Coming from every distant track: Haji Musa Bigiev, ‘Luther of Islam’ and Al-Ustaz Abdul Aziz visit Qadian


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
Qadian Library
The Jamaat’s Library in Qadian | Photo credit:

The study of Volume 7 of Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat brings to light that in April 1939, two famous scholars of the Islamic world visited Qadian, the birthplace of Ahmadiyyat: Haji Musa Jarallah and Al-Ustaz Abdul Aziz, the author and editor of the monthly magazine Rabitah Islamiya Damascus.

During this stay, Allamah Musa Jarallah Sahib, known as “Musa Bigiev”, was not only very happy to see rare books in the local institutions of Qadian, especially the central library, but he was also deeply influenced by the beliefs and teachings of the Ahmadiyya Community. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 7, p. 619)

In the description of this trip,  Al Fazl, in its 14 April 1939 issue, wrote about this stay at Qadian. Al Fazl reported that on 12 April, Allamah Haji Musa Jarallah, a famous Turkish leader, who had been famous in the Islamic world for almost forty years till then, visited Qadian. He was an expert in many languages and the author of several Arabic and Turkish books. He had been visiting India for some time during his travels. 

The article went on to say that after he had reached Lahore (on 11 April), he came to Qadian. He was very delighted to see rare books in the Jamaat’s central library. A tea party was held in the guests’ honour, to which local newspaper writers, Maulvi Abdul Mughni Khan Sahib, and some other Companionsra were also invited. 

First, photographs were taken of Musa Bigiev Sahib along with some other esteemed members, then they were introduced to each other, after which tea was served. 

During this time, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra and Sheikh Mahmud Ahmad Irfani Sahib spoke with the guest in Arabic. Musa Bigiev Sahib described the current state of Muslims in Russia. Companionsra who were well-versed in Javanese and the languages of Turkestan and Japan spoke and expressed their delight at the arrival of the guest. 

Sheikh Mahmud Ahmad Irfani Sahib gave a short speech in Arabic in which he expressed his happiness at the arrival of the distinguished guests and said that a long time ago, when Qadian held no significance, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah, said that God told him that people would travel and come to Qadian from far distances. He said that he had seen this prophecy fulfilled many times and said that it was once again being fulfilled with the coming of Musa Bigiev Sahib. For this reason, he said, their arrival was a source of great joy and happiness.

Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra narrated the incident in Arabic when a tourist from America came to Qadian during the life of the Promised Messiahas. When he met the Promised Messiahas, he took out his notebook and showed that he had noted, while leaving America, that he would meet the person who claimed prophethood in Qadian. He said to Huzooras that, today he got the opportunity to meet him. The Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, said that his coming to Qadian was also proof of his truthfulness. Because God had informed him many years before that people would come and visit Qadian from far away. 

Haji Sahib listened to the entire conversation with great interest and expressed his desire to attain the Arabic, Urdu, and English literature of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. (Al Fazl, 14 April 1939, p. 2)

The desire of this honourable guest to acquire books in other languages, including Urdu, may seem a little strange. Upon further research, it is revealed that Musa Bigiev Sahib was born in 1878 to a family from Turkestan and settled in the Russian region of Kazan. His mother, Fatima, was the daughter of a local imam and knew Arabic.

Musa Jarallah, who passed away in Cairo, Egypt, in 1949, was a religious scholar with a special reputation as the author of several books and as a translator. In addition to his native city, Kazan, he acquired knowledge from the great pedagogies located in the centres of knowledge and grace in cities such as Bukhara, Istanbul, and Cairo. This religious scholar, who was completely forgotten in the turmoil of the Russian Revolution, had the privilege of translating various books of Islamic sciences as well as the Holy Quran into the Tatar language. He also translated the collection of poetry of famous Iranian poet Khawaja Shamsuddin Hafiz Shirazi – known as “Hafiz” – Dewan-e Hafiz, in the Tatar language. Musa Jarallah is also called the “Luther of Islam” by some due to some of his views and his critical tendencies. He was also blessed to stay in the Holy Land of Mecca for a long time and perform Hajj. Musa Jarallah also learned the Sanskrit language and studied the Mahabharata during his stay in India.

In regard to this honourable guest, the well-known writer and religious scholar of the Urdu language, who earned a good reputation in biographical writing, Syed Sulaiman  Nadvi, has written in one of his articles, Hindustan mein Hindustani: “In Mecca, I met Musa Jarallah, a scholar from Moscow, who used to read the Urdu work, Ariz al-Quran from Indians.”

Maulvi Rais Ahmad Jafari (1912-1968), who was a prominent Urdu writer, journalist, and historian, has written a two-page introduction about this honourable guest, Haji Musa Jarallah, in his famous book Deed Shuneed. According to this, Haji Musa Jarallah was a Russian scholar who was forced to emigrate after the Russian Revolution. He was a man of taqwa and piety, a scholar of knowledge, of whom not only Russia but also the Muslim world was proud. The Russian Revolution changed his world. He was forced to leave his homeland and came to India as a refugee. (Deed Shuneed, Karachi, 1897, p. 49)

With reference to the further engagements of Musa Bigiev Sahib, Al Fazl writes in the report under Madinatul-Masih, dated 13 April that during the tea reception for the honourable guest, some missionaries from Europe, America, and Arab countries were also present on this occasion. Maulvi Abul Ata Sahib Jalandhrira briefly mentioned the beliefs of the Jamaat and the supreme goals of the Promised Messiah. Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra and Maulvi Muhammad Salim Sahib also spoke in Arabic. (Al Fazl, 15 April 1939, p. 1)

Further, the following information was recorded in Al Fazl, on 16 April 1939, Hazrat Syed Zainul Abidin Waliullah Shahra, who was presiding over the tea gathering, gave a speech and said that life was fickle and would end one day, therefore, he said, there was happiness in responding to God’s call. The gathering ended with silent prayer.

Maulana Dost Mohammad Shahid Sahib, the author of Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, has analysed that Haji Musa Jarallah learned a lot from this trip to Qadian and was deeply influenced by the beliefs and teachings of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. He further writes that Musa Jarallah published a book Huruf Awa’il al-Su’ar (حروف‭ ‬اوائل‭ ‬السؤر) in February 1942, three years after his visit to Qadian. In this, he wrote the commentary of Surah al-Jumuah, verse 4, that the meaning of this verse was that God raised a messenger from among the unlettered people. He will also raise a messenger among others from among those who have not yet joined them.

Similarly, in the same book, Allama Musa Jarallah Sahib wrote in support of the theory of the Miraj held by the Ahmadiyya Jamaat.

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