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
Our readers should know that in this article, with regard to the way Prof Muhammad Aslam has described Qadian, the people of Qadian and Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, we shall simply cite his words, without answering and commenting on the satire he adopted. The reason for this is that Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra once explained:
جس كو تم كہتے ہو یارو یہ فنا ہوجائے گا
ایک دن سارے جہاں كا پیشوا ہوجائے گا
قوم كے بغض و عداوت كى نہیں پروا ہمیں
وقت یہ کٹ جائے گا، فضلِ خدا ہو جائے گا
“Alluding to [Qadian], you say, ‘Friends! This place will perish.’ But it shall one day be the leader and guide for the whole world. We care not about the hatred and enmity of a nation, for this time shall pass, and God’s grace shall become manifest.”
With regard to his visit to Qadian, Prof Muhammad Aslam writes:
“When I finished the visit of Masjid Aqsa, Abdur Rahim Aajiz asked his son, Abdul Hafeez, to take us to Bahishti Maqbarah and tell the doorkeeper there that we were given special permission to see Bahishti Maqbarah at this time. On the way, Abdul Hafeez told us that only women were allowed to go there from Asr to Maghrib. That is why we got special permission.
“As we entered through the gate, women in burqas saw us and stood facing the walls. Accompanied by Abdul Hafeez, we reached the qitta-e-khas [the area of Bahishti Maqbarah where the Promised Messiahas, his close relatives and some companions are buried]. Apart from Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (d. 1908) and the first Khalifa, Hakim Nuruddin of Bhera (d. 1914), there were graves of Mirza Sahib’s relatives in this area. Near the feet of Mirza Sahib were the graves of his three daughters-in-law, Sara Bhagalpuri, Umm-e-Tahir and Amatul Haye. Sara was a resident of Puraini, a town in Bhagalpur district in Bihar province. She was the sister of Abdul Qadir, the headmaster of Talim-ul-Islam High School Qadian and the aunt of Abbas bin Abdul Qadir, one of my teachers. Her tombstone stated that she was married to Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad based on a revelation of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Umm-e-Tahir was the mother of Tahir Ahmad, the current Khalifa [this was written in the time of the Fourth Khilafat] of the Qadianis.
“In this graveyard, there is an area surrounded by four walls [qitta-e-khas]. Iron rods had been placed there [around the grave] so that people could visit the grave whilst keeping their distance. Buried in rows, outside [the four walls] are the graves of Mirza Sahib’s companions. Each of them had their outstanding services written on the tombstones. On one tombstone, it was inscribed that the person buried here was present with Mirza Sahib in the debate that took place in Ludhiana. On another tombstone, it was written that the deceased buried here partook in Mirza Sahib’s burial. A companion had bequeathed that it should be written on his tombstone that he was Mirza Sahib’s personal assistant.
“One of these graves belonged to Bhai Abdur Rahman. Abdul Hafeez told me that he [Hazrat Bhai Abdur Rahmanra] was a Sikh by birth and by profession, he was a granthi [a person one who recited the Granth (a sacred book of the Sikhs which contains hymns, poetry and the teachings of gurus) to people. Among the Sikhs, a granthi is called Bhai Ji [brother]. Therefore, ‘Bhai’ became a part of his name. As he [Hazrat Bhai Abdur Rahmanra] studied different religions, he saw the truth in Qadianiyat [Islam Ahmadiyyat] and thus, he became a Qadiani [Ahmadi].
“After the establishment of Pakistan, he came to Pakistan. He said in his will to be buried in Bahishti Maqbarah. Thus, his will was carried out and it was the only Mirzai [Ahmadi] whose body was taken from Pakistan to India and buried in Qadian.
“Akhtar Orenvi (Syed Akhtar Ahmad) was a professor of Urdu at Patna University. He has done a great service to the Urdu language and literature. He was a very truthful person and was a Qadiani. He died on 31 March 1977, at Kurji hospital, Patna. According to his will, his body was taken to Qadian from Patna and buried in Bahishti Maqbarah. His wife, Shakila Akhtar, passed away on 2 February 1994. She was a good novelist. She must have been buried there too.
“Syed Barakat Ahmad belonged to the family of Khawaja Mir Dardrh. He was employed in the Indian Foreign Service. He wrote a book entitled Muhammad and the Jews, which was translated into Urdu by Prof Mushir-ul-Haq (d.1990) under the title Rasul-e-Akramsa aur Yahood-e-Hajjaz. After retirement, Barakat Ahmad had taken up residence in Indore with his daughter. According to his will, his body was also taken to Qadian and buried in Bahishti Maqbarah.
“Abdul Hafeez also showed us the place where Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s janazah prayer was offered. He said that there were seven rows of worshipers at Mirza Sahib’s funeral, and thus, for this reason, it has now become a tradition that seven rows are formed at the time of funeral prayers.
“Abdul Hafeez took us to his house where his father had prepared tea. He offered us tea and then saw us off. He told me to stay the night [for rest]; however, I apologised and left.
“After two years, I happened to go to Amritsar, Batala and Qadian again. This time, I walked around Qadian alone and visited the town, which, at that time, was inhabited by 1,300 Qadianis. The majority of the population were Biharis who had started a little work for a living. Someone was repairing a radio, another had opened an electrical appliance store, someone else was running a small tea restaurant, a man was sitting in the market selling ice cream. One Mirzai was repairing bicycles. Poverty was reflected in their faces. Their only achievement was that they had settled in Qadian.
“The population of Qadian is 15,000, of which 1,300 are Mirzais [Ahmadis] who, all together, live in a corner of Qadian. The streets and shops were empty, a desolate place. Mirza Sahib had written, based on a revelation [he received], that the population of Qadian would increase and would expand to Lahore. It would develop into a magnificent city. In this vast city, he was shown a vision in which was shown a bazaar that was packed with people, so much so that pedestrians found it difficult to make their way through the traffic; buggies, carriages, the Victoria [an elegant carriage] and God knows what types of modes of transport were there in motion [in the vision]. Gold and silver were being traded in this market by rather large and well-fed bankers and jewellers who graced the market with their presence.
“Mirza Sahib had said, based on his revelation, that there would come a time when people would enquire about Lahore, and they would be told that it was now a part of the mahalla [locality] of Qadian. I [Prof Muhammad Aslam] was contemplating on this revelation while standing in the deserted market of Qadian. This revelation seemed as weak as a spider web that sways away in the air. Here, instead of rather large and well-fed businessmen and jewellers, there were empty-bellied [people], withered-face shopkeepers who had gathered in a corner of Qadian. Instead of spreading, Qadian had now become a small place.
“When I returned [from Qadian], I published two articles titled Mein ne Qadian mein Kya Dekha [What I saw in Qadian] and Bahishti Maqbarah Mein Chand Lamhey [A few moments in Bahishti Maqbarah] in Khatam-e-Nubuwwat magazine in Karachi.” (Prof Muhammad Aslam, Safarnama-e-Hind)
We said that we would not comment on these words. Suffice to say, Qadian has now spread not only to Lahore, but to Sydney, Washington DC, Tokyo, London, Paris, Lagos, Buenos Aires and many, many other parts of the world. Mockery, or using satirical expressions, against a prophet of God or his revelations is a repetitive theme in history that no prophet is free from.
It must be remembered that almost all the information given above by Prof Muhammad Aslam suffers historical or factual inaccuracies. (Editor)