Coming from every distant track: Lala Keshudas, Tehsildar of Batala, visits Qadian


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

Awwab Saad Hayat, Al Hakam

Aqsa Mosque
Old photo of Masjid Aqsa, Qadian

On 21 October 1899, Lala Keshudas Sahib, Tehsildar (revenue officer) of Batala, happened to visit Qadian. Upon arrival, he expressed his desire to meet Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiahas. His desire to meet the Promised Messiahas displayed his morals and character. Lala Keshudas Sahib, as he himself stated during the meeting, was very fond of meeting holy and pious men. In any case, his request was accepted and Hazrat Ahmadas said to meet him after Maghrib prayers as it was Friday. 

Lala Keshudas Sahib expressed his desire to participate in Jumuah. Thus, with permission, he went to Masjid Aqsa and listened attentively till the end of the sermon. In the sermon, Hazrat Hakim Maulvi Nuruddinra explained the first ruku of Surah al-Dahr, which was published in Al Hakam in those days.

Lala Keshudas Sahib left during the prayers and as promised, in the evening, he visited Masjid Mubarak and sat with and enjoyed the holy company of Hazrat Ahmadas till late at night. The editor of Al Hakam, Hazrat Sheikh Yaqub Ali Irfanira took note of what Hazrat Ahmadas said on this occasion, which was then published in Al Hakam, on 9 August 1900 (pp. 3-4). The English translation of this has been published in Malfuzat, volume 2 (English):

“He [Lala Keshudas Sahib] submitted to His Holiness that he was very fond of visiting holy men and it was due to this very desire that he had come to visit the Promised Messiahas. His Holiness said: ‘There is no doubt that if you did not possess a love for those filled with goodwill, why would you come to visit me? For why would a worldly man bother to visit someone who sits secluded in a corner away from the rest of the world? This requires an affinity of natures.

“‘The fact of the matter is that when man is a mortal being, when there is no telling when death will arrive, and when life is transitory, how crucial it is for him to become constantly engaged in seeking his own reformation and prosperity. However, I observe that the people of the world are so obsessed with their own preoccupations, that they are not the least concerned or worried for the hereafter. They are becoming so indifferent towards God Almighty, that it is as if He did not exist at all. In these circumstances, when the state of the world is becoming so weak in faith, Allah the Exalted has appointed me and sent me so that I may show them the path which leads to a living belief in the Living God.

“‘As is the general law of God, many people who are deprived of good nature and guidance, who do not fear God and are bereft of a sense of justice, have declared me to be false and have named me a liar. They left no stone unturned in causing me grief and strove to harm me. They issued edicts of disbelief against me so that the Muslims would think ill of me and submitted false reports about me to the government to incite the authorities against me. They brought forth false lawsuits against me, cursed me and conspired to kill me. In short, what did they not do? But my God stands by my side at all times. He informed me in advance of their every scheme and revealed to me the final end of each. Ultimately, everything transpired exactly as God had informed me long ago.

“‘However, there are those who have been blessed with a good nature, fear of God and the light of faith; those who recognised me and who flocked around me to partake of that light, which God has conferred upon me in the form of enlightenment and divine insight. These people include distinguished scholars, graduates, lawyers, doctors, honourable government officials, merchants, landlords and common people as well.

“‘It is unfortunate that our unworthy opponents cannot even bring themselves to at least listen calmly to the truth that I present. For they are empty of such lofty morals. Otherwise, devotion to the truth demands the following:

مرد‭ ‬باید‭ ‬كہ‭ ‬گیرد‭ ‬اندر‭ ‬گوش‭ ‬گر‭ ‬نوشت‭ ‬ست‭ ‬پند‭ ‬بر‭ ‬دیوار

“‘A man ought to put into his ear; a piece of advice, even if written on a wall.’

The religion of truth and God’s Unity

“‘In this age, people express a strong aversion when they hear the word “religion” and to accept the true religion is as if they were entering the jaws of death. A true religion is one to which the “hidden law” testifies as well. For example, we put forth the concept presented by Islam known as the Unity of God, and claim that this is the true teaching of the Divine. This is because the teaching instilled in the very disposition of man is that of God’s Unity. A view of nature also bears testimony to this effect. God Almighty has made His creation individually distinct, but pulls them to a unified centre, which demonstrates that it was Unity that was always intended. If one releases a droplet of water, they will see that it is spherical in form. The moon, sun and all the celestial bodies are round, and the spherical form necessitates oneness.’


“‘On this occasion, I leave aside the discussion of countless gods because this concept is a clearly absurd and senseless belief. For if there were innumerable gods, as some believe, this would create havoc in the world. However, I would like to mention the Trinity. I have demonstrated from the phenomenon observed in nature that God is One. Now, if God were three, as the Christians assert, God forbid, water, flames of fire, and the bodies in heaven and earth ought to have been triangular, so that the universe would bear witness to the Trinity. The light of the heart can never attest to the concept of Trinity. When Christian priests are asked whether people would be judged by belief in Trinity or Unity, in places where the Gospels have not reached, they have openly conceded that such people will be judged on their belief in God’s Unity. In fact, Dr Pfander has put this admission to writing in his book. Now, in the presence of this clear testimony, I cannot understand why anyone would advocate belief in the doctrine of Trinity. Not to mention that these three gods are strange indeed, for each of them has different duties. In other words, each God in itself is deficient and incomplete, and each god completes the other.’

The divinity of Christ

“‘Furthermore, do not even speak of the Messiah who is deified. His entire life was spent in suspense and anxiety. This son of Adam had no place to lay his head. He was unable to provide any complete example to follow in the way of morality. The teaching he left behind is so insufficient and inadequate that an individual who acts upon this teaching falls to a very low state. How can someone who cries over his own helplessness grant power and honour to anyone else? How can such a one hear the supplications of others, when his own cries and lamentations made throughout the night went in vain? A person who cried and shrieked “Eloieloilama sabachthani,” meaning, “O God! O God! Why hast thou forsaken me?” yet he was not heard. And to crown this all off, ultimately, the Jews seized him and hung him on the cross, and in light of their own doctrine, established that he was accursed. Even the Christians themselves consider him to be accursed; their justification is that he took this curse upon himself for their sake.

“‘In actuality, “curse” is something which blackens a person from within; in turn, a man is distanced from God, and God is distanced from him, as if the individual in question no longer holds a relationship with God whatsoever. This is why Satan is also known as the Accursed. Now, what is a Christian left with after they accept this curse and admit that the Messiah was an accursed man? The fact of the matter is that nothing remains if one accepts this curse. The Christians have no choice but to make the best of this bad bargain, as it were. And so, to what extent should one speak of the beliefs held by these people? It is Islam that has brought the truth. Furthermore, God Almighty has appointed me to show the light possessed by Islam to those who truly seek it. The truth is that God exists, and He is One. It is my belief that even if the Gospel, the Holy Quran, and all the scriptures of the Prophets did not exist in the world, the Unity of God Almighty would still stand proven, because its imprint exists in the very nature of man.’

The sonship of God

“‘To attribute a son to God is equivalent to believing that God Almighty will die. For the purpose of a son is to serve as a memory of the father. Now if the Messiah is the son of God, the question which arises is: will God die? Hence, in their beliefs, Christians have neither given regard to the greatness of God, nor have they done justice to the faculties of man. They subscribe to such concepts which are not supported by heavenly light. There is not a single Christian who can show miracles and prove their own faith with the signs that are characteristic of believers. Islam alone can take pride in the mark of distinction that in every era the religion is reinforced by supporting signs; and God has not left the present era deprived either. I have been sent for this very purpose; so that I may manifest to the world in this era the truthfulness of Islam, through supporting signs, which are the hallmark of Islam. Blessed is the one who comes to me with a sound heart in order to find the truth, and blessed is the one who, upon witnessing the truth, accepts it.’” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 2, pp. 45-49)

It is recorded in Al Hakam that after this, the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, delivered a short speech on prayers and mentioned Hazrat Hakim Maulvi Nuruddin’sra Friday sermon.

Note: The date of Lala Keshudas Sahib’s arrival, in Al Hakam (24 October 1899) and Malfuzat, has been recorded as 21 October 1899. However, with a further study of the dates and events, Lala Keshudas Sahib most likely arrived in Qadian on 20 October, as that day was a Friday.

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