The life of Hazrat Mirza is a story of the love of God. There was no need for a separate chapter on this subject for those who have read the first two volumes of this biography. However, it would not be out of place to summarize it here as a reminder.
Consumed in Allah’s love from childhood
Hazrat Mirza was engrossed in the love of Allah since childhood. While it is usual for boys to be occupied with pursuits of recreation and sports in their early years, Hazrat Mirza always abstained from such activi- ties. When his father engaged a private tutor for his schooling, friends and neighbors began sending their sons as well for instruction by the tutor. However, Hazrat Mirza would take his lessons and sit apart from the other children to study on his own. He thus remained completely isolated from the pranks andantics of the other boys. In a manner, he had severed ties with the world from this early age.
Adolescence did not bring with it any worldly desires either — neither the wish for good food nor the want for fancy clothes. Cleanliness was cer- tainly always his habit, but apart from simple food and plain clothes, he disliked adornment and ostentation. He had no concern with anything other than the mosque, praying, and the study of religious and edifying books.
His father tried hard to involve him in managing their estate, but Hazrat Mirza’s heart was not in it. In deference to the wishes of his father, he diligently pursued suits concerned with their estate and exerted himself to the extent possible, but never compromised his righteousness andtruthfulness. The pur- suit of litigation never made him remiss in the remembrance of God. Whenever a suit was finally adjudicated, Hazrat Mirza thanked God regardless of whether he had won or lost because now he would have more time for the remembrance of God. The love of God dominated everything else.
Worldly wealth, management of the estate, physical desires and their pleasures, held no value in his eyes compared to the love of God. His father got him appointed to various positions, but none of these held any charm for him. Finally, Hazrat Mirza wrote a note to his father: “Just give me two suits of coarse cotton, and whatever food as may be available. Please don’t object to my condition.” In effect, he informed his father that worldly things held no allure for him. When his father saw that there was no other alternative, he acceded to his son’s request. However, he was always worried how this son of his would fend for himself after he passed away. On the other hand, his son’s only worry was to figure out how to attain nearness to his real beloved — Allah the Most High. This was the consideration that continually occupied Hazrat Mirza’s mind, and he spent his days and nights in theremembrance of Allah.
His father would disparagingly refer to his son as maseetar (a Punjabi term meaning a person who spends an excessive amount of time in the mosque). Hazrat Mirza had no desire for worldly prestige, fame, accolades, or wealth. In contrast, there was a tremendous amount of humility and hum- bleness in his temperament. He had such a marked propensity for solitude, and was so modest that his father once introduced him to an administrator of the district who was desirous of meeting him by saying, “This is my other son who is even more demure than girls!”
But the fragrance of musk emerges and spreads on its own. Hazrat Mirza’s reputation for piety and engrossment in the remembrance of Allah spread throughout the surrounding regions of Qadian.
Before I had pledged allegiance to Hazrat Mirza, I once met an old, irrigation department officer by the name of Munawwar Khan who was a resident of Shakargarh, in the district of Gurdaspur. During our conversation, the name of Hazrat Mirza cropped up, and he remarked: “He was a very pious man; very devout and ascetic; and one whose prayers were accepted. Whenever we had any diffi- culty, we asked him to pray for us, and by Allah’s blessing, the problem would get resolved. But God knows what came over him that he has claimed to be Jesus the Messiah — perhaps even saints can stumble!” I was amazed to hear this because Allah states in the Quran:
Allah is the Friend of those who believe — He brings them out of dark- ness into the light. (2:257)
Yet people widely hold the view that even saints stumble. I wondered what kind of friendship is this that God does not provideguidance at the time of stumbling and does not bring them from darkness into light.
Hazrat Mirza had reached the status of ihsaan
An object that is adored is constantly on the tongue. Consequently, there was never a moment of Hazrat Mirza’s time that wasdevoid of the
remembrance of Allah. He frequently said: “A moment without remem- brance is a moment of unbelief.” In addition to offering the daily prayers in congregation, he regularly spent a good portion of the night praying the Tahajjud (late night prayer) with great devotion and concentration. Hazrat Mirza was not one of those who get up a little before the Fajr (morning) prayer to offer some rakahs asvoluntary prayer, but his practice was to spend the whole of the last part of the night praying with great ardor. Hazrat Mirza also performed the Ishraq prayer (voluntary prayer following sunrise), but it was the Tahajjud prayer that he specially offered with great diligence and regularity.
Every prayer, whether it was a day or night prayer, was performed with correct postures, intense concentration, and with great fear of God and humility. His prayer in the mosque had a bearing of gravity and great respect. It was not Hazrat Mirza’shabit to weep and sob during prayers in public.
He would say that solitude and seclusion is necessary for weeping and lamenting in prayer,and if someone intrudes into that solitude, the feeling of shame for a believer is the same as felt by a couple if their privacy was violated while being intimate. His feeling of God’s presence while praying was so intense, that once someone asked: “Sir! How can one feel the presence of God in prayer?” Hazrat Mirza replied: “I cannot understand how it is possible to not feel the presence of God in prayer.”Thus Hazrat Mirza had reached the spir- itual status of ihsaan mentioned in the hadith where a person considers that he is seeing his Lord all the time or at least that his Lord is seeing him. This is the ultimate status of the realization of God and His Unity, where thejour- ney of the spiritual wayfarer culminates.
Supplication during prayers
Hazrat Mirza strictly believed that the daily prayers had to be offered in Arabic and it was not permissible to pray in any other language. However, Hazrat Mirza considered it permissible to supplicate in one’s native language at certain points during the prayer, for example during prostration after the prescribed tasbih (sanctification of God), during qaumah after having said Rabbana-la-kal-hamd(Our Lord! Thine is the praise), and in the final sitting of the prayer after reciting the Darud (salutation on the Holy Prophet).
A person has many needs that he would like to present to his Lord, but he may not know how to do so in Arabic. If the use of the native language is not allowed during the regular prayer, then the only option left is to make lengthy supplications after the end of the daily prayer. This is as if a person goes to the court of a king, and remains silent there, but after emerging from the court raises a hue and cry that he had such and such things to say to the king.
Hazrat Mirza’s decree was that the prayers reported from the Holy Prophet should be recited in Arabic and this includes the Fatihah, recitation of the Quran, tasbih (sanctification of God) takbir (declaring the greatness of God), al-tahiyyat, darud (salutation on the Holy Prophet) and other prayers stated to be from the Holy Prophet. This is necessary to maintain a common- ality between all the Muslims of the world, and also because the language in which the last word of God was revealed has a special blessing and effect.
However, apart from the aforementioned parts of the prayer which are report- ed from the Holy Prophet, it is not forbidden to supplicate in one’s native language during the prayer. Prophet Muhammad is known to have stated that a person is nearest to Allah during the prostration in a prayer, and should beseech God profusely at such times. Similarly, Prophet Muhammad once told a person, who had finished the recitation of al-tahiyyat and darud, that you have sent blessings to your Prophet; now ask your Lord for whatever you desire. It isnecessary, therefore, for a person to take advantage of these oppor- tunities that the Holy Prophet has indicated for the Muslims, and to bare his soul to his Lord and to explain to his heart’s content his troubles and pains because there is no other being greater than He who can hear and assist him. An Arab can state the sorrow in his heart in Arabic, but what about a non- Arab? An Indian, or an Englishmanor a person of some other nationality who does not know Arabic has no choice but to state his pain and sorrow in his mother tongue. Hence it is perfectly permissible to supplicate in one’s own language particularly in the voluntary prayers.
Hazrat Mirza always exhorted his disciples to perform their prayers slowly, with understanding, and with great humility and fear of God. He especially urged them not to be remiss in praying the voluntary Tahajjud (late night) prayer. By the grace of Allah, and theeffect of the spiritual bless- ings of Hazrat Mirza, the members of his organization performed their prayers with such ardor, depth of feeling and humility that it had an impact on other Muslims, and even non-Muslims who witnessed their prayers. The attraction ofmany Muslims towards Ahmadiyyat and of non-Muslims towards Islam was a direct result of witnessing the intensity of these prayers.Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din has related one such incident as follows:
An Englishman, who was an atheist, once came to visit the mosque of the Ahmadiyya mission in Woking (England). We had abrief conversa- tion. It was the time for prayer. We stood up to pray and out of deference, he joined the congregation and stood next to Sheikh Nur Ahmad alias Bilal Woking. During the prayer, Sheikh Nur Ahmad sud- denly experienced such depth of feelingthat he was moved to tears. As a result the Englishman was moved to tears as well. After the prayers, the Englishman said: “Whatkind of magic was this that cast a spell on me? I am afraid that I may not become a Muslim.” And so it happened that after a few more meetings, the Englishman embraced Islam.
Similarly, a great scholar by the name of Maulvi Muhammad Hasan lived in Ambala (India). He narrated this incident to me in 1903:
Three Sufi minded clerics of Saharanpur went to Qadian. Maulvi Khalil- ur-Rahman was one of them. They did not take the pledge, butwhen they met me on their return, they told me: “We had gone to Qadian to meet Hazrat Mirza. We saw one outstanding thing there that has greatly impressed us. When the time arrived in Mubarak mosque for prayer, the congregation stood up to pray. Maulvi Abdul Karim was going to lead the prayers. Because we were not going to pray behind him as he led the prayer, we preparedto depart. When we reached the stairs, Maulvi Abdul Karim’s mellifluous Quranic recitation started and hearing it we werespellbound. We turned around and began to watch the congregation. Now the situation was that on one side the Quran was beingrecited and on the other the entire congregation was immersed in prayer with such ardor, depth of feeling and humility as if it wasconsumed by emotion at the abode of God. Seeing their ardor and emotion, we too became over- whelmed on the stairs. We cannotforget that ineffable feeling.”
People were amazed at the prayers of Hazrat Mirza’s disciples. It would often happen that an Ahmadi Muslim would remain in prostra- tion for so long that people would assume that he had fallen asleep, and would shake the worshipper in good faith to wakehim up! Those were truly extraordinary days of devotion to Allah; one did not tire from worshipping Him. After finishing one prayer, the wait started for the next prayer much like a lover awaits the next meeting with the beloved.
The glorification of Allah was continually on Hazrat Mirza’s lips even in the intervening periods between prayers. He often repeated the phrase “Glory and praise be to Allah, glory be to Allah the Great.” There was never any writing or speech in which he did not emphasize the Unity and under- standing of God, and His Greatness and Majesty. The focus of all his writings and speeches was the same, and that was to manifest an understanding of God and His majesty to the whole world, to propagate the glorification and praise of His name to the four corners of the world, and to invite people to establish a personal relationship with God. He would say: “Whocan be more ungrateful than the person who, when he says, ‘Glory be to my Lord, the Most High,’ during the prostration, does not have a heartfelt desire that, ‘O God! May the whole world be filled with Your praise and glorification.’”
The prophecy in the hadith: “Even if faith were near the Pleiades, a man from among these (Persians) would surely find it,”1 was eminently ful- filled in the person of Hazrat Mirza. The praise of Allah was continually upon his lips. He spoke of the nature and attributes of God in words of such affection that it made the listener’s heart yearn to make a personal connection with God. The faith ofHazrat Mirza in God was so profound that it appeared as if God was before him at all times, and this was also the intensity of faith thathe wanted to instill in his disciples. His belief in the powers of Allah was so strong that he would say: “Some find joy in the abundance of their assets and wealth, some find joy in their offspring, some find joy in their power and position, but I find joy in that our God has power over all things.” That is, He can do anything, for nothing is impossible for Him.
This was the reason why Hazrat Mirza detested the naturalist philosophy. The basic tenet of the philosophy that God cannot do anything contrary to His laws of nature was an anathema to Hazrat Mirza. He would say: “To consider God subservient to the laws of nature is to dismiss Him from Godhood. What kind of God would that be? I seek God’s protection from say- ing so, but such a God would be like an ox driving an oil press that is yoked into a circular path and cannot get out of the laws of nature. He ‘…has full control over His affair’” (12:21).
First, it is impossible for man’s knowledge to achieve comprehension over all of God’s laws of nature. Second, God’s laws are His own creation; how can the created laws dominate the Creator? But these laws are certainly dominant over the created i.e., thecreation is inescapably encompassed with- in the sphere of these laws. But these laws do not encompass God so as to make Himsubservient to them. However, it is true that God does not act con- trary to His attributes and His practices that He has specified in the Quran. How can He commit acts that are contrary to His everlasting attributes? To ascribe acts to God that go against His attributes evidences a lack of under- standing of God. For example, the act of lying is against God’s attribute of The Truth and to ascribe such anact to God is ignorance.
In short, Hazrat Mirza detested the naturalist philosophy because the naturalists ascribed such affairs to God as were contrary toHis greatness and majesty. And this, Hazrat Mirza could not bear.
The mention of God’s greatness, glory, and Unity was always upon Hazrat Mirza’s lips. The powerful argument he put forth to establish a relationship with God was a belief in the existence of a Living God. That is to say, the God Who spoke to prophets and saints during the past eras is the Ever-Living and Self-Subsisting God Who listens to the prayers of individu- als and speaks to them even today. Belief in God is not merely a tale of times past. The Ever-Living and Self-Subsisting God is present even today with all His eternal qualities as He was in the past eras. Just as He listened to the prayers and supplications of His servants, and spoke to them, and granted them nearness to Himself in the past, God conducts His affairs with meneven today according to the same attributes.
Although prophethood has ended, and apostolic revelation has ceased because there is no need for it after the perfection ofreligion, but saintly rev- elation, i.e., communion with God, continues even today in the followers of the Holy Prophet like it did in theprevious nations so that men can achieve a full understanding of God and have full certainty about Him. The words of the hadith are as true today as they were in the times of previous saints i.e., that Allah says: “If someone walks towards me, then I run towards him.”
In his book Kishti-e-Nuh, Hazrat Mirza writes with great fervor:
How unfortunate is the person who does not know even now that he has a God with power over all things. Our Heaven is our God, and our greatest pleasures are in God, because we have seen Him and found every element of beauty in Him. This treasureis worth seeking, even if you have to perish in the quest. This ruby is worth buying, even if you have to lose your very existenceto do so. O deprived ones! Hasten to this brook for it will quench your thirst. This is the spring of life that will save you. What should I do, and how should I make this glad tid- ing to impress the hearts of people? With what tambourine should I herald to the people in the marketplaces that this is your God, so that they might listen to me? What remedy should I administer to themthat they may lend attentive ears to what I have to say to them?
If you devote yourself to God, then know truly that God is yours. You will be asleep, and God will be awake for you. You will beunaware of your enemy, and God will watch your enemy and foil his machina- tions. You are still unaware of the powers that your Lord possesses; if only you knew, then not a single day in your life would pass when you would sorrow intensely for this world. Does a person who owns a treasure weeps and wails and almost kills himself over the loss of a penny? If you had been aware of this treasure that your God would assist you in every time of need then why would you be so beside your- self for this world. God is a wonderful treasure. Value Him for He is your Helper at every step you take.
Similarly, Hazrat Mirza emphatically announced in his book Arbain 1:
The true motivation for my sympathy is that I have discovered a gold mine, and I have been informed about a bounteous treasure of jewels. Through good fortune, I have found a glittering and exceedingly price- less diamond in that mine. Its value is so immense that if I were to distribute its value among my fellow humans, all of them would become richer than the person who currently possesses the greatest amount of silver and gold in the entire world. What is this diamond? It is the True God; and to findGod means to recognize His Being, to pro- fess true faith in Him, to establish a relationship with Him that is based on genuine love, and to gain true blessings from Him. Having found this immeasurable wealth, it would be an act of extreme injustice if I were tokeep mankind deprived of this wealth.
Further on in the same book, he writes:
With the exception of Islam, where is that religion that embodies this characteristic and power within it? Where are those peopleand in which land do they dwell who can compete with Islam in these blessings and manifestations? If a person is merely an adherent of a religion that is devoid of spirituality, then that person is wasting his own faith. The true religion is the religion that is alive and harbors the spirit of life within itself, and that leads its adherents to the living God.
In this age of materialism when belief in God is regarded as a delusion of days past, Hazrat Mirza clearly and emphatically invited the entire world to believe in a Living God. Along with this, he presented himself as a living example of a person who hasexperienced this reality. This was a strong argu- ment against the materialistic atheists that could not be refuted. Hazrat Mirza announced a challenge to them that if the materialists had even a modicum of the investigative spirit, and if they considered it imperitave to strive fortri- fling things of this world, then they should come to him, who had found the true and living God, to seek the much grander objective of obtaining an understanding of God. They should witness the heavenly signs he will invoke that will create an unquestionablecertainty about that Being, and they should learn the ways taught by God and His Messenger. By following these ways, God manifests Himself even today to His servants as promised in the Quran: “And those who strive hard for Us, We shall certainly guide them in Ourways.” (29:69).
If all the laws of creation provide evidence that there should be a law- maker and creator, then communion with God creates that certain belief that God Who is the Creator of the universe actually exists. “I have experienced this and God speaks to me.” This was the claim by which Hazrat Mirza settled the matter conclusively with the atheists and materialists of the era.
Hazrat Mirza claimed repeatedly and loudly that: I have myself experienced Islam and by following the Quran and the practice of the Messenger have found that God Who is the Creator and Master of the universe. So I invite people with insight to the Living God of Islam; whosoever desires can come to me and satisfy himself by personal experience.
Hazrat Mirza’s books, announcements and poems are replete with such invitations. A few verses from one of Hazrat Mirza’s poem are presented below as a sample:
We have veritably tried Islam for ourselves;
Wake up and see, we tell you, it is truly a radiant light.
We have grown weary now, telling these things repeatedly; In every direction, we extended invitations to Islam
Nobody came to verify our claims, though
I invited every opponent to take the challenge.
Come, O people, for here alone you will find the light of God, There, we have told you the path to satisfaction.
Today, those lights are in full force in this humble man, We colored the heart with every color of this light.
On Mustafa, may Your unbounded peace and mercy alight, From him, O Lord, we have taken this light.
These are the qualities that are not to be found in any cleric or religious scholar of this era. In this age of materialism in which allknowledge is based on experiment and observation, people cannot be satisfied and certain in their belief that God exists, when all they have to go on is the spoken word of another person. What is truly needed is for someone who has witnessed and experienced God to announce: By practicing the ways that Islam has pre- scribed, I have found that Living God Who is the Creator and Master of thisuniverse and whoever desires can come to me and satisfy himself. Hazrat Mirza also expressed this concept emphatically in thefollowing verses of his Persian poetry:
O you whose falsehood has been exposed, if you were to come to me, And live faithfully in my company, at my dwelling.
And with truthfulness, steadfastness, and true yearning, Stay with me for a while
You shall witness a spiritual realm of Divine signs; That come to draw the world towards the Beneficent.
If what I have said is contrary to facts; Then I shall acquiesce to being decapitated
I shall also acquiesce to being crucified by the people;
That people should afflict me with a multitude of sorrows, and then put me to death in a fitful rage
I shall also be in agreement with receiving the punishment; That my bleeding and decapitated head is flung upon the dust
I shall be in agreement that my possessions, my body, and my life are obliterated;
That I get beleaguered by all kinds of tribulations
If any lie has escaped from my lips;
Then I shall gladly accept all punishments that would be my due
But if you too repudiate this matter;
Then may you be disgracefully afflicted with God’s curse
Whosoever is oblivious to these affairs;
Then he isn’t a man, but someone who leads others astray.
These were the arguments that convinced rational atheists like Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din to acknowledge the truthfulness of Hazrat Mirza. The influ- ence of his society created in them a firm belief in the Unity of God and such an understanding of God, that theysacrificed all worldly gains to devote their lives to the service of Islam. Thereby they became a source of guidance to hundreds of people who had lost their way in the spiritual wasteland. It is a fact that many hardened atheists saw the countenance of God as a result of their association with Hazrat Mirza. In an ode to Hazrat Mirza, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din wrote befittingly the verses:
If you wish to find a sign of the Unseen God;
Then come hither and sit in the company of our beloved leader.
Not only did Hazrat Mirza convincingly and conclusively prove to the materialists and atheists, but also to the followers of all religions that Islam is the only religion that provides the path to the Living God, Who is the Creator and Master of the Universe. And that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the only living Prophet and it is through the guidance revealed to him, the Quran, and his spiritual blessings that man can find God. And now besides this door all other doors are shut. These are the sentiments expressed in the aforementioned verses. But apart from these verses, there are hundreds of pages of Hazrat Mirza’s prose and poetry that are filled with these claims. By way of a sample, the following verses addressed to non-Muslims are reproduced here:
O you who doubts and rejects the King of the Faith;2 You should cast an eye at his servants
Nobody has witnessed the manifestation of any Divine signs at the hands of your elders;
In your hands is nothing more than a mere collection of fables
But if you so wish, then come this way;
We shall show you hundreds of signs that verify the glory of the truth of Mustafa (Prophet Muhammad)
O you who has shut his eyes because of envy;
Come hither so that his brilliance may rip the veil from behind which you cannot see anything
The light of truth shines forever for the righteous people; The liars died, and their legacy perished as well
Prophet Muhammad is God’s shining sun;
May the curse of the heavens and the earth be upon his enemies
This then is the symptom of wretchedness;
That these woeful people languish like bats in the dark
Neither is their heart pure, and nor is their intellect capable of discern- ing the right way;
They are accursed in the eyes of the Lord of the worlds
No matter how your enmity of Prophet Muhammad may exceed all bounds;
Excepting the Prophet’s way, you shall never find the path of upright- ness
Until Ahmad’s (Prophet Muhammad’s) light serves as the remedy and cure;
No one can emerge from the gloom of darkness
Every prophet’s light is due to the mediation of the Prophet; Every prophet’s name is resplendent due to the Prophet’sradiance
God granted the Prophet the Book that is radiant like the sun; This benighted world became bright due to its brilliance
The Quran is a pure and sterling tree;
It bears the fruits of unmistakable signs in every era.
These were the enunciations that settled the matter decisively with the adherents of all other religions. Everybody claims that the religion that he professes can take man to God. But to challenge the world and to invite it to come to God and His Prophet on the basisof personal observation and expe- rience, is the work of only those who have been spiritually cleansed by the hand of God, and who have been appointed for the service of his religion. It is not the work of ordinary clerics or pirs (hereditary religious leaders). Instead it is the work of the man who has a close relationship with God, has crossed all the stages of certainty and understanding of God, and is Divinely appointed to announce the word of Allah and to serve Islam.
Incidentally, it may be mentioned here that Hazrat Mirza’s claim that God spoke to him rejuvenated belief in Divine revelation.Certain people feel uneasy and question why Hazrat Mirza unnecessarily created a controversy by raising the issue of revelation. Though, if truth be known, it was essential to rejuvenate belief in revelation from God in order to rejuvenate religion. In this age of materialism, the major reason for the rejection of religion is the rejection of Divine revelation, which is the foundation of religion. Modern Muslim and non-Muslim philosophers who have conceded the phenomenon of revelation, however, have not given it greatercredence than being an inner voice that arises from within and is heard internally.
Hence the first order of priority for the Reformer of the age was to show that the institution of prophethood is true i.e., that Allahhas been com- municating with His servants, and because His attributes are eternal, He continues to communicate with His pious servants even now. There is no doubt that prophethood has come to an end because religion has been per- fected. Hence apostolicrevelation ceased because it was no longer necessary, but saintly revelation still exists in the form of glad tidings under which Godcontinues to communicate with His pious servants like He used to in previ- ous times. The continuation of this communication constitutes a powerful testimony to the truth of prophethood, and gives mankind the highest certain- ty and understanding of God.
In this era of materialism and agnosticism, Hazrat Mirza strongly stressed and boldly announced in his writings and speeches that God speaks even today like he used to in previous times with His pious servants. He declared publicly that he was personally a recipient of such Divine revela- tions, and presented his dreams, visions and revelations in which future events had been prophesiedand produced witnesses to prove their veracity.
He challenged all atheists and materialists to come to him and satisfy them- selves regarding the truth of these revelations. He alsoannounced that Divine revelation is not an inner voice, but that it comes from an external source and impacts a person’s soul. The sourceof revelation is external in the same way that the sound that comes in the telephone is external. The difference is that revelation is a spiritual telephone that is heard by the spiritual ear just as the spiritual eye sees in a state of wakefulness a vision of future events or of the unseen world.3
It is through these Divine revelations and inspirations that man is given knowledge of the unseen that wouldotherwise be totally beyond his power to know. And sometimes there is a series of questions and answers in the revelation that continues between man and His Lord. God’s revelation is accompanied by an ineffable grandeur and glorious light, as well as the fortification of human faith, so that the revelation permeates into a man’s heart with the strength of an iron nail that is firmly embedded in wood.
God’s working assists the revelation. That is to say, the prophesied event manifests itself, and if there are hindrances and obstacles in the way, then God removes them and the truthfulness of His word becomes manifest. This gives birth in a person to a living belief in the word of God which is at the root of all good deeds and high moral values. And the perfection of the understanding and love of God makes a person heir to all the progress and rewards for which God created him.
In short, revelation and communion with God is the true testimony that proves the veracity of religion and pro- vides evidence for the institution of prophethood. Otherwise a thing that is not within the observation and experience of a person takes on the character of fiction and cannot lead man to full certainty.
Exhortation to supplication and piety
Hazrat Mirza laid great stress on the development of righteousness in his followers. On many occasions while addressing the members of his Organization, he emphasized that he wanted every one of them to have an intimate knowledge of God. Someone once asked him about finding a reli- gious mentor (pir). Hazrat Mirza replied: “You have no need to find a religious mentor. I want you to be the religious leaders who are ‘bearers of witness to the people,’ (2:143) and the means of guidance for the world.”
Hazrat Mirza considered supplication to Allah to be the most effica- cious way for developing righteousness. Hence he greatlystressed the importance of supplication and asked his disciples to beseech Allah in prayers, and to entreat Him while sitting, standing and walking. In short, at no time should a person’s tongue and mind be devoid of beseeching Allah.
He frequently remarked that the glory of a believer is captured by the follow- ing adage:
Hands to work and heart to God.
Hazrat Mirza also used to say that when you are beset by some diffi- culty, close the door to your room and prostrate yourself before God in supplication and entreaty. Fall down in prostration with great aspirations in your heart, because our God is “the Possessor of power over all things” (22:6). Never entertain skepticism about God. Never consider anything to be beyond His power, and never despair of His mercy. It is these supplications that vanquish those towering obstacles that loom like indomitable moun- tains, and it isthis piety and supplication that ultimately leads man to God. It is this prayer, the acceptance of which propels man to the highest stage of knowledge of God and the certainty of His Being. In fact, it ultimately hon- ors man with the reward of communication with the Lord. Hazrat Mirza continually addressed in his books those who denied the efficacy of prayer, like the naturalists and others, and henot only provided them with arguments in support of acceptance of prayers, but also put forward his own example as that of a man who had experienced such acceptance. He invited them to come to him and to satisfy themselves by seeing examples of acceptance ofprayers. In his book, Barakat-ud-Dua (Blessings of Prayer), he expresses this sentiment forcefully in a Persian poem:
Treat with prayer, the affliction of the denial of prayer, Just as wine induced intoxication is treated with wine.
O you who say, “If there’s efficacy in prayers, show it to me,” Hasten to me and I will show it to you as clear as the day.
Beware! Do not deny the secret powers of God,
Let us end this matter here, for you can see with me proofs of accepted prayers.
The fact is that it is this prayer and its acceptance that creates in man a living belief, and it is by witnessing the marvels of the power of God that man develops in the understanding and certainty of God. Those who have had the honor of association with Hazrat Mirza have witnessed the practical manifestation on themselves of the following verse of the Quran:
We will soon show them Our signs in farthest regions and among their own people, until it is quite clear to them that it is theTruth. (41:53)
The signs in “farthest regions” were those global signs which took the form of prophecies and heavenly signs manifested at the hands of Hazrat Mirza. The signs referred to in the words “their own people” were those
internal signs that men experienced in the shape of the spiritual transforma- tion within themselves, and in the acceptance of their supplications. The signs of the acceptance of prayer witnessed were so amazing and remarkable that they rejuvenated faith in God, generated a moral and spiritual metamor- phosis in the soul, and made people eager and willing to render all kinds of sacrifice for thereligion of God.
The spirit of sacrifice
The real test of love for a cause is the sacrifice that one makes for it. And Hazrat Mirza never refrained from making any sort ofsacrifice for God
— his life and possessions were dedicated to God at all times. He never held back in spending whatever wealth he had in the way of God. As for his life, it was in the service of God at all times. Regardless of his physical condition, whether he had an attack of dizziness, or enervation of the heart, or chilling of extremities, or insomnia, he continued with his work — the remembrance of God and theservice of His religion through speeches, writing and publish- ing. One moment he would be lying on his bed, with an imperceptible pulse and dizziness, and the next moment he would be up and writing away. His doctors would stop him, and his household memberswould be displeased but there was a consuming passion that kept propelling him on, namely that the name of his Lord be glorified in the world. There was never any waning in this effort. Hazrat Mirza never allowed any difficulty or adversity to become an obstacle in thispath.
Hazrat Mirza allowed his entire established fame and distinction to go to ruin for the sake of the work for which God had appointed him.4 Stating the truth is no easy task and even great scholars and leaders are often hesitant to do so. They either use evasive speech to tide over the time or consider silence to be their best salvation. But those appointed by God do not care a whit that by saying a certain thing, people would view them with contempt or oppose them. This quality was preeminently present in Hazrat Mirza. Prior to the claim of Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza’s wealth of knowl- edge, his piety and purity, the acceptance of his supplications,and his relationship with God were facts that were widely accepted by the Muslim community. But when he claimed to be thePromised Messiah under
- Hazrat Mirza has beautifully expressed this matter in these verses: I do not, in the least, seek any worldly honor;
So do not offer a chair to me, because I have been appointed to serve others
All of mankind wishes to secure honor for itself;
Contrary to this, I wish to carry the burden of worldly reproach as a token of my devotion to God.
directions from God, all this reputation and honor were ruined. Many people who were devoted to him and who had hitherto held him inhigh esteem now turned against him. In fact, they began seeking ways to debase and annihilate him.
Prior to the claim of Promised Messiah, on a visit to the state of Patiala, a minister of the state, Khalifa Muhammad Hasan, and the Muslim commu- nity of Patiala were at the railway station to greet Hazrat Mirza. They honored him by taking him in a big procession to his place of residence with Hazrat Mirza riding atop an elephant. After the claim, when Hazrat Mirza paid a visit to Patiala, therewere only a handful of his disciples to greet him. His life after the claim was spent in the midst of enemies. Yet never for a moment did he regret why he had taken on this headache and ruined his established reputation. Some of his own verses shine a light on his saddened circumstances.
O our Creator! O You Who cloaks our faults! My Beloved! My Benefactor! My Lord!
O Bountiful Lord! How can I ever thank Thee?
Where shall I find the words with which to thank Thee?
You saved me from distrustful people by becoming my Witness;
With a single offensive, You rendered the enemy frustrated and over- powered
They who work in Your way gain their reward;
What did You see in me that I’m blessed with Your favor and grace constantly
My Gracious Lord! I am amazed by your works;
Which deed of mine pleased You so that You granted me with the honor of nearness to You?
I am but a lowly insect of the filth, and not worthy of being even a human;
I am so despicable that people hate me and think of me as a disgrace
It’s entirely Your blessing and grace that you selected me; Otherwise, there was no shortage of servants in Your court
All those who professed to be friends have turned into enemies; But You, Who fulfills my wishes, never deserted me
O my Friend! The Solace of my soul!
You are all that I seek, there is nothing that I want besides You
But for Your grace and kindness, I would have died and turned into ashes;
Then, God knows, where those ashes would have been cast away?
May my body, life and existence be sacrificed in Your devotion; I don’t find anyone who loves like You do
From the very beginning, my days passed in Your presence; I remained in Your lap like an infant
Nowhere in humanity have I seen the likes of Your loyalty;
Never have I seen anyone who comforts and consoles like You do
People say that the unworthy are not accepted;
Yet, despite my worthlessness, I gained acceptance in Your court
So numerous were the blessings and the grace that You showered upon me;
That I could not possibly enumerate them, even if I counted them till Judgment Day.
Sincerity and loyalty
The two principal components of love are sincerity and loyalty. The true lover is the one whose love remains unwavering regardless of whether favors are received from the beloved or pain and difficulties. Maulana Rumi voices this sentiment:
A true believer is one who in times of trial, Conducts himself with faithfulness and love.
This aspect was so conspicuous in Hazrat Mirza that it can be said that his greatness and splendor were best manifested duringtimes when some dif- ficulty or tribulation beset him. It became apparent at such times that he was a man of lofty status and that it was not possible for an ordinary man to ascend to that height. No matter the severity of the illness or the gravity of the difficulty, there wasnever a word of complaint or lamentation on his lips. Rather, what came out of his lips were words praising, admiring, and thank- ing the Lord. There was never any vacillation in his steadfastness and belief, regardless of how alarming and worrying the situation. In timesof success, it is easy to praise God. But the test of true love and a real connection with God arises when there is apparent failure and the opponents have an oppor- tunity to laugh and deride. If in this situation, the heart and the mind remain filled with the praise and glory of God and one keeps progressing steadily in sincerity and loyalty then it can be said that a relationship of true love and a realconnection exists with Allah. Such was the case with Hazrat Mirza.
When Hazrat Mirza’s sons, Bashir Ahmad the first and Mubarak Ahmad, passed away, the opponents had a field dayridiculing and deriding Hazrat Mirza. The reason was that Hazrat Mirza had received certain reve- lations which he had interpretedahead of time in favor of these two sons, and the interpretations turned out to be incorrect. This gave the opponents an opportunity tomock and ridicule him. However, despite this tempest of inci- vility that had been unleashed by his opponents, Hazrat Mirza’s faithand steadfast devotion to God did not falter at all. On the contrary, on these occa- sions, such treasures of profound knowledge and truthswere unraveled in his speech and writings about prophecies, the tradition of God and trials and tribulations, that if they are called theelixir of life for faith and understand- ing of God, it would be justified. The thought does occur that had these afflictions not beset him, how would these spiritual treasures have emerged? At the same time, one is amazed by Hazrat Mirza’s consummate faith anddevotion. Never for a moment did he indulge in any thought like: “I had made these prophecies to articulate the glory of God and tomanifest the truth of His religion; if I had interpreted these prophecies incorrectly because of an error in understanding, then what wasthe harm if God had fulfilled the prophecy according to my interpretation or had stopped me from making an error in judgment whileinterpreting, so that I did not have to face the oppo- nent’s derision today. Here, I am trying to manifest the glory of God and God just didnot care for me at this time. Why should I then needlessly take on this headache?” But such a weakness never entered his hearteven for a moment. Instead, he engaged more than ever in the work of glorifying God. Hazrat Mirza explained that this is the differencebetween God’s knowl-
edge and man’s knowledge; God’s knowledge never errs but man is liable to err. Recipients of revelation make these types of errors in interpretation pre- cisely so that a clear distinction can be drawn between their knowledge and God’s knowledge. Such mistakes showthat the source of revelation is not the human mind but that its source is external, based on the knowledge of a Perfect All-Knowing and Aware Being. In fact, such is the state of the limitation of man’s knowledge, that he commits errors even in the understanding of it. Inaddition, such errors are also the demand of the Unity of God, because it pre- vents the people from thinking that the recipient of therevelation has knowledge of the unseen. They, therefore, avoid attributing to man an attribute that is solely God’s, and are thus saved from a polytheistic act. On the other hand, these tribulations are a test of the sincerity of the recipients of Divine rev- elation when they bearmockery and ridicule not for themselves but for God, and this makes no difference to their steadfastness. The fact that the God-ordained outcome turns out to be against their wishes, far from diminishing their love, sincerity and loyalty, only increases them in thesevirtues. These are the men who prove that they are truly sincere in their love of God.
If a lover continually receives only favors from the beloved, then it is not at all meritorious if the lover continues advancing in the beloved’s ado- ration because this is in accordance with ordinary human nature. The person really worthy of regard is the one to whom there is no difference in the love and sincere praise of the beloved even when the treatment from the beloved is such that instead of graciousness, it apparently provides the enemies an opportunity for mockery and uncivil behavior. This is the practice by which the lovers of God achieve the status where God selects and chooses them for His own. To remain steadfast in faith when everything is going according to one’s wishes is not a great quality. The excellence and greatness of faith is only known when unfolding events areunfavorable and against one’s desires, but this makes no difference and, in fact, causes an increase in devo- tion. This is the quality that was seen in perfection in Hazrat Mirza and which bears testimony to his greatness.
Hazrat Mirza was implicated in court cases that were not only finan- cially costly, but also imposed a tremendous physical and mental burden. There were all kinds of plans and conspiracies being hatched against him. He was constantly receiving information thatthe administration wanted to arrest and disgrace him, and that certain people were making false allegations to the government againsthim. But in all these tribulations and alarming devel- opments, there was not even a furrow of worry on the radiant countenance of HazratMirza. He had the same cheerful countenance and a smile on his lips. He would come smiling and leave with his disheartened disciples smiling as well. His work of religious writing, delivering speeches, sermons and didac- tic discourses, prayers and supplications,meetings with disciples, the written correspondence, entertaining guests, etc., would continue as before, without even the slightest variation. Whenever one observed him, he would be seen speaking on the Unity, love and understanding of God. Whatever the topic,words of praise for God and His Glory would untiringly come forth from his lips. It appears incomprehensible that no worldly misfortune or adversity could unsettle his calm composure and fortitude.
Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, who was also Hazrat Mirza’s lawyer, would arrive in a state of distress, and inform Hazrat Mirza that there appeared no hope of success in a particular legal case. Hazrat Mirza would laugh and respond: “Khwaja Sahib! Leave some latitude for God too. If there was scope for succeeding in this case on judicial grounds, then how will God’s hand be discerned? People will say: ‘His disciples were legal experts, hence he won the case.’”
In the suit with Maulvi Karam-ud-Din, certain well-meaning officials of Gurdaspur tried to bring the litigation to an end through an out of court settlement. Hazrat Mirza insisted that the compromise deed include the fol- lowing statement:
Both the parties agree to withdraw the suit that is pending in the world- ly court between me and Maulvi Karam-ud-Din and wesubmit it in the court of God.
Maulvi Karam-ud-Din refused, stating that: “If an accident or anything untoward happened to me or my family, Hazrat Mirza would claim that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din had been visited by an affliction from God.” This assertion prompted the district judge, Sheikh Khuda Baksh, to remark to Maulvi Karam-ud-Din, “Apparently, the chances of an accident happening to Mirza Sahib are greater than to you. Compared to you, he is much older and in poor health. His family is much larger, while you are younger and very healthy. Your family merely consists of your wife, and two children. You should give up this objection.” But Maulvi Karam-ud-Din vehemently reject-ed the idea of presenting the suit in the court of God. In other words, Maulvi Karam-ud-Din had no faith in a God Who has a Will, and no faith that there is justice in God’s court. When Hazrat Mirza was informed about the grounds for refusal of the compromise, he remarked: “Can I possibly leave God and go elsewhere?” This remark is a true reflection of Hazrat Mirza’s soul. And it is a fact that a man of God cannot leave God and go anywhere else. The consequence of Hazrat Mirza’s stand that he would not leave God was thatthe compromise settlement between Hazrat Mirza and Maulvi Karam-ud-Din fell through. Subsequently, despite all the prevailing adverse conditions, the way in which God exonerated Hazrat Mirza is a testimony to his close association with God (details of this suit have been given earlier in this volume of the biography).
Similarly, in the conspiracy-to-murder suit initiated by Rev. Henry
Martyn Clarke against Hazrat Mirza, the Deputy Commissioner Amritsar issued a warrant to arrest Hazrat Mirza. When one of Hazrat Mirza’s disci- ples learned about the issuance of this warrant, he rushed in a state of great alarm to convey this news to Hazrat Mirza and told him: “Sir! A warrant for your arrest has been issued.” Hazrat Mirza did not exhibit even the slightest sign of perturbation, andreplied with composure and dignity: “Parents adorn their children with ornaments of gold and silver. If my God makes me wear shacklesof iron, then I shall do so happily.”
In short, Hazrat Mirza was willing to bear any suffering or hardship in the way of Allah and to undergo the severest difficulties for the sake of His love and affection. However, Allah is the Protector of His servants. Through Divine intervention, the warrant got lost during transmission and was never served on Hazrat Mirza. Eventually the Deputy Commissioner rescinded the warrant itself.
It transpired several times in suits in which Hazrat Mirza was the accused, that his attorneys, who were not from his organization, advised Hazrat Mirza to give particular statements in court to win acquittal. Hazrat Mirza would refuse point blank because the statements were false and mis- leading. The advising attorney would then plead: “Then my legal expertise will not benefit you.” Hazrat Mirza would reply: “I had engaged you as an attorney to fulfill the requirement of the Divine injunction to use temporal resources. I consider it polytheistic to depend on the expertise of legal repre- sentation for success. Our real Advocate is God. We cannot displease Him at anycost.” So Hazrat Mirza was quite prepared to wear handcuffs for the love and pleasure of God, but it was totally unacceptable to him to displease God. In comparison with his love of God, worldly repute and fame carried no significance for him.
Hazrat Mirza’s dear sons died, but these events did not bring about any alteration in his love of God. At times like these, people often give vent to feelings of frustration and bitterness. Yet never did a word of resentment escape Hazrat Mirza’s lips. On the contrary, he sets about seeking to glorify God in the deaths of his sons. He dug out old prophecies regarding their untimely departure and sat down to write letters to disciples that it mattered not that his son had died, but what mattered was that Allah’s word had been fulfilled, and for that God be thanked. This is a moment for reflection — so profound was his love of God that this devotion took complete precedence over the natural love that a father has for his own children!
After the murder of Lekhram, Hazrat Mirza’s house was searched by the police in connection with the murder investigation. During the search, a paper was found on which the following text was written in Hazrat Mirza’s own handwriting:
O my beloved God! It is my wish that I should die in Your path. That I should be resurrected, and die again for you; then resurrected again, and then die again for you.
The investigating official became a little suspicious upon reading these words, and asked for clarification. Hazrat Mirza replied, “This is the same prayer that our leader and guide, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), used to supplicate — it is my prayer as well.” The inquiring officer became silent upon hearing this. A person of intelligence and insight can easily discern that this was a private document whose exis- tence would not have surfaced had it not been for the investigation. This privatedocument manifests the desire of Hazrat Mirza’s soul and sheds light on his personal life. The love and adoration of God that Hazrat Mirza had expressed throughout his works was not based in the least on artificiality and affectation in the manner of poets, but was the true cry of his soul. His inner self was by the Grace of God as pure, clean and full of sincerity as his outer self, and his private life wasas pure as his public life.
Author’s note: Some people question why revelation is not heard by the physical ear if it comes from an external source. Thisobjection arises pri- marily because of the unfamiliarity of the questioner with the subject. Revelation is not a corporeal sound that reaches the soul (mind) through the medium of the physical ears. Rather, it is a sound from the spiritual realm that is heard directly bythe soul. Recent research in physiology and psychol- ogy has proven conclusively that the center of all senses which are the means forobtaining knowledge are in the soul of a person. Just like we have visible, physical sensory organs like the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin, that aid in the acquisition of knowledge through the sense of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, there are similar corresponding internal sensors in the soul. The physical senses are merely a means of transmitting the events of the physical world to the sensors of the soul. This is the reason why man cannot see or hear anything until the time that our internal senses become receptive to our corporealsenses. It frequently happens that people next to us are talking, but since our attention is somewhere else, we do not hear anything and we have no idea what the conversation was about although the sound of their voices was continually reaching our ear drums. Similarly, sometimes a person may pass before our eyes but since we were thinking of something else, we may not notice his passing although theimage of their form is being cast upon the retina of our eyes during all this time. So it is truly the internal sensors that provide real information to a person, and the physical sensory organs are merely a means of transmitting events of the physical world to the sensorsof the soul. Since the sensors of the soul are the real sensors and the physical sensory organs merely a means of transmitting events of the physical world to the sensors of the soul, then it follows that the physical sensory organs, having no connection with the spiritualworld, are redundant for the purposes of transmitting events of the spiritual realm to the sensors of the soul. Hence the spiritual information comes directly to the soul without the medium of the physical sensory organs and the sensors of the soul perceive thisexternal transmission in the same way that they perceive the events of the physical world transmitted through the physical organs. For the soul, both the worlds are external and information coming from both is external. The difference though is that the affairs of the spiritual realm have an effect on the sensors of the soul directly while the affairs of the physical world have an effect on the sensors of the soul through the medium of the physical sensory organs. The soul feels and gets knowledge about the affairs of both the worlds with- out differentiation because in both cases, the information is coming from an external source — in one case from the spiritualrealm and in the other case
from the physical world. In one case, it is only the eye of the soul that sees it and the ear of the soul that hears it and in the other the eye of the soul sees it through the mirror of the physical eye and the ears of the soul hears it from the physical ears of the body. In both cases, it is the soul that sees and hears and whatever knowledge is acquired is derived from an external source.
- Bukhari 65:lxii, 1
- The reference is to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). (Author)
- See the Appendix at the end of the chapter.