CHAPTER 41: LITIGATION WITH MAULVI KARAM-UD-DIN IN GURDASPUR

While discussing the Jhelum lawsuit in Chapter 33, reference was made to the letters that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din wrote in July and August of 1902 to Hazrat Mirza and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din, and in which he had informed them that Pir Mehr Ali Shah Golarwi had plagiarized the book Saif-e-Chishtiyyai.

This book, Saif-e-Chishtiyyai, was written in refutation of Hazrat Mirza’s book Ijaz-ul-Masih, and Maulvi Karam-ud-Din alleged that Pir Golarwi had stolen the notes of his deceased brother-in-law, Maulvi Muhammad Hasan Faizi, and included them in Saif-e-Chishtiyyai under his own name. 

To prove this point, Maulvi Karam-ud-Din sent Hazrat Mirza thepostcard that Pir Golarwi had written to Maulvi Karam-ud-Din from Golrah and in which he had acknowledged his act of plagiarism.

Following the above correspondence, Hakim Fazal-ud-Din went to Bheen, the town in which Maulvi Faizi had lived, and paid twelve rupees to Maulvi Faizi’s son for the purchase of his father’s copies of the books Ijaz- ul-Masih and Shams-e-Bazgha in which Maulvi Faizi had made the notes that were lifted word for word by Pir Golarwi for his book Saif-e- Chishtiyyai. During those days, Hazrat Mirza was writing the book Nuzul-ul-Masih, and its printing was proceeding apace as well. Hazrat Mirza included the letters ofMaulvi Karam-ud-Din in this book. 

In addition, Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab wrote an article about this plagiarism and published it alongwith the letters in his newspaper Al-Hakam.

Maulvi Karam-ud-Din wanted his role in this affair to remain a secret and so he was enraged to see his letters published in a newspaper. He also came under pressure from the public, and decided to deny outright that he had ever written those letters. An articlein the newspaper Siraj-ul-Akhbar of Jhelum appeared in its issue of October 6, 1902 and a poem in its issue of October 13, 1902 underthe name of Maulvi Karam-ud-Din in which he tried to show that his letters to Hazrat Mirza were a clever ruse and forged for that purpose. 

He stated that he had written some letters himself, and had some written by others. These letters purposely contained statements contrary to facts so as to test Hazrat Mirza’s claim of being a mulham (a person who receives revelation from God). He further alleged that he had asked a lad who was a novice scribe to write the notes and had claimed them to be the notes of Maulvi Faizi. Through this deceit, he was able to garner six rupees per book from them.

Maulvi Karam-ud-Din did not stop after making the above mentioned statements in his article and poem, but went on to discredit Hazrat Mirza’s claims as dishonest and false, and his work as deceitful and fraudulent. Hazrat Mirza showed extreme patience in the face of these events and thought that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din was enraged at the leak of his secret by the newspaper Al-Hakam. He reasoned that once Maulvi Karam-ud-Din’s rage and anger subsided, he would eventually experience some degree of contrition and become penitent.

Instead of being contrite, three months later, Maulvi Karam-ud-Din filed a defamatory lawsuit in the court of LalaSansaar Chand, a first-class magistrate in the city of Jhelum. The plaint alleged that Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab, editor of Al-Hakam, and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had made vexatious statements about the deceased Maulvi Muhammad Hasan Faizi resulting in great pain and distress to the plaintiff for which he prayed the court for restitution. 

As evidence against Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab, Maulvi Karam-ud-Din presented the paper Al-Hakam in which the report about the plagiarism had appeared, and against Hazrat Mirza, he presented pages ofthe printer’s proofs of Hazrat Mirza’s still incomplete and unpublished book Nuzul-ul-Masih

Hazrat Mirza had to travel to Jhelum to defend himself in this litigation. The suit was dismissed in the first hearing because the court held that as the brother-in-law of the deceased, Maulvi Muhammad Hasan Faizi, Maulvi Karam-ud-Din had no standing to file such a suit when the deceased had a surviving wife and sons. Maulvi Karam-ud-Din appealed the order in the Sessions court, but the appeal was dismissed as well.

Three counter-lawsuits against Maulvi Karam-ud-Din

Maulvi Karam-ud-Din’s defamatory articles and poem, which targeted Hazrat Mirza, were published respectively in the October 6 and October 13 issues of the newspaper Siraj-ul-Akhbar. They created the impression in the mind of the public that, God forbid, Hazrat Mirza was a forger and deceiver and had misled the nation. And obviously, this improper attack was going to sabotage the faith and spirituality of thousands of people. Therefore, to clar- ify his position to the public, Hazrat Mirza considered it essential that thefollowing two matters should be adjudicated in a legal court:

  1. Whether the notes written on Maulvi Faizi’s copies of Ijaz-ul-Masih and Shams-e-Bazgha were in his handwriting or not. It was these notes that were allegedly plagiarized by Pir Golarwi and reproduced in his book Saif-e-Chishtiyyai.
  2. Whether the letters of Maulvi Karam-ud-Din received in Qadian were actually written by him or were they forgeries? Maulvi Karam-ud-Din had claimed in the newspaper Siraj-ul-Akhbar that he had had no cor- respondence with anyone in Qadian.

Accordingly, three lawsuits were instituted on November 14, 1902 in the court of Lala Ganga Ram, magistrate first class, against Maulvi Karam-ud-Din:

  1. The first suit was filed by Hakim Fazal-ud-Din and alleged that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din was guilty of fraud by his own admission if the state- ment he had published in the newspaper Siraj-ul-Akhbar was true.
  2. The second suit was filed by Hakim Fazal-ud-Din in his capacity as the owner of the printing press, and alleged that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din was guilty of stealing because the pages he had produced before the court in Jhelum were from Hazrat Mirza’s still unpublished book Nuzul-ul-Masih which was being printed in Hakim Fazal-ud-Din’s press and there was no way he could have obtained those pages except by stealing them from the press.
  3. The third suit was filed by Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab, editor of Al- Hakam, and alleged that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din had made slanderous statements in the newspaper Siraj-ul-Akhbar about him, which amounted to criminal defamation. The editor of Siraj-ul-Akhbar was also cited as a co-accused in this complaint.

Maulvi Karam-ud-Din’s suits against Hazrat Mirza and Hakim Fazal- ud-Din

When the defamation case filed by Maulvi Karam-ud-Din against Hazrat Mirza was dismissed in the court of Lala Sansaar Chand, Maulvi Karam-ud-Din filed another suit in Jhelum for defamation of character against Hazrat Mirza and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din. This suit centered on a prophecy Hazrat Mirza had made in his book Mawahib-ur-Rahman regard- ing Maulvi Karam-ud-Din’s first suit. The prophecy was made in the following words:

God has informed me about a mean person (laeem) who shall ascribe a grave false charge against me, and try to harm my goodreputation… and I saw that I had been brought before the court in the manner of an arrested person. Finally, I was delivered from the evil of this person, and was given the good news that the evil would revert on this liar (kazzab) and false (moheen) person.

The word kazzab in Arabic means a liar as well as a consummate liar, and the word laeem is generally used in the sense of a malicious and mean person.

But this latter word is sometimes used metaphorically for an illegit- imate child. Maulvi Karam-ud-Din chose to interpret these words in their more sinister significance and laid great stress in his complaint that Hazrat Mirza had called him a consummate liar and a bastard and branded him as a calumniator. He claimed on these grounds that he had been criminally defamed by Hazrat Mirza. Hakim Fazal-ud-Din was named as a co-accused because the book Mawahib-ur-Rahman was being printed in his publishing press.

Thus, litigation and counter-litigation started from both sides.

Applications for the transfer of the lawsuits

Maulvi Karam-ud-Din had instituted his suit against Hazrat Mirza and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din in Jhelum while Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din had instituted their suits against Maulvi Karam-ud-Din in Gurdaspur. Maulvi Karam-ud-Din petitioned the Chief Court of Punjab (the High Court of Punjab used to be known as the Chief Court in those days) to order the transfer of the cases instituted in Gurdaspur for hearing in Jhelum. 

His motivation was to inconvenience his opposing parties in the litigation and toburden them with additional expenses. 

In response, Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din also moved the Chief Court for a transfer of the venue, but from Jhelum to Gurdaspur. The Chief Court reasoned that since all these litigations were related, they should be heard together in one place, and ordered that the litigation in Jhelum be transferred for hearing in Gurdaspur. The Chief Court thus accepted the application of Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din, and rejected that of Maulvi Karam-ud- Din. The firsthearing of the suits was set for May 15, 1903, in Gurdaspur.

For the convenience of the reader, each suit is discussed separately below, but it should be remembered that the hearing of the suits proceeded concurrently. Lala Ganga Ram, the magistrate in whose court the complaints were initially filed, was transferred before the hearings started, and so the hearings commenced in the court of another magistrate, Lala Chandu Lal, who was a very biased person belonging to the extremist Hindu Arya Samaj sect.

Suit 1: Complaint of committing fraud filed against Maulvi Karam-ud- Din

Hakim Fazal-ud-Din’s complaint against Maulvi Karam-ud-Din of committing fraud was filed in court on November 14, 1902,but the proceed- ings did not commence till May 15, 1903 because of Maulvi Karam-ud-Din’s application to the Chief Court for thetransference of the suit to Jhelum. The main point requiring adjudication in this suit was whether the notes in the copies of the books Ijaz-ul-Masih and Shams-e-Bazgha were made by the deceased Maulvi Faizi or were they forgeries. The authenticity of Pir Golarwi’s letter to Maulvi Karam-ud-Din had also to be determined. In this letter, Pir Golarwi had confessed that he had copied Maulvi Faizi’s notes in his book Saif-e-ChishtiyyaiPirGolarwi was, therefore, summoned to appear before the court on June 22, 1903 as a witness and to record his statement.

Pir Golarwi knew full well that if he appeared in court, the plagiarism he had committed would be exposed and his secret would be divulged. Therefore, acting contrary to the clear Quranic injunction “And conceal not testimony,” (2:283) he feigned illness and sent a doctor’s certificate to the court to excuse his attendance. On subsequent hearings too, whenever he was summoned to record his statement, he would send a doctor’s certificate to excuse his appearance. Pir Golarwi thus fitted the description of the person aboutwhom the Quran states: “And whoever conceals testimony, his heart is surely sinful.” (2:283) In stark contrast, when Maulvi Karam-ud-Din was indicted in this suit for fraud and he summoned Hazrat Mirza to appear as a witness in his defense, Hazrat Mirza forthwith repaired to Gurdaspur and appeared before the court on the summoned date of August 18, 1903.

In a clever ploy, Maulvi Karam-ud-Din tried to elude the charge of fraud against him by denying outright that the articlespublished in the news- paper Siraj-ul-Akhbar were written by him. Nevertheless, the facts were very clear, and the verdict should have been given expeditiously. But the magis- trate, Lala Chandu Lal, was a staunch Arya Samajist and bitterly prejudiced against Hazrat Mirza. He therefore kept on prolonging the hearings for a period of eight months just to impose hardship on Hazrat Mirza.

During this period, several actions of Lala Chandu Lal showed his par- tisanship in the suit, and perforce Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, who was the attorney for Hazrat Mirza, Hakim Fazal-ud-Din, and Sheikh Torab, moved the District Magistrate on January 14, 1904 totransfer the case to some other magistrate’s court.

Simultaneously, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din requested the magistrate, Lala Chandu Lal, to postpone future hearings in the suit. This spurred Lala Chandu Lal into action, and he immediately handed out the judgment in thefraud complaint, and set the hearing of the other related suits for February 14, 1904. After a prolonged wait of eight months, thejudgment given by the magistrate acknowledged that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din was the author of the letters sent to Hazrat Mirza, and some other members of his party in Qadian, and that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din was also the writer of the articles that had appeared in the newspaper Siraj-ul-Akhbar.

The magistrate conceded that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din’s later contention in Siraj-ul-Akhbar that the letterswere a forgery were fabrications and Maulvi Karam-ud-Din had also lied in the court that the articles published in Siraj-ul-Akhbar were not written by him, but that these actions did not constitutedeception. Maulvi Karam-ud-Din had therefore not deceived Hakim Fazal-ud-Din, and the complaint against Maulvi Karam-ud-Din wasdismissed.

Pir Golarwi’s plagiarism is proved

Although the complaint of fraud against Maulvi Karam-ud-Din was dismissed, the court did rule that the letters which stated thatPir Golarwi had compiled his book Saif-e-Chishtiyyai by plagiarizing the notes of Maulvi Faizi were genuine, and were written by Maulvi Karam-ud-Din and Mian Shahab-ud-Din. The court also ruled the letter of Pir Golarwi in which he admitted plagiarizing Maulvi Faizi’s notes to be authentic. In this way, Hazrat Mirza was proven blameless and free from any act of forgery, while Pir Golarwi was besmirched with the smear of plagiarism. And this was exactly the outcome that was sought.

Suit 2: Theft of the book Nuzul-ul-Masih

The second suit pertained to the theft of the book Nuzul-ul-Masih, and was instituted against Maulvi Karam-ud-Din by HakimFazal-ud-Din. Hearings in this suit were proceeding concurrently with the preceding suit. The facts of this suit were quite clear. MaulviKaram-ud-Din had obtained pages of the as-yet-unpublished book Nuzul-ul-Masih without the consent of the author and printer, and had included them in his complaint before the court. The act of unlawfully acquiring the pages clearly constituted theft, but magistrateChandu Lal, who was openly opposed to Hazrat Mirza, dismissed the complaint after ten months of hearings.

Suits 3 and 4

Now only two lawsuits remained. In the third suit, Sheikh Torab had sued Maulvi Karam-ud-Din and Faqir Muhammad, theeditor of the newspa- per Siraj-ul-Akhbar, for defamation of character, and in the fourth suit, Maulvi Karam-ud-Din had sued Hazrat Mirza and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din for defamation of character. Since the fourth suit was the most significant, it is discussed at lengthbelow. The third lawsuit is also included in its context.

Vexatious behavior of opponents

The defamation suit against Hazrat Mirza required a discussion on the meaning of only a few words. Maulvi Karam-ud-Din had taken umbrage on the use of three words bohtan (slander or calumny), kazzab (liar), and laeem (mean or malicious) in the bookMawahib-ur-Rahman. Even the court had acknowledged that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din’s statements regarding his letters in the newspaper Siraj-ul-Akhbar were outright lies. In addition, Maulvi Karam-ud-Din had lied again by stating in the court that he had never written the articles that had appeared in the paper Siraj-ul-Akhbar. The court had ruled that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din had indeed written the letters. There can be no doubt left then that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din was a kazzab (liar). Besides, the person who lies and calumniates so egregiously can justly be termed as laeem (mean or malicious).

The issue in the case was simple and clear, and it was obvious that there was no merit in the complaint. However, when themagistrates are prej- udiced Hindu Arya Samajists and their objective is to torment and inflict maximum harm on account of their religious prejudice, they unnecessarily prolong the litigation and drag the defendants through endless court hearings.1 

Consequently, this case dragged on for approximately one year and nine months.

Many months after the hearings in the suit commenced, the British Deputy Commissioner of Gurdaspur, on way to his own court, passed by the court buildings where Hazrat Mirza and his companions were sitting. On inquiry, he was astonished to find that the suitwas still ongoing. He remarked, “If this suit had been in my court, I would have decided it in one day.” Similarly, when the appeal for this suit was made in the Court of Session Judge Amritsar, Mr Henry, he expressed great regret on examining the record at the needlessprotraction of the absurd lawsuit by the magistrate. He too remarked that if the suit had come before him, he would have rejected thecomplaint on the first hearing.

The Hindu Arya Samajist magistrates had the support of some Muslim magistrates and a large section of the Muslim populace that was opposed to Hazrat Mirza. The Muslim populace was also assisting Maulvi Karam-ud- Din in every possible manner. Newspapers, like the Lahore-based Paisa Akhbar and others, were regularly publishing articles in support of Maulvi Karam-ud-Din and against Hazrat Mirza, and making appeals to the public for financial contributions to assist Maulvi Karam-ud-Din.

Hazrat Mirza’s calmness of temperament

Hazrat Mirza’s peace of mind was not the least bit ruffled by the increasing intensity and hostility of the opposition; he continued meeting with people as before, exhorting them to truthfulness, and remained engrossed in matters of religion as was his wont — nobody could have guessed that he was a defendant in a criminal lawsuit.

On return to Qadian from Gurdaspur after court hearings, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Hazrat Mirza’s disciple and attorney, would express some despondency about the outcome of the suit. He felt that given the opposition of the officials and the mischief of the people,there seemed to be no way that an adverse outcome could be averted. Listening to such expressions of con- cern by his disciple, Hazrat Mirza would laugh and remark, “Khwaja Sahib! Leave something for God as well. If everything was favorable, people would say that we won because the situation was favorable and our disciples were exceptionally skilled in the law. The real beauty is when all the physical forces are aligned against you, and then God blesses you. Such an act is a means of increasing one’s faith.” In short, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din would come to Qadian in a woeful mindset, and leave in a cheerful mood.

Prophecy regarding the outcome of the suit

On June 29, 1903, Hazrat Mirza published an announcement titled, Prophecy Regarding the Outcome of the Suit, in which hestated:

During the night, which was the night of June 28, 1903 … the outcome of the lawsuits filed against me by Maulvi Karam-ud-Dinwas impressed upon my mind. In this state, my mind was directed towards a Divine revelation in which the following words ofGod were revealed to me: “‘Surely Allah is with those who keep their duty and those who do good to others’ (16:128). In it are signs for those who ask.” I was given to understand that out of the two parties, God would grant victo- ry and assistance to the person who is righteous. That is, the one who does not lie and is not tyrannical; who does not slander, and does not use deceit, fraud and treachery to harass the servants of God; who eschews every evil, and embraces righteousness and justice; who out of the fear of God treats His people with sympathy, solicitude, and goodness, and is a genuine well wisher of humanity; savagery, cruelty and wickedness do not rage through him, and he is ever ready to do good to others. The result is going to be that the suit will be decided in favor of such a party. Then this shall be a sign, and many other signs will be manifested for those who ask, “Which of these two groups is right?”

Hazrat Mirza also received a revelation in connection with this suit: “The day of Monday and the victory of Hunain” i.e., the suit will be akin to the Battle of Hunain. In that battle, Prophet Muhammad and his companions suffered a temporary reverse, but theyregrouped and overran the enemy. The implication was that this suit would follow the same course. Hazrat Mirza also received another revelation: “After your humiliation, Ishall honor you.” It was evident from these two revelations that there would be an adverse judgment in the case initially, to be followed by a grand victory. Finally, the following revelation left no doubt about the progression of the suit: “The superior court has exonerated him.” This meant that Hazrat Mirza would be convicted in the lower court, but the higher court would acquit him. Thus, God was giving glad tidings to Hazrat Mirza even as the ominous clouds of opposition were gathering strength.

Request for transfer of suit rejected

Magistrate Chandu Lal had committed certain egregious actions in court that overtly divulged and demonstrated his prejudice and partiality in the suit. Consequently, on January 14, 1904, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din moved the District Magistrate to transfer this caseto the court of another magistrate. The District Magistrate, however, rejected this application on February 12, 1904, and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din went in appeal against the rejection to the Chief Court. The Chief Court fixed February 22, 1904 for the hearing.

Hazrat Mirza’s illness

The next hearing in Magistrate Chandu Lal’s court, however, was fixed for February 16, 1904 and this Magistrate’s intention was toarrest and incar- cerate Hazrat Mirza. Presented below is an excerpt from Maulvi Sarwar Shah’s narration about this suit from the first volume of Sirat-ul-Mahdi. The parenthetical comments are of this author:

Hazrat Mirza had come to Qadian. Two days prior to the court hearing, he sent me to Gurdaspur to find, and keep ready some references that were to be presented in court during the next hearing. Hazrat Mirza also sent Sheikh Hamid Ali and the cook, Abdur Rahim, with me to Gurdaspur. When we arrived at the residence in Gurdaspur, we called Dr. Muhammad Ismail Khan tocome downstairs and open the door for us. (Dr. Ismail Khan hailed from Jhajjar in district Rohtak and was a very pious person –Author.) Dr. Ismail Khan was a lodger in the upper quarters of the house at that time. When we called out to him, Dr. Ismail Khan began to weep and wail anxiously. We called out several times more but he kept on weeping.

Finally, after some time, he came down wiping the tears from his eyes. When we asked him the reason, he said that Munshi Muhammad Husain visited him earlier (Munshi Muhammad Husain was the file clerk of the District Judge. He was an enthusiastic member of the Ahl-e-Hadith sect, and a sincere well wisher of the Muslims. However, he was opposed to the Ahmadiyya Movement – Author.)and told him: “A convention of Arya Hindus was held recently. Some Aryas took their friends with them to the convention, and that is how I came to be there. After the general proceedings of the convention were over, an announcement was made that the convention had come to an end and the attendees should leave now because they (the organizers) had to discuss some issues inprivate. When the general audience got up, I too prepared to leave, but my Arya friend insisted that we should go back together and suggested that I either sit to one side or wait for him out- side. So I sat down there to one side.

“Then one of the Aryas present there got up and addressed the Magistrate (Chandu Lal), and naming Mirza Sahib said: ‘This man is our bitter enemy and the murderer of our leader Lekhram. He is a prey in your hands now, and the eyes of the whole(Arya) nation are on you at this moment. If you let this prey escape, then you will be the enemy of the whole nation.’ The Arya went on to make other similar state- ments to incite nationalistic fanaticism. The Magistrate (Chandu Lal) replied: ‘It was alreadymy intention that, if possible, I should send, not only Mirza, but all his companions and witnesses in this suit to hell. But what can I do; the suit is being pursued so deftly that I have not been able to find an opening to lay my hands on them. But I promise you that, whatever happens, in the next hearing I shall initiate court action against them…’” Muhammad Husain told me: “Perhaps you do not understand what is meant by court action. It means that the magis- trate has the power to arrest and imprison without bail an accused person at the start of a suit or any time during its pendency.” Muhammad Husain said: “Doctor Sahib, you are aware that I am a strong opponent of your Movement. But I cannot bear to see a noble family humiliated and destroyed, and in particular humiliated at the hands of a Hindu. And I know that Mirza Sahib’s family is the most respected in the district. So I have conveyed this news to you so that you may take appropriate action. I have two suggestions in mind. One is to make every effort to have the suit transferred from here to the Chief Court in Lahore, and the second is to use whatever strategy is necessary,but Mirza Sahib should not present himself before the court in the next hearing, and instead send in a medical certificate (of indis-position).”

After listening to these events from Dr. Muhammad Ismail, we all got worried and decided that someone should be sentimmediately to Qadian to narrate these developments to Hazrat Mirza. 

It was past nightfall. We started searching for a horse carriage and though several were available, none would accept us as a fare because of the opposi- tion (to Ahmadiyyat) that prevailed in the town. We offered even four times the normal fare but found no willing carriage driver.

Finally, we dispatched Sheikh Hamid Ali, Abdur Rahim the cook, and a third per- son on foot to Qadian. They reached Qadian around the time of the Fajr (morning) prayer, and briefly related the matter to Hazrat Mirza. He replied unconcernedly: “Anyway, I will go to Batala; Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and Maulvi Muhammad Ali will be meeting me in Batala on their way back from Lahore. I will mention this matter to them and will find out about the outcome of their effort to have thesuit transferred.” Accordingly, Hazrat Mirza came to Batala that same day. In the train, he met Maulvi Muhammad Ali and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din as well, and they informed him that the attempt to have the suit trans- ferred was not successful. Hazrat Mirza then traveled to Gurdaspur and he did not mention this matter to either of them on the way.

Upon reaching their lodging in Gurdaspur, Hazrat Mirza, as was his wont, lay down in another room to rest awhile. But we remained in a state of great agitation as to what may happen. Momentarily, Hazrat Mirza summoned me and I went to his quarters. When I entered, he was lying supine on the bed, with his hands clasped behind his head. Upon my arrival, he turned on his side and propped up his head on the palm of his hand. Addressing me, he said, “I have called you so that I can hear all the details of the matter.” There was no one else in the room at that time; only Mian Shadi Khan stood at the door. I related the entirematter to Hazrat Mirza…

Hazrat Mirza listened silently. When I used the word prey, (referring to Magistrate Chandu Lal’s reference to Hazrat Mirza being his prey in the suit), Hazrat Mirza sat up at once, and his eyes began to glow, and his face turned red. He exclaimed, “I am his prey! I am not a prey. I am a lion; not just a lion but the lion of God. How can he lay his hands on the lion of God? Let him try todo so.” His voice rose so high as he made this statement that even those outside the room were star- tled, and they directed their attention to the room but nobody actually ventured in. Hazrat Mirza repeated the words “the lion of God” several times and, each time, his eyes that were normally downcast and half closed would open wide like a lion’s eyes and glow like an ember. His facewas so flushed that it was painful to behold.

Hazrat Mirza then said, “What can I do? I have presented before God that I am willing to put on shackles of iron on my handsand feet for the sake of His religion. But He says, ‘No. I will save you from dis- grace and will exonerate you honorably.’” Then Hazrat Mirza began a monologue on the love of God, and spoke passionately for about half an hour.

As he was speaking, he suddenly felt nauseous and vomited blood, some of the blood was congealed and some was still liquid. After the vomiting was over, Hazrat Mirza raised his head and wiped his mouth with a handkerchief. He wiped his eyes as well, which were watering from theeffect of vomiting. However, he did not realize what he had vomited because he had bent down suddenly to vomit and thenimmediately raised his head up. But when I bent down to look at it, he enquired, “What is it?” and I replied, “Sir, there is blood inthe vomit.” He then cast a glance in that direction.

At that point, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Maulvi Muhammad Ali and others came into the room, and a doctor was summoned. The doctor was an Englishman (the Civil Surgeon of Gurdaspur – Author). He came and after examining the vomit, conversed inEnglish with Khwaja Kamal-ud- Din — the gist of that conversation was that vomiting blood in this way at this advanced age could be dangerous.

Then the surgeon inquired, “Why does he not take complete rest?” Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din replied, “How can he take rest? The magistrate is scheduling court hearings one after the other at short intervals just to impose hardship, although the suit isvery ordinary in nature and can be easily settled.” The surgeon replied: “It is imperative that he should take rest at this time. I will give him a medical certificate of indisposition. For what length of time do you want me to make out this certificate?” 

Then he opined:“I think he should rest for two months.” Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din said: “One month should suf- fice for the time being.” The Civil Surgeon immediately wrote out a certificate for one month and stated in it that he did not consider the patient fit to attend courthearings during this period.

Following this, Hazrat Mirza gave directions for their return to Qadian. But we were all afraid that this might result in another suit because the court hearing was on the next day and Hazrat Mirza was going back after coming to Gurdaspur without the permission of the court. But Hazrat Mirza’s countenance was perfectly calm. All of us then returned to Qadian.

When Chandu Lal was shown the medical certificate on February 16, he was greatly aggravated but he could not do anything about it. The request before the Chief Court to transfer the case was rejected on February 22, 1904. The case was then presented once again in Chandu Lal’s court on February 23. On that day, the lawyers that appeared on behalf of Hazrat Mirza were Mr. Ogarman, barrister-at-law, who had traveled from Lahore, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, and Maulvi Muhammad Ali.

Indictment

On February 24, Mr. Ogarman presented a written statement to the court on behalf of Hazrat Mirza along with an application asking that the statement be included in the proceedings of the suit. It was not accepted for inclusion on that day, but after much argument spread over several hearings, the application was finally approved. On March 9, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din argued for four hours before the court that the suit was without merit and should be dismissed. But on March 10, Chandu Lal indicted Hazrat Mirza andHakim Fazal-ud-Din on charges of criminal defamation in the complaint of Maulvi Karam-ud-Din. At the same time, Chandu Lal alsoindicted Maulvi Karam-ud-Din and the editor of Siraj-ul-Akhbar, Faqir Muhammad, on charges of criminal defamation in the complaint of Sheikh Yaqub Ali. Since the validity of the medical certificate granting exemption to Hazrat Mirza from court appearance expired on March 13, the next date for hearing was fixed for March 14.

However, Hazrat Mirza was still feeling very weak and infirm. Ever since the day that he had vomited blood, Hazrat Mirza’s health had not sta- bilized — the civil surgeon of Gurdaspur was again summoned to Qadian on March 13. He examined Hazrat Mirza and made the recommendation that further rest was essential. The surgeon had in fact recommended a rest of two months during the first medical checkup, but had instead issued a medical certificate of one month upon Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s suggestion. After examiningHazrat Mirza and seeing his condition, he wrote out another med- ical certificate stating that Hazrat Mirza was still very weak and not in a condition to appear in court for another month.

When the certificate was presented on the 14th of March, Lala Chandu Lal was very aggravated; he summoned the Civil Surgeon to appear in court on March 15 so that he may examine him under oath. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din drew the court’s attention to the fact that this was not required under the Evidence Act. In addition, Pir Golarwi had repeatedly sent in a medical cer- tificate to avoid appearing in court, and the magistrate had never summoned the doctor providing the certificate to appear in court and give testimony under oath. Then why was it necessary to do so in Hazrat Mirza’s case? But Chandu Lal did not relent. Accordingly, the Civil Surgeon appeared in court on March 15 and testified under oath that Hazrat Mirza was indeed ill and unfit for appearing in court. The magistrate crossexamined him aggressively but the Civil Surgeon stood his ground. The next date of hearing was then fixed for April 11.

Chandu Lal demoted

God’s work now began to manifest itself. On the one hand, Magistrate Chandu Lal was firm in his resolve to arrest and send Hazrat Mirza to the lockup on his next appearance in court, and on the other hand, fate was work- ing its own course. On the first occasion, the vomiting of blood wrecked Chandu Lal’s plans. Hazrat Mirza was advanced in age; his nervous system was weakened,and he had high blood pressure. It may be that his passionate speech caused the hemorrhaging of a blood vessel. God alone knows whathad happened to cause him to vomit blood. As a consequence, the doctor had certified him as being unable to attend court for two months. But since the Chief Court had rejected the application for the transfer of the suit, Chandu Lal felt assured that Hazrat Mirza would ultimately have to appear in his court. And the day he did, Chandu Lal was determined to have him hand- cuffed. This was atime when, for a respectable person to be in handcuffs was considered a big humiliation.

April 11, 1904 was the next date for hearing, and Hazrat Mirza’s appearance in court was inevitable. It so happened that a condemned man was to be hanged in Gurdaspur Jail. According to the rules, a magistrate has to oversee the proceedings, and theDeputy Commissioner assigns one of the magistrates in his jurisdiction to be the duty magistrate for the hanging. This time, the DeputyCommissioner assigned the duty to Chandu Lal. He wrote a memo to the Deputy Commissioner and asked to be excused from oversee-ing the hanging because he was faint hearted and could not bear to see a criminal hanged. The Deputy Commissioner wrote back in response that as the magistrate of a criminal court, he will be required to sentence hundreds of criminals to imprisonment, and if in thefuture he became a Session Judge, he will be required to sentence criminals to be hanged. The Deputy Commissioner, therefore, advisedhim not to be so weak hearted. But Chandu Lal persisted and insisted that he could not see a person being hanged.

The Deputy Commissioner assigned another magistrate to oversee the hanging, but at the same time, he sent a report to the Government that Chandu Lal was not fit to exercise powers of a magistrate. There was no place in the criminal justice system for such a weak hearted, or in other words, a cowardly person. He would be unable to give judgments punishing the criminals, and therefore, will be unable to do justice. On the basis of this report, Chandu Lal was demoted from the position of Extra Assistant Commissioner tothat of a subordinate judge, and transferred to Multan prior to April 11, 1904 – the date of Hazrat Mirza’s hearing. Thus the wolf wasdefanged for good and Hazrat Mirza’s revelation that: “I shall debase the one who seeks to disgrace you” was fulfilled one more time.

Suit in Lala Atma Ram’s Court

Lala Atma Ram, magistrate first class, replaced Chandu Lal and took over his under-trial suits. The hearing on April 11, 1904 wasconfined to pro- cedural matters. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din asked the court to summon the witnesses of the complainant for cross-examination, and the attorney for Maulvi Karam-ud-Din did likewise. The next hearing was set for May 9, 1904; Hazrat Mirza traveled from Qadian to Gurdaspur to attend this hear- ing. Like Chandu Lal, this new magistrate also belonged to the extremist Hindu sect Arya Samaj, but he was wilier than his predecessor. He did not jump into an adversarial mode straight away, but steadily, with great deliber-ation, and with increasing intensity adopted methods to harass and inflict maximum damage. Prior to this, Hazrat Mirza had always been offered a chair to sit on during court proceedings by the presiding officer of every court he had attended. But Lala Atma Ram did not extend him this courtesy despite the fact that Hazrat Mirza was feeling weak because of his illness. On occasions, he was not even allowed a drink of water although the heat of summer was intense. And Lala Atma Ram unnecessarily prolonged the suit while setting frequent court hearings at short intervals to inflict maximum hardship.

Hazrat Mirza takes up residence in Gurdaspur

Since the dates for the court hearings were arriving in rapid succession and the magistrate was unnecessarily prolonging the suit, Hazrat Mirza had to travel very frequently between Gurdaspur and Qadian. Not only was this financially draining, it was also aneedless hardship. In fact, his property and his very life were once endangered during such a journey. It happened this way. On July 6, 1904, Hazrat Mirza was traveling in a four-wheeled horse carriage from Qadian to Batala, along with Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din andMaulvi Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi. Most of the rest of his traveling compan- ions were riding in one-horse shays, but Maulvi Muhammad Ali, Sheikh Yaqub Ali and Mian Miraj-ud-Din were following on foot. Although they set out together, for some reason, the rest of the traveling party fell far behind and Hazrat Mirza’s carriage was left alone having outpaced the rest by a large distance.

It was nighttime. The sky was overcast and everything was enveloped in pitch darkness. When the carriage crossed Wadala and was proceeding towards Batala, some bandits, armed with choppers and long-handled axes, appeared on the road and surrounded Hazrat Mirza’s carriage. For some reason, the bandits became hesitant to approach the carriage. They began to prod one another to initiate an attack, but none would step forward to do so. An argument broke out among them and some time passed in this manner.

This enabled Maulvi Muhammad Ali and his two companions who were fol- lowing the carriage on foot to catch up, and they spotted the bandits from a distance. They challenged the bandits and rushed towards them. Bandits lack the courage to stand and fight; so when they saw a party of men charging them, they took to their heels and ran away. In this manner, Allah saved Hazrat Mirza in accordancewith His promise to protect him. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din used to narrate a miracle in connection with this incident: “When the bandits surrounded us, I saw that a strange beam of light would emanate from the forehead of Hazrat Mirza and cause his countenance toshine.” It is entirely possible that it was this phenomenon that cast such fear in the hearts of the bandits that they did not pick up thecourage to attack.

In short, it was highly inconvenient to commute so frequently between Qadian and Gurdaspur. Accordingly, Hazrat Mirza renteda house in Gurdaspur from August 13, 1904 and took up residence there along with his family.

Second cross-examination of witnesses, and Maulvi Sanaullah’s strange testimony

Much of the argumentation in the suit filed by Maulvi Karam-ud-Din against Hazrat Mirza centered on the correct interpretationof the words kaz- zab and laeem. Many lexicons and works of Arabic scholarship were consulted, and many religious scholars andintellectuals were called as expert witnesses and queried. During these arguments, the real intellectual caliber and integrity of manyclerics was exposed. A classic example of this was the testimony of Maulvi Sanaullah.

Maulvi Sanaullah was one of the witnesses who testified for Maulvi Karam-ud-Din. He tried very hard to prove that MaulviKaram-ud-Din was a pious man. Since even the court had acknowledged in one of the compan- ion suits described earlier in the chapter that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din had lied, Maulvi Sanaullah chose the strange logic of asserting that it was really not necessary for a pious person to abstain from lying! In support of this claim, he presented the first few verses of the chapter, Al-Baqarah of the Holy Quranwherein the concept of faith is mentioned, but the details of the related deeds are not presented. The intent of those Quranic verses was to show the essential things in which a pious person should believe. Besides this, even a child can understand that if a person believes in the Holy Quran and regards it as the Word of God, and believes in the Judgment Day, then such a person will not stray from the Word ofGod by resorting to lying!

Maulvi Sanaullah’s fixation on the literal text of the verse divulged the sorry plight of his scholarship. In order to support Maulvi Karam-ud-Din he made an absurd statement that a person can be called pious even if he lies because the words in the verse he presented did not have a specific prohibi- tion against lying. During cross-examination, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din asked him that in the verse under reference there were no specific prohibitions against theft, adultery and drinking either; could then a person who indulged in these vices be called pious? Maulvi Sanaullah replied in the affirmative! A roll of laughter rang through the audience in the courtroom, leaving Maulvi Sanaullah utterly mortified. But clerics will not be clerics unless they stickstubbornly to their point of view, however absurd.

Attempts at mediation between the parties

Certain sympathetic souls tried to mediate between the two parties. Raja Ghulam Haider Khan, tehsildar (land revenue officer) Pind Dadan Khan, was in Gurdaspur to testify for Hazrat Mirza. When he and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din went to see the Deputy Commissioner in connection with some matter regarding the suit, the Deputy Commissioner was annoyed and demanded why the parties did not compromise, and that if they did not, the consequences would not be good for them.

When Raja Ghulam Haider Khan and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din returned from the court, they requested a private conversation withHazrat Mirza. I was also present in Hazrat Mirza’s company that day in Gurdaspur. We stepped outside so that the private conversationmay proceed. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din narrated the Deputy Commissioner’s idea of a compromise to Hazrat Mirza. Hazrat Mirza’sresponse was given in such a loud voice that not only those of us sitting outside, but even the people on the street could have heard him. It was not his habit to conceal things — he would always bring up matters plainly before people. Anyway, we all returned inside. HazratMirza was saying:

When Prophet Joseph (peace be on him) was accused of fornication, he chose to remain imprisoned until the charge was fullyinvestigated and he was proven innocent. It is imperative for those who are the leaders of a nation to remain untainted of all charges in the eyes of the popu- lace. I too am a leader of an organization. I shall not be satisfied until the matter has been fully investigated and I am proven innocent of the charges that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din has leveled against me. The magis- trate and deputy commissioner can drag me through the courts all they want until they tire, but I shall not tire. The only other way this matter can be resolved is for Maulvi Karam-ud-Din and me to write an agree- ment and present it to the court in which we agree that we withdraw our suits from the worldly courts and present it in the heavenly court of God; then God will decide Himselfwhich one of us is on the path of righteousness and which one of us is a liar and slanderer.

Following this incident, the District Judge, Sheikh Khuda Baksh, started mediating between the parties and discussions began on the terms of a com- promise. But Maulvi Karam-ud-Din did not agree to any of Hazrat Mirza’s conditions. Hazrat Mirza issued anannouncement on June 14, 1904 entitled, “Deposition About an Event: Read it Definitely for the Sake of God.” A por- tion of thisannouncement, which gives all aspects of the mediation that took place, is reproduced below:

If instead of making false imputations and accusations against me and making me out to be a forger and a cheat by ascribing facts to me con- trary to reality, which Maulvi Karam-ud-Din has done in his article in Siraj-ul-Akhbar, he had swung a sword at me and severed my limb, I swear by that God Who sees my heart that I still would have forgiven him. And there would have been no need for anyone to tell me that I should make amends with him and forgive his sin. But O people! Only those who are sent as reformers by God know the difficulties that such groundless allegations cast in the minds of the public and they consider it necessary that the minds be purified of all such insinuations. And until that accusation which is hanging over their head has been com- pletely obliterated in the eyes of the public, they do not like to affect a vague compromise that will leave a blot foreverhanging on their head. Joseph, who was a prophet, was falsely accused of attempting to com- mit adultery and was imprisoned.After the lapse of a long time, he was pardoned but he did not accept the pardon although he would have got- ten the position of the vice ruler of the kingdom. Instead he plainly stated: “Until I am exonerated from the imputation of adultery I do not want to stepout of the prison.”

Similarly, even a worldly man who is falsely accused of deception or criminal embezzlement does not acquiesce to some vague compro- mise. But some well wishers of the community stressed the need for reconciliation between the parties. Even some good-hearted and far- sighted high-ranking officials and rulers of the district and division expressed their wish that I should make peace with this plaintiff… At this juncture, Munshi Ghulam Haider Khan, tehsildar Pind Dadan Khan, who had come to provide testimony in this suit, also made efforts to bring about reconciliation.

The persuasion and wishes of these revered people made me consider and contemplate how best to make peace. Finally, I replied that if the plaintiff Maulvi Karam-ud-Din, out of fear of God, accepts in court that the letters referred to in the suit and in his articles in Siraj-ul- Akhbar dated October 6, 1902 and October 13, 1902 are his own, and

not my forgery, then I will make peace with him because this accept- ance will be sufficient to exonerate me in the eyes of the public, and the accusation of forgery against me would be vitiated. But Maulvi Karam-ud-Din did not accept this.

A second proposal conceived for affecting reconciliation was to pre- pare two separate written statements from Maulvi Karam-ud-Din and myself. My statement would mention: “I swear by God that I wrote the words kazzab (liar), bohtan (calumny), and laeem (mean or malicious) in connection with Maulvi Karam-ud-Din in the firm belief that the let- ters referred to in the suit and the articles in Siraj-ul-Akhbar dated October 6, 1902 and October 13, 1902 were that of Maulvi Karam-ud- Din. I pray that God’s curse may be upon the liar.” Similarly, Maulvi Karam-ud-Din would present a written statement: “I swear by God that the letters referred to in the suit that are purported to be mine and the articles published under my name in Siraj-ul-Akhbar dated October 6,1902 and October 13, 1902 are not mine. And I pray that God’s curse may be upon the liar.”2

These two statements were scribed by Munshi Ghulam Haider Khan. He then took them, accompanied by my attorney Khwaja Kamal-ud- Din, to the District Judge, Sheikh Khuda Baksh. Sheikh Khuda Baksh, a genuine well-wisher of the community, hadspent a lot of his precious time and put in extensive effort towards bringing about a reconcilia- tion. The mediators liked the proposed statements and said: “These statements are not objectionable in any way now. However, the word ‘curse’ in them is too strong and should somehow be altered. The writer agreed to this and changed the part where the word ‘curse’ was used to: ‘Isubmit this suit to God, the Most High, for rendering a judg- ment.’” When these statements were presented to Maulvi Karam-ud-Din, he did not accept them, and put forward the excuse that he does not take oaths; this in spite of the fact that he had given sworntestimony in court. He was shown the attested copy of his sworn state- ment and asked: “When you swore to tell the truth before Magistrate Chandu Lal and gave a statement that: ‘I have neither written these let- ters nor are the articles in Siraj-ul-Akhbar mine,’ then what is your objection in giving the same statement now.” Maulvi Karam-ud-Din replied: “That was done undercompulsion. Barring exceptional circumstances, it is not permissible to take an oath.3 Hence I will not take an oath.”

Finally, it was suggested that instead of writing “swear by God,” the term “solemn affirmation” should be used. As a result of this sugges- tion, the following statement was proposed which used the word solemn affirmation because the previous statement of Maulvi Karam- ud-Din had also been made on solemn affirmation:

“In the presence of God, and being fully honest in my belief, I state on solemn affirmation that the letters referred to in the suit which I have denied (as not mine) and the articles in Siraj-ul-Akhbar dated October 6, 1902 and October 13, 1902 which I have also denied (as not mine), those letters and those articles, are positively not written by me. If I am lying in making this statement, then I submit this affair of mine in the court of God for justice.”

Maulvi Karam-ud-Din objected to this draft on the grounds that the words, “In the presence of God” etc. also amounted to an oath;only the words “on solemn affirmation” should be kept, and details of the mat- ter should not be given. In the end, after considerable argumentation, the final draft presented on June 11, was written as follows:

I, Karam-ud-Din, state on solemn affirmation that the letters written under my name to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib and Hakim Fazal- ud-Din Sahib and the articles published under my name on October 6, 1902 and October 13, 1902 in Siraj-ul-Akhbar are not mine. If my statement is against the facts then I entrust this matter to the court of God, the Most High, for justice.

As against this, the present writer (Hazrat Mirza) approved the follow- ing text for the statement he (Hazrat Mirza) would sign:

I swear by God that the words kazzab (liar), bohtan (slander), and laeem (mean or malicious) I wrote about Karam-ud-Din were writ- ten out of a conviction that the writer of the letters referred to in this suit and the writer of the articles in Siraj-ul-Akhbar dated October 6, 1902 and October 13, 1902 is Maulvi Karam-ud-Din. And I pray that God, the Most High, may curse the liar.

  • It is completely incorrect that Islam forbids the taking of oaths. Pious people from among the Muslims have been taking oaths whenever necessitydemanded. The companions of the Holy Prophet also took oaths when there was a need for it. Our Holy Prophet also took oath many times…Accused criminals were administered oaths in the court of the Holy Prophet. Oaths are also mentioned in the Holy Quran. In the shariah (law) of Islam, whenevidence is not forthcoming or is contradictory, reliance can be placed on oaths.

With the permission of the magistrate, when these drafts were shown to Maulvi Karam-ud-Din, he said that no reference should be made to “letters,” “newspapers,” etcetera and also the part about entrusting this matter to the court of God for justice should be deleted and there should be no clarifications. The reason for this, he maintained, was that prophecies would be made against him. Even these conditions were accepted in the interest of reconciliation, but he did not agree to any- thing. With all attempts at reconciliation frustrated, the proceedings in the suit started in court.

I felt the need to publish this notice containing simple and true facts so that the good-hearted and well-intentioned officials may beapprised of the events. They acted out of sympathy and affection in which they hold my family and solely for this reason communicated to me that I should accept reconciliation. This will also make manifest to them which one of the parties is averse to reconciliation. I was accused of forging the letters and other baseless charges in Siraj-ul-Akhbar but I did not resort to the courts for redress. Instead, I confined my defense only to writing in the book that my slanderer is bringing a false accu- sationagainst me and my insulter is a liar and these are the actions of a mean person. For this, I was dragged to the court. In appreciation of the sympathy of the officials and the elders of the community, I chose to have myself exonerated from the accusations of forgery etcetera, if not in the worldly court, then in the court of God, and thus to settle the issue. However, I am notprepared for an ambiguous compromise.

For this reason, I show my willingness once again through this handbill that if my opposing party is ready to make the aforementioned state- ment in court, then in response I am also prepared to give a similar statement. That same day, both the suitscan be confined to the records. I have purposely worded my statement in the strongest possible words. This handbill has also been published so that there is no misstatement of the events related to the compromise attempt.

The issuer of the handbill,

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad June 14, 1904

Readers must have observed that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din did not agree to the conditions of a compromise because Hazrat Mirza wanted to take this suit out of the jurisdiction of the worldly court and to present it in the Heavenly court either through an oath or other clearwording. But how can a fabricator pick up the courage to present himself in the Heavenly court. Cunningness may work in the worldly courts; it is possible for wrong judgments to be given, but the court of God is free from all faults. There a liar simply cannot escape from retribution. This was the reason why Maulvi Karam-ud-Din did not agree to such a resolution, and kept on making frivolous excuses and objections. This is the reason why a compromise was never reached, and the suit kept running its normalcourse.

Charge sheet is maintained

On August 2, 1904, the complainant, Maulvi Karam-ud-Din rested his case after the court had recorded the testimony of his witnesses. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din then requested the court to examine the evidence produced by the complainant because on the basis of this evidence there were sufficient grounds for the accused to be acquitted. If after reviewing the evidence, the court found some primafacie evidence of a crime then the defense was quite prepared to produce its witnesses. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din pointed out to the court:“Our situation is somewhat delicate because it is not considered a sin to lie against us. If we produce witnesses from our party, their evidence will be construed as weak since they are disciples, and we do not expect that people outside the party will have the courage tospeak the truth. Perforce we will have to summon several high ranking officials as witnesses including some Englishmen about whomthere would be no suspicion of favoritism. In view of the expenditure and time required to produce such testimony which may not berequired, if the court was to review the evidence, an expeditious decision may be possible.” But the magistrate Lala Atma Ram paid no heed to this request and kept intact the charges that had been framed against Hazrat Mirza and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din by his predecessorChandu Lal.

Twenty-four witnesses were called to testify on behalf of the defense. Pir Golarwi was one of those witnesses. The magistrate however accepted only ten witnesses and conspicuously scored out Pir Golarwi as a witness. This prompted Hakim Fazal-ud-Din to apply to the court requesting that the defense was willing to give up one other witness for the sake of putting Pir Golarwi on the stand. He argued that it was imperative to summon Pir Golarwi because the postcard purportedly written in his hand had to be ver- ified. However, when the intention of the presiding officer is not honest, there is very little that one can do. Lala Atma Ram did not agree to summon Pir Golarwi although he was the most important witness!

The Judgment

After the defense witnesses had given their testimony, judgment was set for October 1, 1904. God’s plan then began to unfold. Assoon as Lala Atma Ram began to harass Hazrat Mirza in the suit, his grown-up son fell ill. When

Jesus was under trial in the court of Pontius Pilate, his wife had a dream in which she was warned not to dye their hands with the bloodof this righteous man. Pontius Pilate was so affected by his wife’s dream that he called for water and washed his hands in open court and said that he did not find Jesus guilty of any wrongdoing. The Jews had thereupon cried out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate hadthen asked them as to who would bear the responsi- bility for such an act? Thereupon the Jews had replied: “His blood be on us, and onour children.”4 

Thus, Pilate was saved, but the Jews were not.

Similarly, Lala Atma Ram’s wife had a dream in which she was warned that if her husband punished this righteous person, some woe would befall them. She narrated this dream to her husband, but Lala Atma Ram was more hard-hearted than Pontius Pilate, and paid no heed to this warning. He had already made up his mind to send Hazrat Mirza to jail, and had stated in open court that a punishment of fine on Hazrat Mirza was in effect a fine on his disciples because the money would come out of their pockets. In otherwords, the only punishment that Hazrat Mirza would have to bear personally was the punishment of imprisonment. However, at the time of announcing the judgment, Lala Atma Ram could not muster the courage to impose a sen- tence of imprisonment. He, therefore, puttogether a clever plan under which the verdict he announced was a fine, but he also indicated to the police to handcuff Hazrat Mirza andput him in prison until he had paid the fine levied against him.

Hazrat Mirza had been informed by God in a vision that if Atma Ram did not desist from his mischief then he would bemourning the death of his offspring. Hazrat Mirza had informed his disciples about this vision, and events unfolded accordingly.When Atma Ram sentenced Hazrat Mirza, his adult son who was sick died first; then twenty or twenty-five days later, a second sonalso died. In her frustration, his wife reproached him saying: “Despite my stopping you, you did not listen. You have reaped what youhad sown and brought ruin on the entire household.” I add here that, a magis- trate’s decision based on evaluating the submittedevidence with honesty and justice is not subject to accountability in the eyes of God. However, when prejudice and enmity of Islammotivates a magistrate from the outset to inflict hardship and to punish a pious man of God, then how can he escape the punishment of God, whether that punishment is in this world or the next. Magistrate Lala Atma Ram continued in his vindictive ways. For anoble and respectable person, there could have been no bigger disgrace in those days than to be handcuffed even if it was for a minute. And Hazrat Mirza’s family was considered to be the most respectable and honorable in the whole district. The Arya Samajistswere getting exasperated and infuriated by the remarkable efficacy with which Hazrat Mirza was demonstrating the dominance of Islam over all other religions. A plan washatched, therefore, to disgrace Hazrat Mirza and it was to be accomplished in the fol- lowing way: On announcing the sentence of a fine, Hazrat Mirza would be asked to make the payment immediately to the court, and if the payment was not made, he would behandcuffed and sent to jail for as long as the payment was outstanding. Further, the sentence would be announced just before theadjournment of the court so that there would be no possibility to deposit the money in the government treasury till at least the followingday. In this way, Hazrat Mirza would have to spend at least one night in jail. These days, the sentenced person is normally granted a grace period for depositing the fine, but such concessions were purely discretionary in those days and the magis- trate had wide powers either to grant a grace period or to incarcerate the sentenced person till the payment of the fine.

Magistrate Lala Ram did not give the verdict on October 1, 1904, and postponed his decision to October 8, 1904. On that day, the judgment was announced. In the case of Sheikh Torab versus Maulvi Karam-ud-Din and Faqir Muhammad, editor of Siraj-ul-Akhbar, the court held that the charges against the accused were proven and their defense was rejected. Maulvi Karam-ud-Din was fined fifty rupees or in lieu thereof to undergo imprison- ment for two months, and Faqir Muhammad was fined forty rupees or in lieu thereof toundergo imprisonment for two months.

Following that, Hazrat Mirza and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din were sum- moned into the courtroom. Policemen were stationed outside the courtroom and given explicit instructions to bar the entrance of anyone with the excep- tion of Hazrat Mirza and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din. One handcuff-carrying policeman was stationed inside the courtroom with orders to immediately handcuff both defendants in case they were unable to pay the levied fine. Utterly oblivious to these schemes, Hazrat Mirza casually walked into the courtroom alongwith Hakim Fazal-ud-Din. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din had gone to the bathroom, and upon his return he saw Hazrat Mirza entering the court-room. Upon inquiry, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din learned that the magistrate had summoned the two of them for announcing the verdict, and had prohibited the entry of anyone else in the courtroom.

Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din immediately sensed that something was amiss, and that the situation was ominous. He ran to the courtroom, but as he tried to enter through the door, two policemen stationed on either side of the door stepped forward and blocked his way. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din told them, “How can I not enter? I am the attorney for the two accused.” Without wait- ing for a reply, hestretched out his arms and pushed the two policemen clear out of the doorway. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din was robustly built and the twopolicemen chose not to press the matter further.

When he entered the courtroom, the magistrate was announcing the judgment. Hazrat Mirza was fined five hundred rupees, and Hakim Fazal-ud- Din was fined two hundred rupees or in lieu thereof each was sentenced to six months of imprisonment. Thus a total fine of seven hundred rupees was levied on both of them. The strange workings of the power of God can some- times leave one inamazement. At the time of entering the courtroom, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din had exactly seven hundred rupees in his pocket. Some ofHazrat Mirza’s disciples narrate that a former client of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din had paid him seven hundred rupees, the balance due for legal services rendered, just before he went into the courtroom. Since Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din was in a hurry, he put the cash in his pocket and entered the courtroom. When the court announced a combined fine of seven hundred rupees, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din took out the seven hundred rupees from his pocket and put the cash on the magistrate’s table. The magistrate was astounded. His entire plan to jail Hazrat Mirza fell apart, leaving him frus- trated and crestfallen. But a closer look at the bills lying on his table gave him some cause for hope. Currency bills in those days had the name of cer- tain cities imprinted on them, for example, Lahore, Calcutta, Karachi,Madras etcetera. In Punjab, merchants normally accepted only those curren- cy bills that carried the imprint “Lahore” or “Calcutta” andwould refuse bills carrying the name of other cities. The currency bills Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din had presented to the court carried the imprints of “Madras” and “Karachi.” The magistrate quickly responded: “These bills carry the imprint of ‘Madras’ and ‘Karachi’ and are not acceptable here.” Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din replied: “Give it to me in writing that seven hundred rupees in bills were presented but thecourt did not accept them because the imprint they carried was that of ‘Madras’ and ‘Karachi.’” This reply left the magistrate helpless because he knew that all currency bills regardless of the city imprints were legal ten- der in British India. Whether the merchants accepted certain bills or not, the government was obliged to accept all legal tenders presented to it for dis- charge of liabilities. The magistrate had no choice but to accept the cash tendered and with great regret and despair, he allowed Hazrat Mirza and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din to leave the court.

Return to Qadian

Hazrat Mirza stayed in Gurdaspur for two more days to obtain copies of the judgment, and to pack his household effects. On October 11, 1904, he returned to Qadian.

It would not be inappropriate here to say a few words about Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din.

Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s services and sacrifices

Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din was a highly devoted and beloved disciple of Hazrat Mirza. He rendered many laudable services and sacrifices. His services during the legal proceedings in Gurdaspur were especially remark- able. In those days, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s legal practice was based in the city of Peshawar. When the aforementioned suits began and the legal hear- ings became increasingly protracted, he simply gave up his flourishing and financially lucrative legal practice in Peshawar and moved to Gurdaspur. Immediatelyupon arrival, he completely engrossed himself in the suit. Maulvi Muhammad Ali, a legal pleader himself, assisted in the case.However, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din was the lead attorney. Mr. Ogarman, Bar- at-law, who had his office in Lahore, was engaged for a few hearings, but then it was deemed unnecessary to continue with his services. The powerful speeches that Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din delivered in court were so amazingly rational that, had the magistrate been impartial, the suit would have been quickly adjudicated in Hazrat Mirza’s favor.

On one particular occasion, the period between two hearings was exceedingly short and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din was requiredto submit written arguments for inclusion in the proceedings of the suit. He wanted the argu- ments to be very comprehensive, and sat down to write the arguments on August 25, 1904 at 5 A.M., and kept on writing continuously until 10 A.M. on August 26, 1904, a period of twenty-nine hours. During this period, he rose only for the daily prayers and the most absolute necessities, and did not sleep a wink.Such a marathon effort is truly amazing.

Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s family was living in Peshawar. As the income from his law practice dried up, they fell into dire straits. The family jewelry had to be sold and ultimately they had to borrow money to survive. But Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din was so engrossed inthis legal case that he did not pay attention to his family’s plight. Neither did he mention his family’s predica- ment to Hazrat Mirza. Finally, when his family was reduced to starvation, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din once obtained Hazrat Mirza’s permission and trav- eled toPeshawar during the period between court hearings.

Maulvi Abdul Karim really wanted to visit Peshawar, and accompanied Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din on this trip. Upon reachingPeshawar, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din sold his wife’s gold bracelets for three hundred rupees to make arrangements for Maulvi Abdul Karim’s stay. Maulvi Abdul Karim somehow learned about the prevailing dire financial circumstances of the family. Upon their return to Gurdaspur, he related the entire situation to Hazrat Mirza. When Hazrat Mirza learned about this, he was greatly dis- tressed and remarked that he would pray to Allah. After a while, Hazrat Mirza went to his private quarters and sent three hundred rupees with his son Mirza Mahmud Ahmad to Maulvi Abdul Karim along with the message that the money was for Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and may kindly be given to him. Maulvi Abdul Karim directed Mirza Mahmud Ahmad to give the money to Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din himself.

Upon receiving the sum of money, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din immediately came over and asked Maulvi Abdul Karim about the purposeof the money. He replied that he had related Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s financial plight to Hazrat Mirza and now he had sent that sum ofmoney for him. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din remarked, “What have you done, Maulvi Sahib! Whatever I am doing, I am doing for God — I cannot take this money.” Maulvi Abdul Karim replied, “If I had not told Hazrat Mirza, who else could I have told? Under God, in thisera, there is none for us on this earth except him. You should accept this money quietly and be thankful to God; this money is blessed. Also, Hazrat Mirza has promised to pray for you.” Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din then agreed to keep the money. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din relates:“Soon after this, people started to come to me for my legal services in Gurdaspur itself. It was amazing to see how quickly HazratMirza’s prayer was granted acceptance.”

No sooner had Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s financial position stabilized than his daughter fell ill in Peshawar. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din started receiv- ing letter after letter with urgent messages asking him to come immediately as his daughter was seriously ill. He replied instructing his family to engage the services of the finest doctor and to continue treatment, but that circum- stances did not permit him to come. Then a wire arrived stating that his daughter’s condition was critical. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din wired back that they should continue the treatment, and also requested Hazrat Mirza to pray for his daughter. Then another wire arrived, stating that his daughter had passed away, and that he should come to Peshawar immediately. He wired back asking them to proceed with the burial without himbecause he couldn’t leave the work of Hazrat Mirza’s defense.

Such sacrifices are not without reward. Hazrat Mirza was observing these sacrifices. Who knows how many prayers he must have offered for Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din; one day he called Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and told him: “I have received the revelation ‘Husan-e-bayaan’ (beauty of speech) about you. You will receive the great gift of oratory as a reward from the Most High. This gift of oratory will not be confined to courtroom speeches in connection with suits, but will be the kind of oratory that is a sign. Multitudes will listen to it and will be astonished.” And so it happened. Those who have listened to Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s speeches before largegatherings are well aware that his discourses were rational and logical, and his delivery was charming and captivating. The audience remained spell- bound right from the moment he began to speak, and sat transfixed through his speech without even stirring. I used toaddress this verse to him:

There may be magic in the eyes of some, but your magic is in your speech.

Whether in Urdu or in English, in India or in Europe, wherever Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din gave a talk, he fascinated his audiences. He would address gatherings of great British philosophers and atheists and prove to them his mettle. Very learned and scholarly British ladies were enraptured as they sat listening to the oratory of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din.

Appeal in the Session Court is accepted

Hazrat Mirza went in appeal to the Session Court against the verdict of Magistrate Lala Ram. Mr. Harry, Session Judge Amritsar, fixed November 26, 1904 for preliminary hearing to determine if there were grounds for an appeal. After satisfying himself that prima facie grounds did exist for an appeal, he admitted the appeal for regular hearing on January 6, 1905 and issued a summon to therespondent. The time had now come for the manifes- tation of the second part of the revelations Hazrat Mirza had received inconnection with the litigation: “I shall honor you after your defamation,” and like the battle of Hunain, an initial reverse shall be followed by success and a grand victory.

Mr. Harry was a conservative Christian with close ties with the clergy, and the Christian clergymen were vehemently opposed to Hazrat Mirza. So it is a magnificent display of God’s blessing that the Session Judge, acting with great fairness, exonerated Hazrat Mirza and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din and ordered a refund of the fine imposed on them. In his judgment dated January 7, 1905, Mr. Harry went so far as to say that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din was deserving of even harsher words than those that had been used to character- ize him. Referring to Maulvi Karam-ud-Din’s defamatory articles in the October 6 and October 13 issues of Siraj-ul-Akhbar, Mr. Harry noted:

It is sufficient to say regarding the articles that they reveal a willful scheme of deception, lies, and forgery that was shamelesslyflaunted in the columns of a public newspaper with great pride. I fail to compre- hend what kind of relief the writer of such articles expects from the courts. The people who have been ridiculed in these articles have used the words laeem (mean), bohtan(slander) and kazzab (liar) in grief and anger. I fail to understand how the magistrate after concluding that the complainant had written these articles and, in fact, after having con- victed him on these very grounds in another suit, did not peruse the writing style of these articles that clearly reveal base morals. Whether the accused were formally responding to the articles or not, even so, it is impossible to overlook the tenor of the articles in judging the defamation of the complainant. In my opinion, the use of these defam- atory words was justified and even if the words had been stronger, I still would not have held for the complainant.

Mr. Harry further observed:

In conclusion, in my opinion, there can be no doubt in declaring that the defendants acted in good faith.

Finally, Mr. Harry remarked:

It is very unfortunate that so much time has been wasted in a suit that should have been dismissed in the preliminary stages of the hearing. Accordingly, both the accused Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and Hakim Fazal-ud-Din are exonerated and their fines shall bereturned to them.

Thus, the revelation “Exoneration in the superior court” was fulfilled verbatim, and the result of the suit put a further seal of authenticity on the righteousness and beneficence of Hazrat Mirza because another revelation in connection with the suit had stated: “Surely Allah is with those who keep their duty and those who do good to others.”

In addition, Hazrat Mirza’s prophecymade in Mawahib-ur-Rahman (Gifts of the Beneficent) that Maulvi Karam-ud-Din’s evil would fall back on him was also fulfilled per- fectly. Maulvi Karam-ud-Din’s vain attempt to sully the good name of Hazrat Mirza resulted only in a loss of his own reputation. In the first instance, the Session Judge held that his character was such that it was not maligned by the use of words such as liar, mean and the like, and in the sec- ond instance, the Session Judge dismissed Maulvi Karam-ud-Din’s appeal against the conviction in the lower court.

Footnotes

  1. Compare the behavior of these native Indian magistrates with that of the alien District Magistrate, Mr. Douglas, who boldly, justly and expeditiously decidedthe complaint of Rev. Henry Martyn against Hazrat Mirza alleging complicity in a conspiracy to murder him.
  2. Matthew 27:25
  3. It should be remembered that in a sworn testimony before the court, Maulvi Karam-ud-Din said that he had neither sent the letters nor was he the author of the articles that were pub- lished under his name in Siraj-ul-Akhbar dated October 6, 1902 and October 13, 1902.

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