CHAPTER 48: THE DEMISE OF MAULVI ABDUL KARIM

Illness of Maulvi Abdul Karim

One of Hazrat Mirza’s dearest disciples, Maulvi Abdul Karim of Sialkot suffered from diabetes and this ailment was progressively debilitat- ing him. His eyesight was also failing. He was a lover of the Holy Quran. Once he told me: “Because my eyesight is failing, I am trying to memorize as much of the Quran as possible.” On his last visit to Sialkot, Maulvi Abdul Karim hadfallen seriously ill. He survived the illness that time, but in August of 1905, he developed a carbuncle (a painful, localized, pus-producing infection of the skin) on his back, right between the shoulders.

Perchance, Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig was in Qadian those days. He had taken an extended leave from his job and come to stay in Qadian to benefit from the company of Hazrat Mirza. Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig was also taking daily lessons in Sahih Al-Bukhari (a famous collection of hadith) from Maulana Nur-ud-Din. Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig and Maulvi Abdul Karim were very close friends, and Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig immediately began attending to Maulvi Abdul Karim’s ailment.

The condition of the carbuncle on Maulvi AbdulKarim’s skin had worsened so much that it had already required seven separate surgeries. The incisions were made six times withoutanesthetic and once after administering anesthesia. The best treatment and care was provided but because of the severity of diabetes,the wound would not heal. In fact, the carbuncle had started spreading deeper.

The effect of prayers

The seventh incision to clean the carbuncle was performed under anes- thesia and the surgery this time was quite prolonged and resulted in a large wound. Since Maulvi Abdul Karim was very weak to begin with and on top of that had not eaten anything for severaldays, he could not be brought back to consciousness from his anesthesia induced sleep. His pulse was very weak, and, in fact, at timesmissed one or two beats; his hands and feet had become cold from lack of circulation.

In short, his condition was critical. Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig, Dr. Khalifa Rashid-ud-Din andMaulvi Nur-ud-Din were already attending him. Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah also arrived in Qadian from Lahore at that time. This team of doctors tried very hard to steady the heartbeat and to bring Maulvi Abdul Karim back to consciousness, but nothingseemed to work. Maulvi Abdul Karim’s condition continued to deteriorate, and the doctors concluded unanimously that there was nolonger any hope for Maulvi Abdul Karim’s recovery.

Hazrat Mirza’s concern for Maulvi Abdul Karim’s health was such that he repeatedly kept enquiring about him.

Finally, news of Maulvi Abdul Karim’s critical condition was given to Hazrat Mirza. The sorrow that over- whelmed Hazrat Mirza on hearing this news was the sorrow of a sincere, sympathetic and affectionate friend. Hazrat Mirza’s restlessness and anxiety exceeded even that of a parent for a beloved son.

Just as parents resort to the ultimate treatment at such times, so too did Hazrat Mirza resort to his ultimate weapon – prayer. 

But first, as a concession to the use of physical means, he went inside his house and brought a few grams of musk and directed that it be given to Maulvi Abdul Karim. After that, he engrossed himself in sup- plicating for Maulvi Abdul Karim. Before beginning his supplication, he remarked: “The most efficacious weapon we have is prayer. Never lose hope of Allah’s blessing.

If Allah desires, He can give life to the dead. He has power over all things.” Maulvi Abdul Karim was given the musk sent by Hazrat Mirza. He had already been injected with stronger medication to strengthen his heartbeat, but that had not arrested the downward spiral. Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig has narrated a few incidents related to the illness of Maulvi Abdul Karim and these are reproduced below. He stated:

  1. I bear testimony and Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah is a witness too that no sooner had Hazrat Mirza put his head down in prostration to supplicate, Maulvi Abdul Karim’s condition, which was quite critical, began to improve. Even before Hazrat Mirza had finished his supplication, Maulvi Abdul Karim’s pulse stabilized and began to beat steadily as if there had never been any weakness. On seeing this, Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah exclaimed spontaneously: “The nor- malization of his pulse is a miracle. I have never seen another case where the heartbeat steadied and the condition normalized after a patient had reached this stage of weakness and the heart had almost failed.”
  2. Around 10 P.M. on October 1, 1905, I went to see Maulvi Abdul Karim. I found him extremely enervated and in a state of semi-consciousness. He had been suffering from dysentery for several days, and had not eaten anything. His pulse was extremelyweak and almost imperceptible. I immediately communicated his condition to Hazrat Mirza. He came immediately, and I explained the situation to him. Right away, he engrossed himself in supplication and also adminis- tered some medicine. The medicine had not yet been swallowed when I checked Maulvi Abdul Karim’s pulse, and found the pulse strength- ened and soon he was fully conscious. In short, hardly had Hazrat Mirza raised his hands to supplicate when Allah accepted the prayer and Maulvi Abdul Karim’scondition immediately began to improve. It appeared as if Maulvi Abdul Karim had never experienced any sort of enervation atall.
  3. After the surgery, the wound stayed positively unhealthy and there was no sign of granulation tissue associated with a healing wound. Hazrat Mirza supplicated. In the morning, he narrated that he had seen Maulvi Abdul Karim in a dream wearing white clothes. This occurred on September 9, 1905, i.e., five days after the surgery. That same day when I went to dress the wound around 10:00 A.M., I was greatly amazed to see that a scab had formed covering almost the entire area of the wound. Till the previous day,pus had been exuding from the wound, and there had been absolutely no sign of healing. This was indeed a miracle that a scab should form within the span of a single day on a wound some eight inches long and six inches wide. In my opinion and that of Dr. Rashid-ud-Din, the healing scab formed in one day was the equivalent of what would normally happen in eight to ten days ofhealing. This was the result of prayer. Maulvi Muhammad Ali and Sheikh Yaqub Ali, as well as others who saw the wound daily are witnesses of this astonish- ing transformation. The dream that Hazrat Mirza had narrated indicated this intermediate recovery, but at the end of the dream, Hazrat Mirza had seen himself reciting the Quranic chapter Al-Fatihah three times. Events revealedafterwards that this was an indication of Maulvi Abdul Karim’s demise… There can be no doubt that death is destined foreveryone and no human is outside its ambit. It came in another way, but the real illness that people feared would be fatal was cured.

By the grace of God and the prayers of Hazrat Mirza, Maulvi Abdul Karim also staged a recovery from some of the complications suchas dysentery and frequent urination that accompanied the major malady.

The gracious conduct of Hazrat Mirza during Maulvi Abdul Karim’s illness

Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig was the lead doctor treating Maulvi Abdul Karim. He narrated the events accompanying Maulvi AbdulKarim’s

indisposition in a series of articles that appeared in the newspaper Badar dur- ing the period January to February 1906. Some excerpts from his articles follow:

Hazrat Mirza was kept informed of the changes in Maulvi Abdul Karim’s ailment as they occurred. Every time we sent him the information, he would personally come to see Maulvi Abdul Karim and inquire about his health. So, by the grace of God, I had the opportunity to witness during this ailment of Maulvi Abdul Karim the disposition of Hazrat Mirza, and the love and selfless affection that he had for his disciples. At times, Maulvi Abdul Karim’s condition was a cause for great anguish and anxiety, andwe reported it as such to Hazrat Mirza

… These are truly times when a person’s love and sincerity are put to the test. In addition, it is a time to see how much faith a person has in the power of God, the Most High, and what kind of a connection the person has with God. In such a criticalsituation when the treating doctors are in a state of despair, no one can remain steadfast except for people whom Allah has purified Himself. 

The perfect example of love, and selflessness, and of complete dependence and trust in Allah that Hazrat Mirza showed during the illness of Maulvi Abdul Karim is an adequate testimony for a person with insight about his connection withGod … I do not have words to describe the perfect example of Hazrat Mirza’s affection, kindness and grace that I witnessed with my own eyes. 

Hazrat Mirza, despite his weakness and old age, renounced all kinds of relaxation when he found a dear andsincere friend in distress. 

I do not know how to explain, and I do not have the words to describe the pain, anxiety and heartfelt concern that Hazrat Mirza felt for this dear friend. But Hazrat Mirza’s example has created an indelible impression on our hearts and has refreshed and invigorated our spirit in a way that will stay with us for the remaining days of our lives… HazratMirza had tremendous concentration, humility and fear of God in his prayers.

There was perhaps only a small portion of the day and night that went by in which he was not supplicating. At times, he would be engrossed for hours in supplication and would not lift his head from prostration. I do not know how to present this image to the public so that they may understand HazratMirza’s nearness and close- ness to God…

Treatment and medication

In connection with the availability of medication and instruments for the treatment of Maulvi Abdul Karim, Dr. Mirza YaqubBaig recorded:

Those who have seen Qadian know that it is a small town with a population of approximately four or five thousand. Even regular amenities are hard to come by in Qadian, let alone the specialized needs of a critically-ill person. 

However, Hazrat Mirza sparedno effort in arranging for the therapeutic needs of his dear disciple. If Maulvi Abdul Karim expressed the desire for some item offood, Hazrat Mirza would immediately dispatch a person to get it from either Lahore or Amritsar.

If I, or Khalifa Rashid-ud-Din, or Maulana Nur-ud-Din requested some medicine or diet or Hazrat Mirza himself thought of something, he would immediately get it procured from Amritsar or Lahore. Grapes, melons, pomegranates and other types of fruit were always present for Maulvi Abdul Karim. Maulvi Abdul Karim had always been fond of drinking cold water.

Even during the winter season, he would have a container of water put on the roof and would drink the ice cold water from it even during the winter days. During this illness, Maulvi Abdul Karim was feverish from the beginning and at times his temperature became quite high. Consequently, MaulviAbdul Karim felt a great need for ice. In order to meet this need, Hazrat Mirza had made arrangements to procure about ahundred kilo- grams of ice in bulk each time.

When it was close to being used up, he would send a man to Lahore or Amritsar and procure a like amount, ensuring all the time that the supply did not run out. At the time that Maulvi Abdul Karim passed away, there was about forty kilograms of ice still left and Maulvi Yar Muhammad was ready to depart for Lahore in accordance with the orders of Hazrat Mirza to procure more ice when unfortunately this incident came to pass.

Maulvi Abdul Karim had become very weak during this illness and could not digest normal food. So for over a month, every night Hazrat Mirza would get chicken broth prepared in which the meat from three or four chickens was used. In addition, he would frequently get jug soup prepared in which mutton was used.

Later on, it was brought to Hazrat Mirza’s attention that chicken broth and like items did not provide sufficient nutrition for the amount consumed. Maulvi Abdul Karim’s diet was then switched to beef juice – a special preparation with concentrated nutrients that was imported from England. This was necessarily expensive; a two ounce bottle cost three rupees. Maulvi Abdul Karim was given this diet for a long period and Hazrat Mirzapurchased these bottles for him… Maulvi Abdul Karim’s medical needs were attended to at all times by two Assistant Surgeons (Dr. Khalifa Rashid-ud-Din and I), as well as Hakim Maulana Nur-ud-Din, who in terms of his knowledge and experience is one of a kind.

Dr. Muhammad Husain, an assistant surgeon and assistant professor at the Lahore Medical College, and Dr. Qazi Karam Ali from Amritsar also came to Qadian for consultation.

All needed medicines and surgical instruments for Maulvi Abdul Karim’s treatment were made available in Qadian… Hazrat Mirza spent money lavishly for the med- ical treatment of Maulvi Abdul Karim, and there was not a thing one could conceivably think of as being useful in the treatment that was not procured immediately… Maulvi Abdul Karim’s father would say: “Even if I had sold all my property and wanted that so many doctors and hakims should attend my son all the time, I could not have afforded it.”

Supplications

While referring to Hazrat Mirza’s supplications for Maulvi Abdul Karim, Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig wrote:

Quite apart from them (the medical doctors), Hazrat Mirza himself was the spiritual and physical doctor of Maulvi Abdul Karim. This was such a great comfort and blessing of God that even the most powerful earthly king or emperor could not have obtained it. …Hazrat Mirza had forsaken all rest and relaxation for Maulvi Abdul Karim. 

Only a few days prior to Maulvi Abdul Karim’s illness, Hazrat Mirza had suffered an injury to his head as a result of which he had lost a considerable amount of blood and was feeling veryweak. He had been unable to go to the mosque for several days, and had been experiencing insomnia. 

On top of that, he did not sleepfor several nights because of Maulvi Abdul Karim’s illness. His anxiety was similar to that of a parent whose beloved child is gravelyill. In fact, Hazrat Mirza’s affection for Maulvi Abdul Karim exceeded that of Maulvi Abdul Karim’s own parents and relatives. Maulvi Abdul Karim’s parents would sometimes fall asleep because of their weakness and thus become oblivious of Maulvi Abdul Karim’s pain and suffering for a while. 

But it appeared impossible to Hazrat Mirza that he could go to sleep when Maulvi Abdul Karim was in such a dire situation. Hazrat Mirza was himself about seventy years old and had been further weak- ened by the loss of blood as a result of trauma to his head, but even so he gave precedence to the comfort of the deceased over his own comfort. 

One day I submitted to him: “Sir! You are weak yourself and not feeling well; perhaps you should rest for a while at night.” He replied:“How is it possible that I should rest and sleep when a dear and sincere comrade is in such a state of pain, anguish and restlessness?

This I cannot do.” Hazrat Mirza supplicated to such an extent for Maulvi Abdul Karim that on several occasions he stated: “I havenot supplicated like this even for

my own children.” He also remarked: “If this is not inevitable fate (taqdir mubram), then it will not come to pass.”

Some thirteen or fourteen years have elapsed since I took the pledge at the hands of Hazrat Mirza. During this time, I have had many oppor- tunities to stay with him for extended periods. I have seen his children passing through severe illnesses on several occasions…

But I can say on oath that, to the best of my knowledge, Hazrat Mirza has never experienced such restlessness and anxiety, and prayed to God with such humility and plaintively as he did during Maulvi Abdul Karim’s illness.

Hazrat Mirza’s encouragement of the Ahmadiyya Organization’s members

Hazrat Mirza once remarked to Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig during the ill- ness of Maulvi Abdul Karim: “Doctor Sahib! You are very fortunate that Allah has granted you the ability to be of service during the illness of Maulvi Abdul Karim. Nursing a patient through the night carries a much greater reward than standing the whole night in prayer.”

Hazrat Mirza’s message

By the grace of Allah and through the prayers of Hazrat Mirza, a scab had formed on Maulvi Abdul Karim’s wound, the diarrhea had stopped, the frequency of urination had declined and it appeared as if Maulvi Abdul Karim was staging a recovery. In fact, MaulviAbdul Karim thought that in a few days he would be able to walk.

In this optimistic atmosphere, Hazrat Mirza sent a message to Maulvi Abdul Karim in which he said: “The person who regains his health after a severe and life-threatening illness has been cleansed and purified by being put through a furnace and his prayers are accepted by God.

So I request you to pray to Allah to assist me in this work that has been entrusted to me of serving the religion and to make me successful.” 

Maulvi Abdul Karim wept upon receiving this message, and for a long time he talked about Hazrat Mirza’s high morals and love and affection.

Maulvi Abdul Karim’s demise

On the one hand, Hazrat Mirza’s prayers were being efficacious in that the dangerous and life threatening ailment i.e., thecarbuncle was healing and other equally dangerous complications were abating, but on the other, the time of demise was coming near and Hazrat Mirza was repeatedly receiving revelations about it. Hazrat Mirza would sometimes try to put some interpretation on the revelation and sometimes would just intensify his supplications so that somehow this destiny may be averted.

Then, on October 10, 1905, Maulvi Abdul Karim suffered an attack of pleurisy. The resulting fever caused Maulvi Abdul Karim’s temperature to shoot up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit. This spell of fever lasted for a day anda half and proved fatal. At approximately 2:30 P.M. on October 11, 1905, soon after the Zuhr prayer, Maulvi Abdul Karim passed away.

Surely we are Allah’s, and to Him we shall return. The remembrance of Allah was on Maulvi Abdul Karim’s lips till the moment that he breathed his last. Great steadfastness and a calm acceptance of God’s decree on Maulvi Abdul Karim’s part marked his pass- ingaway.

Divine revelations regarding Maulvi Abdul Karim’s demise

During Maulvi Abdul Karim’s illness, Hazrat Mirza had repeatedly been receiving revelations about the demise of Maulvi Abdul Karim. The first revelation that Hazrat Mirza received was: “Jesus and those with him became fearful.” (Recorded in Badar, dated August 17, 1905).

Then it was revealed: “Forty-seven years of age. Surely we are Allah’s and to Him we shall return” (Recorded in Badar, dated September 7, 1905). Maulvi Abdul Karim’s age was forty-seven years, and this revelation was clearly indicative of his imminent demise. However, Hazrat Mirza could not bring himself to attribute this prophecy to Maulvi Abdul Karim.

It so happened that Hazrat Mirza received a letter from a person who had written: “I have been commit- ting sins throughout my life and have now reached the age of forty-seven. Surely we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.” Hazrat Mirza imme- diately attributed his revelation to this person’s case, and thereby comforted himself.

But events ultimately proved that this revelation had really been meant for Maulvi Abdul Karim. Similarly, Hazrat Mirza received these revelations:

  • Wrapped in a shroud.
  • Verily, the arrows of death cannot be stopped.
  • When armies and poison came from the skies. (Recorded in Badar, dated September 7, 1905)

Then it was revealed: “You prefer the life of this world.” That is, you ask for the life of this world from God when the Hereafter is decidedly better. In short, all these revelations were clearly indicative of Maulvi Abdul Karim’s demise, but Hazrat Mirza was never the one to lose hope of Allah’s mercy. 

As these revelations kept coming, Hazrat Mirza kept intensifying his suppli- cations and prayed day and night with great humility and plaintiveness hoping that somehow this fate may be averted. Several times he remarked: “The situation is critical, and it appears from the revelations that death is decreed but I am praying regularly with great intensity. If it has not been decreed inevitably, then, God willing, it will be averted.” 

The result of all the supplications was that Allah granted them acceptance by healing the carbuncle, but since death had been inevitably decreed, Maulvi Abdul Karim passed away from another illness.

Weeping of the Recessed Arch in the mosque

Maulvi Syed Abdus Sattar was a dear pupil and a special disciple of Sahibzada Abdul Latif Shaheed who had migrated from Khost (a region in Afghanistan) to Qadian. He was a very devout, and pious person, and was given to seeing true spiritual visions and receiving revelations.

He was a recluse and silently remained engrossed in the remembrance of Allah. I was once researching a report about the weeping of Hannanah, a column in Masjid-e-Nabvi, Madinah. Prophet Muhammad used to stand with his back againstHannanah while delivering the Friday sermon. 

Later, Prophet Muhammad got a new pulpit made and instead of standing with his back against Hannanah, he climbed the new pulpit to deliver the sermon. During the sermon, he dismounted from the pulpit and took up his old position and delivered the rest of the sermon from there.

After the prayers were over, the companions asked Prophet Muhammad what had compelled him to this action, and he replied: “Hannanah was weeping; that is why I went and stood against Hannanah for the rest of the sermon.” I was puzzled how an inanimate object could weep.

When this topic came up during a conversation with Maulvi Sattar, he stated:

Prior to Maulvi Abdul Karim’s death, I saw in a spiritual vision that the recessed arch of Mubarak mosque in which the imam standsto lead the congregational prayer was weeping. I concluded from this that Maulvi Abdul Karim’s demise was imminent and the arch would be forever deprived of the wondrous and ineffably enchanting Quranic recitations of Maulvi Abdul Karim. That iswhy it was weeping.

When I enquired about the nature of the weeping, he said: “It cannot be explained in words, but it is a fact that the recessed arch was weeping. And so it happened; Maulvi Abdul Karim expired and a melodious reader of the Quran like him never stood again in the archof the Mubarak Mosque.”

This statement of Maulvi Abdus Sattar helped me to understand the real- ity behind the incident. The deprivation of a thing, which inthe terminology of people lacking intimacy of experience is apparent only by its physical condi- tion, becomes a reality of a different kindfor people gifted with spiritual vision and they can actually see and hear that condition. The difference is in the nurturing of those senses which are well developed in spiritual people but lacking in those who are worldly. Maulana Rumi stated this in the following verses:

Philosophers deny the reality of Hannanah

Because they are unaware of the senses of prophets

The column Hannanah had suffered a great deprivation when the magnifi- cent Prophet of God who used to give the sermon in physical contact with it was no longer delivering the sermon from there.

This deprivation which was apparent to all with their physicaleyes took on a different reality for Prophet Muhammad in his spiritual vision, and he could not find it in his heart to relinquish such anold comrade. This then was the height of Prophet Muhammad’s tremendous love for the entire creation which transcended the animateworld to encompass the inanimate as well.

The five unique blessings of Qadian

There were five things during that era in Qadian that I consider were special blessings. In my opinion, they were unique to Qadian and not found anywhere else in the world. These were:

  1. The presence of Hazrat Mirza.
  2. Maulana Nur-ud-Din’s lessons of the Holy Quran.
  3. Maulvi Abdul Karim’s marvelous recitation of the Holy Quran dur- ing prayers.
  4. Maulvi Muhammad Ali’s magazine, The Review of Religions.
  5. The azan (call to prayer) by Ahmad Nur (resident of Kabul) that was so melodious and touching that when he called for Fajrprayer, I could not move from my place until it was over. I just did not feel like moving and even the thought of making haste to reach the mosque would slip into the back of my mind. His azan was also so loud that I have heard it at the place where the Nur Mosque now stands — a distance of about half a mile from Mubarak Mosque.

Contentment with fate

On hearing the wailing and screaming of women grieving at the demise of Maulvi Abdul Karim, Hazrat Mirza came out. Hazrat Mirza’s affection for Maulvi Abdul Karim had made him markedly restless and anxious as long as the latter was alive.

By day and by night, he had devotedly and wholeheartedly prayed for his recovery and had not spared any effort or expense in arranging for the most thorough medical treatment. However, upon learning the news of Maulvi Abdul Karim’s death, all that restlessness vanished and Hazrat Mirza became steadfast and indomitable. 

The only words that came to his lips were expressions of thankfulness and greatness of God, and never once did he utter anything to indicate impatience. 

He exhorted others as well to completely reconcile themselves to the Will of God, and to avoid bringing to their lips anywords expressive of despair or hopelessness. 

In particular, he summoned Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig and Maulvi Muhammad Ali, both of whom had been crying profusely, and advised them: “Be patient; Allah is Forgiving and Merciful, but at the same time, He does not standin need of anyone. What happened was decreed; so accept gratefully the will of God.”

The funeral

The funeral prayer for Maulvi Abdul Karim was held on the evening of his demise. As soon as Hazrat Mirza arrived near the bier, the mourners lined up in two rows on either side. The shroud was removed from the face of the deceased and Hazrat Mirza stood and gazed at the face for some time, engrossed in prayers for the dearly departed. On seeing this, an overwhelm- ing emotion of sorrowgripped everyone present and they became totally rapt in the moment. Some mourners wept uncontrollably. In that delicate situation, Hazrat Mirza displayed an excellent example of patience and acceptance of God’s will. Despite the overwhelming grief that he and hiscompanions were feeling, there was not even a murmur of impatience and the only words that were on his lips were that of prayers forthe deceased. He led the funeral prayer himself with great patience and steadfastness and sup- plicated for a long time for the salvationof the deceased.

Coinciding exactly with the funeral prayer, raindrops began to fall from the sky and it appeared as if the heaven itself was shedding tears and grieving along with the mourners. The raindrops ceased falling when the funeral prayer was over. Hazrat Mirza was greatly grieved by the separation with Maulvi Abdul Karim. Upon returning home from the funeral, he remarked: “It appears as if the earth is being pulled from beneath my feet as in an earthquake.” Despite this anguish and sorrow, he showed great patience and never expressed any words except those of gratitude to God. He also advised the ladies in his house to be genuinely reconciled with God’s will. Accordingly, both wives of Maulvi Abdul Karim conducted themselves with great patience and self-control.

Burial

Since a permanent burial site was not ready, Maulvi Abdul Karim was interred next morning temporarily on trust in the ordinary graveyard. Later on, when the cemetery known as Bahishti Maqbara (literally translates as

Heavenly Graveyard) was ready, Maulvi Abdul Karim’s coffin was exhumed at the time of the Annual Gathering on December 26, 1905.He was permanently interred in the Bahishti Maqbara on the morning of December 27, 1905 and became the first resident of thatcemetery. Funeral prayers were again offered on that occasion, and Hazrat Mirza accompanied the bier to its final resting place. Hazrat Mirza composed a poem for Maulvi Abdul Karim’s tombstone. The first verses of this poem which is etched on the tombstone read:

How can the qualities of Abdul Karim be counted

The man who bravely gave his life treading the path of righteousness

Excessive grieving barred

Prior to Maulvi Abdul Karim’s demise, Hazrat Mirza had received the following Divine revelation: “O men, serve your Lord Who created you” (2:21). This revelation was a reminder not to grieve excessively on the demise of Maulvi Abdul Karim because excessive grief is a kind of worship of the created. The object of excessive love or the object whose separation causes excessive grief, in a sense, falls within the ambit of the worshipped. For this reason, Hazrat Mirza summoned Maulvi Muhammad Ali, Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig, and others to the Mubarak Mosque on October 12, 1905, and delivered a very effective sermon on this point. One statement from that speech is especially worthy of being written in letters of gold:

Always fear God, and never love anything so much that sacrificing it in the way of God should cause any sense of loss in yourheart. Always be prepared to make every kind of sacrifice in God’s way. Then you shall receive a portion from God’s mercy andgrace.

Two supporting beams break

A short period before the demise of Maulvi Abdul Karim, Hazrat

Mirza received the revelation:

Two supporting beams have broken. Surely we are Allah’s, and to Him we shall return. (Recorded in Badar, dated September 14,1905)

On receiving the revelation, Hazrat Mirza remarked: “This revelation is omi- nous as well; God knows best its meaning.” The demise of Maulvi Abdul Karim showed that one of the beams referred to in the revelation was him and his death broke one of the supporting beams. The second supporting beam was broken by the death of Maulvi Burhanuddin of Jhelum. “Surely we are Allah’s, and to Him weshall return” (2:156).

The demise of Maulvi Burhanuddin of Jhelum

Maulvi Burhanuddin of Jhelum was a great scholar and a devoutly pious person. He was the imam (leader) of the local branch ofthe Ahmadiyya Organization in Jhelum and a sincere disciple of Hazrat Mirza. He passed away on the morning of December 3, 1905, and was interred the same evening. About three hundred people attended his funeral. During his last days, Maulvi Burhanuddin read the Holy Quran profusely. In Ramadan, he would recite the Quran so extensively in prayers that his congregation would feel exhausted from the rigor! Even when he was by himself, the Quran was always on his lips by day and by night. In the last Ramadan of his life, hesat in itikaf (retirement to the mosque during the last ten days of Ramadan for solitary meditation). During the itikaf, he received two revelations. Before his death, he used to say: “One of the supporting beams in the revelation of the Promised Messiah regarding the two broken beams was Maulvi Abdul Karim. I am the other supporting beam.”

After Maulvi Burhanuddin’s demise, his name once came up in conversation in an assembly where Hazrat Mirza was present, Hazrat Mirza remarked: Maulvi Burhanuddin was a person of Sufi temperament. He frequented the company of pious and mystic people. For about twenty-two years, he had been coming to see me. I was in Hoshiarpur the first time he came and he reached me all the way there. There was an ardor and attraction for the spiritual within him and he had a certain spiritual con- nectedness with me. At onetime he began the study of the Holy Quran with me, but was able to complete only a few verses. He possessed a Sufi temperament.

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