1924, he embarked on his first trip to Europe. According to his own writings, one significant purpose of this journey was to reunite with his dear friend once again.
During Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan’sra stay in Germany, when he was appointed to assist in accommodation and other arrangements for Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’sra historic trip to Europe in 1924, Oscar also obtained permission from the concerned authorities to travel to London and be part of the arrangements during Huzoor’sra stay. Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khanra writes, “Oscar Brunler and I had the privilege of joining the entourage in London.” (Ibid., p. 217)
During the Second World War, Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khanra undertook a difficult and perilous journey to meet his dear friend, when he was under protective detention owing to the Second World War scenario, which surprised everyone. (For details, see Tehdis-e-Nemat, pp. 464-468)
In the hot summer of 1940, Dr Oscar Bernler had trouble with his eyes, but two years later, his eyesight was restored. After his recovery, he arranged his stay in London. Afterwards, whenever Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khanra had the opportunity to travel to London, he would stay with him. His scientific research eventually led Dr Bernler to the United States, where he settled in Los Angeles.
During his research, he became ill. Later, he wrote to Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khanra that he had almost recovered and had come to Santa Barbara for rest and recuperation. However, a few days later, Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khanra received news that a sudden weakness had returned and he had passed away.
Oscar Brunler’s presentation in Qadian in the presence of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra
The aforementioned trip of Dr Oscar Brunler to Qadian in 1946 was further graced with another significant engagement, during which he presented his research article. This session was held in the presence and under the presidency of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra at the Mubarak Mosque after the Maghrib prayer. As reported in Al Fazl, on 25 December, following the recitation of the Holy Quran, Hazrat Chaudhry Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khanra introduced Dr Oscar Brunler to the attendees. After the introduction, Dr Brunler read an academic article on the subject of religion and science. He stated that if one ponders on the system of the universe, it becomes evident that specific laws of nature are working in everything, big or small. Science helps us understand the properties of material substances, whereas religion guides us in ethics and spirituality.
Dr Brunler explained explicitly that brains continuously emit certain types of waves that can be measured. The strength of these waves is directly related to human capability. Dr Brunler also mentioned some details about the philosophy of prayers and their characteristics. He stated that a professor in France had proven that when a person prays in silence, specific waves are emitted from their body, which were successfully captured by the said professor.
After the conclusion of the article, the opportunity was given to ask questions, and Abdus Salam Sahib Akhtar, Malik Bashir Ahmad Sahib, and Dr Abdul Ahad Sahib participated in the discussion. Dr Abdul Ahad Sahib emphasised that since souls are not material things, the waves emitted during prayers cannot be material either. And if these waves are not material, they questioned how they could be measured.
In the end, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra stated that the subject of the waves emitted during prayers from the soul is debatable. Nevertheless, denying the effects of these waves cannot be justified. Expectations from each person are based on their capabilities and inner capacity, and each individual is accountable to Allah according to their abilities. (Al Fazl, 28 December 1946)
According to Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, it is evident that the establishment of the Majlis-e-Mazhab-o-Science at the Talim-ul-Islam College in Qadian and the establishment and habit of reading scientific and research articles through this forum were a result of the excellent guidance of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. As mentioned in the report above, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra himself would graciously preside over such sessions, enlivening them with his unique presence and providing invaluable guidance. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 9, p. 66)
Oscar’s connection with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira via Sir Zafrulla Khanra
During these events, we find that Oscar had the opportunity to be present and experience the kindness of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra in 1924 and 1946. Similarly, he also received special blessings from Hazrat Hakeem Maulvi Nur-ud-Din, Khalifatul Masih Ira, through the mediation of his friend, Hazrat Chaudhry Sir Zafrulla Khanra.
Hazrat Chaudhry Sir Zafrulla Khanra refers to an incident where Oscar Brunler mentioned that he was feeling a burden on his nerves, which affected his ability to study with full focus and caused sleep disturbances. He sought Hazrat Khalifatul Masih’s Ira help, and in response, Huzoorra kindly provided him with some instructions. One of the instructions that he distinctly remembered was to avoid reading with the light directly facing him but rather sit in such a way that the light falls on the paper from the left shoulder. Additionally, he might have been advised not to eat a full meal or sleep on an empty stomach at night.
After this incident, there was a slight negligence on my part in not informing Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira about Dr Brunler’s updated condition. In response, Huzoorra personally sent a letter of acknowledgement in his own handwriting, inquiring, “What happened to your German friend?” (Tehdis-e-Nemat , p. 110)