Tahrik-e-Jadid: The magnum opus of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud – Part I

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Ata-ul-Haye Nasir, Al Hakam

Attempts have always been made to efface divine communities from the face of the earth. Opponents with such intentions, however, are unaware that God Almighty has promised the domination of His divine communities. The support of God Almighty openly declares:

اُولٰٓئِکَ حِزۡبُ اللهِ ؕ اَلَاۤ اِنَّ حِزۡبَ اللهِ ہُمُ الۡمُفۡلِحُوۡنَ

“They are Allah’s party. Hearken ye [O people]! It is Allah’s party who will be successful.” (Surah al-Mujadalah, Ch.58: V.23)

In the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra, many trials and tribulations arose and opponents tried their utmost to wipe out Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya. But Huzoorra bravely resisted every tribulation that arose, and every plot of the enemy ultimately proved futile.

Ahmadiyyat continues to progress to this day, alhamdolillah, and will continue to do so, inshaAllah.

One of these tribulations which arose on a large scale was in 1934 in the shape of the Majlis-i-Ahrar. Muslims were incensed about the existence of the Jamaat. It was as if the whole country had begun to support the Ahrar. These people gathered to hold a meeting and rose up with the determination of destroying Qadian and wiping out Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya. At that time, this attempt was in full swing.

During these turbulent times, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, after receiving divine guidance, announced a scheme, Tahrik-e-Jadid. This heavenly scheme was revealed to Huzoorra in such a way that all the stages of this spiritual conquest became visible to him. Thus, Huzoorra was able to write up a comprehensive plan of action for the spiritual battle between truth and falsehood.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra could have announced this scheme all at once, but instead, before announcing the scheme, he built an atmosphere that would instil a spirit of sacrifice in all members of the Jamaat and help them realise the importance of this scheme. Therefore, he gradually made the announcement of Tahrik-e-Jadid.

During the days of the Ahrar Tabligh Conference of October 1934, Allah the Almighty guided Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra to initiate the scheme of Tahrik-e-Jadid.

Huzoorra could easily have announced this scheme before the start of the Ahrar Conference, but with great patience and wisdom, in his Friday Sermon of 19 October 1934 (just two days before the start of the Ahrar conference) Huzoorra stated:

“Provided that God gives me life and strength, in a week’s time, I will be making a very important announcement for the attention of the Jamaat. I do not consider it appropriate to make this announcement before the said time.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 15, pp. 277)

Due to the fact that Huzoorra was going to announce a scheme which demanded many sacrifices from the Jamaat, so, to instil a spirit of sacrifice in the members, Huzoorra reminded them of their pledge of allegiance and explained to them the true meanings of Bai‘at. He stated:

“I will explain the need and reasons for this announcement later, but before that, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that you are called Ahmadis; you claim that you are the chosen Jamaat of God Almighty; you claim that you have absolute faith in the ma‘mur of God Almighty; you claim that you have agreed to sacrifice your lives and properties for God; you claim that in return for all these sacrifices, you have made a bargain for Paradise with Allah the Almighty.

“You have repeated this claim at my hand; in fact, thousands of you have made this pledge at my hand because you became Ahmadis in my time.

“In the Holy Quran, Allah says that if your father, your sons, your wives, your loved ones, your properties and your possessions are dearer to you than God and His Messenger, then there is no truth in your faith. This is not a trivial declaration, but a declaration of war for every human being who has the slightest weakness in his faith. This will be a declaration of war for every person who has any shred of hypocrisy left in their heart, but I believe that all the members of our Jamaat, illaa Masha-Allah [with the exception of what Allah knows], are true believers and are firm in their pledge, which they made at the time of Bai‘at; they will always be ready to make whatever sacrifice is asked of them in accordance with this pledge.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 15, pp. 277)

After this, addressing the audience, Huzoorra stated:

“It is forbidden to speak during the Friday Sermon, but a person can speak if the imam gives permission. So I ask you, are you firm upon the pledge that you made to me?” (Ibid)

Huzoor’sra question was answered in the affirmative by the audience and cries of “labbaik” were heard from all corners.

Huzoorra then said to Jamaat members:

“After this, I advise you that when you have sold your lives to me, sold your possessions to me, then I can ask anything of you that is within the boundaries of the Shariah. It is the duty of every member of the Jamaat to fulfil every demand that I make keeping within the Shariah and if anyone does not fulfill this, then such a one is a hypocrite and not an Ahmadi.” (Ibid)

After this, referring to the jalsa of the Ahrar, which was scheduled for a few days later, Huzoorra said:

“The first thing I ask of you (the second demand will be made after the first is achieved) is in relation to a jalsa [conference] that will take place here soon. I have received certain information about this conference that the people [associated with the event] want to cause rioting and disorder.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 15, pp. 278)

Advising the Jamaat in this regard, Huzoorra said:

“I instruct every member of my Jamaat not to raise their hand against anyone, even if they are beaten, and not to open their mouth. Even if they are about to be murdered, they do not have the right to lift their hand or open their mouth … after this announcement, you will be tested and it will be known to what extent you are ready to sacrifice your lives for religion.

“After this, I will make the second demand and see to what extent you fulfil it, but I do not want to make that demand during the days of the Ahrari Jalsa lest it be considered a reaction or it opens another door for disorder. Thereafter, I will see how many of you are ready for this sacrifice.

“The sacrifices made by our Jamaat thus far are significantly less when compared to the sacrifices of Prophet Moses’as jamaat, or Jesus’as disciples, or the Holy Prophet’ssa Companionsra. But now, it is time for us to make sacrifices in a way that shows us its fruits and takes us to those heights for which the Promised Messiahas was sent to the world.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 15, pp. 278-279)

Huzoorra further said:

“It is my hope that if you are ordered to go to distant countries without a single penny, you will comply with the order and if you are demanded to make changes in your eating habits or dress, you will comply with it. If you must devote your time entirely for the service of the Jamaat, [it is my hope that] you will agree to it without making any excuses. The one who does not fulfil these demands will not be considered from us and will be considered detached.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 15, pp. 279)

Then, in his Friday sermon of 26 October 1934, Huzoorra said:

“In the previous sermon, I instructed the Jamaat to be patient and advised people not to walk around with sticks and to obey all the orders given by representatives of the British government.

“Before today’s sermon, I would like to thank you and express my gratitude to you for your patience in spite of the provocative acts [of the opponents]. Save a few incidents which may have occurred due to misunderstandings, there was nothing else that could be considered a source of embarrassment for me and a problem for them.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 15, pp. 282)

Huzoorra then went on to inform members of the Jamaat in detail about the tense situation created by the Ahrar.

He stated that in this provocative situation, the conduct of police officers was very commendable. They felt bad when they heard those words which were used for Jamaat members during the Jalsa. A few of those officers met me as well and agreed that Ahmadis were harmed without any reason. They expressed that a Jalsa for the sole purpose of slander and mockery should not have been held.

Huzoorra further stated that he himself read in a newspaper that the chairperson of the conference said, “Put me in a room with Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud and if he is still alive the next morning, then you can say what you please [about me].”

Huzoorra stated:

“Any magistrate who has an ounce of decency cannot say that this was not a provocative act. Is this not a clear murder threat? … We know that prophets and their jamaats are threatened like this.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol.15, p. 284)

Then Huzoorra stated that he would now commence with the subject which he mentioned in the previous sermon, but it was also necessary to narrate the entire situation to the officers, members of the Jamaat, the public and those who are expressing so much contempt for us.

Huzoorra said that a believer never does anything in secrecy and whatever he would do, he would announce it publicly.

Before proceeding with the subject, Huzoorra said:

“You should remember two things: Firstly, every person who is in the Jamaat – who has pledged allegiance, through me, to the Promised Messiahas, through whom [they have pledged allegiance] to the Holy Prophetsa, through whom [they have pledged allegiance] to God Almighty – has agreed to sacrifice their life, wealth, honour, dignity, children, property, in fact, everything, for the sake of God, the Messengersa and his representatives and now, nothing is their own.

“I would like to make it clear that if there is even the slightest of doubts about these meanings [of Bai‘at] in anyone’s heart, they should renounce their allegiance if they do not wish to be called a hypocrite … If anyone thinks that they have pledged conditional allegiance to me and that they still possess something they can call their own and my obedience is conditional to them, then such people are not in my allegiance.

“I would like to say clearly to you and the millions of people who live in different parts of the world and those who will read it in the newspapers (when this sermon is published), that if there is any indifference left in one’s heart, I do not consider them in my Bai‘at … God is my Witness that you are completely convinced that I have conveyed to you that a conditional Bai‘at is not a [true] Bai‘at at all. [True] Bai‘at is that in which one is ready to sacrifice everything. It is your duty to obey my every command which is in line with the commandments of God Almighty and about which there is no contradicting guidance.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 15, pp. 285-286)

Huzoorra further stated:

“You must remember that this is a very critical time for us. There is opposition from all sides and it is your duty to uphold the dignity of the Jamaat while confronting it.

“Once, in a private meeting, at the house of Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan, Chaudhry Afzal Haq Sahib told me that their aim was to crush the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. So, the enemies have challenged us.

“So long as blood courses through your veins, it is your duty to accept this challenge and break the strength of this group that is threatening us. Tell the world that you can raze mountains to the ground, you can dry up the oceans and through lawful means, you can defeat anyone who stands up to destroy you, with the help of God, no matter how powerful the opponent may be … We must accept this challenge …

“As some people of the Punjab government have slandered the Jamaat and there is the challenge of the Ahrar as well, it is your job to elucidate this defamation and respond to their challenge. And for these two things, make whatever sacrifices you must make.

“For this, I will ask of you such sacrifices that have never been demanded before. They may seem trivial at first, but they will increase later. Ahmadis from all corners of the world should be ready for this and immediately say ‘Labbaik’ when the call comes.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 15, pp. 287-288)

After this, Huzoorra narrated more details about the ongoing situation.

Then, referring to a revelation of the Promised Messiahas, he said:

“O Ahmadiyya Jamaat, as it has been told about the Promised Messiahas that he would create a new earth and a new heaven, it is your duty to build a house for yourself with the grace of God. This revelation indicates that this earth and the heaven will cut you off like thorns.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 15, pp. 311)

Then in his Friday Sermon of 2 November 1934, Huzoorra elaborated on the tribulations created by the Ahrar against the Jamaat and the unjust attitudes of some government officials. Due to misunderstandings and conspiratorial activities of the Ahrar, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya (and especially Huzoorra) was falsely accused of civil disobedience and rebellion. In response to these allegations, Huzoorra said:

“Some close friends who have friendly ties with the government have also urged me to postpone my special announcement until we try to eradicate these misunderstandings, which have occurred between us and some government officials. If we have ever misunderstood something, as we are a religious group, we have always admitted our mistakes openly.

“I can assure these friends that if any mistake in our actions or misunderstanding is proven, we are always ready to face the punishment and apologise for it.

“It is now a question of whether the government is willing to admit its mistake or not. If it is proved that the government has made a mistake and it admits its mistake, then our grievances can be removed. The believer never keeps resentment or anger in his heart, but seeks the betterment of mankind … We want to raise this question only because if this issue is not raised, many problems will arise for us in the future and there is a danger of compromising the peace of the country. Otherwise, what is the significance of what the government has said, in the face of the abuse that we hear from our opponents on a daily basis? It is the government’s fault that it has attributed someone else’s actions to me …

“Why can we not tolerate this mistake of the government? The reason is the same as I mentioned earlier, that issuing such a notice by the government, in which we are accused of civil disobedience, is not valid in any case. Our Jamaat is that Jamaat, about which people have been saying from the beginning that it is a flatterer of the government. Some people accuse us of being government’s spies … There has never been a time when we have not even been accused of being rebels against the government.

“From the time when the Promised Messiahas announced his claims, the disbelieving maulvis and especially Maulvi Muhammad Hussain Sahib Batalvi started telling the government not to fall for our praise as we were not supporters of the government but rebels. And if not today, then tomorrow, they will stand against the government with swords.

“Thus, from the earliest days of the claim of the Promised Messiahas, people have been saying that we are rebels against the government and now, in the speeches made by the Ahraris in Qadian and Amritsar, they have said the same thing, that people should not fall for what we say as we are actually against the government.

“Such people should read the newspaper Zamindar and see that it openly declares us not to be friends of the government and that in fact, we are opponents behind the curtain. Today, if the government declares us rebels, then it is nothing of a new allegation that will make us angry …

“We object to this act of the government because it [the government] represents the [English] monarch, who the Promised Messiahas was always proud of being loyal to. It was under this government that he felt proud to live and we have always been proud of our loyalty for this government …

“If peaceful, loyal citizens and servants of the country are declared guilty of such disobedience … then, we fear that this chaos will continue to grow … If an appeal had been allowed in this case, I would not have been so disappointed as I intended to appeal to the High Court to protect the honour of the Jamaat … But the law under which I have been declared a rebel and dissident of the government, without any reason, has not left any room for appeal to the High Court.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 15, pp. 313-318)

Then, referring to his personal feelings regarding loyalty to the government of the time, Huzoorra said:

“I know what feelings I have in my heart for this great country. I know what my thoughts are on loyalty and obedience to the government … We have always been loyal citizens of this great country. Peace and obedience is the teaching of our religion and even the thought of civil disobedience has never crossed our minds and it never can because our religious teachings prevent it …

“I am sorry to say that some government officials have made a mistake and think that perhaps I am going to start a movement similar to the Non-Cooperation Movement. On the other hand, some people in the Jamaat have not understood my scheme. But some have understood it wonderfully, to the extent that they have written letters to me and summed up my scheme in a few words. But some members have presented such suggestions that cannot be right in any case. For example, a person wrote that ‘we should start wearing khaddar [khadi]’. And I think that no doubt if we boycott the English wearings, we can save 1.5 million rupees per annum to England, and if we work together with the Congress, the scheme of boycotting the English items can be so much successful. But this act is against our teachings, that we boycott someone who is not guilty. Even though, through this, we can bring the attention of England towards our rights, but as it is not allowed for us religiously, this act is fully inappropriate. Moreover it is against the logic, to hit the people of Lancashire with a stick, for a mistake of an officer of Punjab.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, vol. 15, pp. 318-320)

Later in the same sermon, Huzoorra narrated some incidents which raised suspicions that perhaps someone from the Punjab government wanted to harm the Jamaat and was trying to defame it. After narrating these incidents, Huzoorra said:

“Next week, inshaAllah, I will present to the Jamaat the suggestions I have thought. This week, I wanted to make the chapters outside [of Qadian] alert because there are very few outsiders who are aware of the situation in Qadian. In the same vein, women think that they may not have to join this scheme, so I also want to say that women should also join and this sacrifice is required not only from men, but women as well.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 15, pp. 360)

Click here for Part II

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