This Week in History: 20-26 August


20 August 1941: Hazrat Munshi Zafar Ahmadra, appeal writer from Kapurthala and noble companion of the Promised Messiahas, passed away on this day. He was amongst those companions who embraced Hazrat Ahmad’sas message very early on and remained loyal and devoted to his cause till his final days.

The body of Hazrat Munshi Zafar Ahmadra was brought to Qadian and was buried near the Promised Messiahas. On his demise, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra, during his Friday Sermon, said that Munshi Zafar Ahmad Sahibra was among the men who remained with the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, in the early days, and these people were a walking-and-talking record of thousands of signs of the Promised Messiahas.

Hazrat Munshi Zafar Ahmadra began to admire the Promised Messiahas after reading his book, Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya. Around 1884, he started to visit Qadian. He desired to do bai‘at at the hands of Hazrat Ahmadas and would tell the Promised Messiahas, many times, to take allegiance; however, Huzooras would reply that he had not been commanded to do so. When Hazrat Ahmadas was commanded to take bai‘at, he wrote a letter to Hazrat Munshi Zafar Ahmadra and some other companions. Thus, Hazrat Munshi Zafar Ahmadra reached Ludhiana with other friends and was able to pledge his devotion at the hand of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas.  

Hazrat Munshi Zafar Ahmad’sra handwriting was very clean and beautiful. When in Qadian, he would write replies on behalf of Hazrat Ahmadas to letters Huzooras would receive. 

Hazrat Munshi Zafar Ahmad
Hazrat Munshi Zafar Ahmadra

21 August 1924: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra approached France during his tour of Europe. He left Rome, Italy, by train on the evening of 20 August, and arrived in Paris on 21 August at 9 o’clock in the morning. From there, Huzoorra changed trains and arrived at the French city of Calais at 1:30 in the afternoon. 

Hazrat Bhai Abdur Rahman Qadianira has written in his diary of this journey:

“The green and lush scenery during the route from Rome to Paris and from Paris to Calais is one that I cannot describe. […] Along the way, tunnels came in abundance; however, on the border of Italy and France came a huge tunnel that was 11 miles long and was dug beneath a mountain, half of which was in Italy and the other half in France.

21 August 1949: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra addressed a large gathering of members of the public about Islam and contemporary Western philosophies. The lecture lasted for an hour and a half. In addition to the Ahmadis present, approximately 600 listeners were also present.

In this lecture, Huzoorra explained some aspects and teachings of Islam about monotheism, divorce, the prohibition of alcohol, polygamy, gambling and the death penalty. Huzoorra said that the teachings and philosophies of Islam defeated the theories and philosophies of the West in modern times, in religious, political and economic aspects. 

22 August 1921: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra was in Kashmir. On this date, Al Fazl reported that on 1 August, Huzoorra went to Srinagar’s locality of Khanyar. There, he visited the tomb of Prophet Jesusas and prayed. 

Huzoorra also gave some money to the caretaker of the tomb to help with its repair. On his return, Huzoorra said that it would be very good if members of the Jamaat, upon visiting this tomb, spared some money to help towards its repair and care.

22 August 1924: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra reached London’s Victoria Station. 

Hazrat Bhai Abdur Rahman Qadiani’sra diary states that Huzoorra, accompanied by his entourage, crossed the English Channel from Paris on this day.

He explained that the sea was raging, due to which friends and passengers suffered from seasickness. After arriving at Dover, Huzoorra took a train which left at four o’clock and reached London at six o’clock. 

A large crowd was gathered to welcome Huzoorra. After arriving, Huzoorra prayed at the station and made his way to Ludgate Hill. 

This was the first visit of a Khalifatul Masih to London.

Europe Tour 1924
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra arrives in London, 1924

22 August 1933: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra received an invitation from the USA. World Fellowship of Faiths from Chicago was organising its second international conference between 27 August and 17 September. Huzoorra instructed the missionaries in America, Sufi Muti-ur-Rahman Bengali Sahib and Mian Muhammad Yusuf Sahib, to attend the convention. Huzoorra graciously penned a powerful message for the forum. This message was sent by telegram on this date.

Sufi Muti-ur-Rahman Sahib conveyed this message as a representative of Huzoorra. This [message] impressed the audience and many people openly admitted that it was the highest quality article. In addition, Bishop Francis Macronal, the president of the conference, wrote a letter of thanks to Huzoorra “Your letter was received by sea. It was read out at the opening of the meeting on Sunday, 27 August at two o’clock, which was the climax of our meeting. All the listeners loved your words of purity.”

Hazrat Sufi Mutiur Rahman Sahib Bengali
Sufi Muti-ur-Rahman Sahib Bengali

23 August 1932: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra set off on a journey towards Lahore. The visit was to attend a reception in honour of Sardar Sikandar Hayat Khan, acting governor of Punjab.

24 August 1941: The foundation stone of a mosque in Quetta was laid. The Companions of the Promised Messiahas who were in Quetta placed two bricks of Mubarak Mosque, Qadian on a handkerchief and carried them to the base of the mihrab of the mosque, where they were then installed. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra prayed on these bricks and had them sent to Quetta. Jamaat members of Quetta earlier had a mosque in this city – the largest city in Balochistan – which caved in during the earthquake of 1935. The new construction was completed by the end of November of the same year. Part of the construction of the mosque was completed through volunteers.

25 August 1934: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra inaugurated the Star Hosiery Works in Qadian. 

Huzoorra visited the factory where members of the public were also invited. On this occasion, Huzoorra also gave a short speech in which he gave instructions to the workers and directors of the factory. Huzoorra also said that members of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat should use the socks made by this factory. After, Huzoorra led everyone in silent prayer.

25 August 1962: Hazrat Nawab Amatul Hafeez Begumra, revered daughter of the Promised Messiahas, blessed the ceremony of the foundation of Mahmood Mosque in Zurich. It was the first purpose-built mosque in Switzerland. 

Hazrat Nawab Amatul Hafeez Begumra visited Copenhagen from West Germany, after a short stay at the mission house. She made her way to Zurich where she was warmly welcomed.

On 25 August, at 10:30am, a special ceremony was held. Hazrat Nawab Amatul Hafeez Begumra placed a brick of Masjid Mubarak, Qadian, on which Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra prayed, near the mihrab of the Mahmood Mosque, which was still under construction. 

Muslims from all over the world also attended, as detailed in Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat. The Swiss Press expressed keen interest in the event. Representatives of newspapers and radio were present in large numbers on the occasion. In addition to covering the entire proceedings of the ceremony, the radio station also recorded a special message of Hazrat Nawab Amatul Hafeez Begumra, which was translated into German by Chaudhry Abdul Latif Sahib, Imam Baitul Zikr Hamburg.

26 August 1898: Hazrat Hakim Maulvi Nuruddin’sra daughter, Imama, passed away. She passed away on Friday at the age of 26-27. She left behind two daughters and two sons. 

Hazrat Hakim Maulvi Nuruddinra showed great patience at her demise. The Promised Messiahas also attended the funeral prayer. Upon reaching the grave, Hazrat Hakim Maulvi Nuruddinra addressed everyone and said:

“This is the [inevitable] end of man, yet he adopts jealousy, hatred, malice, lies and deception.”

She, was the eldest daughter of Hazrat Hakim Maulvi Nuruddinra, wife of Maulvi Abdul Wahid Ghaznavi Sahib, and daughter-in-law of Maulvi Abdullah Ghaznavi.

26 August 1921: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra addressed the Jalsa of Jamaat Asnoor in Kashmir.

In fact, on August 26 and 27 August, this Jalsa was held at the behest of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. Ahmadis of the Kashmir region gathered and various other representatives of the Jamaat came from far and wide. The total attendance was close to 500. On 26 August, Huzoor’sra lecture lasted for four and a half hours and the following day, he spoke for two hours. 

26 August 1955: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra started his journey back home from London.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra stayed in London for one month and 24 days. On his return journey, he travelled to Zurich from London and then to Karachi. His son, Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Tahir Ahmadrh stayed behind to pursue his studies there. He would return to Pakistan on 4 October 1957.

Europe Tour 1955
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra leading Salat. This photo was taken during his tour to Europe, 1955. Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Tahir Ahmadrh can be seen on the left

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