Lessons from the blessed example of the Promised Messiah

Ayesha Naseem, UK

By the grace of Allah the Almighty, we are now passing through the second ‘ashra of Ramadan and at the same time, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat worldwide will also be celebrating Promised Messiah Day on 23 March in commemoration of the fulfilment of the grand prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa regarding the advent of the Messiah and Imam Mahdi. 

At this beautiful coincidence of Promised Messiah Day falling in the blessed days of Ramadan, let us take a look at the practices of the Promised Messiahas that encourage and motivate us to emulate his example. The following guidance and examples from the life of the Promised Messiahas will, insha-Allah, prove beneficial to all the readers.

On one occasion in 1898, the Promised Messiahas  said:

“The Arabic word ramadun refers to the heat of the sun. In Ramadan, a person restrains themselves from food and drink, and all other physical pleasures. Further, an individual develops within themselves a burning passion and fervour to fulfil the commandments of Allah Almighty. Therefore, spiritual, and physical warmth and heat constitute the Arabic word known in dual form as Ramadan […].” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 1, 217)

Regarding the month of Ramadan and its blessings, the Promised Messiahas said:

“The month of Ramadan is a blessed one. It is a month of prayer. […]

“As for me, I only leave my fast if I have reached a state that is near death. Otherwise, my disposition feels an aversion to foregoing the fasts. These are blessed days; they are days in which the grace and mercy of Allah Almighty are sent down.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 3, p. 96)

Recitation during Tahajjud 

Hazrat Dr Mir Muhammed Ismailra related to Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra:

“In 1895, I passed the entire month of Ramadan in Qadian and offered the Tahajjud – i.e., the Tarawih – prayers behind the Promised Messiahas throughout the month. It was Huzoor’sas custom to offer the Witr prayer in the first part of the night and eight rak‘aat [units of prayer] of the Tahajjud prayer in divisions of two in the latter part.

“In it, he would recite Ayat-ul-Kursi in the first rak‘ah, i.e., اَللّٰہُ لَا اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ھُو  up until وَ ھُوَ الْعَلِیُّ الْعَظِیْم and in the second rak‘ah, he would recite Surah al-Ikhlas. Mostly, whilst in ruku‘ or sajdah, he would recite:

یَا حَیُّ یَا قَیُّوْمُ بِرَحْمَتِکَ اَسْتَغِیْث

“‘O Living and Self-Sustaining God, with Your mercy do I seek help.’ His manner of reciting this was such that I would be able to hear his voice.” (“Practices of the Promised Messiahas in Ramadan, Al Hakam, 3 May 2019)

Ramadan routine of the Promised Messiahas

Hazrat Seth Abdur Rahmanra of Madras sought permission from the Promised Messiahas to return to Madras for some important work. He had also received a telegram to return. The Promised Messiahas said: 

“It is absolutely imperative for you to remain here during this blessed month.” 

The Promised Messiahas also said: 

“I am ready to make such a prayer in your favour that would even move mountains […]. During these days, I sit with my friends less than usual and remain in solitude for longer. This is truly to the benefit of my friends. I pray in seclusion with time and freedom and spend a better part of the night in prayers.” (Al Hakam, Vol. 4, No. 3, 24 January 1900, pp. 1-6)

Trust in God

Beyond the examples from the month of Ramadan itself and the guidance of Huzooras on how to best spend this month, we also find faith-inspiring and moving anecdotes from his life. 

Hazrat Maulana Abdul Karimra of Sialkot has written a detailed personal account of his life with the Promised Messiahas. Regarding the Promised Messiah’sas unwavering trust in Allah the Almighty, it is narrated: 

“One day, His Holinessas said: ‘If the people possessed righteousness, they would set out of their homes like birds, with an empty stomach, and return with their bellies full.’” (Life of the Promised Messiahas, p. 45)

Passion for service to Faith

Hazrat Maulana Abdul Karimra of Sialkot recalled:

“Any friend who offers any kind of service, or brings a verse that they have written, or writes an article in support of the truth, receives appreciation from His Holinessas who expresses immense joy. He says time and again: ‘If any individual gives us even a single word in support of the Faith, I find it to be more valuable than a pouch of pearls and gold coins.’” (Ibid., p. 75)

Hazrat Maulana Abdul Karimra of Sialkot added: 

“In essence, the centre of all his efforts is religion and service to its cause.” (Ibid., p. 75-6)

He further narrated that the Promised Messiahas stated: “A person who desires that I should love them, and that my humble and fervent prayers reach heaven in their favour, must assure me that they are able to serve the Faith.” (Ibid., p. 76)

Hazrat Maulana Abdul Karimra of Sialkot further recalled: 

“His Holinessas has said on oath many times: ‘I love everything for the sake of God Almighty, whether it is my wife, my children, or my friends. My relationship with everyone is for the sake of Allah Almighty.’” (Ibid.)


In terms of the reformation of others, Hazrat Maulana Abdul Karimra of Sialkot has written: 

“His Holinessas does not address anyone directly and reproach them if they commit an error or mistake. If someone’s action displeases him, in different ways, he will deliver an address in general terms. If the individual is blessed, he will understand himself and will feel remorse for his action. When His Holinessas delivers an address to counsel and teach his companions, each and every one of them feels with certainty that they are the ones whose weaknesses are being discussed by His Holinessas. As such, this wholesome method of reformation and purification takes place in the most excellent of manners; no one is faced with a trial, and no one’s dignity and honour are injured, so that the vein of ignorance may not further provoke them and make them more brazen in sin.” (Ibid., p. 79-80)

Noting the Promised Messiah’sas patience and self-restraint when encountered with opposition, Hazrat Maulana Abdul Karimra of Sialkot has narrated: 

“One day, His Holinessas said: ‘I possess such control over myself, and God Almighty has made my soul so true a Muslim, that if someone were to sit before me and go on uttering—for an entire year— the most filthy and obscene profanities that one could imagine, ultimately, they would be embarrassed themselves and would have no choice but to concede that they were unable to weaken my patience.’” (Ibid., p. 88)

Kindness and compassion for humanity

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra has written Sirat-i-Tayyaba

“Pertaining to the Promised Messiah’s kindness and compassion for fellow human beings, the first thing that comes to mind is the pledge he took, under Divine command, from everyone who accepted his claim and joined the Movement – the pledge of bai‘at which forms the bedrock foundation of the entire structure of the Ahmadiyya Movement. This pledge has ten clauses, and is well known to all and sundry, having been published very early in the history of the Movement, and continually in circulation among the members of the Movement, as well as outside the Movement. Under clauses four and nine of this pledge, the Promised Messiahas enjoins everyone who joins the Movement to promise that:

“Generally speaking, in the case of all creatures of God, and especially in regard to the Muslims, he should pledge that he would exercise the fullest care lest, under the influence of some human passion, he should do harm of any kind, either with his tongue, or hand, or in any other way.” 

Similarly: “That solely and purely for the sake of God, he would always keep himself occupied in the ways of love and sympathy for the creatures of Allah in general; and as far as it might lie in his power, he would strive, with all his faculties, and other blessings he has received from God, to be of benefit for all fellow human beings.” (Ishtihar Takmil-e-Tabligh, 12 January 1889) 

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra elaborated on this and stated: 

“This is the pledge that forms the door of entry into the Movement, and it was, given this position by the Promised Messiahas under a Divine command to this effect – a pledge without which no true Ahmadi can look upon himself as being an Ahmadi at all.

“Now we shall do well to pause for a moment, and to ponder deeply over the matter. Where a teacher and religious reformer lays the foundation of entry into his Movement, and of spiritual contact with himself, on this that anyone who takes bai’at at his hand would treat all human beings with kindness and sympathy, would strive to be of benefit to them in every possible way, and would in any case, refrain from doing them harm of any kind, it goes without saying that the personal example of such a teacher and reformer in all these respects should be of a very high order. And here in the case of the Promised Messiahas, we find that it was really so.”( Sirat-i-Tayyaba [English], p. 33)

“Often he used to say that he was not the enemy of anyone at all in the world; that his heart was always brimful of love and sympathy for mankind. For instance, in one place he writes: ‘I desire to make it plain to all Muslims, Christians, and Hindus, and Aryas, that in the whole world I look upon no one as an enemy. For all mankind, I have love of the same kind as a kind and loving mother has for all her children, in fact, even more than that. I am the only enemy of those false beliefs, which are an outrage against Truth. Sympathy for all mankind I look upon as a moral obligation, a duty; and my principle is to abhor all falsehood, shirk, (i.e., setting up gods with God) oppression, evil and immorality.’” (Arba‘in, No. 1, p. 2, accessed from Sirat-i-Tayyaba, pp. 33-34) 

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra then reiterates: “We should carefully remember that this claim was not a mere empty boast; it is a fact that every moment of the Promised Messiah’sas life was spent for the benefit of mankind, and those around him wondered and marvelled at the excellence and height of his morals that even his worst enemies he loved as a mother loves children.”

Another anecdote that demonstrates the deep anguish and concern Huzooras had for mankind. It is mentioned by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra that: 

“Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karim, who had his residence in a portion of the home of the Promised Messiahas, related that once, during the days when the plague was raging all over the country, claiming thousands of victims, he heard the Promised Messiahas praying most fervently in absolute privacy. Maulvi Abdul Karim writes: 

“‘During the time the Promised Messiahas was offering this prayer, there was such fire and pain and distress in his voice as to make the heart of anyone who heard melt in such torture of mine as if a woman were crying in the throes of delivery. On trying to catch the words, I found he was praying for mankind to be delivered from the curse of the raging plague, and he was saying: ‘O God, if all these people perish in the chastisement of this plague, then who would be left to worship Thee.’” (Sirat Hazrat Masih-e-Maud by Sheikh Yaqub Ali Irfani, accessed from Sirat-i-Tayyaba, pp. 34-35.)

‘He was a Light which Shone in this World for the Benefit of Mankind’

Hazrat Dr Mir Muhammad Ismailra wrote in one of his articles: 

“The Promised Messiahas was very gentle and mild of heart and temperament, merciful and magnanimous, very hospitable, the most courageous among men. In times of hardship and trial, when the hearts of others sank in their breasts, he marched forward fearless like a lion. Forgiveness, overlooking the faults of others, liberality, humility of mind, loyalty, simplicity, love of God, love for the Holy Prophetsa, respect for those holy persons eminent in the history of Islam, sanctity of commitment, beauty in actual daily life, dignity, jealous regard where a point of honour was involved, right resolve, a smiling face and an open brow – these were the most prominent traits of his character and personality […]. Indeed, he was a light which shone in this world for the benefit of mankind, and he was like the gentle and fruitful rain which comes down after difficult years of dryness and enriches the earth.” (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Part III, concluding note, Accessed from Sirat-i-Tayyaba, 49-50)


So, while this Ramadan, we try to improve our standards of worship and our relationship with Allah the Almighty, we also pause and reflect on the exemplary life and character of the Promised Messiahas – which can direct us all to try and strengthen our faith and our relationship not just with the Creation of God Almighty but importantly, God Almighty Himself. 

May Allah enable us all to do so. Amin.

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