The magnificent personality of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad: A wife remembers – Part II


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Hazrat Musleh e Maud 1
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra

Kindness towards workers

During his stay in Dalhousie, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra employed a boy to run errands. His job was to bring messages, mail, etc., and deliver them to him. After doing his assigned tasks, he would sit outside the office of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra. Huzoorra had a great desire that this boy should study and have a good education. We were instructed that, “You should start teaching him Qaidah [Yassarnal-Quran] and the Arabic wording and translation of salat. When he completes one reading of the Holy Quran, he will be given a regular school education.” However, that boy had a very strange nature. Neither affection nor harshness had any effect on him. Every other day, we would receive some complaint about him. Annoying the staff outside [the office of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra], misrepresenting, not paying attention to studies, etc. were all his norm. He persisted in this behaviour for a long time. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra would listen to all his complaints and used to say, “These people are homeless and poor. He will find the right path one day.”

Once, this boy went to the extreme. He misbehaved with one of the kind and elderly staff members and then resorted to lies and deceit. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra really disliked when someone disrespected or showed bad manners to someone older than them, and then lying and deceit were intolerable for him. Despite this boy’s repeated complaints, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II’sra silence was only out of kindness; he was a poor person who had left his homeland and come to him due to compelling circumstances. Thirdly, he had a heartfelt desire to benefit the boy through good education and moral training. 

Thus, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra called him and investigated the complaint. It was substantiated that he was in the wrong. At that moment, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra got really angry with him [and rebuked and punished him] and made him repent. After that, the boy came back on track, so much so that we did not receive any kind of complaint again. Today, he is living a prosperous life with the grace of Allah the Almighty. Throughout my life, I only saw Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II’sra wrath on that one occasion. […]

Once, we were sitting around and having a trivial discussion about our servants working at home. The topic was why these people do not work honestly, despite having everything available. Moreover, they are advised that if something is needed, they should ask first and then take it. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra was working in the adjacent room. He unintentionally overheard our conversation. Consequently, he said:

“What are you talking about? This method of yours cannot lead to their reformation. If something has to be done, then take the right course of action to correct them. If they still persist in their behaviour after you have counselled them, then there is no need to talk about them in this way. Why don’t you see that these people (i.e., the workers) and we are the same creation of God Almighty? And Allah the Almighty is very Merciful. Why are they like this? Actually, it is enough for them that they are exposed to the heat of the kitchen, etc., in hot and cold weather. You should reform these people, but with love, kindness and gentleness, not by sitting here and talking against them in this way. God Almighty would not like this action of yours.”

The aspect of love and compassion in admonition

Once in Quetta, one of the office staff made a mistake in a way that indicated his carelessness, and the task assigned to him was of great importance. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra was personally enquiring about and examining the matter while standing. He probably said to this staff member in displeasure, “Keep standing here; I will not allow someone to work in this manner.” After saying this, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra went to his office and got busy with his work as usual. He worked in his office for nearly two hours straight.

Meanwhile, it suddenly started raining, and the downpour was really heavy. I somehow found out that someone from the staff whom Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra had admonished sometime before was standing outside and getting wet in the rain. I was troubled by the very thought of it. However, I was sure deep down inside that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra would definitely not have given an order of this kind. He might have said something in the heat of the moment, and then, after he got busy with his work, he may not have even remembered it.

I ran to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra. It was time for tea. Firstly, I had to give him tea, and secondly, I had to say something about that soaking wet member of the staff. I extended a cup of tea to him and spoke in detail about that drenched person. Then, I hastily asked whether I should send him tea as well. I said that he might get a cold, and asked if he should go to his room. The moment I said that, he rose from his chair, saying, “inna lillah [a phrase spoken upon any kind of harm occurring].” He put the cup of tea back where it was and said, “I just expressed my displeasure in that way. I never meant that he should continue to stand at the door and get wet in the rain. Hurry, tell him to change his wet clothes immediately, and send him tea. Ask someone to make immediate arrangements to warm up his room.”

Behold! The aspect of immense love and kindness was prominent in Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II’sra way of edification and admonishment. He would do their moral training like a father trains his children; rather, considering everything, his persona was much superior to a father.

Once, a person was excommunicated because of his mistake. He admitted his mistake after a while, and his repeated requests for forgiveness started coming through mail. I presented those letters from the post to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra and said, “Though I have no right to say anything in the matter of the Jamaat, looking at his pleas and restlessness, in which he has repeatedly admitted his mistake, I can at least request you to forgive him.” His requests had already been seen by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II’sra. He at first smiled at my sincere request, then became serious and said, “When I take this kind of disciplinary action against someone, it does not mean that I want to cut him off from us. Rather, its purpose is that during this time, the people for whom this punishment has been issued, should reform themselves so that God Almighty does not let them go to waste. I feel spiritual pain while taking this kind of action against them, and meanwhile, I also pray for their well-being and reformation, and I wish for them not to turn away from the truth.” Then, he gave the example of a garden and said, “The spoiled plants in the garden are taken care of first, if they still don’t revive, then such plants have to be pulled out because of the fear and concern that they will affect the healthy plants. The same is the case with members of the Jamaat.” While saying this, I was observing the changes in the appearance of his face. His face was red, and his voice was full of both, pain and affection. At a later time, after the necessary inquiries, he forgave him.

Caring for relatives

It was probably the year 1944 when, at Rashmi, Dalhousie, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra received the news about the sudden illness of Hazrat Mian Bashir Ahmad Sahibra. Being extremely busy with the work of the Jamaat, I (initially) had the impression that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra was devoted to Allah the Almighty and religious pursuits to such an extent that other than them, everything else was insignificant. However, when he heard about the illness of Hazrat Mian Sahibra, there was no end to my surprise. He was so unsettled by that news, like a mother is when she sees her child in pain. [He was anxious] to such an extent that he could not meet anyone except Hazrat Aman Janra while leaving the house. The rest of the family members themselves rushed to the door to bid him farewell. “Rashmi” was a large two-story house. I was sitting upstairs and watching that whole scene from the window of my room. Despite wanting to, my natural inhibition prevented me from going downstairs and saying goodbye to him. He left and as soon as he reached Qadian, he was informed that Hazrat Mian Sahib’s health was relatively better. He stayed there for three days. (Probably), he wrote to me from there. In that letter, where he informed me about Hazrat Mian Sahib’sra illness and his recovery, he regretted not being able to meet me in that situation and then also expressed disappointment about my not saying goodbye to him with the whole family. Then, at the end, he also wrote that, “Perhaps, your natural inhibition might have prevented you [from saying goodbye].”

I was surprised to read in his letter that he had a somewhat binocular vision as he “analysed” the entire situation with such precision. He had a beautiful, loving and generous heart for his siblings and loved ones. Moreover, as a wife, he comforted me in the best possible manner. He spoke of my shortcoming in the most beautiful way and knew the reason behind it.

It was probably the trip to Sindh. We spent the night in Lahore (at Sheikh Bashir Ahmad Sahib’s house). It had a spacious room in which we all stayed together. On this trip, Nasira Begum, our elder daughter, was also with us. At night, when we were about to go to sleep, the light was turned off as per our usual habit. […] We were not aware that Nasira Begum was used to keep the light on at night while sleeping. After taking a short nap, suddenly Nasira Begum’s loud voice, in which there was a lot of panic, came out, saying, “Father! Father!” He anxiously got up from his charpoy and quickly switched on the light, saying, “What is it, my child?” Upon asking, Nasira Begum told us that, “I cannot sleep in the dark. If I fall asleep [in the dark], I get really scared.” Consequently, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra kept the light on all night, due to which he was in discomfort himself, but he could not bear the thought of his child being hurt [as a result of him]. On the other hand, (as far as I understood), Nasira Begum, out of respect and love for her father, did not deliberately tell us about that habit of hers before going to sleep.

In spite of having such a strong relationship of love and kindness with his children, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra never tolerated any kind of negligence regarding religious matters and their tarbiyat and edification.

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu, published in the 26 March 1966 issue of Al Fazl)

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