By Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih II and Musleh-e-Maud, may Allah be pleased with him – an obituary written for his late wife, Hazrat Umm-e-Tahir, Syeda Maryam Begum Sahiba, may Allah be pleased with her
Desire to understand one another
As I have stated above, due to her illness, my Maryam was often under the illusion that I never loved her or that I loved her less than others. For this reason, she would be pleasant to others, but often times, she would quarrel with me and thus, our life was a mixture of love and disputes. I loved her immensely and seeing her face in times of difficulty would ease my distress. But she remained firm on her stance that she was loved less than others.
During her final illness, the two ladies who stayed with her in turns both told me separately that she had accepted her mistake. One of the ladies said, “[Maryam Begum] expressed that she would often think that Hazrat Sahib did not love her, but she said that she was mistaken. She said, ‘The lengths to which he has gone in my illness has proven to me that he indeed loves me dearly. If I come out of this alive, I will give him all the love and respect possible.’”
The other lady narrated, “She told me that she was certain that Huzoor loved her. She said that if she stayed alive, she would spend the rest of her life in his service.” Destiny had it that they would both tell me this after her demise. If they had told me during her lifetime, it would have been a source of great happiness for me. I would have gone to her, taken her hand in mine and said, “Maryam, do not worry. You do not need to serve me or show me your love and respect. This thought occurring to you has reciprocated all my love.”
Perhaps she would have felt satisfied by this and my heart would have been overjoyed. If we were able to stand face to face even once in a way that we both understood each other, just for a minute, how joyous would that moment be for the both of us! But this was not in Allah’s plan. Perhaps the misfortune of our shortcomings demanded a huge sacrifice from us.
Sound mind until the last breath
The extraordinary thing is that despite such a long illness, Maryam Begum remained in her senses till her last breath. Two days before her demise, when she had reached the extremes of weakness, she said to me, “Can you arrange for some small tablecloths.” Thus, I requested Maryam Siddiqa to go by car and select some according to her choice. When I showed [Maryam] the tablecloths, she was extremely drowsy. But she replied, “They’re nice. Get a dozen of them.”
I thought that she was not in her senses because in the hospital room, there was only one coffee table. I responded, “Alright. Okay!” and left the room worriedly with tears in my eyes. After some time, her maid came out from her room and said, “She is calling you.” As I entered, she immediately overcame her drowsiness, but was still weak. After gesturing to come closer, she told me, “You got so worried. I am in my senses. I did not order the tablecloths for the hospital; I ordered them for our home.”
I feel that her weak heart made her believe this afterwards. The reality is that she was affected by temporary drowsiness, but she understood and saw through my worry. After assessing the situation, she realised that she had made a mistake, thus correcting the tablecloth issue so that it seemed sensible and explained the logic to me.
Prayer for the visitors
During Maryam Begum’s illness, the wife of Sher Muhammad Khan Sahib of Australia, Iqbal Begum offered her services the most. This pious lady served [Maryam] day and night for two and a half months, forgetting about her children and her home in a manner that led me to worry about her mental state. May Allah the Almighty always cover her and her entire family with His shadow of grace.
Then there is Dr Hashmatullah Khan Sahib, who had the opportunity to serve her for a long and continuous period of time. Sheikh Bashir Ahmad Sahib hosted us for many months and helped us in so many ways.
Mian Ehsanullah Sahib of Lahore worked day and night, to the point where I had to pray that Allah enable him to always live a pious life till the end. Hakim Sirajuddin Sahib of Bhati Gate, alongside his wife, provided food and would frequently visit us in hospital. Dr Mirajuddin suffers from Parkinson’s disease and is quite aged. When he would arrive tumbling and huffing and puffing in the hospital and would call me outside to speak to me about [Maryam’s] health, many a time, upon seeing this grace of God Almighty, my eyes would well up with tears; God filled the hearts of people with the love of an unworthy being like me.
Many others from Lahore showed signs of immense sincerity and helped us in so many ways. Seith Muhammad Ghaus Sahib of Hyderabad showed such a high example of sincerity that is rare even among biological brothers. Despite being at a distant place like Hyderabad, his daughter-in-law and daughters first resided in Qadian for a long period and would often visit [Maryam].
When they finally returned home, Seith Muhammad Azam left his business and settled in Lahore and sometime after the demise did he return home. Dr Latif Sahib visited many times, travelling from Delhi. Many people from my own family lovingly made many sacrifices. This was but their responsibility and other than through prayers, how else can I repay them?
O my Lord! Exalt all these people with Your grace and blessings and those who I have not been able to mention or am unaware of. O my Lord! I feel as though these pious servants of Yours deserve a more sincere and caring leader than me. What more can I say to intercede for them before You?
The sincerity of the Jamaat
The sincerity shown by the Jamaat upon Maryam’s demise was a means of increasing our faith. It is the sheer blessing of being associated with Muhammad Rasulullah [Messenger of Allah], peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, that we find such high levels of loyalty in our Jamaat. May Allah accept their sincerity and loyalty, distance them from wrongdoings and increase them in righteous deeds. May He provide spiritual and moral sustenance for their future generations Himself. Allahumma amin.
O my Lord! I now conclude this piece and refer to the famous incident mentioned in Bukhari as a reminder by saying that at the time of Maryam Begum’s demise, I attempted to occupy Maryam in Your love, despite my bleeding heart, and sacrificed my emotions so that her soul could eventually return to You, entrenched in Your love.
My Dear Lord! If that act was wholly for You and in exaltation of Your Name, then in return, I ask that You remove any painful memories of Maryam from my heart. My Lord! When Maryam Begum promised to raise the late Amatul Hayy’s children and I promised to love her immensely, I prayed to You that You may instil her love in my heart. You accepted that prayer and despite thousands of misunderstandings, her love never escaped my heart. Today, I ask of You again to let her love remain in my heart so that I may pray for her. But [I ask that You] remove any painful memories so that I may serve Your religion in the best manner, till the very end.
My Lord! I have full certainty that Maryam is now in the Hereafter and that the truths have been made manifest to her. If You reveal this to her then she will not mind it, rather she will tell You, “In order to purify my heart, my husband urged me in my final hours to forget his love, for God Almighty is our true love and that I should only focus on thinking about Him. Now I intercede for him and ask that You take back the love for me he prayed to You for; not to the extent that he forgets about praying for me, but just enough that this love does not cause him distress and becomes a hindrance in his work.”
A comprehensive prayer for the entire Jamaat
O my Lord! How beautiful You are! No one knows when my death will come and for this reason, today, I entrust all my children, my dear ones and the entire Ahmadiyya Jamaat to You. My Lord! Become wholly theirs and enable them to become wholly Yours. May my eyes and my soul never witness their pain. May they flourish, spread and sprout and may they establish Your Kingdom in the whole world. May they return from this world to You by leaving behind such progeny that is no less in service to Your religion.
O God! Never let me witness their pain and never let my soul feel sorrow for them. My Lord! Bless the souls of my Amatul Hayy, my Sara and my Maryam. Always come to their help and aid and grant them security from all evil in the Hereafter. Allahumma amin.
From the depths of my heart
O Soul of Maryam! If God Almighty conveys my voice to you, then here, listen to my final message from the depths of my heart and then go and enter the mercies of God where grief ceases to exist; where pain is unknown and where the memory of us earth-dwellers does not trouble anyone. Wassalam
وَآخِرُ دَعْوٰینَا وَدَعْوٰیکُمْ اَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلّٰہِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِیْنَ
[And in the end, our claim and your claim is: All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds] ٍ
اَبْکِیْ عَلَیْکِ کُلَّ یَوْمٍ وَلَیْلَۃٍ
اَرْثِیْکِ یَا زَوْجِیْ بِقَلْبٍ دَامِیْ
I cry for you, every day and every night. My dear wife! I mourn your death with a bleeding heart. ً
صِرْتُ کَصَیْدٍ صِیْدَ فِیْ الصُّبْحِ غَبْلَۃً
قَدْ غَابَ عَنِّیْ مَقْصَدِیْ وَمَرَامِیْ
Upon your death, I became the prey that is trapped in the early hours, whilst searching for food. The shock struck me in a way that made me forget where I was and where I was headed. ْ
لَوْ لَمْ یَکُنْ تَائِیدُ رَبِّیْ مُسَاعِدِیْ
لَاَصْبَحْتُ مَیْتًا عُرْضَۃً لِسِھَامِیْ
Had God’s succour not been at hand, I would have become the target for the spears of my own heart, thus becoming like carrion. ْ
وَلٰکِنَّ فَضْلَ اللہِ جَاءَ لِنَجْتَدِیْ
وَاَنْقَذَنِیْ مِنْ زَلَّۃِ الْاَقْدَامِ
But Allah’s grace came to my help, and kept me from stumbling.
یَا رَبِّ سَتِّرْنِیْ بِجُنَّۃِ عَفْوِکَ
کُنْ نَاصِرِیْ وَمُصَاحِبِیْ وَمُحَامِیْ
O My Lord! Protect me with the shield of Your forgiveness; Be my Helper! Be my Companion! Be my Protector!
اَلْغَمُّ کَالضِّرْغَامِ یَاْکُلُ لَحْمَنَا
لَا تَجْعَلَنِّیْ لُقْمَۃَ الضِّرْغَامِ
Sorrow is like a lion that eats away at our flesh; God! Prevent me from becoming the morsel to this lion!
یَا رَبِّ صَاحِبْھَا بِلُطْفِکَ دَائِمًا
وَاجْعَلْ لَھَا مَاْوًی بِقَبْرٍ سَامِیْ
O my Lord! Always accompany her and send down Your blessings on her; And make her abode a shrine of eminence.
یَا رَبِّ اَنْعِمْھَا بِقُرْبِ مُحَمَّدٍ
ذِیْ الْمَجْدِ وَالْاِحْسَانِ وَالْاِکْرَامِ
O my Lord! Bless her with the nearness of Muhammad (Rasulullah), who is bestowed majesty, beneficence and reverence (by You).
All worldly loves and sorrows are temporary. True love exclusively belongs to Allah the Almighty. By being at one with Him can we meet with our dear ones and by distancing ourselves from Him can we lose everything. The things our flawed perceptions consider painful are usually blessings in disguise from God. Thus, I declare that my heart can be false, but my God is True.
وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّٰہِ عَلیٰ کُلِّ حَالٍ
[And all praise belongs to Allah in every condition.]
Seeking God’s grace,
Mirza Mahmud Ahmad
(Meri Maryam, Anwarul Ulum, Vol. 17, pp. 347-372; Al Fazl, 12 July 1944, pp. 1-8)