Coming from every distant track: European tourist, Mr Dickson, visits Qadian

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Last Updated on 29th January 2021

A series looking at the high standard of morals of the Promised Messiahas when receiving visitors in Qadian

Awwab Saad Hayat, Al Hakam

It was common practice for the Promised Messiahas to go out for morning walks and in the evenings, he would remain in Masjid Mubarak where he would address his Companionsra and highlight various matters with regard to spirituality and faith.

Masjid Mubarak, Qadian. The Promised Messiahas would spend many evenings in this mosque where he would explain the true message of Islam. These evening sittings would prove to motivate his Companionsra in their spiritual and moral training

This proved to help the Companionsra immensely with their spiritual and moral training. Just as they benefited a great deal from the evening sittings in Masjid Mubarak, the morning walks too, in which Huzooras shared his knowledge and wisdom, aided and quenched a similar spiritual need.

On 17 November 1901, Hazrat Ahmadas, accompanied by his companion, Hazrat Mir Nasirra, went for his routine excursion. During the walk, Hazrat Mir Nasirra read aloud a lengthy essay he had written. Even after the Promised Messiahas had completed his walk, Hazrat Mir Nasirra had not finished reading the paper. Hazrat Ahmadas, rather than making his way back home, went to Hazrat Hakim Maulvi Nuruddin’sra clinic where he continued to listen.

When Hazrat Mir Nasirra finished reading his essay, the Promised Messiahas began explaining various matters that were addressed in the piece. When Huzooras began elaborating on a certain matter, a European tourist entered the clinic and greeted everyone by saying salaam. As the European gentlemen sat down, [Hazrat] Nawab Khan[ra] of Gujrat enquired, “Where are you from?”

The following conversation has been recorded in Malfuzat (Vol. 1, pp. 580-582):

European: I am a tourist.

[Hazrat] Nawab Khan[ra]: From which country?

European: I do not understand Urdu fluently; I am from England.

Meanwhile, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra entered [the clinic]. He started translating [the discussion] for the Promised Messiahas and thus, a conversation ensued between the Promised Messiahas and the European gentlemen.

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahib Portrait
Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra

Hazrat Ahmadas: Where have you come from?

European: From Kashmir; I made my way to Kullu and from there, I arrived here.

Hazrat Ahmadas: Where are you originally from?

European: England. I am a tourist; I have also visited Arabia and Karbala. From here, I shall travel to Egypt, Algeria, Carthage and then Sudan.

Hazrat Ahmadas: Why did you decide to make this journey?

European: Sightseeing and travelling.

Hazrat Ahmadas: Are you travelling as a priest?

European: No, not at all.

Hazrat Ahmadas: Are you more interested in religious affairs, secular knowledge or political affairs?

European: I am simply travelling the world so that my heart may find comfort.

Hazrat Ahmadas: You must have some purpose for your journey?

European: No significant purpose.

Hazrat Ahmadas: Are you a Freemason?

European: I do not believe in their doctrine. I am my own master and represent only myself. I am a friend to all and an enemy to none.

Hazrat Ahmadas: What is your name?

European: DD Dickson.

Hazrat Ahmadas: Which Christian sect do you belong to?

DD Dickson (formerly referred to as the “European”): I am not bound to any particular sect. My religion [which I follow] is rather unique. There is no religion in the world void of divine truths. Thus I take all truths from all such religions and adhere to a religion of my own.

Hazrat Ahmadas: If you do not belong to any religion, then this selection of divine truths [which you talk about] ought to be a religion too.

DD Dickson: Yes, if you desire to recognise it as a religion, then my religion is a collection of various divine truths.

Hazrat Ahmadas: I see. Is this religion, which you have adopted by selecting various teachings from other faiths, free from flaws or is there another religion which, in your view, is completely free from faults?

DD Dickson: The combination of religions which I follow is suitable to educated people and is in accord with the example which the Messiah has given of a wealthy man who gave his servants some money. One of those servants invested it and made good use of it, while the other just set it aside. So if we make good use of what God has provided us, He is pleased and if we do not utilise it, He is displeased.

Hazrat Ahmadas: Will you be staying here a few days so that you may benefit from our teachings?

DD Dickson: I wish to leave after one day. At most, I can only stay until tomorrow.

Hazrat Ahmadas: Are you not able to stay back for a week?

DD Dickson: No, I cannot unfortunately. Mr Kennedy, Deputy Commissioner of Police, will be waiting for me in Batala. I had already told him to come today; however, I will go tomorrow.

Hazrat Ahmadas: If you are not an employee and you are a master of your own self and [the purpose of] your visit was for sightseeing alone, then why are you not able to stay for a week?

DD Dickson: This is true. However, I wish to see the entire world. If I remain here, I am afraid that a lot of that which my heart desires will hold me back.

Hazrat Ahmadas: You appear to be a decent, sensible and smart gentleman. How wonderful it would be if you stayed back for a week and [tried to] understand our view. If you so desire [and change your mind] then you can write to [Mr Kennedy] and inform him.

DD Dickson: I am extremely grateful. However, I must apologise as I can only remain for a day.

Following this discussion, Mr Dickson was given the Gol Kamra (a room which served as a guest house in Qadian) to stay and take rest. The Promised Messiah a s appointed Hazrat Sheikh Masihullahra to prepare special food for the guest as he had some experience of cooking Western-style dishes.

The Gol Kamra (next to the staircase leading up to Masjid Mubarak) was a room that served as a guest house in Qadian during the time of the Promised Messiahas

Hazrat Sheikh Masihullahra was among the 313 Companionsra of the Promised Messiahra. He was originally from Uttar Pradesh, Bharat, a state in northern India.

Later that day, Mr Dickson was shown Madrasa Talim-ul-Islam. There, in the school’s library, he came across the book, The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ, by Nicolas Notovitch and expressed his desire to read it.

Mr Dickson made his way back to the Gol Kamra where he found Hazrat Dr Khalifa Rashiduddinra, Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib and Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra and began conversing with them.

Hazrat Dr Khalifa Rashiduddinra

They began expounding upon the various teachings of Islam Ahmadiyyat. They told him about Prophet Jesus’as grave in Kashmir and explained that Arabic was the mother of all tongues.

After the Asr prayer, Mr Dickson took three photos of the Promised Messiahas – one portrait photo of Huzooras and two photos of him with his Companionsra (these photos are yet to be discovered).

The following day, in the morning, as Mr Dickson got ready to depart for Batala, the Promised Messiahas also accompanied him so that he may see him off.

Whilst addressing Mr Dickson, the Promised Messiahas once again expressed his desire for him to remain for a week so that he may enlighten and show him the spiritual philosophy of Islam which God had granted him. Hazrat Ahmadas began to explain various matters relating to religion.

Huzooras talked about the purpose of his advent, the true philosophy of abstaining from sin, his personal experience with God, the reality of divine reward and punishment and the truth behind the delights of Paradise.

Hazrat Ahmadas also explained the importance of surrounding oneself around pious people. Huzooras, expounding upon the reason of his advent, said that prophets of God are sent to the world to help man understand his Creator and save him from following a path which ultimately leads one to Hell and committing sin.

Whilst explaining how one can refrain from sin, the Promised Messiahas said that it is essential that one develops a hatred for sin itself. One must understand the damage and loss that comes with sins and believe in a Powerful, Higher Being Who is displeased when man commits sin.

Hazrat Ahmadas added that for one to truly adopt and acquire firm faith in God, it is crucial that one surrounds himself with pious men who have themselves witnessed God. By doing this, one is able to clean the malice hidden inside which helps ignite a spiritual war between good and evil within oneself.

Huzooras further stated that by travelling throughout the world, man is able to reach the resolution that there must be a Creator; however, through following the Promised Messiah, Huzooras said, one can attain something far greater.

Mr Dickson was very impressed by the hospitality. He witnessed high moral values and also witnessed a massive presence of learned scholars of a vast range of subjects in the small hamlet of Qadian.

Upon reaching the canal bridge, Huzooras saw him off and bade him farewell.

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