15 September 2023
Sahibzadi Amatul Quddoos Begum: A true servant of Allah
After reciting the tashahud, ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
It is the Divine decree of Allah the Almighty that whoever comes into this world, after spending some time here, will eventually depart. However, most fortunate are those who leave behind good memories; who were beneficial to others; who demonstrated through their actions that they gave precedence to their faith over the world; who tried to act upon the commandments of Allah and His Messengersa, who strove to fulfil the objective of their pledge of allegiance [bai‘at] to the Promised Messiahas; those who are truly loyal to Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyyat; who tried their utmost to fulfil the rights owed to humanity; who always tried to attain the pleasure of Allah the Almighty; and for whom everyone utters only complimentary words. As such, according to the Holy Prophetsa, they become destined for Paradise. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-jana’iz, Hadith 1367)
Today, I shall speak about an individual who tried to live their life in accordance with the pleasure of Allah the Almighty. I will speak about respected Amatul Quddoos Sahiba, who was the daughter of Hazrat Dr Mir Muhammad Ismail Sahibra and the wife of the late Sahibzada Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib. She was the daughter-in-law of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. Although she lived in Qadian, these days she was visiting her daughters in Rabwah, where she passed away at the age of 96.
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ
[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
By the grace of Allah the Almighty, she was a musiyah [part of the al-Wasiyyat Scheme] and contributed at the rate of 1/9. I will mention some details of her life.
On the occasion of the inauguration of the Jalsa Salana [annual convention] in 1951, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra led the nikah [marriage announcement] of Hazrat Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib with her and said: “Owing to certain reasons, I wish to announce two nikah ceremonies prior to the inaugural session of the Jalsa.” One was hers, and the other was of the daughter of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra. He said: “I will only lead two nikah ceremonies. If I had announced this earlier, many requests for leading nikahs would have been received. If there are too many [marriage announcements] during the Jalsa occasion, the time for the speech would also have reduced.” Nevertheless, he led these two nikahs on the occasion of this Jalsa. Her paternal cousin, Sayyid Da’ud Ahmad Sahib, was appointed as her Wakeel [a representative]. During the marriage announcement, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra also said: “I generally only wed off my daughters to life devotees [of the Jamaat].”
Amatul Naseer Sahiba was married to Pir Muinuddin Sahib. (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 3, pp. 650-651) When she was married, on the request of Hazrat Dr Mir Muhammad Ismail Sahib’sra wife, Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih IIra attended the Rukhsatana [sending off the bride to her new home] from the side of the girl. He was not part of the groom’s procession, i.e., of his son’s; rather, he attended from the side of the girl. (Al-Fazl Lahore, 26th October 1952, p.30) Allah the Almighty blessed them with three daughters and one son. One of her daughters, Amatul Aleem Sahiba, is currently the Sadr Lajna of Pakistan [National President of the women’s auxiliary organisation]. She is the wife of Mansoor Ahmad Khan Sahib, Wakil-e-A’la, Tahrik-e-Jadid. With regard to the other two daughters, one of them, Amatul Kareem Sahiba, is the wife of Captain Majid Sahib. Amatul Raoof Sahiba is the wife of Dr Ibrahim Munib Sahib. Mirza Kalim Ahmad is their son, who lives in America.
It had only been a few days since his wedding, and Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib was arranging the documents for his wife in order to take her back with him. As is usually the case, relations between Pakistan and India fluctuate greatly. Tensions were high in those days, upon which Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra said to him: “The documents of your wife will be processed in due time. Leave her and immediately return to Qadian, since [at least] one individual from the family of the Promised Messiahas should be present there. Immediately book your seat on the plane. Even if no seats are available, it is essential that you go, even if you have to travel on a chartered flight.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra said:
“The reason for this is that if you are not there and are unable to set an example for others of making sacrifices, how will the people then make sacrifices?” Although this was a sacrifice made by Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib, it was also a sacrifice on the part of Sahibzadi Amatul Quddoos Sahiba. It was uncertain when the documents would be completed and the circumstances were difficult and could have worsened. However, it was the order of the Khalifa of the time and with great contentment, she bid farewell to her husband and gave precedence to her religion over the world. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra was at the airport in Lahore in order to bid farewell to Mian Waseem Ahmad Sahib.
Dr Hashmatullah Sahib said: “Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra remained standing at the airport, continuously looking at the aeroplane, and continued to pray until it departed and was out of view.” Then, when the documents of his wife were completed, she said: “One year after my marriage, I was about to leave for Qadian. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra specifically advised me to stay in the house of Umm-e-Nasir, which the Promised Messiahas visited frequently and had delivered lectures in the courtyard as well.” (Khutbat-e-Masroor, Vol. 5, pp. 180-181, 184-185)
After moving to Qadian, Sahibzadi Amatul Quddoos Sahiba played a vital role in gathering together, organising and comforting the women of the Community, including the wives and children of the Darweshan. As a result, the women there felt at ease. I have received countless letters from the wives and daughters of the Darweshan there.
Having arrived in London, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh delivered the first sermon on 4 May 1984. Therein he called upon the Ahmadis of the world with the words of the Promised Messiahas:
مَنۡ اَنۡصَارِيۡۤ اِلَي اللّٰہِ
[“Who are my helpers in the cause of Allah?”], and announced a wide-scale programme for the propagation of Islam. (Khutbat-e-Tahir, Vol. 3, pp. 232-233, [Friday Sermon, 4 May 1984]) He also stated that there was a need for a large complex for these objectives. There was a need to build two new centres for Europe – one in England and the other in Germany. For this purpose, Allah the Almighty will provide the wealth out of His grace, and he encouraged the people to partake in this initiative. (Khutbat-e-Tahir, Vol. 3, pp. 264-266, [Friday Sermon 18 May 1984])
The women of Qadian once again responded to this with full passion and loyalty. Sahibzadi Amatul Quddoos Sahiba was serving as the Sadr Lajna India. In her report, she mentioned that after starting this scheme, by the grace of Allah, Lajna Imaillah of India answered the call of Huzoorrh and wholeheartedly participated by presenting whatever jewellery and money they had. She herself also gave all of her jewellery.
Among the Lajna of India, the first promises that were sent to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh was from the Lajna of Qadian. Thereupon, during the Friday sermon on 10 August 1984, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh mentioned the Lajna of Qadian, stating, “I have received a report about the Lajna [women] of Qadian, and I was waiting for this, because when sacrifices of the Tahrik-e-Jadid scheme were initiated, it was the women of Qadian who had the honour of displaying extraordinary sacrifices. Now, very few women remain there, but no matter how many there are, I was still awaiting news in relation to them, as it is their right to remain at the forefront in the field of sacrifice, and just as they elevated the name of Qadian in that time, it shall now also be elevated. So, Alhamdulillah [All praise is due to Allah], I have received the report from there as well. Sadr Lajna of India informs me that she sent the promises of the Lajna and Nasirat of Qadian for the new centres to me on 16 July. She wrote that the sermons [of His Holinessrh] instilled a great yearning within the women, and by the grace of Allah, they gave whatever they possessed. But even then, this yearning was not extinguished. They are so passionate that if they possessed anything else, they would have presented it in the way of God.” (Khutbat-e-Tahir, Vol. 3, p. 434, [Friday Sermon, 10 August 1984])
This was the letter sent by Sahibzadi Amatul Quddoos Sahiba to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh.
In 1991, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh travelled to Qadian, India, and stated, “I cannot say this regarding all the Lajna of India, but by the grace of Allah, I can say with regards to the Lajna of Qadian that they display unparalleled examples of financial sacrifice. The Qadian Jamaat is very poor, yet I have always witnessed that when an appeal is made, the women and girls here come forward with such great zeal and passion, that at times my heart desires to stop them, saying, ‘Enough, you do not have the means to do so.’ Truthfully, along with joy, I also worry for them, but then I think that the One for Whom they make these sacrifices knows full well how to reward them bountifully. The same Allah, out of His grace, shall grant them abundantly in the future, both in their faith and worldly provisions.”
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh further states, “On one occasion, when I made an appeal for the centres, the Ahmadi girls broke open their money boxes and gave away the few coins they had saved for the sake of their faith.”
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh then stated, “How Benevolent and Glorious is our Lord! At times, devoid of any love or fervour, even the millions laid at His feet are rejected and He does not accept them as they have no value. However, when one sincere, but poor individual presents all the money he has out of love, He accepts it with even more love and affection. Just as you accept gifts from your loved ones and hold them dear, God also has ways of demonstrating His acceptance. I know and have certainty that through such ways of His, God will have most certainly valued even this paltry amount of money.” (Hawwa Ki Betiyan, pp. 87-88, Address to the ladies at the Jalsa Salana Qadian 27 December 1991) This is an extract of what he said during his address to the women there at the Jalsa Salana [annual gathering].
When Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra sent her [Amatul Quddoos Sahiba] to Qadian, he advised her that she should form a bond amongst the women of the various jamaats. When she went there, she was appointed as the general secretary of Qadian. Then, in 1955, she served as the local Sadr Lajna, and was later elected as the Sadr Lajna of India. In 1959, the elections took place to elect a different local Sadr Lajna, and she continued to work as the Sadr Lajna of India. By the grace of Allah, she continued to serve in this capacity until 1999, and after this, she remained an honorary member. During her tenure, she also toured various jamaats throughout India, and so her years of service span 46 years. There were many difficulties at the beginning when organising the tasks of Lajna. She would write letters even though she did not receive replies [initially]. Then she wrote under the address of Sahibzada Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib. Through these efforts, she gradually united the local Jamaats there. There are many different local languages in India. Many letters she received were written in different languages, and this was also another challenge. Hence, these letters were translated with the help of local missionaries. Gradually, she began to accompany Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib on tours to remote branches of the Community. In this way, she organised the various local branches of the community that required a great deal of help following the partition [of the sub-continent].
Her daughter, Amatul Aleem, writes, “During the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh, she also made a team that was responsible for summarising letters received from India. Huzoorrh was sent these summaries, and he was greatly pleased by this work. She rendered great services with respect to the Quran. She has taught the Holy Quran to over 250 girls in Qadian. Schoolgirls would come in groups to learn the Holy Quran; first in the early morning, followed by the afternoon. In India, some girls who had completed their FA or FSC would come to stay in Qadian for three months during their break from school.”
Her daughter continues, “Our mother would teach those girls the translation of the Holy Quran in the morning, afternoon and evening. She was able to thoroughly organise the Lajna members. She taught others how to work with great vigour. She would advise others to build a relationship with Khilafat through anecdotes, and by hearing these anecdotes, girls and women would grow in their bond with Khilafat. The hospitality of guests was one of her salient qualities.”
Her daughter further says, “She always supported our father. They lived through very poor conditions. In the afternoon, all they had to eat was lentils, and our father had kept a cow for milk. Whenever a guest would come, she would present whatever she had prepared without any hesitation. She would also present guests with drinks or tea according to the season of the year. Afterwards, when their conditions improved, she presented guests with food accordingly. People would come to visit her home, considering it their own. She was a good wife and was very supportive at all times, even during times of hardship. She never made any demands. She would happily manage with whatever funds were given to her by her husband, Mian Waseem Ahmad Sahib. As a result, Allah the Almighty would bestow extraordinary blessings upon that wealth. She was meticulous and well-organised.”
Her daughter continues, “When Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib passed away, my mother had a dream in which she was going on a final journey, as though she was also preparing to leave. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh appeared to her in the dream and said that her visa had not yet been approved. Thus, by the grace of Allah, she lived for a long time even after that dream.”
In 2007, Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib fell ill, but soon after, Allah the Almighty restored his health. Upon his recovery, he planned to visit the jamaats local branches in Hyderabad and took his wife along with him. It was during that visit that Amatul Quddoos Sahiba saw the aforementioned dream and became fearful that these were perhaps the final moments of Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib. Nonetheless, at the time, he was healthy and well, but she insisted that they return to Qadian. Upon their return to Qadian, he fell ill once again, and during the course of that illness, he passed away.
In her final years, she lost her sight and also used a hearing aid. Eventually, she lost her hearing; however, despite that, she spent her time with contentment and was never ungrateful. Whenever someone enquired about her health, she always replied by saying, ‘All praise belongs to Allah’. As I have already mentioned, she immediately donated all her jewellery towards the initiative of acquiring [two] new headquarters for the Community [in Europe]. Whatever initiative was launched by the Khalifa of the time, the first contributors from Qadian were always Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib and his wife.
Her daughter says, “If we made a mistake whilst reciting the Holy Quran, even if our mother was in a different room, she would correct us from wherever she was. It was as though she had committed the Quran to memory, even though this was not the case. It was through her regular recitation of the Holy Quran that she was able to recall it. When Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib would perform the Etikaf [a period of secluded worship during the last ten days of Ramadan], she would send food for him and also for the poor people in Etikaf. Furthermore, she would also send food to the girls in boarding schools there, as well as the local missionaries. She was so considerate towards others that no matter whether she was sick, feverish or in any other condition, she would make sure to attend occasions of their happiness or times of grief. In Qadian, there were people of different standings. She would teach girls how to sew and prepare the brides for their wedding day. She had created a culture where she would live amicably with everyone. In 2005, the Lajna in Rabwah constructed Saraa-e-Masroor. It is a large building. For this initiative, instead of contributing under her own name, she contributed 100,000 rupees on behalf of her husband.”
Her daughter further says, “Following the partition, whilst in Ratan Bagh, Lahore and then in the mud homes of Rabwah, she would recite the Holy Quran to Hazrat Amma Jaanra. Hazrat Amma Janra would also listen to the Malfuzat [sayings of the Promised Messiahas] from someone, and she had the opportunity to read them to her as well.”
Her younger daughter, Amatul Raoof, says, “Shah Ji was staying in Bait-ul-Riazat, whilst Itar Din Sahib was staying in the room where the incident of the red drops took place, and Hafiz Sahib was staying in the large room belonging to Hazrat Amma Janra. Afterwards, Bhai Abdur Rahim Sahibra also stayed there. Whatever was cooked in the house would be sent to them. After the visiting hours for women in Bait-ul-Dua would finish, the women would come into the house. The house was always open, and there were no restrictions on visiting. There was no doorbell either, and women could easily enter.” She further says, “When Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib passed away and Inam Ghauri Sahib was appointed as the Nazir-e-‘Ala, our mother demonstrated complete obedience and submitted requests for everything according to the correct procedure. She would give her Wasiyyat and paid the portion due from her property during her lifetime. She was also among the Daftar Awwal for the Tahrik-e-Jadid scheme. She would advise her children to offer prayers at the earliest time, because the first thing that would be brought to account [on the Day of Judgement] would be prayers. [She would say that] if they passed this, then everything else would follow suit.” She further says, “She would care for many girls; she not only provided them with an excellent upbringing, but she also taught them how to recite the Holy Quran, its translation and then arranged for their marriages. There was a man who accepted Ahmadiyyat from Bihar Ranchi along with his daughter. He was very elderly. He brought his daughter to my mother and said, ‘I do not know how long I will live. After my demise, this girl’s brothers will kill her, and so I request you to take her into your care.’ At the time, the girl was approximately 25 years old.” She continues, “At that age, my mother taught her how to recite the Holy Quran and its translation, despite the fact that the girl did not know the language and was uneducated. She also arranged for her to get married. In the early days, she had very little means. When a dervish’s daughter was to be married, my mother would lend her own jewellery and tell the bride that they could use it for as long as she would like, and then to return it afterwards.
Then it would be given to the following dervish’s daughter, who would be getting married. In this way, many girls benefitted from her jewellery, because, in the early period of difficulties, the circumstances of the dervishes were not very good. However, later, when their children went abroad and started earning, their circumstances improved. When they started earning money, they would send whatever savings they had back home, and the families receiving this would keep this money with her as a trust as they considered their own homes unsafe [owing to the circumstances of the time].”
She says, “Our mother had a cabinet where she kept all the trusts, whether it was someone’s jewellery, money or anything else.” She says, “I saw many different things being kept with her for safekeeping. Whenever someone would come to retrieve their belongings, she would tell me where in the cabinet to retrieve them from. Then first, she would ask the person to whom the trust was being returned to open it in front of her to check and make sure everything was there, and she would only be at ease once the person confirmed that everything was there. All the dervishes were from good families. However, there was poverty at the time. Some girls, after completing their primary education, would go on to pursue further education. But for others, she would call them to the office to do Lajna work, so that they would not sit idle until it was time for them to get married. Since there was no formal office, she had made a small office in her home, which is also where they would do school work. There would be quite a bit of rush there, but she would be happily carrying out her work. She was very hospitable to any girl who would come to work; if it was time to eat, then she would give them food; otherwise, she would offer them tea. Similarly, she would also be teaching the girls at the same time about how to set the table, saying that they should learn now so that when they are married into good homes, no one can ever call them ignorant. (This was the degree to which she would be concerned for these girls.) And when many of those girls were married into good homes, they had no issues owing to her training.”
Many women and girls have mentioned that this was the manner in which they were trained by her, due to which they had no issues adjusting with their in-laws.
“She also prepared the clothes and gifts for the brides with her own hands. On Eid, she herself would go to the homes of the widows of the dervishes to give them Eid gifts. Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib would also go with her, but if he could not go, then she would go on her own.”
She further says, “Someone mentioned to her that someone had built a very lavish home in Rabwah, to which she said, ‘I have spoken to Allah about one thing, that is this house of blessings which I have received (meaning she was granted the ability to live in Qadian), and I have come here as the daughter-in-law of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra. This is more than enough for me. But please do give me a lofty home in Paradise.’”
This is the quality of a believer — that they are indifferent to worldly allures.
With regards to Hazrat Mir Muhammad Ismail Sahibra, Amatul Quddoos Sahiba writes, “Since I was fond of cleanliness from my childhood, Mir Sahibra would not let anyone but me clean his room, because I would put all of his things, such as notes, books and whatever else, right back where they were after cleaning. This is why he said, ‘No one should come into my room aside from Amatul Quddoos.’”
Some girls learned how to read the Holy Quran from Abdur Rahman Jatt Sahibra. Then, whenever a girl finished her tenth-grade exams, she would ask them whether they had started reading the translation of the Holy Quran. She says, “Whenever girls passed their tenth-grade exams, they would come to our mother and learn the translation [of the Holy Quran]. There would be three classes running at once, and she would teach them the entire translation of the Holy Quran within three years and would also teach them the grammar alongside it.” Many people – women and girls – have written to me that she also taught them jurisprudence. She had a passion for teaching the entire Holy Quran and ensured that no girl would leave without learning all of it. She was also regular in offering Tahajjud. In her final illness, even when she fell extremely ill, she would still be concerned about being woken up in time to offer Tahajjud. So long as she was capable, she kept her fasts. In Ramadan, especially, she would go to the mosque for Tarawih prayers. The rest of the time she would offer prayers at home, but during Ramadan she would especially go to the mosque for prayers.
She had profound love for Khilafat. She would write letters to the Khalifa of the time.”
Her daughter says, “If in response, she received a reply expressive of pleasure, she would very happily share it with us to show us how [the Khalifa] had expressed his pleasure.”
When Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh visited [Qadian] in 1991, she herself arranged his room. Similarly, in 2005, when I visited [Qadian] again, she herself arranged our room, undertook all the planning and set the bed, among other things and did this work with great sincerity. Then, despite me telling her that separate arrangements for our food were already in place, she insisted that she would prepare one meal daily, which she indeed did very diligently.
Her daughter says, “After my father had passed, my mother was offering prayers and weeping; at the same time, she was repeating the same words which Hazrat Amma Janra said upon the demise of the Promised Messiahas, ‘O my Lord, though he is departing from us, however, we implore for You to not leave us.’” She says, “I have witnessed and am certain that this prayer was answered because after that (seeing as the daughters had been married in Pakistan), we received multiple visas, and were able to come and go to her, and thus she did not feel lonely.”
Her son says, “Most of the guests would come and stay at Darul Masih, and our mother would train children who were eleven and twelve years old, on how to deliver hot water to the rooms and how to tend to the needs of the guests. Similarly, Mian Waseem Ahmad Sahib had connections with government officials, and so she would introduce the Community to their wives and then keep in touch with them afterwards.”
Satnam Singh Bajwa was a prominent politician there. After the partition, he moved to India. He was the father of Partab Singh Bajwa, who is a member of parliament these days.
Amatul Quddoos Sahiba’s son says, “His wife would also frequent our home, and she would even keep her belongings with our mother. Once, she gave something for safe-keeping, and she asked (Sahibzadi Amatul Quddoos Sahiba) whether she had opened it to see what it was, to which she replied, ‘It is your belonging; how could I open it and look? You should check it to see if it is all there.’ She would tend to the poor.”
He further says, “Once she had gone for a visit to a village in Odisha. She did not have anything to give to the people.” He continues, “Whatever extra clothes we children had (all her children had gone with her) we gave to the people so that they could cover themselves as they were in a very impoverished and poor state.
He then further says:
“The Quran, which our mother used to teach the young girls how to read, and its translation were based on the translation of Hazrat Mir Muhammad Ishaq Sahibra and this particular copy was given as a gift to her by Hazrat Amma Janra.”
Ibrahim Munib is her son-in-law and states that after the demise of Mia Waseem Ahmad Sahib, she lived in Qadian for ten years. After falling seriously ill, her daughters brought her to Rabwah. By the grace of Allah, her visa would also be granted an extension; however, she would always plan to not leave Qadian for a lengthy period of time. Unless she had sought permission from the Khalifa of the time, she would not want to stay [out of Qadian] for more than a few months.
In any case, she wrote to me and I wrote back to her that she could stay as long as she wanted [outside of Qadian] and to continue extending her visa. It was only after this that she remained there for an extended period of time.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra told her when she was leaving for Qadian to not go to the bazaar in Qadian belonging to the Hindus because they had hurled verbal abuse at the Promised Messiahas. She showed such regard for Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’sra instruction that even after the circumstances had improved and the local people began to deal in a courteous manner, and many Ahmadis who would attend the Jalsa would also go there as would the members of the Promised Messiah’sas family; however, she did not go to the bazaar in Qadian for 70 years. Instead, she would go to Amritsar to do her shopping.
Her granddaughter writes, “The young children of Qadian would call her ‘Nani Ummi’ [grandmother], and she showed great love and affection to everyone just like a grandmother does.”
She further writes, “Once she was resting owing to weakness in health. In the evening, some women came to meet her from a distant jamaat. Since none of the elders were at home, I told them that she was resting, and so they gave a small note requesting prayers and left. When my grandmother woke up, I informed her that two ladies had come to visit her. She immediately called for the note and prayed for them, then instructed someone on the phone and told them to implement for them whatever need of theirs was mentioned in the note. She then explained to me, ‘Out of their love, people would come from distant places to meet your grandfather, and he would never let them return like this. Therefore, you should also honour the guests and seat them down and you should have informed me.’ My grandmother explained this to me in a very loving manner, which remains etched in my memory to this day.”
Her grandson, Syed Hashir, says, “I requested her to give me some advice as I am becoming a missionary. (He is currently studying in Jamia Canada.) She replied, ‘You are receiving all the advice from the Khalifa of the time; therefore I do not need to give you any advice. Listen to his words carefully and act upon them.’ She also told me to recite the following prayer:
رَبِّ کُلُّ شَيْءٍ خَادِمُکَ رَبِّ فَاحْفَظْنِيْ وَانْصُرْنِيْ وَارْحَمْنِيْ
[O my Lord, everything is thy servant, O my Lord protect me, help me and have mercy on me.]
Over the phone, she would always advise me to fulfil my waqf to its utmost and to become a true helper of Khilafat.”
Many non-Muslims attended her funeral and mentioned her with great love. Among them was Fateh Jang Singh, who is a former Member of the Assembly [of Punjab]. He mentioned that their childhood years were spent in her house and in her care. He also went to the Wagah Border to receive the body. He said that it was as if he had buried his mother for the second time. He further said that when they were very little, they would visit her house, and she would feed them and take good care of them.
Mala, one of her granddaughters, says, “She was a model for us in regards to her love and obedience for Khilafat. Since she has passed away, hundreds of people have called to express their condolences, and each one spoke very highly of her.”
She also stayed for some time in Qadian and says, “I noticed that the people of Qadian loved her dearly, and likewise, she had great love for them as well.”
She also mentioned that when I was supposed to travel to Qadian in 2008, due to the circumstances at the time, the tour was cancelled and I returned from Delhi., She was very sad as she did not know whether she would have the opportunity to meet me again.
Abid Khan, who lives here [in the UK] and is the husband of her granddaughter, says, “She demonstrated through her exemplary conduct how one should fulfil their waqf. She possessed a very kind disposition, but on one occasion I saw her speak in a very stern tone. It was the wedding of a local girl in Qadian, but she (i.e., Sahibzadi Amatul Quddoos Sahiba) became unwell and had a very severe headache. Upon seeing her health, her granddaughter suggested sending her apology and rest instead; however, she replied, ‘Mala, I will certainly attend the wedding. You do not know the relationship I have with the people of Qadian.’”
Aqeela Iffat Sahiba, the wife of Dr Bashir Ahmad Nasir, a dervish of Qadian, says, “Through the organisation of Nasirat and Lajna, she would always guide the wives and daughters of the dervishes of Qadian. She was extremely skilled in fulfilling administrative matters. While working along with her, one could feel her love, affection, support, respect and honour. She would always desire to pass on the training of the various roles and responsibilities to the future generation. She was a very confident and organised individual. Whatever work she carried out would be done in a very graceful manner. She taught us the Holy Quran along with its translation and also taught us fiqh [Islamic jurisprudence]. The young women who have been trained by her are now in different parts of the world and serving the Jamaat wherever they are.”
Bushra Mubarika Sahiba of Hyderabad Deccan says, “We had a very strong family relationship with them. On the occasion of the Jalsa, she would stand till the middle of the night and personally see to the hospitality of the guests and provide for their food, drink and comfort. She would say that they are the guests of the Promised Messiahas and we ought to take care of them. She would see to every little detail.”
Similarly, the wife of Khalid Alladin Sahib, Sajdah Tanveer Sahiba, says: “She was like a mother for all the Lajna members of India. Just as a suckling infant is held by the finger and taught all the basic etiquettes and morals by its mother, in the same way, Hazrat Apa Jan [i.e., the deceased] cared for our moral training and education at every moment of our lives, for which my progeny and I will be forever grateful to her.”
I have received countless letters from the ladies of Qadian and from all those women with whom she had any connection. Likewise, the male children of all those who have been living in Qadian for a long time have written that she raised them like a mother. Their children also mentioned her bond with Khilafat; as I mentioned earlier, other women have also mentioned this point. The humility and exceptional loyalty she showed to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra, she maintained the same bond later and with me as well. She was a role model. When she met me here as well, she met me with the utmost respect and reverence. When I went to Qadian in 2005, she showed great concern for the hospitality of guests. Furthermore, in every meeting, the joy on her face would be evident. In 2005, despite her ill health, when I was departing, she came to Delhi from Qadian. May Allah the Almighty elevate her status and enable her children to carry on her virtuous deeds. May Allah the Almighty enable the people of Qadian to show each other the same love that she had for the people of Qadian. At present, there is no longer any blood relation of the Promised Messiahas living in Qadian. May Allah the Almighty create such circumstances whereby someone [from the family] may go there. May Allah the Almighty elevate the status of the deceased.
There is another funeral here. The funeral is of Muhammad Arshad Ahmedi Sahib of the UK. He passed away recently at the age of 71.
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ
[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
He was the son of Yusuf Ahmedi Sahib from Nairobi, who accepted the message of the Promised Messiahas. Arshad Ahmadi Sahib was either his son or perhaps his grandson. Nonetheless, he was from the progeny of Yusuf Ahmedi Sahib, who accepted Ahmadiyyat in 1935. Arshad Ahmadi Sahib came from Nairobi to the UK at the age of 15. He married Amatul Baseer Sahiba, who was the daughter of Hazrat Khalifa Salahuddin Sahib, and the granddaughter of Hazrat Dr Khalifa Rashiduddin Sahibra, who was a companion of the Promised Messiahas.
By the grace of Allah the Almighty, Arshad Ahmadi Sahib was a musi. Aside from his wife, he leaves behind two sons and one daughter. He had a strong connection with the Jamaat. Wherever he lived, he served the Jama’at in one way or another. In Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya he served as Muhtamim. He served as the National Secretary Ishaat for the UK for more than 20 years. He had an intellectual disposition. When Salman Rushdie wrote a blasphemous book against the Holy Prophetsa, on the instructions and guidance of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh, Arshad Sahib had the opportunity to write a rebuttal to it.
He was regular in offering the prayers in congregation. Since we moved here, he bought a home near Islamabad with the intention that he would offer prayers [in Islamabad]. He had a bond of love for the Holy Prophetsa and the Promised Messiahas. He would regularly recite the Holy Quran. The deceased had a passion for propagating the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat. He was regular in giving chanda. He would meet everyone with love and warmth and was eloquent. He was a sincere person who had a deep bond of reverence with Khilafat.
On one occasion, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh said about him: “I have always found Arshad Ahmedi Sahib to be extremely obedient, the likes of which are seldom seen. Whatever I say to him, he accepts immediately. Because of this quality of his, I have a lot of respect for him and his family.” In reality, this obedience and subservience to Khilafat continued even after that. I have always found him to be humble and obedient to Khilafat. He always gave precedence to the honour and respect of the Jamaat. May Allah the Almighty bestow His mercy and forgiveness upon him and may Allah grant his children the opportunity to continue his virtuous deeds. One of his sons is a life devotee.
There is a funeral in absentia, which is of Ahmad Jamal Sahib, who was an African American. He lived in the USA and passed away recently at the age of 92:
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَاِنَّاۤ اِلَيۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ
[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]
He was born in 1930 and pledged allegiance at the hands of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra in 1951. In the ’50s and ’60s, he had the opportunity to offer financial sacrifice for Masjid Sadiq, Chicago. He was a very humble and modest individual. He had a bond of love and loyalty with the Jamaat and Khilafat. To watch MTA, he initially installed a dish antenna and then later used to watch it online. He would regularly listen to my addresses and sermons. He would discuss the sermons with his friends and relatives. He would not simply listen to the sermons but would take notes and discuss them.
The deceased lived 90 miles away from the mosque, but despite his age and poor health, he would regularly come for the Jumuah prayers. He was regular in giving chanda and would never have to be reminded a second time. He would also partake in other financial initiatives. He has a daughter, but she is not part of the Jamaat. May Allah the Almighty bestow His forgiveness and mercy upon the deceased, and may He accept the prayers he offered for his daughter. May she have the opportunity to accept Ahmadiyyat.
There is one funeral present and two funerals in absentia. After the Friday prayers, I will offer the funeral prayers.
(Official Urdu transcript published in the Daily Al Fazl International, 6 October 2023, pp. 2-7.Translated by The Review of Religions.)