Zikr-e-Habib: Deep reverence and immense love for the Holy Quran


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.

M Adam Ahmad, Al Hakam
Unsplash | Syed Aoun Abbas

The Holy Quran was revealed by Allah the Almighty to the Founder of Islam, Prophet Muahmmadsa. Around 1500 years ago, the Holy Prophetsa prophesied:

يُوْشَکُ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ  عَلَى النَّاسِ زَمَانٌ لَا يَبْقَى مِنَ الْإِسْلَامِ إِلَّا اسْمُہُ، وَلَا يَبْقَى مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ إِلَّا رَسْمُہُ

“A time will come upon the people when there will remain nothing of Islam but its name and of the Quran but its words.” (Imam al-Bayhaqi, Shu‘ab al-Iman, Vol. 3, pp. 317-318, Hadith 1763)

The time mentioned in the above hadith was the age when the Promised Messiah and Mahdi was destined to appear. Accordingly, it so occurred that the significance of the Holy Quran in Muslims’ lives decreased and people began to disregard its profound guidance and wisdom. The Holy Quran itself mentions this unfortunate state of Muslim Ummah in the following words of the Messengersa of Allah the Almighty:

اِنَّ قَوۡمِي اتَّخَذُوۡا ہٰذَا الۡقُرۡاٰنَ مَہۡجُوۡرًا

“O my Lord, my people indeed treated this Quran as a discarded thing.” (Surah, al-Furqan, Ch.25: V.31)

Consequently, God Almighty sent the Messiah of Muhammadsa, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas to restore the true glory of the Holy Quran and revive the faith of Islam. Referring to this time, the Promised Messiahas said:

“The ahadith make it very evident that the Promised Messiahas would appear in the world when knowledge of the Holy Quran would be lost and ignorance would prevail. This is the period to which the following hadith refers:

لَوْکَانَ الْاِيْمَانُ مُعَلَّقًا عِنْدَالثُّرَيَّا لَنَالَہٗ رَجُلٌ مِّنْ فَارِس

‘If the faith ascends to the Pleiades, it will be brought down by a man of Persia.’ […]

“Ponder upon this very carefully, and do not pass over it in haste. Beseech God that He may open your minds to it. A little consideration will help you understand the prophecy mentioned in the ahadith that the Holy Quran will be taken away from the world in the latter days, its knowledge will be forgotten, ignorance will prevail, and the delight and interest in faith will vanish from people’s hearts.

“One of these ahadith says that if the faith ascends to the Pleiades and vanishes from the earth, a man from the Persians will reach out and bring it back. This hadith makes it abundantly clear that when ignorance, faithlessness, and corruption – which are described as smoke in other ahadith – will spread across the globe, and true faith will become so rare as if it had been gone to the skies, and the Holy Quran will be forsaken as though it had been raised toward God Almighty, at that time, a man born of Persian descent will bring the faith from the Pleiades back to earth. Rest assured that he is the son of Maryas who was to descend.” (Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 3, pp. 455-456)

At this crucial time in the history of Islam, the Promised Messiahas came with the mission to reinstate the superiority of the Holy Quran and its timeless significance for all of humanity. Prophet Ahmadas said:

“It is only for the sake of Allah that I hereby inform you of the important fact that at the turn of this fourteenth century, God Almighty has appointed me from Himself for the revival and support of the true faith of Islam, so that in this tumultuous age I should proclaim the excellences of the Holy Quran and the greatness of the Holy Prophetsa, and – with the help of the light, blessings, miracles and Divine knowledge that have been bestowed upon me – I should respond to all the enemies who are attacking Islam.” (Blessings of Prayer, p. 55)

The Promised Messiahas set the highest standards of reverence towards the Holy Quran in the last age and practically manifested its greatness through his writings, sayings and actions.

From his childhood, the Promised Messiahas had a deep fondness for the Holy Quran. At the age of six or seven, a man named Fazl Ilahi taught him the reading of the Holy Quran. (Life of Ahmad[as], p. 36)

Day and night, Prophet Ahmadas would remain occupied in the study of the Holy Quran and used to write notes on its margins. Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Rahim Dardra MA narrates, “A good deal of his [the Promised Messiah’sas] time, however, was spent in the mosque, reading the Holy Quran, and he was fond of pacing up and down – a sign of restless energy.” (Ibid., p. 37)

Mirza Ismail Baig Sahib relates, “Sometimes, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Murtaza Sahib, the father of the Promised Messiahas used to call me and enquire ‘What does your Mirza do?’ I would reply that he remains occupied with the study of the Holy Quran. Upon hearing this, he would say, ‘Does he even take some time off to breathe?’ Then Mirza Ghulam Murtaza Sahib would ask if he even sleeps at night. I would answer, ‘Yes, he sleeps and then gets up to offer prayer.’” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 1, p. 65)

Beseeching God to help understand the Holy Quran

The deep love Prophet Ahmadas had for the Holy Quran permeated every fibre of his being, and every interest of his life stemmed from it. Describing people’s curiosity about the daily routine of the Promised Messiahas, Iain Adamson states:

“Naturally, there was curiosity about how [Prophet] Ahmad[as] spent his time and some neighbours managed to peep in when the door was opened. They discovered that Ahmad[as] was praying or reading the Quran.

“Sometimes he had thrown himself into the sajdah, a position of extreme supplication, where he stayed for long periods.  Once they heard him pray, ‘Oh God, My Lord. This is Thy Holy Word. It is not possible for me to grasp its meaning unless Thou help me in the task Thyself.’” (Ahmad[as], The Guided One, p. 41)

In-depth study of Surah al-Fatihah

In one of his poems, the Promised Messiahas writes:

اے دوستو جو پڑھتے ہو اُمُّ الکتاب کو

اب ديکھو ميری آنکھوں سے اِس آفتاب کو

سوچو دعاء فاتحہ کو پڑھ کے بار بار

 کرتی ہے يہ تمام حقيقت کو آشکار

“O friends who read Ummul Kitab [Surah al-Fatihah], observe this sun [divine light] from the perspective of my eyes now. Ponder while reading the supplication of al-Fatihah again and again. It manifests the entire reality that is there.” (Durr-e-Sameen [Urdu], p. 44)

Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmadra MA narrates: 

“A man related to me that on one occasion, the Promised Messiahas was travelling to Batala in a palanquin, and this journey would normally take around five hours. As soon as he was clear of the village habitations, the Promised Messiahas took out his small copy of the Holy Quran and began to study Surah al-Fatihah. During his entire journey, the Promised Messiahas was deeply engrossed in [the contents] of this Surah. Huzooras continued to study it as if it were a vast ocean, and he was diving into its depths in search of the pearls of bounties and blessings of his Eternal Beloved [God].” (Sirat-e-Tayyibah, p. 12)

Most studied book

Hazrat Abdul Rahim Dardra states, “[Prophet] Ahmadas devoted most of his time to study, and the books that he studied most were the Holy Quran, BukhariMathnavi Rumi and Dala’ilul Khairat. He had always a pile of books around him when he was at home, and he went out for walks to the north or the east side of Qadian.” (Life of Ahmad[as], p. 57)

Regarding Prophet Ahmad’sas way of studying while walking, Iain Adamson writes:

“When [Prophet] Ahmad[as] was reading the Quran, he used to walk from one side of the room to the other […] This habit of walking from side to side when he was reading, annotating or writing continued all his life. 

“The principal books he studied at this period of his life – from 13 to 20 – were the Quran, then the Bukhari which he read constantly.” (Ahmad[as], The Guided One, p. 32)

Mirza Sultan Ahmad Sahibtold Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmadra that the Promised Messiahas used to study the Holy Quran very frequently. (Sirat-ul-Mahdi, narration 190)

In another narration, Mirza Sultan Ahmad Sahib narrates that the Promised Messiahas must have read the Holy Quran thousands of times. (Hayat-e-Ahmad, Vol. 1, pp. 172-3)

In one of his couplets, the Promised Messiahas says:

دل ميں يہی ہے ہر دم تيرا صحيفہ چوموں

قرآں کے گرد گھوموں کعبہ مرا يہی ہے

“At all times, my heart yearns to embrace Thy Book and to perform circuits around the Quran, for this is my Ka‘ba.”

Winning the Holy Quran

Towards the conclusion of the court cases that the Promised Messiahas had perused in obedience to his father, Iain Adamson narrates:

“The legal battle [of Prophet Ahmad’sas father] finally went to the court in Lahore. The case occupied several days, and each day a servant of the family friends with whom [Prophet] Ahmad[as] was staying brought his lunch to court. One day Ahmad[as] told the servant to take it back to the house because he would return to the house and eat it there. He did not need to remain in court any longer, he said. 

“Shortly afterwards, [Prophet] Ahmad[as] arrived with a cheerful smile on his face.  Had he won? he was asked.  No, replied Ahmad[as]. They had lost.  Why then was he so happy? 

“It meant that was the end of the litigation forever, said [Prophet] Ahmad[as]. The case could be taken no further. As a result, he would no longer be occupied with this forlorn quest. He could forget legal technicalities and devote more time to prayer and the study of the Quran.” (Ahmad[as], The Guided One, p. 38)

Witnessing Allah through Quran

The Promised Messiahas said:

“Be sure that as it is not possible that we should be able to see without eyes, or should be able to hear without ears, or should be able to speak without a tongue, in the same way it is not possible that without the help of the Quran we should be able to behold the countenance of the True Beloved. I was young and am now old, but I have not encountered anyone who has quaffed the cup of this visible understanding except out of this holy fountain.” (The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, p. 207)

Restoring the superiority of the Holy Quran

Highlighting the services of Prophet Ahmadas for Islam, Iain Adamson states:

“There were those who gave pre-eminence to the Quran, but practically rejected the reported sayings of Muhammad[sa] as unreliable. The other side attached so much importance to the sayings of Muhammad[sa] that they subordinated the Quran to them.

“[Prophet] Ahmad[as] declared that the Quran was fundamental and supreme, but that the sayings of Muhammad[sa] were a source of guidance for the understanding of the Quran. Unless a reported saying was irreconcilable with the Quran, it should be accepted as authentic. […]

“Of the total authenticity and validity of the Quran as the revealed Word of God, [Prophet] Ahmad[as] admitted no argument. According to some Muslim divines many verses of the Quran, perhaps as many as six hundred, had been abrogated by subsequently revealed verses. Ahmad[as] rejected totally the idea of any abrogation of a verse, a phrase or a word of the Quran. The words that God had dictated to Muhammad[sa] could not be altered or deleted by any man in any way, he said.” (Ahmad[as], The Guided One, p. 52-38)

The Promised Messiahas said:

“An essential teaching for you is that you should not abandon the Holy Quran like a thing forsaken, for therein lies your life. Those who honour the Quran will be honoured in heaven. Those who give precedence to the Quran over every Hadith and every other saying will be given precedence in heaven.

“Today, there is no book on the face of the earth for mankind except for the Quran. The sons of Adam have no Messenger and Intercessor but Muhammad, the Chosen One, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Endeavour, therefore, to cultivate true love for this Prophet of glory and majesty, and do not give precedence to anyone over him, so that in heaven you may be counted as those who have attained salvation.

“Remember, salvation is not something that will be manifested after death. On the contrary, true salvation exhibits its light in this very world. Who is the one who attains salvation? Such a person is he who believes that God is true and that Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is the Intercessor between God and all His creation, and that under the heavens, there is no Messenger equal in rank to him, nor is there any book equal in status to the Quran. God did not desire that anyone should remain alive eternally, but this Chosen Prophet lives forever.” (Noah’s Ark, pp. 22-23)

Testimony of non-Ahmadi Muslims

Recording the testimony of a non-Ahmadi Muslim scholar, Iain Adamson writes: 

“His study of the Holy Quran, his deep reflection over the eternal verities, his complete reliance on the grace and bounty of God, and his experience of communion with Him had already equipped him with the qualities of an effective champion of Islam. Under a divinely inspired urge, he was moved to embark on a project that would not only help safeguard Islam against hostile attacks but would clearly and demonstrably establish its superiority over all other faiths. He resolved to set forth the excellencies of Islam in a monumental work, which he designated Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya.” (Ahmad[as], The Guided One, p. 61)

Observing the services of the Promised Messiahas for the Holy Quran and his impact on mankind, journalist Mr Aslam wrote:

“I have never seen anywhere else the sincere love for the Holy Quran that I have seen in this Jamaat of Qadian. After offering the Fajr prayer in the choti masjid [Mubarak Mosque], when I walked [in the streets of Qadian] just before sunrise, I saw all the young and the old Ahmadis reciting the Holy Quran in front of their lamp. I will never forget the awe-inspiring sight of two large groups of Ahmadis reciting the Holy Quran in both the Ahmadiyya Mosques [of Qadian] and hundreds of boys reading the Quran in the boarding school. Moreover, the Ahmadi shopkeepers and the Ahmadi travellers in rest houses reciting the Quran in the early hours of the morning were also presenting a very holy picture.

“That morning, it seemed that groups of saints had come down from heaven in clusters and started to recite the Quran to impress upon mankind the greatness of the Holy Quran. Hence, everywhere in Ahmadi Qadian, I only saw the Holy Quran.” (Al Fazl, 4 January 2006, p. 4)


The Promised Messiahas practically restored the superiority of the Holy Quran in the world by admiring it with all his might and presenting its true meanings in his writings, lectures and insightful exegesis. Prophet Ahmadas inspired the Muslims to reestablish a personal and spiritual connection with the Holy Quran. His examples rekindled interest in the study and interpretation of the Holy Quran, creating an atmosphere of respect and honour for its teachings and wisdom.

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