CHAPTER 75: HAZRAT MIRZA’S ENAMORING WAY OF LIFE AND SUPERB MORALS

Hazrat Mirza’s intrinsic nature

Up to this juncture, I have only discussed the physical aspects of Hazrat Mirza. Now I would like to say a little bit about his intrinsic nature by briefly sketching his morals and habits. Although it is impossible to describe with words the ecstasy and joy one felt on meeting and interacting with him, I shall nevertheless attempt a description to at least help the reader form a general impression.

The best of you is the best to his family

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of you is the best to his family.”1

What a pure and dignified statement! While everyone behaves in a refined and moral way outside in the society to enhance their reputation, but a true measure of a person can only be gauged in the four walls of his own home where the veneer of artificiality and hypocrisy comes off and the true nature of a man is revealed. For this reason, the person who shows the best morals and refined manners in his own home truly deserves to be called the best of men. This is why, in discussing the character of Hazrat Mirza, I giveprecedence to his treatment of his wife.

Kind treatment of his wife

Hazrat Mirza’s era was one in which the Hindu culture and way of liv- ing had so strongly influenced the Muslim way of life in India that women had ceased to have any status. Along with the imposition of strict seclusion for women, they were neither respectednor honored. The role of women had been reduced to just cooking and rearing children within the four walls of their home. The status of man was that of a haughty ruler and of his wife that of a humble slave girl.

In short, the Muslim way of living in India had dete- riorated greatly from the standard set in Islam. Through his personal example, the Reformer of the era elevated the status of women to the true position that Islam accords to women. He treated his wife with great kind- ness and truly respected and honored her. Maulvi Abdul Karim lived for a long period in a section of Hazrat Mirza’s house and so his eye-witness account is very reliable and forceful. In his book Sirat Masih MauoudMaulvi Abdul Karim observed:

Approximately 15 years have elapsed since Hazrat Mirza again under- took, by the permission of God, the Most High, the solemnand delicate matter of living and eating together (euphemism for Hazrat Mirza mar- ried for the second time). During this time, there has never been an instance of any marital skirmish.

Can anyone imagine that during this long period there was never any deed or action committed by his wife that was not in accordance with his temperament? Experience and common sense bear evidence that wives through ignorance and bad temperament commit actions that offend and cause grief.

Notwithstanding this,the cool hearted and heavenly soul who remains untouched by the fire of grief is worthy of our consideration. It cannot be imagined that one can live a serene, dignified and peaceful exis- tence in the midst of this complicated, feverish and fiery lifeunless that bitter piece of flesh (euphemism for the heart) which is the repository of all poisons and is the place of origin of every kind of malice, jealousy, envy and enmity and is the closest thing to hell in this life has been completely deprived of these emotions and the Holy God by His special hand has purified, cleansed and expanded the chest in which it rests.

There is only one dangerous though correctable vice that is the root cause of all internal mischief. And what is it? It is carping, criticism, and mocking in all matters large and small. And this vice indicates a person that is unhappy and mean and about whom one caneasily say that he is in a living hell in this world. For ten years, I have been observing critically and with great attention and have arrived at this conclusion with full insight that there is not an iota of this devilish touch in Hazrat Mirza’s disposition… Even the domestic maid servants who are ordinary commoners with natural simplicity and humanity and far removed from hypocrisy and cunning, feel this very strongly and find it very strange because it is the total opposite of the kind of dealings that theywitness generally around them and what they have experienced themselves. I have personally heard them say with greatwonderment: “Mirza listens to his wife!”

One day, Hazrat Mirza himself said, “Other than indecency, all other kinds of incivility by women should be tolerated.” He added, “I find it shameless being a man to pick a fight with a woman. God has made us men and this is in fact the completion of his favor on us. The gratitude for this favor is that we should treat women with grace and kindness.” Once it was mentioned that a disciple used abusive language and had a harsh temperament, and had treated his wife ill. Hazrat Mirza was very displeased at this and remarked: “Our friends should not act in this manner.”

In the days when the debate with Deputy Atham (Abdullah Atham) was proceeding in the city of Amritsar, a large assembly ofpeople had gathered one night at the residence of Khan Muhammad Shah.

Many of Hazrat Mirza’s disciples had arrived from the surrounding areas to witness the debate. Earlier that day, Hazrat Mirza had a headache and was feeling unwell. The visitors were eagerly awaiting Hazrat Mirza, who presently arrived at the scene of the gathering. Out of reverential love and affection, Munshi Abdul Haq inquired about Hazrat Mirza’s health and said: “Your work is very delicate and you carry a heavy bur- den of responsibility; you should take care of your physical health and a special nutritious meal must be prepared for you every day.” 

Hazrat Mirza responded: “What you say is correct, and I have mentioned this occasionally, but the women are so engrossed in their own concerns that they do not pay much attention to anything else.” Thereupon Munshi Abdul Haq, who was a disciple of our good-natured and kind friend, Maulvi Abdullah Ghaznavi, remarked: “Sir, you do not say so sternly to create a sense of awe. As for me, I have made special arrangements for my food, and it is not possible for my orders to be disregarded even slightly,otherwise someone would be called to account for it.”

I (Maulvi Abdul Karim) was sitting on one side and felt elated at the statement of Munshi Abdul Haq because apparently it wasbeneficial for my beloved master (Hazrat Mirza). In fact, I too, out of my affection, had been contemplating that a special diet considerably better than the ordinary meals was required for Hazrat Mirza and that the regular public kitchen food was not a suitable diet for a person involved in intense mental activity. 

So I perceived Munshi Abdul Haq as a fortuitous supporter of my sentiments in this matter; without any pause or deliberation, I spoke out in favor of the aged Sufi (Munshi Abdul Haq) thus: “Yes sir, MunshiAbdul Haq is correct in what he says. You should enforce this matter strictly.” Hazrat Mirza looked at me and said with a smile:“Our friends really ought to abstain from such conduct.” 

God alone knows how mortified I felt in the presence of that large gathering and ruefully reflected why I had supported the old Sufi (Munshi Abdul Haq)… After listening to the incident of that harsh-tempered friend, Hazrat Mirza dis- coursed at length about the proper conducttowards women. 

In the end, he said: “My state is such that once I called out rather loudly for my wife and felt that perhaps my loud beckoning was tinged with some annoyance. Apart from this, I did not utter any hurtful or corrosive word from my mouth. After this, I spent a long time beseeching Allah’s protection, offered voluntary prayers with great focus and concentration and also gave alms because this harshness towards my wife was the result of some latent sin.”

On hearing this, God alone knows the shame and mortification I felt as I reflected on my own condition, knowledge and actions. It became apparent to me that this extraordinary piety, fear of God and attention to the finer points of righteousness is not the work of an ordinary person.

Otherwise, there are thousands like me who boast and brag about their claim of being adherents of Islam and the sunnah (practice of Prophet Muhammad), and although undoubtedly we do not brazenly exceed the limits prescribed by Allah, but this power of holiness has not been granted to us. Or is it that this power has been weakened in us because of otherimpediments? 

We consider the avoidance of major sins and transgressions as virtuosity and our good fortune, but pay little attention to subtle sins and doubtful acts beyond the obvious and visi- ble sins. This microscopic perception that has been granted to HisHoliness (Hazrat Mirza), the Imam (religious leader) of the time (on him be peace) is obtained through perfect belief, an intimate knowl- edge of God, and perfect righteousness. Even if Hazrat Mirza had not manifested thousands of highly evident heavenly signs, this single incident of extraordinary piety and fear of God was alone sufficient to convince me that Hazrat Mirza had beensent by Allah.

Then there are those highly ascetic Sufis who express their withdrawal from the world and weariness thereof via poetic verses. Inpublic, these people conduct themselves like humble indigents, perhaps letting out a sigh of weariness every now and then. Even though the people gathered around them might be eagerly waiting to hear some words from such Sufis, and the occasion may be appropriate for a discourse, but these Sufis do not defile their tongue by uttering any words.

In their homes, they are harsh oftemper. There is a famed hereditary religious leader in India who claims nearness to God and has more than one hundred thou- sanddisciples. A lady with an intimate knowledge of his household has been living as a guest with the ladies of Hazrat Mirza’s family. She is absolutely astounded by Hazrat Mirza’s angelic behavior with the inmates of the house. He neither criticizes anybody nor interferes with anybody’s work; he agrees to whatever is said much like accepting the orders of a superior who must be obeyed. The lady is lost in wonder- ment at this and has stated several times in amazement: “Our Hazrat Shah Sahib’s conduct is incomplete contrast to this. 

When he enters the living portion of the house, a tumult breaks out — he scowls at this boy, scolds that maid, spanks this child, argues with his wife — why is there too much or too little salt in the food, why is this utensil here, and why is that thing over there, what kind of slovenly woman are you with bad taste and no housekeeping skills? If the food is notaccording to his lik- ing, he sometimes picks up the utensil in front of him and throws it at the wall. The whole house is in turmoil.The women plaintively pray to God that Shah Sahib may stay outside the house as long as possible.”2

In those days, both men and women viewed Hazrat Mirza’s kind and decent conduct towards his wife with astonishment. Some folks steeped in the old mannerisms felt threatened by this novel behavior. A lady subscribing to traditional gender roles once came tovisit my (the author’s) family follow- ing her stay in Qadian. Her grandson was a disciple of Hazrat Mirza’s, and this was the reason for her visit to Qadian. She related to us her impressions of Qadian. She was very favorably impressed by Hazrat Mirza’s piety and thespirituality of his countenance, but the thing she found objectionable was that Hazrat Mirza helped his wife with household chores and even at times aired her bedding and made her bed.

Performed household chores

Hazrat Mirza felt no shame in doing household chores. Whenever he saw that everyone in the house was busy with their respectivework, he would get up and do his own work or otherwise attend to some necessary jobs that needed to be done around the house. 

If he observed that the janitor had not sterilized the toilet, he would apply the antiseptic himself instead of asking someone else to do it. He wouldcarry and lay out the charpais, bring the bedding and make the beds himself. If the family was sleeping in the courtyard during the summerand it began to rain, he would help carry the charpais and bedding to a shelter often with the sleeping kids on the charpai with Hazrat Mirzalifting the charpai on one side and someone else on the other side. If on such occasions, or in the morning someone tried to wake the kids by shaking and shouting to arouse them from their slumber, Hazrat Mirza would say: “Shaking and shouting at the kids startles them; wake them up gently with a soft voice.”

When Maulvi Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi was staying in a room of the new guesthouse, he once sent his young son to Hazrat Mirza’s residence to fetch some coal. It was raining heavily at the time. Hazrat Mirza was busy when he received this request from the boy, and so he asked his wife to give the boy some coal. She was busy too, and did not pay attention. Thereupon Hazrat Mirza set aside his work and went to the coal cellar and fetched the coal himself to give to the boy.

Participation in family leisure activities and using them as teachable moments

Hazrat Mirza was not like those men who are sullen, grim, overly quiet and serious in their homes. Instead, he always conducted himself pleasantly and cheerfully. At times, he would even participate in the leisure activities of his household members. But in thoseactivities too, he would never lose sight of the paramount religious objective. Maulvi Abdul Karim has related the following incident ofthis type:

Because of their lack of knowledge, the women in the household of Hazrat Mirza had grown accustomed to story-telling. Innocent stories and folk tales were exchanged and these sessions continued well past midnight. They got greatly engrossed in this activity, and thought that they were accomplishing some magnificent feat. When Hazrat Mirza learned about this, he did not make any comment.

Subsequently, he gathered everyone one day and told them that he would relate his story to them that day. His ensuing narrative was so imbued with enlighten- ment and the fear of God that these women woke up from the slumber of their ignorance. They repented, and acknowledged that they had been manifestly in error. Following that, all those fables and folk talesthat they had been exchanging with one another simply vanished from their memories, and from their midst.

Subscribed to Islamic laws of purdah (privacy)

Hazrat Mirza removed all incorrect restrictions and customs regarding purdah that had been adopted by the Muslim community as a result of the influence of Hindu Rajputs. With his permission, his wife would go out for a walk, sometimes with him but more often with other ladies. In the early days of Hazrat Mirza’s public life, Hazrat Mirza and his entourage once arrived at a railway station (probably it was Ludhiana) before the scheduled train time and had to wait for some time to board the train. Hazrat Mirza started strolling on the railway platform with his wife. Maulvi Nur-ud-Din and Maulvi Abdul Karim were seated on one side of the platform.

Although Hazrat Mirza’s wife was wearing a burqa (woman’s head-to-foot veil), it bothered Maulvi Abdul Karim to see Hazrat Mirza strolling with his wife in public. So he asked Maulvi Nur-ud-Din to request Hazrat Mirza to seat his wife separately, because friend and foe alike were present at the railway sta- tion, and the enemies would get an opportunity to malign and laugh at Hazrat Mirza undeservedly. 

MaulviNur-ud-Din replied: “Hazrat Mirza is correct in what he is doing. So I shall not say anything to him — you may if you wish.” Finally, Maulvi Abdul Karim could not contain himself and he went up to Hazrat Mirza and repeated what he had stated to Maulvi Nur-ud-Din.Hazrat Mirza responded: “I do not honor anyone more than I honor Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). When his and his companions’ wives participated in battles bringing water to the wounded and dressing their wounds, I do not consider my honor and virtue to be greater than theirs. Instead, trying to emulate them is a source of honor for us.” 

After listening to this censure, Maulvi Abdul Karim quietly returned to his seat.

Although Hazrat Mirza’s wife kept her face veiled, Hazrat Mirza considered it religiously permissible for the hands and face, which includes the eyes, the nose and the mouth, to be left unveiled. Hazrat Mirza and his wife were once being driven in a carriage to the Lahore railway station.

It was summer and the temperature was oppressively hot. Hazrat Mirza’s wife was wearing a burqa but her face was unveiled. A disciple on seeing this quickly put up the blind of the carriage. Hazrat Mirza said: “Lower the blind. It is very hot; let the air come in.” Most probably, Hazrat Mirza must have instructed his wife not to veil her face because of the heat and because it isnot necessary to cover the face.

Trusted his wife

Hazrat Mirza never asked his wife to account for the money she had been given or ever reprimanded her for being extravagant. God had blessed him with such broad-mindedness and enlightenment that worries about mundane matters, and curiosity and inquiry about material issues just did not enter his mind.

Trusted the household servants

Similarly, Hazrat Mirza completely trusted his household servants both men and women. He always abstained from inquiring intothe quality or nature of the shopping done by them. Whatever leftover money the servants brought back from shopping, he would accept it unquestioningly and put it in his pocket. He never found fault with them, interrogated them or was harsh to them. God alone knows theopenness of his heart. In fact, only God knows the reality of these pure hearts that He creates with special wisdom and for a special purpose. Relying on his eyewitness observation, Maulvi Abdul Karim has recorded thus in Sirat Masih Mauoud:

During this long period of time, I have never once heard Hazrat Mirza contending with anyone inside the house or interrogating anyone on a financial matter. Glory be to Allah! What a peaceful heart and a pious nature he has in which the evil of devilish conjectures has not been able to make a home.

And what an enviable paradisiacal heart he has that has been granted such serenity. Moreover, no loss or damage has resulted from this attitude. It is obvious that if this neglect and trust was less weighty in thebalance of the temporal and spiritual world i.e., it was naive according to the affairs of this world and odious in the eyes of Godthen the whole system would have been in a state of mess. But the spectacular progress being made makes it evident that God loves such people.

Trusted his friends

Similarly strong was the trust that he placed in his friends. Whenever he gave money to a friend, he never asked them to account for it. Although there are numerous incidents of this, only one may suffice here as an example. Syed Ghulam Husain narrated his own incident in the newspaper Al-Hakam (dated May 28 and June 7, 1939). A summary of it is presented below:

The year was probably 1898. Syed Ghulam Husain was present in Qadian with a heartfelt wish to be assigned some service by Hazrat Mirza and with a sincere conviction to undertake it happily. One day Hazrat Mirza while going through his mail looked up in the direction of Syed Ghulam Husain and said: “This is a bill of lading. Kindly go to Batala and fetch the goods.”

With this, he handed Syed Ghulam Husain the bill and asked him to wait while he went inside his house. Hazrat Mirza soon returned with five rupees, which he gave to Syed Ghulam Husain to pay the freight on the goods and to defray the travel expenses. In those days, there were only one or two rental carriages in Qadian for the transportation of the public and both were unavailable at that time. Syed Ghulam Husain was a youth of fifteen years, and enthused by the spirit of service he set out for the town of Batala onfoot. Upon reaching Batala, he learned that the parcel had arrived. He stayed overnight at an inn, and went to the railway freight office in the morning to claim the goods. He learned at the office that the sender had already paid the freight and no payment wasdue. He collected the par- cel and made ready to return to Qadian, but found that the coachmen were demanding an exorbitant fare. With a view to frugality, Syed Ghulam Husain arranged with a water carrier to carry the basket in the pannier of his pack animal for four annas in remuneration, and he walked alongside the water carrier back to Qadian.

Upon reaching Qadian, Syed Ghulam Husain paid the water carrier four annas out of the five rupees given by Hazrat Mirza. With the bas- ket in hand and the remaining four and three quarter rupees in his pocket, he climbed the stairs of Mubarak mosque and made his way to the door leading into the private quarters of Hazrat Mirza’s residence. Stopping at the door, he had a message sent into the house to inform Hazrat Mirza about his arrival. Hazrat Mirza immediately came out and smilingly greeted Syed Ghulam Husain by saying: “So you are back.”

Seeing the basket, Hazrat Mirza asked Syed Ghulam Husain to wait while he wentinside the house and returned with a large knife. He then proceeded to cut the hessian covering of the basket and putting both his hands inside the basket pulled out several bunches of green grapes and gave them to Syed Ghulam Husain, saying that this washis share.

Syed Ghulam Husain in his haste held up the hem of his long shirt and Hazrat Mirza placed the grapes in the hammock of his shirt. Syed Ghulam Husain then presented the remaining four and three quarter rupees to Hazrat Mirza and said: “Sir! Only four annas were spent.” Hazrat Mirza replied with great affection: “I do not keep an account with my friends.” Saying this,Hazrat Mirza picked up the basket of grapes and went inside his house leaving Syed Ghulam Husain standing with a bunch of grapes in the hem of his shirt and four and three quarter rupees in his hand.

There are scores of such incidents that kept occurring day in and day out that testify to Hazrat Mirza’s liberality, generosity, absence ofavarice and favor- able opinion of his friends.

Hazrat Mirza’s modesty and lowered gaze

The fact is that Hazrat Mirza was so modest by nature that it pained him to ask his wife or the servants or his friends to account for the funds lest the thought may inadvertently cross their minds that he did not trust them. Hazrat Mirza’s modesty exceeded even that of a young, unmarried girl.

His habit of keeping his gaze down was such that he would not raise his eyes, regardless of whether he wasin the company of a man or a woman. Even the simple-minded housemaids knew with absolute certainty that Hazrat Mirza never liftedhis eyes to gaze at anyone. Whether he was strolling in his backyard or passing by a gathering of women in the house, he never raised his gaze above the ground in front of him. 

A peasant woman once after completing her bath in a public bathhouse simply wrapped a sheet of cloth around her, and prepared to leave.  A woman cautioned her that she would have to go past Hazrat Mirza who happened to beseated somewhere on her way. To this the first woman replied: “He sees nothing!” This was the firm conviction of all women that Hazrat Mirza did not have the habit of raising his gaze to look at anyone. 

Hazrat Mirza’s behavior when he was sitting in the company of men was very similar. It happened on many occasions that Hazrat Mirza asked for a particular person to be called and that person respondedfrom the present company: “Sir! I am already here.” At times, he would not even notice Maulvi Nur-ud-Din in his company and would ask for him to be sum- moned and Maulvi Abdul Karim would thereupon point out that he was seated nearby.

The following incident is from the year 1902. A man and his nephew who were ethnically Pathans and tailors by profession livedin a house across the street from Hazrat Mirza’s residence. One day an altercation took place between them and it soon escalated into abusing and brawling.

Now it was Hazrat Mirza’s custom to go for morning walks. But because of his infirmity in those days, the company of scores of his disciples during morning walks was stressful for him; only Maulvi Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi and this humble author, Basharat Ahmad, had been given permission to accompany him. 

Afterwards, people started sending Hazrat Mirza notes requesting permis- sion to accompany him on these walks; Hazrat Mirza would acquiesce to all such requests because of his innate decency and affection for his disciples. In this way, bit by bit, a large crowd started accompanying him on these walks.

One morning, Maulana Amrohi and I were waiting outside Hazrat Mirza’s house for him to come out so that we could proceed on our customary walk when the brawl erupted between the Pathan uncle and nephew. Hazrat Mirza did not come out of his house that day for the usual morning walk. When he came to the mosque for Zuhr prayer, we enquired why he had not come for the walk. He replied: “I was so embarrassed by the fight between the two Pathans that I did not feel like showing my face in public. They fought — despite being my disciples — and this caused me great dis- tress and I felt extremely embarrassed. This is why I did not come out.”

Hazrat Mirza’s extraordinary inner peace, tolerance and courage

God had granted Hazrat Mirza such peace of mind, tolerance and courage that considering Hazrat Mirza’s age and intellectual labor, it was quite extraordinary. Generally, people who have labored intellectually all their lives become very sensitive and irritable in advanced age. However, Hazrat Mirza’s peace of mind and tranquility and the coolness and calmness of his temperament were truly amazing. These characteristics provide a forceful argument in support of his nearness to God, and for possessing a soul that is at rest. Maulvi Abdul Karim described these qualities in his book Sirat Masih Mauoud as follows:

Normally, noise is destructive of peace and draws one’s attention to the source of clamor but Hazrat Mirza has such amazing tranquility and inner peace, and such extraordinary dignity and tolerance that any noise or clamor does not register with him and he is not perplexed by it at all. 

This is the condition for which discerning men yearn, and mys- tics carry out a lifelong struggle and pray to God for achieving this state of mind. I have seen and heard about many able authors and learned writers who getdistracted even if a bird enters the room where they are contemplating or writing. The chirping of the bird gets them so distraught that they abandon their contemplation and writing, and leap to either kill or drive out the bird as if they were attacking a lion or a tiger or were getting ready to pounce on an enemy that had given a grave provocation.

In fact, people now regard this attribute of being extremely sensitive and easily ruffled by disturbances as one of the most admirable qualities in a certain religious leader. If a person sits with him for a short while, he becomes nervous and says: “I am begin- ning to feel a burden by your presence.” Along time ago, I went to see him. I had perhaps been sitting with him for about ten minutes when he said: “Don’t you have anything else to do.” There is no doubt that this inner peace, tranquility and tolerance is an elixir and is the attrib- ute by whichsaints are distinguished and exalted.

I have seen Hazrat Mirza writing articles on the most complicated topics, and even books in Arabic composed in the most eloquent liter- ary style, while around him was absolute chaos and mayhem. Hazrat Mirza would be fully absorbed in his work as if he was in absolute seclusion while unruly kids and simple-minded women were exchang- ing verbal volleys with one another and even pushing one another around in his vicinity. Those great and incomparable books in Arabic, Urdu and Persian were written in such a setting. I once asked him: “Sir! Do you have any difficulty in thinking or writing while all this is going on?” He replied smilingly: “I do not hear them so how can there be any difficulty.”

The following incident is from the time when Hazrat Mirza’s son Mirza Mahmud Ahmad was four years old. Hazrat Mirza was in his room — as usual engaged in writing an article — when Mirza Mahmud Ahmad with a matchbox in hand andaccompanied by a throng of other children came into the room where Hazrat Mirza was working. The children played and squabbled around for some time. 

Then, on some impulse, they took the manuscript that Hazrat Mirza was writing and set it on fire. The children clappedtheir hands in child- ish glee as they saw the papers go up in a blaze — engrossed in his work as he was, Hazrat Mirza did not even raise his head to see what was happening.

Meanwhile, the valuable manuscript had been burned to a cinder, and the children simply turned their attention to something else. Hazrat Mirza needed to refer to a previous page for some contex- tual continuity, and started looking around for the manuscript. He began asking around and was met with silence from everyone. Finally a child blurted out that Mirza Mahmud Ahmad had burnt the papers. 

Women, children and others in the household waited with batedbreath to see what would happen next. Given the severity of the offence they expected to witness a severe reprimand and scolding. And it would have been well deserved. But Hazrat Mirza simply smiled and said, “Whatever has happened is fine. Allah the most High must have some great wisdom or purpose in this. And now God the most High wants to give me a better understanding of the topic.” A discerning mind should compare this scenario with other people and draw lessons from it.

Another similar incident occurred when Hazrat Mirza was writing Al- Tabligh (the Arabic portion of his book Ainah Kamalat Islam). He had written a momentous essay spanning two pages, and he was especially pleased with the God-gifted eloquence therein. He was supposed to give that essay to me for the purpose of translating it into Persian but forgot. He had placed the essay in his pocket and gone for a walk accompanied by Maulvi Nur-ud-Din and others. During the walk, he remembered and handed the papers to Maulvi Nur-ud-Din with the instructions to read them and then give them to me. Somehow the papers slipped out of Maulvi Nur-ud-Din’s hand on the way. 

On return, Hazrat Mirza went into his home and Maulvi Nur-ud-Din came and sat down in the guest lounge. I mentioned to someone that Hazrat Mirza had not sent the essay; the scribe was waiting and I had yet totranslate it. I happened to glance in Maulvi Nur-ud-Din’s direction and saw that the color had drained from his face. With great concern and alarm, Maulvi Nur-ud-Din directed a few people to go quickly and see if they could retrieve the essay. 

In his place, Maulvi Nur-ud-Din was very perplexed and agitated by what he considered as his frivolity of conduct; he had been entrusted with the responsibility of an important document, and failed to keep it safe. What would Hazrat Mirza say?

When Hazrat Mirza was informed about what had happened, he came out of the house with the usual cheerfulness upon his countenance, and actually apologized to Maulvi Nur-ud-Din saying: “I am sorry that Maulvi Sahib was so distressed by the loss of the papers and so much effort was expended in trying to retrieve them. It is mybelief that Allah shall grant us a better essay (than the one that was lost).”

Brothers! At the root of all this is the belief in a Living and Omnipotent God. It is this belief that keeps the human faculties alive and rejuvenated at all times and saves one from all kinds of pessimism and dejection that sometimes compels worldly people to commit shameful acts.

Exemplary tolerance and forbearance with wife

Hazrat Mirza never reprimanded his wife on any matter and never questioned her as to why she had not acted according to his instructions on a particular occasion or why she had not taken proper care of his meal at a par- ticular time, and so on. His patience and tolerance towards the omissions of his wife was so extraordinary that a person is awestruck. An excerpt from Maulvi Abdul Karim’sbook Sirat Masih Mauoud is narrated in this regard:

Sometimes Hazrat Mirza’s weakness and infirmity required that a spe- cial meal be prepared for him and he would make such a request.3 

In anticipation of getting his dietary meal, he would then not eat anything else and get engrossed in his writing or remembrance of Allah. When he took a break from these activities, he would recall that he had not had his meal and was waiting for his special requested dietary food to arrive. But the wait would prolong and lunch time would pass into din- ner time and the meal still would not have come. Even then he did not call anybody to account. And if he inquired at all politely and was told that his request had been forgotten, he would smile and stay quiet. 

Goodness gracious! The ordinary servants and maids in the housewere allowed to cook and eat whatever they wanted and use the house and what was in it as if they owned it. On top of all that, even if they showed such forgetfulness and neglect in preparing a meal for the master, there was no recrimination. He did not even chide them in the softest language by saying: “Look here! What is this? You should fear Allah.”

These are the things that create a firm belief in the truth of the saying of the Holy Prophet: “I am nourished by my Lord, He feeds me and gives me todrink.” Hazrat Mirza too expresses the same sentiment in a poem:

Divine revelations from God sustain my existence; The message of God is the nourishment of my soul.

If this was not true, then who else, except these people possessing such an extraordinary nature could endure and remain patient under those circumstances?

Tolerance and patience during illnesses

Some of the most patient and gentle people become irritable and petu- lant during times of illnesses because of mental and physical weakness which greatly diminishes their power of endurance. But illnesses did not affect Hazrat Mirza’s tolerance and patience. This is such an extraordinary affair the example of which cannot be found except in people who have been cleansed and purified by the hands of God, and whose hearts have been blessed by God with peace and tranquility that is not found in other mortals. An incident that has been recorded by Maulvi Abdul Karim in his book Sirat Masih Mauoud follows:

Hazrat Mirza once had a severe headache. I was sitting by him inside. The noise and din around him was excessive, so I askedhim if this was painful for him. He said: “Yes; it would be soothing if they were quiet.” I submitted: “Sir, then why don’t you order them to be quiet.” He said: “You may request them gently; I cannot do so.” In severe ill- nesses, Hazrat Mirza would lie alone in a small room, as if sleeping comfortably. Never once did he complain to anybody why he or she had not come to inquire about his health or that no one had given him water or that someone had not been in attendance to serve him.

I have observed that when a person is sick, the attendants become extremely exasperated by the patient’s bad temper, irritability and offence taken over minor matters. Contrary to this, I have seen and heard over the years that Hazrat Mirza maintains the same peace and tranquility in sickness as in health, and as soon as the illness abates a little, he resumes his amiable conversations with the same degree of cheerfulness and pleasantness. On several occasions, I came to visit him at a time when he had just recovered from a severe and prolonged bout of headache. When he opened his eyes to look at me, he would smile and say, “I amfine now, by the blessing of Allah.” At such times, I got the impression, judging from the color and glow on his face and thehappiness and joy in his voice, as if Hazrat Mirza had just returned from a stroll in some magnificent, delightful and luxuriant garden. Initially, I was greatly amazed by this conduct because I had seen many venerable people who were great proponents ofcourage and resolution

totally get transformed during an illness and to continue to remain very irritable long after the illness had departed. They snapped at anyone who gave them any advice even in good faith. With their attitude, they signaled to their wife, children, friends and strangers to beware, and not to come near, otherwise they would strike like a deadly cobra. The fact is that only those people whoare resolute and levelheaded in times of health can retain their sense of balance and faith during sickness… Sickness is truly a great yardstick for measuring a person’s state of faith, resoluteness and nearness to God. Just as the involuntary talk in sleep and dreams portray the real picture of a person, illness too is the touchstone to distinguish between a believer and an unbeliever, andthe courageous and the weak-hearted. Greatly blessed is the person who does not relinquish the reigns of his emotions and desires in times of good health.

Patience and tolerance with children

Writing about Hazrat Mirza’s patience and forbearance towards chil- dren, Maulvi Abdul Karim writes:

On scores of occasions, I have personally observed Hazrat Mirza’s patience and forbearance towards children. Hazrat Mirzawould be sit- ting alone and writing or pondering some issue in an upstairs room with the door bolted, as was his custom, when one of his young sons would knock on the door and say: “Father, open the door.” He would immediately stand up and open thedoor for the child. The child would enter, ramble around the room out of childish curiosity, and soon leave. Thereupon, Hazrat Mirza would close the door. Not more than two minutes would have elapsed when the child returns, pounding on the door andshouting: “Father, open the door.” With complete composure, Hazrat Mirza would again rise from his work and open the door forthe child. This time the child does not even enter, but simply peeks inside the room and scurries away, muttering something under his breath. Hazrat Mirza — cheerful and steadfast as ever — closes the door and returns to his essential and delicate work. Only five more minutes would have elapsed when the child reappears at the door, and again pounds the door and shouts: “Father, open the door.” And Hazrat Mirza would get up with the same dignity and peace to open the door and utters not a word with his mouthto chide the boy and demand what he wants, and why he keeps coming back, and what is his purpose in annoying him and interrupting his work. When I counted once, this process repeated itself 20 times! Yet, Hazrat Mirza did not utter a sin- gle wordof annoyance on any such occasion…

Many times I have seen children, both Hazrat Mirza’s and others, sit- ting on Hazrat Mirza’s bed and leaving him no choice butto move and sit on the end of the bed. For hours, the children would narrate in their childish voices the stories of frogs, crows and birds and Hazrat Mirza would listen to them with great relish as if he was listening to the Mathnavi of Maulana Rumi. Hazrat Mirza is strongly opposed to scolding and beating children. He never beats, scolds or shows any sign of displeasure regardless of whether the children sulk, are mis- chievous, ask frivolous or too many questions, or insist on having an imaginary orunavailable thing.

When Hazrat Mirza’s son Mahmud was about three years old, the fam- ily was on a visit to Ludhiana during the summertime. I happened to be there too. A partition wall separated the men’s section from the women’s section in the residence. It was around midnight that I woke up and heard Mahmud crying and the voice of Hazrat Mirza trying to sooth him with small talk. Hazrat Mirza was strolling around with the child in his arms, but the child just would not stop crying. Finally he said: “Look, Mahmud, what kind of a star is that?” The child’s atten- tion was engaged in this manner and he stopped crying for a minute. Then hestarted his wailing and shouting again, this time with the insis- tence: “Father, I want to go to that star.” I was amused and touched as Hazrat Mirza, talking to himself commented: “This is just great. I had found a way to pacify him, and now he has found yet another way to protest and fuss.” Eventually the child got tired of crying and stopped. During this entire episode, not even a single word of resentment or anger came to Hazrat Mirza’s lips. (Sirat Masih Mauoud)

Patience and tolerance in dealing with domestic help

An excerpt from Sirat Masih Mauoud by Maulvi Abdul Karim is pre- sented below on this topic:

Hazrat Mirza’s kind treatment of children has been mentioned. His treatment of domestic help is similar. On many occasions it so hap- pened that a domestic help would come and ask for one thing, and then after a little while come back and ask for another and the process would be repeated several times. Not once would Hazrat Mirza say: “Why are you bothering me over and over again? Why don’t you ask for whatever you need once and for all?” Hazrat Mirza did not repri- mand the servants even when they had been instrumental in causing him a serious loss. Once he gave some letters and postcards to Hamid Ali to mail at thepost office. Hamid Ali got engrossed in some other

work and forgot about his given assignment. After a week, Mahmud, who was still a child, came running with some letters and postcards in his hands, and said: “Father, we retrieved these letters from a heap of trash.” When Hazrat Mirza examined the letters, he found them to be the same ones he had given to Hamid Ali to mail. Some of these were important letters meant to be sent by registered mail and answers to which were keenly awaited by Hazrat Mirza. Hamid Ali was sent for and Hazrat Mirzashowed him the retrieved mail and said: “Hamid Ali, you have become very forgetful. Do your work attentively.”

Hakim Fazal-ud-Din was the superintendent of the guest-house. He once apprehended the baker for stealing roti and brought him to Hazrat Mirza for action against him. Hazrat Mirza said:

Hakim Sahib! If this man had been pious like you, then God would not have assigned him to sit before the hellish heat of the blistering oven during such hot weather. Just consider that in order to make one roti, he has to enter the clay oven two times — once to put the dough in the oven and once to extract the baked roti. It is futile to expect a high degree of morality from suchpeople. You may reprimand him, but then forgive and forget.

Overlooking and forgiveness of faults

Overlooking and forgiving faults was part of Hazrat Mirza’s nature. He forgave even his bitterest enemies if they asked for forgiveness. His for- bearance towards friends and servants, and connivance at their omissions was legendary. Once he designated a person to represent him in a law suit. He did go to the court on the scheduled date but the suit was not called for a hearing despite the lapse of a long time. The time for the Zuhr (afternoon) prayer came along and the man made his way to a place outside the court- house to pray. Hardly had he started his prayers when the suit was called for hearing. Unaware, the man continued with his prayers. When repeated calls by the court bailiff failed to produce Hazrat Mirza’s representative, the opposing party was granted an ex parte decree. On finishing his prayers, the man repaired to the courthouse, only to find that the case had been decided ex parte against Hazrat Mirza. He was greatly discomfited, and wondered what Hazrat Mirza would have to say to him. He returned to Qadian in this state of discomfiture, greatly fearing in his heart how he would explain his dereliction when he met Hazrat Mirza. When Hazrat Mirza came, the man began an embarrassed explanation: “Sir! What can I say? I started to pray and…” but before he could finish the explanation, Hazrat Mirza smiled and said: “Okay! I understand; there is no cause to worry. Whatever happened —

happened for the best. I have already been informed by Divine revelation: ‘There is good in this event.’”

Kind conduct towards peasant women and provision of medical help

Poor peasant women from Qadian and its surrounding rural areas fre- quently came to Hazrat Mirza for treatment and medicines. For this reason, Hazrat Mirza would procure and keep a large stock of medicines for free dis- tribution to poor men and women for their illnesses. This beneficence was extended to all — friends, foes, Muslims and Hindus. Even his most invet- erate enemies from amongthe Arya Samaj Hindus would wake him up in the middle of the night when they were sick and would take away free medi- cines. Poor peasant women came to Hazrat Mirza and would receive free treatment and medicines. Hazrat Mirza never tired of helping these people, and never once said to anyone that a certain medicine was expensive and could not be given free, or that he did not have it. He was never miserly in these matters. An excerpt from Maulvi Abdul Karim’s work Sirat Masih Mauoud is presented here in thisconnection:

Sometimes the peasant women seeking medicines or a cure knock loudly on the door and call out in their artless, rustic language: “Mirza Ji! Open the door.” Hazrat Mirza rises with such alacrity as if obeying the command of a person in authority. He talks to them cheerfully and tells them about the needed medication. In our country, even the edu- cated people do not value time, so it is not unexpected that these plain villagers are even more prodigious in wasting time. One woman starts a meaningless prater delving into her domestic woes and her grouses against her mother-in-law and sister-in-law and wastes an hour talking about this issue. Hazrat Mirza sits and listens to her with great dignity and patience. He never indicates either with words or signs that she shouldgo now that she has asked about her medication, and stop wast- ing his time. Finally she gets up on her own, a little perplexed, andleaves.

Once a large number of village women came with their ailing children for treatment. Soon thereafter, several housemaids appeared with bev- erages for them. Hazrat Mirza had to write a very important religious article and there was extreme urgency in completing it expeditiously. By sheer coincidence, I happened to arrive there at that time. Hazrat Mirza was standing steadfast and in a state of readiness in the manner of a European sentry who stands at attention sharply and intelligently to discharge his temporal duties. There were five or six trunks open in front of him and he was taking out various syrups from small vials and

bottles and giving them appropriately to each child. This clinic kept functioning for about three hours. When it was finally over, I submit- ted: “This work is very troublesome; a lot of valuable time is getting wasted.” With great cheerfulness and tranquility, he responded: “This is similarly a religious work. These are people without resources and there is no hospital in the area. I procure and stock different kinds of Western and local medicines which come in handy at times of need.” He said that this was a work for which there was a great reward in the Hereafter and a believer should not be lazy or remiss about such works.

Hazrat Mirza’s wife was his devotee and disciple

The best judge of a person’s piety and truthfulness is his wife. No one else can be a better judge. A person may be successful in fooling the out- siders with his hypocrisy and artificiality, but his real nature cannot remain hidden inside his own home where his real self is revealed. For this reason a person’s wife is the best judge of his character. Hence if the wife of a claimant to a Divine appointment is sincerely convinced of his claim and believes in him, then this is a strong testimony of that man’s truthfulness andrighteousness. An excerpt in this context from Maulvi Abdul Karim’s book Sirat Masih Mauoud is presented below:

Hazrat Mirza’s wife is his disciple and wholeheartedly believes that he has been commissioned by Allah. In times of severe illnesses and dis- tress, she relies on his prayers more than anything else, and considers him righteous in all matters.… It is my belief that a woman is well aware whether her husband is pious or wicked, and whether he is hyp- ocritical and fraudulent or upright and righteous.

In truth, there is nothing that can remain secret in the intimate relationship between husband and wife. I have always considered the sincere belief in the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad by his wives and intimate and equal aged friends — both during his lifetime and with equal firmness and steadfastness after his demise — as strong evidence of the truth-fulness of his claim…

In the same way, I see that Hazrat Mirza’s wife sincerely believes him to be the Promised Messiah. She is gladdened by his revelations giving glad tidings, and is daunted by those giving warnings. Thus, this pious partner has a truerelationship and complete concordance with this chosen one of God. Similarly, the greater the level of intimacy of Hazrat Mirza’s friends with him, the greater is their conviction regarding his righteousness. The more time that a per- son spends in the blessed company of Hazrat Mirza, the more that person progresses in devotion to, and trust of, this elevated saint.

Exhorting disciples to treat wives and relatives kindly

Hazrat Mirza exhorted his disciples to treat their wives and relatives in the best possible manner. Hazrat Mirza was greatly perturbed if he got to know that a disciple was not treating his wife well. During the early days, Maulvi Abdul Karim once called his second wife a laggard for some reason. Hazrat Mirza overheard his loud, rage-filled voice in his living quarters below. He was greatly saddened. That same evening, Hazrat Mirza received the following revelation: “This is not the right way. Abdul Karim, leader of theMuslims, should be stopped from it.” 

The light-hearted aspect of the incident was that while Maulvi Abdul Karim was penitent about his act the following morning, people were congratulating Maulvi Abdul Karim that God had referred to him as the “leader of the Muslims”!

While sermonizing on the good treatment of wives, Hazrat Mirza expounded on a point from the following Quranic verse:

And they give food, out of love for Him, to the poor and the orphan and the captive. (76:8)

He remarked that all the attributes associated with the three classes of people referred to in this Quranic verse are found in a wife. Who can be more indigent than a wife whose sustenance is completely depend- ent on her husband? She is an orphan in the sensethat her husband has separated her from her parents to bring her to his house. She is a cap- tive in the sense of being tied in the matrimonial bond; she cannot go anywhere without her husband’s consent. Thus, the wife has all the three attributes each one of which if present severally in a person would qualify the person for specially merciful and kind treatment. It is apparent therefore that the wife who has all the three attributes deserves to be treated with the utmost mercy and kindness.

Hakim Fazal-ud-Din once slapped his second wife because of her intemperate use of language during an argument. Shecomplained of her mis- treatment to Hazrat Mirza who wrote a note to Hakim Fazal-ud-Din advising him that this was not the right way. Hakim Fazal-ud-Din who was a great scholar wrote back the following Quranic verse in response:

And (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in their beds and chastise them. (4:34)

Hazrat Mirza replied that the Quran has recommended three remedies if the wife is disobedient, uses intemperate language, quarrels, or behaves in an indecent manner. These are: First to advise, second to separate her sleep- ing arrangement, and third tochastise her. It is obvious that the three remedies are prescribed to cover different types of transgressions and different

kinds of temperaments. Chastising is the last remedy for reform i.e., when other methods have been tried and failed. In reality, this remedy is only for use for the most serious transgression of indecency. However, the Quran has also included the injunction:

And follow the best that has been revealed to you from your Lord … (39:55)

Hazrat Mirza added that Hakim Fazal-ud-Din should have followed the better mode of counseling his wife rather than of beatingher, which pun- ishment is for a special situation and not for use just because one has lost control of oneself due to rage.4

Individuals who became disciples of Hazrat Mirza had often to face great hostility and harshness at the hands of their close relatives. Hazrat Mirza always advised his disciples that no matter how much they were tor- mented by their relatives, they on their part should treat them well. After taking the pledge at Hazrat Mirza’s hands, some people were influenced so much by his sermons andadvice that they restored the rights of their relatives that they had previously appropriated for themselves. Often these relatives were thesame people who were greatly antagonistic towards them for having joined the Ahmadiyya Movement.

Directions to be kind to children

As previously mentioned, Hazrat Mirza’s conduct towards children was highly affectionate and sympathetic. He was never annoyed by their needless questions, stubbornness and mischief and bore their shenanigans with great patience and tried to channel them in the right direction. An excerpt from Maulvi Abdul Karim’s book Sirat Masih Mauoud in this con- nection is presented below:

Hazrat Mirza is strongly opposed to punishing children. I have observed on many occasions that he is never so upset as when hehears that someone has spanked a child. An elderly person here had once spanked his son as he did habitually. Hazrat Mirza wasgreatly affected by this and he called the elderly man and advised him in a moving and impassioned speech as follows: “I consider spanking children in this way as part of associating partners with God (shirk). In other words, a bad-tempered spanker wants to become a partner in the guidance and development of the child. When an enraged person chastises a child for an act, he increases in his rage until he takes on the role of an enemy and transgresses to the point where the punishment does not fit the

crime. If a person is in full self-control — not having given free rein to his passions — and is tolerant, forbearing, at peace and dignified then he has the right to punish a child to a certain extent at an appropriate time or to overlook his transgression. But a person who is easily enraged, unsteady, and allows his passions to cloud his judgment is not fit to undertake the bringing up ofchildren. Instead of the effort expended in the kind and amount of punishment to be given, I wish parents would resort to heartfelt supplications for their children and make it part of their regular prayers.”

The era of Hazrat Mirza was one in which it was common for teachers to spank their students, but Hazrat Mirza had given instructions that in their school if there was a teacher who frequently spanked children and was not willing to give up this odious practice then he should be relieved of his duties.

Hazrat Mirza was so kind towards children that their childish pranks amused rather than irritated him. Hazrat Mirza’s son, Mian Mahmud Ahmad was then a child and put a large brickbat in Hazrat Mirza’s waistcoat pocket. When Hazrat Mirza reposed, the brickbatwould get pushed into his rib cage. Maulvi Abdul Karim related that in his presence, Hazrat Mirza complained to his valet, Hamid Ali and said: “Hamid Ali, I have pain in my ribs for the last few days; it seems to me that something is thrusting into my side.” Hamid Aliwas surprised and started frisking Hazrat Mirza for any offending object. Soon his pat down encountered a hard object and he pulled out the brickbat from Hazrat Mirza’s waistcoat pocket and said: “It was this brickbat that was hurting you.” Hazrat Mirza smiled and remarked: “Oh! A few days ago, Mahmud had put it in my pocket and told me not to take it out as he would play with it later.”

Solicitous of God’s pleasure in the rearing of children

Every act of Hazrat Mirza was motivated by the desire to please Allah. This applied to the raising of children as well. In this regard, Maulvi Abdul Karim recollects:

Hazrat Mirza lavishes such great care in the upbringing of his children that a cursory observer would think that nobody loves his children more than Hazrat Mirza. During times of his children’s illnesses, he devotes himself so completely to their care and treatment that it would seem that he had no other concern in the world. But a perspicacious person can discern that all of this is forthe pleasure of God, and in ful- fillment of His injunction to indulge and nourish the weak in His creation. Hazrat Mirza’s firstdaughter, Ismat, contracted cholera

during the family’s visit to Ludhiana. He nursed and attended to her treatment as if life would be impossible without her. Even the most doting worldly parent could not have taken better care. But when she passed away, Hazrat Mirza became aloof as if she had never existed, and since then has never mentioned that he had a daughter. Such rec- onciliation with God’s will and acceptance thereof is not possible except for people who have a close connection with Allah.5

Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din once related that when Hazrat Mirza’s son Mian Mubarak was gravely ill, Hazrat Mirza was so engrossedin his nursing and expended so much effort in his treatment that he thought with a heavy heart why was the appointee of God so arduous in the love of this child. But when Mubarak Ahmad passed away, Hazrat Mirza detached himself from his child as if he never had anyconnection with him. Hazrat Mirza immediately began writing letters to friends, telling them that God’s word had been ful- filledthrough the demise of his son. God had informed him at the birth of his son that he would soon return to Him, and that this had taken place; Hazrat Mirza added that while Mubarak Ahmad’s loss is saddening, the fact that God’s word is thereby fulfilled is cause for happiness. He went to the ceme- tery for his son’s burial, and addressed the gathered mourners on the subject of patience and resignation to God’s will. The speech was so exquisite and full of wisdom that it strengthened the faith and enhanced the knowledge of the audience. After seeing this whole episode, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din said: “It was then that I understood that every action of these near ones of God is directed towards gaining His pleasure. It is a duty imposed on the father by the injunction of God to care for a sick child and to expend every possible effort in the child’s treatment. Those near to Allah discharge this duty in the best possible manner. To remain fully satisfied with the will of Allah on the demise of a child is the hallmark of those who have devoted their entire being to Allah. Thus Hazrat Mirza fulfilled both these aspects to perfection.”

An exemplary incident of raising children virtuously

An incident of great instructive value for all parents occurred when Hazrat Mirza’s son Mubarak Ahmad fell gravely ill. All children are dear to their parents but Mubarak Ahmad was a particularly lovely child. Parents become even more affectionate towards achild who is sick. Mubarak Ahmad’s high fever had not abated for several days when he started insisting on having ice cream which was not allowed to him for medical reasons. As Mubarak Ahmad’s insistence continued, his attendants brought him some crushed ice andtold him that this was the ice cream he wanted, but he was

  • Maulvi Abdul Karim, Sirat Masih Mauoud.

not to be fooled. At last, Hazrat Mirza was broached and requested to give the ice to the child and to say that it was ice cream. He wastold that this may work because the child trusted his father and may concede that this is ice cream. Hazrat Mirza came to the sick child’sbed and said: “Mubarak Ahmad, here is some ice; just consider it to be ice cream for now.” Mubarak Ahmad refused and insisted on having real ice cream. Hazrat Mirza made several attempts asking the boy to consider it as ice cream but he kept on refusing. However,not once did Hazrat Mirza consider it appropriate to fool the child by saying that this was anything but crushed ice.Many cautious and morally circumspect parents do not consider it objectionable to speak a little white lie to mollify a sick child, but Hazrat Mirza’s degree of honesty was so perfect that even in this critical situation, he did not consider it permissibleto misspeak to the child. This was a perfect example of how to raise a child. To lie to a child, to make a false promise to him, or to deceive him, regardless of how good the intentions, is to ruin the character of the child. It is a murderous assault on the child’s morality because he begins to think that it is permissible to lie and deceive in order to achieve an objective. Had it been any other father, he would have tried to divert the child from his insistence by saying the ice was ice cream, but not so HazratMirza. He kept the pleasure of God ahead of his affection for the child and his righteousness did not permit him to misspeak even a little to divert his child — something that many other parents would not have found objectionable.

Footnotes

  1. Hadith by Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.
  2. Sirat Masih Mauoud by Maulvi Abdul Karim pages 16-18.
  3. Such a request was made at a time of indisposition for a bland meal – Author
  4. This incident was narrated to the author by Hakim Fazal-ud-Din himself.

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