Departure from Qadian
Hazrat Mirza’s wife was from Delhi, and she had long wished to visit her native city, but for one reason or another, the trip did not materialize. Once when she was planning to go, Maulvi Abdul Karim fell ill and the plan had to be abandoned.
A new impetus to the visit was given when her brother Dr. Mir Muhammad Ismail was posted to the Civil Hospital, Delhi. Hazrat Mirza’s wife therefore determined to visit her brother in Delhi and readied herself to travel there in the company of her father, Mir Nasir Nawab. Hazrat Mirza sought guidance from God in the matter of the proposed trip by per- forming the istikhara prayer. The resulting revelations he receivedmade him decide to accompany his wife to Delhi.
When Hazrat Mirza expressed his intention to go to Delhi, some of his disciples, under his instructions or by his permission, also readied them- selves to accompany him. Those who accompanied him included Mufti Muhammad Sadiq (editor of the newspaperBadar), Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab (editor of the newspaper Al-Hakam), and Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi.
On the morning of Sunday, October 22, 1905, Hazrat Mirza departed from Qadian accompanied by his family and disciples.
Prior to the departure heannounced: “Last night I had a vision and received a revelation. I saw in the vision that I had gone to Delhi and all the doors were shut and locked. Then I saw a person pour some painful substance into my ear.
I told him: ‘However much you torment me, the Messenger of Allah, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was tormented more.’ It appears from this that the hearts of Delhi residents are sealed and immune to any good influence. We will be the target of their derisive comments.” Following this, the party left Qadian.
A second-class compartment had been reserved for Hazrat Mirza on the train. The Zuhr (afternoon) and Asr (late afternoon) prayers were com- bined and offered together on the Batala station. There was a five hour layover in Amritsar before the departure of the train to Delhi. Hazrat Mirza alighted from the train and sat down on one side of the platform under the shade of some trees.
Hazrat Mirza had given directions not to inform anyone about his itinerary but somehow the news did get out and his disciples from Amritsar and its environs gathered at the station. They took permission for hosting the evening meal, made swift arrangements and served dinner to the party at the railway station.
Arrival in Delhi
The train departed from Amritsar at 9:00 P.M. Despite the late hour, Hazrat Mirza’s disciples had gathered on the wayside stationsfor a chance to see him. By the time the train reached Ludhiana, it was past midnight and Hazrat Mirza had fallen asleep. Dr. MirzaYaqub Baig therefore requested the gathered disciples on the station not to go near the compartment and disturb Hazrat Mirza. WhenHazrat Mirza learned about this after reaching Delhi, he said: “I will definitely stop in Ludhiana next time and give an opportunity tofriends there to meet me.” The train arrived in Delhi around 3:30 P.M. Lodgings were taken up in the house of Alif Khan located on Chitli Qabar street.
Visiting some graves
On the morning of October 24, 1905, when Hazrat Mirza came to the male section of the house, the topic of sightseeing in Delhi was brought up. He remarked: “It is not proper to roam around just for fun and amusement. However, the tombs of some pious saintsare located here and I would like to visit them.” Then he directed Mufti Muhammad Sadiq to prepare a list of such saints so that arrangements may be made to visit their tombs. After the carriages had been arranged, Hazrat Mirza and his accompanying entouragewent first to the mausoleum of Khwaja Baaqi Billah. On the way, Hazrat Mirza explained the purpose of visiting graves:
There is a certain spirituality in the cemeteries and visiting cemeteries in the morning is a tradition of the Holy Prophet. There isreward in doing this. It reminds man of his position, because man is truly a traveler in this world. Today he is on the earth andtomorrow he may be under it.
Khwaja Baaqi Billah
Khwaja Baaqi Billah’s mausoleum was surrounded by other graves. When Hazrat Mirza reached the cemetery, he picked his waygingerly through the surrounding graves taking great care not to step on any grave. Upon reaching the final resting-place of KhwajaBaaqi Billah, he raised both hands and supplicated for a long time. Mufti Muhammad Sadiq inquired as to what supplication should be made at a grave.
Hazrat Mirza replied: “Prayer seeking forgiveness for the deceased should be offered, and one should also pray to God for one’s own self. A person always stands in need of prayer to God.” After finishing the supplication, Hazrat Mirza read the Persian poem etched on the tombstone of Khwaja Baaqi Billah and gave directions to get a copy made. He thenremarked:
Khwaja Baaqi Billah was one of the great saints and a spiritual mentor of Sheikh Ahmad of Sirhind. I think we too have seen a miracle of these saints, namely that they were able to convince and win over a city like Delhi. And this is the city that calls me areprobate, an outcast, and an unbeliever.
Addressing Seth Ismail Adam, Hazrat Mirza said:
Seth Sahib! This land is even more hardhearted than Bombay and for this reason it has always had its share of Divine rebukes. The English were not the only ones they rebelled against; they were disruptive even during the times of the Islamic Sultanate. One is able to gauge the (high) morals of these nobles and saints by how they managed to reside in such a city. These saints had completely rid themselves of the feel- ing of anger and had become (humble) like the dirt.
Hazrat Mirza then remarked: “The miracle of all these saints who lie buried in Delhi is manifested by the fact that this hardhearted land accepted them. I have not been able to show this miracle yet.”
Jamia Mosque of Delhi
While passing through the vicinity of Jamia Mosque of Delhi, Hazrat
Mirza looked at the mosque and remarked:
The real beauty of mosques is not in their architecture, but in the sincer- ity of the worshippers who pray in them. Otherwise, all these mosques are lying deserted. The mosque of the Holy Prophet was very small in size. Its roof was made of thatched palmleaves that dripped water when it rained. The liveliness of a mosque is associated with its worshippers.
Addressing Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig, he said, “If you have not seen the Delhi Fort, you may want to visit it.” However, Hazrat Mirza did not got here himself.
A Sufi person
Immediately after the Zuhr prayer on October 24, 1905, a person named Abdul Haq, who described himself as a disciple of Sufi Abul Khair, came with his students to meet Hazrat Mirza. Some other citizens of Delhi
who had stopped by to visit were also present. Abdul Haq inquired: “Are you someone who is just reminding the people about the coming of Messiah and Mahdi or are you yourself the Messiah and Mahdi?” Hazrat Mirza’s explanation in response was so effective that Abdul Haq was greatly impressed. He got up, kissed Hazrat Mirza’s hand and said: “I understand. Please carry on with your work. Ipray that Allah may grant you success. God willing, you will certainly make progress. What you said is true.”
Maulana Nur-ud-Din asked to come to Delhi
It occurred to Hazrat Mirza during his stay in Delhi that it would be a good idea to ask Maulana Nur-ud-Din to join him there. So Hazrat Mirza wired Maulana Nur-ud-Din to come to Delhi immediately.
Maulana Nur-ud- Din received the wire on October 28, 1905. Besides being a scholar and a devoutly practicing Muslim, Maulana Nur-ud-Din was also a man of Sufi temperament. When hereceived the wired summon from his sheikh (religious leader), he immediately set out for Delhi to avoid any delay in implementing thedirective. He did not go home; he did not change his dress; he did not take any baggage; he did not make any arrangements for the journey; he took no money; he did not even call for a carriage as that would delay the implemen- tation of the directive.
On reading the telegram, he just got up and set out for Batala on foot. When the people associated with him found out that Maulana Nur-ud-Din had setout on foot for Batala on his way to Delhi, they leapt into action — some made haste to take money to him, some quickly prepared a bagwith travel essentials and rushed it to him, while some others arranged for a carriage to transport him!
They overtook him on the road toBatala. Maulana Nur-ud-Din arrived in Delhi on October 29, 1905.
Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi’s letter to Maulvi Muhammad Bashir
On October 24, 1905, Maulana Amrohi wrote a letter to his old friend Maulvi Muhammad Bashir of Bhopal and sent him a set of Hazrat Mirza’s books which included: one volume of Mawahib-ur-Rahman, two volumes of Al-Furqan, and four volumes of Tabligh-ul-Haq. Maulana Amrohi also expressed his wish to meet Maulvi Bashir. In response, Maulvi Bashir thanked him for the gifts, butexcused himself from the meeting.
Conversation with a cleric regarding the need to believe in Hazrat
On October 25, 1905, some clerics accompanied by their students came to meet Hazrat Mirza. They said: “We pray; we fast; we believe in the
Quran and the Holy Prophet. So what is the need for believing in you?”
Hazrat Mirza replied:
Opposition to any of God’s injunctions becomes a source of sin. Even when a lowly police constable serves an official order, any refusal to obey the order is a punishable offence.
When this is the case with worldly rulers, how great then is Allah’s insubordination when disre- spect and disesteem is shown to the one who is sent by the Supreme Ruler. Allah, the Most High, has a keen sense of honor.
In accordance with His expediency, He sent a person when it was most needed at the start of a very impaired century so that he may call the people to the way of righteousness. It is a grave sin to trample God’s expediency under the feet…Human intellect cannot match God’s wisdom. Who is man to claim that his wisdom surpasses that of God? The wisdom of God is at this time self-evident and glorious.
Previously, a commotion would ensue even if a single Muslim reneged from the faith.
But now Islam has been trampled under the feet so much that hundreds of thousands have apostatized. A holy and pure religion like Islam has been attacked to the extent that thousands of books are published that are full of abuse against the Holy Prophet; the circulation of some such magazines is in the millions. If all the material that is published to vilify Islam were to be gathered in one place, it would create a mountain.
The condition of the Muslims is as if they are (spiritually) lifeless and all of them have died. If God were also to remain silent in such a situ- ation, what would happen then? One strike from God is morepowerful than thousands of assaults by men. And it is so powerful that it will make Islam ascendant again.
This is not the time for Jihad with the sword
On the same occasion, Hazrat Mirza delivered an address in which he stated:
If your victory was destined through wars and fighting, then God would have given you armament and superior skills in the use of guns and cannons. But God’s actions show clearly that you have not been granted these abilities. On the other hand, even when the Ottoman Caliph needs weapons, he has them manufactured in Germany or England, and buys the weapons of war from theChristians.
Because it was not decreed that Muslims should wage war in this era, God chose another way. Yes, during the times ofSalahuddin (Saladin) and other rulers, such actions (wars) were necessary, and God assisted the Muslims then and gave themvictories over the unbelievers.
Nowadays, however, nobody wages wars for religion. Instead, millions of papers are published to vilify Islam. We should prepareweapons similar to the ones that the enemy uses against us. This is the injunction from God. If now a bloody Mahdi were to comeand start beheading people, it would serve no purpose because nobody can be satisfied through killings. Beheadings will not dispel the doubts in people’s hearts. The religion of God is not one of compulsion. Islam has never been one to initiateaggression. It was only when the persecution of the Companions of the Holy Prophet exceeded all limits that jihad was waged to repelthe oppressors. No one has the intelligence to match the wisdom of God. Every person should supplicate in this matter and see whether Islam is in need of assistance at this time or not. Physical victory is of no conse- quence. The real victory is to conquer thehearts. I have not said anything that is contrary to what God and His Messenger have said…
Hazrat Mirza was in the middle of this discourse when the unfortunate cleric started quibbling. He tried to put up a defense for the continued physical existence of Jesus but was effectively rebutted and being left without an argument he then got up and departed.
People worthy of meeting
In the evening, Hazrat Mirza asked Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig where he had been sightseeing that day. He replied that he had visited the Tower of Feroze Shah, Mahabat Khan Mosque, the Red Fort, and some other places. Hazrat Mirza remarked:
I would like to visit the tombs of Hazrat Bakhtiar Kaki, Nizam-ud-Din Auliya, Hazrat Shah Waliullah, and others. The people who dwell on the surface of the earth in Delhi do not desire to meet us, nor are they worthy of meeting. But I would like to visit thesaints among them who have passed away and lie interred in the earth so that I do not go away without at least visiting them. It is a miracle indeed of these saints that they achieved recognition from the hard-hearted populace of this city in which they dwelled. It has not fallen to my lot yet to achieve the kind of recognition that they were able to achieve:
Their eyes are wide open, and their hearing is fully functional; And it’s bright daytime, so it amazes me that they neithersee nor hear.
This is a calamitous time for Islam. There are hosts of internal prob- lems, and a multitude of external problems. Yet these peoplethink that there is no need for a reformer (mujaddid).
Hazrat Mirza kept expounding on this theme effectively for quite some time.
Why the organization was named Ahmadi
A cleric visited Hazrat Mirza and asked: “When God has named us Muslims, why have you named your sect Ahmadi? This goes against the grain of the Quranic verse: ‘He named you Muslims’ (22:78).”1 In response, Hazrat Mirza said:
Islam is a sacred name, and this is the name mentioned in the Holy Quran. But as predicted in the Books of Hadith, there are now seven- ty-three sects in Islam, and each sect calls itself Muslim. One of these sects is the Rafizis2 who vituperate against theCompanions of the Holy Prophet barring two or three of them, hurl abuses at the pure wives of the Holy Prophet and rail againstsaints but are still called Muslims.
The Kharajites3 disparage Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Usman, may Allah be pleased with them, and still call themselves Muslims.There is a sect in Syria known as the Yazeediya who curse Hazrat Imam Husain, but go about as Muslims. It was to distinguish themselves from such sects that the righteous people in the past proposed names like Hanbali, Shafii, etc., for themselves. Thesedays, a sect known as naturalists has emerged who deny the existence of heaven, hell, angels, and revela- tion. Even Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was of the opinion that the Quran was the result of the Holy Prophet’s own inspiration and the narratives in it havebeen written down after hearing them from the Christians. In short, to distinguish ourselves from all those other sects, this sect hasbeen named Ahmadiyya.
As Hazrat Mirza was addressing this point, the cleric cut him off by asking: “The Quranic injunction is to ‘be not disunited’ (3:103), butyou have created a dissension.” Hazrat Mirza responded:
I am not creating a dissension. I have come to remove dissension. If the keeping of the name Ahmadi is an affront, then beingknown by names like Shafii, Hanbali, is also an affront. But these names have been kept by religious dignitaries that you tooconsider as righteous. Only a most unfortunate person would criticize and badmouth such personalities;
clearly they just kept these names to distinguish themselves. Our affair is directed by God, and those who criticize us areeffectively criticizing God. We are Muslims, and Ahmadi is a distinguishing name. If Muslim is the only name we use, then how would we be distinguished? God, the Most High, wishes to form a party and it is necessary that this party be distinguished from others. Without such a distinction, its benefits cannot be organized, and the distinction cannot be achieved by calling ourselvesMuslims alone.
The time of Imam Shafii, Imam Hanbal etc. was such that innovations were beginning to find their way into religion. If adistinctive name had not been used at that time, then it would not have been possible to dis- tinguish the righteous group from the others, and thousands of bad people would have lived mixed up with them without distinction. These four names were like fourwalls of an enclosure for Islam. If these people had not been born, Islam would have become a dubious religion in which there wasno distinction between the heretics and the non-heretics. Now, too, a time has come when the religion from one household to the nextis the same. We do not deny that we are Muslims, but this name has been adopted to dispel disunity…The truth of the matter is that God Himself creates this division. When adulteration and admixture becomes excessive, then God Himself desires that there shouldbe a distinction…
Hazrat Mirza was continuing with this address when the cleric repeated his demurring. Hazrat Mirza responded:
I call those people accursed who reject the name Islam or who feel ashamed of it. I have not introduced any innovation into religion. The name Ahmadi is just like the names Hanbali and Shafii. In fact, the name Ahmadi adheres to Islam and its founder, Ahmad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). This conformance is not found in other names. Ahmad is the name of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Islam is Ahmadi and Ahmadi is Islam…
Hazrat Shah Waliullah
On October 26, 1905, Hazrat Mirza paid a visit to the tombs of Hazrat Shah Waliullah and Khwaja Mir Dard. The tombs of Shah Abdur Rahim, Shah Abdul Aziz and some other venerable saints are also in the same locale as that of Shah Waliullah. Hazrat Mirza stated that the venerable saint Shah Waliullah was a recipient of revelations and spiritual visions. On the way back, Hazrat Mirzadelivered a highly efficacious speech replete with advice and goodly exhortations.
The Holy Prophet was the essence of every excellence
Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi delivered the Friday sermon on October 27, 1905. Following the Friday congregational prayer, a few clerics and the teachers and students of a school of Oriental Medicine came to meet Hazrat Mirza. Hazrat Mirza addressedthem in the following words:
Muslims should not be averse to British medical knowledge. “The word of wisdom belongs to the believer.” It may have beenlost to oth- ers but should be acquired regardless of where it is found. In saying this, it is not my intention to oppose indigenous medicine in favor of Western medicine, but only to emphasize the Hadith directive that one should acquire a useful thing whereverit is found… Allah commanded the Holy Prophet “So follow their (the previous prophet’s) guidance” (6:90) i.e., to gather within himself all of the excellent qualities in which individual prophets had excelled. This verse is a testimony to the excellence of the Holy Prophet. All the good qualities, attributes and excellences of previous prophets and saints were vouchsafed to the Holy Prophet. By following their guidance, he became the essence of all matters of excellence.
Hazrat Mirza continued his talk for some time and masterfully shed light on the topics of righteousness, the death of Jesus, and thecoming of the Messiah. Towards the end, one of the clerics started asserting that Jesus was still alive, but when he could not adduce anyrational argument, he got up and left. One person took the pledge at the hands of Hazrat Mirza. Following that, Hazrat Mirza gaveanother insightful speech.
Hazrat Mirza would deliver similar perceptive talks from time to time as the occasion demanded. In reality, most of the clerics and theology stu- dents who came to visit Hazrat Mirza in Delhi came only with the purpose of ridiculing and asking frivolousquestions. But Hazrat Mirza treated every- one with great kindness, and spent a great deal of his valuable time in explaining issues tothem.
On October 27, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and Mir Sadiq Husain arrived in Delhi to visit Hazrat Mirza. The former had traveled from Lahore and the latter from Attawa. Several other disciples also arrived in Delhi from differ- ent places that day. On the following day, Hazrat Mirza delivered speeches in the morning and then again from Zuhr to Asr. About ten people took the pledge. Several other disciples arrived in Delhi on this day as well. On October 29, Hazrat Mirza went to visit the tomb of Sultan Nizam-ud-Din Auliya. Hasan Nizami, Sahibzada Syed Ghulam Moen-ud-Din Nizami, and others accompanied Hazrat Mirza and gave him a guided tour of the graves and places of interest in the locale. Hazrat Mirza recited the customary
Fatihah prayer for the deceased at the tombs of Sultan Nizam-ud-Din Auliya
and Ameer Khusro.
Prior to this outing of October 29, Hasan Nizami had visited Hazrat Mirza and invited him and his entourage for a cup of tea at his apartment on the conclusion of the visit to the tombs. Accordingly, at the great insistence of Hasan Nizami, Hazrat Mirza went to his apartment for tea where Hasan Nizami also presented him with a copy of the book titled Shawaahid Nizami. On the occasion of HazratMirza’s departure from Delhi, Hasan Nizami was present at the railway station to see him off. In response to his verbal insis- tence andwritten request sent to Qadian, Hazrat Mirza wrote out the following testimonial for Hasan Nizami:
During my stay in Delhi, I felt a strong inclination in my heart to visit the tombs of the righteous saints and lovers of God who, like me, had suffered much at the hands of the inhabitants of this earth and had sub- sequently passed away to meet their Lord. I desired to gladden my heart by visiting their blessed tombs. It was with this intention that I went to the tomb of Khwaja Sheikh Nizam-ud-Din Waliullah and also to the blessed tombs of some other saints. May Allah bless us all with His mercy.
On October 29, 1905, some residents of Meerut and Ballabgarh took the pledge after the Zuhr (afternoon) prayers. Following that, Hazrat Mirza delivered a lengthy speech. After the speech, some clerics from Madrasah Husain Baksh (an institution for religiouseducation) asked Hazrat Mirza for a written explanation of why he believed that Jesus had died. So Hazrat Mirza wrote out an explanation for them in which he detailed arguments from the Quran and Hadith in a highly sensible and logical fashion. Maulana Nur-ud-Din also arrived in Delhi on that day, October 29, 1905.
Visit to the tomb of Hazrat Qutab-ud-Din
Hazrat Mirza remained indisposed for a couple of days and it was not until November 1, 1905, that he could resume his visits to the tombs of the saints interred in Delhi. On November 1, 1905, Hazrat Mirza visited the mausoleum of Hazrat Khwaja Qutab-ud-Din Bakhtiar Kaki. At the mau- soleum, he offered an extended supplication. On his way back, he remarked:
There are certain places where blessings descend. Since these saints were the friends of Allah (auliya Allah), I visited their mausoleums. I supplicated to Allah for them, and also supplicated to Allah for myself. I offered other supplications as well. But thevenues where these saints are interred are few and quickly visited; as for the people of Delhi, they are hard-hearted.
Seated in the carriage on his way home, Hazrat Mirza was still engrossed in these thoughts when he received the following revelation:
“When you raise your hands in prayer, God shall be merciful.” Upon reaching home, he decided to depart from Delhi onNovember 4, 1905.
The fame-seeking penchant of Mirza Herat
Mention has been made of Mirza Herat in the narration of a previous visit of Hazrat Mirza to Delhi, which took place soon after he claimed to be the Promised Messiah.4 Mirza Herat was the editor of the Delhi newspaper Curzon Gazette and had a strong desire to be in the limelight. When Mirza Herat learnt about Hazrat Mirza’s departure plans from Delhi, he spotted an opportunity to draw some attention to himself. He decided to challenge Hazrat Mirza to a debate, knowing full well that Hazrat Mirza’s imminent departure and his public announcement to refrain from debates in the future would make a contest impossible, but that such an action would enhanceMirza Herat’s prestige and fame among his friends. Accordingly, he chal- lenged Hazrat Mirza to a debate through an announcement published in the issue of the Curzon Gazette dated November 1, 1905.
In response, Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab announced on November 2, 1905, that he was prepared to debate Mirza Herat and that, being a newspaper edi- tor too, he was the equal of Mirza Herat and the most appropriate person to respond to Mirza Herat’s challenge. Sheikh Torab then stated the rules for the debate and requested a response from Mirza Herat by November 4, 1905. Additionally, a separate announcement was published by the local branch of the Ahmadiyya Organization in Delhi in which Mirza Herat was addressed as follows:
The criticisms levied from time to time by Mirza Herat in the Curzon Gazette against Hazrat Mirza have already been fully rebutted in Babu Abdul Aziz’s book Herat ki Herani (Herat’s Amazement). An announcement accompanied the publication of thisbook offering a one thousand rupee reward for a suitable response. Had Mirza Herat sincerely been a seeker of truth and not merely a fame-seeker, he would have done well to focus on writing a response to the book and earning the one thousand rupee reward instead of issuing debate challenges. Moreover, we, the servants of Hazrat Mirza in Delhi, are always present to clarify any ofMirza Herat’s doubts. However, if your wish is to benefit from the pres- ence of Hazrat Mirza and his other disciples in Delhi, then you should accept the challenge of Sheikh Torab, editor of Al-Hakam, who is your age and from your profession. Additionally, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq,
who is the editor of the newspaper Badar, … is also ready to engage you in a written debate open to the public. The responsibility for arranging such a debate shall be yours. One important condition is that the eminent clerics of Delhi, such as Maulvi Muhammad Bashir, Maulvi Abdul Haq, Maulvi Abul Khair, Maulvi Tultuf Husain, and Qazi Muhammad Yaqub should agree through a published announcement to be your patrons because our objective is to benefit the public. We do not hold high hopes from you but perhapssomeone else may understand.
The publication of these announcements so completely silenced Mirza Herat that not even a squeak was heard from him.
Maulana Nur-ud-Din’s sermon after the Friday prayer
Maulana Nur-ud-Din delivered a sermon after the Friday prayer on November 3, 1905. He demonstrated how unity is to be found in the world, despite the presence of differences. He also demonstrated from the Quran and Hadith the reasons for the failure ofmen to follow the path of righteous- ness and recounted the arguments from the Islamic scriptures supporting the death of Jesus.
Sensing that the sermon was having a very favorable impact on the audience, the non-Ahmadi clerics created a disturbance and called upon the audience to leave. Others joined them, and soon an uncivilized skirmish of pushing and shoving erupted. Hazrat Mirza got up and gently asked them to desist and to hear the speaker out quietly. Most people responded by abstaining from further disturbance. Members of the audience then began to ask questions, and Hazrat Mirza provided them with answers.
The cleric who had demanded and obtained a written statement on the death of Jesus from Hazrat Mirza a few days earlier was also present. He had come with a few other clerics and brought a bundle of books. When he was asked to give a written response just as he had demanded a written statement, he was greatly taken aback. He said that he would not give a statement in writing but would only give a verbal response. When he was told that he should write down whatever he was going to say verbally, he picked up his books and departed with his accompanying clerics. A note- worthy point in this episode was a statement by the cleric that he did not have a copyof the Hadith book Sahih Bukhari that is commonly regarded as the second most important source of Islamic knowledge after the Holy Quran. The need for the Sahih Bukhari arose because of the use of the word mutawaffika in verse 3:55 of the Quran with reference to Jesus. The primary meaning of the word is: I will cause thee to die, but as with many words there are secondary meaningsas well. However, a hadith in the Sahih Bukhari puts any potential controversy to rest by stating that the word mutawaffika in verse 3:55 means mumituka, a word that denotes death with- out any chance of ambiguity.
Meeting with the proprietor of the newspaper Morning Post
The British proprietor of the newspaper Morning Post came to meet Hazrat Mirza on November 3, 1905. Since the proprietor didnot speak Urdu, Mufti Sadiq acted as the interpreter. The discussion lasted for an hour, and various subjects were discussed.
Cowardly conduct of Maulvi Abdul Majeed
Maulvi Abdul Majeed was a famed cleric of Delhi who had once suf- fered a crushing defeat in a debate with Ahmad Masih, a Christian priest, on the issue of the life and death of Jesus. In fact so thorough was his discom- fiture that Mirza Herat, the editor of Curzon Gazette, had confessed before several people that, “It was for this reason that I did not publish any report of this debate in my newspaper.” This then is the result of following a false doctrine. As a result of the erroneous belief that Jesus is alive in heaven with his physical body, Maulvi Majeed had to live to see the day when a priest would defeat him. Otherwise Islam is the religion of Truth before which false doctrines cannot stand. Witness now another incident that exposes the character of this cleric. The following excerpt is taken from the report of Mufti Muhammad Sadiq in the issue of Badar dated November 24, 1905.
On the day that we were to depart from Delhi (November 4, 1905), an anonymous person purporting to be Abdur Rahman, a recent convert, published an announcement challenging Hazrat Mirza to debate a number of clerics. The announcement asked Hazrat Mirza to come to a certain location where the clerics who had agreed to debate him would be gathered. I refer to this publisher as anonymous because on that very day, I sent a postcard to Abdur Rahman using precisely the same address that was provided in the announcement. However, the post office returned the post card to me undelivered because the addressee and the address did not exist. This occurred on the very day that the announcement bearing his address was being distributed throughout the city of Delhi. Initially, I was mystified. How could a person, who challenges such a grand personality — the spiritual leader ofover three hundred thousand men, and who has obtained the consent of all the leading clerics of Delhi for a debate, be so obscure that the post office could not deliver a letter to him? However, when I fortu- itously met Maulvi Muhammad Bashir, the successorof Maulvi Nazeer Husain, the mystery unraveled. Maulvi Bashir met me very cordially and sincerely. Since his name was included in the list of clerics who had agreed to debate Hazrat Mirza, I showed him the announcement and enquired, “Did you invite Hazrat Mirza for a debate?” He denied it completely, and said: “This is the work of Maulvi Abdul Majeed. He is the one who composed this announcement and penned the name of a convert in his service under it. I was shown the announcement after it had been published.” I was amazed to hear this and at the same time saddened by the cowardly act of a so-called man of religion. To what depths have the scholars of Islam sunk and what a bad name are theybringing to Islam! May Allah save us from such people! Amen.
The general conduct of the Delhi citizenry
This time around, the general conduct of the Delhi citizenry towards Hazrat Mirza was very different from what it had been fourteen years ago. People generally met him with affection and kindness, and listened attentive- ly to his words. Some even apologizedfor their previous disrespectful conduct. The gentry did not oppose him, and in fact, those who got an oppor- tunity to meet him did so cordially and civilly. Out of the fear of clerics, some people did not come personally to meet Hazrat Mirza, but still sent their greetings. Although no one from the citizenry of Delhi pledged alle- giance to Hazrat Mirza, many of them conceded that he was truthful and thatJesus had died. The Delhi branch of the Ahmadiyya Organization worked wholeheartedly in facilitating Hazrat Mirza’s stay in the city.
Hope for the city of Delhi
Hazrat Mirza had not given up hope that the citizens of Delhi would one day rally to his cause. On several occasions, Mir Nasir Nawab had opined that not much should be expected from the citizens of Delhi, but Hazrat Mirza had disagreed and stated, “My heart tells me that this is not true. Concealed somewhere, there have to be some righteous people in Delhi who will ultimately be drawn in our direction. There has to be some wisdom in this association that Allah has forged for me with Delhi. We must never lose hope in God. After all, Mir Sahib, you also hail from Delhi.”
How Islam was spread in India
The conversation had turned to a discussion of the saints and Sultans of Delhi. Hazrat Mirza remarked:
The notion that Islam was spread in India by the sword is absolutely false. Such was not the case at all. The Muslim emperors did not forcibly spread Islam in India. On the contrary, they paid little attention to matters of religion. The spread of Islam in India is the result of the supplications and efforts of the saints and sheikhs that lived in this country. Kings do not have the good fortune to instill the love of Islam in the hearts of the populace. Unless someone depicts Islam with his own example, he will fail to influence others. When these saints anni- hilate themselves in the presence ofAllah and become the personification of the Quran and Islam and a manifestation of the Holy Prophet, they are granted a personality that attracts and influences righteous souls. Nine hundred million people became Muslims as the result of the effort and attraction of such saints. No other faith has spread so rapidly in so short a time. These are the people whose strong arguments were backed by their own example of goodness and piety and therefore attracted the populace. But these saints were not sparedfrom the scorn and ridicule of their own coreligionists. Although at the present time I am mostly the target of abuse, but it is true that in their own times, they all had to go through much suffering. Our religious leaders have always been up to one thing or theother.
The topic was broached that certain saints listened to musical melodies, and whether this was permissible. Hazrat Mirza remarked:
It is not good to harbor suspicions about saints. One should always keep a good opinion about them. It is proven from the Hadith that the Holy Prophet had listened to poetry. During the caliphate of Hazrat Umar, a Companion of the Holy Prophet was reciting poetry in the mosque when Hazrat Umar asked him to desist. The Companion replied, “I used to recite poetry in the mosque in the presence of the Holy Prophet. Who are you to stop me from doing so?” On hearing this, the Caliph became silent. The Quran should also be recited with excellent rendition. There is so much emphasis on this that it has been stated that he who does not recite the Quran with good rendition is not of us. Delivery has a great impact. A good speech, if delivered wth excellence, is effective. The same speech if delivered poorly fails to make an impression. If Allah has endowed something with an innateeffectiveness, what is the harm in making it an instrument of attracting people to Islam? The Psalms of David are in the form of hymns, and it has been said that when David supplicated to God with those hymns, the mountains wept, and the birds glorifiedthe Lord with him.
A person interjected and asked, “What is your decree about musical instruments?” Hazrat Mirza replied:
Some people have interpreted the Quranic term lahv-al-hadith (31:6) as meaning musical instruments. But it is my belief that people should always take into account the context of a particular situation. Never berate a person because of a trait you do notunderstand while knowing full well that the person is widely knowledgeable, exhibits signs of piety, and evidences thousands of symbols of a righteous and godly person. If you do so, you will be the loser. It is narrated about Bayazid Bastami that once there were many people gathered around him and wasting his time. It was the month of Ramadan. He started eating his meal right there in front of them. Thereupon those people called him a disbeliever and quickly dispersed from around him. What they did notrealize was that he was a traveler on a journey and was excused from fasting. But in their ignorance, they called him names andran away. In this manner, Bayazid Bastami gained the solitude that he desired for the remembrance of Allah.
Hazrat Mirza continued:
These are mysterious affairs and there is an excellent example of it given in the Quran itself in the incident of Khizr. No Divinelaw would allow him to take those actions. We should learn a lesson from this incident. Mysterious affairs of the type narrated in the Khizr incident have occurred in this nation from the beginning of its history. Our Holy Prophet was the essence of every excellence, and reflections of that excellence remain in the Muslim nation. In the future too, saints will continue to perform miracles of the like of Khizr in accordance with the needs of the situation. Compared to Khizr’s actions, the issue of musical instruments is a trivial one. Hence one should not be hasty; haste kills a person. One should look for the qualities that are the hall- mark of saintly people. The affairs of these people are very delicate, and great caution needs to be exercised. The person whoobjects rashly will face ruin. It is strange that the objectors themselves are vile people with impure hearts, but still have the gall tocriticize venerable saints.
Hazrat Mirza remarked:
When a mother dresses a handsome child in fine clothes and sends him out, she sometimes blemishes his face with a black spot as a talisman to ward off the evil eye. I have observed an analogous behavior of Allah with saints. God creates a blemish in the external situation of his pious servants so that the wicked people may stay away from them and only the righteous may gather around them. The righteous person looks at the true beauty of the face, while the villain stays focused on the blemish.Once I was invited to a party in Amritsar where some clerics were also present. When tea was served, I received and held the cup in my left hand. All the clerics immediately objected and said: “He acts contrary to the practice of the Holy Prophet.” I replied, “It is the practice of the Holy Prophet to hold the cup in the right hand but is it also not the practice of the Holy Prophet, ‘And follow not that of which thou hast no knowledge’ (17:36)? Was it not more appropriate for you to have given me thebenefit of doubt and to have kept your silence? And if this was not possible to have at least asked me, ‘Why did you do this?’”Then I told them that the real reason was that the bone in my right arm was fractured in childhood and since then I am unable to lift up a cup held in my right hand. They felt very embarrassed on hearing this.
- “He has chosen you and has not laid upon you any hardship in religion — the faith of your father Abraham. He named you Muslims before and in this, that the Messenger may be a bearer of witness to you, and you may be bearers of witness to the people.” (22:78).
- A Shiite dissenting sect.
- A sect dissenting from Hazrat Ali.
- See Chapter 34, Volume 1