Friday Sermon: Faith-inspiring incidents from the lives of the companions of the Promised Messiah (as)

February 12th, 2010

In his Friday Sermon today Huzur related some faith-inspiring incidents from the lives of the companions of the Promised Messiah(as) which elucidate their absolute belief and trust in God and indeed their love of God. These incidents also illustrate how God too manifested His sense of honour for these companions.

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) related that he knew an elderly scholar of repute in Kashmir who would always find something or the other to criticise in the discourses of other scholars; so sharp was his memory regarding specific definition and classification of things. Once he asked Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) what was hikmat (wisdom) who replied to him that prevention of things ranging from shirk (associating partners with God) to ordinary immorality was hikmat. Upon this the scholar inquired where was such a definition of hikmat written. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) asked a hafiz from Delhi who was present at the time to read out the translation of verses 32-41 of Surah Bani Israel which include ‘This is part of that wisdom which thy Lord has revealed to thee…’ (17: 40). This left the scholar astonished.

Huzur said there are many similar scholars found in every era. Their objective is not to spread knowledge, rather it is to merely impress others with their knowledge, they are devoid of taqwa. These days there are many such scholars who try to impress with their knowledge and can be seen on various TV channels. In this regard Huzur wished to say to Ahmadis in general and the youth in particular not to be influenced by such scholars. Huzur said one such scholar recently tried to garner the support of young people by coming up with the mischief that it does not say anywhere in the Holy Qur’an that covering up is enjoined for women, that it is merely meant for the blessed wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Huzur explained that indeed the verse in question of Surah Al Ahzab clearly states that the commandment is also for believing women; ‘O Prophet! tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers that they should pull down upon them of their outer cloaks from their heads over their faces.’(33:60). Huzur went on say some people infer from this verse that pulling down of cloaks means that it is alright if the head is uncovered. Let alone the [hostile] reaction to Purdah in Europe, now Purdah of the head and body also seem to be vanishing from Muslims countries. Huzur said this said scholar is also known to have uttered the mischief that it cannot be proven from the Holy Qur’an that there is a need for Khilafat in Islam or that it will be established. Huzur said of course those who do not accept the Messiah and the Mahdi will not have Khilafat amidst them.

Once Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) visited Lahore. In those days Allama Iqbal was a student at Government College, Lahore. He had had a discussion with an English Professor Arnold who had opined that the matter of trinity could not be comprehended by Asian minds. Allama Iqbal came to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) for advice as to what response to give to this. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) told him to say that if this claim was correct then Jesus and his disciples too would not have understood it as they too were Asians. The Professor was speechless when given this response.

Maulana Ghulam Rasool Rajiki relates that during the outbreak of the plague [in India] he visited a place in district Gujrat. He stayed at the home of an Ahmadi and would deliver a speech from the roof top each evening. In these speeches he warned people of the plague. One morning some village people came to him and said that he had warned those who did not accept ‘Mirza sahib’ of the plague, but their village was situated at high elevation, the air was very fresh and the plague virus could not reach them. Maulana Rajiki asked them if any other Ahmadi had come to their village with the message of Ahmadiyyat to which they said no. Maulana Rajiki told them that that was the reason their village was spared so far. However, if it stayed safe even after his visit and their non-acceptance of Ahmadiyyat, then he would consider that the fresh air of their village could avert God’s declaration of ‘…We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.’ (17:16). A short while later the plague spread to the village.

Huzur said the Promised Messiah(as) has also foretold earthquakes as a sign. Currently the world is facing different calamities but it is not recognising the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) or the Promised Messiah(as). It appears that the world has lost its sense, there is destruction all over. God alone can give them some sense.

Maulana Baqapuri was sent to the region of Sind on a Tabligh mission. He worked hard and soon learned sufficient Sindhi language to be able to make a speech and contended with the Arya [Hindu] people in the entire region. His long endeavours resulted in the Arya people leaving in disappointment after seven or eight months. The following year some Muslim scholars and others got together against Maulana, a dozen would turn up to debate, but the Maulana would still triumph. Jama’ats were established in the region and the local scholars too were impressed. Later, some of the people who had come into Ahmadiyyat but had kept connections with their non-Muslim relatives and kept marrying into them were gradually lost. Huzur said people need to be careful about such matters. These days some make emotional decisions and marry outside the Community which gradually makes families drift away. Once Maulana Baqapuri learned that people were about to covert to Hinduism in an area, he travelled there and on confirmation of the news Maulana started crying bitterly, people were moved by this. The leader of the people said they had given their word to the Hindus and it was a sin to break a pledge. Maulana replied Iman (belief) was more significant than anything else. He asked them to write a letter confirming that they were not prepared to forsake their religion.

Maulwi Syed Sarwer Shah sahib had knowledge of excellent standard and had also served as Mufti. Once in Haripur he learned that a Maulwi who deemed himself to be a great debater wanted to debate Ahmadiyyat with him. However, on the day the Maulwi did not turn up. Out in town Syed Sarwer Shah sahib saw the Maulwi coming from the other side with some associates. Upon seeing him they turned and started to run. Syed sahib ran after them. He thought they may have gone to the mosque and went there but they were not to be seen. He went in the other direction and saw that the Maulwi was crossing a muddy ditch to go to the other side. He was told that the Maulwi had gone to the next town to get some books to prepare for the debate. He had spent the entire night reading the books and was frustrated that which ever Quranic commentary he referred to it mentioned death of Jesus(as). He therefore could not find any argument for the debate. His associate Maulwi told him that debate with Syed Sarwer Shah sahib would result in embarrassment. Huzur said the current-day situation is the same; these people come on TV channels and make claims. When we offer to discuss their claims there is no response.

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) related an incident about Hafiz Dr. Khalifa Rashid ud din sahib. On his visit to India, an American priest also came by Qadian. Hafiz Rashid ud din sahib showed him around Qadian. Huzur explained that in those days Qadian did not have any civic authority and the streets had litter in them. Generally speaking litter can be seen around small towns in the sub-continent. After looking around the priest joked that he had seen Qadian and had also seen the cleanliness of the streets of the new Messiah. On this Hafiz Khalifa Rashid ud din sahib remarked laughingly that India was still under the rule of the first Messiah and what the priest had seen was an example of that, the new Messiah’s rule had not been established yet.

Munshi Zafar Ahmad sahib Kapoorthalwi debated the life and death of Jesus with the student of a Maulwi. The student was unsuccessful in presenting his argument. The discussion came to an end on the issue that can one attain the age of 120 years. The student wrote to his Maulwi seeking help. The Maulwi wrote back that yes indeed such an age was possible explaining that Jesus was in heavens for 2000 years and Satan dates back to the time of Adam. Munshi Zafar Ahmad sahib replied that the discussion was about the age of humans, was Satan from among humans that his example was cited, the Maulwi did not understand the difference between making a claim and backing it with proof and reasoning. When the student wrote this to his Maulwi, he responded, ‘your opponent is a Mirzai, tell him we do not wish to communicate with him.’ Huzur said such a response has been given in the past, is given at present and will be given in the future.

It is related about Hafiz Dr. Khalifa Rashid ud din sahib that he would enter the court of Nawab Rampur by saying out aloud Assalamoalaikum. This was against the etiquette of the court. Hafiz sahib would not bow to the Nawab either. When his attention was drawn to this he said he did not bow down to anyone save God. The Nawab threatened to have him transferred and disciplined. In response Hafiz sahib said to the Nawab that his life was in the hands of Hafiz sahib’s God, if He so willed He could remove the Nawab from his status. Hafiz sahib wrote to the Promised Messiah(as) about this and requested prayers. The prayers of the Promised Messiah(as) were so effective that the government declared the Nawab unfit on the grounds of mental illness.

Once Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) was met by the brother of Maulwi Muhammad Hussein Batalwi in a mosque in Lahore who raised the matter of abrogated verses of the Holy Qur’an. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) told him there was nothing to it. The brother must have told Maulwi Batalwi who came around and passionately asked why he had told his brother that there no was no abrogation in the Qur’an. He went on to take the names of two scholars, who too did not subscribe to the abrogation theory. He said they were all innovators. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) remarked, ‘that makes three of us’. They went to briefly discuss the matter but Maulwi Batalwi could not come up with any argument. He eventually went quiet.

Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) said that God that always been his Treasurer and this was borne out of his complete trust in God. Once he had nothing to eat. As he walked to the mosque for Isha Salat, a soldier stopped him and said that his officer wished to see him. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) said it was nearly Salat time, but the soldier said he was only following orders, so he took him to a nearby house where a well-off [English] officer sat with a plate of Jalaibee (Indian sweetmeat). He asked what they were called and explained that he had had them freshly made after hearing about them from an Indian but he wanted an Indian person to try them first and offered Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) to eat. He explained that it was Salat time to which the officer said he would send someone over to inform when Takbir for Salat had been said. Meanwhile, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) ate to his heart’s content. Next morning he was clearing his satchel out and was sorting his books out when he found £ 1. He knew full well that no one had been where he was, and he never took anyone’s property, so he deemed it was a gift from God and kept it.

Hafiz Roshin Ali relates that once he had not had a meal when it was time for Hadith lesson. He got busy in the lesson. Suddenly the sound of the lesson grew dull and despite being fully awake he could not see or hear what was around. In such a condition someone placed fresh and delicious food in front of him which he ate to his heart’s content. After this, he returned to his former state where he could hear the sounds of the lesson. However, the taste of the food was still in his mouth and he could still feel fully sated although he had not even left the place.

When the Promised Messiah(as) was in Gurdaspur for a legal case, many people would come to see him, so food used to be cooked regularly. Once there were unexpected guests but the food cooked for the regular number of guests was eaten satisfactorily by all. Next day the cook asked the Promised Messiah(as) if he should cook extra to accommodate the extra guests or should he cook the same amount as the previous day. The Promised Messiah(as) asked him that did he wish to test God? God had helped the previous day but now extra food should be cooked.

Hadhrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad sahib once instructed that if there was a person deserving of help who hesitated to ask for support himself, his name should be presented to him but it should always be ensured that the said person was truly deserving of help. Once Mirza Bashir Ahmad sahib stated that certain disadvantaged people should be helped but this was met with silence, and upon asking was informed that the aid fund had run out. He said, ‘ do not worry, get an overdraft and help the people, God will provide’. Within the same month hundreds were received in the fund.

When Hadhrat Mirza Sharif Ahmad sahib visited Britain he had some purchases to make. He had employed an Englishman for assistance. At one stage during the travels the assistant informed that the funds were running out and it was difficult to carry on. Mirza Sharif Ahmad sahib told him not to worry, there would be some arrangement. He prayed to God for help in foreign land. Next day, someone stopped him in town and started calling him, ‘a saint, a saint’. He presented a cheque of a large amount and requested for prayers. The assistant was amazed and said ‘truly, your God is Unique’.

Once the Raja of Kashmir said to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him), ‘Maulwi Ji, you tell us that we are unnecessarily aggressive because we eat flesh of swine, but do tell, the English also eat flesh of swine, why do they not act so aggressively?’ Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) replied, ‘they also eat beef, which corrects them’. The Raja went quiet and did not discuss anything religious for two years.

The Promised Messiah(as) said that the teaching of the Holy Qur’an is such that in following it one can see God in this very world. The Qur’an states: ‘…So let him who hopes to meet his Lord do good deeds, and let him join no one in the worship of his Lord.’ (18:111). It is also required that the arrangements of this world are not given undue respect and undue reliance. One’s own efforts should also not be considered of undue significance, there should be no pride in one’s knowledge or self-satisfaction in one’s practices. One should consider oneself meek and lowly and should turn to God as a parched, helpless person.

Huzur prayed that may each Ahmadi be enhanced in their humility, trust in God and belief. May we witness God’s help and succour and develop in our knowledge and our deeds and regard it all as a favour of God. May He enable us to do deeds that the companions merited, may we always turn to Him.