17 February 2023
Musleh-e-Maud: The Prophecy and the Man
After reciting the tashahud, ta‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
As every Ahmadi is aware, on 20 February the Jamaat commemorates the prophecy of Musleh-e-Maud [Promised Reformer]. In light of this, the various jamaats hold Jalsa [Musleh-e-Maud]. 20 February is still three days away, but I felt that it was appropriate to speak about this in today’s sermon.
This prophecy was in regards to a son who was to be born to the Promised Messiahas who would possess many qualities through the extraordinary help and support from Allah the Almighty. The Promised Messiahas has presented this prophecy in the following manner. He states:
“Allah Almighty – the Powerful, the High, the Gracious, the Merciful and the Holy God Who has power over all things – Whose majesty is exalted and name is blessed, He revealed to me:
“‘I confer upon you a Sign of My mercy according to your supplications. So, I have heard your entreaties and have honoured your prayers with My acceptance through My mercy and made your journey (i.e. the journey to Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana) a source of blessings for you. Therefore, a Sign of power, mercy, nearness is bestowed on you, a Sign of grace and beneficence is awarded to you and you are granted the key of success and victory. Peace on you, O victorious one. Thus did God speak so that those who desire life may be rescued from the grip of death and those who are buried in the graves may come out of them and so that the superiority of Islam and the dignity of God’s Word may become manifest unto the people and so that truth may arrive with all its blessings and falsehood may flee with all its ills, and 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, and so that those who do not believe in God and deny and reject His religion and His Book and His Holy Messenger Muhammadsa, the Chosen One may be confronted with a clear Sign and the way of the guilty ones may become manifest. Rejoice, therefore, that a handsome and pure boy will be bestowed on you; you will receive an unblemished youth who will be of your seed and will be of your progeny. A handsome and pure boy is coming as your guest. His name is Emmanuel and also Bashir. He has been invested with a spirit of holiness, and he is free from all impurity. He is the light of Allah. Blessed is he who comes from heaven. He will be accompanied by grace which shall arrive with him. He will be characterised with grandeur, greatness and wealth. He will come into the world and will heal many of their disorders through his Messianic qualities and through the blessings of the Spirit of Holiness. He is the Word of Allah for Allah’s mercy and honour have equipped him with the Word of Majesty. He will be extremely intelligent and perceptive and will be meek of heart and will be filled with secular and spiritual knowledge. He will convert three into four (regarding this the Promised Messiahas stated) of this the meaning is not clear.’ The prophecy continues, ‘It is Monday a blessed Monday.
فرزند دلبند گرامئ ارجمند
“‘[Son, delight of the heart, high ranking, noble.]
مَظْھَرُ الْاَوَّلِ وَ الْآخر، مَظْھَرُ الْحَقِّ وَالْعَلَاءِ کَاَنَّ اللّٰہَ نَزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ
“‘[A manifestation of the First and the Last, a manifestation of the True and the High; as if Allah has descended from heaven.]
“‘His advent will be greatly blessed and will be a source of manifestation of Divine Majesty. Behold a light comes, anointed by God with the perfume of His pleasure. We shall pour Our Spirit into him and he will be sheltered under the shadow of God. He will grow rapidly in stature and will be the means of procuring the release of those held in bondage. His fame will spread to the ends of the earth and peoples will be blessed through him. He will then be raised to his spiritual station in heaven.
وَ کَانَ اَمْرًا مَّقْضِىًّا
“‘[This is a matter decreed.]’” (A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khazain Vol. 5, p. 647)
Thus, in accordance with the time period mentioned in the prophecy, a son was born to the Promised Messiahas, whose name was Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad. Allah the Almighty also appointed him as the Second Caliph of the Promised Messiahas. Then, after a long time, the Second Caliphra – upon being informed by Allah the Almighty – announced that he was the very son who was foretold by the Promised Messiahas to become the Promised Reformer. Members of the Community and non-Ahmadis alike have openly acknowledged the fact that he was endowed with secular and spiritual knowledge by Allah the Almighty; he was intelligent, perceptive and possessed many other qualities. At this time, I will speak about some of the scholarly works and various achievements of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. Before listening to the details that I will present before you, it is necessary to keep in view the fact that Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra had very poor health as a child. His childhood was spent in ailment. He also had difficulties with his vision, and at one point, he began to lose vision in one eye. Furthermore, he had little to no secular education. He struggled to complete his primary education, but as he states himself, it was the promise of Allah the Almighty that he would be endowed with secular and spiritual knowledge. In light of this, Allah the Almighty enabled him to deliver such extraordinary addresses and sermons that left others astounded, and all his various writings are in a class of their own. Even the non-Ahmadis attest to this fact. Today, I will present some references in relation to this. However, before presenting these references, I will put before you an overview of the sheer quantity of his literary works, speeches, essays, addresses, question-and-answer sessions and so forth. His books, addresses, lectures, essays, letters and other works that are complete and published in the form of Anwar-ul-Ulum and some material that is almost ready to be published and will be included in this collection will have a total of 38 volumes. These volumes contain 1,424 literary works that comprise 20,340 pages, or so it is estimated. The Tafsir-e-Kabir, Tafsir-e-Saghir and other exegetical work amounts to a total of 28,735 pages. There are 1,808 Friday sermons, which amount to 18,705 pages. There are 51 Eid al-Fitr sermons which amount to 503 pages. There are 42 Eid al-Adha sermons, which amount to 405 pages. There are 150 nikah [Islamic marriage announcement] sermons which amount to 684 pages. The first three volumes of his Shura [consultative body] sermons, which are comprised of 2,131 pages, have been published. If all these literary works, and some others are combined, they amount to a total of approximately 75,000 pages. The Research Cell has looked through the archives from 1913 to 1970 of Al Hakam and Al Fazl and has found some work that has not yet been published in Anwar al-Uloom or in other publications. According to that report, 55 articles, 27 addresses, 143 question-and-answer sessions, 222 spoken discourses and 131 letters have been found. This is a vast treasure of knowledge. Now, among his scholarly achievements, I will first mention those pertaining to the translation and commentaries of the Holy Quran and the opinions and reviews of others.
In Tafsir-e-Kabir, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has written the commentary of 59 chapters [of the Holy Quran], which make up 10 volumes and amount to a total of 5,907 pages. Apart from these, thousands of pages on his exegetical notes have been found, and these are also expected to be published at some point. Another one of his great achievements was the idiomatic translation of the Holy Quran in the form of Tafsir-e-Saghir.
In the latter part of his life, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’sra greatest desire was to publish in his lifetime the complete idiomatic translation of the Holy Quran to a high standard, along with concise and comprehensive notes of its commentary. Despite Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra often being ill after returning from his tour of Europe in 1955, Allah the Almighty helped His this Promised Caliphra, appointed by Him, with the Holy Spirit in such an extraordinary manner that he travelled to the mountainous area of Murree in June 1956 and began to dictate the translation of the Holy Quran which, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, was completed on 25 August 1956 by the Asr prayer. This area was known as Nakhla, which is next to Kallar Kahar and has a very pleasant atmosphere. This is where Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra built a small settlement and from where this work was completed. Thereafter, it was proofread twice and then work was done for its publication and proofing and various other work was completed in relation to this. On 15 November 1957, Tafsir-e-Saghir was published and ready. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 19, pp. 522-531)
At one instance, regarding Tafsir-e-Saghir, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has written:
“In my view, none of the other translations of the Holy Quran have taken into consideration the Urdu and Arabic expressions and idiomatic structure as this translation has.”
We can generally observe, especially through the notes of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, that he has been especially mindful of syntax in his translation.
[He further states:]
“This is purely out of Allah the Almighty’s grace that He has granted me the opportunity to undertake such an extraordinary task in such a short space of time.”
He further states, “Allah the Almighty enabled this elderly and weak person to carry out such a momentous task, which many great and capable people could not do.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further states:
“In the last 1300 years, there have been many strong young men, but none of them was able to perform the task that Allah the Almighty enabled me to carry out. In actuality, these are the works of God Almighty and He fulfils them through whomsoever He wills.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 19, pp. 525-526)
Then, at another place, he states:
“By the grace and mercy of Allah the Almighty, I have completed the translation of the entire Holy Quran. In other words, [the translation is from] ‘Alhamdulillah’, all the way to ‘Wa n-Nas’ [i.e. right from the beginning of the Holy Quran to the end]. Alongside this, there is a short commentary, which if compared, covers many subjects in a concise manner which have not even been covered in Tafsir-e-Kabir.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol 19, p. 530)
Furthermore, there is the English commentary of the Holy Quran – another important work – that is referred to as the Five Volume Commentary. At the beginning of this commentary, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has penned an exceptionally insightful introduction that sheds light on the necessity of the Holy Quran among other divine scriptures, the pure life of the Holy Prophetsa, the compilation of the Holy Quran and other Quranic knowledge in an unparalleled and compelling manner. At the end of this introduction, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra wrote a note of thanks and recognition, stating:
“In conclusion, I desire to acknowledge the inestimable services rendered by Maulvi Sher Ali, B.A., who, in spite of feeble and failing health, has devoted so large a portion of his time to the translation of the text into English. I also wish to thank him, along with Mirza Bashir Ahmad, M.A., Malik Ghulam Farid, M.A., and the late Chaudhry Abul-Hashim Khan, M.A., for the labour they have devoted to extracting from my speeches and writings the material upon which the Explanatory Notes are based and to preparing these Notes.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further wrote:
“I also desire to state that since I was a pupil of the late Maulvi Nuruddin, Khalifatul Masih I, a good deal of what I acquired from him is reflected in the Explanatory Notes. Thus, these Notes are, in fact, based upon the interpretation of the Quran by the Promised Messiah, the First Khalifa and myself. Since God had anointed the Promised Messiah with His Spirit and had honoured him by bestowing upon him such knowledge as was requisite for the development of this and succeeding generations, I trust that this Commentary will serve to heal many of their ills. By means of it the blind shall see, the deaf shall hear, the dumb shall speak, the lame and the halt shall walk, and God’s angels shall so bless it that it shall succeed in fulfilling the object for which it is being published. Do Thou, O Lord, ordain that it be so!” (An Introduction to the Study of the Holy Quran, pp. 320-321)
Those who have read this up until now, including various non-Muslims and Christians, greatly praise it.
‘Allama Niaz Fatehpuri Sahib is a prominent writer and researcher. He was the editor of the monthly journal, Nigar. He is not an Ahmadi, but when he was studying Tafsir-e-Kabir, he wrote a letter to Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra saying:
“I am currently studying the third volume of Tafsir-e-Kabir and I am doing so in great depth. There is no doubt that you have established a completely new perspective on studying the Holy Quran and this commentary is the first of its kind in which reason and evidence have been combined in a most excellent manner. The depth of your knowledge, your farsightedness, your extraordinary analysis and insight and your excellent manner of reasoning are evident in each and every word of it and I regret that I remained unaware of it until now.”
This is a prominent and scholarly individual. Following this, he says, “Yesterday, upon reading the commentary of Surah Hud [Chapter 11], I was extremely pleased to learn about your views regarding the Prophet Lotas and I was compelled to write this letter. Commenting on ھٰۤؤُلَآءِ بَنَاتِىۡ [‘(…) these are my daughters (…)’ (11:79)], you have discussed this in a completely unique manner from all other commentators and it is impossible for me to praise it enough.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 8, pp. 157-158)
In another letter, he writes, “I make sure to read it every night. According to me, this is the first commentary in Urdu that is able to satisfy the human mind to a great extent.” He further says, “The service this commentary has rendered towards Islam is so magnificent that even your adversaries cannot deny it.
وَذٰلِکَ فَضۡلُ اللّٰہِ ىُؤۡتِىۡہِ مَنۡ ىَّشَآءُ
[That is Allah’s grace; He bestows it upon whomsoever He pleases]۔” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 7, Preface)
Seth Muhammad Azam Sahib of Hyderabad was an Ahmadi and he says, “A well-known individual from the subcontinent of India and Pakistan, Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung (he was not an Ahmadi, but was a good friend of Seth Sahib), would frequently mention Tafsir-e-Saghir in his gatherings. He would always attest to its magnificence and say that he benefitted greatly from its insights.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 8, p. 158)
Then, Akhtar Renwi Sahib M.A., head of the department of Urdu at the University of Patna, relates a personal incident and says, “I gave several volumes, one after the other, of the Second Khalifa’sra Tafsir-e-Kabir to professor Abd-ul-Mannan Baidal, former head of the department of Persian at Patna College and currently principal of Shabina College, Patna. He was so impressed after reading the commentary that he gave the professors of the Arabic College, Shams-ul-Huda in Patna, several volumes of the commentary to read. And he invited some of the professors one day and asked them about their views. One professor said that such commentary did not exist among the Persian commentaries. Professor Abd-ul-Mannan Sahib asked about their opinion with regard to Arabic commentaries. The professors remained silent. After a short while, one of them said that all Arabic commentaries cannot be obtained in Patna. An accurate opinion can only be formed after having studied all the commentaries available in Egypt and Syria. The professor started mentioning older Arabic commentaries and said that not a single commentary is comparable to the commentary of Mirza Mahmud. You may also order the new commentaries from Egypt and Syria and speak to me after a few months. The scholars of Arabic and Persian (that were sitting there) were left dumbfounded.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 8, pp. 158-159)
Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi, the author of many books and Editor of the Sidq-e-Jadeed Lucknow newspaper, wrote upon the demise of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra that, “news has been published in Karachi that the Imam of the Ahmadi (Qadiani) Jamaat, Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud, passed away on 8 November, in Rabwah.”
He says, “However different his other beliefs may be, may Allah reward him for the zeal and determination with which he continued to strive for the global publication of the Quran and Quranic knowledge and worldwide preaching efforts for Islam, and continued to do this right till the very end of his life. Thus, in light of this, may He overlook all other matters. In terms of knowledge, the explanation, elucidation, and translation of the Quranic truths and sciences that he has left behind have a very high and distinguished status.” (Sidq-e-Jadeed Lucknow, Vol. 15, no. 51, 18 November 1965 referenced in Al Fazl Rabwah 22 March 1966, p. 8)
Then there was a famous Ahrari leader, Maulvi Mazhar Ali Sahib Azhar. He writes in his book Aik Khaufnak Sazish that:
“Maulvi Zafar Ali Khan has said that the Ahrar had a big hand in instigating opposition against Ahmadis. The Ahraris have put on a false show (in order to acquire wealth).”
He says, “They are devouring the hard-earned income of poor Muslims, by scapegoating Qadianis. Someone should ask these Ahraris, ‘What have you made better for the Muslims? What service to Islam have you carried out? Have you ever preached Islam?’”
He himself is an Ahrari. He says, “O Ahraris, listen well, you and your followers cannot compete with Mirza Mahmud even until the Day of Judgement. Mirza Mahmud has knowledge of the Quran; what do you have? Is there anyone among you who can understand even the simple text of the Quran? You have not even read the Quran in your dreams. You do not know anything yourself, what will you teach others? Not even your angels could oppose Mirza Mahmud. Mirza Mahmud has such a community that is ready to sacrifice everything at his feet with a single gesture from him. What do you have except curses and foul language? Curse be on your treachery.”
He then writes, “Mirza Mahmud has missionaries and experts in different fields. He has raised the flag [of his community] in every country in the world. I cannot be dissuaded from telling the truth. I will surely say this, that if you wish to oppose Mirza Mahmud, then first learn the Quran. Prepare missionaries and establish Madrasas to teach Arabic. If you want to oppose them, then prepare missionaries. Preach Islam in other countries just as they do. What honour is there in swearing at the Mirzais. Is this the preaching of Islam? Nay, this is just the desecration of Islam.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 6, p. 513)
Then, on 30 May 1966, the newspaper Imrooz Lahore published its review of Tafsir-e-Saghir and stated:
“The Holy Quran is the spring and fountainhead of guidance for the entire mankind. This manifest book will forever show Muslims the right path in spiritual and worldly matters, and will bring those who are lost and astray back onto the right path.”
If only today’s scholars could understand this.
He further writes, “The Holy Quran is a complete guide for one’s life. There is no part, aspect, or stage of life where we cannot derive help from the Quran, but it is apparent that to achieve this, it is necessary to possess understanding of the Quran. If there is no understanding of the meanings of the established commandments of God, how will the process of attaining guidance even begin? (It is important to understand the Quran; then we will understand what is written in it.) Considering this necessity, the process of exegesis and commentary of the Quranic discourse began. And from the revelation of the Quran until now, and onwards into the future, this process will continue. Whoever has taken any part in this journey to help understand the Quran, is deserving of our gratitude. (Meaning that we should be thankful to them.) Commentators who have strived to spread Quranic knowledge in their own times must also be deemed worthy of praise, because in this manner, the commentary of the Quran took on the form of a systematic endeavour, and a proper process was established for the effective conveyance of the meanings and purports [of the Quran]. And, alhamdulillah (All praise belongs to Allah), this process has, and will, continue.”
He further states regarding Tafsir-e-Saghir:
“At this time, Tafsir-e-Saghir is in front of us. This commentary is the result of the intellectual effort of the leader of the Ahmadiyya Community, the late Al-Hajj Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad. Alongside the Urdu translation of the Arabic text of the Quran, many footnotes and detailed notes have been given at different places for explanation. The language of the translation and explanatory notes is very simple and easy to understand.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 19, pp. 541-542)
Then, there was a weekly publication named Qandeel. It wrote on 19 June 1966, “The passion evident in the publication of the Holy Quran by the Anjuman Himayat-e-Islam Lahore and the Taj Company Ltd. is praiseworthy.” It then writes in relation to Tafsir-e-Saghir, “As a result of the publication of Tafsir-e-Saghir, this enlightening endeavour has further progressed. The translation and commentary in Tafsir-e-Saghir is a result of the hard work of the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad. The language of the translation and notes is easy to understand, enabling people of all intellectual capabilities to benefit from it. Furthermore, the translation and commentary have been presented whilst bearing in mind all the commentaries of those from the past till the present.” It then states, “To publish and print the Holy Quran in such a beautiful manner is indeed a great service to Islam.” (Al Fazl, 23 June 1966, p. 5)
Nowadays, the clerics of Pakistan claim that changes have been made [to the Quran in Tafsir-e-Saghir] and should therefore be banned. Tafsir-e-Saghir has been banned in Pakistan, and no one is even allowed to have it in their homes, whereas the fair-minded people of the past say that there is nothing like it, that it is praiseworthy and that one can learn so much from it. May Allah the Almighty enable the clerics of today to also see with justice.
Then, the theological and literary excellences of the English commentary of the Quran also greatly impressed scholars of the highest levels in Europe and America and they gave it excellent reviews. For example, the renowned scholar AJ Arberry states:
“This new translation and commentary of the Holy Quran is a wonderful achievement. The current volume of this accomplishment seems to be the first step (i.e. the volume that he received).” He says, “15 years have passed since the scholars and researchers of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Qadian began this incredible work, and this has been happening under the encouraging leadership of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad. The task was very significant; that is to say, to publish the text of the Holy Quran along with an extremely accurate English translation, and not just that, but also the commentary of individual verses along with the translation.” He then writes, “In the beginning, there is a lengthy introduction that Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin penned himself (he then goes on to mention what is in that introduction). It would be no exaggeration to say that this work is a remarkable tribute to research and the acquisition of knowledge in Islam. It has been prepared at every stage, with references to books of exegesis, lexicons, and books of history, etc. The reader is left astonished by the long list of these books. It is evident from this that those who prepared this not only studied the well-known Arabic exegeses, but they also bore in mind whatever was written in a critical tone by the Europeans and orientalists. If one were to look only at the translation, they would have no choice but to say that the English translation is free from errors, and that it is very sophisticated.” He continues, “Allegations of the non-Muslim critics have been refuted in this, and there is also an appropriate critical analysis of other faiths. For non-Muslim readers, it may seem that in several parts there will be one-sided information in a critical tone, but they should bear in mind that these portions have also been written with pure intentions, so it behoves that they are read with the utmost attention. It becomes evident from these the context in which the righteous and knowledgeable Muslims criticise the traditions and teachings of other faiths.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol 10, pp. 672-673)
Dr Charles S Braden, who was the Chair of the Department of History and Literature of Religions at North Western University in Evanston, USA, writes:
“The publication of this book is extremely good; its typesetting is of high quality and it is easy to read. In terms of all the English literature on Islam, this is a very valuable addition, for which the world is tremendously grateful to the Ahmadiyya Community.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 10, p. 674)
Then, a famous Christian newspaper, Al Nasr wrote, “The Ahmadiyya Community has done outstanding work in spreading Islamic beliefs to America and Europe, and this work is continuously being done with the constant flow of missionaries along with the publication of various books and leaflets that illustrate the excellences of Islam and the truthfulness of the Holy Prophetsa. We were greatly pleased to see the English translation of the Holy Quran. This translation has been done under the auspices of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community. This translation of the Holy Quran is captivating and grants comfort to the eyes of those who read it. This translation consists of a high standard of thought; the Quranic verses are in one column and the translation is provided in the column beside it, and then a detailed commentary is presented. One who studies this commentary finds in it detailed responses to the allegations levelled by orientalists and European opponents. It is worthy of mention that along with this translation, the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad Sahib, has also penned the biography of the Holy Prophetsa and this biography and translation are unmatched.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 9, pp. 675-676)
In any case, these are the comments regarding Tafsir-e-Kabir, Tafsir-e-Saghir, and the Five Volume Commentary. Now I will also mention some speeches; non-Ahmadis have also praised the scholarly treasure which Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra presented before us in the form of speeches, and I will mention their views. One of his speeches was A New World Order which he delivered before an external [non-Ahmadi] audience. Whilst commenting on this speech, a renowned Egyptian journalist and Professor Abbas Mahmoud al-Aqqad wrote the following in a famous Egyptian magazine Al-Risalah about the publication of the English translation of this extraordinary lecture:
“Upon studying this lecture, it is clear that the proficient lecturer (Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad) draws the focus of a world order towards eliminating the issues of poverty and deprivation, or in other words, distributing resources equally among nations and people. Undoubtedly, the lecturer (Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad) is well aware and has complete knowledge from every angle of all of the new orders in the world that have attempted to solve these problems, such as fascism, nazism, communism and other democratic systems.” He did not simply address them [without any prior knowledge of them], rather he had a deep-rooted knowledge of all of the new ‘isms’. Then, he continues, “At the same time, he is of the belief – a belief that is entirely correct – that the state, party leaders and governments cannot resolve these issues, which is why a spiritual power is required in order to resolve these difficulties, because such difficulties that pertain to all of humanity can only be resolved with the collective efforts of all of humanity. Hence, faith and belief, which are the greatest means of establishing contentment, and bringing about courage in undertaking righteous deeds and undergoing reformation, cannot be overlooked. Thereafter, he examined in detail the major religions in India specifically, and other religions in the world generally, in order to search for the solutions to the difficulties which the world detests and in order to find a new world order which can be presented in contrast to the current order, because it is also their responsibility to find a solution to this problem and eliminate this difficulty.”
He then writes that other religions could present their own orders if they had them, but [in reality] they would not be able to do so. He writes, “He presented many arguments in favour of the fact that of all the religions, Islam is the only one that has the ability to solve these problems. All people and all nations were able to implement these [teachings] before and they can do so in the current age as well.”
Then, Mahmoud al-Aqqad summarised a part of A New World Order in his own words, saying, “In other words, not only did the prolific lecturer leave no stone unturned in challenging and comparing the religious concepts that have only been briefly indicated above (he has written in great detail, however, I have left out that portion), but he has greatly focused upon them and was meticulous, because as he stated, belief is something that can lead to reformation. Along with challenging and comparing these beliefs, he also challenged all of these political and social systems and thus proved that they all fall short, both practically and spiritually, in fulfilling their purpose.” He then summarised the portion of A New World Order that addresses political and social systems. Then he says, “If this message were to be spread among the English of Europe and America, in fact even if it were spread within India and those residing in the East, it will certainly prove to be impactful.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 9, pp. 369-370)
Then another lecture that Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra delivered was The Outset of Dissension in Islam, which was delivered at the gathering of the Martin Historical Society at the Islamiyyah College in Lahore. This lecture was so scholarly and encompassing of Islamic history that renowned historians considered themselves to be students in comparison to him. A summary of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’sra research is – I will present a summary – that it is proven that Hazrat Uthmanra and other Companions had no part in any disorder and were free from fault. In fact, their conduct displayed a very high level of moral standards and they treaded upon the highest standards of virtue. We cannot blame any of them, whether Hazrat Uthmanra or the Companionsra. He then explained that the Companions did not oppose the Caliphate of Hazrat Uthmanra; they remained loyal until the very end. He also proved that it was false to say that the Companions rebelled. Furthermore, the allegation against Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Talhara and Hazrat Zubairra of hatching secret plots is also completely false and this was also proven in the lecture. The allegation against the Ansar of being displeased with Hazrat Uthmanra is also false because we find that all the chieftains of the Ansar strove to eliminate the dissension. In any case, the impressions of non-Ahmadis regarding this [lecture] are as follows:
Syed Abdul Qadir Sahib MA, professor at the Islamiyyah College Lahore writes:
“A prolific father’s prolific son; Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad’s prestigious name is enough to know for certain that this speech is extremely scholarly.” He says, “I too have some knowledge of history, and I can claim that whether Muslim or non-Muslim, there are few historians who have been able to understand the crux of Hazrat Uthman’sra era of Caliphate or have been successful in understanding the reasons behind the disorder and civil war that took place. Hazrat Mirza Sahib has not only succeeded in understanding the factors leading to the civil war, but he has also relayed the incidents with great clarity and sequence in order to explain why the era of that Caliphate experienced such turbulent times. It is my belief that one who studies history will not have come across such research before. The reality is that the more one studies authentic Islamic history with regards to the era of Hazrat Uthmanra, the more lessons that can be taken away from it and the more it is revered.” (The Outset of Dissention in Islam (Urdu), Foreword, Published 1930)
There are many more comments, however, time does not permit me to mention all. Then, there was a lecture by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra about the economic system in Islam, which took place in the Ahmadiyya Hostel, Lahore. “This speech lasted approximately 2.5 hours. Aside from Ahmadi Muslims, there were thousands of honourable Muslims and non-Muslims guests in attendance. (The audience members were comprised of educated individuals; including non-Ahmadi Muslims and other non-Muslims) the majority of whom were highly educated professors and students of Punjab University. During the speech, professors, lawyers and other intellectuals were continuously taking notes.” (Introduction to The Economic System of Islam, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 18, p. 1)
Giving a summary of The Economic System of Islam, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra says:
“The essence of the economic system of Islam lies in an appropriate combination of individual freedom and state intervention. (An individual should have freedom to a certain degree but the state should also have some intervention; they ought to be aligned appropriately and coordinated.) The economic system put forth by Islam allows state intervention to a certain extent, but it also provides for individual freedom. A proper balance between these two factors defines the Islamic economic system. Individual freedom is granted to enable persons to build up assets and spend them voluntarily in order to gain the spiritual benefits in the life to come. (It should not only be limited to worldly competition alone, but also so that one can compete in doing good deeds for the Hereafter.) State intervention, on the other hand, is provided in order to protect the poor from economic exploitation by the wealthy. The state’s intervention is deemed essential for putting in place certain safeguards against harming the weaker sections of society, while individual freedom is deemed essential for healthy competition among individuals and for enabling them to make provisions for the life of the Hereafter. Thus, in the Islamic economic system, individuals are given full opportunity to voluntarily serve humanity and earn merit in the life of the Hereafter by upholding the right to individual freedom. Individual freedom thus opens up endless possibilities for progress through the force of healthy competition. At the same time, judicious state intervention is provided so that the economic system is not based on brutality and injustice and hindrances to the economic progress of any section of society are avoided.” (The Economic System of Islam, p. 39)
“In the second half of his speech, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra presented an in-depth analysis of the Communist ideology from a religious, economic, political, conceptual and practical perspective. Towards the end, he read a passage of the Bible in Urdu, which contained an extraordinary prophecy pertaining to this, along with also mentioning a prophecy of the Promised Messiahas and also his own. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’sra lecture sent shockwaves throughout the leading academics and by the grace of Allah, it received tremendous success at every level.” (Introduction to The Economic System of Islam, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 18, p. 3)
“The audience members listened to the speech so intently, it was as if birds were perched on top of their heads. (The speech lasted a continuous 2.5 hours.) Upon hearing the speech, one professor began to cry. Some students who were inclined towards communism said that they are now inclined towards Islamic socialism and deemed it to be correct. After listening to his speech, some MA students of the Economics Department expressed their wish for the English translation of the speech to be published and given to the professors in the department. (In those days, as the subcontinent was still under British rule, most of the professors were British.) They also said that many people were putting forth various schemes for the progress and development in India; the Islamic system that has been proposed by His Holiness would represent the opinion of the Muslims.” (Introduction to The Economic System of Islam, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 18, pp. 2-3)
This speech was presided over by Mr Ramchand Machanda Sahib, who was an advocate at the High Court Lahore. A person who wrote about the speech said that after this outstanding speech concluded, the chair of the event, respected Lala Ramchand Machanda Sahib, delivered a brief address and said, “I consider myself very fortunate that I was able to listen to this invaluable address. I am pleased to see that the Ahmadiyya Movement is progressing and making remarkable progress. The speech that you all have just heard contains new and inestimable points delivered by His Holiness, the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community. I have benefitted greatly from this speech and I am sure that you also benefited from these unique points. It pleases me to see that not only Muslims, but non-Muslims are also present in this gathering.”
He then further stated: “Initially I thought, and this is an error on my part, that Islam’s teachings apply only to Muslims and they do not care much for non-Muslims. However, today, after listening to the speech of the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community, I have come to learn that Islam teaches equality for all of mankind and this has pleased me greatly. I would ask my non-Muslim friends what reservations they would have about respecting and honouring this interpretation of Islam? The earnest manner in which you listened to this 2.5-hour speech delivered by the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community, was a spectacle that would astonish a European as to how much India has progressed.”
The person who reported about the event further states: “After listening to the speech, the majority of the audience could only speak in praise of the speech. Most of the people admitted that although we differ in our beliefs as compared to the beliefs of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (i.e., they did not believe what he believed in however, they cannot reject the truth and despite having different creedal views), we cannot deny the fact that he is one of the greatest scholars of India, and this is the truth. Indeed, this is absolutely correct, the manner in which he made reference to economics based upon Quranic injunctions and verities, and the way in which he refuted the European economic philosophy, has never been presented by any person, such that even those who oppose Islam accept the superiority of its teachings, and those who were inclined towards Communism were forced to accept the flaws within it.
“Hence, Hazrat Maulana Sher Ali Sahib stated that after the speech he heard some non-Ahmadi students speaking amongst themselves, saying, ‘If you still support Communism even after this, then may you be cursed.’ (Similarly, as was mentioned earlier, after listening to the speech, one professor began to cry.) After the speech concluded, the non-Ahmadi professors and students expressed their wish that, since His Holiness was not able to expand upon his views on all the topics due to the constraint of time, there ought to be another speech in which he can speak at length about the remaining topics, so that people can be enlightened from the ocean of knowledge that Allah the Almighty had bestowed upon His Holiness.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 9, pp. 496-497)
‘He would be filled with secular and spiritual knowledge.’
Sayyid Abdul Qadir, vice-principal of Islamia College Lahore and head of the History Department wrote a column in the newspaper Sunrise Lahore, on the topic of Islam and Communism. A portion of that reads, “I am very proud and elated that I had the opportunity to listen to the speech delivered by the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community, (Hazrat) Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, on the topic of the economic system of Islam and communism.
“Among his various other lectures, I also had the opportunity to listen to this lecture of his as well and it was a very enlightening and informative lecture. Mirza Sahib possesses God-given capabilities and he showed great command on every aspect of this subject. (He has no degree in this field, nor has he conducted any [formal] research into it, rather, he has been taught by Allah the Almighty.) Therefore, it is imperative that we value his ideas and pay attention to them.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 9, p.499)
This lecture has also been translated into various languages and after reading its translations, the foreign press and academia have greatly praised it. After reading this book, the President of Spain’s Supreme Tribunal, S.Y De Jos Caston wrote to Maulvi Karam Ilahi Zafar Sahib and stated:
“I am very grateful for your letter, which also contained an excellent book. Upon reading it, I was profoundly impacted. I can assure you that (Allah the Almighty) shall grant you tremendous success in Spain and also in other countries. This book is extremely interesting in relation to the current circumstances.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 12, p. 35)
Then, upon the demise of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, the newspaper, Roshni Sri Nagar wrote on 11 November 1965:
“The first president of the All India Kashmir Committee, respected Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad Sahib passed away.”
It further wrote:
“He was a brilliant scholar and thinker. There is hardly anyone who could match him in his speeches. The speeches delivered on the intricate subject of the economic system of Islam and the new world order of Islam, each delivered in a single session, have been published in book form and have become widely accepted. His scholarly excellence can be ascertained from the fact that the judge of the International Court of Justice, Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan Sahib, is also among his devotees and the manner in which he has praised his beautiful character is indeed captivating and is very rare to find in a person. He was a fountainhead of secular and spiritual knowledge. (Even the non-Ahmadis are acknowledging the fact that he was a fountainhead of secular and spiritual knowledge.) He was truly unique in his intellectual and practical pursuits. A vast majority of his life was spent in the remembrance of God and scholarly pursuits, but he was also a determined and courageous leader in the practical field of work.”
It further states:
“The heart of every Kashmiri is full of praise for respected Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, for he played a huge role in Kashmir’s Freedom Movement. When the Kashmir Movement was initiated in 1931, he was the first president of the All India Kashmir Committee. It was owing to his efforts that the movement progressed and had a global impact.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 23, pp. 184-185)
The Wembley Conference is very well-known in the history of our Jamaat. When Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’sra speech was read out, the externals [non-Ahmadis] also commented on it.
Giving his brief remarks at the conclusion of the address, the president [of the event] stated:
“I do not need to say much. The address itself reflects its beauty and excellence (this is an Englishman saying this). I would like to express my gratitude to the Caliph of the Messiah and also on behalf of the attendees for the excellent manner in which the subject matter of the address was organised, the excellent views and the profound arguments. From the reaction of the audience, it demonstrates that they are in complete agreement with me and I am convinced that I am rightfully expressing gratitude on their behalf and I speak for them in this regard.”
He then turned towards Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra and said, “Congratulations on your successful lecture and among the lectures that were delivered today, your lecture was excellent.”
The person who was writing this report writes that a gentleman approached Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra and said, “I have worked in India for 30 years and have studied the condition of the Muslims and the arguments [presented by their faith] because I was there serving as a missionary. However, you have presented your lecture in such an excellent, clear and meticulous manner that I have never heard it presented like this before. The lecture, in terms of the ideas, order of subject-matter and arguments presented, has left a deep impact upon me.” (Al Fazl, 23 October 1924, Vol. 12, no. 45, p. 4)
In any case, there are countless impressions like this. Furthermore, as I mentioned in the beginning, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has countless literary works and addresses and I have presented just a few examples from them. I will also present an extract from the newspaper, Fata al-Arab Damascus. In 1924, when the Second Caliphra travelled to Europe, he also stayed in some of the Arab countries and the Arab press also mentioned their views and impressions about him. The Fata al-Arab Damascus newspaper wrote on 10 August 1924:
“The Caliph is in the 40th year of his life. He has a full black beard. He has a wheatish complexion. Majesty and magnanimity are evident from his face. His eyes reflect extraordinary knowledge, intelligence and wisdom. When you assess his level of intelligence by reflecting upon his facial features whilst he stands wearing his snow-white turban, you will realise that you are standing in front of a person who understands you very well before you could understand him; (he is able to assess you by looking at you) and he is always smiling.”
Regarding Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra it further wrote that he is always smiling, “which sometimes is hidden and sometimes becomes apparent.” He was always smiling. Then it says to its reader, “If you come to see this state of his, you will be astounded by the meaning and power hidden behind this smile.” (Monthly Khalid, Syedna Musleh-e-Maud Number, June-July 2008, p. 320)
There are countless impressions like this of non-Ahmadis, who had the opportunity of spending a short moment or a long time in his company. As I mentioned earlier, I collected a great deal of material, but due to time, I have only presented some of it and even that was only a summary and not the full details. The words that the Promised Messiahas mentioned in the prophecy, or rather, which Allah the Almighty revealed to the Promised Messiahas, have all been fulfilled through Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra, the Promised Reformer. No scholar, no matter how great they were, could challenge Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra in the knowledge and wisdom that Allah the Almighty granted him. The literature given to us by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra is a precious treasure of the Jamaat. Many of his sermons, addresses and lectures have been published and some are currently in the process of being published. We should read these and now the translation of this literature is also being done at a great pace and, insha-Allah, will soon be made available. A lot of material has already been translated into English and more is being done; by that I mean some small booklets have already been published.
May Allah the Almighty enable us to derive benefit from the knowledge and wisdom contained in them.
(Official Urdu transcript published by Al Fazl International, 10 March 2023, pp. 5-11. Translated by The Review of Religions.)