Challenge to Maulvi Sanaullah
One objection is raised that the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement had offered a prayer in opposition to Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib that of the two, the one who was in the wrong should die in the lifetime of the one who was in the right and as the former died in the lifetime of the latter it follows that he was in the wrong.
The truth of the matter is that among the divines who had been challenged to a prayer duel (mubahilah) by the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, in his book Anjam Aatham, Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib's name was also included. He was, however, afraid to take up the challenge and never indicated any inclination towards accepting it; but possibly under some pressure on the side of the non-Ahmadi public, he challenged the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, to a prayer duel (mubahilah) in his paper the Ahle Hadees of 29 March 1907. With reference to this challenge the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, wrote in his book Ijaz Ahmadi:
I have seen the announcement of Maulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar in which he claims that has a sincere desire that he and I should pray that the one of us who is in the wrong should die in the lifetime of the one who is in the right.
He has made a good proposal, I trust he will keep to it. (Ijaz Ahmadi, p.14)
The Promised Messiah, peace be on him, accepted this challenge of Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib and announced:
If he is sincere in his challenge that the untruthful one should die before the truthful one then surely he will be the first to die. (Ijaz Ahmadi, p.36)
When Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib found that the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, had accepted his challenge to a prayer duel (mubahilah) he was overcome by fear and began to make excuses. He wrote:
I neither am nor do I claim like you that I am a prophet, or a messenger, or a son of God, or a recipient of revelation. I cannot, therefore, dare to enter into such a contest. Your purpose is that if I should die before you, you will proclaim that as a proof of your righteousness and if you pass on before me (a good riddance), then who will go to your grave to call you to account? That is why you put forward such stupid proposals. I regret, however, that I dare not enter into such controversy and this lack of courage is a source of honor for me and is not a source of humiliation. (Ilhamat Mirza, p. 116)
This declaration by Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib came as a great shock to his followers and he was subjected to heavy adverse criticism, whereby he was moved to proclaim:
Followers of the Mirza, if you are truthful, come forward and bring your leader with you. The same place, namely, the Idgah of Amritsar, where you have previously experienced heavenly humiliation in a prayer duel with Sufi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi, is still there. So bring him who has challenged us to a prayer duel in his book Anjam Aatham and confront him with me, for so long as there is no final decision with the prophet nothing can bind all his followers. (Ahl-i-Hadees, 29 March 1907)
Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib might have hoped that the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, would pay no attention to his hyperbolic boast and that he would thus extricate himself from an unpleasant situation. However, when the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, read this announcement of his, he directed the Editor of Badar to announce:
In reply to his challenge I wish to convey to Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib the good news that Hazrat Mirza Sahib (the Promised Messiah) has accepted his challenge. (Badar, 4 April 1907)
This announcement upset Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib and being frightened he announced:
I have not challenged you to a mubahilah, I have only declared my willingness to take an oath, but you call it a mubahilah, whereas a mubahilah involves the parties taking oaths in a contest against each other. I have declared my readiness to take an oath and have not issued a challenge to a mubahilah. Taking an unilateral oath is one thing and mubahilah is quite another. (Ahle Hadees, 19 April 1907)
Perceiving that Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib was not prepared to take a definite stand, the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, published an announcement under the heading:
Final decision concerning Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib, and concluded it with the statement:
Now Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib may write in response whatever he pleases. In case he accepts the challenge to a mubahilah he should record his acceptance of it over his signature.
In answer to this, Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib wrote as follows:
The Quran says that the evil-doers are granted respite by God. For instance, it is said: 'The Gracious One grants respite to those who are in error' (19:76); and: 'We grant them respite so that they might multiply their sins' (3:97); 'God will leave them to flounder on in their transgression' (2:16); and: 'The fact is that We provided for them and their fathers and they remained in enjoyment of Our provision for a long time' (21 :45). All these clearly mean that God Almighty, grants respite and bestows long life on liars, deceivers, disturbers of the peace and disobedient ones, so that during the period of respite they should add to their evil deeds. (Ahle Hadees, 26 April 1907)
Thus Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib not only rejected the challenge of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, to a mubahilah, but also put forward a principle that liars, deceivers, disorderly people and disobedient ones are granted long life. Thereupon God Almighty granted long life to Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib according to the principle which he had put forward and brought about the death of the Promised Messiah, peace be on him, thus confirming that according to his own declaration Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib was a disorderly and disobedient person and was a liar and a deceiver.