Zikr-e-Habib: A beloved remembered – Part 4


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Old Lahore
An old photo of Lahore

Nubuwwat [prophethood] and muhaddathiyyat [station of being Divinely inspired]

During the conversation on the occasion of the feast [in Amritsar], Maulvi [Ahmadullah] Sahib presented this issue to the Promised Messiahas that, “It seems from some of your writings that you claim to be a prophet. For to this reason, people are deviating from the right path.” The Promised Messiahas explained what is meant by it [i.e. his claim of being a prophet]. Subsequently, Maulvi Sahib said, “Please write a note that wherever there is the word ‘nubuwwat’ [prophethood] in your writings, it does not in any way nullify khatm-e-nubuwwat [seal of prophethood] and it means muhaddathiyyat. The Promised Messiahas said, “Certainly, I will write it down.” Consequently, the Promised Messiahas put it on paper and gave it to Maulvi Sahib, which he kept with himself to show to those people who used to issue a fatwa [edict] of disbelief against the Promised Messiahas for the reason [that he broke the seal of prophethood]. 

[At the time of the above incident, the Promised Messiahas used to interpret his revelations regarding his nubuwwat and considered them to mean muhaddathiyyat. However, soon after, the revelations of Allah the Almighty descended upon the Promised Messiahas like rain and assured him that he was indeed the appointed reformer of the ageand a prophet of God.]

On one of those days, some troublemakers misled by the opposing maulvis came to attack the house where we were staying [in Amritsar]. They wanted to enter the zenana on the top floor of the house. However, a few Ahmadis who were present there bravely stood on the stairs and stopped them and later when the police arrived, those people dispersed.

[People flock to meet the Promised Messiah]

When the news of the Promised Messiahas reached Amritsar, several people from various cities came [to meet him]. Consequently, Muhammad Khan Sahib and Munshi Zafar Ahmad Sahib from Kapurthala stayed there for numerous days. 

It was summer. As I and Munshi Sahib were both thin and of short stature, we used to lie down on the same charpoy. One night, around 10 pm, I went to the theatre, which was close to the house and after the show was over, I came back at 2 am. In the morning, Munshi Zafar Ahmad Sahib, in my absence, complained to the Promised Messiahas that Mufti Sahib had gone to the theatre at night. The Promised Messiahas said, “Once, I also went there in order to find out as to what happens there.” The Promised Messiahas did not say anything else. Munshi Zafar Ahmad Sahib himself mentioned to me that, “I had gone to the Promised Messiahas with your complaint. I thought the Promised Messiahas would beckon and admonish you, but Huzooras only said that once he too went there and one gets to know many things.” I said, “The Promised Messiah’s not saying anything is also an admonishment. Huzooras knew you would mention it to me.” 

[Opponents did not succeed in Ludhiana]

After staying in Amritsar for several days, I left, but the Promised Messiahas stayed there for a few more days. Thereafter, when the Deputy Commissioner from Ludhiana wrote to Huzooras that he could stay in Ludhiana like the other subjects and that he was not responsible for anything, the Promised Messiahas went back to Ludhiana. When we were staying in Amritsar, a letter was written to the Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana and the aforementioned reply was thus received from him. It was also informed that Maulvi Muhammad Hussain Sahib Batalvi and other opponents had not succeeded in their plans.

[Journey to Lahore with the Promised Messiah]

It was probably the month of December in 1891 that I went to Qadian along with Khan Bahadur Ghulam Muhammad Sahib, who was a student at Jammu High School at the time, and one of my dear friends of the same name, Maulvi Muhammad Sadiq Sahib. These two companions wanted to take bai‘at of the Promised Messiahas, so they both pledged allegiance in Qadian and then we went to Lahore from Qadian along with the Promised Messiahas. We travelled in the inter-class of the train [i.e. the class between the second and the third], and then we reached the house from the Lahore station on a horse-driven carriage. In those days, horse-driven carriages were commonly used in Lahore. The Promised Messiahas first stayed at Miran Bakhsh Sahib’s house and after that, another house was rented. Upon the Promised Messiah’s arrival [in Lahore], there was great excitement in the city. A large group of people was always present at the house. The family members of the Promised Messiahas were also staying with him. When the Promised Messiahas would come out and sit in the gathering, he would deliver a brief speech and then answer the questions of people.

[Mahdi claimant]

During those days, there was a person in Lahore who claimed to be Mahdi, but the people believed him to be insane. He was not a scholarly person. He suddenly came to the Promised Messiahas in the marketplace and clasped him in his arms and started saying in a loud voice, “As I am the Mahdi, why have you claimed to be Mahdi?” Sheikh Rehmatullah Sahib grabbed him and pulled him back. The Promised Messiahas asked Sheikh Sahib to leave him alone and not be harsh on him. Since Maulvi Muhammad Sadiq Sahib and I had to go back to work, we only stayed there for a day or two and left. The Promised Messiahas stayed there for several days. I remember that Mian Khairuddin Sahib of Sekhwan was also accompanying the Promised Messiahas on this journey. 

[Milk and curd shop in Qadian]

When I first went to Qadian at the end of 1890, there was only one shop that sold milk and curd. The shopkeeper was a Hindu who used to bring a karahi [a small cauldron] of milk in the morning and from what was left by the evening, he would make its curd.

[Kasuf-o-Khusuf (solar and lunar eclipses)]

At the time when the prophecy of the solar and lunar eclipses was fulfilled in the month of Ramadan, I was still a teacher in the state of Jammu, but was in Qadian as there were some holidays [at school]. The Promised Messiahas had written an article about it. This article was printed and sent to Qadian, but the Promised Messiahas stopped it from being distributed and said, “Let the sun be eclipsed and then publish it. It is the work of Allah the Almighty and what can we say about it. It is possible that there occurs such a change in the sky that the sun may not be eclipsed.” 

The year in which the sun was completely eclipsed and the whole sun was covered and the prophecy of اِذَا‭ ‬الشَّمۡسُ‭ ‬كُوِّرَتۡ [“When the sun is veiled” (Surah al-Takwir, Ch.81: V.2)] was fulfilled, on that day, Salat-ul-Kusuf [the prayer performed during solar eclipse] was offered in Masjid Aqsa. Maulvi Muhammad Ahsan Sahib Amrohi led the prayer. When the worshippers carried out prayers while weeping and crying [during the Salat], an echo was produced in the dome of the mosque.

[Mirza Fazal Ahmad Sahib]

While I was still employed in Jammu, the Promised Messiahas sent a letter to me from Qadian stating that, “Mirza Fazal Ahmad is employed in the police department in Jammu. He has not sent any letters home for many days and his mother is very worried. You should enquire about his state and well-being and inform us by post.” 

Then, on another occasion, a similar letter was received again, and both times, I wrote back after enquiring about the situation. This incident happened around 1893-94.

Mirza Fazal Ahmad Sahib was the second son of the Promised Messiahas from his first wife. His physical features were very similar to Hazrat Sahibzada Mian Bashir Ahmad Sahib. He passed away childless.

When Mirza Fazal Ahmad Sahib died and the news of his death reached Qadian, the eyewitnesses say that sadness was visible on the face of the Promised Messiahas. The children were [playing and] setting off firecrackers and Hazrat Ummul Momineenra forbade them because the news of their brother’s demise had been received. The Promised Messiahas told Hazrat Amma Janra that, “They are just kids, what do they know about it! Let them play their games and do not stop them.”

[The Promised Messiah gave the copies of Surma Chashm-e-Arya]

Once, during the summer holidays, I went to Qadian from Jammu to meet the Promised Messiahas. Those were the days when Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin Sahib, Khalifatul Masih Ira, had also migrated to Qadian and the construction of the house where he used to practise medicine had been completed. He used to sit there almost the whole day. Once, I was sitting in the company of Hazrat Hakim Maulvi Nuruddin Sahibra in that clinic when suddenly the Promised Messiahas came there alone. He had a few books in his hand. He sat down casually on the same mat where we were both sitting. The Promised Messiahas addressed Hazrat Maulvi Sahibra and said, “I had these few copies of Surma Chashm-e-Arya in my possession. I have brought them so that you can distribute them according to the need.” I said, “Huzooras, I would like to have one.” The Promised Messiahas immediately gave me a copy. This is the same copy that is still preserved in the Sadiq Library.

[An interesting encounter with a British police officer]

One day in the morning, suddenly a British man wearing the uniform of a police superintendent arrived at Qadian and said, “I am the Superintendent of Police of Gurdaspur and have come to meet Mirza Sahib.” At that time, the building where the clinic and the press are located had been built, and where the guest house is situated now, another building was present there. In between those two buildings, there was only a small platform built on the site of the old wall of the city. He was seated on a chair on that platform and another chair was placed there for the Promised Messiahas. On being informed, the Promised Messiahas came out with a staff in his hand, as was his usual practice and sat on that chair. “I want to ask you something,” said the British officer. The Promised Messiahas said, “Please ask.” He took out a small book from his pocket and started flipping through its pages. He would turn over its pages one by one with great care. It was as if he was looking for those questions he wanted to ask which were written in that pocketbook. He looked through the entire pocketbook and then started from the opposite side to the first page. He then closed it and put it back in his pocket without asking any questions. Thereafter, he stood up and said, “I could not find those questions at the moment. Alright then, I will come back another time perhaps.” He said salaam and left, but he never came back again.

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu in Zikr-e-Habib, pp. 14-17)

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