The early Tahrik-e-Jadid sacrifices

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M Adam Ahmad, Al Hakam

Suitable conditions and the right moment are among the things that are carefully considered before publicising worldly projects and plans. Conversely, divine schemes are announced when Allah the Almighty instructs and inspires the hearts of His chosen ones. Right away, these men of God make the heavenly orders known to their followers. They do not think twice about the circumstances because they are absolutely sure that Allah the Almighty is the Best of Planners and every success comes from Him.

This is exactly what happened when Tahrik-e-Jadid was announced by Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad Sahib, Khalifatul Masih II, may Allah be pleased with him.

There is no denying that a ferocious storm of hostility and opposition arose against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in the year 1934. The opponents of Ahmadiyyat put their heads and resources together to uproot the budding community of the Latter Days’ Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas. The leaders of the All India Congress and some officials of the then British government, including the governor of Punjab, supported the hostile group, Majlis-i-Ahrar-i-Islam, which openly claimed to raze Qadian to the ground and annihilate Ahmadiyyat. The Ahrar party would ultimately oppose the movement of the creation of an independent Pakistan and sided with the Indian National Congress during the anti-colonial struggle. (Sadia Saeed, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, Vol. 7, no. 3, Yale University)

The foundation of Tahrik-e-Jadid was thus laid in challenging conditions and unprecedented circumstances. Explaining that situation, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra said:

“This scheme [Tahrik-e-Jadid] was initiated at such a difficult time that it seemed as though all the powers of the world had come together to wipe out Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya.

“On the one hand, the Ahrar announced that they had decided to wipe out the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and that they would not stop until it had been completely wiped out. On the other hand, those who were outwardly admirers but inwardly jealous of us, took advantage of this opportunity to discharge their hidden malice and started funding them with hundreds and thousands of rupees. Moreover, the whole of India was encouraging them, so much so that when one of our delegations went to meet the governor of Punjab, they were told, ‘You have not recognised the significance of this movement of the Ahrar. We [the government officials] have found out from the department of post that they are receiving [funds of] 1,500 rupees per day.’

“Hence, the English government was also under the influence of the sedition of the Ahrar at that time and had started to take action against us. Several senior officers were sent here [Qadian] and the jalsa of the Ahrar was organised after blocking public walkways of Ahmadis … Such were the times when Tahrik-e-Jadid was launched.” (Baaz Aham aur Zaroori Umoor [1943], Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 17, pp. 33-35)

However, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra made it clear that the scheme of Tahrik-e-Jadid was a divine decree and the uprising of the Ahrar was just a mere coincidence. The All-Knowing God stimulated his heart to launch Tahrik-e-Jadid at the most suitable hour. (Al Fazl, 8 February 1936)

Moreover, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra saw a divine vision in 1934 after fervently praying to Allah the Almighty and then he prepared the plan of the heavenly scheme of Tahrik-e-Jadid through divine guidance. (Al Fazl, 18 November 1934)

In one of his Friday Sermons, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra clearly stated:

“The [Tahrik-e-Jadid] scheme was definitely not in my mind. All of a sudden, this scheme was inspired in my heart by Allah the Almighty. Thus, without any kind of exaggeration on my part, I can say that Tahrik-e-Jadid, which has been launched by God, was never in my mind before and I was completely oblivious to it. All at once, Allah the Almighty revealed this scheme to me and I presented it before the Jamaat. Hence, this is not my scheme, but in fact, a scheme revealed by God Almighty.” (Al Fazl, 2 December 1942)

As the scheme of Tahrik-e-Jadid was launched by God Almighty, it was destined to prosper and succeed. Regardless of great hardships and hostile environments, the conflict-ridden Jamaat of the Messiahas generously responded to the call of their Khalifa with everything they had and set extraordinary examples of sacrifice for the coming generations.

The amazing spirit of financial sacrifice shown by members of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat at that time can be gaged from the fact that Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra gave a target to contribute 27,500 rupees in the first year of Tahrik-e-Jadid, but in a short span of one and a half months, the Jamaat managed to present 33,000 rupees in cash and made promises of more than 100,000 rupees.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra acknowledged and appreciated the efforts of his adherents in the following words:

“All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, that the sincere members of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya have responded to my call of monetary sacrifice in such a way that they have opened the eyes of the opponents and encouraged their associates. As the source of all good deeds is the Supreme Being of Allah the Almighty, therefore I express gratitude to His Pure Being for He encouraged us by giving us a small opportunity to express our love for Him.

“The appeal made for chanda was 27,500 rupees. In this regard, 33,000 rupees have been received in cash by now and the total sum [of contribution] in promises received before 15 January [1935] is 100,026 rupees, which is around four times more than the requested amount.” (Al Fazl, 24 January 1935)

The divine vision of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat’s founder was also fulfilled through Tahrik-e-Jadid when the blessed number of 5,000 mujahideen was achieved, who made immense sacrifices and contributed to the cause in the very first year of the scheme. Tahrik-e-Jadid came as a blessing and solace for members of the Jamaat. Due to their extraordinary sacrifices, God Almighty granted Ahmadis abundance of wealth and prosperity.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“Some exceptionally sincere individuals presented all of their savings [in the first year of Tahrik-e-Jadid]. One of them wrote, ‘In the second year of [Tahrik-e-Jadid], I had to sell some of my belongings to give the chanda, but I did not find the courage to tell you about it. Then, I had to sell everything to contribute in the third year. Now, I have to lower the promise of [my chanda] unfortunately.’ However, in the ninth year, he wrote, ‘God Almighty granted me the strength to save some money, so just like every previous year, I will present more chanda than the last one.’” (Baaz aham aur zaroori umoor [1943], Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 17, pp. 35-36)

Even the enemies of Ahmadiyyat were surprised by it. They praised the sacrifices and leadership of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. In a speech delivered on 7 April 1935, the president of Majlis-i-Ahrar, Maulvi Habib-ur-Rahman Ludhianvi, said:

“Although we are enemies of Mian Mahmud, but we also praise him at this juncture. When he told his handful of followers in India that he required 27,500 rupees, the Jamaat presented 100,000 rupees. After that, he demanded 11,000 rupees and they gave significantly more than that.” (Al Fazl, 26 April 1935)

Early on, the Jamaat that set a very high example in terms of Tahrik-e-Jadid chanda and eagerly answered the call of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra, was the Jamaat of Qadian. (Al Fazl, 14 December 1934)

Among foreign countries, the Arab Ahmadis were the first to contribute towards Tahrik-e-Jadid and not only did they send their promises but also sent a portion of chanda in cash. Hence, promises of 400 shillings were received by the Haifa Jamaat by the beginning of February 1935, of which 75 shillings were sent in cash. In addition, children of Madrasa Ahmadiyya, Kababir (Haifa), also presented chanda of eight shillings. (Al Fazl, 7 February 1935)

Soon after, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra received sincere letters promising monetary contributions and also chanda in cash from the jamaats of Iran (Abadan), London, Baghdad, Kampala, Zanzibar, Darul Salam, Tanga, Nairobi, Serbia, Java and Colombo. (Al Fazl, 12 March 1935)

A companion of the Promised Messiahas, Syed Mir Mehdi Hussain Sahibra, went to Iran on 29 October 1934 as an honorary missionary. His son, Syed Abdul Basit Sahib narrates that his father left for Lahore from Qadian after offering the Zuhr prayer at Masjid Mubarak and reached Karachi the following day. From Karachi, he travelled to Iran and reached there a month later. When he disembarked at the Iranian port of Abadan, Ahmadi friends, who were there to welcome him, told him about the scheme of Tahrik-e-Jadid. That was the first time he had heard about the call of his Khalifa. At that time, he had 49 rupees in his pocket, which he immediately submitted to the secretary finance to pass on to the Markaz. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 6, pp. 226-229)

Apart from generously taking part in financial sacrifices, members of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya enthusiastically followed the instructions of their leader and fulfilled the rest of the demands of Tahrik-e-Jadid as well. That is, Ahmadis began to lead a life of simplicity, dedicate their lives for the tabligh of Islam, develop the habit of manual labour etc.

In accordance with the guidance of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra, many youngsters quit the habit of going to cinemas, theaters, circuses – all of which required a large sum of money at the time – and started saving money. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra said:

“A young man heard about my scheme, which I announced last year. This young man lived in the district of Sargodha and travelled to Afghanistan without a passport and began preaching. The government detained him and put him in jail; however, even in jail, he would preach to the prisoners and prison guards and established contact with the Ahmadis there and began to influence many people.

“Eventually, the prison officers fi led a report stating that he was also influencing others in prison. The clerics issued a fatwa of death against him, but one of the ministers said that he was a citizen of the British Empire, therefore they could not execute him. In the end, the government sent him under their protection to India. After several months, he has now returned.

“The level of his determination was such that when I told him that he had made a mistake and that there were many countries he could have gone and preached in without being detained, he immediately replied by saying that he would go to any country I suggested. The young man’s mother is still alive, yet he was ready to travel to another country without having first met her. But upon my instructions, he is now on his way to meet his mother.

“If other young men display the same determination as this young man from Punjab, who travelled to Afghanistan, then we can bring about a revolution in the whole world within a short period of time.” (Al Fazl, 3 December 1935)

There are countless examples of Ahmadis who responded so passionately to the call of their Imam, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, especially with respect to the demand of Tahrik-e-Jadid related to the worldwide tabligh of Islam, that the people of today might consider them insane. Indeed they were madly in love with their Khalifa and followed every single word of their leader heedless of the consequences. Many sacrificed their lives while spreading the message of truth under the divine scheme of Tahrik-e-Jadid in its early years.

A gentleman by the name of Wali Dad Khan Sahib was martyred by his paternal cousin. His only mistake was that he used to persuade the people of Afghanistan to visit Qadian. Likewise, another young man who went to China under this scheme passed away over there, and although he died a natural death, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra regarded him as a martyr. Adalat Khan Sahib was also one of the early martyrs who sacrificed their lives conveying the message of the Muhammadan Messiahas under this blessed scheme. (Report Majlis-i-Mushawarat, 1939)

Hence, the earliest addressees of Tahrik-e-Jadid heard the appeal of their Khalifa and obeyed with all their might. They were fortunate enough to meet the demands and requirements of Tahrik-e-Jadid in their time, but now, it is our duty and responsibility of the coming generations to do our bit by following their footsteps and excel in all kinds of sacrifices.

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