Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar in Qadian


A series looking at the high standard of morals of the Promised Messiahas and his Khulafa when receiving visitors in Qadian

Awwab Saad Hayat, Al Hakam

The Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, in his book, Haqiqatul Wahi, in proof of his truthfulness, said:

“Do you not see that I was a humble servant hidden in the corner of oblivion? I was so far from accolade and recognition that no reference was made to me nor any allusion; no benefit was expected from me nor any harm, and I was not among the well-known. It was then that my Lord addressed me and said: […] You are to Me like My Unity and Uniqueness. The time has come that you should be helped and be made well known in the world. Help will come to you by every distant track – such tracks which will become deep due to the excessive travel of the people that will come to you. So many people will come to you that the track on which they travel will become deep.” (Haqiqatul Wahi [English translation], p. 820)

Through the study of history, we see that people from many walks of life visited Qadian; there were some who came with sincere intentions, others who were tourists, or who came with a desire for research, or in their fierce opposition of the Promised Messiahas. One such opponent, who visited Qadian, was Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar. Maulvi Sanaullah was an editor of the weekly journal Ahl-e-Hadith. He would fan a lot of agitation and raise objections against the Promised Messiahas in his district. 

Masjid Mubarak, Qadian. The Promised Messiahas would spend many evenings in this mosque where he would explain the true message of Islam. These evening sittings would prove to motivate his Companionsra in their spiritual and moral training

Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar lived near Qadian and had many engagements with Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, but due to his personal shortcomings, he was not only deprived of accepting the truth but also carried on with his ways, remaining a fierce opponent of the Promised Messiahas. This man was given a longer lease of life as a sign of the truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas so that the world might see that the victorious prophet, Ahmadas, completed his mission and left this mortal world, while this man who was bent on enmity and hatred, by lying, fell under the heavenly curse and carried the burden of his longing, failure, and helplessness and lived for a long time becoming an image of the divine treatment of the Promised Messiah’sas enemies.

In 1947, Maulvi Sanaullah witnessed the bitterness of the country’s partition and bore deep trauma and shock. His books were burnt and his house was looted. Amritsar, then, was going through a devastating time which caused scenes of mayhem to unfold. Later, his son was killed. After the sudden death of his young son, he was left devastated. As a result, Maulvi Sanaullah suffered from a stroke on 13 February 1948. Later, on the morning of 15 March 1948, he breathed his last and met his end, dying in Sargodha. 

In 1885, Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar, after hearing about Huzoor’sas prominence,decided to walk to Qadian from Batala. It was in this very year that Hazrat Hakim Maulvi Nuruddinra also visited Qadian. At that time, Maulvi Sanaullah was only 17-18 years of age. Describing his journey to Qadian, in his book, Tarikh-e-Mirza, Maulvi Sanaullah wrote that previously, before coming to Qadian, he had a good opinion of Hazrat Ahmadas; he added that this feeling changed after his first meeting. Maulvi Sanaullah wrote that Hazrat Ahmadas, during his first meeting, did not greet him with a salaam and instead enquired where he had come from. 

As these details of Maulvi Sanaullah’s arrival in Qadian are not mentioned in the Jamaat’s record, it is difficult to know the exact details of this incident. However, time and history has continued to prove that God loves those whose hearts are sincere and pure. His blessings are recognised by those who are pious in nature. Thus, a Persian poet, Saadi Shirazi, has indeed spoken beautifully that: 

باراں‭ ‬كہ‭ ‬در‭ ‬لطافتِ‭ ‬طبعش‭ ‬خلاف‭ ‬نیست

در‭ ‬باغ‭ ‬لالہ‭ ‬روید‭ ‬دوشورہ‭ ‬بوم‭ ‬خس

“Such rain, in the beneficence of whose nature there is no flaw, will cause tulips and flowers to grow and blossom in a garden, and weeds in bad soil.”

The same is the case with the blessed souls who recognised the truthfulness of the Hazrat Ahmadas. For example, Hazrat Hakim Maulvi Nuruddinra, who was pious by nature and sincere in character, immediately accepted the Promised Messiahas and became the recipient of God’s blessings which showered upon him. 

However, Maulvi Sanaullah, as explained above, due to his personal shortcomings was deprived of recognising the imam of the age and spent his life as a fierce enemy of Hazrat Ahmadas.

In 1902, the Promised Messiahas, in his book, Ijaz-e-Ahmadi, alluding to his opponents who fanned hatred against him, stated: 

“[…] Overwhelmed by prejudice, they [opponents of Hazrat Ahmadas] fail to take into account the signs of prophethood and the criterion set for the recognition of the prophets. This is why all their allegations are utterly false and made as a diabolical plot. If they are in the right, they should personally visit Qadian and disprove any one of my prophecies. For disproving each of such prophecies, they will be rewarded 100 rupees, in addition to their to-and-from travel expenses.” (Ijaz-e-Ahmadi [English], p. 18)

Huzooras further stated:

“I, therefore, invite him [Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar] to pay a visit to Qadian and I ask him in the name of God to thoroughly investigate the matter and scrutinise all my prophecies. And I promise under oath that I will give him 100 rupees for each of the prophecies that turns out to be false in light of the precedent set through the circumstances faced by the previous prophets; otherwise, if none of the prophecies is proven false, it will be as if he is wearing a special medal of accursedness around his neck.” (Ijaz-e-Ahmadi [English], pp. 40-41) 

On 10 January 1903, Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar came to Qadian. In the second volume of Malfuzat (pages 683 to 688), under the title, “Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib’s visit to Qadian”, the events that unfolded on the occasion were recorded. 

In Malfuzat, it is recorded that on 10 January 1903, at Asr time, the Promised Messiahas received news that Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar had come to Qadian. Hearing this news, Hazrat Ahmadas said,  “So what? Thousands of passersby come here.”

Though Maulvi Sanaullah visited Qadian with the intention of meeting with Huzooras, despite this, he remained in a non-Ahmadi’s home, where he also challenged Hazrat Ahmadas to a debate. Huzooras found this inappropriate as Maulvi Sanaullah’s purpose of the visit was to meet Hazrat Ahmadas, therefore he should have stayed in Dar-ul-Ziafat as a guest of the Messiah.

Arriving in Qadian, Maulvi Sanaullah wrote a letter to Huzooras in which he stated that he had come to Qadian and desired to express his thoughts and matters on some prophecies before him in a gathering.

After offering the Maghrib prayers in congregation, a person sent by Maulvi Sanaullah, approached the Promised Messiahas with a pen and inkpot in his hand and presented two identical letters from Maulvi Sanaullah. One letter was for Huzooras and the other letter was for Huzooras to sign, acknowledge, and hand back. His intention was to receive an answer from the Promised Messiahas of the letter there and then. Huzooras took the papers and left. 

Then, when the Promised Messiahas came for the Isha prayer, he spoke to the gathering present and stated that two letters of the same topic had been delivered by Maulvi Sanaullah.

The Promised Messiahas said that he was ready to listen to all his queries. Huzooras said, “[…] if his intention is to have a debate, then he is at fault because now the time has passed and we are no longer partaking in debates […] Our door”, Huzooras added, “is open for seekers of truth.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 684)

Hazrat Ahmadas, after finishing his prayers, left. The messenger sent by Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar called Huzooras. “Hazrat Ji”, said the messenger, “What is [your] answer to Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib’s letter?” 

Hazrat Ahmadas replied, “[…] the answer will be given in the morning.” [The messenger asked], “Shall I come [later] to collect the reply, or will you send it by post?” The Promised Messiahas said, “You may come and take it or even Sanaullah may come and take it.”

“Then, the Promised Messiahas asked him for his name; the messenger replied ‘Muhammad Siddiq.’” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 684)

The following morning, on 11 January 1903, before the Fajr prayer, the Promised Messiahas read aloud his response he had written to Maulvi Sanaullah’s note.

Huzooras said, “[…] Your [Maulvi Sanaullah] letter was received. If it is within your sincere intentions to get rid of doubts and suspicions regarding prophecies and with the matters related to [my] claim, then it will be your good fortune.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 685) 

The Promised Mesisahas added that many years had passed since the publication of his book, Anjam-e-Atham, in which he mentioned that he would no longer partake in debates against opposing parties, who held malice within themselves, as it resulted in nothing but filthy insults and obscene words from them. However, Huzooras said, “I am always ready to dispel the doubts of seekers of truth.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 685)

Huzooras further said that many people, of opposing parties, made it a habit of creating a ruckus and would only engage in conversation merely to debate and argue. Huzooras had written, in this book, that he had closed all series of debates and said that he would not debate anymore.

Thus, as Huzooras had made a promise that he would not engage in debates, he laid out conditions and stated that Maluvi Sanaullah may write a short one-liner, or two-line statement, explaining the question and objection he had and that he could ask as many times as he desired.

Hazrat Ahmadas said, “[…] there is no need to write a lot, one or two lines are enough […]” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, pp. 685-686) 

Huzooras then emphasised the importance of this method lest it turned into a debate. Huzooras said that there would be nothing wrong with asking questions in this manner as Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar, according to him, came to dispel doubts which lingered in his mind. 

Huzooras further said, “[…] This method is an excellent way to dispel doubts […] In this way, all uncertainties will be removed; however, if you want to be given a chance to speak in the form of a debate, [then know that] this will never happen. I am here till 14 January 1903. Later, on 15 January, I will go to Jhelum for a trial. So even though there is very little time, I can spend up to three hours for you till 14 January.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 686)

After the Fajr prayer, Maulvi Sanaullah’s messenger appeared before Huzooras and demanded an answer from him. The Promised Messiahas replied that it would be given shortly. Then, Huzooras handed his answer over to a companion for him to make a copy and send it. 

Huzooras stated that he had made a promise to God in his book, Anjam-e-Atham, that he would no longer partake in debates with opponents. However, Huzooras stated that Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar would be given the opportunity to present his allegations in writing and Huzooras would then provide him the answers. 

Huzooras, with regard to holding a debate, further stated, “This is what I have sworn by God Almighty that I will not go beyond this […] I swear by Allah, that if you have come with a sincere heart, then obey Him and do not spend your days in unwarranted discord and mischief.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 687)

After handing over the piece of paper containing his answer, the Promised Messiahas left and sent a message saying that the note should be read out before Maulvi Sanaullah and be handed over to him. After a while, a reply came from Maulvi Sanaullah in which he stated that he did not agree with what Hazrat Ahmadas had proposed and persisted in his desire for a debate. Hazrat Ahmadas came to know of this response and stated that he had, time and again, made it clear as he had mentioned in his book, Anjam-e-Atham, that he would no longer partake in debates. Huzooras added, “[…] this person [Maulvi Sanaullah] now desires that I break my covenant I made with God; this shall never happen.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 687)

Huzooras further stated that Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar had the opportunity to sit and ask his questions and alleviate and dispel the doubts he had in his mind; however, Maulvi Sanaullah did not profit from this opportunity. Huzooras further said that Maulvi Sanaullah had accused him of being a person who disliked public gatherings. 

To this false statement, the Promised Messiahas replied that this utterance was far from reality. Hazrat Ahmadas said he desired that all people of Qadian, and others who were able to congregate, gather so that doubts which crawl in one’s mind be dispelled. 

The Promised Messiahas then told Maulvi Muhammad Ahsan Sahib to respond to Maulvi Sanaullah as he, Hazrat Ahmadas, stated that he was busy in the service of Islam and writing his book. Maulvi Muhammad Ahsan Sahib composed a response; however, after this, no letter was received from Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar, who then left Qadian. 

Maulvi Sanaullah, in his book, Tarikh-e-Mirza, also collected and made mention of his journey to Qadian, on 10 January 1903, and the correspondence that took place there. 

As a prelude to this journey, he wrote that in the days when Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas claimed to be the Promised Messiah, he was yet to graduate. He added that when he finally graduated, he started reading the books of Hazrat Ahmadas. In describing these days, he stated that he would pray to Allah regarding the truthfulness of Hazrat Ahmadas

From this incident, we learn that guidance is dependent on God’s grace. Otherwise, some people who, even upon reaching the fountain of guidance, remain thirsty as was the case with Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar.

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