This series, Zikr-e-Habib, explores the life of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, and his sayings, shedding light on his noble character and the impact of his teachings on his followers and the world at large.
Like all other prophets of God, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, would spend his day engaged in a variety of activities that were in line with his divine mission and responsibilities. To put it briefly, Prophet Ahmadas was divinely commissioned to revive Islam and guide mankind towards one God.
By sheer grace of God Almighty, the Promised Messiahas lived a long-blessed life and left a lasting impact on the world. His days and nights were full of significant events spanning the time before and after his claim of Messiahship. Prophet Ahmadas beseeched Allah’s nearness in his days of solitude and also spent time travelling and blessing many with his profound company. He also wrote a myriad of books. In the likeness of Propeht Jesusas, he was unnecessarily put on trial in numerous false and baseless cases by people of every nation and religion. Apart from days of health, the Promised Messiahas also went through periods of sickness and various illnesses in accordance with the prophecy of Prophet Muhammadsa. In the midst of all his engagements, Prophet Ahmadas also gave sufficient time to his family and close friends.
Day in, day out, the Promised Messiahas would do everything in his power to fulfil his assigned duties, so much so that, pleased with his utmost dedication to the cause of Islam, Allah the Almighty sent the following revelation:
اَنْتَ الشَّيْخُ الْمَسِيْحُ الَّذِيْ لَا يُضَاعُ وَقْتُہٗ
“You are the revered Messiah whose time shall not be wasted.” (Tadhkirah [English], p. 498)
One of the Companionsra of the Promised Messiahas, who served him for a long time and had the opportunity to spend ample time in his company, Hazrat Bhai Abdul Rahman Qadianira, gave the following eye-witness testimony about his daily way of life:
“Huzooras would not waste a single moment of his life, and all his attention and efforts were concentrated on preaching and spreading the message of Islam.” (Tatimmah Sirat-ul-Mahdi, p. 394)
Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmadra MA narrates:
“My mother [Hazrat Amma Janra] told me that the Promised Messiahas used to sleep for some time after the Fajr prayer because he would spend most of the night awake. The reason for his [staying up late] was that, firstly, he often had to carry on his writing work at night, which would usually go on for a long time, and secondly, he also had to get up several times to relieve himself. Apart from that, the Promised Messiahas would also get up for Tahajjud prayer.” (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 1, narration 4)
Mirza Din Muhammad Sahib of Langarwal, Gurdaspur, related to Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra in writing that, “I have been witnessing the Promised Messiahas since my childhood. To begin with, I observed him in the life of Mirza Ghulam Murtaza Sahib when I was just a child. It was the regular practice of the Promised Messiahas that he would go to sleep early at night after Isha and then get up for Tahajjud prayer at around 1am. After offering Tahajjud, he would recite the Holy Quran. Then, after the call to Fajr prayer was made, the Promised Messiahas would perform their sunnah prayers at home and go to the mosque to offer Salat in congregation. Sometimes, he would lead the prayer himself. Other times, Mian Jan Muhammad Sahib, who was the imam of the mosque, would lead the prayers. After the Fajr prayer, the Promised Messiahas would rest for a while. I never saw him performing sunnah prayers in the mosque. He would always offer sunnah prayers at home.” (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 1, narration 491)
Prophet Ahmadas said:
“If our entire lives are spent in worldly engagements, what will we have accumulated for the hereafter? Make a special effort to wake up for Tahajjud and offer it with fervour and joy. At times, the Prayers to be offered during the day pose a challenge to those who are in employment, but Allah the Exalted is the Provider. The obligatory Prayers ought to be offered at their prescribed times. On occasion, it is permissible to combine the Zuhr and Asr prayers. Allah Almighty made provision for this, for He knew that some would be weaker than others. However, this permission does not allow for three Prayers to be combined.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 1, p. 5)
Late morning activities
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra MA narrates:
“It was a routine practice of the Promised Messiahas that he used to go out for a walk in the morning and his associates would accompany him. The Promised Messiahas would walk for a mile or two [on a daily basis].” (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 1, narration 71)
Generally, Prophet Ahmadas would not go out for walks on Fridays. Rather, he would be occupied in taking a shower, trimming hair, changing clothes, applying henna [to his hair], etc., in order to prepare for Jumu‘ah prayers. Owing to his concentrated schedule on Fridays, the Promised Messiahas would not go for walks. (Malfuzat, Vol. 3, p. 391)
Hazrat Maulvi Rahim Bakhshra of Talwandi, Gurdaspur, states:
“The Promised Messiahas went to Amritsar to look at the printing of the book, Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya. After observing the printing of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, he said to me, ‘Mian Rahim Bakhsh, let’s go for a walk.’ When we were strolling in the orchard, I said: ‘Hazrat! You go out for walks, but we have heard that saints are occupied day and night in the ibaadat [worship] of Allah the Almighty.’ Prophet Ahmadas replied, ‘There are two types of saints. Firstly, those who are mujahadah kash [go to great lengths in the way of God to achieve sainthood], i.e., Hazrat Baba Farid Ganjshakarrh. Then there are those who are muhaddathun [recipients of God’s word], i.e., Abu Al-Hassan Al-Kharaqani, Muhammad Akram Multani, Mujaddid-e-Alf-e-Thani, etc. The second type of saints are very superior in status. Allah the Almighty speaks very frequently to them and I am also one of them.’” (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 1, narration 789)
Noon and after
Hazrat Dr Mir Muhammad Ismailra states:
“Generally, Prophet Ahmadas would take his first meal of the day between 10am to when the call to Zuhr prayer was made. […] Occasionally, the Promised Messiahas would have his morning meal after Zuhr prayer.” (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 1, narration 447)
Hazrat Dr Mir Muhammad Ismailra told Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmada MA that:
“There was no particular time of the day when the Promised Messiahas would take a nap. He would rest according to his work. Sometimes, Prophet Ahmadas would spend half the night or so on his writing work. On other occasions, he would work all night long. After returning from the Fajr prayer, he used to rest for a while, and sometimes, he would not sleep after it. The Promised Messiahas would often go for a walk after sunrise. After leaving his residence, he would stop at the Ahmadiyya Square and wait for the visitors to arrive. Once everyone had gathered, Prophet Ahmadas would start walking.” (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 1, narration 525)
Hazrat Sheikh Yakub Ali Irfanira writes:
“The Promised Messiahas used to go for a walk at around 8 or 9am on winter days, and in summers, he would go early in the morning. Prophet Ahmadas would walk for around two and a half miles for some fresh air, and during that time, current events and religious matters were discussed. At the same time, he would have some light conversation as well, but it was very decent and gentle.” (Hayat-e-Ahmad, Vol. I, p. 228)
Hazrat Sheikh Yakub Ali Irfanira states:
“After Asr prayers, the Promised Messiahas would occasionally take a stroll in the Aqsa Mosque, and mostly, he used to go out for a walk. When he would go for a walk [after Asr prayers], Lala Malawa Mal and Lala Sharampat Rai would accompany him and if any other person was present, they would also join.” (Hayat-e-Ahmad, Vol. II, p. 94)
Through the agency of Maulvi Rahim Bakhsh Sahib MA, Hazrat Mirza Sultan Ahmad Sahib said:
“It was regular practice of my father [Prophet Ahmadas] that in the evenings, he would go for a walk towards the Pahari Gate, i.e., to the north or the east side.” (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 1, narration 193)
Hafiz Noor Muhammad Sahib, a resident of Faizullah Chak, while narrating a tradition of his youth, says:
“In those days, the Promised Messiahas used to go out for a walk after Asr prayers. Prophet Ahmadas would walk for around two kos [one kos is equal to approximately two miles].” (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 1, narration 347)
Activities after sunset
Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karimra Sialkoti wrote that the mosque was the usual meeting place for the Promised Messiahas. If he was well, Prophet Ahmadas would [come to the mosque] and offer five daily prayers in congregation, and he used to emphasise on praying in congregation. […] After performing the obligatory prayers, the Promised Messiahas used to go to his room and get engaged in the writing work. However, after the Maghrib prayers, Prophet Ahmadas used to sit in the mosque. He would also have dinner with the friends and then go back to his room after offering the Isha prayer. The Promised Messiahas would also have lunch outside with the friends. (Sirat Hazrat Masih-e-Maudas, p. 43)
Hazrat Dr Mir Muhammad Ismailra states:
“If the Promised Messiahas had dinner at home in the days when he would sit [in the mosque] between the time of the Maghrib and Isha prayers, he used to have it after Isha. Generally, Prophet Ahmadas would take his dinner between the time of the Maghrib and Isha prayers.” (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 1, narration 447)
Malik Salahuddin Sahib MA states:
“Apart from [offering the five daily prayers in congregation], the Promised Messiahas used to perform sunnah and nawafil prayers inside his house. The sunnah prayers performed before and after the obligatory prayers were usually offered at home by him. However, in the early days, when Prophet Ahmadas used to sit in the mosque between the time of the Maghrib and Isha prayers, he would perform the sunnah of the Maghrib prayers in the mosque.” (Ashab-e-Ahmad, Vol. 9, p. 155)
The Promised Messiahas said:
“The current state of my affairs is such that I close the doors of my house and remain occupied in the [writing] work all night long. […] The episodes of lightheadedness go from mild to severe, but I do not care and continue with the work. As the days are getting shorter, I fail to stay aware that the day has already gone by and I only come to know when the bucket of water is placed [near me] for ablution before the evening prayer. At that very moment, I regret it and wish I could be granted a full day’s time again. […] Likewise, when I am requested again and again to have a meal, I force myself to eat a few morsels in the shortest amount of time. Apparently, I am seen having bread, but the truth is I do not even know where it all goes or what I have eaten.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 2, pp. 376-77)
The Promised Messiahas said:
“[…] No matter what work you are involved in – a trader in his trade, a farmer in his farming, or a king ruling from his throne of governance – everyone should keep God as his objective in all his engagements, and may do whatever he desires while keeping His grandeur and awe in his mind, and respecting His commandments and His permissions and prohibitions. Do everything while being fearful of Allah.
“Where does Islam teach that you should give up work and sit idle […] and, instead of being of service to others, become a burden upon them? Nay! Laziness is a sin. How then could such an individual serve God or His religion? How would he feed the family of his which God has trusted to his care?
“So remember that Allah does not wish for you to entirely give up this world. His wish is that:
قَدْ اَفْلَحَ مَنْ زکّٰھَا
[‘Surely, he prospers who augments it.’ (Surah ash-Shams, Ch.91: V.10)]
“Do business, do farming, be employed, be a craftsman, do whatever you want, but restrain your egos from disobeying God, and purify your selves to such an extent that these worldly occupations fail to make you forgetful of God. Then your mundane worldly works will also become as though the fulfilment of your religious duties.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 10, pp. 330-331)
Hence, the entire life of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiahand Mahdi was spent simultaneously in exalting the name of Allah the Almighty, manifesting the greatness of His beloved Messenger, Prophet Muhammdsa, and spreading true Islam to the corners of the world. At the same time, Prophet Ahmadas devoted his life to the welfare and reformation of mankind.
Surely, every single day of his life was a practical representation of this Divine revelation: “You are the revered Messiah whose time shall not be wasted.” (Tadhkirah [English], p. 498)