CHAPTER 33: JOURNEY TO JHELUM FOR A LAW SUIT AND THE WRITING OF MAWAHIB-UR-RAHMAN

In Chapter 22, entitled The Publication of Nuzul-ul-Masih, it was mentioned that Muhammad Hasan Faizi, a resident of village Bheen in district Jhelum, had written some critical comments in the margins of Hazrat Mirza’s book Ijaz-ul-Masih and Maulvi Muhammad Ahsan’s book Shams-e- Bazgha.

After Muhammad Hasan Faizi’s death, Pir Mehr Ali Shah Golarwi collected these comments and published them under his own name in the form of a book called Saif-e-Chishtiyyai. After Faizi’s books had served PirGolarwi’s purpose, he returned the books through a courier who accidentally ran into Mian Shahab-ud-Din while trying to get directions for the house of Muhammad Hasan Faizi.

When Mian Shahab-ud-Din cursorily opened the books, he found notes in them that read very similar to the text of Saif-e-Chishtiyyai. Since he owned a copy of Saif-e-Chishtiyyai, he proceeded to conduct a more detailed examination and found that Saif-e-Chishtiyyai was a word for word copy of the marginal comments in the books. He wrote a let- ter to Hazrat Mirza and communicated his finding to him.

After this, Maulvi Karam-ud-Din, a resident of Bheen and the brother-in-law of Muhammad Hasan Faizi, also wrote a letter to Hazrat Mirza and informed him of Pir Golarwi’s plagiarism. Later, Maulvi Karam-ud-Din was instrumental in pur- chasing on behalf of Hakim Fazal-ud-Din the books of Muhammad Hasan Faizi that contained the notes. The purchase was made from the late Faizi’s son for a consideration of twelve rupees.

Hazrat Mirza made a mention of this plagiarism in his book Nuzul-ul-

Masih that he was writing at the time, and included the evidentiary letters of the people through whom he had learned about this plagiarism.

As Hazrat Mirza progressed with the writing of Nuzul-ul-Masih, he would send the completed portions of the manuscript to the printing press for printing. The entire book had not yet been printed when Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab, editor of the newspaper Al-Hakam, peremptorily printed all the evidentiary letters including those of Karam-ud-Din in Al-Hakam

Maulvi Karam-ud-Din did not want his name to be exposed publicly as an informant because many of his relatives and residents of his village were disciples of Pir Golarwi. Despite the clear injunction in the Quran: “And conceal not testimony. And whoever conceals it, his heart is surely sinful. And Allah is Knower of what you do,” (2:283) and Hazrat Mirza’s advice that cowardice should never be shown in providing true testimony, Karam-ud-Din did not have the moral courage to stand up for the truth.

So when his letters became public through Al-Hakam and people sought an explanation, he took refuge in getting an article published in the October 6, 1902 issue of Siraj-ul-Akhbar newspaper of Jhelum in which he claimed: “I had written, and had others write letters, that contained fictitious facts in order to test Mirza Sahib’s claim of being a recipient of Divine communication. I had obtained the services of a young and inexperienced scribe to write the notes in the books that I passed off as the notes of Muhammad Hasan Faizi, and even managed to receive twelve rupees for the books through this deception.” 

Maulvi Karam-ud-Din followed this article with a poem in the October 13, 1902 issue of Siraj-ul-Akhbar in which he alleged that Hazrat Mirza’s entire work was fraudulent and deceitful, and made other similar charges. He also verbally threatened Hazrat Mirza’s disciples that: “I will now doeverything I can that is in my power.” When these remarks were brought to Hazrat Mirza’s atten- tion, he replied:

Write to Karam-ud-Din that: “Your threat will revert back to you and what befell the other clerics will befall you as well. Our affairs are directed by heaven; we do not devise schemes. You showed cowardice in not even penning your name.”

Maulvi Karam-ud-Din’s statements laced in foul language and absurdities continued to appear in Siraj-ul-Akhbar, but Hazrat Mirza acted with great patience and waited, hoping that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din would retract his statements himself.

Had Hazrat Mirza wanted, he could easily have instituted a suit for defamation. But far from retracting his statements, Maulvi Karam-ud-Din filed a suit for defamation against Hazrat Mirza, Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din in the court of Lala Sansaar Chand, MagistrateFirst Class, under sections 500, 501 and 502 of the Indian Penal Code. The suit was set for hearing on January 17, 1903.

Background for writing the book Mawahib-ur-Rahman

The editor of of Al Liwaa, an Arabic newspaper of Egypt, published an article in November of 1902 in which he wrote that anEnglish magazine (the reference was to the English translation of Kishti-e-Nuh in the Review of Religions) had stated that a man in India had claimed to be the Promised Messiah and that he was a claimant of prophethood. 

The editor also alleged that the claimant had declared that it was of no benefit to get vaccinated against the plague, and that such a stepviolated the principle of having com- plete trust in God. The editor opined that in fact the real meaning of “trust in God” was to actaccording to the laws ordained by God for His creation, and it was not right to forgo the use of proper means to achieve the desired end.When this newspaper was presented to Hazrat Mirza on November 25, 1902, he remarked:

It appears that Allah, the Most High, desires to make me known in Egypt. People got to know about Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in the same manner. The opponents resorted to vile methods to tarnish his reputation; those with a right- eous disposition disassociated themselves from the evil-mongers and formed a separate group. The efforts of the opponents however served the purpose of making people aware of Prophet Muhammad.

Faith and reliance on means

Hazrat Mirza stated:

Excessive reliance on means these days has gone to the alarming extent where people rely on means as if they were a deity. The stronger the faith of a believer in God, the lesser is his faith in means. 

And when his faith becomes perfect, the concept of reliance on means becomes defunct in his spiritual sight, and what is left behind is complete trust and reliance on Allah, the Most High. At this stage, there sometimes occur events in which Allah, the Most High, actually helps His servant and heals him without the apparent use of physical means.

I have personal experience of such events. I was healed from certain illnesses without the use of any medicine.

Those who rely on means may say what they like but if I were to disregard such heavenly indications and to trivialize them, then I would be guilty of not only sin but also dis- belief. In the same way, why should I deny the sign that has been granted to me of being immune from plague?

I firmly believe that I have been protected from the plague without gettingthe vaccination. It is true that Allah has created a cure for every disease, but nowhere is it stated that Allah does not heal a person without any medication. Such an allegation would be highly disrespectful. “There is no disease but there is a cure for it,”1 is a separate issue and has its own place, whereas the degree of my trust and faith is at a very different level.

If I do not protect my rank, I will be a religious hypocrite.

— Persian proverb

We rely on physical means only to the extent that Allah has permitted, but when He directly commands an affair then we cannot disregard it. So resorting to physical means … is not forbidden to us, nor do we consider it forbidden. Self protection is anecessity. Prophet Muhammad did not give up on protective measures despite the promise of: “And Allah will protect thee frommen.” (5:67). 

And no prophet or saint will ever forbid the use of physical means. It is true, however, that such people declare Allah, the Most High, to be the real support and reliance of their life. They do not wish to put Allah to the test because that wouldbe gross impertinence.

We do use physical means, but at the level of faith we negate their use. This is a fine point that not everyone can understand.

In fact, the law of nature that Allah has decreed is such that as a person progresses in degrees of his faith, Allah reduces his dependence on physical means and provides for him from unseen sources. It is difficult for people mired in worldly engagementsand captivated by materialism to understand this matter. 

I have witnessed, and so I say this with full conviction and insight, that He has healed me without recourse to any physical means. Once, I had a toothache and I inquired from a person about its treatment. He replied: “The treatment of a toothache is to have the tooth pulled out.” I was contemplating this when I suddenlybecame drowsy, and the tooth ceased to ache, and it has not ached to this day by the Grace of God. At that time I was spontaneously recit- ing: And when I am sick, He heals me. (26:80)

— Al-Hakam, dated November 30, 1902.

Writing of the Book Mawahib-ur-Rahman

In reply to the comments published in the Egyptian newspaper Al LiwaaHazrat Mirza wrote a book in Arabic titled Mawahib-ur-Rahman, and included the Persian translation of the text under each line. In this book, Hazrat Mirza presented a profound discussion on faith and reliance on means. The essence of the arguments is to be found in the excerpt in the preceding section. He explained that he had absolutely no opposition to vac- cination against the plague, but he did not consider it necessary for himself.

He further added that his statements and actions in this regard were at the behest of Allah. And to dispel the misunderstandings of the editor of Al Liwaa, regarding Hazrat Mirza’s claims and beliefs, he wrote:

We are Muslims and believe in the Book of Allah — the Holy Quran. We believe that our leader, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the Prophet and Messenger of God, and that he came with the best of religions.

And we believe that he is the Seal of prophets, and that there is no prophet after him, but he who is nourished by his grace and appears in fulfillment of his promise. And Allah speaks and communicates with the saints of this (Muslim) nation and they are granted thecoloring of prophets but are not prophets in reality because the Quran has perfected the law (shariah) and thereby voided the needfor any new law. And these people are granted nothing beyond an understanding of the Quran. They can neither add a jot to theQuran nor can they take away anything from it. And anyone who adds or takes away anything is from the assembly of devils andwicked people.

Thus Hazrat Mirza rejected the calumny of Al Liwaa’s editor that Hazrat Mirza had claimed prophethood. He stated in plain words that Allah speaks with saints and these saints are given the coloring of prophets but are not prophets in actuality.

Following this, Hazrat Mirza shed light on his claim of being the Promised Messiah and mentioned in this connection those signsthat God had manifested at his hands.

A prophecy regarding the Karam-ud-Din litigation

Since Maulvi Karam-ud-Din’s defamation suit filed against Hazrat Mirza in Jhelum was pending during the period he was writing the book Mawahib-ur-RahmanHazrat Mirza included a prophecy regarding the suit in this book. The prophecy was:

In the matter of a despicable man, God has informed me that this per- son will charge me with a grave calumny, and try to harmmy reputation.

I was shown in a vision three times that this man has pre- pared three people to defame me and cause me grief. And I saw that I had been presented before a court like an arrested person. In the end, I was delivered from the evil of this man,and was given the glad tidings that the evil would be cast back upon that lying and disgraced person. 

A year ago, I published allthese visions and revelations in the newspa- per Al-Hakam. A year had not passed on this when God’s decree unfolded at the hands of Maulvi Karam-ud-Din. And this is the person who has lit a pyre to burn me, and has resolved to harm me. So God shall without a doubt, in accordance with his promise and glad tidings, deliver me from the evil of this man and grant me theupper hand.

Publication of Mawahib-ur-Rahman

The suit was set for hearing on January 17, 1903 and Hazrat Mirza was scheduled to depart from Qadian for Jhelum on January 15. Hazrat Mirza wanted to publish this book, which contained the prophecy of his success in the litigation, before the commencement ofthe court proceedings. 

So Hazrat Mirza worked day and night and published the book on January 14, 1903. Since Hazrat Mirza had tostay awake for two or three nights to complete the book and to proofread the first draft, he remarked on the morning of January 15: “This too was a jihad. On occasions a person may be required to stay up for the whole night, but joyous is the time that is spent in doing God’swork.” 

He further observed: “My body does get fatigued but my heart does not tire, and wants to continue working.” He then remarked: “A companion of the Holy Prophet once began to weep in the throes of death. When he was asked: ‘Are you weeping from the fear of death?’ He replied: ‘I am not afraid of death but I am saddened that this is not the time of jihad. It would have been great if this timehad come when I was engaged in jihad.’”

On January 15, 1903, the Zuhr and Asr prayers were combined. After the prayers, Hazrat Mirza and those accompanying himdeparted for Jhelum. The party reached Lahore by nightfall and stayed overnight at the house of Mian Chiragh-ud-Din.

Travel to Jhelum

The journey recommenced on the morning of January 16, 1903. On the way, Hazrat Mirza received a revelation: “I shall show you blessings in every way.” The revelation was made public immediately and the events of this trip as they unfolded were a remarkablefulfillment of this revelation that words cannot describe.

Along the way, at the railway stations in the cities of Gujranwala, Wazirabad, Gujrat, Lala Musa, and Jhelum, so many people hadcome to catch a glimpse of Hazrat Mirza that it could best have been described as a sea of humanity as far as the eyes could see, with the waves crashing all about. There was barely room to stand on the railway platforms and areas around the stations. The interesting thing was that the crowds were mostly not Ahmadies and had showed up in defiance of the orders of clerics and hereditary religious leaders whohad tried their best to keep them away. Allah had bestowed such magnetism in Hazrat Mirza’s personality that every person in the crowd was exerting his utmost to catch a glimpse of Hazrat Mirza’s countenance and when they succeeded, they would stand respectfully out of esteem and reverence. When the railway management ran out of platform tickets, the crowds broke down the gates and forcibly entered the railwaystations. In the face of this flood tide of people, it became impossible for the railway admin- istration to maintain any kind of control over the crowd. The enthusiasm of the people to gaze at the countenance of Hazrat Mirza simply showed no sign of waning. The people were milling in front of the train, and behind it, so that it became difficult to move the train. Perforce the train had to halt at these sta- tions muchlonger than the scheduled stops otherwise the people would have been crushed by it. The railway authorities used both polite and harsh meth- ods to detach the people from the train but there was a magnetic force that kept the people glued to it. When the train was finally able to pull out of the station, many people ran alongside the train for some distance.

Chaudhry Nawab Khan, the tehsildar (a revenue official) of Gujrat, served food and tea to Hazrat Mirza and his party at Gujrat’s railway station. 

When the train pulled into Jhelum, the final destination of the party, the rail- way station, its adjoining areas and nearby streets were jam-packed with people. Hazrat Mirza was traveling in a reserved second-class carriage, and, as was customary in those days, the reserved carriage would be detached from the main train and shunted to a side platform for disembarkation of the passengers. However, because of the crowds, there was no way an engine could make its way to the train to uncouple the carriage and shunt it toanoth- er platform. The crowd was diverse and comprised of Muslims, Hindus, Christians, men, women, adults and children. A Britishcouple who had been traveling on the train had tried unsuccessfully during several previous stops to make their way through the crowds to a vantage point from where to take a photograph of Hazrat Mirza. They were seen toting their camera and get- ting buffeted around in the crowd at the Jhelum railway station as well but could not get the opportunity to take a photograph.

With great difficulty, Hazrat Mirza made his way through the crowded station and boarded a waiting phaeton, but the milling crowdmade it impossi- ble for the phaeton to move. Raja Ghulam Haider Khan, who was a clerk in the court of the Deputy CommissionerGurdaspur during the time of the Dr. Henry Martyn Clarke suit and was now the Tehsildar in Jhelum, took charge of the situation, andwalked ahead of the phaeton, stopping the crowd from swarming into the path of the phaeton and making other arrangements as necessary.The crowds along the way were incredible. The streets and the rooftops were packed and people were even perched on trees. Onewondered from where this sea of humanity had materialized. It was no easy matter to drive through that crowd, but finally with greatdifficulty the phaeton reached its destination.

Sardar Hari Singh, a wealthy noble of Jhelum, had offered his resi- dence on the banks of River Jhelum to Hazrat Mirza for his stay. Even after Hazrat Mirza had entered the residence, the crowds in its environs did not disperse, and there was a real danger that the roofs of the houses may col- lapse and the branches of the trees may break under the weight of the people perched on them. Finally, Raja Ghulam Haider Khan suggested to Hazrat Mirza to give the people some more opportunity to see him so that they may disperse and go home. Hazrat Mirza accepted this suggestion and proceeded to the rooftop. Achair was placed there for him and he sat on it for a consid- erable time so that the people desirous of seeing him may have their fill. Thelocal Ahmadiyya Organization in Jhelum played host to Hazrat Mirza and his traveling party. For about three days, they very generously provided meals to several hundred people at each mealtime and fulfilled the responsi- bilities of a host in the most excellent manner.

The Jhelum lawsuit

The suit against Hazrat Mirza was on the docket for January 17, 1903. There was a large shady tree outside the courthouse. Hazrat Mirza and some of his companions sat down on chairs placed under this tree. Some others accompanying him squatted on the ground. 

Hazrat Mirza and his party were encircled by a crowd running into thousands who were engrossed in watching them with great sincerity and enthusiasm. None in the crowd wanted to budge from their place. The famed Sahibzada Abdul Latif Shaheed was one ofthe people accompanying Hazrat Mirza and was present in the party outside the courthouse. Khan Ajab Khan was present as well. 

The spiritual excellence of this party was so manifestly apparent even to the physical eye that the crowd stood transfixed. Seeing thisspectacle Khan Ajab Khan was overcome with emotion and addressing Hazrat Mirza, he said that he wished dearly to kiss his hand.Hazrat Mirza extended his hand to him and Khan Ajab Khan kissed it. Hazrat Mirza then delivered a speech that was replete with insights and truths. When the lawsuit against Hazrat Mirza was called for hearing and Hazrat Mirza entered the courtroom, the presidingofficer, Lala Sansaar Chandar Magistrate First Class, stood up as a mark of respect. 

The crowd did not leave Hazrat Mirza alone even inthe courtroom and followed him in. The courtroom soon filled up with people sitting on the floor, on tables, cabinets, and even spilling on to the platform where the presiding officer sat. The suit instituted by the complainant Maulvi Karam-ud-Din listed Hazrat Mirza,Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab, and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din as defendants. The com- plaint alleged that the article by Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab in Al-Hakam in which he had published the letters of Maulvi Karam-ud-Din and had expressed some opinions about the deceased MuhammadHasan Faizi were defamatory of the deceased and the complainant had been aggrieved thereby. The complaint against Hazrat Mirza was similar and alleged that Hazrat Mirza had made

pejorative references to Muhammad Faizi in his book Nuzul-ul-Masih.

There is no doubt that the book Nuzul-ul-Masih was being printed as it was being written, but the book was not as yet complete and had not been released to the public. Maulvi Karam-ud-Din had managed to steal some of the printed pages of the book through an arrangement with someone, and had included these pages as evidence in his complaint. Hakim Fazal-ud-Din was included as a defendantbecause he was the proprietor of the printing press. The complainant had tried to establish the cause of action by alleging that he was the brother-in-law of the deceased and the guardian of the deceased’s minor children. Hence, the disparaging remarks made against hisbrother-in-law had caused him anguish, and defamed him personally. He prayed that he should be given the right to claim damages in thecivil court from the defendants.

The attorneys for the defendants were Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Maulvi Muhammad Ali, Sheikh Nur Ahmad, and Mian Aziz Ullah. The first issue framed for discussion at the behest of the defendants’ attorneys was whether in the eyes of the law Maulvi Karam-ud-Din could be considered such a legal heir of the deceased who had the right to sue for alleged defamation on behalf of the deceased?After both sides had presented lengthy arguments, the mag- istrate ruled that in the presence of surviving sons, widow and father of thedeceased, the complainant who was a mere brother-in-law had no right to sue for defamation and claim damages on behalf of thedeceased. In addition, the magistrate observed that it is not sufficient to just state that the complainant had suffered grief by the defamatory remarks; such a statement is merely con- jectural and devoid of reality unless some physical proof is adduced thereof. In the light of these facts, the Magistrate ruled that the complainant had no right to institute a civil suit for damages. The complaint was dismissed.

Fulfillment of the Prophecy

Before the hearing of the suit commenced in court, Hazrat Mirza had his book Mawahib-ur-Rahman distributed among the public. The book con- tained the prophecy that Allah would protect Hazrat Mirza from the evil of Maulvi Karam-ud-Din; the evil, which would arise in the form of a suit, would fall back on Maulvi Karam-ud-Din. Everyone who read the book had to admit that theprophecy had been clearly fulfilled.

Pledges taken in large numbers

After the day in court, Hazrat Mirza returned to his lodgings. A large number of people from various parts of the Punjab province had gathered in Jhelum to see him. Hazrat Mirza never missed any opportunity to advise and guide his audiences, and on this occasion too, he sermonized and prop- agated the true faith to the assembly. His words moved the audience and approximately eleven hundredmen and two hundred women took the pledge and joined the Ahmadiyya Movement. It was impossible to have so many people take the pledge individually by placing their hands upon Hazrat Mirza’s hand as was the norm. Instead turbans were unfurled and the resulting long strip of turban cloth was grasped at one end by Hazrat Mirza while the prospective pledge takers grasped the cloth at various other points to repeat the pledge after HazratMirza. People also presented gifts and donations.

Return from Jhelum

The following day, on January 18, 1903, Hazrat Mirza departed from Jhelum. He set out from his lodging on foot for the railwaystation in Jhelum. Seth Ahmad-ud-Din, a devoted disciple, had built a new house in Jhelum, and he requested Hazrat Mirza to bless the house with his presence. Hazrat Mirza agreed and proceeded to Seth Ahmad-ud-Din’s house where he stopped for a while. He then walked on foot through the main bazaar on his way to the railway station. As before, the station was packed with a large crowd. Presented below is an excerpt from Panja-e-Faulad, a non-Ahmadi newspaper of Lahore, which recorded these observations:

On the way back from Jhelum, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of Qadian stopped in Wazirabad. He was not scheduled to come intothe city, nor had any such information been given out. His stay was merely going to be for a few minutes on the railway station. Nevertheless, the rail- way station was so packed with people that there was hardly any breathing room. If the Stationmaster, who is an exceptionally pleasant and good natured person, had not managed the situation with excellent organizational skill, there is no doubt that many people would have been trampled and chopped by the train. Muslims and Hindus were alike in their enthusiasmto catch a glimpse of Mirza Sahib.

After staying overnight in Lahore, Hazrat Mirza and his party arrived in Qadian on January 19, 1903.

Maulvi Karam-ud-Din’s revision petition dismissed

Maulvi Karam-ud-Din filed a revision petition in the court of the Session Judge Jhelum against the order of Magistrate Lala Sansaar Chand. The revision petition came up for hearing on May 15, 1903. On the appointed date, Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din were present in per- son but Hazrat Mirza was represented by his attorneys. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and two other lawyers appeared on behalf of the defendants. Judgment was reserved for May 29, 1903, on which date the Session Judge dismissed the revision petition as well.

Footnotes

  1. Sunan Abu-Dawud, Kitab Al-TibbBook 28, Number 3865: Narrated Abu Darda: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘Allah has sent down both the disease and the cure, and He has appointed a cure for every disease, so treat yourselves medically, but use nothing unlawful.’”

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