Commander-in-Chief: A fascinating vision of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud and its grand fulfilment

Jazib Mehmood, Ghana
Hazrat Musleh e Maud 1

In early 1886, the Promised Messiahas retired to Hoshiarpur to pray to Allah the Almighty that He may, out of His infinite grace and mercy, show a sign in favour of his claim, and that a fresh sign in favour of the truthfulness of Islam may be shown to the world.

Accordingly, Allah the Almighty gave him glad tidings about a son, who would possess incredible capabilities. Allah the Almighty stated that He was giving this sign “so that people may understand that I am the Lord of Power, I do whatever I will, and so that they may believe that I am with you.” (Tadhkirah [English], p. 176)

Therefore, in the liking of his father, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra was blessed with divine converse. He experienced many dreams, visions, and revelations. Allah the Almighty likewise gave him news of future events. The number of prophecies made by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra is great in number and opulence. Grander still is the fulfilment of these prophecies.

In the prophecy about the Musleh-e-Maud, Allah the Almighty told the Promised Messiahas:

“He will be extremely intelligent and perceptive and will be meek of heart and will be filled with secular and spiritual knowledge.” (Tadhkirah [English], p. 178)

Explaining what it means to be filled with “spiritual knowledge”, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“Spiritual knowledge refers to that special knowledge which is only with God Almighty, like knowledge of the unseen, which He reveals to those of His servants whom He appoints to do some special service in this world so that their relationship with Allah the Almighty may become manifest, and so that they may reinvigorate the faith of people through this [relationship].

“Thus, Allah the Almighty has blessed me with His special favour in this regard as well, and hundreds of dreams and revelations have descended upon me which contain knowledge of the unseen.” (Al-Maud, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 17, p. 546)

For the interest of the readers of Al Hakam, I have picked one such fascinating prophecy that was unknown to Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra himself at the time.

Huzoorra saw a vision in 1911 or 1912 concerning his election as successor to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira, which occurred in 1914. However, Huzoorra was not aware of the meaning behind his vision, or that it was a prophecy. Huzoorra says:

“I always wondered what the vision meant. I would narrate it to my friends and ask them what it could possibly mean. But such are the ways of the Almighty that I came to know about its meaning only after the actual incidents took place.” (Blessings of Khilafat, p. 62)

Huzoorra narrates his vision in these words:

“I had a vision in which I saw that Hafiz Roshan Ali and I were sitting at some place, and it seemed as if the British Government had appointed me the Commander-in-Chief of the Army. I had been appointed after Sir [O’Moore Creagh], the Ex. Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, and the charge was being given to me by Hafiz Roshan Ali on behalf [of the British government]. While taking the charge, I expressed some reservations about taking it pointing towards some flaw in it. I said that in the presence of the flaw, how was it possible for me to take the charge? Just as I said these words, the floor beneath me opened (we were standing on the roof), and I saw Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira appearing from the opening. At that moment, I considered him to be Sir [O’Moore Creagh], the Ex. Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. Referring to the flaw, he spoke to me saying, ‘It is not my fault. In fact, I have inherited it from Lord Kitchener.’” (Blessings of Khilafat, p. 62)

General Sir Garrett O’Moore Creagh (1848-1923), commonly known as Sir O’Moore Creagh, was a senior British Army officer who served as Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from 1909 to 1914. Sir Beauchamp Duff succeeded him in March 1914; he left India on 7 March 1914.

On the morning of 6 March 1908, General Sir Beauchamp Duff, the new Commander-in-Chief, arrived at Bombay from England to a 17-gun salute. The Globe reported:

“General Sir Beauchamp Duff is due at Bombay on Friday, and will take over the command of the forces in India from General Sir O’Moore Creagh, V.C. The last-named officer and his staff will leave for England by the next steamer.” (The Globe, 4 March 1914, p. 1)

Then, it continued:


“In a farewell Army Order, General Sir O’Moore Creagh assures all ranks of his deep and grateful appreciation of their loyal and ungrudging support without which the high moral and physical standard now reached could not have been attained. He was well satisfied that during his term of office steady progress had been made, rendering the Army efficient.

“After forty-seven and a half years’ service he bids farewell to his British and Indian comrades with the greatest regret and with full confidence as to their future. – Reuter.” (Ibid)

A few days later, The Globe reported once again:

“General Sir Beauchamp Duff, G.C.B., K.C.S.I., K.C.V.O., C.I.E., the new Commander-in-Chief in India took over his duties yesterday, and General Sir O’Moore Creagh, the retiring Commander-in-Chief, leaves for England to-day.” (The Globe, 7 March 1914, p. 5)

The Englishman reported on the outgoing Commander-in-Chief on 6 March:

“The retiring Commander-in-Chief, General Sir O’Moore Creagh arrived privately at a quarter to eight this morning by a special train at Colaba. He stays at the Taj Mahal until to-morrow when he sails for England on board the Persia. This afternoon he will inspect the Boy Scouts. 

“General Sir Beauchamp Duff will spend three days in Bombay, leaving Colaba station for Delhi by a special train at 11 p.m. on Sunday.” (The Englishman, 12 March 1914, p. 4)

Therefore, when the retired commander left India on 7 March, barely a week later, on 13 March 1914, just as it was time for the Jumuah prayer, Hazrat Hakim Maulvi Nuruddin, Khalifatul Masih Ira (and, one might say, the then Commander-in-Chief of the Jamaat) passed away after offering Zuhr prayer. (Hadrat Maulawi Nur-ud-Dinra — Khalifatul Masih I by Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khanra, pp. 296-297)

By noon the next day, more than a thousand members of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat had arrived in Qadian. After some disparities about the election of Khilafat among some elders of the Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra was elected as Khalifatul Masih II, on 14 March 1914.

This vision, therefore, was an astonishing insight into events that were to occur not only in the Jamaat but also in the British Indian Government. Huzoorra interprets his vision in these words:

“I felt that the vision was in fact a great prophecy, and it contained the tiding that after Hazrat Maulavi Sahibra, the office of Khilafat will be assigned to me. This was the reason why Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira was shown to me dressed like Sir [O’Moore Creagh]. So far as the command of the army is concerned, that meant leadership of the Jamaat, for the jamaats of the prophets too are armies through whom God causes the faith to prevail. Due to this vision, I hope that the propagation of true Islam will, God willing, take place at the hands of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and not at the hands of the rebels of Khilafat, with the exception of only a few of those whom God may wish to grant some partial success. But there is no doubt that the blessings that will be vouchsafed to the efforts of those who will submit to Khilafat will be overwhelming as compared to those who would receive them only partially.” (Blessings of Khilafat, p. 63)

At this point, it is perhaps worth mentioning that using Government officials to represent these holy personages merely relates to their appointment periods and their position as commanders of large armies, as Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra explains above. Otherwise, they cannot be compared to these holy personages in any other way at all.

Then, interpreting the “flaw” mentioned in the vision, Huzoorra said:

“The flaw which the vision showed in the charge and my aversion to accepting it was indicative of the small number of people who were to create the disorder. God Almighty, through this vision, cleared Hadrat Maulavi Sahibra of the objection made against him by such elements. These critics believe the present-day disorder would not have taken place if, instead of making mere hints at the inner condition of these people, Hadrat Khalifatul Masih Ira had openly informed them of their hypocrisy or if he had expelled them from the Jamaat. God Almighty himself spoke on his behalf and informed me that the fault had not emerged during his time; rather, he had inherited it [when he became Khalifah]. So, in my dream he had to convey to me that the people concerned had gone astray during the lifetime of the Promised Messiahas, and that he was not responsible for their misconduct in any way.” (Blessings of Khilafat, p. 64)

Speaking about the peculiar, or rather wondrous nature of this vision, Huzoorra stated:

“What is even more surprising is the fact that the year and the month in which Sir [O’Moore Creagh] left India was March 1914. It was the same month and year in which Hadrat Khalifatul Masih Ira passed away and God had appointed me his successor. Can anyone possessed of virtue and piety say that the vision was a satanic one; or can anyone imagine a human being able to fabricate such a vision some two or three years prior to the occurrence of the incident? Could it ever be possible? Was it possible for me to fabricate all these incidents and relate them to people two years prior to their occurrence? Moreover, how was it possible for those same incidents to have then come true? Who could have informed me that Hadrat Maulavi Sahibra would depart from this world in the month of March, and that the incident would take place in the year 1914, and that I would become his successor? Is there anyone who could make all this possible except the Almighty God? None, at all.” (Blessings of Khilafat, p. 63)

Another interesting aspect of this prophecy relates to the Promised Messiahas. In Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’s vision, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira referred to the Promised Messiahas as Lord Kitchener. Upon doing a bit of research, it turned out that it was not without its wisdom.

Horatio Herbert Kitchener (1850-1916) was an Irish-born senior British Army officer and colonial administrator, who – apart from serving as Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from 1902 to 1909 – played a central role in the early part of the First World War.

Interestingly, shortly after the Promised Messiahas passed away, the newspapers were full of Lord Kitchener and his rumoured return to England. In June 1908, barely twenty days after Huzooras passed away, The Nottingham Daily Express wrote:

“A London correspondent says: Lord Kitchener leaves India at the end of November, and it is understood that His Majesty proposes to raise him to Earldom upon his return to this country.” (The Nottingham Daily Express, 17 June 1908, p. 4)

Shipley Times and Express wrote a detailed report on Lord Kitchener’s return:

“[…] Lord Kitchener’s period of command in India expires in November next. The question of his future has given great embarrassment to the Government, and there is no doubt that it was this difficulty of finding him further employment that induced the Government to extend his period of service for another twelve months last year. But the problem is no nearer solution now, and as there seems nothing for it but for Lord Kitchener to return home at the end of the year, those who fear his advent in Pall Mall are moving heaven and earth to keep him away.” (Shipley Times and Express, 19 June 1908, p. 3)

The rumours were so insistent that many newsletters ran stories about just the rumour. The Englishman wrote:

“It is stated that an extraordinary rumour has obtained currency at Home that Lord Kitchener will return to England this autumn, the idea being apparently that his extended tenure of office expires this year.” (The Englishman, 16 July 1908, p. 7)

The Belfast News-Letter quoted the Pall Mall Gazette:

“A military correspondent writes to the “Pall Mall Gazette:” – From rumours which are current just now there seems to be some probability of the return of Lord Kitchener to England at distant date.” (The Belfast News-Letter, 27 July 1908, p. 9)

The Toronto Saturday Night reported:

“The Command in India.

“It is currently reported, says an English exchange, that when Lord Kitchener goes home from India towards the end of the present year his successor will be General Sir Beauchamp Duff […].” (Toronto Saturday Night, 13 June 1908, p. 5)

The Civil & Military Gazette of Lahore reported barely two months after the demise of the Promised Messiahas:

The Pioneer says an extraordinary rumour seems to have obtained currency at Home that Lord Kitchener will return to England this autumn […].” (The Civil & Military Gazette, 16 July 1908, p. 4) 

Another interesting point to note is that by the time the Promised Messiahas passed away, it was reported that Lord Kitchener’s successor had already been chosen. The Aberdeen Press and Journal reported in April 1908, nearly two months before Huzooras passed away:

“It is currently reported that when Lord Kitchener comes home from India towards the end of the year his successor will General Sir Beauchamp Duff, an officer comparatively unknown in this country […].” (The Aberdeen Daily Journal, 2 April 1908, p. 4)

Even though he was not to leave his post by November 1909, by November 1908, Lord Kitchener had even begun bidding farewell to the troops, as The Yorkshire Evening Post reported:

“Lord Kitchener has now begun his tour of the military stations in India in order to take farewell of the troops. Though his period of command does not expire until November next, Lord Kitchener proposes to leave before then, and May is named as the most likely time for him to hand over his command to General Sir Beauchamp Duff, who was some time ago chosen as his successor.” (The Yorkshire Evening Post, 11 November 1908, p. 4)

Nevertheless, the following year, in 1909, Lord Kitchener also returned to England. This, therefore, demonstrates the wisdom of mentioning Lord Kitchener to mean the Promised Messiahas in the vision.

The Holy Quran states:

عَالِمُ‭ ‬الْغَيْبِ‭ ‬فَلَا‭ ‬يُظْهِرُ‭ ‬عَلَى‭ ‬غَيْبِهِ‭ ‬أَحَدًا۔‭ ‬إِلَّا‭ ‬مَنِ‭ ‬ارْتَضَى‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬رَّسُوْلٍ

“He is the Knower of the unseen; and He does not grant ascendency over His domain of the unseen, except him whom He chooses as His Messenger”. (Surah al-Jinn, Ch. 72: V. 27-28)

Therefore, an incontestable criterion to distinguish a truthful one is to look at the nature and scope of the secrets of the unknown that is revealed to him. In such a criterion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra passes with great honour.

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