Pearls of Memory: Remembrance of Hazrat Musleh MaudSahibzada Mirza Muzaffar Ahmad
Amir and Missionary Incharge, Jamaat Ahmadiyya, U.S.A.
Al-Nahl, Spring 1995
Dear Zirvi Sahib,
Assalamo alaikum wa rahmatullahe wa barakatohu:
As desired, I have attempted a brief piece largely of my own personal experiences and memory and remembrance of Hazrat Musleh Maood. I am ill and in pain and wrote it lying down in bed. I hope this will ignite among our youth a desire to follow the path which Hazur's long and memorable services in the cause of Allah have lit up in glory for generations of Ahmadies to emulate and follow.
My earliest vivid memories go back to the time when he would go through the house of Hazrat Amman Jan (wife of the Promised Messiah) on to Masjid Mubarak to lead prayers. On his return from the mosque he would spend some time with Hazrat Amman Jan particularly after Maghrib Prayers for a while and chat with her and others who were present. At other times, particularly in the winter months, he would first go to Bait-ud-Dua (Prayer room) to offer Sunnats.
On these short stops he would pace up and down in the courtyard or the room depending on the weather and sometime engage in serious discussion on current Jamaat matters with my father (Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad) and sometime with Hazrat Mir Mohammad Ismail who may be visiting his sister, Hazrat Amman Jan.
At other times he would chat with Hazrat Amman Jan or talk to the children who may be present. I remember once he addressed us saying, "The Holy Quran is like an ocean of wisdom. You should inculcate the habit to read it seriously, ponder over its meanings and come out with gems of wisdom. If you have not reached maturity to come out with gems, at least you can bring out a shell as a result of your serious study of the Quran."
His Love for the Holy QuranHis love and attachment for the Quran was deep and abiding. On Saturdays, he would give Dars among women. The scene is still fresh and vivid in my mind. He would stand in the verandah of Hazrat Amman Jan's house and the ladies would sit in the courtyard, in the verandah or in close by rooms. It was, in those days, a very small crowd.
He would give Dars among men which was attended by school children and once give a special Dars during summer vacations in Masjid Aqsa which was also attended by a large number of Ahmadis from outside of Qadian. This Dars was given every day for hours and lasted many weeks.
During the last Ramadhan, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV read out a visionary prediction of Hazrat Musleh Maood that a time will come when Dar-sul-Quran by Khalifatul Masih of the time will be (televised and) listened to all over the world. Lo and behold! It has happened at the initiative, and during the Khilafat of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IV, and the whole world is witness of the fulfillment of this divine blessing.
When I was married to his daughter, we spent some days of summer leave in Dharamsala. On his own initiative he suggested to me that he would like to give me lessons, in the meanings, of the Holy Quran. He did it every day and I used to take notes of this private Dars.
Again his Tafseer-e-Sagheer and masterly Tafseer-e-Kabir in several volumes, are precious monuments of his love and labor to explain the unmatched beauties of the Holy Quran and its abiding message. A great part of this work was done when he was not well at all. I recollect long hours of his work in these precious weeks at Jabba where he spent some time to escape the unbearable heat of the plains in the scorching summer months.
Reliance on the Power of PrayerThe other dominating facet of his life was a deep trust and reliance on the power of prayer. At every crisis in Jamaat's life he would retire to Bait-ud-Dua and literally spend hours in praying to Allah. I witnessed this during the partition days. He would come out of Bait-ud-Dua with his eyes red and swollen.
I was posted in Amritsar as Additional Deputy Commissioner designated by Pakistan, with a Sikh gentleman as Additional Deputy Commissioner by India, and the Deputy Commissioner who was a British was to hand over to one of us depending on the award in the disputed Districts. One day the British Deputy Commissioner on return from Lahore, told me casually that Gurdaspur District is likely to go to India. I expressed my horror and surprise that under the principle of division for the award it is a Muslim majority District contiguous to other Muslim majority Districts and should under every criteria be part of Pakistan. At my argument, he felt a little embarrassed and said, "Lahore is full of rumors and you can never place any reliance on what you hear." The Deputy Commissioner also advised me to go back to Qadian as the C.I.D. reports indicated that a bomb was to be thrown at the house where I was living. He told me that if Amritsar was awarded to Pakistan, he would call me to return and take charge. So I went to Qadian and reported this to Hazur in his office, Qasre Khilafat. He told me that a short while earlier he had received a revelation that: Wherever you be, Allah will bring you all together. (Al-Quran, 2 [Al-Baqarah]:149)
Another incident of his solicitation to Allah is enshrined in my memory and I feel the presence and freshness of that awe even today some sixty-sevens years later. I was asleep at the outer courtyard of our home in Qadian on the mardana (men's) side on a summer night when I heard heart-rendering cries of prayers. The initial impact on sudden awakening was scary and when I regained my composure, I found it was Hazrat Musleh Maood engaged in Tahajjud prayers in the upper courtyard of Hazrat Umme Nasir's home whose wall adjoined our home. As I tried to listen closely, Hazur was repeating the prayers:
NOTE: Arabic Scripture with no given English translation
with such pathos that it looked as if a kettle was boiling on a stove. And the repetition of this part of the verse and prayer went on for what looked like eternity. The memory of that night and experience has never left me any time ever.
His Infinite Love for the JamaatHe had infinite love for the Jamaat. I clearly remember how he paced up and down the verandah in Rattan Bagh, Lahore with a small size Quran in his hand as soon as a caravan of Ahmadis left Qadian and moved towards Pakistan border. Almost throughout this period he prayed quietly and constantly and would not rest until the caravan had crossed the border safely.
It is also in my knowledge that at times of crises for the Jamaat, he stopped sleeping in the comfort of his bed and would sleep on the floor praying all the time until God assured him of success and resolution of the crisis. At times on such occasions he would feel a soft touch of a twig and a charming voice urging him to get up and sleep on the bed.
Another occasion which left a deep and abiding impression on my mind was when shortly after our marriage (when I was posted as Assistant Commissioner, Multan, and was temporarily living with my wife's maternal uncle, Colonel Habibullah Shah Sahib, who was Superintendent Central Jail), Hazur stopped for the night on his way to Sind. One evening he took me to the Drawing Room and asked me to sit next to him on the sofa. He told me that as a member of ICS, I would have opportunities to move around in higher circles but this should never stop me from caring for the poor and under-privileged. Referring to the furniture which prevents or discourages a poor man to reach you is not fit to have. He mentioned how every poor person had equal access to the Holy Prophet and that is the true example to follow. He had tears in his eyes and spoke in choked voice as he said all that. Of course my own state of mind and condition can be imagined rather than described as I had hardly ever seen him so moved and sentimental.
The other strong impression which I carry is his hard work and untiring efforts in the service of Islam and Ahmadiyyat. I can still remember seeing him sitting on the floor in a room covering himself with a chocolate color Dhussa (a soft Kashmiri blanket), with about a dozen or so long stem candles lit on an over turned box reading or writing often late at night. He had a sensitive throat which was the effect of kerosene oil, and therefore he used candles as there was no electricity in those days in Qadian. It came probably in early 1930s and in the period before that the working conditions placed an extra severe strain.
In periods of crisis I have seen Hazur work throughout the night without a wink of sleep and going from work straight to mosque for Fajr prayers. He would write a memorandum and sometime he would send it in bits and pieces to my father for translation or sometime for his views in the matter. We, as young boys, shuttled carrying those notes back and forth.
Respect for Hazrat Amman JanHe always showed utmost respect and affection for Hazrat Amman Jan. He would, in most of his travels, take her with him. Hazrat Amman Jan would affectionately call him Mian. She would be worried to death if he was late in coming home from a journey at the given time. Once, my wife tells me, that Hazrat Amman Jan was waiting impatiently for Hazur's return as he was late. Hazrat Amman Jan took up a soft twig and as Hazur entered she softly touched the young Khalifa with the twig saying, "Don't be late again. It worries me to death." This was a natural outburst of a worried mother but otherwise she showed him all respect like any other Ahmadi.
When Hazrat Amman Jan died in Rabwah, Hazur's desire was to bury her in Qadian next to her husband, Hazrat Promised Messiah, peace be upon him. I was posted then in Lahore. Hazur asked me to take up the matter with the Indian High Commissioner. On my request, the high commissioner told me that he would get in touch with Delhi and on the following day informed me that the Government of India has agreed as a special case. However, it would not issue visas for more than 20 relatives/others to accompany the body for burial in Qadian. Hazur did not accept this offer and without hesitation told me that in view of Hazrat Amman Jan's status and position some 10,000 Ahmadis were needed to accompany her for burial in Qadian.
A Great OratorHazur was a great orator. I have traveled a lot and have heard some of the top most leaders of the world. None came close to Hazur's oratory. He literally could move mountains and thousands and thousands of Jamaat members can bear witness to this truth. He kept large gatherings spell bound. I recall that soon after partition he gave a series of lectures in different cities elaborating what Pakistan needed to do in Defense and other fields. A non-Ahmadi professor of Islamia College was sitting close to an Ahmadi friend of mine. The Professor on hearing his speech, spontaneously stated that Hazur should have been the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Earlier, at a lecture, `Islam main Ikhtilifat ka Aghaz,' in Islamia College, the presiding officer who was a professor of history paid warm tribute to Hazur's masterly thesis. The Professor's opening words were: "Fazil Baap ka Fazil Beta" (learned son of the learned father), adding that he had assumed himself to be very knowledgeable in Islamic history but after listening to Hazur's lecture, the Professor found how deficient was his knowledge and insight about Islamic history.
To Ahmadis familiar with the Musleh Maood prophecy of the Promised Messiah was no surprise. What God had revealed long before Hazrat Musleh Maood's birth, the divine revelation, read as a piece of history, which had happened so clearly and unambiguously for every one to see and judge.
His Gracious KindnessI was throughout a recipient of Hazur's gracious kindness in many ways and recall a long letter of advice from him before I left for England for higher studies. One advice which made a deep and abiding impact was his quotation of the Quranic verse, i.e., the source of all real honor is Allah. I never forgot it. How true it is, indeed!
When on my return from England I joined the service and was married, Hazur's advice to his daughter who became my wife, "Muzaffar is now in service of Government but you are not. Meet freely the humblest but do not ever call or visit people merely on account of their rank and position." A test came early in service. Financial Commissioner visited Sargodha along with his wife. The ladies of the senior officials called on her. My wife did not, despite urging of the ladies. Later on ignoring all the ladies including the wife of Deputy Commissioner, Financial Commissioner's wife invited my wife alone to tea and made elaborate purdah arrangements for her. Everyone in the official circles in Sargodha was surprised and repeatedly inquired how it had happened and whether my wife had any previous acquaintance with the Financial Commissioner's wife. My wife's response was, "No, I had never met or known her."
Despite the extraordinary busy life, Hazur would find time to spend with his own children and children of his close family. I remember that during winter months, after Isha prayers, he would collect children in a room and narrate stories to them. The stories were not from any book. Actually he made them up as he spoke. These stories had some lessons which were woven in. The session ended with mothers or servants carrying some children who had dozed off and were fast asleep.
His Lighter MomentsIn his lighter moments, Hazur would sometime go hunting and compete against his colleagues and family members in cooking food and once I remember he competed against a large number of Jamaat members in swimming in a canal (which was at a distant of three miles from Qadian), from one bridge to another. The test was not to let your feet touch the ground and any one who touched the ground deliberately or accidentally had to raise his hand and go out of the race. When he reached at the other bridge he was left with only a handful of men with him. We followed this race along the canal bank. Hazur at that time wore a home-spun long short which was long enough to cover his knees.
A Great AdministratorHazrat Musleh Maood was a great Administrator with tremendous organizational vision and capabilities. The present Jamaat organization and structure owes a great deal to his many activities. The Nizam-e-Shoora, Financial Structure, the establishment of the three Auxiliaries, acquisition of large chunks of land for the Jamaat in Sind, on the basis of a vision he saw, the establishment of Tehrike Jadid for the spread of Islam and Ahmadiyyat in foreign lands in addition to its other elements in response to the on-slaught of the Ahrar agitation and many other schemes are standing monuments to his foresight and organizational capabilities.
To inculcate volunteerism and develop concept of Dignity of Labor, Hazur started organizing Waqar-e-Amal Days on which the whole community, young and old, regardless of rank or status in life would all get together and with manual labor undertake community work like filling ditches, cleaning the neighborhood or build small patches of dirt road for the benefit of the community. I can still see Hazur join in one Waqar-e-Amal carrying a basket full of dirt and throwing it at the designated spot. This motivated and inspired the whole community and they all joined in the venture with zeal and enthusiasm.
A Man of Great CourageHe was a man of great courage and iron determination. I remember that when there was attempt on his life when leading prayers in Rabwah, I was told about it by DIG Police before the news leaked out. He told me that Hazrat Mirza Sahib was out of danger and all communications with Rabwah had been cut off. The police and District Authorities throughout the Province had been altered. Nevertheless, I immediately made contact with Dr. Amir-ud-Din, a Surgeon, but he was involved in University Examinations and then contacted Dr. Riaz Qadeer, another Surgeon, and took him in my car to Rabwah arriving there late at night. Dr. Mirza Munawar Ahmad, Hazur's son, had attended to the wound on Hazur's neck. When Dr. Riaz Qadeer saw it he found it bulging and wanted to open it as there was a leak in one of the veins. He advised that this be done under anesthesia but Hazur said, "No. I would not like to be under anesthesia but would prefer to be done without it." When he stitched the small vein Hazur stood up to it with remarkable composure and courage.
This wound affected his general health and when he passed away after a long illness, we were all in Rabwah. His long illness appeared to be Allah's design to allow the Jamaat to prepare itself for the succession and absorb the tremendous shock of his departure in view of Jamaat's unique and intense attachment to him. He fought for Muslim causes with great zeal and devotion. The evidence is overwhelming. This happened in the epic struggle against Shudhi movement, in the struggle for the rights and freedom of Kashmiris, in his detailed commentary on Hindu designs against the legitimate rights of the Muslims of undivided India in 1940s, at the time of partition, and many such historical occasions. When a bigoted Hindu wrote an offensive article against the Holy Prophet, he raised his voice and organized an effective campaign against it forcing the Government to take due notice. On a positive side he organized Seerut-un-Nabi Day and Yaume-Peshwayane-Mazahib to prevent such painful incidents when they raise on account of ignorance of the lofty and noble character of the Holy Prophet and his unmatched benevolence to humanity.
In short, he was a unique leader of great and superior qualities rarely combined in any one individual. He was a living personification of all the rare qualities which the divine revelation of the Promised Messiah had received in answer to his solicitations to Allah for forty days in total seclusion in Hoshiapur. The majesty and sweep of the prophecy is awe inspiring and this one prophecy alone is enough to guide a lost soul to Divine truth and message.