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
In the city of Calcutta, British India, an All-India Muslim Educational Conference was held under the presidency of Nawab Kamal Yar Jung Bahadur, a leading voice for Muslims at the time. During the aforementioned conference, an important decision was made to form a commission tasked with submitting a report on how to carry out educational reforms for the Muslim population living in the subcontinent.
On 29 December 1939, in his presidential address at the 52nd annual session of the All-India Muslim Educational Conference held in Calcutta, Nawab Kamal Yar Jung Bahadur said:
“This conference, in my opinion, should immediately formulate its plans on the kind of education that would be appropriate for our children in view of the circumstances in which we find ourselves surrounded in this country.” (Khutba Sadarat, Nawab Kamal Yar Jung, Azim Steam Press, Hyderabad Deccan, p. 6)
He further added:
“The task of forming a system of education for the achievement of the aforementioned objectives should be entrusted to a group of experts in education. For example, a small committee of three members whose duty would be to visit different parts of the country, consult with local experts in education and economics at each centre, and submit their thoughts.” (Ibid.)
Thus, a couple of months later, in February 1940, a decision was made to conduct a detailed survey of Muslim institutions in India. A group was formed for this purpose, consisting of the following members:
1. Sir Azizul Haq, speaker of the Bengal legislative assembly and vice-chancellor of Calcutta University (Chairperson)
2. Maulana Haji Abu al-Hasan, MA, IAS (Retired), former Director of Public Instruction, Jammu and Kashmir State
3. Maulana K. Ali Afzal, BSc (Edinburgh), Barrister-at-Law, Secretary, Bengal Legislative Assembly
4. Mr Baqa Muhammad Khan, Chief Inspector of Schools, Bahawalpur State
5. Maulana Asadul Haq, MA, Personal Assistant to the Chairman
In accordance with the aforementioned decision, the committee members inspected Muslim institutions in South India for three months, focusing on how religious and Islamic education was being imparted in different madrasas.
On 22 September 1940, the educational delegation arrived in North India for two months. After visiting various Islamic schools in the province, they arrived in Qadian – the abode of peace – on 23 October 1940, at 8:30 pm on the night train.
The committee’s report includes the published itinerary of the tour, which was completed with the cooperation of the Railways. The itinerary states:
‘‘23 October, Wednesday: Departure from Batala at 8:00 pm
“23 October, Wednesday: Arrival in Qadian at 8:23 pm
“25 October, Friday: Departure from Qadian at 5:50 am
“24 October, Friday: Arrival in Batala at 6:15 am’’ (Report of the Kamal Yar Jung Education Committee, p. 322, indianculture.gov.in)
During their brief stay in Qadian, the committee not only closely studied the madrasas but also had the chance of meeting Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra, and was very impressed.
In the presence of Maulana Haji Abu al-Hasan Sahib MA, Khan Bahadur Maulana Azizul Haq Sahib, the chairman of the committee, addressed the representative of Al Fazl, Master Muhammad Ibrahim Sahib BA:
“We have achieved significant success in our objective of studying the educational system of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. Upon engaging in conversation with many friends, we have heard their thoughts, which have greatly influenced our own. Our visit to Qadian provided us with insights and experience. Consequently, we have come to the conclusion that we are full of feelings of appreciation and respect.”
With regard to their meeting with Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, they said, “We had a meeting with the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, lasting about an hour, during which we listened to his views. These insights are extremely valuable for the objective of our committee; we have gained much from them and our hearts are genuinely filled with praise and appreciation for him.” (Al Fazl, 27 October 1940, p. 5)
Then, regarding the Jamaat, they expressed:
“We have carefully studied the Jamaat’s system, and it is clear that it is rendering valuable service to Islam. Despite disagreements among some Muslims regarding your beliefs, your work is truly commendable and holds great value for Islam.” (Ibid.)
In short, this committee not only included Qadian in the list of renowned educational institutions in the provinces, states, cities, and throughout India, but also wrote in its report:
“The Islamic High School at Qadian is teaching theology all through according to their tenets. Theology teaching is an essential part of the curriculum and is better organised. Beginning from the 5th class, the Holy Quran’s translation with brief commentary is finished in the 10th grade, and to a certain extent, Hadith is taught. Lectures and discourses are also given from time to time on topics of Islamic interest.” (Report of the Kamal Yar Jung Education Committee, p. 194)
Without a doubt, the educational system that was established and originated from the Madrasa Talim-ul-Islam [lit. ‘Education of Islam’], founded by the Promised Messiahas, has proven itself to be the genuine form of “education of Islam”. As an illustration of the superiority of this Ahmadiyya educational system, we present the following brief incident:
In October 1910, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira sent a delegation of Ahmadi missionaries on a tour of Uttar Pradesh. Following successful lectures at the conferences in Kanpur and Etawah, the aforementioned delegation arrived in Lucknow, where they met with Maulana Shibli Nomani, the founder of Darul Uloom Nadwah. Maulana Shibli Nomani was very kind, and in addition to other aspects, he said:
“I have been pondering over a challenging and significant issue for a while now, especially in the past six months. However, I’m struggling to see what the best course of action is. If we focus solely on teaching students Arabic sciences, the longstanding issues of lethargy, weakness, and lack of motivation that affect Muslims today may persist. On the other hand, introducing even a small drop of Western sciences seems to lead them to completely abandon their religion. We are contemplating as to what steps we should take. However, I have observed a commendable quality in your Jamaat—its members are not only educated in English but also remain fully committed to their religion.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 3, pp. 327-328)