In his Friday Sermon today Hudhur related faith-inspiring incidents of some of the companions of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that led them to take his bai’at. These were people who had the blessed opportunity to keep the holy company of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Hudhur explained that while listening to these accounts one is enthused to pray for these elders, one also experiences a distinctive spirituality through an illustration of the holiness of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).
Hadhrat Mian Ferozuddin sahib of Sialkot: He took his bai’at in 1892. He writes that ‘Lecture Sialkot’ [a book of the Promised Messiah] was written on the roof top of the house of another companion. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had inkpots placed on all the four walls and he wrote as he strolled, at times, bowing down in sajdah (prostration posture). The narrator says he saw all this from the rooftop of his own home as many others had joined him as his house was close to the other house and was higher so everything could be seen clearly. Hudhur Aqdas sent down pages to the scribe downstairs as and when he finished writing each page.
Later, when the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) went to deliver the lecture, a hafiz who taught the local boys told them their lesson was over. Instead, he gave the boys ash and told them to throw it at the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) when he passed. The Promised Messiah was in an enclosed carriage so he remained safe.
He further writes that at the venue where the lecture was to be delivered various mullah had erected obstructions and would not allow people to go through and were riling people. The narrators says when the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) returned he and many went with him up till the town of Wazirabad. There too, many had gathered and were hurling abuse and throwing stones.
He says he also went with the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to Jehlum where two European ladies enquired why had a crowd gathered. When they were told that this was the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), the ladies asked the crowed to disperse so that they could take a photograph. The following day was a court hearing where Hudhur Aqdas (on whom be peace) had to be present. He sat on a chair surrounded by a crowd and said that people had accepted that he is from God on his say so. Therefore, if he had [God forbid] made it up he would be punished for it and those who had accepted him would not be punished. He said as he was from God those who had accepted him would be rewarded for it.
Hudhur added this was in line with the Quranic teaching: ‘…And if he be a liar, on him will be the sin of his lie; but if he is truthful, then some of that which he threatens you with will surely befall you…’ (40:29). Hudhur said today Muslims should reflect on this. Such has been the treatment of people with Prophets of God.
The narration continues that someone in the crowd raised a book high and said that Messiah had gone to the heavens in that manner. There was a beggar in the crowd, who said why a lie was being told, giving reference of the Quranic verse: ‘Every soul shall taste of death…’ (3:186). He repeated this three times in an impassioned manner and said that he was not a follower of Mirza sahib but he could not hide the truth. The narrators also writes that he once heard in the company of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) Sahibzada Abdul Lateef say, ‘Hudhur, my blood drips from my body and I see that it will ‘irrigate’ in Kabul’.
Hadhrat Umer Din hajjaam: He hailed from Gujrat. He signed his bai’at form in 1899 and took bai’at physically in 1900. He narrates that his friends used to say to him that he would become a ‘Mirzai’. When he saw Ahmadis reading the Qur’an and offering Salat he would pray that if the Messiah was from God may he be able to see him. Once in a dream he saw the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in a most blessed countenance and wondered that he had never seen a person such as that, could it be the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Later, in Masjid Aqsa, Qadian, he prayed that if the Messiah was the man he had seen in his dream he would accept him otherwise he would return promptly. When the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) arrived he saw that he was exactly the same person he had seen in his dream, so he took his bai’at. When he announced his departure the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said ‘stay at least for a further fortnight to recognise the truth’. He also said, ‘if due to some reason you cannot visit, you must always write letters.’
Hadhrat Sufi Nabi Baksh sahib, son of Abdul Samad sahib: He took his bai’at in 1891 and he probably saw the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) for the first time in 1886. He writes that he first visited Qadian in 1886 to investigate about a poster that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had published announcing that he would be granted a son who would be a source of blessing for many nations. Later, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) published three booklets, ‘Fateh Islam, ‘Tauzeeh Maram’ and ‘Izalah Auham’ and therein proved that Hadhrat Isa (on whom be peace) had passed away and that he himself was the manifestation of the coming of the Promised Messiah. This was followed by an uproar of unbelief from the mullah. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote another booklet ‘Aasmani Faisla’. Later, this booklet was read out at the first ever Jalsa held at Qadian which the narrator had the privilege to be invited to. He says when the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) arrived at the Jalsa and he took one look at his face, he immediately recognised him as his heart felt electrified when he recalled that this was the blessed face he had seen in a dream in his student days and was attired in the very same clothes that he had seen in his dream. At the end of the Jalsa the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) shook hand with everyone and the narrator was the last to shake his hand for he had something special to say. He submitted that he had already taken bai’at on someone’s hand, what was the instruction for him. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) told him that if the person he had taken bai’at of was pious then his [second] bai’at would be ‘light upon light’ and if the person was not pious then his bai’at would be annulled and the Promised Messiah’s bai’at would remain. Later, he took his bai’at on the blessed hand of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).
Hadhrat Nazam Din sahib tailor master: He took his bai’at in 1902. He narrates that he is astonished that God blessed him with the great grace of Ahmadiyyat as he had been so opposed to it. Whenever engaging in talks with Ahmadis he firmly believed the mullah to be the pillars of religion and considered that his Ahl e Hadith people were the righteous ones. Once attending one of their Jalsa, he saw a mullah giving a sermon by a wall holding the Qur’an in one hand and distributing some leaflets with the other, saying, ‘Mirza has [God forbid] got leprosy, because he insulted Prophets and called himself Isa’. He took a leaflet and never imagined that anyone would be brazen enough to utter falsehood while holding the Qur’an. Later, he decided to visit Qadian so that he could witness things first hand and then contend with the ‘Qadianis’. Thus, he went to Qadian with some friends. It was near to Maghrib time when they arrived. He asked someone to show him where ‘Mirza sahib’ offered his Salat. He was shown to what is now Masjid Mubarak. It was an extremely tiny mosque in those days. A minute or so after the Adhan the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) came to the mosque and stood by him. He says he looked at the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) from top to toe, so much so that he even saw his blessed hair and the condition of his heart changed. He thought that he had never seen a man of such an appearance ever before; his hair looked like strings of gold, eyes dream-like, presenting a complete embodiment of modesty. The beauty of his hands and feet was alluring and the narrator wondered if this could be the same person his mullah called a liar. He was lost in these thoughts when Salat started. Through out the Salat he thought about the disparity between what the mullah had said and what he beheld and thus a sea of doubt rose in his heart. He even wondered if the person he saw was not the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). After Salat the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) sat and talked till Isha time. He talked about his warning of having seen angels sowing black plants in Punjab and upon asking the angels told him that there would be an outbreak of the plague in Punjab. People has ridiculed this saying plague stays on the coastal areas and never spreads inland. However, it did spread in Punjab.
Next morning the astonished narrator went to see Maulwi Nuruddin sahib and asked him if indeed who he had seen the night before was ‘Mirza sahib’. On confirmation he became emotional and asked to take bai’at at Zuhr time but the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said he should wait lest the mullah made him slip again. He pleaded that was not to be. He and his friends took bai’at the next day and returned home.
Hadhrat Mian Abdul Aziz sahib, son of Mian Imam Din sahib: He took his bai’at in 1893. He writes that he became acquainted to some Ahmadis in 1891 who mentioned about the claim of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to him. As he had no prior enmity he did not mind but did wonder why the mullah was so abusive about him. When he was given the books ‘Kitab ul Biryyah’ and ‘Izala Auham’ [books of the Promised Messiah] to read, he prayed to be steadfast on the truth. This prayer was accepted quickly when he started reading ‘Izala Auham’ as his faith increased and he had no doubt left in his mind. When he visited the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) he felt satisfaction and his heart gave the testimony that this was not the face of a liar. He writes that his original name was Meeran Baksh which has idolatrous connotations and he had tried to change it before unsuccessfully. When the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) changed his name to Abdul Aziz, he prayed that may this name kept by the Promised Messiah endure. He writes all official documents carried his new name.
Hadhrat Shaikh Allah Buksh: He took his bai’at in 1905. He writes that he received no religious education in childhood. When he reached the age of 17 years he felt an interest in religion. He learnt to read the Qur’an and started reading its translation. During that time he happened to look through a book which hurt him because to his mind it appeared Hadhrat Isa (on whom be peace) had a greater status than the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Due to embarrassment he could not mention this to anyone. Until in 1905 during his employment he occasioned to see some papers through Dr. Alim Din Gujrati and read on death of Jesus. As soon as he was convinced of death of Jesus (on whom be peace) he thanked God and without any hesitation promptly wrote a letter to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) regarding bai’at. When his father expressed displeasure at this he reminded him that when after the birth of one child he did not have any children for 12 years he had prayed to God for a child as Hadhrat Ibrahim (on whom be peace) had prayed in his advanced age for a child. In acceptance of the prayer the narrator was born. The narrator told his father that the prayer had actually been fulfilled now that with God’s grace he had accepted one commissioned by God.
He writes that in 1906 he took his bai’at on the blessed hand of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in Qadian. He writes: ‘The illustration of the time of taking bai’at and the state of my heart I briefly describe thus; a liberal and irreligious young man, contrary to all the defiance of his Nafse Ammarah (self that incites to evil) willingly battling against it, submitted to the door of one commissioned by God, and restlessly waited for him to arrive, eyes fixed to a small window [from where the Promised Messiah used to come to the mosque]. There were very few people in the mosque and all were quietly and respectfully waiting for the holy person. This is when a holy, handsome, dignified and majestic pious man entered the mosque from the very same window. Meanwhile, the young man was shaken and tears started streaming from his eyes, but he was still unaware as to why. He was only conscious this much that Hudhur’s entrance from the window appeared exactly as if a perfectly radiant sun had emerged on a dark night and all the darkness had gone.’
He writes that the following year he introduced his ailing father to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wishing he would take bai’at but alas he deprived himself of this.
Hadhrat Muhammad Hussain Khan sahib, son of Khuda Baksh sahib: He narrates that he heard someone mention that a mullah had said that higher education can also turn one’s head. Adding that there was a ‘Mirza’ in Qadian who said that he was [God forbid] God. When a reference was asked, ‘Baraheen e Ahmadiyyah’ [book of the Promised Messiah] was given as a reference. The narrator found an Ahmadi in Sukkur who had the book. When the book was looked at it stated, ‘God is in me and I am in God’. The narrator took the book to the man and said that this was only a small matter. At which the man said, ‘even he has become a Mirzai’. The narrator replied, ‘mirzai’ was a very good thing, in his vernacular a quilted waist coat is called a mirzai. He added it gives comfort when one is struck with pneumonia.
He narrates that he dreamed that night the Imam Mahdi of latter-days has come. When he asked his whereabouts he was told he was 25 miles away.
Hudhur said these days similar distortions of the writings of the Promised Messiah are presented to misguide people by the so-called religious leaders as well as by the TV channels and media.
Continuing with the narration of the dream, Hadhrat Muhammad Hussain Khan sahib says that he started walking towards the direction given to him. On the way he sees Imam Mahdi riding a horse and is accompanied by 200 riders. He requests that his bai’at is taken, and takes his bai’at and joins them. They break their journey in Lahore. In the dream the narrator leaves to see his mother in nearby Gujaranwala. When he reaches home, he stands at the bottom of the stairs and says, ‘the Mahdi of latter-days’ has come whoever wants to take his bai’at should go to Lahore’. This is when he woke up. Next day he had another dream. He saw that Imam Mahdi is on a high place towards the heavens and says, ‘a slave of ours lives here, bring his head’. The narrator takes his head off and gives it away. A short while later the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) says, return his head and give him some from my treasure but the man does not give him anything. On the third day at night he felt as if his body had been pressed by something. He was not sure whether he was asleep or awake. Meanwhile the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) comes to him and says, ‘so what if he did not give you any, we have plentiful, stretch out your hand’. He extended his hand and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) places something on his hand which he puts in his mouth.
Once on his regular journey back to Sukkur he diverted to go to Qadian. Amazingly he met someone he knew from Sukkur with whom he stayed overnight and who took good care of him. On the way the narrator met a few opposing people. When he reached Qadian he went to Hadhrat Maulwi Nuruddin (may Allah be pleased with him) who took him to see the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) at Masjid Mubarak. The narrator took his bai’at and then related about his childhood and asked the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) to pray for his younger brother may also become an Ahmadi. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) asked him how long his eye had been bad, he replied since childhood, although once in Murree he had felt better. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said to him that he should work in Murree. The narrator replied he worked in Sukkur. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said, ‘God will grant you healing’. He narrates soon after his eye got better.
He narrates that once two high ranking officers came to see the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). The officers expressed concerned over some violent assault that took place the night before. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said to them, ‘God is protecting us, you do your duty however you deem appropriate.’ He narrates that once someone mentioned playing of band and fireworks at weddings to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) who said, ‘playing of band is by way of announcing, there is no sin in it; fireworks are odious’. Another account relates that once in the mosque the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) foot touched a Pathan’s bad foot. The Pathan walked with the help of two sticks. Instantly his painful foot was better. When the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was on his way out, the Pathan asked him if he could touch his foot with his other bad foot. He explained that he had been in treatment for six months but the Promised Messiah’s touch had instantly cured him.
Hadhrat Shaikh Muhammad Ismaeel sahib: He took his bai’at in 1894. He narrates that regretting the state of the mullahs and the Sufis of his time, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) would say that had God not consoled him with [revelation] ‘I shall take your message to the ends of the earth’ who knows how hurtful the mullah’s nonsense would have been.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) would say that if only they heard his tearful supplication for them, how anguished he was for their guidance and how he would repeatedly and in a heart-rending manner pray to God for them. The narrator says on hearing this they were quite stunned how much this holy person wished well for God’s people. He narrates that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had so influenced his friends with his power of holiness that they only believed in God to be the ‘Doer’ of everything and they never stopped from what was the truth. They avoided low morals and adhered to high morals and were ever grateful to God and trusted in Him. Such were their good works that their hearts surged with love of God and whatever they did, they did specifically for God. They greatly avoided hypocrisy for the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) always called hypocrisy a dangerous bad moral. The narrator writes that he had never seen the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) eyes fully open, such was his modesty. However, when an enemy of God was cited or when he mentioned the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) that is when his eyes would be fully open. He had such great love for the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) that each time he mentioned his name he would say if this pure Prophet had not come to this world there would have be no guidance, the entire world would have gone astray. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) advised his community to become a manifestation of God and would say that he found God more loving than a mother. He greatly stressed to avoid thinking ill of others and said that one who thinks ill of others can never partake of the light of faith, for this is a dangerous bad moral that even makes one disillusioned with God. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) repeatedly said that our community should only consider the Holy Qur’an a source of obtaining spiritual knowledge.
Concluding Hudhur prayed that may God elevate the status of these companions for their accounts have been a source of enhancing our faith, may He also enable us to carry the mission forward. May we try and adapt ourselves to fulfil the expectations of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in light of the models of his companions.