by The Late Ch. Ali Mohammad B.A., B.T.
From the study of geneological tree of the family of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I, I have come to know that he descended from Hazrat Omar the second successor to the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings of God be upon him). Maulvi Nooruddin was the youngest son of Hafiz Ghulam Rasool of Bhera, Shahpur District (Sargodha). The family had produced many a learned men and the last eleven generations of the family produced ‘Huffaz’ who committed to memory the Holy Quran from generation to generation down to Hazrat Hafiz Maulvi Nooruddin. It goes to the credit of Hazrat Maulvi Sahib that he learnt by heart sixteen paras (parts) during the course of one month’s journey. He learnt the Urdu translation of the Holy Quran, which was a rare example in those days, when translation of the Holy Quran was considered almost a sacrilege by the ignorant ulema.
By the time he was ten years old, he had picked up a good practical knowledge of three Rs, as well as a fair vocabulary of the Persian and Arabic languages.
While at Lahore, young Nooruddin developed diphtheria, a disease which sometimes proves fatal, but the boy was cured of his disease by Hakim Ghulam Dastgir of Said Mitha, Lahore. The incident of his recovery assured young Nooruddin of the usefulless of ‘tibb’ (medical science) as a human profession which helps nature to reduce human suffering. At the suggestion of a fellow student that Rampur in the U.P. (India) was the finest place to acquire higher education, a party of three students determined to proceed to Rampur. What a trio of young friends undertaking a long and arduous journey on foot to seek knowledge in a distant part of the country!
After a stay of some months in Rampur, our young hero, Nooruddin, went to Lucknow to study ‘tibb’ with Hakim Hussain Ali, the top most physician of U.P. Maulvi Nooruddin went to the house of Hakim Sahib and entered the well furnished room, where the Hakim Sahib was talking to some friends. As soon as the Maulvi Sahib entered the hall he loudly pronounced the Islamic formula of
salutation i.e. السلام علیکم. Maulvi Sahib requested the Hakim to instruct him in ‘tibb-e-Unani’. After a brief discussion, the Hakim Sahib agreed to teach ‘tibb-e- Unani’ to the young learner.
From Lucknow the Maulvi Sahib now determined to proceed to Hijaz, where he could complete his knowledge of the Hadith as well as the Holy Quran. He stayed for a number of years in the holy cities of Mecca and Madina and enjoyed the society of learned men such as Hazrat Shah Abdul Ghani of Madina. After the completion of his study of the Quran and Hadith, Hazrat Maulvi Sahib retuned to India as a great scholar of the Islamic lore. He was now an accomplished man, who had seen much of the world. His fame as a learned scholar and an excellent physician spread far and wide.
In the year 1876 Lala Mathra Das, a Hindu neighbour of Hazrat Maulvi Sahib in Bhera, a senior officer in the Police Department of Jammu and Kashmir, unfortunately developed tuberculosis and was forced to come to Bhera on sick leave. He was under the treatment of Hazrat Maulvi Sahib for some time. By and by he began to recover till he was completely cured of the dangerous disease and returned to Kashmir to join service again. Diwan Kirpa Ram, Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, once passed through Pind Dadan Khan in the Punjab and heard of the recovery of Lala Mathra Das at the hands of the great physician Maulvi Nooruddin. The Diwan reported the whole incident to Maharaja Ranbir Singh who immediately consented to invite the great physician of Bhera to Kashmir. Lala Mathra Das was deputed to approach the great Hakim Sahib and escort him to Jammu as Royal physician. Hazrat Maulvi Sahib accepted the post.
The Maharaja had a great regard for the renowned physician. During the course of his state, Hazrat Maulvi Sahib continued to benefit the Muslims of the state with his knowledge of the religion of Islam and his experience as great ‘tabib’ (physician). Hazrat Maulvi Sahib enjoyed the full confidence of the Maharaja who became very friendly with him.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, Gurdaspur, Punjab, being commissioned by God Almighty as the Renovater and Reformer of the latter days and as the result of the complete submission to and love for the most exalted Prophet Mohammad, the best of creation, the Seal of Prophets, and having a complete analogy in humility, meekness, humbleness and in power and spirit with the Messiah of Nazareth, the last prophet of the Mosaic Order, invited all the leading religious figures to come to Qadian, stay there for a year and witness signs proving the truth of Islam. In case no signs were shown, during the year by the claimant, he would be legally bound to pay Rs. 20,000 per month (rupees two thousand and four hundred a year), as indemnity.
Registered letters were addressed to all the chief religious leaders in Asia, Europe and America, incidentally a copy of the grand invitation was received by the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir State which he sent Hazrat Maulvi Sahib for perusal. As soon as the Maulana perused the letter his joy knew no bounds. He immediately made arrangements to visit Qadian and have a look at the face of the great claimant, who have courage to send such a strange invitation to the religious leaders of the world. He visited Qadian in March 1888. Hazrat Maulvi Sahib discerned with an inner eye the sign which are characteristic of the holy men of God and in the light of the Holy Prophet’s traditions, he was thoroughly convinced that the claimant was the right sort of man chosen by God Almighty to remedy the ills which surrounded Islam in those turbulent days. He at once became perfectly satisfied that he had found out the man, who was to defend Islam against the onslaughts of the enemies.
Maulvi Sahib requested Hazrat Mirza Ghualm Ahamd Sahib to be initiated but Hazrat replied that he had not as yet been authorized to do so. Taking leave of Hazrat Mirza Sahib, Maulvi Sahib went back to Jammu.
Though the Maulana was the court physician, he also worked whole heartedly for the uplift of down trodden Muslims in the Jammu and Kashmir State. Their position was not more than dumb cattle, used for all menial work by ruling minority-the Dogras. Financially they were crippled and there was not a Muslim Court Official in the 80,000 sq. miles vast state comprising 2, 50,000 souls.
The Maulana had a burning desire to spread the light of the Holy Quran, wherever he was and whenever he could to anyone who came in contact with him. After attendance at the court he would arrange Dars of the Holy Quran in the mornings and evenings as well as attending to general public for treatment dispensing free medicine to all.
Maharaja Ranbir Singh died on 12th Sept. 1885 and his eldest son Partap Singh succeeded him. But soon a quarrel arose between the three brothers, Partap Singh, Amar Singh and Ram Singh. The eldest withdrew for a time and a council of Regency was formed with the two younger princes as active members. The other two members were Baag Ram and Raja Suraj Kaul of Lahore. The last two had a grudge against the Maulana. They conspired to have Hazrat Maulana expelled at any cost.
As Raja Amar Singh and Ram Singh held Maulana in great esteem and had cordial relations with him, Maharaja Partap Singh was high displeased with the Maulana.
The Maulana un-aware of the court intrigues went on teaching the Holy Quran to both the brothers. Raja Amar Singh read with translation half of the Book and Raja Ram Singh, the youngest and the Commander-in-Chief of the State’s forces, read the whole of it. Moreover he was so profoundly filled with the beauties of the Quran and Islamic teachings, that he was almost a Muslim in his heart of hearts.
He was a very daring young man and he corresponded with the neighbouring Muslim states around Kashmir and wanted to make an alliance with them to overthrow the British yoke and proclaim Kashmir as an independent state.
Somehow the scheme leaked out. The British and the Maharaja were greatly alarmed and had Raja Ram Singh poisoned and thus rid themselves of the danger. To achieve his aims Ram Singh built many military forts in the various parts of Kashmir at strategic points.
Having cleared his way of the major obstacle the Maharaja in his fury dismissed Maulana Noor-ud-din from the State service. He issued orders for the Maulana to quit in 48 hours which he did. He stayed at the court for 16 years.
The great tabib (physician) now resolved to erect a big hospital at Bhera so that the people of the neighbourhood might benefit from his vast experience. Soon after he went to Lahore to purchase wood and other building material for the hospital, but the angels of God were planning a different course for the learned Hakim.
The charming personality of the Promised Messiah attracted his followers from far and near, eager to be ever present in Qadian and listen to the spiritual talk of their Master (peace be upon him). They frequently visited Qadian, some of them staying for weeks and months in the blessed company of the Promised Messiah. But the first and foremost of these worthies, who permanently settled in Qadian and never thought of going back to his birth place, was the great eminent scholar, and physician, Maulvi Nooruddin of Bhera. After his retirement from the service of the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, he resolved to build a big hospital in Bhera and spent thousands of rupees on its initial layout. He went to Lahore to purchase some building material. There he thought of paying a flying visit to Qadian which is only 70 miles from Lahore. He hired a hackney from Batala to Qadian for return journey. He had an interview with the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him). During the course of the talk the Promised Messiah remarked, “You are free now?” “I am”, said the Maulvi Sahib and told the coachman to leave as he had no mind to go back for a day or two. The following day the Promised Messiah asked him to send for one of his wives to Qadian; so the Maulvi Sahib wrote to her to proceed to Qadian and stopped construction of the hospital. A few days later the Promised Messiah asked Maulvi Sahib to have his library shifted to Qadian. His second wife also soon joined him. Hazrat Maulvi Sahib now really setteled down at Qadian and never dreamt of going back to his native town. A revelation of the Promised Messiah concerning the migration of Hazrat Maulvi Sahib to Qadian, launched his decision never to return home (Bhera).
(Publication of the “Faslul Khitab” in 1898)
The occasion to write the ‘Faslul Khitab’ was brought about by an incident which although trivial, proved to be very significant. In Bhera a certain Hafiz was on the brink of being baptized by the Christians. Hazrat Maulvi Sahib asked the Hafiz Sahib to take him to the Christian clergyman in Pind Dadan Khan. The clergyman promised to send the objections to Maulvi Sahib in Jammu. Hazrat Maulvi Sahib told the Hafiz Sahib not to accept baptism until he (Hafiz) had received answers to the objections of the clergyman. Hafiz Sahib did so and was satisfied with the answers. The Hafiz was saved from the fate of apostacy. The book contains refutation of all those objections which the gentleman of Pind Dadan Khan had labeled against Islam. The first two volumes of the book were published in Maulvi Abdul Wahid’s press in Delhi in 1888. The other two volumes were printed in 1906.
Another book which Hazrat Maulvi Sahib wrote was the ‘Tasdiq-i-Brahin-i- Ahmadiyya.’ Pandit Lekh Ram of Peshawar published a book named the ‘Takzeeb Brahin-i-Ahmadiyya’, (Refutation of Ahmad’s arguments). In the ‘Tasdiq Barahin- i-Ahmadiyya he refutes the arguments which were advanced by Pandit Lekh Ram. The book saw the light of the day in 1890. Hazrat Maulvi Sahib writes that the compilation of these books proved of tremendous benefit to him for which God be praised.
A certain person Abdul Ghafoor by name, a resident of Garh Shankar, Hoshiarpur District, was influenced by Pandit Daya Nand’s followers, who were active critics of Sanatan Dharam as well as Islam. Abdul Ghafoor constantly kept company with his Arya Samaj friends and associates. Under their evil influence Abdul Ghafoor entertained doubts about the truth of Islam and its great Prophet (peace and blessings of God be upon him). Abdul Ghafoor renounced the religion of Islam in 1903 and became a member of Arya Samaj. He called himself Dharampal. He also wrote a book captioned ‘Tarak-i-Islam’ (Renunciation of Islam), Hazrat Maulvi Noor-ud-Din retorted by refuting all his objection against Islam in a book named ‘Noor-ud-Din’. The manuscript of the book was read over to the Promised Messiah and Mahdi after the evening prayers or during his morning walks by Mufti Mohammad Sadiq Sahib. The book was published in February 1904. According to his (Abdul Ghafoor’s) own statement given in his book, he was provided with all the luxuries of life which the Arya Samajists placed at his disposal. Now he took a new turn. The new mode of his life did not satisfy him. He repented and made bold to denounce his new religion-Islam. While refuting Dharampal’s criticism of the Holy Quran, Hazrat Maulvi Noor-ud-Din in a state of prostration was enlightened as to the meanings of the Muqattiat’, which are given in the ‘Noor-ud-Din’.
Luckily enough I (the author of this article) was sent by my elder brother, Nimat Ullah Gauhar to Qadian to continue my studies as an Ahmadi student in the Talimul Islam High School. I found Qadian to be altogether a different place from those I had seen elsewhere. Qadian was a heaven of peace, were no foul language was ever heard. All the people young and old, lived in a atmosphere saturated with goodness, piety and spirituality. Five daily prayers were regularly performed plus the midnight prayer, which was the order of the day. The Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) was the central figure, whose words were attentively listened to and noted down by fast-writers. The Promised Messiah said his daily prayers in congregation and talked to the audience before or after the prayers, and yet there was another personality in Qadian who spent most of his time in public view. From morn till evening he was busy in different jobs. It was the learned Maulvi Noor-ud –Din who began his daily routine by giving lessons in the Holy Quran to the ladies assembled in his house. Then he would visit the patients and administered the necessary medicines from his own clinic. He would never charge any fee for visiting the patients.
After dispensing with his patient he would talk to guest or new comers to Qadian. In the evening, he would give daily lessons in the Holy Quran which was attended by high and low, young and old. It was the most instructive institution which was in vogue in Qadian. I had the good luck to be in the company of Hazrat Maulvi Sahib from August 1907 to March 1913.I spent much of my time enjoying such a spiritual and blessed company. Often I had the opportunity to see him from near quarters.
The heart-rending news of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi’s passing away in Lahore (Ahmadiyya Buildings) on May 26, 1908, was received in Qadian in the forenoon which sent a thrill of grief and sorrow into the hearts of all Ahmadis. Almost all the Ahmadis of Qadian assembled for their Asr (afternoon) prayer in the Mubarak Masque. We offered our prayer with cries, sighs and lamentations. All hearts were pregnated with grief and sorrow at the sudden and sad demise of our spiritual leader. All Ahmadis felt like orphans.
During the night of 26 and 27th of May 1908, the coffin was borne on a charpai (bedstad) fastend with bamboos and carried on the shoulders of the faithfuls from Batala to Qadian. The coffin was placed in a room in Mirza Sultan Ahmad’s garden for public view. All the leading members of Lahore, Amritsar, Batala joined the funeral procession to Qadian. The grieved guests were entertained to light refreshment in Nawab Mohammad Ali Khan’s house. On this occasion Khawaja Kamaluddin stood up and made a very pathetic speech which moved the audience to tears.
He said, “God sent a Warner to guide the people of the world to right path. He called upon the people to follow him. We responded to his call and rallied round him. But now he is no more among us. Now the question is what we should do”. There was dead silence for some moments. Sheikh Rahmatullah of English Ware House, Lahore, broke the ice and suggested that the old wise man among us should be approached to accept the leadership of the community.
Having agreed upon Hazrat Maulvi Nooruddin as the most suitable person for the office of the Caliph, the whole party went to the house of the Maulana Sahib and approached him with the request that he might consent to accept the office of the Caliph. Hazrat Maulvi Sahib replied that he would like to say his ‘nafal’ prayer before making any reply. He performed his ablution there and then and went into his private room. After the prayer, he came out and told the audience to proceed to the garden where the sacred body of the beloved master was lying in eternal peace.
Hazrat Maulavi Sahib stood up and addressed the audience saying that he never intended to become the leader of the community. He said, “In the family of the Promised Messiah there are three persons of note who can take up this responsibility. 1. Mir Nasir Nawab, the father-in-law of the Promised Messiah. 2. Sahibzada Mirza Mahmood Ahmad, the eldest son of the Promised Messiah. 3. Nawab Mohammad Ali Khan, son-in-law to Promised Messiah. Besides these, Syed Hamid Shah of Sialkot and Maulvi Ghulam Hasan Khan of Peshawar may be favourably considered. To keep the the community united in faith I can go so far as to say that if you pledge yourselves at the hand of Amatul Hafeez (youngest daughter of the Promised Messiah then aged three years), I shall also follow suit. But if you want me to be your leader, then you will have to submit in complete obedience to my command”.
All the audience said, “Aye, aye, we shall certainly do so”. Then all the people assembled on this occasion (twelve hundred men) tendered allegiance to the new Caliph.
Soon after the election of the Caliph the Lahore members of the Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Qadian, realized that they had made a mistake by not putting a curb on the powers of the Caliph because they thought, they could bear with patience, the interference on the part of the Maulvi Sahib during his lifetime, which they thought would not be very long. But they thought of the next successor to the caliphate, who would also have the same authority over the Anjuman, would undermine their own importance. They, therefore, in their private and public speeches began to discuss the powers of Anjuman and those of the Caliph. They openly began to say that the Anjuman was successor to the God-sent Khalifa (The Promised Messiah). They started to assert the authority of the Anjuman over that of the Caliph.
Towards the close of the year 1909, the Lahore members brought the question of Khalifa and Anjuman to the fore. Mir Mohammad Ishaque drew up a list of the questions concerning the powers of the Caliph and the Anjuman and put them up to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I asking him to send them up to the prominent members of the community for consideration and answer. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I sent those questions to Maulvi Mohammad Ali M.A. Editor of “The Review of Religion” for reply. But to his great amazment, Hazrat Khaliftul Masih found that instead of giving right answers to the questions, Maulvi Mohammad Ali himself a prey to the pernicious ideas which a section of the community particularly the Lahore members of Ahmadiyya Buildings were propagating among the Ahmadis. On February 1st, 1909, Hazrat addressed a grand assembly in Mubarak Mosque, Qadian, and delivered a majestic speech before the audience emphasizing the authority of the Caliph and explaining the position of the Anjuman as compared with the office of the Caliph. He declared that both of the Community as a whole as well as the Anjuman were subservient to the authority of the Caliph, implicit obedience to the commands of the Caliph was therefore essential. Those who thought of curbing the authority of the Caliph were in the wrong. They should therefore come forward and pledge themselves again at his hand. He called upon Khwaja Kamaluddin and Maulvi Mohammad Ali particularly to resubmit allegiance and they did so.
The sad demise of Maulvi Abdul Karim of Sialkot and Maulvi Burhan-ud- Din of Jehlum in 1905 was keenly felt by the whole community. The promised Messiah (peace be upon him) called upon leading members of the community to assemble at Qadian on December 6, 1905, and asked them to suggest plans to make up the loss. After duly considering the pros and cons of the matter, it was decided that a theology branch be attached to the Talimul Islam High School to prepare ulemas for the future. Such a class was started in January 1906 with three students to begin with. Maulvi Abdur Rahman, Hafiz Obaidullah son of Hafiz Ghulam Rasool of Wazirabad and Maulvi Rahmat Ali son of Baba Hassan Mohammad formed the pioneer class and distinguished themselves as missionaries of the Ahmadiyya Community.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I in order to carry out the Promised Messiah’s desire to prepare ulemas for the propagation of Islam constituted a Sub-Committee consisting of Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Mahmood Ahmad, Hazrat Maulvi Sher Ali, Hazrat Maulvi Syed Sarwar Shah, Hazrat Qazi Amir Hussain, Hazrat Doctor Khalifa Rashidud Din and Maulvi Mohammad Ali M.A. on 31st January 1909. This Committee prepared a curriculum for the new institution. The school was named the Madrassa-i-Ahmadiyya as suggested by Maulvi Sher Ali B.A. No boy under the age of eleven was to be admitted to the school. There were seven classes in all. Maulvi Syed Sarwar Shah was appointed the first Headmaster and Mir Mohammad Ishaque, Maulvi Mohammad Ji, Qazi Syed Amir Hussain, Maulvi Mohammad Ismail, etc. formed the staff of the new Institution, which produced a brilliant crop of the new ulema, who did excellent service to the community. Under the guidance and administration of Manager, Sahibzada Mirza Mahmood Ahmad, from 1910 to early 1914, the school made rapid progress in all branches. The Sahibzada undertook a tour of Hindustan to study the religious institutions of various cities in the northern India and introduced necessary reforms in the Madrssa Ahmadiyya.
The Talimul Islam High School, Qadian, was located in kachha rooms of the town, but the rooms could be likened to the pigeon’s nests where accommodation for the students was too meager for the rapidly increasing number of students in the classes. The educational requirements of the school necessitated the shifting of the school to a site outside the town. The Sadr Anjuman Ahamdiyya had purchased fifty acres of land from Mirza Afzal Baig of Lahore as early as 1905. Qazi Abdur Rahim, Construction Supervisor of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadia prepared a plan for the construction of a mosque, a hostel and a high school building. Spacious playgrounds were suitablly planned for games. It was thought necessary to erect a mosque for the boarders to say daily prayers. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I laid the foundation stone of the mosque on 5th March, 1910. Mir Nasir Nawab Sahib advanced two thousand five hundred rupees, while an equal amount was supplied by Syed Mohammad Husain Shah Sahib of Lahore on behalf of his sister. The mosque in the beginning was used as hostel for boarders. The author, then a student of the tenth class, was one of the boarders who lived in the mosque. The opening ceremony was performed by Hazrat Khalifatul masih I on April 23, 1910. The ceremony was followed by a long afternoon prayer in the mosque where Hazrat recited a portion from the Holy Quran and explained the contents of it to the audience. By the time menial quarters attached to the hostel had been erected where the boarders shifted from the Noor Mosque.
The foundation of the spacious building of the hostel were laid in 1910 and completed in 1911. It consisted of a number of dormitories which were intended to accommodate one hundred and seventy two boarders. On the western side there was a big hall, which was used as a dining cum study hall, where the boarders punctually studied for three hours under the supervision of their tutors. In latter years a well was sunk in the centre of the courtyard of the hostel. The building was a fine admixture of beauty and delicacy. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I on being approached by the Headmaster, Maulvi Sadruddin, to suggest a proper name for the hostel, selected a verse from the Holy Quran which reads as: (Verse)
The verse was beautifully inscribed on marble high above the gate. There was also the superintendent’s office as well as a visitor’s room on either side of the gate. The Superintendent occupied the upper storey just above the gate.
The High School building comprised of a number of spacious School rooms for primary, middle and high classes. There was a big hall in the centre, which was used for holding examinations and other gatherings. In front of the school there was a road with mango trees planted on either side and a vast football ground with maximum dimension.
On March 16, 1903, the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) saw a dream that a man belonging to the Ahmadiyya Community had fallen from a horse. The Promised Messiah knew the man but did not reveal the name of the person. It was on Friday the 18th of November, 1910, when Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I after delivering the Friday sermon paid a courtesy visit to Nawab Mohammad Ali Khan at his house outside the town. On the return journey, strangely enough, the horse spirited up and galloped at full speed. Passing through a narrow lane the horse stumbled, and Hazrat fell down from it and was wounded in the temple. Ayesha Begum the wife of Sheikh Rahmatullah Ahmadi, a coal dealer of Qadian, just then came out of her house and saw the accident and informed her husband who tried to stop the bleeding with his own turban. Hazrat was carried home by Sheikh Rahmatullah, Hakim Ghulam Mohammad and Ghulam Mohyuddin.
Doctors Basharat Ahmad, Elahi Bakhsh and Abdullah immediately stitched the wound which practically never healed up to the end of his life. The dream of the Promised Messiah had come true.
The anti-khilafat compaign by some prominent members of the Ahmadiyya Buildings in 1909 was suppressed for the time being. The agitation was hushed up by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih .I but the embers under the ashes lay smouldering for some years to come.
The idol of Anjuman still lurked in the minds of some notable dwellers of the Ahmadiyya Buildings. On the other side Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I, constantly emphasized the importance of Kilafat in Islam. He quoted verses from the Holy Quran, pointing out the fact that:
(And when thy Lord said to the Angels) “I am about to place vicegerent in the earth.”
“O David! We have made thee a Vicegerent in the earth.”
“Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works, that He will surely make them successor (from among) those who were before them.” (24:56).
As for himself he (Kaalifatul Masih) emphatically declared that it is God who made him Caliph. Throughout the tenure of his office he declared that he was made Caliph by Allah Himself. No society, no Anjman, and no individual had a hand in appointing him the Caliph. What we learnt from him during the period of six years of his caliphate, was the proposition that it is God Himself who makes caliphs, but people of the Ahmadiyyah Buildings harped upon the tune of Anjumanisim. Maulvi Mohammad Ali M.A. in Qadian, was a strong supporter of parliamentarianism in Ahamadiyyat.
Leading men of the Ahmadiyya Buildings proposed to start a paper advocating their own views. They also filed a declaration which was granted and the ‘Paigham-i-Sulha’ saw the light of day on 10th July, 1913.
Later on anonymous tracts were published from Lahore and posted to Ahmadis living in different towns in the Punjab and several other places. Both the tracts calumniated Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I as well as the pious members of the House of the Promised messiah (peace be upon him). The publication of these tracts adversely affected the health of the Reverend Khalifatul Masih.
Upto the end of the year 1913, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih carried on his normal duties. His daily engagements continued to be performed as usual, but the year 1914 brought about various spiritual and temporal changes in the affairs of the world. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih’s health began to deteriorate and in January, 1914, he felt pain in the side of the chest as well as a low fever sometimes. In February his debility increased. It was proposed that a European doctor be sent for from Lahore after consultation with some of the eminenet Lahore friends. Doctor Malool was approached to visit the Head of the Community at Qadian and suggested a remedy. The doctor consented and he visited Qdian accompanied by Doctor Syed Muhammad Husain Shah. Doctor Malool suggested a change of place. Accordingly Maulvi Mihammad Ali and Maulvi Sadruddin, Headmaster, proposed that the upper story of the Talimul Islam School Hostel would be a suitable place, but it was dangerous affair to lift him up. The proposal was therefore, dropped and Nawab Mohammad Ali Khan was asked to invite Hazrat Khalifatul Masih to his own residence “Darus salam,” out side the town, to which he gladly consented. Hazrat Khalifatul masih was pleased with the change of place and passed the remaining days of his life at the Nawab Sahib’s residence, but his weakness was daily on the increase. It was evident that he could not live long. Judging his own hands. It runs as follows:
With all my senses intact, I repeat the Muslim formula لا الہ الا الله محمد رسول الله
“There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet.”
My children are too young. There is no money in our house and God is the Supporter of my children. They must not be helped with money from the poor or the Orphan’s fund. A certain amount of the debt of honour be collected which should be repaid by those who are capable to pay or the books of my library may be devoted to their benefit. My successor should be pious, popular, a true Muslim through and through. He should be kind and forgiving to the old as well as the new companions of the Promised Messiah. I was a well-wisher of them all, he too should be their well-wisher. Lessons in the Holy Quran and Hadith should continue as before.
March 4, 1914.
On Friday morning the 13th of March 1914, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih’s general condition rapidly declined, Sahibzada Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad sent for Bhai Abdul Rehman Qadiani and asked him to immediately proceed to Lahore and fetch deer-musk from Hakim Muhammad Hussain as soon as possible for Hazrat Khalifatul Masih’s condition was causing anxiety. Meanwhile Hazrat sent for his eldest son, Abdul Haye, to himself and said, “I believe in the existence of God, in the truth of the Book which was revealed to the Holy Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) of Islam for the guidance of humanity. I regard the companions of the Holy Prophet as the rightly guided people of the time and I regard ‘Bukhari’ the book which God likes. I believe in the truth of all the claims of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi and love him as well as his children more dearly than I like you. I leave the community to the trust of God and hope He would not let it down. My last advice to you is this, “You hold the Quran firmly, act upon its teachings and inculcate it as best as you can.”
He performed ‘tayummum’ and offered his Zohar (noon) prayer. He was still in prayer when he breathed his last. May his soul ever rest in peace. Amen.
Judging from Hazrat’s general weakness Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan immediately sent for Sahibzada Mirza Mahmood Ahmad to reach his residence. The Sahibzada, while still on the way, learnt to his sorrow and grief that Hazrat had expired.
The news of his death was telegraphed to Presidents and Secretaries of all the Jamaats outside.
After the expiration of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I the local Ahmadi population of Qadian were struck with grief at the loss of their spiritual guide. They passed the night in agony, lamentation and prayers. The people’s grief was aggravated by the fear of schism which threatened the community. Apparently the community seemed to be divided on the point of the next successor to the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him). The influential and prominent members of the Lahore Jamaat had created an atmosphere, which menaced the very foundations of the Ahmadiyya Community. These members were bitterly hostile to the institution of the caliphate after the Promised Messiah. By their incessant efforts from the pulpits and private discussions they wanted to eradicate the idea of allegiance to the Caliph. They laid an undue emphasis on the importance of Anjuman on the other hand. But the majority of Ahmadis who had been taught the meaning and the importance of Caliphate by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I for the last six years, advocated the institution of Khilafat. Sahibzada Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad had a long talk with Maulvi Muhammad Ali M.A. who virtually became the leader of the Anjumanites and was bitterly opposed to the idea of Caliphate. Members of both the parties assembled at the residence of Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan on March 14th, 1914.
The Sahibzada addressed the audience and laid stress on the Institution of Khilafat after the Promised Messiah. Maulvi Muhammad Ali opposed the very idea of Khilafat. Much was said on both sides but nothing came out of it.
The Sahibzada went so far as to suggest that a successor should be immediately chosen from either party, whose authority would be final. Even this course was not acceptable to the leader of the opposition. Maulvi Muhammad Ali, like the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of England or the Grand Vizir of Turkey, thought of giving highest prominence to the institution of Anjuman and down grading the position of the Caliph or Amir as he proposed the next successor to be called. He wanted the Khalifa to be restricted to ceremonial duties of accepting allegiance from new comers, offering funeral prayers, giving martial sermons and leading daily prayers.
After the ‘Asr’ (late noon) prayers all the people assembled in the Noor Mosque with heavy hearts. After the prayer Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan read out the ‘Will’. The ‘Will’ was eloquent on the point that a successor should be chosen, who would continue in himself the qualities of a deep knowledge of the Holy Quran and treat the companions of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) with magnanimity. After the ‘Will’ was read over, Maulvi Muhammad Ahsan of Amroha, stood up and proposed the name of Sahibzada Mirza Mahmood Ahmad as the fittest person to lead the community. Maulvi Muhammad Ismail seconded the proposal. All the men in the mosque tendered their allegiance to the Sahibzada with the exception of those who belonged to Maulvi Muhammad Ali’s party. The new caliph offered hearty prayers for all those who had initiated at that time. The new Imam accompanied the funeral procession to the graveyard (Bahishti Maqbara) Qadian, and led the funeral prayers of Hazrat Maulana where he was laid to rest by the side of his beloved Master (The Promised Messiah and Mahdi).
Trust in God, as a true believer, Hazrat Maulvi Sahib had full trust in God. The Promised Messiah and Mahdi (peace be upon him) undertook a journey to Delhi on October 22, 1905. Soon after he reached Delhi with his family, Mir Nasir Nawab, his father-in-law, suddenly fell ill. The Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) wired Hazrat Maulvi Nooruddin to reach Delhi. The telegram contained the word ‘immediately’. As soon as the telegram reached Qadian and was read out to Maulvi Sahib, he rose up at once and started for Batala to catch the train without having made any preparation for the journey, not even the amount of money to purchase the railway ticket. No sooner had he reached Batala, then a Hindu gentleman requested him to visit his ailing wife in the town. Hazrat Maulvi Sahib replied that he was bound for Delhi and was only waiting for the train. The Hindu gentleman replied that he would bring his wife to the railway station. The learned physician would be good enough to prescribe for her, to which he agreed. The gentleman immediately went to the booking office, purchased a ticket for Delhi for Maulvi Sahib, together with a substantial sum of money as his ‘nazar’ (fee).
Hazrat Mir Nasir Nawab Sahib one day asked Hazrat Maulvi Sahib to contribute some amount towards the poor fund. Hazrat replied to Mir Sahib that he was sorry as he had no money at that time. But Mir Sahib persisted in his demand. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I (Hazrat Maulvi Sahib) lifted a corner of the cloth he was sitting upon, and picked up a pound sterling and gave it to Hazrat Mir Sahib.
Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Mahmood Ahmad was sitting by the side of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I, when a man came in and handed over two hundred rupees to Hazrat Maulvi Sahib, telling him that he would get back the money after two years. Just then a man had already requested Hazrat Maulvi Sahib to give one hundred rupees as a loan to him, Hazrat give one hundred rupees to the man and gotareceiptfromhim. After a short while the man who had entrusted hardhat Maulvi Sahib with two hundred rupees, came back and demanded the full amount, which he had give him a short time before. Hazrat Maulvi Sahib was in a fix but told the man to receive his money after an hour. He agreed to it. Meanwhile Hazrat Maulvi Sahib got two hundred rupees and paid the man his full amount. Such was the trust which Hazrat Maulvi Sahib put in his God. It was probably in 1908, when my (the author’s) elder brother Niamatullah Gohar saw a dream in which he was shown a vast treasure of silver coins. Someone told him, “Here lies the treasure, whence Nooruddin is provided with his provisions.”
Hazrat Maulvi Sahib was a passionate lover of the Holy Quran ever since he studied it with his teachers in the holy places of Mecca and Medina. He always gave a ‘dars’ (interpretation and explanation) of the Holy Quran, wherever he was. Even in the Hindu State of Jammu and Kashmir he had his pupils among the ruling family who had their lessons in the Holy Quran. When he migrated to Qadian, he continued his ‘dars’ of the Holy Quran with a clock-like regularity. His method of interpretation and explanation was very simple, illustrative and comprehensive. He used to say that many a commentator of the Quran would come and deliver the ‘dars’ but you won’t find the like of Nooruddin.
Maulvi Muhammad Ali M.A. used to come to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I and show his commentary and notes to him.
While in Lucknow, studying ‘tibb’ (medicine) from the renowned Hakim Ali Hassan, Hazrat Nooruddin requested the Hakim to instruct him in the Qanoon, (law) of Bu Ali Sena. The Hakim said, that it was the most difficult part of the science of ‘tibb’. “I will instruct you when you have finished the elementary books on medicine.” Young Nooruddin replied, “If I can understand the Holy Quran which is the Word of God, cannot I understand the “Qanoon’ of Bu Ali Sena, which is man made.” The Hakim Sahib was pleased to teach his young pupil the law he desired.
His mode of reciting of the Holy Quran was no doubt simple, but it had a peculiar charm of its own which ultimately ended in melodious lays. Himself a lover of Quran, he instilled in the hearts of his pupils a taste for the Holy Quran.
His stay in the holy Cities of the Hejaz for a number of years afforded him a chance to study Arabic. He often quoted verses of ancient and modern Arabic poets. It was his vast knowledge of Arabic language that afforded him the opportunity to write the sermon, along with Maulvi Abdul Karim, which was revealed to the Promised Messiah and Mahdi (peace be upon him) on April 11, 1900, the Day of Idul Azha.
Hazrat Maulana’s life was moulded in the light of the teachings of the Holy Quran. He did nothing which was against the spirit of piety and the fear of God. He firmly believed in the efficacy of prayer. On Friday, after the Asr Prayers he could generally retire to his private room and pray for the general welfare of the Ahmadiyya Community and for the progress and propagation of Islam. His words generally assumed a prophetic form. One day I (the author) was sitting close to him, when he said, to me, “Mian! Last night I saw a peculiar dream about your brother, Niamatullah Gohar. Someone said to me, “Let Niamatullah Gohar know that if he wishes to pass his B.A. examination, he should appear in his F.A. (intermediate)”. Accordingly I wrote to my brother what had transpired between Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I and myself. Brother Gohar appeared in his F.A. in 1916 and in 1924 he appeared in his B.A. and passed creditably. It is strange that he was declared successful in both his examinations by the Grace of God. Thus the dream was literally fulfilled and my brother because Niamatullah Gohar B.A. again, Hazrat once said that owing to some irregularity in his diet, he developed some stomach disorder. This being the case, he received the revelation:
بطن الانبیاء صامة
“A prophet’s stomach is silent”
بطن الانبیاء صامة
“A prophet’s stomach is silent”
it is clear that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I was passionate lover of the Holy Quran. He received inspiration from the Word of God. His dreams were clear, his vision vivid and he was blessed with a number of revelations.
To be brief he was a man of God. His life was an embodiment of the teaching of the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Holy Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).