Today’s Friday sermon was based on incidents from the lives of some companions of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Arab Ahmadis in particular request discourses on incidents of the companions. While each incident raises awareness about the devotion, sincerity, sense of sacrifice and endurance which these companions experienced after taking Bai’at, it is also a source of gleaning information about the blessed life of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Regardless of the nature of the subject under discussion or a particular incident, the excellent deportment of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) shines through and the ambience of his assemblies is understood. These companions are a model for us in this age and are the direct and true recipients of: ‘And among others from among them who have not yet joined them.’ (62:4). The incidents of the companions are a significant and exemplary model for their families as well as a source of advancement in the faith of every new Ahmadi.
Hadhrat Nizam Din sahib (may Allah be pleased with him): This incident has been mentioned before in a slightly different vein. He writes that he belonged to Ahle Hadith community which presumed to be most righteous. He once came to Lahore to attend an annual religious convention. Next to the marquee of the convention a maulwi was distributing leaflets while holding the Qur’an in one hand and announcing that ‘Mirza’ had (God forbid) caught leprosy because he insulted Prophets, called himself Isa etc. It did not even cross Nizam sahib’s mind that one holding the Qur’an would make a false statement. He was with two friends at the time and they took a leaflet from the maulwi. The leaflet mentioned what the maulwi was announcing. Intrigued Nizam sahib decided to visit Qadian to see Mirza sahib for himself, so that on his return he could prove the lies of his Ahmadi friends. His two friends agreed to join him after some persuasion. They headed for Batala and from there reached Qadian after Asr. They went to the guest house. Time for Maghrib was close so they asked where Mirza sahib led Salat. Someone took them to the mosque. In those days Masjid Mubarak was extremely small. Nizam sahib sat down on the spot to the right where the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) was expected to sit. Due to the smallness of the mosque only six people could stand in one row and the congregation could not be more than six rows deep. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) arrived soon after the Adhan and stood next to Nizam sahib. Maulwi Abdul Kareem sahib stood in front and delivered an address. Nizam sahib looked at the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) from head to toe. His heart was affected to see the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) appearance. Hair on his head and his beard appeared as if cords of gold to him and his half-closed eyes presented a perfect model of modesty. He was deeply absorbed in this sight wondering that his maulwi had declared this person a liar when Salat started. During Salat he wondered how the maulwi with a long beard had announced holding the Qur’an that ‘Mirza’ had caught leprosy. Nizam sahib doubted if anyone could tell falsehood while holding the Qur’an and felt that it was possible that the person standing next to him was not Mirza sahib and that he was there to deceive newcomers. Yet, when he visualised the pure and resplendent face of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) he wondered if the maulwi had been lying. After Salat the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) called Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) to come to the front of the congregation. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) then spoke of his prediction about the plague and said that he had warned people that he had seen angels sowing black plants, which were trees of the plague but he had been mocked by people who had said that plague only affects coastal areas. But now plague had spread in Punjab. Nizam sahib wondered at the disparity between what his maulwi had said and what he had seen. Next morning they decided to ask Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him). Someone in the gathering raised the objection that the earlier Prophets did not have much to eat and endured starvation whereas Mirza sahib ate pilao and zarda (rich rice dishes). Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) replied that the Qur’an had indeed declared them as Halal. Nizam sahib showed him the leaflet and said his maulwi had said Mirza sahib had caught leprosy and was the person he had just seen the real Mirza sahib. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) told him that he had indeed seen the real Mirza sahib and it was up to him to believe who he wished to believe. Nizam sahib’s eyes filled with tears and he censured himself for not yet taking Bai’at. He requested the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) at Zuhr time to take his Bai’at but was told to wait lest the maulwi caused him to slip again. Nizam sahib wept and said that the maluwi could not cause him to slip any more. He took Bai’at the following day.
Hadhrat Abdul Aziz sahib (may Allah be pleased with him): He heard about the claim of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in 1891 through some Ahmadi acquaintances. As he had no preconceived enmity regarding the Promised Messiah he did not mind what the acquaintance told him. However, his family was reverent towards maulwis so he wondered why the maulwis were so against him. Aziz sahib was given the Promised Messiah’s book ‘Izala Auham’ to read. He prayed to be shown the truth. As he read the book he felt satisfaction and no doubt remained in his heart. He went to Qadian and saw the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Seeing him, his heart felt deep satisfaction. He said to his Ahmadi acquaintance that although he had not been impertinent about the Promised Messiah but even if had been, he now repented. He was convinced that this was not the face of a liar.
The main thing is purity of intention. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) indeed said that his books should be read with purity of intent. Those who read his books and then raise objection over them have grubby mentality. Even the Qur’an states about itself that only the pure will understand it, as such what chance do other books have!
Hadhrat Dr Muhammad Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him): He writes that in December 1903 when he was about 18 or 19 years old he saw the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in his dream for the first time. In the dream the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) asked him whose follower he was and he replied, the Holy Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Later, he read the Promised Messiah’s books ‘A’ina Kamalat Islam’ and ‘Teryaqul Quloob’ and was inclined towards him. In 1906 he performed Istikhara and in the morning while wide awake he saw a flight of stairs and on the topmost step of the stairs a board read: ‘Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, the Promised Messiah and the Promised Mahdi.’ In 1907 he went to see his in-laws in Sialkot where he met someone with whom he went to Qadian and saw the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) at Zuhr. He noticed his appearance to be exactly the same as he had seen in his dream of 1903. This became a source of him taking Bai’at.
Hadhrat Malik Umer Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him): He writes that he heard about the Promised Messiah’s claim in his adolescence and felt a keenness to take Baia’at. In 1905 he went to Qadian with the intention of taking Bai’at. Upon reaching the small hamlet with mud houses, where just a few students were being taught by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) he could not equate the tremendous claim of the Promised Messiah with the small scale of Qadian. Yet his heart was convinced at his truthfulness. He sent a note to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) requesting him to take his Bai’at because he had to return the same day. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) replied via a note that he would come to Masjid Mubarak after the Adhan. Meanwhile two Sikh men appeared who seemed rushed. A message was sent in about them as well and it received a similar reply. They said they were brothers who lived near Qadian. Their father had taken Shahadah on his deathbed just before passing away which had had an effect on them and they too wanted to take Shahadah. They said their people were perhaps chasing after them with sticks and that is why they were in a rush. Adhan was called and the mosque was packed with people. Malik sahib stood among the shoes in a wonder when the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) entered the mosque. Although there were others ahead of him to take Bai’at, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) asked him who he was and then took his hand and asked others to place their hands on ‘the child’s hand’ to take Bai’at.
Hadhrat Rehmat Ullah Ahmadi sahib (may Allah be pleased with him): He writes that he went to see the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) during one of his visits to Ludhiana. Rehmat sahib was a 17 or 18 year old at the time. When he saw the spiritual light of the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) face his heart compelled him that this could not be the face of a liar and wondered why the maulwis created doubts. Later, he witnessed a debate between the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and Maulwi Muhammad Hussein Batalwi. He also read the book ‘Izala Auham’ which he found to be replete with light and guidance. After reading the book he could not sleep all night and wept. Meanwhile, his love and ardour grew. He wrote to one of his erstwhile maulwis that Hadhrat Mirza sahib had proved the death of Hadhrat Isa (on whom be peace) with thirty Quranic verses and asked him to send refutation of this. The maulwi wrote to him not to debate this matter because death of Hadhrat Isa (on whom be peace) could be proven from certain Quranic verses adding that on the contrary he should argue how was Mirza sahib the Messiah. Rehmat sahib replied to the maulwi that if Hadhrat Isa (on whom be peace) had indeed died then Hadhrat Mirza sahib was truthful. The maulwi replied that Rehmat sahib had been influenced and that he would pray for him. Rehmat sahib responded to him by saying that the maulwi should pray for himself.
Rehmat sahib writes that he turned to God with complete and utter humility and prayed most profusely for mercy. A short while later, early in the morning on 25 December 1897 he saw a dream in which he saw the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). He was then explained that in practical terms he had been shown the advent of the Promised Messiah in the dream. He had the privilege to take Bai’at. Following the Bai’at no amount of trials could shake his resolve and this was due to the company of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) which he was privileged to repeatedly keep. He had to endure all manner of trials but he also experienced blessings of God. His close relatives also became Ahmadi.
Hadhrat Syed Mahmood Alam sahib (may Allah be pleased with him): He writes that in 1903 his older brother Syed Mehboob Alam sahib heard about the claim of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) while on his travels. He made enquiries regarding the whereabouts of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and started corresponding with him. He requested that his books were sent to him which he would read and then return. Hadhrat Maulwi Abdul Kareem sahib (may Allah be pleased with him) started sending him the books. People started opposing his brother but he took Bai’at. Under the influence of his brother Mahmood sahib also read books and took Bai’at. Prior to Bai’at he had seen a dream in which Hadhrat Imam Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) mentioned his eminence. After the Bai’at he told his father that the indication to eminence was his accepting Ahmadiyyat.
Mahmood Alam sahib writes that he had been ill for two years with a dangerous ailment and had not yet fully recuperated when he mentioned going to Qadian to his brother. His said there were no treasures in Qadian and he should go there after passing his matriculation qualification so that he could support himself. His family did not help him in any way towards his journey. Due to illness he had no energy and could not even walk the length of a mile. People advised him to meet his parents before leaving but he decided not to, in case his mother’s persuasion faltered his resolve. He wrote to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) about his situation and also wrote to his brother explaining that he was going to Qadian, if he reached there, he would write but should he died en route no one would find his dead body. He travelled for the first fifty miles by train so that if his failing health faltered his resolve he did not have the strength to turn back. He would walk thirty miles each day, sleeping wherever he could. Due to constant walking his feet were wounded and he would pray to God to honour the blisters on his feet. Each morning after Salat he would try to set off but his feet would not allow him. He would start the walk gradually and later warm up. His feet were so badly injured that he could not wear shoes and his skin had come off. As a result stones and pebbles would pierce him as he walked. At times he would walk on the rail track and at times on a road. He also went through wilderness where he encountered monkeys and aggressive baboons. He writes that he also passed through the city of Aligarh but such was his focus to keep going that he hardly noticed the place. He walked through Delhi but did not stop even for one minute because his objective was something else. Eventually he arrived in Qadian with wounded feet. At the guest house Hamid Ali sahib gave him milk to drink. As he had no money on him, he declined but Hamid Ali sahib assured him that he did not have to pay for the milk. He drank the milk and observed that he was the only ‘guest’ who was offered milk. Later, he had the honour to meet the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Syed Mahmood sahib writes that as he rubbed/massaged the Promised Messiah’s (on home be peace) feet, he realised that his obsession had availed him or else how could he have been counted among the companions of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) treated his injured feet and appointed Hafiz Roshin Ali sahib to tutor him. Later Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) himself tutored Syed Mahmood sahib. Syed sahib writes that when the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) went to Lahore in May 1908 and called for Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) Syed sahib also went. At the time of passing away of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) Syed sahib was on his right hand side. He accompanied the funeral back to Qadian. When Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) took his Bai’at, Syed sahib sat with him on the same bedstead.
Such was the love and devotion of the companions of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). In a way the account of Syed Mahmood sahib is a fulfilment of the Hadith that mentions reaching the Messiah even if one has to crawl on hands and knees. May God continue to elevate the status of the companions of the Promised Messiah and may He increase us in our faith and may the hearts and mind of Muslims be opened so that they may accept the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and are saved from the calamities that have beset them.
The sad news of the passing away of Hashim Saeed sahib was given next. He passed away in Saudi Arabia and his funeral had arrived today. He regularly travelled between Saudi Arabia and UK. He last went back on 11 August and upon arrival in Saudi Arabia he had heart trouble at the airport. He was promptly taken to a clinic where he suffered from a heart attack and passed away.
He had gone to Saudi Arabia in 2000 and was enabled to serve on important Jama’at posts in his time there. In addition Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih sought significant Jama’at tasks from him which he performed in excellent manner. He was a man of many qualities. He was an expert in organisational matters and understood the intricacies of technical matters. He also had a lot of religious knowledge. He was a very sociable, soft-spoken and humble person. He was a sympathetic person who was very sincere. He was at the forefront of paying chanda and any other financial schemes and also excelled in paying the dues of people and did not rest until he had helped anyone needing help. A Waqfe Zindagi neighbour of his has said that once due to inclement weather the timber fence between their gardens broke. The neighbour had to leave on a tour. Hashim sahib assured him that he would take care of it and did this of his own accord. He was extremely devoted to Khilafat and was ever ready in practice to uphold the administrative system of the Jama’at. He leaves behind a widow and a daughter.
The Arabic desk writes that he was most considerate regarding the property of the Jama’at and from the perspective of the Jama’at he kept a keen eye internally as well as externally. He was a courageous man who did not have any care in terms of accomplishing a task in the cause of God. He was like an affectionate father to new Ahmadis. Many new Ahmadis have expressed this sentiment. He would travel up to 500 miles for the sake of new Ahmadis. He had a tunic of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in his possession and he once performed either Hajj or Umrah wearing it and rubbed it against the walls of the Ka’ba.
His wife writes that they were married for 32 years. She writes that he had extreme love and devotion for Khilafat and was a very prayerful and honest person. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih said there is no exaggeration whatsoever in this statement. For the past forty years he had dedicated 1/9 of his income to the scheme of Wasiyyat. She writes that he used to say that for him Khilafat was foremost, then his family and then anything else. The accounts of a few of his dreams have been found in his diary by his wife. In one dream he saw the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) four times with his face as resplendent as the sun. In another dream he saw that he is in a house where Hadhrat Amman Jan (may Allah be pleased with her) is residing. She meets him very warmly and narrates many incidents from the life of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). The dream then moves onto the house of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and Hadhrat Amman Jan where the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) relates accounts of his life and also explains the way in which Divine revelation is received. In the dream Hashim sahib leaves the house in the evening. The entire dream was a feeling and did not have any faces in it. He also saw Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih in his dream. He saw that he has died and Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih is leading his funeral Prayer.
Hashim sahib received employment offers from abroad but Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) did not allow him to leave UK until 2000. He was an expert in his field but did not ever give the impression of being knowledgeable. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih first met him at the occasion of the passing away of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV when he wrote up the statements for announcements. He did this task most humbly and wherever he was asked to change a phrase he would do so without the slightest of hesitation giving no impression that he had spent his entire life in this country and had a command over the language. His humility was exemplary, his enthusiasm to serve was also exemplary and his love for Khilafat was also exemplary.
Many a time he told Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih of his wish to dedicate his life (Waqf) and he was always told that he was needed wherever he was serving and that he should consider it as Waqf. Indeed, he worked more than Waaqif e Zindagi. He was close to retirement but had received another contract and Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih had asked him to remain there. He did all his tasks with courage and wisdom and was the source of many taking Bai’at. He was an expert in accounting and Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih did not have concerns about the accounts of his Jama’at. He often visited UK and would come straight to the mosque and while here would offer all his Prayers at the Fazl Mosque. In short he was among those helpers of Khilafat who are truly excellent helpers. His passing has left a vacuum. May God grant Khilafat righteous people like him. We trust that the Loving God will grant hundreds of thousands like him. May God elevate his status and grant him place in the feet of God’s beloveds. May God grant UK Jama’at selfless workers like him, may God be the Helper of his wife and daughter.