Zikr-e-Habib: A beloved remembered – Part 2

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Last Updated on 24th September 2022

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Mubarak Mosque
Masjid Mubarak, Qadian. The Promised Messiahas would spend many evenings in this mosque where he would explain the true message of Islam. As part of the spiritual and moral training of his Companionsra, he held these sittings to motivate them.

Return from Qadian

After pledging bai‘at [to the Promised Messiahas] in Qadian, I returned to Jammu where I was employed as an English teacher in the high school. On the way, I stayed in Lahore for a day and met the friends of Maulvi Muhammad Sadiq Sahib, i.e. Maulvi Asghar Ali Sahib, Wahi Sahib, etc., and also Sheikh Abdullah Sahib who was studying in the entrance class at that time and is now a lawyer in Aligarh and a member of the Muslim University. Sheikh Sahib was converted to Islam Ahmadiyyat by Hazrat Maulana Nuruddin Sahibra. Moreover, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira helped him acquire education in Lahore and Aligarh at his own expense. I thus had a strong relationship with him as he was my spiritual brother. 

Thereafter, as long as I stayed in Jammu, I used to attend the service of the Promised Messiahas every year during the summer holidays. On one occasion, apart from the holidays, I went [to Qadian] along with Maulvi Fazil Muhammad Sadiq Sahib and Khan Bahadur Ghulam Muhammad of Gilgit and Ladakh, and both of these companions pledged bai‘at [to the Promised Messiahas]. This incident happend around 1892. After their bai’at, we went to Lahore with the Promised Messiahas and returned to Qadian.

Claim of the Messiahship

Although in his book, Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, there were clear revelations that Allah the Almighty had appointed Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas as the Messiah and Mahdi, the Promised Messiahas openly presented the claim of the Messiahship in his book, Fath-e-Islam, published in June 1891.

Places where I used to stay in Qadian

When I went to Qadian for the first time which was probably at the end of December 1890, I stayed in the room called the Gol Kamra. In those days, it did not have the teen diwari in front of it. This room used to serve as the guest room and the Promised Messiahas would either sit there to meet the guests or on the charpoy in the yard at its door. Even after that, it remained the guest room for two or three years. Thereafter, when the city wall was sold, it was demolished and houses were constructed in its place. Then, that place was constructed where the clinic of Hazrat Khalifa Ira and a garage are located. Later, that house which now serves as the guest house was constructed. Earlier, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira used to live in it, but when he built his house in another place, the previous house began to serve as the guest house. I stayed in that guest house as well.

The Promised Messiahas built a room for Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib on the third floor of his house adjacent to Masjid Mubarak. The Promised Messiahas allowed me to stay in that room as well. Once, the Promised Messiahas let me stay in the room which is on the north side between Masjid Mubarak and his residence, and from where a window opens towards the mosque. This room is known as Bait-ul-Fikr. During those days, I was in Qadian on a few days’ leave to prepare for my Bachelor’s degree examination.

Bai‘at of Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahib

In 1889, the first bai‘at took place in Ludhiana and Hazrat Maulana Hakim Nuruddin Sahibra was the first to pledge allegiance. At the time, Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahib’s views were similar to those of the naturalists and thus he did not recognise the value of Bai‘at. However, following the advice of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira, who was his mentor, he attended the service of the Promised Messiahas to pledge his bai‘at. The Promised Messiahas called Hazrat Maulana Hakim Nuruddin Sahibra and placed the hand of Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahibra in his hand and took their hands in his own hand and then made Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahibra repeat the words of bai‘at. Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahibra used to narrate this incident himself. Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahibra was not among those who took bai‘at on the first day when 40 people took the oath of allegiance. However, he took bai‘at around one of those days [when the initiation started].

In the beginning, when the guests were fewer in number and were served in the Gol Kamra or the mosque, the Promised Messiahas would also accompany them and eat with the guests. 

The Promised Messiahas would take a loaf of bread in his hand and break it into two pieces. Then, he would place one piece on the dastarkhan [tablecloth] and break the other into a further two pieces. Then again, he would put a piece on the dastarkhan and from what was left in his hand, the Promised Messiahas would break a small piece, which was less than an inch in length and width, and put it in the bowl of curry. In this way, very little curry would apply to the edge of the piece of bread. The Promised Messiahas would then put it in his mouth and chew it for a long time. The Promised Messiahas used to talk with the guests and sometimes he would pick up some food in front of him and give it to the guests. If there were pickles, marmalade or some other special thing on the dastarkhan, the Promised Messiahas would put it on a piece of bread and serve it to the guests. 

Habitually, I would always try to sit near the Promised Messiahas on the dastarkhan as I had great affection for him. I observed that the Promised Messiahas used to eat very little food that was not more than a few mouthfuls.

On one occasion, a new convert (Khaki Shah), who had previously converted to Christianity from Islam and was once a preacher among the Christians, complained to someone on his return from Qadian that he was not served good food. When this matter was mentioned before the Promised Messiahas, he said, “I used to pick up [the food placed] in front of me and serve him myself.”

Jumuah prayer in Chinyan Mosque

It was around 1893 and I was travelling with the Promised Messiahas in Lahore. The Promised Messiahas went into the Chinyan Mosque for Jumuah and immediately came out after offering the prayer, and I was also with the Promised Messiahas at the time.

Register bai‘at

In those days, the Promised Messiahas had a register for those who would take bai‘at. The Promised Messiahas used to record their names, parentage, addresses, etc., in that register with his own blessed hands. Later on, that register was handed over to Pir Sirajul Haqq Sahib. It is very unfortunate that Pir Sahib lost it.

Example of the first night’s moon

Once in the early days, Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin Sahibra asked the Promised Messiahas, “The people are saying that it seems that the prophecies regarding the victory of Islam on the appearance of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi will not be fulfilled in the time of Mirza Sahib.” The Promised Messiahas said, “Many people do not witness the moon on the first night, even if they rub their eyes again and again.”

Arrogance of Maulvi Muhammad Hussain

I was in the company of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira in Jammu at the time when he received the letter of Maulvi Muhammad Hussain Batalvi. In that letter, Maulvi Muhammad Hussain Batalvi wrote:

“It was I who made Mirza Sahib known. Now, I will bring him down.”

Allah helps him to write

There was a priest named Thomas Howell in Pind Dadan Khan. In response to his questions, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira wrote the book, “Fasal-ul-Khitab li Maqaddama Ahl al-Kitab”. Thomas Howell was later posted to Lahore. 

When the debate between the Promised Messiahas and Padri Abdullah Atham took place in 1893 and a prophecy was made public about Atham, I wrote a letter to Priest Thomas Howell about that prophecy. In it, I stated that many debates had taken place between Muslims and Christians in the past, but that very debate had a special superiority over the others because there was a prophecy about Atham. I was in Bhera at the time of writing that letter. I also sent a copy of that letter to my honourable teacher, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira who was in Qadian in those days. Hazrat Maulvi Sahibra presented my letter before the Promised Messiahas. The Promised Messiahas commended the subject of that letter and said, “Only Allah helps [him] to write [in such a manner].”

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu in Zikr-e-Habib, pp. 5-9)

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