CHAPTER 76: EXCELLENT CONDUCT IN SOCIAL DEALINGS

Hazrat Mirza – an excellent exemplar of Islamic equality who despised fame and egotism

Hazrat Mirza was an excellent exemplar of Islamic equality — a trait that has always been the pride of Muslims. These days, however, even ordi- nary clerics and pirs (hereditary leaders) of little importance put on airs of grandiosity. They have reserved seating; their manner of talking is novel, designed to project their excellence, vanity and greatness.

But there was none of this with Hazrat Mirza. There was no code of conduct in Hazrat Mirza’s gathering and people sat down wherever they found a place. There was not even a designated place for Hazrat Mirza. When seated with his friends, it could not be made out who among them was the claimant to the title of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi. Even the poorest person in the audience with bedraggled clothes could be seen sitting next to Hazrat Mirza as if he was the richest person in an elegant outfit. Although Hazrat Mirza’s nature was greatly inclined toward cleanliness and his own dress was simple but clean, he sat with the poor people wearing dirty and torn clothes with the same pleasure as that of a person who is sitting in a garden of flowers.

Hazrat Mirza greeted arriving guests to his gatherings as if they were old and familiar friends. He inquired about the adequacy of their board and lodging like any ordinary, well-meaning host. In essence, it was not apparent from any action or word of Hazrat Mirza that he was a person with a special status. This was so unlike the attitude of many pseudo-religious leaders who consider their status to be so great that it is beneath their dignity to bother about the welfare of their guests. Employees and servants are supposed to take care of such matters.

But such an attitude was totally foreign to Hazrat Mirza. He took care of the comfort and wellbeing of each and every guest like any other middle class host would. When he introduced any new guest to his other disciples, he did so with very appropriate and dignified words that fitted the occasion. 

In the beginning, I was very surprised because this practice was so foreign to my previous experience. I had seen and heard reli- gious leaders address their disciples disdainfully and so I was astonished at Hazrat Mirza’s practice which was so different from that of the other reli- gious leaders. In fact, this novelcharacteristic was instrumental in impressing on my heart the greatness and superiority of Hazrat Mirza. An excerpt in this connection from Maulvi Abdul Karim’s book Sirat Masih Mauoud is presented below:

There was no special seating arrangement for Hazrat Mirza in Mubarak Mosque. It was not possible for a stranger to recognizeHazrat Mirza in a gathering because of any mark of distinction that was accorded to him. He always sits in the right row in a corner of the mosque, drawing himself together like a swimmer ready to navigate the river of thought and reflection. I (MaulviAbdul Karim) usually sit in the arched niche for the Imam in the mosque, and therefore directly face the people entering the mosque through the main doorway.

At times, strangers who come to the mosque to see Hazrat Mirza make their way to me, and then get embarrassed when they find out about their mistake; at other times, their march towards me is curtailed as someone in the audience points them towards the real object of their visit. Hazrat Mirza’s gatherings have at the same time a blend of mag-nificence, dignity, freedom and informality. Every disciple gets the feeling that he is the special object of Hazrat Mirza’saffection; people express their thoughts without hesitation, sometimes talking for hours, and Hazrat Mirza listens to them with utmost attentiveness even when their narratives are senseless and trivial. 

Sometimes, others in the gath- ering whose patience and tolerance is limited grow weary during such narratives and begin to stretch and yawn, but Hazrat Mirza gives no indication for a moment by any word or action of any boredom or weariness on his part. It is not the nature of Hazrat Mirza’s gatherings that he will sit with his head bowed down, lost in thought, while the people in the assembly sit as if they were framed pictures on the wall. Instead, Hazrat Mirza discourses appropriately based on the require- ments of the situation and sometimes becomes very passionate while speaking about false religions. It appears at such times as if he is attacking a large army and a stranger gets the impression as if a battle is waging…

A person who was accustomed to visiting worldly mendi- cants and pirs (hereditary religious leaders) and was greatly enamored by them, once came to our mosque. He was astounded by the freedom with which people could converse with Hazrat Mirza and remarked to him: “Your mosque lacks etiquette; people converse with you without any restraint.” Hazrat Mirza replied: “It is not my habit to sit looking so fierce and dreadful that people should fear me like they fear a wild beast. I detest being a statue; I have come to refute idol worship and not to become an idol that people worship. Allah knows that I do not accord any superiority to myself over others. I believe that nobody is more idolatrous and wretched than the person who is haughty. A proud person worships no God butworships himself…”

The usual place to meet Hazrat Mirza is the mosque. With the excep- tion of when he is ill, Hazrat Mirza offers the five daily prayers with the congregation in the mosque, and exhorts others to pray in congre- gation as well. On many occasions he has remarked that nothing pains him more than that the prayer is not offered in congregation.

I remember the days when the traffic of disciples through Qadian was very limited and Hazrat Mirza would fervently wish for the numbers to grow so that there was a congregation of his disciples with whom he could offer his prayers five times a day. Hewould say: “I am busy sup- plicating to Allah and I hope that He will grant my prayer.” By the Grace of God, now there are no less than eighty or ninety of our own men in the congregational prayers.

On finishing a congregational prayer, Hazrat Mirza repairs to his liv- ing quarters to busy himself with the work of writing. However after the evening (Maghrib) prayer, he remains in the mosque and eats din- ner with his disciples. And the dinnerconversation generally turns into a spontaneous discourse on a subject by Hazrat Mirza. 

Hazrat Mirza’s every act plainly articulates that he does not consider himself as superior in status or sublimity, and that he participates in these gatherings solely in obedience to the commandments of Allah. Hazrat Mirza said, “If God were to grant me the choice between living in solitudeand liv- ing in the company of others, then I swear by that Pure Being that I would embrace the life of solitude. But I have beenforcibly drawn into public life. Only God knows the joy that I experience in solitude; for 25 years of my life, I lived in seclusion, and never for a moment did I desire to occupy a position of fame. By nature, I am not social and did not particularly fancy the company of others, but my hands are forced by God’s commandments. I am commanded by Allah to sit outside with people, to go for walks and to converse with people and I under- take these activities only in fulfillment of His command.”

Hazrat Mirza greatly disliked people honoring him to the extent of deifying him. In the western districts of Punjab and the Frontier province, it was customary for people to touch the knees and feet of elders as a mark of respect, and some ignorant people evenwent so far as to prostrate before religious leaders.

But Hazrat Mirza did not permit such behavior in his gather- ings. A person once brought his son so that he couldintroduce him to Hazrat Mirza. As the boy stepped forward to shake hands with Hazrat Mirza, the boy stooped down to touch Hazrat Mirza’s feet in reverence. Hazrat Mirza immediately stopped him from doing so with his hands. Hazrat Mirza’s face turned red and he stated with marked emotion, “People appointed by God come into this world to demolish idolatry, not to establish it.”

Hospitality and humbleness

Hazrat Mirza was an exemplar of Islamic equality. In his conversation, manners, meetings and, in fact, in every affair, nobody ever felt for even a moment that Hazrat Mirza was in any way seeking to elevate himself above others. He would meet his disciples as if he were meeting somebody of the same status as his own. In fact, his every deed manifested the splendid attributes of hospitality and humbleness.

When the wife of Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan of Malerkotla passed away, Hazrat Mirza accompanied her funeral procession tothe cemetery and led the funeral prayers. I was also present at the funeral. The grave was not yet ready for burial when the funeral prayer ended, and the mourners, including myself, crowded around the grave to watch it being readied. 

After a little while, I turned around only to find that Hazrat Mirza had disappeared. Alarmed, I looked hither and thither and found him sitting on the ground by himself in a corner of the park.

Quickly, I spread out a white sheet of cloth under a tree, and went up to Hazrat Mirza and requested: “It is very sunny here; please come and sit over there under the shade of the tree.” Hazrat Mirza replied: “Yes; this is a good idea.” He then went and sat on the sheet in the shade of the tree and I sat down too, a little distance from him.

Soon, as others in the graveyard observed that Hazrat Mirza was seated beneath the tree, they too came over to join him. To each person who came, Hazrat Mirza would say, “Come and sit over here,” and would himself slide back to make room for the new arrival to sit on the sheet. People kept coming and Hazrat Mirza kept moving back.

After the lapse of a short time, I observed that Hazrat Mirza was sitting on the bare ground while his disciples were seated on the sheet. The people who had crowded him off the sheet did not realize this in their fervor to be with Hazrat Mirza, but I was watching this and get- ting vexed. At the same time it was increasing me in my faith as I marveled at this man to whom God hadgranted such a high status and yet he displayed such humility and meekness of character.

Maulvi Muhammad Ali was one of Hazrat Mirza’s disciples, and possessed great sincerity and devotion to Hazrat Mirza. He resided in a small room on the roof of Hazrat Mirza’s house. Even if Hazrat Mirza had summoned him a hundred times during a single day, Maulvi Muhammad Ali would have gladly complied. However, such was HazratMirza’s humility and meekness that if he wanted to inquire something from Maulvi Muhammad Ali, he would go himself to his roominstead of summoning him. (See Sirat-ul-Mahdi Volume 2).

On the occasion of the birth of one of his daughters, Hazrat Mirza received an ominous revelation. It was the middle of the night ,but on receiving the revelation, he proceeded straight to the residence of his disciple Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi, who also resided in a section of Hazrat Mirza’s house, and knocked on his door.

He inquired from inside, “Who is it?” The response was, “Ghulam Ahmad.” Maulana Amrohi was astounded; he quickly got up, opened the door, and enquired: “Sir, is everything alright?” After relating the ominous revelation, Hazrat Mirza said: “I am praying to Allah, and I request you also to pray to Allah that He may avert this terrible fate.” 

By God, what humility! Hazrat Mirza had a close relation- ship with Allah, he was a Reformer, a recipient of revelations, his prayers were accepted, yet he had no hesitation in requesting his disciple to pray for him. Had it been some ordinary religious leader, he would never have enter- tained the idea of requesting a disciple to pray on his behalf. At the very least, he would have preserved his status by summoning the disciple rather than going to him in person.

In contrast, Hazrat Mirza knocks on the door of his disciple in the middle of the night like an ordinary man, and requests him to pray for him. And to his enquiry, “Who is it?” replies withgreat informality, “Ghulam Ahmad.” He did not attach any titles to it. For example, he did not say: “Promised Messiah or the Imam (leader) of the era, or the Reformer of the century.” 

But his reply was simply, “Ghulam Ahmad.” This goes to show that although God had granted him these titles to show his nearness to God, but Hazrat Mirza’s humility would not permit even the thought of any supe-riority to enter his heart.

Once the butchers of Qadian increased the price of meat, and the mem- bers of the Ahmadiyya Organization complained about thisto Hazrat Mirza. He stated that the butchers must have raised the price so as to provide better quality meat to their customers. It was only fair to charge a higher price for better quality meat. However, the quality of the meat deteriorated despite the higher price. 

Hazrat Mirza first tried to counsel the butchers to desist but when they showed no inclination to change their ways, he ordered his disci- ples to boycott the butchers and stop buying meat from them. Accordingly, the people switched their fare to lentils and vegetables and peoplewent with- out meat for many days. Maulvi Sarwar Shah made a proposition to Hazrat Mirza: “Sir, I have a goat. I would like to present it to you so that you can have it slaughtered and have meat for your household.” Hazrat Mirza replied, “I do not like that meat should be cooked in my house when my friends are eating lentils.”

An old, peasant woman came to Hazrat Mirza’s house during the mid- dle of the summer season once. She spotted a pitcher of cold water with an earthen bowl covering its mouth. Without seeking permission, the old woman poured some water into the earthen bowland drank it. 

Upon seeing the ragged old woman drinking water in this manner, a refined lady of the house gave directions that theearthen bowl be broken and discarded. Hazrat Mirza over- heard these directions and said, “What is the meaning of breaking the bowl?Give me water in that bowl, I will drink it. Such people will now come to my house in large numbers; it is advisable that the people of my house change their disposition and learn to socialize with such destitute people.”

Mian Abdullah Sanori narrated the following anecdote:

In the early days, Hazrat Mirza once went for a walk towards the north of Qadian. The late Sheikh Hamid Ali and I (Mian Sanori) accompa- nied him. I had heard people say that spiritually-elevated people can describe what is in your heart. The thought crossedmy mind to test this theory.

Accordingly, I would think of a question but keep it concealed in my heart. I found that Hazrat Mirza’s conversation would veer towards answering that question. I did this four or five time and every time I thought of a new question,the conversation would steer towards an answer for that question. Finally, I told Hazrat Mirza about my experiment. He was quite displeased and remarked: “You should be grateful that Allah’s grace was with you. The saints and messengers of Allah do not have knowledge of the Unseen. Do not do this in the future.”1

This humble author, Basharat Ahmad, asserts that a fraud seeks self- aggrandizement in every matter and wants to convince othersof his piety. On such occasions, he takes unfair advantage of people’s devotion to impress upon them his holiness. But the aim of therighteous individual is wholly that the virtues of truth and uprightness be established in society and that people eschew wickedness and become firmly chartered upon the path of piety. Despite his spiritual excellence, such a righteous individual does not patron- ize any distinction for himself that would lead people to deifying him and worshipping a human.

Neither was Hazrat Mirza a confidante to events of the Unseen, nor did he ever claim that he had the ability to learn or intuit another person’s unspoken and undisclosed thoughts. Nonetheless, experience from scores of occasions showed that Hazrat Mirzawould begin discoursing upon a subject regarding which doubts had arisen in the mind, and it appeared as if he had ascertained what was in the heart. The fact is that an appointee of Allah has the nature of a teacher who fully understands the intricacies of an issue and its contextual reference. This enables him to intuitively gauge the kinds of doubts that would arise in an ordinaryperson’s mind and enables him to dis- course and address the very points that are vexing a person and thereby astounds his audience.

It also happens that the mystic senses of people who are spiritually greatly elevated can pick up and convey to their pure heart through an inex- plicable process the spiritual condition of the person they interact with. Frequently, such a spiritually-elevated person himself is unaware of the process, yet his subconscious senses the inner state of the other person and causes his thoughts to address theissues most relevant and vexing to that per- son. At any rate, this state of spirituality serves as an argument in favor of a person’s purityand excellence of spirituality.

When I took the pledge, there was no premeditation or intention to do so. In fact, a difficulty possessed my mind that effectively stopped me from entertaining the idea. I was astonished when Hazrat Mirza began to dis- course in a principled way during our conversation on the very subject that was a hindrance for me to take the pledge.

Maulvi Syed Sarwar Shah narrated a similar incident to me: Maulvi Abdul Karim remarked during a conversation with Hazrat Mirza, “I was unable to sleep at all last night.” The thought crossed my (Syed Sarwar Shah’s) mind that Maulvi Abdul Karim had misspoken and it was probably an exaggeration that he had not slept the whole night. No sooner had this thought crossed my mind than Hazrat Mirza stated, “Some people may be thinking in their heart that ‘not being able to sleep the whole night’ is an exaggeration but such a doubt is not proper, and in fact is tantamount to sus- picion. Is it not possible that a person was unable to sleep the whole night?Moreover, it is a figure of speech to state that one was unable to sleep all night, when in fact the person was actually unable to sleep for a large part of the night. So it is improper to distrust someone’s words.”

Likewise, Maulana Nur-ud-Din related the following incident to me:

Somebody once gave me (Nur-ud-Din) a pair of very expensive caps as a gift. I, in turn, sent them as a gift to Hazrat Mirza throughan old maid in Hazrat Mirza’s household who was affectionately called Granny. She had come to my house and I gave her the caps with the instructions to present them to Hazrat Mirza. After she had left with the caps, I started thinking that the courier was asimple old woman and wondered whether the caps had actually been delivered to Hazrat Mirza or not? Could she have possibly put the caps somewhere and forgotten about them or given them to someone else so that Hazrat Mirza had never gotten to see them? 

I ruminated that if those caps were not presented to Hazrat Mirza, then my objective of pleasing him would be defeated — my entire day passed in such restless contemplation, leaving me feeling quite perturbed as I mulled over those thoughts. Later in the evening, Hazrat Mirza joined our company in the mosque. As he was conversing, he said to someone, “Please fetch my casket.” 

Presently, the casket arrived. Hazrat Mirza opened the casket and pulled out the two caps I had presented to him andquietly began to fan himself with them. (This incident took place in summer.) He kept fanning himself with the caps for some timeand then put the caps back in the casket and had the cas- ket returned home. He did not utter a word. I felt greatly embarrassed; perhaps Allah had informed Hazrat Mirza that I (Nur-ud-Din) was intensely agitated in this matter, and that he should comfort me.Or per- haps Hazrat Mirza had sensed this himself. In short, Hazrat Mirza conveyed to me that he had indeed received the caps.

On scores of occasions, people similarly experienced that Hazrat Mirza would begin to lecture on the precise topic about which doubts had crept into their minds. Hazrat Mirza would never address a person directly in connec- tion with that person’s shortcoming or fault; he would not admonish people. 

Rather, if someone’s action had displeased him, he would discourse on the matter in very general terms. If that person was fortunate, he would understand and become penitent at his action after listening to Hazrat Mirza’s discourse. Interestingly, Hazrat Mirza’s didactic discourses touched everyone in the audience and each person felt as if Hazrat Mirza was addressing his personal shortcomings. In this manner, the blessed tradition of reformation and purification proceeded smoothly withoutcausing pain to anyone.

Thus, it was not uncommon that Hazrat Mirza discoursed on subjects that were secretly vexing people. However, Hazrat Mirza strongly disliked for anyone to consider him as the knower of unseen and hidden things and to keep questions in their heart and expect him to guess what they were. He considered such expectations to be idolatrous and a source of tribulation. It was his maxim that theappointees of God are raised to preach the worship of God and not of them. They are not knowers of the unseen except to the extent ofwhat God reveals to them.

In addition to his great spiritual eminence, Hazrat Mirza manifested such politeness, humility and self-effacement in his temperament that a greater manifestation was not possible. It did not matter to him at all if he had to sit on the ground while his audience was seated on a carpet or an elevated place. In this context, Maulvi Abdul Karim narrates an incident:

Approximately four years ago, Hazrat Mirza’s family was visiting Ludhiana. It was the month of June and the innersanctums of the

house had been recently constructed. I spotted a cot (charpai) lying there and reposed on it for an afternoon siesta. Hazrat Mirza was strolling nearby as I snoozed off. When I woke up, I saw Hazrat Mirza reposing on the floor beside my charpai. Out ofdeference, I sat up with a startle. With great affection, Hazrat Mirza asked me: “Why did you get up?” I replied: “I cannot be lyingon the charpai while you are lying on the floor.” He smiled and said: “I was keeping guard over you. The children were raising a raucous, and I was telling them to be quiet so that your sleep may not be disturbed.”

Likewise, Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig once went to see Hazrat Mirza in his room but he was not present. He lay down on his charpaiand the soporific effect of summertime made him doze off. When he woke up, he saw Hazrat Mirza reposing on the floor nearby. Hegot up startled and despite Hazrat Mirza’s protestations not to get up, he vacated the charpai out of deference. It was early morning when I took the pledge at the hands of Hazrat Mirza. 

I had requested a meeting with him in private following the Fajr(morning) prayer so Hazrat Mirza summoned me to his room. A charpai, without a mattress, was the only furniture in the room.Hazrat Mirza insisted on seating me and my friend on the side of the charpai where the pillow is placed because the weave of thejute/hemp string is dense and more comfort- able to sit on, and himself sat at the foot of the charpai which makes for very uncomfortableseating because there are just a set of broadly spaced strings to support the body. I submitted very strongly to Hazrat Mirza that Icould not bear this disrespect, but he compelled me to sit on the comfortable sec- tion of the charpai. I felt greatly embarrassed, butwas also amazed at the same time on this show of humility.

Hazrat Mirza never indicated by any word or action that a visitor had overstayed or become bothersome. The excessive affection of his disciples sometimes resulted in tiresome situations but Hazrat Mirza remained unper- turbed. Munshi Muhammad Arora, a resident of Kapurthala, was greatly devoted to Hazrat Mirza.

Once when he came to meet Hazrat Mirza, he was summoned directly toHazrat Mirza’s chamber. When the meeting came to a close, Munshi Arora stepped outside the room and Hazrat Mirza closed the door behind him. There was a flight of stairs that led from Hazrat Mirza’s room to the new guest rooms downstairs. Munshi Arora descended a couple of steps and then turned back and knocked on Hazrat Mirza’s door. Hazrat Mirza opened the door and MunshiArora stood at the threshold and conversed with Hazrat Mirza for a few minutes, and then took leave. Hazrat Mirza again closed the door behind him.

Having climbed down a couple of steps, Munshi Arora returned again and knocked on the door again. Hazrat Mirza opened the door, and the two spoke for a few moments — again Munshi Arora departed, but no sooner had he descended a few steps that he turned back yet another time and knocked on HazratMirza’s door. He spoke with Hazrat Mirza again for a little while. When this process had been repeated several times, he became embarrassed and explained his behavior by stating: “When I take leave and begin to descend the steps, I am overpow- ered by my desire to see you again.

The thought crosses my mind whether God will give me another chance to see you or not. So I think of some excuse to return and knock on your door on the pretext that something was left unsaid. The fact is that nothing was left unsaid; my motivation was only to see you again. I am sorry for the trouble this has caused you.” Hazrat Mirza broke out into a laugh and said, “The visits of my friends are an occasion of joy for me and not one of trouble.”

By God! How lovely was that time! There was no private secretary to go through to get an audience. A person could casually go to meet him, and sit in his company for as long as he liked. He could come and go as he pleased and make multiple appearances. In thecase of Munshi Arora, the vis- itor himself became embarrassed and put forward an excuse. But Hazrat Mirza never once felt irritated or complained of the constant comings and goings or protested why the visitor did not have his say at one time instead of in dribs and drabs thereby wasting his time.

There were no restrictions whatsoever on how frequently a person could leave and rejoin such gatherings and assemblies. If there was any embarrassment at all, it was only to the person who was taking such liberties. Hazrat Mirza never showed any sort of exasperation, or commented on the repeated visits. Never did Hazrat Mirza chide anyone for wasting his time unnecessarily, and for not posing all their questions to him at one time.

This is known as living with humbleness, and embracing the dervish lifestyle (the word dervish is used here only with the connotations of meekness and sim- plicity and, as used here, dervish does not refer to a member of a Muslim religious order noted for devotional exercises such as bodily movements, whirling for example, that lead to a trance-like state).

Respect for his disciples

Hazrat Mirza would refer to his disciples with great respect. Whether those disciples were present or not, he would mention their names with dig- nity and respect. In this connection, Maulvi Abdul Karim has recorded the following observations:

I have observed on many occasions that, as Hazrat Mirza is conversing with his wife in their home, if the name of some disciple comes up, he would mention it very respectfully, just as he would if he were present. He never addresses anyone with the informalsecond person singular pronoun in Urdu of tu (you). The same applies to his writings as well; he employs reverent and honorific titles such as HazratMaulvi Sahib, dear friend, etc. In his speeches too, he uses phrases such as: “Hazrat Maulvi Sahib used to say…” I have often seen hereditary religious leaders (pirs) and mendicants consider it below their dignity to refer to their disciples in deferential terms… In short, many religious scholars (sheikhs) and hereditary religious leaders equate the cultured and respectful reference oftheir disciples’ names as a despicable act. During my long association with Hazrat Mirza, I have never heard him address anyonein a less than respectful manner.

Dr. Abdul Hakim Khan was a disciple of Hazrat Mirza who later became an opponent. He concocted a dogma that it was not necessary to accept the Holy Prophet in order to achieve salvation, and wrote a letter to Hazrat Mirza explaining his belief. Hazrat Mirza repudiated this idea, and pointed out its fallacies. Dr. Abdul Hakim Khan was a short-tempered man and took serious offence at being contradicted. He responded by writing insolent letters to Hazrat Mirza. One day, while sitting with his disciples, Hazrat Mirza commented on Dr. Abdul Hakim Khan’s behavior: “I fear that if he continues in this manner, he will become an apostate.” This remark (that was spoken in a polite form of Urdu) heartily stirred his listeners, because here was mention of a person who was well known for his rudeness to Hazrat Mirza, and yet Hazrat Mirza referred to him in such civil terms. This pro- vides a reflection of Hazrat Mirza’s high morals and civility, in that he adhered to the principles of courtesy even when mentioning his enemy.

Tolerant of others’ shortcomings

Hazrat Mirza was very much in the habit of benevolently ignoring and covering the faults of others. He disliked people complaining to him about their friends and spiritual brothers.

If somebody brought such a complaint to him, he would say: “Have youprayed and cried before God for forty days for this brother of yours?” If the reply was in the negative, he would say: “Then you do nothave the right to complain about him. First, beseech God sincerely for forty days to reform this brother of yours, and if at the end of that period there has been no reformation, then you can complain about him.” 

This was the reason why nobody dared to backbite or complain about others to Hazrat Mirza. Even if Hazrat Mirza became aware of a disciple’s short- coming, he would kindly ignore it and find a suitable occasion to advise his disciple in a way that the person would not even feel that Hazrat Mirza was aware of the shortcoming. It was his wont not to address the person directly. Instead, he would discourse on the subject during a public gathering in away that was meant to effect the required reformation of his disciple. He would then follow it up with reminder discourses on other occasions. But most of all, he relied on prayer to bring about a reformation.

In the matter of refor- mation, he emphasized the importance of addressing the root of the problem, and if this was done, he believed that the branches would heal themselves. He frequently reiterated that: “The real thing is to establish faith in the heart. If that is done, then deeds would automatically be mended.” Mir Nasir Nawab once remarked to Hazrat Mirza: “Some of your disciples shave their beards.”Hazrat Mirza replied: “Mir Sahib! You are worried about their beards; I am worried about their faith. If faith is firmly entrenched in theheart, then everything else will fall into place.”

Tolerance of shortcomings extended to strangers as well

Hazrat Mirza’s nature of ignoring faults was not just confined to his disciples, but extended to all and sundry. Maulvi Abdul Karim has recorded the following incident:

A woman once stole some rice from Hazrat Mirza’s house. A thief’s mannerism often betrays her. Her actions are hasty and unnatural and she glances around furtively. A sharp-eyed person noticed her suspi- cious behavior and apprehended her. A hue and cry was raised. The woman was found to be hiding a bag under her armpit containing about fourteen Kilograms of rice. The woman was being disparaged and humiliated when Hazrat Mirza happened to pass by. He enquired about the matter, and was informed of what had transpired. He remarked, “She is indigent. Give her a portion of the rice, and do not humiliate her — embrace the quality of God that He benevolently overlooks the faults of people.”

Display of great civility during walks

Hazrat Mirza usually went for a long walk of several miles after break- fast. He was not given to looking around and kept his gaze cast down as he walked. His disciples, who accompanied him on the walk, kept on asking questions and Hazrat Mirza would keep on discoursing about their queries. 

Whenever he felt physically tired, he would sit down to rest upon the ground with great informality. He never took any sheet or rug with him to spread on the ground for sitting. Because of the large number of people that accompa- niedHazrat Mirza for a walk, it sometimes happened that someone accidentally stepped on his shoe, and dislodged it from his foot or someone bumped into his staff and sent it hurtling to the ground. During all such instances, Hazrat Mirza would never look backwards,lest the person respon- sible for the accident should get embarrassed.

Despised pretense and affectation

Hazrat Mirza met his guests, who had come to visit him from places outside Qadian with great joy, affection, and a smile on his lips. He inquired about their welfare in the same way that informal friends do when they meet. He would ask his newly arrived guests about their well-being and that of their families and about the state of things and conditions in their region. 

When Hazrat Mirza sat with his disciples, they would ask him all sorts of questions and he would reply to them and thus a great variety of topics would get covered. Unless there was a specific request to talk about a particular matter, it was not Hazrat Mirza’s habit to pontificate and toincessantly keep preaching to the people to impress them about his own devoutness. He detested such pretense and affectation.

Some people actually misjudged him on this score because there are some who think that people devoted to Allah should onlyconcern themselves with talking about religious matters. Such people consider it beneath the dig- nity of the saint to enquire about the welfare of a disciple and his family, or to listen to their troubles. In fact, this notion is incorrect, and contrary to the tradition of ProphetMuhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Hazrat Mirza was absolutely uncorrupted by any show of pretense and affec-tation and he hated hypocrisy.

Two Sufi gentlemen once came to meet Hazrat Mirza. It so happened that no religious discussion was initiated during their presence and Hazrat Mirza kept enquiring about the welfare of various disciples who were pres- ent. Maulvi Abdul Karim was sitting next to Hazrat Mirza and he could not contain himself. He whispered to Hazrat Mirza: “These two Sufis are sitting here. Discourse on a theme that would impress them favorably.” On hearing this, Hazrat Mirza’s face became red with anger. He said: “Maulvi Sahib! Iregard discourse which is affected to impress others with one’s devoutness as a lowly sort of ostentation and hypocrisy.” He then spoke fora long time with great passion on the subject of hypocrisy — that speech was replete with gems of wisdom. The two Sufis were amazed and remarked: “We had never before heard of such fine aspects of the subject of hypocrisy. ” Hazrat Mirza left the assembly and returned to his house. Maulvi Abdul Karim said with a chuckle, “Well, I believe that I too accomplished my objective!”

Conversational etiquette in assembly

Hazrat Mirza’s manner of speaking in assemblages was most civil. He neither spoke equivocally, nor did he ever communicate nonverbally by signaling with his eyes. He never said anything hurtful. Whether a person was a friend or a stranger, Hazrat Mirza would refer to him respectfully and graciously. He also stressed on his disciples that they should never forgo courtesy and civility regardless of the provocation.

When Maulvi Abdullah Sanori came to Qadian for the first time, Hazrat Mirza enquired about the welfare of Maulvi Abdullah Sanori’s father. He replied: “Whose name have you taken! My father is a wicked man. He drinks alcohol and his ways are depraved.” Hazrat Mirza responded: “Ask for God’s protection; such things should never be said about one’s father.” Hazrat Mirza then related aHadith to the following effect:

It sometimes transpires that the repeated misdeeds of a person take him to the verge of hell, but he retreats from the threshold of hell and embarks upon the path of performing good deeds — eventually, such a man enters heaven.

Maulvi Sanori would narrate that soon thereafter a transformation took place in his father’s character. He ultimately met a good end, and had developed a great affection for the Promised Messiah.

Mirza Nizam-ud-Din was Hazrat Mirza’s paternal cousin; he was not only a bitter enemy of Hazrat Mirza but of Islam as well. Once Hazrat Mirza’s son, Mirza Bashir Ahmad, referred to him as “Nizam-ud-Din” and earned an immediate rebuke by his father: “Son! He is after all your uncle; you should not speak about him in this manner.”

The nature of Hazrat Mirza’s gatherings

Hazrat Mirza always used to meet people with a smile upon his coun- tenance so that the person he was greeting would feel as if his troubles had vanished away. Each one of his disciples had experienced that a meeting with Hazrat Mirza was a great antidote for grief and sadness that was dispelled from the heart by his company. One glance at his smiling countenance sent a surge of tranquility througha person’s body. Hazrat Mirza listened attentive- ly to whoever addressed him regardless of their status in life and then replied with great endearment. Every person, in his own place, thought that Hazrat Mirza liked him the most.

Sometimes people related their inane stories to Hazrat Mirza for hours, and he sat and listened to them in silence and never oncestopped them. Prior to the prayers or after the prayers and sometimes at other times, Hazrat Mirza sat in the mosque and his admiringdisciples sat in a circle around him. Many diverse issues would come under discussion and a session would begin in which knowledge andenlightenment was disseminated. There was no pro- tocol in the mosque and people sat wherever they could find a place. People were free to ask questions and in response Hazrat Mirza would deliver an enlightened discourse.

Sometimes, he started off by saying a few words of advice to the new pledge takers in the assembly but that advice quickly escalated into a full blown speech. Occasionally the name of an opponent would creep up and the conversation focused on him for a while. At times, Hazrat Mirza narrated a recent revelation and then discoursed about it for some time. If he was currently composing a book, he would debate his recent writings with his disciples. If mention was made of the difficulties being faced by an individual or a branch of the Ahmadiyya organization, the dis- cussion focused on this theme. In short, different kinds of topics were discussed in Hazrat Mirza’s assemblages and the people had a chance to say whatever they wanted to say. When Hazrat Mirza spoke, everyone listened attentively. His style was to begin speaking softly at first and then to gradu- ally raise his voice so that after a while, a person seated even far away could hear him distinctly. He used this style whether he was making a public speech to a large audience or merely discoursing in a small assemblage. His speeches were spellbinding and made one feel as if one was receiving the elixir of life that wasreviving one’s soul.

A friend of mine who was a station-master in the railways narrated this incident to me:

I was a very corrupt employee and was given to taking bribes when I came to take the pledge at Hazrat Mirza’s hand. Although Hazrat Mirza did not know me, he gave me a brief sermon in private in which he only said, “Babu Sahib! A person who takes bribes is not respected even in this world.” That sentence struck me like a knife in my heart and lodged there firmly. From that day onwards, I have never taken a bribe or been dishonest.

Similarly, Hazrat Mirza once offered a few words of advice in private to an alcoholic landlord and that man came to loathe alcoholic drinks. There are hundreds of other such instances.

Encouragement of friends

Hazrat Mirza was very gracious to his disciples and accepted even ordinary and trifling gifts that they brought with great loveand gratitude. He listened with great earnestness to people, regardless of how trivial their narrative. If somebody wrote even an ordinary article and brought it to read to Hazrat Mirza, he would listen to it like a student listens to a Professor. Sometimes people brought newspaper clippings about scholarly research that shed light on the truthfulness of Islam or of some celebrity praising Islam and presented them to Hazrat Mirza.

On such occasions, Hazrat Mirza’s countenance glowed with joy. He highly lauded the person andremarked to those present: “Look at the interest of this person; he searches and collects such useful pieces of information.” HazratMirza was so visibly grateful to anyone that rendered even the most common service that one was amazed. One now remembers those times wistfully whenthe smallest service was greatly appreciated and when encouragement was given liberally. The name of Allah alone remains forever.

If Hazrat Mirza was discoursing on a subject and someone in the assemblage put forward some trivial thing that supported the discourse, Hazrat Mirza would immediately draw attention to it and praise the subtlety of the presented idea. Although truth be known, the presented idea was gen- erally trivial compared to the ocean of enlightenment that was emanating from Hazrat Mirza. Encouragement and thankfulness was so much part of Hazrat Mirza’s nature that the presenter of the idea at times felt embarrassed bythe insignificance of his contribution and the praise lavished on it. In short, Hazrat Mirza greatly appreciated any service performed, anyverse composed and any essay written that supported the truth. He remarked frequently: “If someone produces even a solitary word forthe promotion of Islam, that word is more valuable for me than a sack of pearls and gold coins.”

Hazrat Mirza once entrusted some work to a disciple, who showed some hesitancy and submitted: “I am afraid, I may make a mistake.” Hazrat Mirza smiled and replied, “It is only human to make mistakes. So if you make a mistake, it would not be a novel thing. We do not consider you to be Quddus. That is an attribute of God.” (Quddus means The Holy, The Pure, one who’s actions areabove any error, imperfection or shortcoming.)

In this fashion, Hazrat Mirza assiduously encouraged his disciples. This was why every sorrow dissipated and despair turned into joyous hope when one sat in Hazrat Mirza’s company. Hazrat Mirza was always able to discern some useful aspect even in situations that portended failure. This attitude of optimism provided solace to sorrowing hearts and peace to worried minds.

Hazrat Mirza once sacrificed several goats. Now a caravan of indigent people was encamped outside the perimeter of Qadian. Hakim Fazal-ud-Din of Bhera was entrusted with the task of distributing the meat among them and he arrived at the encampment with alarge tray of meat. He began distributing the meat very methodically giving two pieces to each person.

However, the poor and hungry people had no patience for this and launched a united assault on Hakim Fazal-ud-Din and helped themselves to the meat whichdisappeared in a few minutes. In the melee, Hakim Fazal-ud-Din’s shirt and turban were ripped into shreds. Hakim Fazal-ud-Din was greatly annoyed; grumbling and enraged, he made his way to Hazrat Mirza to lodge a com- plaint. When he narrated the entire episode to him, Hazrat Mirza chuckled and said, “Hakim Sahib! You should be happy that the offering found such ready acceptance that the need to distribute it did not arise; the deserving people snatched it away themselves. Such an acceptance is an occasion for giving thanks.”

In 1906, I took an extended leave from work to spend time in Qadian. My wife was unwell in those days and could not participate for several days in the congregational prayers offered in the female section because of her indisposition. When her health improved a little, she went to participate in the congregational prayer. Hazrat Mirza’s wife remarked to her: “If you had health problems, you should not have come to Qadian. If you are unable to participate in prayers and other activities, then it is the samewhether you are in Qadian or not.” When Hazrat Mirza heard this remark, he said, “‘Actions are judged by intentions.’2 

When she has come to Qadian to learn about reli- gion and to increase her spirituality, then the reward for her action has already been recorded with God. A person is rendered helpless by sickness. If she has not been able to participate in prayers and other activities, it does not matter. God sees what is in the heart and one’s intentions. He will not waste the reward for coming to Qadian. In fact, the reward will be greater because she has come to Qadian despite her indisposition. So whatever hap- pened is fine indeed, and there is good in it.” My wife would later say: “I cannot state my joy and happiness when I heard this comment, and I under- stood that the appointees of God provide real solace to the heart. They never despair of the mercy of Allah.”

Solidarity with friends

Hazrat Mirza considered it his foremost duty to help friends facing hard- ships. If somebody needed money, then he would quietlysend money to that person, without letting anyone become aware of the same. He used to do so secretly so that the recipient should notfeel any embarrassment. Many of his devoted disciples had migrated to Qadian, leaving behind all their amenities and luxuries. They ate from the communal kitchen or received a nominal monthly stipend. Hazrat Mirza was very conscious of their needs. At the onset of winter, he secretly gave them some money to meet their need for warm clothes and bedding. If they refused the largesse, he insisted further until out of respect, they had to accept the money whether willingly or unwillingly.

If Hazrat Mirza learned that one of his disciples was in a dire financial situation, he covertly left a pouch of money at the person’s house with the instructions: “If he inquires where the money came from, tell him that I left it.” If the person attempted to return themoney, Hazrat Mirza refused to take it back. Once Hakim Fazal-ud-Din of Bhera was in need of two hundred rupees, and he requested Hazrat Mirza for a loan which was given to him. Later, when Hakim Fazal-ud-Din had enough funds, he sent the loan amount to Hazrat Mirza. Hazrat Mirza returned the money with a note:

I consider my assets to be common with my friends. You were in need of money, so you sent for it. When I am in need of money, I will send for it. But right now I am not in need of money, so I am sending it back to you..

Once a person by the name of Abdullah Arab visited Qadian, took the pledge at the hands of Hazrat Mirza, and then left for Baghdad (Iraq) where he established a medical clinic. In those days, Baghdad was under the Ottoman rule and the Turkish government wanted to arrest him for some reason. 

To save himself, he presented the excuse that he was not a citizen of the Ottoman Empire, but was, in fact, aresident of Punjab and had a home and orchard in Qadian. At the same time, he wrote a letter to Mufti Muhammad Sadiq in Qadian, informing him of the excuse he had presented, and warning him that the Turkish government may make inquiries about him in Qadian. Mufti Muhammad Sadiq narrated the whole story to Hazrat Mirza and remarked that Abdullah Arab had made a mistake and should not have given this excuse. 

Hazrat Mirza’s face grew sad as he said, “Mufti Sahib! We have no idea of the distress this person is in and how he is being tormented by the Turkish government and police. Although he has erred, my orchard belongs to my disciples; I can give theorchard to him if that will extricate him from his distress.”

In short, if a person had affection for Hazrat Mirza and made a dedicated attempt to forge a strong spiritual relationship with him, he found his affection reciprocated many times over. In fact, such a person was often embarrassed by the strength of reciprocity and the relative feebleness of his own affection. Of all the ties of friendships and relationships that govern the attachment andconsideration of people to one another, none was comparable to the concern that Hazrat Mirza exercised for the welfare of his disciples.Maulana Abdul Karim has noted in this regard:

“(Hazrat Mirza) has said repeatedly with God as his witness that: ‘I love a thing only for the sake of Allah. Whether it is my wife, children or friends, my relationship with them is only for the sake of Allah, the Most High.’”

He also used to say: “The person who wants that I should love him and that my sincere and heartfelt invocations should ascend to the heaven for him should provide me with the assurance that he has the ability to be a servant of Islam.”

Could not bear to hurt anyone

Hazrat Mirza never did anything either by words or actions to hurt anyone. If someone was harsh with him, he acted with patience and forbear- ance and refrained from any deed that would cause hurt in return. In fact, he would even intervene in situations unrelated to him and try to negate the hurtful impact of one person’s actions on another.

Mir Nasir Nawab once sent his old woolen coat as a gift to his nephew Muhammad Saeed, who was visiting Qadian. A maid servant was charged with delivering the gift. Muhammad Saeed scornfully asked the maid to take the coat back as he did not weardiscarded clothes. As the maid was returning with the coat, she ran into Hazrat Mirza who enquired from her about the coat she wascarrying. The maid told him that Mir Sahib had sent the coat for Muhammad Saeed but he had returned it because he did not wear discarded clothes. Hazrat Mirza said, “This will hurt Mir Sahib. Give me this coat, for I will wear it and tell Mir Sahib that I have keptit.”

Loyalty to friends

Hazrat Mirza was extremely loyal to his friends. Maulvi Abdul Karim has observed thus:

One day Hazrat Mirza stated: “My doctrine is that when anyone makes a covenant of friendship with me, I have such regard for the covenant that regardless of how he is and whatever may happen, I cannot break that covenant. Of course, if he severs the ties then I am helpless. Otherwise, my doctrine is that if one of my friends falls in the bazaar in an inebriate state and a crowd gathers around him, I would have no hesitation to go and pick him up regardless of the scorn and derision of the crowd, and bring him back. The covenant of friendship is a price- less jewel that should not be wasted carelessly. Even if a friend acts disagreeably, itshould be overlooked with tolerance and forbearance.

Hazrat Mirza’s intention in making this statement was not that there is no harm in befriending drunkards and transgressors, but only that if a friend falls into evil ways, this should not be made a basis for abandoning him. Instead an attitude of sympathy and loyalty should be adopted towards him and effort should be made in an appropriate way to reform him. A person should try as far as possible to have good friends. However, once the bonds of friendship are established then it is necessary to nourish this relationship and it is not appropriate to sever the bond of friendship merely because a friend exhibits some moral weakness or falls into evil ways. In such a situation, the dictates of friendship require one to provide sympathetic and well-meaning counseling and to seek help for the friend through prayer.

Invites friends to visit Qadian

The more one interacted with Hazrat Mirza, the more enamored one became with his morals. The greater the camaraderie and companionship of a friend or acquaintance with Hazrat Mirza, the greater was their conviction of his righteousness. The longer one stayed in his company, the greater would grow one’s regard and affection for Hazrat Mirza. The veracity of these statements provides strong evidence of his truthfulness because the correct measure of a person’s morality can only be gauged by living in his company and watching his morals at close quarters and by interacting with him.

When I was posted in Bhera, I once took leave to visit Hazrat Mirza in Qadian. Upon my return from Qadian, Agha Muhammad Husain, tehsildar3 Bhera, said to me, “You visit your spiritual mentor regularly. Don’t you know that it is an established principle that the mentor should not be visited frequently because the devotion that one has for the mentor by residing afar only gets eroded by visiting and living with him.” I replied: “This is probably true for ordinary Pirs and mendicants because their real purity and morality is exposed by staying with them. The situation is quite the opposite here; devotion only increases by staying with Hazrat Mirza because one’s faith and knowledge grows by observing his godliness and morality, and one’s conviction in his righteousness grows stronger.”

In fact, it was Hazrat Mirza’s wish that people should visit him fre- quently and stay in his company for extended periods so that they could partake of his spiritual blessings and for the purpose of purifying their souls. An extract from Maulvi Abdul Karim’s writingis presented below:4

Hazrat Mirza never likes that his disciples should leave his company. He is delighted when they come and he gives thempermission to return only with a sense of unwillingness and resignation.

He is especially fond of those who visit him very frequently. This time very few people came in December. Hazrat Mirza expressed his disappointment and said: “People are still unaware of my objective regarding what it is that I seek for them to achieve and accomplish. The objective that I seek to achieve and for which God has appointed me, cannot be accomplished unless people come here frequently and do not tire of coming.Whoever considers it a burden to come here or thinks it will be a burden on me for him to stay here should take heed for he is mired in shirk (placing his reliance on other than God alone). It is my belief that even if the entire world was to become my family, God is the guarantor of my affairs and there will be no burden on me. This (i.e., visitors are a bur- den) is a conjecture that should be banished from the hearts.”

I have heard people say: “Why should we burden Hazrat Mirza by just sitting over here. We do nothing. Why should we just sithere and eat?” This is the whispering of the slinking devil who has whispered this into their hearts so that they may not establish themselves here. One day Hakim Fazal-ud-Din submitted to Hazrat Mirza: “Sir! I sit here idly and do not accomplish anything. Ifyou permit, I can go to Bhera where at least I can hold classes to expound on the Quran. I feel very embar- rassed that here I amunable to be of any service to you. And perhaps it is also sinful just to remain idle.” Hazrat Mirza replied: “Your stay- ing here is a jihad, and this idleness is in itself a great job.” He then lamented in a sad tone about those who do not come, and added: “These people who make excuses are similar to the ones who present- ed excuses to the Holy Prophet by saying: ‘Our houses are exposed.’ (33:13) and Allah exposed their deceit by stating: ‘They only desired to run away’ (33:13). Who has told my disciples that life is lengthy? Death has no designated time and can befall any moment. It is proper, therefore, to consider the time one has as a blessing. These days will not be found again and only their stories will remain.”

Brothers! Make reparations for God’s sake, and extricate yourselves from the shackles of these untrue relationships — remember that the eternal beneficial relationship is this one and none else. All other rela- tionships will come to an end or, as in the case of sin,will become a steel collar around a person’s neck. Hazrat Mirza greatly desired for people to come and stay with him and I alwaysconsider this wish as a conclusive proof of his truthfulness and his earnest belief that he was righteous and an appointee of God. Animpostor gets worried even in a day and pushes people out for fear that he may not get exposed.

Forbearance and kindness towards petitioners

People with all kinds of temperaments came to see Hazrat Mirza. Some among them were highly arrogant and vicious, andaddressed him very impudently. In contrast, Hazrat Mirza remained totally calm, and listened to their outbursts in silence with completeequanimity and composure. After the other person had vented their rage, Hazrat Mirza would respond with great kindness and humbleness. He never displayed anger, and never used any acrimonious words.

Once a person came to Qadian and lodged in the guesthouse. He had an exaggerated sense of his devotion and piety, and claimed that he received Divine revelations. It so happened that his lota (water jug used for personal hygiene) got lost in the guesthouse. When Hazrat Mirza came to the mosque for Zuhr (afternoon) prayer, the visitor complained to Hazrat Mirza that his jug had been lost. Hazrat Mirza instructed a disciple to ask the guesthouse manager to immediately purchase a new jug and to give it to the guest. However, the ascetically-inclined guest was notto be placated and continued to talk angrily. Hazrat Mirza listened to him in complete silence. 

But despite this restraint, his angry outburstkept escalating until he resorted to scurrilous name calling. I was sitting close by and felt like slapping this man for his impudence and turning him out of the mosque. Nonetheless, I desisted from doing so because Hazrat Mirza would not have liked it at all. 

When I glanced at Hazrat Mirza, his countenance was totally serene and unruffled. He con- tinued to listen to the invective of the guest with great composure and tranquility. When the guest would pause from his diatribe to take a breath, Hazrat Mirza would say very politely:“I am very sorry that you were inconvenienced by the loss of your jug through the delinquency of the servants. You will get a replacement jug very soon.”

But the rude man would resume his senseless tirade anew, and Hazrat Mirza would listen calmly and thenrepeat his apology. This process continued for a considerable time until the congregational prayer brought a temporary halt to it. WhenHazrat Mirza fin- ished the prayer and was leaving for his quarters, this man grabbed him from the back by his coat. Hazrat Mirza turnedaround to see what the matter was, and the man said: “Listen! God has informed me that you will die from the plague very soon.” Hazrat Mirza said nothing in response and silently went into his family quarters. A new jug was purchased and given to the man and he left Qadian for his village in Ferozepur District. The workings of God are remarkable. That man contracted plague soon after reaching his village and died.

In 1891, Hazrat Mirza visited Lahore. One day a man came to visit him and immediately began to direct abusive language at Hazrat Mirza. The man’s outburst continued for a while, till he got exhausted and stopped. Thereupon, with great calmness, Hazrat Mirza said to the man, “Brother, if there is anything else to say, you may say that as well.” This really impressed that man and he felt embarrassed and asked for Hazrat Mirza’s forgiveness. An educated Hindu who happened to be present at the time remarked: “I had heard the stories of the gentleness of Jesus. But today I have seen the living example of that disposition. It is impossible that such aperson would not be successful.”

Similarly, once an impudent cleric from Lucknow visited Qadian. He bragged that he was the representative of an organization and had come to Qadian for investigation. The tone of his conversation was saucy and insolent. Hazrat Mirza explained his claims to the cleric in a very insightful and knowledgeable speech. 

Instead of focusing on Hazrat Mirza’s arguments, he rudely interjected in themiddle of the speech and in a very derisive tone stated: “By virtue of being a Punjabi, you cannot even pronounce the letter qaf with the proper guttural intonation, how can you be the Mahdi (the rightly guided one).” Maulvi Mubarak Ali of Sialkot responded to this absurd remark and reminded the cleric to observe civility in his conversation, but Hazrat Mirza immediately checked Maulvi Mubarak Ali, and advised him to be patient and forbearing.

Incidentally, Sahibzada Abdul Latif of Khost was also present at the time. He was so incensed by the cleric’s rudeness that in his fervor, he started conversing with the cleric in Persian. Hazrat Mirza immediately set about advising and soothing Sahibzada Abdul Latif andshortly succeeded in calming him down. However, Hazrat Mirza did not say a word to the cleric and the normal hospitality extended to him continued without any let up. Later, at a time when Sahibzada Abdul Latif was not pres- ent, Hazrat Mirza remarked, “Sahibzada Sahib was greatly incensed at that time. I firmly clenched his hand in mine for fear that he may not beat up that cleric.”

A similar incident is related by Maulvi Abdul Karim:5

Hazrat Mirza tries with great gentleness and patience to make people understand his claims even when they are questioning and conversing with him with impudence. One day an Indian who prided himself on his knowledge and claimed to be experienced and well- traveled came to our mosque and very rudely questioned Hazrat Mirza about his claims. Hardly had the conversation begun when he started saying: “You lie about your claims. I have seen many frauds like you and dealt with them.” That man spoke most impertinently, but Hazrat Mirza did not so much as frown. He listened to him very calmly and then very gently began explaining his claims. At times, some people from the audience who hear such hurtful and impudent speech just get up and leave the assembly, whispering their opprobrium to each other. And after the assembly is over, all the disciples vent their feelings but Hazrat Mirza’s forbearing and patient nature never complains.

An Arab once visited Qadian. He had a very caustic temperament, and immediately on arrival declared Hazrat Mirza to be a liar, an unbeliever and called him with other derogatory names to his heart’s content. Hazrat Mirza later recounted: “It was impressed upon my heart that I should preach to this foul-mouthed person and not be unnerved by his abuses. Accordingly, I persisted with my preaching even as he kept abusing me. By the grace of God, he took the pledge within three days.”

Hazrat Mirza was once delivering a speech in the large mosque. Because of the Annual Convention, a large number of Organization members were present in the congregation. Presently, a Hindu Arya barged into the mosque and standing across from him launched an unendinginvective of foul and obscene abuses on Hazrat Mirza and his followers. Hazrat Mirza listened to him in silence.

Now this was a very large gathering, and people with all sorts of temperaments were present; some people were so enraged by this Arya Samajist’s behavior that, if only they had Hazrat Mirza’s permission, they would have gladly beaten that Hindu Arya to a pulp. Finally, when the Hindu Arya’s filthy abuses exceeded all limits and he ignored repeated, gentle advice to desist, Hazrat Mirza instructed that the Arya should begently turned out of the mosque but without any reprimand. If he refused to go out of the mosque, then he should be turned over topolice constable Hakim Ali.

Incidents like the ones narrated above were commonplace and their exhaustive documentation is impractical. So only a few incidents have been mentioned by way of example. Hazrat Mirza used to say: “I have to feign anger at times; as for my nature, I hardlyever feel the emotion of anger with- in me.”

Hospitality

Hazrat Mirza’s spirit of hospitality can be gauged from the fact that as soon as a disciple came to visit, his countenance would light up with joy. At times, he got up to welcome his guest and always seated the guest at a good place. He first enquired about the welfare of his family and listened attentively to what the guest had to say. He then turned his attention to ensuring that suitable arrangements had been made for the boarding and lodging of the guest. Hazrat Mirza had appointed his old, faithful employee, Hamid Ali, as the supervisor of the guesthouse so that his guests were looked after in the best possible manner. Hazrat Mirza repeatedly enjoined Hamid Ali to ensure that guests were not inconvenienced in any way. If some guest planned to stay for a longer period, his food preferences were determined so that food may be provided that was akin to the food at his home. Although there were employees specially dedicated to looking after guests, but Hazrat Mirza also personally looked after their welfare and took steps to meet theirneeds.

In 1906, I took a long leave from work to stay in Qadian. I proceeded there during the hot monsoon season, accompanied by my large family. We left Batala, the closest railhead to Qadian, on bullock carts at 5:00 P.M., but because of the slow speed of this mode of transport reached Qadian at 11:00 P.M., and alighted in Dar-ul-Barakaat. There were several small children in my travel party whose only source of nutrition was milk. So I rushed to the shop of the only milk seller in the area, who also happened to be an Ahmadi. When I reached the shop, the person ahead of me bought all the available milk in the store. I was very disappointed. I ran back to our quarters to find that milk had already been delivered there. The person who had bought the last supply of milk in the store had actually purchased the milk for us. It had so transpired that as soon as we reached Qadian and Hazrat Mirza was apprised of our arrival and that there were small children in the party, he immediately realized that we will be in need of milk. Forthwith, he dis- patched an employee to buy all the available milk and to deliver it to our residence. Theability to foresee the needs of a guest and to provide for them requires great sagacity and is the hallmark of good hospitality.

I recall another incident from those days. We woke up one morning to find that heavy and incessant rain was pouring down fromthe skies. In those days, the rain resulted in so much mud and puddles in the streets of Qadian that it was difficult to step outside. The rain that morning just kept lashing down and the streets of Qadian became almost impassable. Qadian in those days was a small village. As a result of the rain, the shops did not open that day and people stayed closeted at home. Consequently, there were no gro- ceries available anywhere. Our food used to come from the community kitchen, and even there no food could be cooked because of the rain. People were just not willing to brave the rain and conditions outside, and preferred to stay home. Suddenly we saw Hazrat Mirza’s old maid-servant, popularly known as Dadi (Granny), appear before us totally drenched from head to toe. In her hands, she carried a pot of milk, some sugar and bread. She said: “When Hazrat Mirza got to know that no food had been cooked in the com- munity kitchenbecause of the rain, he got up and got the milk and bread and asked me to deliver it so that at least the children can have something to eat immediately. The food in the kitchen will get prepared eventually.”

When Maulvi Muhammad Ali was a bachelor in Qadian, he lived in a small room on the roof of Hazrat Mirza’s residence. Therewas no kitchen in his lodging and his food came from the community kitchen. However, every morning, Hazrat Mirza poured out a glass of milk, sweetened it with sugar and had an employee take it to Maulvi Muhammad Ali. He would also send him eggs, biscuits andother breakfast items, and later inquire from the bearer if Maulvi Muhammad Ali had eaten heartily. It was only then that Hazrat Mirzawas satisfied.

In the days when Hazrat Mirza used to eat with friends outside, he would often foray inside his house to bring fresh hot chapatis tothem. Sometimes on the request of a friend, he would go inside to get jam or pickles. Since Hazrat Mirza ate very little himself, he spentmost of the time during meals in serving his friends. He picked up pieces of meat in front of him and placed them in the plates of his friends. If the employee serving them placed the bowl having a bigger portion of the entree before him, he would quietly place that bowl before someone else and take the bowl with the smaller portion. Hafiz Azim

Baksh of Patiala was blind. He stated that Hazrat Mirza prepared morsels of food for him and then fed him those morsels with his ownhands.

In another incident, Hazrat Mirza was dining outside with friends. Among those present at the meal were Maulvi Nur-ud-Din,Maulvi Abdul Karim, Maulvi Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi and Mir Shafi Ahmad of Delhi. Hazrat Mirza’s wife sent out to the diners adish of bitter gourds stuffed with mince-meat. Hazrat Mirza placed one bitter-gourd each in the plates of Maulvi Nur-ud-Din, Maulvi Abdul Karim, and Maulvi Amrohi. Following this, two bitter gourds were left in the dish before Hazrat Mirza. Mir Shafi Ahmad was a young man. The thought entered his mind that Hazrat Mirza would perhaps not hand him a portion. No sooner had this thought crossedhis mind than Hazrat Mirza placed both the bitter gourds before him. Mir Shafi Ahmad adds that he appealed to Hazrat Mirza to have aportion as well, but he did not acquiesce to this request.

Hazrat Mirza made frequent enquiries from the guesthouse supervisor to satisfy himself that no guest had gone hungry and that all the needs of the guests had been attended to by the staff. Sometimes it transpired that the food had run out or had not been set apart fora guest who was not present. In such situations, Hazrat Mirza would send part or all of his food to the guest. In Sirat ul Mahdi, Volume2, one such incident is reported by Qazi Muhammad Yusuf. He states:

One day, Abdur Rahim Khan (son of Maulvi Ghulam Hasan Khan of Peshawar) and I were dining in the Mubarak Mosque on food that had been sent from Hazrat Mirza’s residence when I noticed a dead fly in the food. As I am extremely averse to flies, I stopped eating. Presently, a maid from Hazrat Mirza’s house cleared the dishes and took them back into the house. Incidentally, Hazrat Mirza happened to be dining at the same time, inside his home. When the maid passed by Hazrat Mirza, she related thematter to him. Hazrat Mirza immediately stopped eating, and left even the morsel he had prepared for his next mouthful on the plate, and directed the maid to take the food set out before him to his guests. The maid happily brought the food to us and said:“Hazrat Mirza has given his own blessed food for you.” Syed Abdul Jabbar, who had recently remained the ruler of Swat for sometime, was also present in the mosque. He too partook of the food with us.

In the second volume of Sirat-ul-MahdiMufti Muhammad Sadiq narrates:

Once I (Mufti Muhammad Sadiq) came from Lahore to meet Hazrat Mirza. It was the winter season, and I did not have any quilt to cover meat night. So I sent a message to Hazrat Mirza requesting him to provide me with some warm covering to ward off the cold during the night. Hazrat Mirza sent me a quilt and a heavy woolen shawl,along with the message that the shawl was his and the quilt belonged to his son, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, and that I could select oneof these items, or keep both if needed. So I kept the quilt and returned the shawl.

Also whenever I prepared to return to Lahore after my visit to Qadian, Hazrat Mirza would have food sent to me from his kitchenfor the way. Once, when I was about to depart for Lahore in the evening, Hazrat Mirza asked for food to be brought for me from his kitchen. The employee brought the food without packing it. Hazrat Mirza said to the servant: “How will Mufti Sahib take this food with him? You should have brought some cloth to wrap the food in. Alright! I will make some arrangement for it.” He thentore off the end of his turban and wrapped the food in it.

When people sent fruit and other eatables, such as mangoes, as a gift for Hazrat Mirza, he carried the fruit in a dish to the quarters of his disciples and personally served it to them. Sometimes, he sent the fruit to his disciples through an employee.

In brief, Hazrat Mirza remained ever ready, like an attendant, to serve the needs of his guests. A guest once arrived at a very late hour of the night. People were already asleep on all available charpais and none was on hand for the newly arrived guest. So Hazrat Mirza told theguest: “Please wait while I make some arrangement,” and saying this, he went inside his house.

When he did not return for a long time, the guest thought that Hazrat Mirza had perhaps forgotten. So he peeked inside the entrance of the house and saw Hazrat Mirza standing with a diya (earthen lamp) while an employee assiduously weaved the netting in the wooden frame of a charpai. When the weaving was completed and the charpai was given to the guest, he felt extremely remorseful and embarrassed at the inconvenience hehad caused Hazrat Mirza in the middle of the night. Hazrat Mirza, for his part, apologized to the guest and said: “Please forgive me forthe delay in bringing the charpai.”

Mahmud-ul-Hasan, a resident of Patiala and formerly of Delhi, was a venerable gentleman and a disciple of Hazrat Mirza. He was the living pic- ture of sincerity, decency and elegance. A school teacher by profession, he had a modest salary with which to support a large family. Consequently, he lived in straitened circumstances but did not allow this to affect his respectability and dignity. A slim person to start with, malnutrition had reduced him to a frail state. 

He went to Qadian for a visit and after a few days stay sought permission from Hazrat Mirza to return home. Hazrat Mirza said: “So soon? Stay a while longer.” He replied: “Actually I havedeveloped a cold. My chest is weak and I am afraid that the infection may intensify and make me fall ill seriously.” Hazrat Mirza responded: “It is alright. We will treat you here.” Hazrat Mirza summoned the cook andinstructed him to pre- pare and serve chicken soup daily to his sick guest. After a couple of weeks of this nutritious diet, Mahmud-ul-Hasan was a rejuvenated person. The cold and respiratory infection had completely disappeared. When he finally returned to Patiala, his friends were surprised to see him in such robust good health. Upon their query, he explained what had transpired.

It has been mentioned earlier that, Maulvi Fazal Ahmad, the father of Maulvi Mubarak Ali, had tutored Hazrat Mirza in hisinfancy. Maulvi Muhammad Ayub, the younger brother of Maulvi Mubarak Ali, narrated:

On my visits to Qadian as a young boy, I went frequently on roaming trips around the village. If I did not return by dinner time, Hazrat Mirza sent a person to search for me and he did not eat himself until I was present. He would say at times: “They are the sons of my teacher; it is incumbent on me to serve and honor them.”

It was no secret that Mir Nasir Nawab had a severe temperament. A large number of guests once came to Qadian and Mir Nasir Nawab conduct- ed himself rather harshly with one of them. When Hazrat Mirza got to know about this, the color drained from his face and in a very saddened tone he said: “Mir Sahib! I have been greatly pained. Mir Sahib! I have been greatly pained.” And he kept on repeating this phrase until it appeared to those who witnessed the scene that tears would fall from Hazrat Mirza’s eyes at any moment.Hazrat Mirza then added, “Mir Sahib! These guests are not here for you; they are here for me.”

Maulvi Abdullah Sanori narrated:

Hazrat Mirza was once reposing in the small room adjoining the Mubarak Mosque when Lala Sharmpat Rai, or perhaps it was Lala Mallawa Mal, knocked on the window. I (Maulvi Abdullah Sanori) rose to open the door, but Hazrat Mirza got up very swiftlyand unlatched the door before I could. He then returned to his seat, and said to me: “You are our guest. The Holy Prophet has said thatone should honor the guest.”

A Sikh guest’s narrative

A Sikh once came to visit Hazrat Mirza. Pir Siraj-ul-Haq has recorded the details of the visit in his book Tazkirat-ul-Mahdi. Since the account also provides particulars regarding Hazrat Mirza’s early years, I reproduce it here verbatim:

In a neighboring town of Qadian lived an old Sikh, who passed away several years ago. He narrated to me: “I am twenty years older than Mirza Sahib and frequently visited the senior Mirza Sahib (i.e., Hazrat Mirza’s father). Several times I witnessed that when some senior offi- cial or landlord came to visit the senior Mirza Sahib, they would casually ask in their conversation: ‘Mirza Sahib! We often meet your elder son (Mirza Ghulam Qadir), but we have never seen your younger son (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad).” Hazrat Mirza’s father would reply, “Yes! I do have a younger son. He stays aloof and is modest like a girl. Because of his bashfulness, hedoes not socialize.” He would then send someone to fetch Hazrat Mirza. Hazrat Mirza would enter the room with his eyes cast down, greet those present and sit down a little dis- tance from his father. With a laugh, Hazrat Mirza’s father would remark,“Well, I suppose you have now seen the bride?”

Pir Siraj-ul-Haq further recounted:

That same Sikh once revisited Qadian. At that time, several of us were dining in the drawing room. The Sikh asked: “Where isMirza Ji?” We replied: “Hazrat Mirza is inside (in his private quarters) and since this is not the time for him to come out, we cannot even call him because he will be busy in his work. When he comes out, you can meet him.” At this, the Sikh, without any hesitation, called out loudly: “Mirza Ji! Come out.” On hearing his voice, Hazrat Mirza came out bare-headed without his turban. He smiled on seeing the Sikh and said: “Sardar Sahib! How are you? Are you happy? We have not met for a long time.”

The Sikh replied: “Yes, I am happy, but old age bothers me. I have difficulty getting around and the dictates of farming leave me lit-tle time. Mirza Ji! Do you remember those things from the past? The senior Mirza Sahib used to say: ‘This son of mine (Hazrat Mirza) is in the mosque all the time. He neither works nor earns. Then he would jokingly say to you: ‘Let me get you appointed asa cleric in a mosque. You will at least have ten maunds of grain coming to your house so you will be able to eat. Do you also remember that the senior Mirza Sahib would send a man to call me and in my presence look at you very wist- fully and say: ‘Alas! This son of mine is getting left behind in the progress of the world.’ I wish he was alive today to see this hustle and bustle, and how his son dedicated to the mosque is enthroned like a king, and how great people from far and wide come and sit at his door to serve him.” Hazrat Mirza listened to his talk with a smile and replied: “Yes, I remember all these things; this is Allah’s blessing. Ihave no say in it.” Then, with great endearment, Hazrat Mirza said to the Sikh visitor, “Wait, while I arrange a meal for you.” Saying this, Hazrat Mirza returned inside. The Sikh visitor then got busy talking to me and said that the senior Mirza Sahib wouldsay: “This son of mine

will always remain a cleric, and I worry how he will take care of him- self after I have passed away. He is very pious but time is not on his side. This is the time for crafty men.” At times, he would say with tears in his eyes: “Ghulam Ahmad is pious and pure. Our state is not the same as his.” Tears welled into the eyes of the Sikh as he proceeded with his narration, and said: “If Mirza Ghulam Murtaza had been alive today, what a sight he would have beheld.”

Generosity and kindness

Unlike worldly people who desire to hold on to their wealth, Hazrat Mirza was extremely generous, but without being wasteful in the use of his money. His monetary conduct was a true reflection of the Quranic dictate:

And they who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor parsimo- nious, and the just mean is ever between these. (25:67)

It was Hazrat Mirza’s practice that as soon as he became aware that a friend was having financial difficulties in meeting his basic needs, he would quietly go to him in person to give him some money, without anyone finding out. If the person refused, Hazrat Mirza would continue to insist until his friend accepted the money.

At the start of winter, Hazrat Mirza visited some of his indigent disci- ples and confidentially gave them money for warm clothes.Again, he would break down any reluctance on their part to accept the money with his insis- tence. Hazrat Mirza once learned that a certain disciple was in financial difficulty, so he placed twenty five rupees in a pouch and went to the disci- ple’s house. The person was exceedingly delighted that Hazrat Mirza had graced the house with his presence. Hazrat Mirza inquired about his welfare, and then asked: “What is your salary, and how are you faring financially?” The man replied: “My salary is eight rupees.” Hazrat Mirza replied with the Quranic verse: “If you are grateful, I will give you more” (14:7). Hazrat Mirza then departed from the disciple’s house. Hazrat Mirza was very shy by nature and he felt hesitant in giving the money face to face. So he quietly left the pouch on the charpai where he was sitting. After his departure, the disciple noticed that Hazrat Mirza had left a pouch of money on the charpai. He chased after HazratMirza with the pouch, and catching up with him said: “Sir! You forgot this pouch.” Hazrat Mirza replied “No, I actually left the moneyfor you.”

Similarly, Hazrat Mirza once learned that a disciple who lived in a room of Hazrat Mirza’s residence was impecunious. He walked by his room and tossed a pouch of money in the room. Hazrat Mirza told his household to let the disciple know when he came back that Hazrat Mirza had left the money for his use. Hazrat Mirza sometimes adopted this mode of providing financial assistance because of his innate shy nature. He felt bashful himself in giving the money and felt the burden of the shame that the receiver would experience if the assistance was givenface to face. He therefore avoided face to face contact when helping others financially.

Hazrat Mirza never rejected any plea for financial assistance. A man once came to Hazrat Mirza and explained that he had mortgaged his house for fifty rupees and unless he came up with this amount, his house would be foreclosed. Hazrat Mirza went inside his house and sent sixty rupees to Maulvi Abdul Karim with instructions to give the money to the man. Maulvi Abdul Karim sent a message to Hazrat Mirza that the man had requested only fifty rupees and perhaps Hazrat Mirza had misunderstood it to be sixtyrupees. Hazrat Mirza responded that the man needed fifty rupees to pay off the debt, and that would leave him with nothing to meet other expenses. The extra ten rupees were for the man to spend on other necessities of life.

When Syed Abdul Mohey Arab got married, he came to visit Hazrat Mirza and mentioned that his wife wished that they should build a house for themselves. Syed Arab added that he was planning to meet some wealthy people who would hopefully provide him with the capital for the construc- tion of the planned house. Hazrat Mirza replied, “Fine, go ahead and give it a try.” So he went to meet those wealthy people, but returned without any success in his venture. When he met Hazrat Mirza, he told him about his unsuccessful attempt. Hazrat Mirza smiled and said: “Arab Sahib! The real matter is that you need some money. Do not worry; I will give you themoney for the house.” The next day Hazrat Mirza sent five hundred rupees to Syed Arab for the construction of his house.

One day Hazrat Mirza came to the mosque for congregational prayers. The congregation was ready to start the prayer service and was just waiting for him. No sooner had he entered the mosque when a petitioner made some demand. Hazrat Mirza asked the congregation to wait while he took care of the petitioner’s demand. He went inside and came out with some money that he gave to thepetitioner. Only then did he offer his prayer.

Similarly, once when Hazrat Mirza entered the mosque for prayers, he observed that a man had a severe toothache. Hazrat Mirza immediately returned to his house, and came back with medicine to alleviate the toothache. It was only after Hazrat Mirza had administered the medication to the man that he offered his prayers. These incidents show that the sympathy for, and service of, humanity was firmly ingrained in Hazrat Mirza’s nature.

Maulvi Abdul Karim records in his book Sirat Masih Mauoud:

One day, as was his norm, Hazrat Mirza got up after the Asr (late after- noon) prayer to return to his private quarters. He had hardly put his foot on the threshold of the door leading to his house when a petitioner said in a feeble voice, “I have a petition.” Hazrat Mirza hadsome important task to attend to at the time. In addition, the petitioner’s voice had become diffused with the usual chatter ofcongregants conversing after the prayer. The result was that Hazrat Mirza continued his forward progress into the house without paying attention to the petitioner. However, when Hazrat Mirza descended to the ground floor of his house, the petitioner’s feeble voice began to ring loud and clear inside him. He immediately returned to the mosque and called out to Maulana Nur-ud-Din: “There was a petitioner; find out his whereabouts.” The petitioner had left after Hazrat Mirza had gone into his house.Maulana Nur-ud-Din searched for him but the petitioner was nowhere to be found. In the evening, as was his norm, Hazrat Mirza stayed in the mosque after prayers. The petitioner was present and made his petition. Hazrat Mirza quickly took something from his pocket and placed it in the petitioner’s hand. Having done this, he appeared elated as if a great burden had been lifted from him. After a few days, he mentioned in a gathering: “The other day when the petitioner was not to be found, I car- ried a heavy burden on my heart that left me restless, and I was afraid that I had committed a sin by quickly going into my house without pay- ing attention to the petitioner. I am grateful to Allah that he returned otherwise I would have remained in a state of anguish. I had also prayed to Allah to bring him back.”

Hazrat Mirza never refused a petitioner and gave him whatever he could. Maulana Nur-ud-Din had a nephew named Sain Abdur Rahman who was youthful and handsome. He was highly intelligent and had the gift of gab. Unfortunately, Sain Abdur Rahman had become a good for nothing drunkard who roamed around as a faqir. Occasionally, he would head for Qadian and badger Maulana Nur-ud-Din to give him some money. Maulana Nur-ud-Din too was a highly generous person, but one day, vexed by his nephew’s behavior, Maulana Nur-ud-Din refused to give him money. Thereupon Sain Abdur Rahman wrote a letter to Hazrat Mirza in which he wrote: “I am the nephew of Maulvi Nur-ud-Din, and am in need of some money. Maulvi Sahib is not giving me the money; perhaps you can give it.” People told Sain Abdur Rahman that he must be out of his mind to expect Hazrat Mirza to give him money when his own Uncle had refused. However, people were quite aston- ished when Hazrat Mirza sent him the required sum. Sain Abdur Rahman then departedfrom Qadian, saying: “The appointees of God are like rain that, while it falls on flowers and gardens, also falls upon rubbish and refuse.”

Cheerfulness and levity among friends

When Hazrat Mirza met his disciples, he always did so with a smile on his cheerful countenance, and he conversed with them veryinformally. It was not his manner to sit around pompously in the manner of arrogant pirs (reli- gious hereditary leaders) who seek to portray an image of grandeur. Hazrat Mirza’s nature was highly refined, and he occasionally joked as well. Nevertheless, even on occasions of jesting, his words did not distort reality, but would only put a humorous twist that was most appealing. Sometimes, during conversations, he narrated a jovial incident so that its fragrance lit up the gathering. He laughed, and sometimes so much that tears welled into his eyes. But it was not his way to laugh out loud. In fact, he would cover his mouth with the end of his turban whenlaughing. Never did a word of absurd- ity or impoliteness come forth from his lips.

His conviviality was eminently of an innocent kind. For example, Hazrat Mirza was very fond of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, and Khwaja Kamal- ud-Din’s friends called him Hazrat Mirza’s “favorite disciple.” Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din had a stout constitution.When tea was served in an assembly, Hazrat Mirza himself placed the largest bowl of tea before Khwaja Kamal- ud-Din. Having done so, Hazrat Mirza would laugh and so did the other disciples while Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din would smile with pride. Some friendsinformed Hazrat Mirza that Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din was a gourmet and rel- ished delicious meals. Upon learning this, Hazrat Mirzadirected the cook that the meals should be extra fine when Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din was visiting. Once when Khwaja Kamal-ud-Dinvisited Qadian, Hazrat Mirza said: “Khwaja Sahib! I hope that you will not go back anytime soon as we have arranged for a cook who prepares delicious meals.” All the disciples and Hazrat Mirza burst out laughing while Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, smiled and made excuses. When Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din returned to the guesthouse, he took his friends to task for having reported to Hazrat Mirza abouthis taste for good food. Once Hazrat Mirza addressed Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and said, “When you go to Lahore, you do not return toQadian for another six months. You should come frequently, and remain longer in my company. It is entirely conceivable that you mayhave to go outside India, to Japan or perhaps some other country, for the service and propagation of Islam.”6

  • Accordingly, it happened as Hazrat Mirza had said. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din had to go to England for propagating Islam where God granted him tremendoussuccess. It was through him that Hazrat Mirza’s vision was fulfilled. In this vision, Hazrat Mirza had seen that he was reading from a podium in London asermon that was written half in Arabic and half in English and that he was catching white birds. Hazrat Mirza interpreted this vision as signifying that oneof his disciples will go to England to propagate Islam, and through him, the British people will accept Islam. The metaphor of birds is from the Quran.When

A lady once sent a message to Hazrat Mirza: “There is a jinn on my head that accepts you as the Promised Messiah and desires totake the pledge on your hand. If you permit, the jinn will come to you to take the pledge.” Hazrat Mirza laughed and sent the followingmessage in reply:

If that jinn desires to take the pledge, then he should not come here rid- ing on the head of this lady who is already my disciple. Instead, the jinn should come here riding on the head of one of my opposing cler- ics, such as Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar, etc., so that people may recognize that some jinn has taken the pledge on my hand. Otherwise, the matter will remain ambiguous.

During the last days of Hazrat Mirza’s life, some people brought a new shirt as a gift for him, and requested a worn shirt as a relic.Dr. Mir Muhammad Ismail relates:

Abraham prayed to God for his spiritually dead nation in the words, “My Lord, show me how Thou givest life to the dead?” (2:260), God instructed Abraham to tame four birds to incline to him, then place on every mountain a part of them, then call them and they will come flying to him. Now birds typically shy away from humans, but even such a species that typically is startled by the shadow of humans will answer the call of their master once they are familiar with him. In a like manner, steadfast propagation of Islam and persistent efforts to win over the hearts and minds of people will bring a day when people will stop shying away and will come to Islam on a single beckoning. In other words, a spiritually dead nation would be resurrected, and will become active followers. This is exactly how events unfolded. The European people who shied away from Islam, like birds shy away from humans, were captured and many of them embraced Islam as a result of the efforts of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and his companions. So Allah be praised for this. KhwajaKamal-ud-Din wrote a poem when Lord Headley converted to Islam. Some verses from this poem are reproduced here that contain a reference to HazratMirza’s vision. Addressing God, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din states:

O Lord! You have Yourself opened the doors of Your blessings unto me; Woe on me if I pride myself on my good fortune;

The vision that you had shown our leader in a state of sleep; I have witnessed it with open eyes in the light of day;

I was perplexed how to catch the birds;

Through your grace you have given me a falcon.

Similarly, the Hadith prophecies regarding the rising of the sun from the west, point to the sun of Islam dawning from the Western countries in the last era. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din refers to this prophecy in the following verses:

O my nation! Wake up now from your slumber of inattentiveness;

How much more this remissness, when the sun has reached high in heaven; Witness the signs of morning that are dawning upon the horizonof the West; Woe to you if you do not heed these days;

The angels are astir with the spirit of assisting Islam;

In fact, God Himself desires for the principle of His Unity to prevail.

Someone once asked me to take a new shirt for Hazrat Mirza, and to bring back a worn shirt. It so happened that there was no worn and unwashed shirt in the house at that time. Upon this, Hazrat Mirza directed that a laundered worn shirt be given instead. I submitted that this was a laundered shirt while the person requesting the shirt desired a worn shirt as a source of blessing.Hazrat Mirza laughed and remarked, “What kind of a blessing is it that is washed out by launder- ing.” Accordingly, thelaundered shirt was given for that person.

These kinds of innocent jokes often took place during those halcyon days. Hazrat Mirza’s company evoked a sense ofcontentment and joy. There was never any feeling of vexation or fatigue when sitting in his society. On the contrary, his presence dispelled any worry or burden that one may be feeling. The gems of insight and understanding that dropped like flowers from his lipsentered through the ears and settled in a person’s heart as if one had drunk of an elixir. A person may have come in tears but assuredly left laughing. The biggest worry and the deepest sorrow evaporated at the sight of that spiritual countenance and one felt a sense of liberation and detach- ment from the world. Sitting in Hazrat Mirza’s society, one felt the presence of God. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din has so beautifully captured the essence of this feeling in these verses eulogizing Hazrat Mirza:

If you wish to find evidence of the Unseen God;

Then seek the spiritual company of my religious leader.

These verses of Hazrat Mirza (about one suffused with the love of God) are also a true depiction of how one felt in his company:

O God! Your love becomes evident from his face; Your fragrance emanates forth from his abode.

I narrate here another incident that shows that, regardless of the situation, even though it might have been an occasion of light-hearted levity, Hazrat Mirza never lost sight of his goal of propagating Islam. Before this magnifi- cent goal, debates with ordinary clerics had no significance in his view. In this connection, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq narrates:

Once when I (Mufti Muhammad Sadiq) was with Hazrat Mirza, some- one knocked loudly on his door, and called out: “Sir! I have brought news of a magnificent victory.” The caller was Syed Aal Muhammad Amrohi (son of Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi). Hazrat Mirza said: “Go and listen to what he has to say and find out what news he has brought.” I went to the door and enquired about the news. He replied that Maulana Amrohi had debated a certain cleric at a certain place and defeated him in acrushing manner, leaving his opponent

thoroughly humiliated. Maulana Amrohi had sent him to convey the news of this splendid victory to Hazrat Mirza. I came back to Hazrat Mirza and repeated the news brought by Aal Muhammad. Hazrat Mirza began laughing and said: “I surmised (from his loud knocking and his announcement of a victory) that Europe had embraced Islam!”

While Hazrat Mirza’s preceding statement was marked by levity, it nonetheless clearly revealed that in his eyes, the only news that could be classified as a magnificent victory was the news of Europe embracing Islam. The defeat of a cleric or a victory in a debatewas of little consequence before this grand objective.

Conduct towards enemies

Hazrat Mirza treated his opponents kindly whenever there was an opportunity to do so. Maulvi Abdul Karim writes in SiratMasih Mauoud:

Hazrat Mirza does not bring up the mention of any of his enemies in his gatherings. If somehow this topic does indeed surface,he treats the subject in a civil manner. This is a clear proof that there was no fire of vengeance in his heart. Otherwise, considering the vexatious behavior of the people towards him and the conduct of the clerics, an ordinary man of the world would have fretted and fumed day and night, and would have obsessively maneuvered the conversation to dwell on his opponents. This kind of agitation would have flurried the senses and been detrimental to the mission. Even the polytheists of Arabia had not been able to bring against the Holy Prophet a more evil-mouthed per- son than Zatalli, but I swear by God, that this unholy person failedutterly to have any impact on Hazrat Mirza’s venerable personality. If someone comes across any deserved mention of these wicked oppo- nents in Hazrat Mirza’s writings, it may lead him to believe that he must have talked of nothing else but thesemischievous people. But just like a magistrate who has no personal animosity or friendship with the litigants, and who after hisassigned duties has no connection with any- one’s decree or dismissal or punishment, Hazrat Mirza, in his writings, refutes falsehood so that the truth may be established merely for the sake of Allah. His desires have no part in it. He once stated, “I havesuch control over myself, and God has made my soul so obedient that if a person were to sit in front of me and address me with the most despicable and vile words imaginable even for a year, that person him- self would eventually become embarrassed and admit that I was not perturbed.”

Further on in the book, Maulvi Abdul Karim writes:

Hazrat Mirza always says that no affair takes place on the earth unless it has first been decided in the heavens. Nothing can take place unless God intends it so, and that God will not humiliate His servant or let him fail to succeed. This vital principle is HazratMirza’s impregnable citadel in every difficulty. I have been with Hazrat Mirza in unpleasant situations in different towns and I have seen his astonishing patience and forbearance against the ungrateful and impatient masses of Delhi, and against the unitedand individual tormenting attempts of opponents in the towns of Patiala, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Amritsar, Lahore and Sialkot. Yet, neither in public nor in private did he ever so much as mention that a certain person or a group had acted indecorously towards him, or that so and so had reviled him, etc. I clearly saw that Hazrat Mirza was a mountain in which these feeble and cowardlymice could not tunnel. Hazrat Mirza once remarked during a visit to Jalandhar: “In times of tribulation, my concern is for certain weak- hearted people in my Organization. As for me, even if I hear a clear voice saying: ‘You are contemptible. We will not fulfill any of your wishes,’ I swear by God that there will be no let up in my love and ado- ration of God and in my service ofreligion, for the simple reason that I have seen Him.” He then recited: “Knowest thou any one equal to Him?” (19:65)

Maulvi Muhammad Husain Batalvi had left no stone unturned in his opposition and enmity to Hazrat Mirza. He openly reviled him in his news- paper, he prepared the decree declaring Hazrat Mirza as a disbeliever and then toured the whole of India collecting signatures from clerics. He gave false information about Hazrat Mirza to the government, he gave false evi- dence against HazratMirza in court and the list goes on and on. However, in the end when his newspaper Ishaat-ul-Sunnah was shut down, his life wasruined and his condition became so pitiable that he went around with his arti- cle and no cleric or editor would publish it, Hazrat Mirzasent him a message: “Come to us in Qadian; We’ll have your article typeset and pub- lished.” But out of shame, Maulvi Batalvi did not come.

Maulvi Muhammad Yar was a skilful physician who had been a student of Maulvi Abdullah Tonki, a professor at Oriental College, Lahore. The fol- lowing incident is narrated by Sheikh Muhammad Ismail of Lyallpur (now called Faisalabad):

One day, the leading merchants of Chiniot were discussing in a gath- ering that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian knew even lessArabic than a mediocre student. Maulvi Muhammad Yar was present and he inter- jected: “Do not say that. We have not been able to understand Mirza Sahib’s claims, but without a doubt there is no greater scholar of Arabic and theology than he in the present time. The clerics have wide- ly disseminated that Mirza Sahib has no knowledge of Arabic himself and that Maulvi Nur-ud-Din and scholars like him write the Arabic publications that he publishes under his name. In order to test this rumor, my mentor Maulvi Abdullah Tonki addressed a letter in Arabic to Mirza Sahib and gave it to me with the instructions to take the letter to Qadian, deliver it to Mirza Sahib and to ask him to write a reply in Arabic in front of me. Accordingly, I went to Qadian with the Arabic language letter. I met Mirza Sahib in the mosque. I gave him the letter and requested that he write the reply in Arabic immediately. Hazrat Mirza got up to go inside, but I said: ‘There is no need to go inside. Write the reply right now and in front of me.’ Mirza Sahib understood that this was a test, but he did not mind it at all. He calmly called for paper, pen and ink, and composed a detailed reply that he handed to me. I brought the reply back to MaulviAbdullah Tonki and narrated the entire incident. He was astonished at the literary merit and eloquence of the Arabic in which the reply was written and had to seek the aid of the dictionary twice to understand the text.”

The opposing clerics kept voicing their suspicion and distrust and kept testing Hazrat Mirza, but he was never annoyed. On the contrary, he was pleased because it gave him a chance to proselytize to these people.

The Hindu Arya of Qadian were bitterly opposed to Hazrat Mirza, and continually plotted and made mischief against him. Butwhenever they need- ed Hazrat Mirza’s help, he would comport with them kindly. During the construction of the Minarat-ul-Masih (literally translates as the minaret of the Messiah), the Hindu Arya took exception to the construction of the minaret and moved the Deputy Commissioner to stop its construction. The Tehsildar of Batala, a middle level land revenue official, was sent to Qadian to investigate and report. He came to meet Hazrat Mirza. Among those who came with him to the meeting was Budhamal, an Arya ofQadian. During the course of conversation, Hazrat Mirza told the Tehsildar: “Budhamal is sitting here. Ask him if right from childhood till now there has ever been an oppor- tunity where I could benefit him and I did not do my utmost to assist him, and then ask him if there has ever been an occasion when he had an oppor- tunity to harm me, and he did not do his utmost to hurt me.” Budhamal’s faceturned red from embarrassment, and not a word escaped his lips in response. He simply kept sitting with his head bowed in shame. This Lala Budhamal was a prominent member of the Arya Hindu organization of Qadian, and a virulent enemy of Islam and the Muslims. The interesting fact is that the Hindu Aryas of Qadian were convinced that whenever Hazrat Mirza had any dealings with them, hewould comport with them kindly.

Maulvi Abdul Karim narrates in Sirat Masih Mauoud:

Hazrat Mirza has such good relations with adherents of other religions that better relations than those are inconceivable. He desires the best for everyone regardless of their religion. Welfare of mankind is Hazrat Mirza’s motivation and prime duty. The Hindus of Qadian find in the person of Hazrat Mirza a trustworthy and beneficial advisor in all dif- ficulties. From the perspective of religion, the Aryas and Hindus here are opponents of Islam. They consider Hazrat Mirza to be a great and staunch Muslim and are convinced that he wants to uproot all false religions. But if Hazrat Mirza prescribes a medicine, they have thesame faith in it as if the prescription had come from a Hindu saint. Through speeches and writings, Hazrat Mirza always exhorts his dis- ciples to ensure that the rights of all living beings are kept sacred, and that there should never be any element of deceit and hurtfulness in their words and deeds.

Adjacent to the Central Mosque in Qadian was the house of an Arya Hindu who was a Deputy Superintendent of Police. When heretired from serv- ice and came back to live in Qadian, he began to add floors on top of the existing structure. Because his house was infront of the mosque, there was real concern that the new construction would negatively impact the grandeur of the mosque. When HazratMirza learned about this development, he sent a mes- sage to the owner: “It is improper to raise the height of a house situated in front of theroyal encampment. Desist from such an action.” However, because the owner had remained a police officer and was a staunch member ofthe Hindu Arya sect, he contemptuously dismissed the message. The construction was completed but the owner died shortly afterwards, and very soon, the only inhabitant left in the house was an old woman. The old woman put the house on market for sale at a very low price. When Maulana Nur-ud-Din learned about this, he broached Hazrat Mirza and recommended: “Sir! That house is for sale; you should buy it.” Hazrat Mirza replied, “I will not buy that house even for ten rupees.” Hazrat Mirza’s sense of honor was so great inreligious matters that he could not bear to purchase a house that had been built opposite the royal encampment i.e., the mosque. However, this sense of honor never compelled him to act unjustly towards non-Muslims. Instead, whenever the occasion arose, he acted kindlytowards them. In Qadian, even the most bitterly opposed Hindu Arya would not hesitate, during times of suffering and illness, from wakingHazrat Mirza in the middle of the night and asking for treatment and medications. Hazrat Mirza attended to their needs cheerfully and didnot hesitate to give them even the most expensive medicines free of cost.

The fact is that Hazrat Mirza’s fight with his opponents was confined to the ambit of religion only. Where matters of religiousrules and principles

were concerned, Hazrat Mirza never compromised, and fought the good fight to the full extent using his pen to do the job of guns and arrows. But no sooner was he outside the field of this battle and it was time for action and deeds, Hazrat Mirza was the perfectexample of kindness, patience and for- titude, and was ready to treat even the most diehard opponent in the most kind manner. HazratMirza’s habit was akin to that of a benevolent general who treats the enemy in the best possible manner outside the field of battle.

Lekhram was a virulent enemy of Islam, and Hazrat Mirza loathed him. Once Hazrat Mirza had gone to Lahore and wasperforming ablution on the railway station. Someone submitted: “Sir! Lekhram has come and wants to greet you.” Hazrat Mirza said:“He reviles my leader and master, the Holy Prophet, but wants to greet me. I am not even willing to see the face of such a person.” It was precisely from this sense of honor that Hazrat Mirza made that famous prophecy in accordance with which Lekhram was killed exactlyas predicted. However, when the news of Lekhram’s assassination reached Hazrat Mirza, he said: “If I had been at the site of the assassination, I would have tried to save Lekhram because that is a human obligation.” In other words, Hazrat Mirza gave precedence to his obligations as a human being over ensuring the fulfillment of his prophecy. This is a lesson one should not forget. The fact is that Hazrat Mirza did not have enmity with anyone for personal reasons. The enmity he had was for the sake of truth against evil. Whenfalsehood arrayed against truth, Hazrat Mirza was in the forefront like a brave general to crush the head of falsehood. But outside this battlefield, Hazrat Mirza was congenial and ready to treat every human being kindly regardless of whether he was friend or foe.

Hazrat Mirza’s paternal cousins Imam-ud-Din and Nizam-ud-Din were bitterly opposed to him, and were continuously on thelookout for ways to torment him. Once they blocked access to Mubarak Mosque by construct- ing a wall to close the alley that led to the mosque. Their action caused great inconvenience and hardship to Hazrat Mirza and his followers. The resultant suit dragged on for eighteen months at the end of which Hazrat Mirza was successful with the court ordering his opposing party to pay the cost of liti-gation. The cousins then requested Hazrat Mirza to forgive them the payment of cost and Hazrat Mirza forgave them despite having suffered great inconvenience and hardship at their hands for such a long time.

Nizam-ud-Din once fell ill with a high fever. He became delirious and started talking gibberish which greatly panicked hishousehold. When Hazrat Mirza learned about this development, he immediately went to Nizam-ud- Din’s house and started appropriate treatment. He did not return home until Nizam-ud-Din’s condition had stabilized.

When Mirza Yaqub Baig graduated from medical school, Hazrat Mirza advised him:

Allah has granted you the knowledge of medicine to serve His crea- tures. So at the time of treatment, there should be nodistinction in your heart between the rich and the poor, the Muslim and the unbeliever, the friend and the foe. It is the duty of adoctor to serve all without distinc- tion.

Strength of spirit, and reliance on Allah in confronting enemies

Allah had blessed Hazrat Mirza with qualities of patience and reliance on Him, steadfastness and courage, and strength of spirit to such a degree that no cataclysmic event or grievous occurrence could distract him or make him unmindful of his entrusted work. The case alleging Hazrat Mirza’s involvement in a conspiracy to murder Reverend Henry Martyn Clarke initi- ated by Reverend Clarke and his Christian congregation and supported by certain indiscreet so-called Muslims and Hindu Aryas was such a traumatic and worrisomeevent that a worldly person would have been rendered sense- less with anxiety. But this allegation did not bring about the slightest change in Hazrat Mirza’s conduct or peace of mind. His writings, social discourse, and cheerful meetings with disciples continued uninterrupted and no one could discern by looking at him that there were serious charges being litigat- ed against him. Regardless of theseriousness of the information being communicated to Hazrat Mirza he was never frightened. A small sample of the kind of news thathe had to endure include his opponents secretly furnish- ing incriminating (but false) information against Hazrat Mirza to thegovernment, grievous intrigues being brewed against him and a certain per- son filing false reports with the Government officials in the summer capital of Simla. Hazrat Mirza always said: “No affair takes place on the earth unless it has first been decided in the heavens.Nothing can take place unless God intends it so, and that God will not humiliate His servant or let him fail to succeed.”

In the litigation with Maulvi Karam-ud-Din of Bheen, the suit had been proceeding for a long time and showed no signs of endingany time soon. On top of that, the judiciary was hostile to Hazrat Mirza and wanted him to be punished. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din would oft and on apprise Hazrat Mirza of these difficulties. Hazrat Mirza would laugh and say:

Khwaja Sahib! Leave something for God as well. If the suit against us was weak, then its outcome would not be considered as a sign from God. People will say: “The suit was weak; there were lawyers among his disciples so winning the case is hardly a miracle.” God’s hand in the suit will only become apparent when the worldly resources have failed and Allah, the Most High,through His Grace vindicates us.

Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din would come to Hazrat Mirza with a heavy heart and would leave elated. This peace of mind and steadfastness is not ordained for any except those with a close connection with God and who inherit “the soul that is at rest.”

In 1891, when Hazrat Mirza was visiting Delhi, he went to the Central Mosque of the city to debate Maulvi Nazeer Husain. HazratMirza took his seat in the middle arch of the mosque building. There were only a few disciples accompanying him at that time. Thecourtyard of the mosque was filled with his opponents. The clerics had so provoked the crowd with their incendiary speech- es that blood couldbe seen in their eyes. They stood in the face of Hazrat Mirza showering him with abuses and catcalls, and gestured as if to grab him by thebeard, but it was a special dispensation from God that they did not pick up the courage to actually do so. Seeing the mood of the crowd, Maulvi Abdul Karim remarked: “Sir, the people are very agitated.” Hazrat Mirza looked at him very calmly and said: “Maulvi Sahib, thedead cannot harm the living.”

Honesty and trustworthiness

Hazrat Mirza was careful never to usurp the rights of others, whether friend or foe. Such was his degree of honesty and trustworthiness that he took great care even in minor matters, and his piety was extremely refined in this regard. A disciple once presented some softwood sticks used as a tooth- brush (miswak) to Hazrat Mirza while they were on a walk. Hazrat Mirza was pleased,but inquired how the sticks had been obtained. It turned out that the sticks had been cut from the branches of an acacia tree that did not stand on Hazrat Mirza’s land but on that of somebody else. Hazrat Mirza further enquired: “Did you cut the sticks with the permission of the owner?” The answer was in the negative. Hazrat Mirza returned the sticks and said: “Such an action is not permissible, and it isnot proper to use these sticks.”

On another occasion, Hazrat Mirza was on a walk accompanied by Maulvi Abdullah Sanori when they passed by a small tree laden with berries on the perimeter of someone’s field. A ripe red berry had fallen to the ground and was lying in the way. MaulviAbdullah Sanori picked it up and was going to eat it. Hazrat Mirza said: “Do not eat it and put it back. After all, it is somebody else’s property.” Maulvi Sanori always recounted that since that day, he had never eaten any berries off a tree without first obtaining permis-sion from the owner. Such was the effect of Hazrat Mirza’s advice.

Kindness to animals

Hazrat Mirza’s compassion and benevolence was not limited to humans only but also included animals. Once, some children cornered a dog in the courtyard, closed the door, and began to beat the animal. When Hazrat Mirza became aware of this, he scolded the children and said: “It is not right to treat God’s creatures in this way.” He then had the door opened and freed the dog.

One of Hazrat Mirza’s sons once bagged some parrots in a hunt and brought them before him. Hazrat Mirza was not pleased.Someone enquired: “Is it forbidden to eat parrots?” He remarked: “They may not be forbidden, but all birds are not for the purpose ofeating only.”

A similar incident is narrated in the first volume of Sirat-ul-MahdiHazrat Mirza’s son Mirza Mahmud Ahmad was trying to catch some birds that he had cornered in the verandah of his house by shutting the doors. Hazrat Mirza saw this activity while passingby on his way to the mosque for Friday prayers and advised his son: “The birds in one’s house should not be caught. He who does nothave mercy has no faith.”

Dislike of calling on people of position and power

Although his sense of compassion and love encompassed both the ordinary and the distinguished equally, Hazrat Mirza greatly disliked the idea of calling upon nabobs, rajas and dignitaries with the desire to meet them. Such actions were not in his nature. In the beginning, when Maulana Nur-ud-Din was still residing in the state of Jammu, he wrote in a letter to Hazrat Mirza: “Sir, if you can come to Jammu, the Maharaja of Jammu would like to meet you.” Maulvi Abdullah Sanori relates that Hazrat Mirzadirected him to write in reply the Arabic proverb: “Wretched is the faqir who goes to the door of a rich man.” Similarly, once theMaharaja of Nabha invit- ed Hazrat Mirza but he declined the invitation.

Footnotes

  1. Sirat-ul-Mahdi, Vol. 2
  2. Hadith in Bukhari and Muslim.
  3. Tehsildar is a mid-level officer in the land revenue system.
  4. Maulvi Abdul Karim, Sirat Masih Mauoud.

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