Yesterday was 20 February, a day which is commemorated as the day of the prophecy of Musleh Maud in the Jama'at. In this prophecy, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) foretold the birth of a son of his who would be pious and righteous and would have many other qualities. Last Friday sermon was about signs given to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) by God. As today is the closest Friday to 20 February, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih deemed it appropriate to give a discourse on the prophecy of 20 February, which was called a magnificent sign by the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). He told his detractors that although they objected, such a sign was above and beyond human power. Not only did it foretell the birth of a son but also stated that he would have a long life. If this prophecy is seen with deep and fair insight, there remains no doubt in it being a Divine sign. If however, the detractors had any doubts, then the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) challenged them to present a prophecy of their own with similar signs!
He said: 'Here it should be observed most clearly that this is not just a prophecy but is also a magnificent heavenly sign.' And just as the purpose of his advent was to prove the truth of Islam and to establish the greatness of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) did not attribute this prophecy to his own truth, but said: 'Allah the Exalted has manifested this sign to demonstrate the truthfulness and greatness of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). This sign is in fact hundreds of times superior and more potent and majestic and glorious than the sign of bringing a dead person back to life. Bringing a dead person back to life only entails calling a spirit back for a short while'. Huzoor said just as it is written about Hazrat Isa (on whom be peace) and some other Prophets in the Bible, although questions have been raised about this. Also, what benefit would a dead soul's return give to the world, whereas here, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) says: 'With the grace and favour of Allah the Exalted and the blessings of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) the Noble God has accepted the prayer of this humble one and has promised to send a blessed soul whose apparent and hidden blessings will spread all over the earth.'
He said: 'O people! I am nothing. Whoever attacks me in fact attacks my Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) but he should remember that he cannot throw dust at the sun. In fact the dust would fall on his own head, on his eyes and on his mouth and will disgrace him. And the splendour of our Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) will not diminish. In fact, God Almighty will manifest his splendour all the more. Can you stop the sun from rising near the hour of Fajr? Similarly, you cannot harm the sun of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and his truthfulness. May God Almighty remove your malice and rancour!'
As we know, in accordance with the prophecy, the Promised son was born in January 1889 and went on to accomplish great achievements which will be remembered till the end of time. Before citing the tremendous triumphs of Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) Huzoor read out the glorious words of the prophecy:
'February 20, 1886 God, the Merciful and Noble, the Magnificent and High, Who has power to do all that He wills (glory be to Him and exalted be His name) addressed me in a revelation and said:
[Urdu] I confer upon you a Sign of My mercy according to what you begged of me. So I have heard your entreaties and have honoured your prayers with My acceptance through My mercy and made your journey a source of blessings for you. Therefore, a Sign of power, mercy, nearness is bestowed on you, a Sign of grace and beneficence is awarded to you and you are granted the key of success and victory.
Peace on you, O victorious one. Thus did God speak so that those who desire life may be rescued from the grip of death and those who are buried in the graves may come out of them and so that the superiority of Islam and the dignity of God's Word may become manifest unto the people and so that truth may arrive with all its blessings and falsehood may flee with all its ills, and so that people may understand that I am the Lord of Power, I do whatever I will, and so that they may believe that I am with you, and so that those who do not believe in God and deny and reject His religion and His Book and His Holy Messenger Muhammad, the Chosen One(sa) may be confronted with a clear Sign and the way of the guilty ones may become manifest. Rejoice, therefore, that a handsome and pure boy will be bestowed on you; you will receive an unblemished youth who will be of your seed and will be of your progeny. A handsome and pure boy is coming as your guest. His name is Emmanuel and also Bashir. He has been invested with a spirit of holiness, and he is free from all impurity. He is the light of Allah. Blessed is he who comes from heaven. He will be accompanied by grace which shall arrive with him.
He will be characterised with grandeur, greatness and wealth. He will come into the world and will heal many of their disorders through his Messianic qualities and through the blessings of the spirit of holiness. He is the Word of Allah for Allah's mercy and honour have equipped him with the Word of Majesty. He will be extremely intelligent and perceptive and will be meek of heart and will be filled with secular and spiritual knowledge. He will convert three into four. It is Monday a blessed Monday. [Persian] [Son, delight of the heart, high ranking, noble.] [Arabic] [A manifestation of the First and the Last, a manifestation of the True and the High; as if Allah has descended from heaven.] [Urdu] His advent will be greatly blessed and will be a source of manifestation of Divine Majesty. Behold a light comes, anointed by God with the perfume of His pleasure. We shall pour Our Spirit into him and he will be sheltered under the shadow of God. He will grow rapidly in stature and will be the means of procuring the release of those held in bondage. His fame will spread to the ends of the earth and peoples will be blessed through him. He will then be raised to his spiritual station in heaven. [Arabic] [This is a matter decreed.]' [Tadhkirah, pp. 175-177]
These were the qualities the son was to have. We know that Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) graced the office of Khilafat for 52 years and departed from this world having proved his mettle to the world. Many books would need to be written if one was to study in-depth these qualities and appraise the life of Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him). It is not possible to encompass his life and achievements in sermons and speeches. Jama'at commemorates 20 February every year and scholars give speeches according to their knowledge and insight on this subject. Huzoor said he has also spoken on this subject time and again and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on them) both gave discourses on this subject but it cannot be said that the life of Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) and the prophecy has be covered or everyone has understood it. Today Huzoor presented one aspect of the prophecy as well as gave an insight on the impact it had on people of the Jama'at as well those outside the Jama'at.
First Huzoor gave an overview of his books and lectures. At the time of Hazrat Musleh Maud there was no proper recording arrangement and people used to transcribe his discourses in real time. It would not have been possible to take accurate notes. Fazl e Umer Foundation has published 24 volumes of his works entitled 'Anwarul Uloom' covering 633 lectures and books. The Foundation says that the finished collection will have 32 volumes consisting 850 lectures, speeches etc. Volumes 25 to 29 are ready although they have not yet been printed. Similarly, his sermons given on Fridays, Eids and at the occasion of many Nikahs number in 2076 discourses and 28 volumes of Khutbaat e Mahmood have been published to date and they consist of 1602 sermons. Sermons given from 1948 to 1959 will be published later. This is a mere outline of his academic works. Each piece that he wrote is replete with pearls of wisdom, knowledge and spiritual insight.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III (may Allah be pleased with him) said that even if just one aspect of the grand prophecy of 20 February is taken, for example 'He ...will be filled with secular and spiritual knowledge' it so extensive that one could not encompass it no matter how much is said on it. One example of this is 'Tafseer e Kabir' [his translation/commentary of the Holy Qur'an], which is such a wondrous commentary that any individual who has read a part of it with concentration cannot but acknowledge that if there was a holy person in the world who had only published part of such commentary of the Holy Qur'an with detailed notes, it would have been sufficient for him to be acknowledged as a holy person from among the holiest persons in the world. However, Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) wrote much else on the Holy Qur'an. He has probably written 10,000 to 12,000 pages only on the Holy Qur'an! Currently Tafseer e Kabir constitutes 6000 pages and he has written on the Holy Qur'an in many other places. Tafseer e Kabir covers Surah Al Fateha to Surah Al Baqarah, then Surah Yunus to Surah Al Ankabut and then with a gap in publication, it covers Surah Al Naba to Surah Al Nas, thus covering 59 Surahs in 6000 pages, with 55 Surahs not covered. The font size in these volumes is very small and if the font size which is currently used is applied, these pages will probably go up to 10,000 to 12,000. A re-print is underway.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) wrote 10 books and journals on Kalam and 31 books and journals on spirituality, Islamic morals and Islamic creed. He wrote 13 books and journals on the life of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), 4 books and journals on history, 3 books and journals on jurisprudence (fiqh), 25 books and journals on the politics of pre-partition India and 9 books and journals on post-partition politics and establishment of Pakistan. He wrote 15 books and journals on the politics of Kashmir and 100 books and journals on the Ahmadiyya Movement and he has covered hundreds of other subjects.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III (may Allah have mercy on him) said that just as it was foretold 'He ...will be filled with secular and spiritual knowledge' one glance at his works show us secular as well as spiritual knowledge and the beauty of it all is that each time he wrote a book or a journal everyone said one could not write any better! Each time he led in politics or gave counsel on leadership, the great and the good were compelled to acknowledge his matchless ability. In short the aspect of 'He ...will be filled with secular and spiritual knowledge' is extremely detailed and we cannot even reach its thousandth part.
Next Huzoor presented some comments and reviews of people outside the Jama'at.
Allamah Niaz Fateh Puri Sahib wrote a letter to Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) in which he said that he had the third volume of Tafseer e Kabir before him which he had reflected over and found that it doubtlessly presented a completely new perspective in the study of the Qur'an. He felt that it was the very first Quranic commentary in Urdu of its kind. He praised his discernment, his extraordinary eloquence and reasoning which was apparent from every single word. He regretted not having known about this commentary up till then. He said that having read the thoughts on Prophet Lot in Surah Hud his heart shuddered and he was compelled to write to Hazrat Musleh Maud. He felt that he could not adequately commend the way the commentary threw light on aspects which were different from how other commentators had presented. He felt that publication of Tafseer e Kabir was a service to Islam of such a high order that even the opponents could not deny it.
Akhtar Sahib of Patna University wrote that he sent the volumes of Tafseer e Kabir to a professor of Persian, Abdul Mannan Sahib, and the professor was so impressed that he distributed some of the volumes to other academics to read. He later asked them for their opinion on it. The academics acknowledged that there was no commentary of this calibre in Persian. When it was put to them what did they think about comparing it to Arabic commentaries, they said that Arabic commentaries were not available in Patna. However, the professor told them that there was no commentary of the calibre of the one by Mirza Mahmood in any language even if commentaries from Egypt and Syria were brought in they would not be a match!
Syed Jaffer Hussain Sahib writes that he was imprisoned on the accusation to subvert the government of India and replace it with an Islamic government. He felt it was a towering accusation for someone as humble as him. While imprisoned he studied Tafseer e Kabir (he was not an Ahmadi at the time) and observed a living Islam therein and he found everything in it that he was looking for and felt that after reading it he was acquainted with the Holy Qur'an for the first time. Ahmadiyya Jama'at was portrayed as an ogre but once truth was evident to him, he did not care about the dangers. He fell down in prostrations before God and prayed to be shown the right path. For months he prayed in this vein night and day with the spot where he prostrated wet with his tears. He felt his prayers were accepted when he felt resolved about the truthfulness of Ahmadiyyat and he wrote a letter of request for Bai'at. A large part of his imprisonment was spent in Secunderabad jail where the jailor was an educated Muslim and was aware of all the correspondence of the inmates because outgoing letters could not be sent without his signature. Although it was not good but due to his lack of courage Jaffer Sahib used to try not to let the jailor find out about his letters written to Qadian. The jail staff and other inmates treated him with great respect and although he could not see anyone other than the person on guard, his letters to Qadian were sent without the knowledge of the authorities. However, any letter that came from Qadian came in the knowledge of the jailor. When Bai'at form arrived from Qadian there was trouble and his secret was out. The jailor came to see him and spoke to him in a very sympathetic tone and asked him to leave the Quranic commentary (Tafseer e Kabir) and offered to provide him with commentaries by other religious scholars like Abul Kalam Azad and Maulana Maudodi. Jaffer Sahib read commentaries of both these scholars prior to filling his Bai'at form. He says that a student of Tafseer e Kabir gains the competence to critically review other commentaries. Thus, he told the jailor which parts of both these commentaries were obscure, where the translation was erroneous and where the given meanings were limited. He says he could do this easily because Tafseer e Kabir includes meanings of Quranic terms. 'Which none shall touch except those who are purified.' (56:80) He goes on the say that he has written all the detail so that the accusation against him is removed that he delayed taking Bai'at. He sent off his Bai'at form and became engaged in prayer not sure if his Bai'at would be accepted. His apprehension did not prove wrong. Before accepting his Bai'at Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) wrote to him that it was the duty of an Ahmadi to also stay loyal to the government of the day and do everything legally. He replied saying that study of Tafseer e Kabir had imprinted all these matters on his heart. Few days later he was informed that his Bai'at had been accepted and he fell down in prostration with gratefulness. He says that he had read in Tafseer e Kabir that the Khalifa who would be Musleh Maud would be 'the means of procuring the release of those held in bondage', so he wrote to Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) and requested prayers for his release, soon after he was released. He writes that he is a living proof of the part of the prophecy about the Musleh Maud that says he 'will be the means of procuring the release of those held in bondage'.
An example of Western scholars opining about Five Volume Commentary is British academic A J Arberry who was a scholar of Arabic, Persian and Islamic studies. He said that the Five Volume Commentary was a huge achievement and the then current volume was the first stage of the achievement. He said Ahmadi scholars started this great work under the encouraging auspices of Hazrat Mirza Bashir ud din Mahmood Ahmad. The work was of towering nature, i.e. to produce an edition of the Qur'an with accurate and corresponding translation in English as well as commentary on every verse. The first volume which was published at the time of A J Arberry's review consisted of the first nine Surahs. He wrote that the detailed preface is penned by Hazrat Mirza Bashir ud Din Mahmood Ahmad himself in which he says that the contents of the commentary represent the spiritual knowledge that the founder of the Ahmadiyya Community imparted in his books and exhortations and knowledge that was later expressed by the first Khalifa or by himself, who is the second Khalifa of the Community. Therefore, he concluded that it could be said that this translation and commentary represents the Quranic perception of Ahmadiyya Jama'at.
Dr Anas from Syria writes that he had read books and commentaries of various scholars in his search for the truth and light, including that of Hazrat Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi. But he did not find the pleasure and sweetness that Mirza Bashir ud Din Mahmood's commentary gave him. He says he was seeking commentary of the visions his body and soul had experienced and when he read the Tafseer on Ahmadiyya web site he found light and truth in it and it captivated his heart.
Jamal Sahib from Morocco, who corresponded with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) over a long period of time writes that he was sent a copy of the first volume of Tafseer e Kabir which he read and then compared it to various other commentaries that he had also read. The difference was tremendous. He found that while Tafseer e Kabir was a summary of the core of Shariah, other commentaries has been mere shell. Studying Tafseer e Kabir painted a beautiful picture of Islam in his heart which penetrated his very soul.
Huzoor gave some illustrations of the impact of Hazrat Musleh Maud's (may Allah be pleased with him) lectures on others.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) delivered two lectures on the request of Literary League. The first lecture was on the status of Arabic among world languages. It was given on 31 May 1934 at YMCA Hall on the Mall Road, Lahore. It was presided over by Dr Barkat Ali Qureshi, who was the principal of Islamia College, Lahore. The duration of the lecture was one hour 30 minutes and the audience listened with rapt attention. Dr Qureshi thanked Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) and advised the audience to avail of what they had heard. He also expressed the desire to listen to such academic subjects in future.
A former chief justice of Kashmir was present at the occasion. He thanked Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) in English and said that he was delighted to listen to an interesting and masterful speech by a most capable orator. He had thought that the speech would be in the old style like when an Arab was asked about the reasons for the excellence of Arabic language, he cited three reasons. 1, because he was an Arab, 2, because Arabic is the language of the Holy Qur'an and 3, because Arabic will be the language of Paradise. However, he found the lecture to be of great academic and philosophical magnitude. He assured 'Mirza Sahib' that he had listened to every single word most attentively and had greatly benefitted from it and hoped that its impact on his heart will be enduring.
Syed Abdul Qadir Sahib, vice principal of Islamia College, Lahore had a piece published in a paper entitled 'Islam and Communism', a part of which said that he had the honour to listen to a lecture by Mirza Bashir ud Din Imam Ahmadiyya Jama'at on the subject of 'The Economic System of Islam and Communism'. He found this lecture, like his other lectures, to burnish academic thoughts and filled with information. He said that 'Mirza Sahib' possessed God-given capability and had complete proficiency on every aspect of the given subject and for this reason his thoughts deserved to be valued and considered.
There is need to distribute this book in the outside world. It is generally assumed that the concept of the economic system of Islam was first presented by Maulana Maudodi, although Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) had delivered this academic speech a long time before. It has been published as a book and now its English translation is also available which should be read by English-speaking people and should be given to those who are interested in matters of economy.
Lala Ram Chand, who presided over the event, said that he considered himself fortunate to listen to such a valuable speech. He said he found it most beneficial. He had erroneously thought that Islam only looked after Muslims in its rules and regulations and not non-Muslims. But he found from the speech that Islam gives the teaching of equality and he was delighted to hear this. He said he would put it to his non-Muslim friends what excuse did they have in respecting this kind of Islam! He repeatedly thanked Hazrat Musleh Maud for his speech.
Thus was a brief glimpse of just one aspect of the quality: 'He ...will be filled with secular and spiritual knowledge'. May God enable us to study the treasure trove of knowledge that Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) has given us and just as it has been explained, he covered a whole range of different genres/subjects. May God enable us to avail of them and may we enhance our knowledge and spiritual awareness!
Next Huzoor announced that he would lead funeral Prayer in absentia of Sahibzada Mirza Hanif Ahmad, a son of Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) who passed away on 17 February at Tahir Heart Institute at the age of 82. He was Huzoor's maternal uncle.
He was born in 1932 and like all his other sons, Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) dedicated his life in childhood. His education was in line with this dedication. He received his religious education from Madrassa Ahmadiyya and Jamia Ahmadiyya, Qadian. He passed his matric exam privately and gained further education. He attained LLB with the condition that he would not practice [law]. In 1962 he went abroad to serve the Community and served as principal of secondary school in Sierra Leone till 1969.
He was a learned person. After twenty years of hard work he compiled a book containing the Promised Messiah's (on whom be peace) valuable pronouncements and poetic verses in Urdu, Persian and Arabic and his revelations. The book was published in 2004. He had another book published which consisted the Promised Messiah's (on whom be peace) Urdu, Persian and Arabic poetry. This book is a masterpiece.
He was married in 1959 to Tahira Begum Sahiba and they had four children. Salman Ahmad Sahib, Amtul Momin Hina Sahiba, Meena Mubaraka Sahiba and Amtul Samee Sahiba. His wife relates that when in Sierra Leone he had the first ever science block built in an Ahmadiyya school in Bo City. He personally supervised the construction of the block. People of Sierra Leone remember Sahibzada Sahib to this day.
He cared for orphans and helped them confidentially. He cared for his friends, when one of his close friends passed away he looked after his family and arranged for the marriages of his children and fulfilled his friendship very well.
Among the offspring of Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) he had the greatest proficiency in Persian and was very well-read in terms of books of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). His wife relates that he told her he had read the books, or most of them, twenty to twenty five times. He had extraordinary love for Qadian and in spite of bad health had been going there regularly for the past few years. He had great belief in prayer and counselled his children to pray for him after he had departed from the world. May Allah enable his offspring to stay firm on the virtues that Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) prayed for his progeny and the Jama'at, may they become fulfilment of those prayers; his children, other members of the family of the Promised Messiah as well as members of the Jama'at. The prayer of Hazrat Musleh (on whom be peace) to God was: 'May their children and the children of their children be eternally in Your trust which Satan cannot breach'.
May God have mercy on Sahibzada Hanif Ahmad and forgive him and elevate his station and may his children truly pay the dues of the bloodline that they are associated with. Huzoor said Sahibzada Sahib had a great connection with Huzoor, from earlier on as well, but since Khilafat the love and affection had increased although with an intense affirmation of humility, sincerity and loyalty, intensely so! May God continue to elevate his station and also enable his children to have a special connection with Khilafat!