Rationale for writing Ijaz-ul-Masih
When Pir Golarwi did not respond to Hazrat Mirza’s challenge to par- ticipate in a commentary writing contest and continued to maintain his silence, Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi wrote a book Shams-e-Bazgha in reply to Pir Golarwi’s book Shams-ul-Hidaya. In this book he demolished the arguments made by Pir Golarwi in his book Shams-ul-Hidaya.
But with utter shamelessness, Pir Golarwi’s disciples kept on publicizing the lie that Pir Golarwi had accepted all of Hazrat Mirza’s conditions for the contest and had even traveled to Lahore for the purpose, but that Hazrat Mirza had gone into hiding and did not come forward to take on Pir Golarwi. The actual facts were just the opposite. It was of course Pir Golarwi who had become intimidated at the prospect of confronting Hazrat Mirza in a contest to write the commentary on a portion of the Quran, and had devised a face-saving strategy to avoid an ignominious defeat.
The essential element of Pir Golarwi’s strategy was a counter-proposal to Hazrat Mirza’s challenge in which Pir Golarwi offered to first have a verbal debate on Hazrat Mirza’s claims to be adjudicat- ed by Hazrat Mirza’s inveterate opponent Maulvi Batalvi and his like. If the verdict was in Pir Golarwi’s favor, which it most certainly would be from the panel of biased judges he proposed, Hazrat Mirza would be required to pledge allegiance to Pir Golarwi, renounce his claims, and only then would Pir Golarwi hold the commentary-writing contest as proposed by Hazrat Mirza. Pir Golarwi’s strategy defies common sense and logic because, if Hazrat Mirza had taken the pledge at the hands of Pir Golarwi, then by that fact alone he would have become Pir Golarwi’s disciple.
Would it subsequently have made any sense for the disciple to contend with his spiritual leader? Would there have remained any need for a contest? So when the disciples of Pir Golarwi continued to persist in their slander and falsification, Hazrat Mirza published a proclamation on December 15, 1900. In that proclamation, which was addressed to Pir Golarwi, Hazrat Mirza stated the actual events surrounding the proposed contest and thereby exposed the duplicity of Pir Golarwi. Towards the end of that announcement, Hazrat Mirza observed:
In order to furnish a definitive proof, I present a new plan that God inspired into my
In order to furnish a definitive proof, I present a new plan that God inspired into my heart today, and which I am sure will expose Pir Golarwi’s actual standing in this matter. After all, the world is not blind, and there are some people who honor and value justice. This plan is my answer to all those proclamations that are being persistently published in support of Pir Golarwi. If Pir Golarwi truly possesses profound knowl- edge and understanding of the Holy Quran, and if he is truly unparalleled in his eloquence and mastery of Arabic, then these same distinctions must still be present in his person, because not much time has elapsed since his stay in Lahore. Therefore, my suggestion is the following:
I shall go ahead and write an eloquent commentary, in the Arabic lan- guage, of the Quranic chapter Al-Fatihah, which shall celebrate and praise the insights and truths that are to be found therein. I shall also prove my claims from a consideration of the same Quranic chapter. Based upon a consideration of the same Quranic chapter, Pir Golarwi shall provide proof to support his claim that the Messiah shall descend from the heavens, and that the Mahdi will be a person of violence.
As he wishes and deems fit, Pir Golarwi shall then present the insights and incisive truths inherent in Al-Fatihah by employing eloquent Arabic. It shall be mandatory for both of us to have our respective books pub- lished within seventy days of December 15, 1900. Men of understanding will thus be able to compare and weigh (our respective positions and arguments). If three such men of understanding who are scholars and well versed in the (Arabic) language — and who are not partisans in favor of any side — state on oath that the book of Pir Golarwi is superior in eloquence and in the Quranic truths set forth therein, then I solemnly pledge that I shall present the amount of five hundred rupees in cash to Pir Golarwi without any delay. This plan will also avoid the inconvenience about which Pir Golarwi’s disciples are constantly lamenting, viz., that their Pir had to unnecessarily bear the travails of a journey to Lahore.
This proposal is also favorable for Pir Golarwi because, whether he is aware of this or not, some foolish people are just not convinced that Pir Golarwi possesses any excellence whatsoever in the knowledge of the Quran, or that he has the ability to write even a single line of eloquent Arabic. In fact, it has been reported to us that some of Pir Golarwi’s close friends are saying that it is just as well that Pir Golarwi did not participate in the commentary-writing contest in Arabic. Otherwise all his friends too would have had to share his embarrassment. There is no doubt, therefore, that those of his friends who harbor such misgivings would be able to shed their hidden suspicions when they see Pir Golarwi’s eloquent and scholarly commentary. This will restore their allegiance to him, and this is something that the Pirs of this age desire greatly.
If Pir Golarwi is defeated (in the commentary-writing contest), then rest assured that I will neither ask anything of him nor will I compel him to take the pledge at my hands. The only thing I desire is that Pir Golarwi’s concealed merits and his marvelous insights into the Quran, on whose basis he sought to repudiate me via writing a book, should become known to the populace. Maybe, like Zulaikha,1 he will then utter the words, “Now has the truth become manifest” (12:51). Perhaps then Pir Golarwi’s other friends, the fatuous journalists, will also real- ize his real worth.
But Pir Golarwi should not feel dismayed, because I give him permis- sion to freely enlist the help of Maulvi Muhammad Husain Batalvi, Maulvi Abdul Jabbar Ghaznavi, Muhammad Husain Bheen and others. In fact, he should feel free, if he wants, to pay some Arab scholars to come and assist him.
The book written by each side in the contest should not be less than four chapters consisting of eight pages each. If any of the parties does not publish a commentary on Al-Fatihah during the stipulated period i.e., between December 15, 1900 and February 25, 1901 (a period com- prised of seventy-two days), and this period passes away, then the side that has not written and published the commentary shall be considered a liar and no further evidence will be needed to prove them as such.
The publication of Ijaz-ul-Masih
In accordance with the aforementioned announcement, Hazrat Mirza published his famed commentary on Al-Fatihah on February 20, 1901. This Arabic commentary was titled Ijaz-ul-Masih, and the eloquence with which he composed this book was so tremendous and the insights into the Quranic chapter Al-Fatihah, as well as into the phrase Bismillah-al-Rahman-al- Rahim (In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful) were so remarkable that they truly enraptured one’s soul. After a perusal of Ijaz-ul- Masih, every righteous soul cried out spontaneously that the commentary had indeed been written with the assistance of the Holy Spirit.
In explaining the phrase Bismillah-al-Rahman-al-Rahim, Hazrat Mirza beautifully deduced the two names, Ahmad and Muhammad, of the Holy Prophet from the two attributive names of Allah, Al-Rahman and Al-Rahim. He then showed that these names of the Holy Prophet are indeed the reflection of the splendor of Allah’s attributes, Al-Rahman and Al-Rahim. After perusing this explanation, one is involuntarily moved to invoke the blessings of Allah on the Holy Prophet. At the same time, one realizes the profoundness of the knowledge and insights that Hazrat Mirza possessed regarding the greatness and excellence of the Holy Prophet. The reader is referred to the actual book, Ijaz-ul-Masih, for a comprehensive discussion. However, in my own words, and with great brevity, I present below the gist of Hazrat Mirza’s explanation:
By virtue of His attribute of being Al-Rahman, Allah who is perfect in His goodness and beneficence bestows innumerable kindnesses and blessings on His servants without their having done anything to deserve them. In this way, Allah manifests His goodness and beneficence to His servants. It is in human nature that an insightful and thankful person would develop love for such a good and beneficent Being. As more and more favors and blessings are showered upon such a man, his love for the Creator also keeps on increasing.
It is conventional wisdom that as the love of man for something grows, his praise for it also grows commensurately, and he celebrates its praise frequently. So the person who attains to perfection in the love and praise of Allah is called Ahmad, the word Ahmad literally meaning one who praises continually and profusely. It is evident that the more profusely a person praises the Lord, and the more that he propagates the praise of the Lord in this world, the more beloved that person shall become in the eyes of Allah, in light of His attribute of Al-Rahim — the attribute under which a person is rewarded according to his effort. The more a person becomes beloved in the eyes of the Lord, the more praiseworthy would such a person become himself; the person who attains the status of excellence in being loved by the Lord is called Muhammad, the word Muhammad literally meaning one who is praised greatly.
So the name Ahmad manifests the facet of excelling in the love of Allah, and the name Muhammad the facet of being the most beloved of Allah. So the two names, Ahmad and Muhammad, of our Holy Prophet glorify the two attributes of Allah of Al-Rahman and Al-Rahim. The names of Ahmad and Muhammad manifest the wonderful outcomes that result from seeking Allah’s help by invoking His attributes of Al- Rahman and Al-Rahim. Since the person who excelled magnificently and beyond any humanly imaginable measure in this regard was the
Holy Prophet, it is impossible to imagine more meaningful names than Ahmad and Muhammad for such a person. In summary, these names were given to the Holy Prophet because in both aspects of the love of Allah — i.e., in loving and being loved by Allah — he reached the pin- nacle of what was humanly possible.
Hence, at the very outset of the Holy Quran (where the words Bismillah–Al-Rahman–Al-Rahim are to be found), the mention of the attributes Al-Rahman and Al-Rahim indicate that if a person wishes to see the perfect example of the grace of invoking these attributes of Allah, then that person should study the life of the perfect man, the man whose names are Ahmad and Muhammad. O Allah! Exalt Muhammad and the true followers of Muhammad and send blessings and peace. Surely Thou art Praised and Magnified.
Hazrat Mirza wrote the entire commentary on Al-Fatihah in the same vein, and in the process opened the floodgates of knowledge and wisdom. For example, while explaining the prayer in Al-Fatihah — “Guide us on the right path. The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors.” (1:5,6)
— Hazrat Mirza argued that if the inheritors of the blessings of the group “on whom favors were bestowed” — for which this prayer has been taught — are not born in the Muslim nation then this prayer is of no use. In fact, the inher- itors of these favors have always been present among the Muslim community, and Hazrat Mirza claimed that he was such a person who had received these favors in this era.
In short, the entire commentary is remarkable. It is written in the Arabic language, and its Persian translation is given between the lines of the Arabic text. The eloquent presentation in Arabic and the truths and insights that are presented therein make Ijaz-ul-Masih a truly extraordinary book.
The fulfillment of the prophecy (regarding the endowment of an honor)
Long before the publication of this book, Hazrat Mirza had published a prophetic revelation on October 22, 1899. The prophecy in this Divine reve- lation was the following:
A title of honor; a title of honor; for you a title of honor! A great sign shall accompany it.
It is evident from the words in the preceding revelation that a great sign was to be manifested in the future, and that the sign would bring to light the highly honorable status that Hazrat Mirza enjoyed in the eyes of the Lord. This sign turned out to be his commentary on Al-Fatihah, because it is an edict of the Quran that nobody can possess the knowledge of the truths and insights inherent in the Quran except those who have been spiritually purified:
Hazrat Mirza’s peerless presentation — and that too in a highly limited period of time — and his Quranic insights clearly testify to his piety, his puri- ty, and to the status of great honor that he enjoyed in the eyes of Allah.
Pir Golarwi, on the other hand — despite his helpers such as Maulvi Ghazi, and despite having access to all kinds of religious commentaries, cler- ics and Arabic scholars — was unable to write a commentary on Al-Fatihah even from the environs of his house. Not only was he unable to compose a commentary in the stipulated seventy-two days that ended on February 25, 1901, but his entire life passed away and he never had the good fortune to write even a couple of lines to explain Al-Fatihah! A person who is not pious and pure and exalted in the eyes of Allah will never have the ability to partic- ipate in a religious contest where the objective is to explain the word of God.
Hazrat Mirza wrote the commentary in extremely difficult circumstances
The miraculous nature of this religious undertaking becomes even more evident when the adverse circumstances under which Hazrat Mirza wrote this commentary are taken into account. Hazrat Mirza had announced the stipulated period for the writing of the commentary to expire on February 25, 1901. But soon after the announcement, he was taken ill. The illness was so acute that all hope of his recovery would have been abandoned, were it not for the belief in the promises of God. An extract from one of the pub- lished letters of Maulvi Abdul Karim is given below to show the serious nature of Hazrat Mirza’s indisposition:
A period of seventy-two days had been stipulated for writing the com- mentary in the contest with Pir Golarwi. To begin with, this period was singularly inadequate for the task of explaining the truths of Al- Fatihah in eloquent Arabic. Even out of this short period, for the first 30 days Hazrat Mirza remained absolutely disinclined towards writing anything; he did not even write a single word, and the commentary that was to shake the self-appointed spiritual leader (Pir Golarwi) received none of his attention. Exactly one month later, when he did decide to write, repeated attacks of weakness and infirmity began to afflict him. The severity of those attacks was such that, at times, it seemed as if the flickering candle of life itself might be extinguished. During a period of ten years, I had never seen Hazrat Mirza afflicted by such a violent illness.
This was the condition of his health, but the promise he had made to show a clear distinguishing sign was inflexible. He had to prove that he was appointed by Allah and that the assistance of Allah was with him in this mammoth task that lay ahead. Had this been an ordinary person, and had it been a mundane matter of worldly honor, one would have been able to empathize with that person. But the stakes were very high here since Hazrat Mirza had taken a stand against the entire world.
Elsewhere, Maulvi Abdul Karim observed:
Many times during the course of those nights and days, Hazrat Mirza appeared to be on the brink of death. On scores of occasions, he would suddenly stop writing, wrap himself in three or four quilts and lie down. His hands and feet would grow cold like that of a lifeless person.
Maulvi Abdul Karim further observed:
Yesterday, on Friday, February 22, a remarkable sight was witnessed here when Hazrat Mirza’s pen finally came to rest after successfully reaching its goal. Even past the hour of midnight on the previous day, he was busy with the work of proofreading the commentary that was hastily being prepared for printing. Workers at the press had to work through the night to complete the job. This morning, on February 23, 1901, the book Ijaz-ul-Masih, which is precisely two hundred pages in length, was completed and dispatched via mail to various destinations. When Hazrat Mirza stepped into the mosque for Zuhr (midday) prayers, the ineffable notes of endearment, success and the triumph of truth were written very large upon his radiant countenance. His face was like a glowing spiritual beacon in which his devoted disciples could observe the reflections of Allah’s glory.
A month and a half earlier, Hazrat Mirza had publicly announced a Divine revelation that “The opponent’s victory has come to pass. God’s victory shall come at a later time.” Thus the victory that people had associated with Pir Golarwi was nothing more than hooliganism in the streets. The assistance of Allah that was witnessed in the writing of Ijaz- ul-Masih, was nothing short of a scholarly miracle and a permanent victory whose letters shall forever gleam forth from the pages of history. The joy of Hazrat Mirza’s disciples knew no bounds when they saw the power and splendor with which the promise in God’s revelation was fulfilled.
Maulvi Abdul Karim further observed:
Allah’s keen sense of honor waited awhile to test the wisdom and faith of the people. When He had determined that the evil-minded, tyrannical people were not going to desist — but on the contrary were bent upon exalting Pir Golarwi — His sense of honor required vindication, and He inspired the explanation of Al-Fatihah within the heart of His servant, Hazrat Mirza. This became a very clear and decisive sign to distinguish between truth and falsehood.
And this venture of composing the commentary was easier than the one proposed earlier (composing the explanation of a randomly chosen Quranic chapter in public), because composing at home implied access to books and the ability to easily gather supporting evidence. Yet the person who succeeded in the challenge was the one for whom success had been destined, and the work Ijaz-ul-Masih clearly proved that Pir Golarwi was not a man of that mettle, and his claim of scholarship was nothing more than an empty boast. Pir Golarwi would have been humiliated in the public contest, just as he was disgraced in this situation where he was being presented with an opportunity to his liking and plenty of time.
In the first instance, Pir Golarwi would have been humiliated alone. But he had now managed to sink not only himself but also his entire improvident organization. This is truly a juncture to pause and deliberate upon the fact that the book Ijaz-ul-Masih appeared after such a short duration, while Pir Golarwi and his faction remained petrified and overwhelmed.
Maulvi Abdul Karim then recorded the following remarks:
Think and reflect what happened; no other commentary of any literary merit was produced. Out of the myriad of scholars, the only one who succeeded was the one who had been promised assistance from Allah. This person was the one who was accorded grace by Allah to complete the task, and to publish it within the stipulated period of time. God is never unkind, and it is not His tradition to allow a false claimant to be vindicated against a righteous party. It has never happened that a false claimant laid down a criterion to prove his claim and God allowed that criterion to be fulfilled word for word while the righteous party was left dumbstruck and disgraced. O wise people, just think! O believers in God, do reflect!
Hazrat Mirza’s knowledge of Arabic was also a miraculous sign
In commenting about Hazrat Mirza’s marvelous book, Ijaz-ul-Masih, Maulvi Abdul Karim also pointed out that Hazrat Mirza was not a traditional scholar of the Arabic language and his ability to write scholarly books in high- ly eloquent Arabic was a miraculous act, and this too was a sign. In this context, Maulvi Abdul Karim has observed the following:
I have called Hazrat Mirza unscholarly. Allah is my witness that, in say- ing this, I have not exaggerated. I have observed him for many years now, and I have seen during this entire period of time that this nonaca- demic quality is predominant in every matter and in every situation he faces. It is the nature with which he has been endowed, and the way in which his objectives and studies have been ordained for him, that his attention is completely riveted in only one glorious and eternal direction (i.e., the cause of serving Islam). It has never happened that he picked up a book of literature to read just for its literary merit like other schol- ars do, nor has he ever immersed himself in a book dealing with mundane and temporal matters.
Actually, I was the first to propose that Hazrat Mirza should write a book in the Arabic language. I felt an urge in my soul under some Divine inspiration that this heavenly blessing (Hazrat Mirza’s litera- ture) should be presented to the Arabs in their own language. The first Arabic essay Hazrat Mirza wrote on my instigation is titled Tabligh, and is included in the book Ainah Kamalat Islam.
I can still recall the hesitation and amazement with which Hazrat Mirza received my sug- gestion. With great innocence and natural simplicity, he replied, “This sounds like a good idea, but it is a difficult undertaking which is beyond my ability.” Giving it some further thought, he then added, “Very well, I shall first prepare a manuscript in the Urdu language. Then Maulana Nur-ud-Din, you, and I can collaborate to translate it into Arabic.” It was thus that the proposal for this work was initially accepted. But that very same night, Hazrat Mirza received Divine revelation that he should proceed with this work in Arabic.
There was also comforting reassurance for Hazrat Mirza within that Divine revelation that he would be granted Divinely inspired knowledge of a large portion of the Arabic language, and that the Holy Spirit would assist him at the time of the actual composition so that eloquent Arabic would flow from his tongue and pen. This is exactly what happened. I was with Hazrat Mirza throughout the period he wrote the essay, Tabligh, in Arabic. As a matter of fact, I had the honor of translating that essay into the Persian language. The eloquence and scholarship of that book is so remarkable that a learned Arab author once wrote to Hazrat Mirza that on reading Tabligh, he felt a strong urge to immediately set out for Qadian to meet its illustrious author.
Before the publication of Tabligh, Maulvi Batalvi and his cohorts had been clamoring that Hazrat Mirza did not know even the rudiments of Arabic grammar. Shortly before Maulvi Batalvi initiated the decree excommunicating Hazrat Mirza from Islam, he once got into an argument with Hakim Hussam-ud-Din inside our mosque in Sialkot, and furiously retorted, “Mirza is merely an Urdu-speaking clerk. He does not know any Arabic. All this praise accorded to him is totally exaggerated. I am going to take care of him now and will disrupt his Movement in no time at all.” The decree of excommunication that he wrote shortly thereafter was the culmination of this rage and threat.
If only people would pause and reflect, they would recognize for them- selves the misfortune and disgrace that beset Maulvi Batalvi, the person who had shouted those harsh words of arrogance and hatred; Maulvi Batalvi’s writings subsequently ceased to find favor with the public, and all his arrogance was snuffed out like a dying ember. Maulvi Batalvi’s office from which he published his magazine Ishaat was ruined. On the other hand, Hazrat Mirza was the one who truly sought and succeeded in propagating the word of God. So the true servant of God was the one who was granted victory….
In truth, the claim of these clerics was correct. Their objection that Hazrat Mirza was not a scholar of Arabic was based on the knowledge and information they had. God subsequently removed the basis for this objection by granting Hazrat Mirza the knowledge whereby he was able to compose the book in highly eloquent Arabic. In view of the fact that Allah so wonderfully removed the basis of that objection, it is all the more lamentable that those people persisted in their faultfinding, and subsequently did not become inclined to truth, and did not benefit from the events that had unfolded… All of them were unanimous in the opinion that Hazrat Mirza was unscholarly in the sense of the word that I have described earlier. I was no exception either and shared this opin- ion. These people and I together witnessed the miraculous sign by which such eloquence and fluency in Arabic was granted to Hazrat Mirza that all the scholars and authors of India could not publish a book like the one Hazrat Mirza wrote. As a result of this sign, Allah blessed me and my friends with strength and solace and made us increase in faith and understanding, whereas those faultfinders only increased in their insolence and envy.
Proclamation regarding Ijaz-ul-Masih
Along with publishing the book Ijaz-ul-Masih, Hazrat Mirza also pub- lished a proclamation dated February 20, 1901. In this proclamation, he stated that the book Ijaz-ul-Masih was the fulfillment of the prophecy published on October 22, 1899, in which Divine revelation had promised him a “Title of honor.” The peerless commentary on Surah Fatihah in Ijaz-ul-Masih was a clear manifestation of the great honor that the Lord had bestowed on Hazrat
Mirza in giving him such a noteworthy understanding of the truths of His word.
The Combining of Prayers
Since Hazrat Mirza remained ailing for the greater part of the time dur- ing which he was composing the book Ijaz-ul-Masih, and since the work of the composition was in itself highly demanding, therefore the daily prayers (that could be combined) were combined during those days. So the Zuhr (midday) and Asr (late-afternoon) prayers were combined for a few months in the Mubarak Mosque — the mosque in which Hazrat Mirza normally per- formed his congregational prayers. Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi, who was a highly learned scholar, felt greatly perturbed by this practice of combining prayers. So one day he approached Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan and told him that it was stated in the Quran that Muslims are enjoined to per- form their prayers according to the appointed times – “Prayer indeed has been enjoined on the believers at fixed times.” (4:103) He also told Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan that he was perturbed by the practice recently adopted by Hazrat Mirza of continually combining the two daytime prayers.
The next day during the morning walk, Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan mentioned to Hazrat Mirza that some people found the continual combining of prayers objectionable. Hazrat Mirza replied:
These days I am writing an important book, Ijaz-ul-Masih, and I have already announced its completion by a certain date, and have pledged to my opponents that this work would be completed by the appointed deadline. I am involved in this jihad day and night and have no peace of mind. I am anxious that the book be published by the appointed dead- line; perforce we are combining the prayers.
Upon returning from the morning walk, Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan enquired from Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi whether he was satisfied with Hazrat Mirza’s answer, and he replied in the negative. That same day, Maulana Amrohi wrote a note to Maulana Nur-ud-Din about the matter. In reply, Maulana Nur-ud-Din just wrote back a couplet from a Persian poem by the poet Hafiz:
Stain your prayer mat with wine if the sage tells you to,
For such a traveler knows the road, and the customs of its stations.
This proved to be even less satisfying to Maulana Amrohi, and he remarked to Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan that while he had quoted a Quranic verse in his note to Maulana Nur-ud-Din, the latter had replied with a couplet by the poet Hafiz which had no value before a Quranic verse.
Thereupon, Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan promised to bring up the matter again with Hazrat Mirza. The following evening, Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan raised this matter again with Hazrat Mirza in the Mubarak Mosque. He told Hazrat Mirza that the person who had objected remained dissatisfied with the explanation that Hazrat Mirza had given regarding the reason for combining prayers. The objector maintained, Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan told Hazrat Mirza, that the Quranic verse was very clear on the issue. Hazrat Mirza responded with a passionate and lengthy speech in which he said:
It is not on account of idleness or laziness that the prayers have been combined for some time now. There are certain nonconformists who combine prayers on the slightest pretext such as an overcast sky or the need to go to the court, and they consider it permissible to combine prayers even when they are not on a journey, and do not have some other excuse either.
However, there is no need for us to get into this debate. By temperament and nature, I prefer that prayer should be offered at its appointed time. In the matter of combining prayers these days, the fact is that I am not doing this without instructions and reve- lation from Allah. Allah has manifested to me with regard to the combining of the two prayers that the Holy Prophet had made the grand prophecy in my respect of Ta jamma la hus salat – i.e, the prayers will be combined for him — which is being fulfilled now. The hadith (containing the prophecy) of Ta jamma la hus salat — i.e., that the prayers will be combined for the Promised Messiah — is recorded in Fath-al-Bari and Dar Manshur and Tafsir-ibn-Kathir. In order to fulfill this prophecy, Allah, the Most High, has created circumstances that have compelled me to engage in a jihad that has caused me to lose my peace of mind and forced me to combine the prayers.
Although I could have combined the prayers individually and opted out of the con- gregation, I desired that the words of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) should be fulfilled, much in the same way as Hazrat Umar did by making Suraqa wear gold bracelets.
Suraqa’s wrists were unsightly and exceptionally hairy. Once when Suraqa himself passed some deprecatory remark about his wrists, Prophet Muhammad remarked: “But I see the gold bracelets of the Chosroes around your wrist.” When Iran was conquered during the reign of Caliph Umar, the gold bracelets of the Chosroes were part of the spoils of war that were sent back to Madinah. Before entering them into the state treasury, Caliph Umar made Suraqa wear those gold bracelets despite Suraqa’s protestation that men are not permitted to wear gold ornaments. Caliph Umar, however, insisted that he would most certainly make Suraqa wear those bracelets, if only for a little while, to fulfill the prophecy of Prophet Muhammad. Accordingly, Suraqa was made to wear the gold bracelets of the Chosroes upon his wrists for a short time merely to fulfill the prophecy of Prophet Muhammad. In a like manner, I considered it necessary for the fulfill- ment of Prophet Muhammad’s prophecy that the prayers should be combined for some time for my sake.
Hazrat Mirza continued speaking for a long time regarding this prophe- cy and the need to combine prayers for its fulfillment, and on his truthfulness and on being a just arbitrator (in matters of religion). As the speech continued, Hazrat Mirza’s voice became louder and louder, until he stood up in his fervor and delivered the last part of the speech while standing.
Finally, Maulana Nur-ud-Din got up, stepped forward and submitted:
At this time, I present myself in the same manner that Hazrat Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, presented himself under similar circum- stances before the Messenger of Allah, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and affirmed, “I am satisfied with Allah as my Lord and Muhammad as my Prophet.” Today, I too affirm in the presence of the truthful Imam, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, that I have never had an iota of suspicion or doubt about you. And this is a blessing of Allah. At this time, I affirm in your presence, “We are satisfied with Allah as our Lord and with you as the Messiah and the Mahdi.”
Hazrat Mirza fell silent after that. Maulvi Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi used to narrate afterwards:
Even after this speech, there was still some doubt in my heart. After the Isha (night) prayer when I retired for the night, this matter was still reverberating through my mind and I thought to myself that I would personally speak in private with Hazrat Mirza the next day. With these thoughts in my mind, I drowsed off and heard a voice in the state of a spiritual vision: “O Muhammad Ahsan at least open the Quran and see.” The voice startled me into wakefulness. I lit the lamp, and opened the Quran. The same verse regarding the saying of prayers on time was before me. The full verse read as follows: “So when you have finished the prayer, remember Allah standing and sitting and reclining. But when you are secure from danger, keep up (regular) prayer. Prayer indeed has been enjoined on the believers at fixed times.” (4:103).
Immediately, all doubt disappeared, and I understood that this was the reason why Hazrat Mirza had repeatedly stressed, “Because I am worried these days, and I am engaged in a jihad, and I do not have peace of mind, this is why I am combining the prayers.” Hence according to the spirit of the Quran, prayers at the appointed time are only obligatory when there is tranquility and peace of mind. With this understanding, a great weight rolled off my chest and I was filled with such joy and happiness that I immediately hastened to Hazrat Mirza’s house. Hazrat Mirza had retired for the night, but in my state of elation, I had him wakened and explained the whole matter to him. Hazrat Mirza began to smile and remarked: “Oh, so this was the matter.”
Hazrat Mirza till then was not aware that Maulvi Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi was the person who had objected to combining the prayers.
I would like to add that incidents like the preceding one clearly demonstrate how the words and actions of Hazrat Mirza were carefully scrutinized by his sincere disciples. If any disciple did not understand the words or actions of Hazrat Mirza — or if a disciple felt, according to his understanding, that any words or actions of Hazrat Mirza deviated ever so slightly from the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah (the tradition of Prophet Muhammad) — then the dis- ciple felt no hesitation in questioning Hazrat Mirza on that point, and did not desist in the questioning until he was satisfied.
Once when Hazrat Mirza lifted a cup of tea with his left hand, a person immediately pointed out that this action was against the practice of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Hazrat Mirza replied that he had fractured his wrist in childhood, and although the fracture had healed, he still experienced pain in his wrist at times. It was as a result of pain in his wrist on that day that he was unable to hold the cup with his right hand. In short, Hazrat Mirza’s life was constantly scrutinized under the watchful eyes of thousands of critics who continuously monitored his words and actions to see whether they were according to the Holy Quran and Sunnah. Given this back- ground, the wholehearted acknowledgment by his disciples of Hazrat Mirza’s integrity, high morals, and good deeds is clear proof of his righteousness.
The environment Hazrat Mirza had created around himself was totally devoid of leader-worship and the blind acceptance of the leader’s word. The people who had gathered around Hazrat Mirza had endured great hardship for acknowledging his truthfulness. They had left their homes, relatives and friends, and been stigmatized as unbelievers for accepting Hazrat Mirza’s claims. People like these have independent minds and are not likely to blindly accept the words of their leader. What they witnessed in him was a remarkable embodiment of truthfulness and adherence to the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah, which made them enamored and devoted to Hazrat Mirza.
In the proclamation accompanying the publication of Ijaz-ul-Masih, Hazrat Mirza affirmed that the combining of prayers during the composition of Ijaz-ul-Masih had fulfilled the prophecy of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that prayers would be combined for the Promised Messiah.
1. Zulaikha was the wife of the Egyptian dignitary who tried to seduce Prophet Joseph.