Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as)
The Review of Religions, February and March 1997
Presented below is the first part of a conversation between a non-Muslim visitor and Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah (as), which took place in Qadian in March 1901. The original transcript of the conversation in Urdu is taken from Malfoozat, Vol. 2, pp. 226-243. Translated by Amatul-Hadi Ahmad.
In March 1901 a gentleman in search of truth, came to see Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian. The gentleman who was from the district of Gujarat, India, made the following statement at the start of the conversation:
‘Right from the beginning I could feel a sense of religious values within me and in accordance with this I had been, in my thinking, doing some good deeds. I feel much troubled at the thought of being surrounded by those who chase after the world and there is a sense of agitation within me. Once I was strolling on the banks of the river Jehlam when I became aware of a strange experience conveying sense of love from which I derived much pleasure and enjoyment. Whichever way I turned I felt a sense of delight (anand) – in eating, in drinking, in walking, in every movement and every gesture there was love. After a few hours this experience disappeared but its effect continued for at least two months, that is to say, a lesser degree of pleasure still remained with me for two more months. At present I am in a strange state of perplexity. I have tried very hard to regain that experience but I have not been able to find it again. In its search I have been to Lahore to see Babu Ibnash Chandar, a foreman, who is a very active member of Braham Samaj. Unfortunately, he could not see me for much longer than a few minutes, and that only in his office. After that I went to see Pundit Shiv Narain Satianand Agnihotri. I saw how much these people feel spirituality. I worked in their school as third master for about two months and concentrated on self-improvement. I had only gone there to make something out of my life. During my time there I did begin briefly to ‘see’ something but I was not satisfied and I did not find the peace and love that I desired. I still wished to stay there patiently, but I had to leave due to ill health.
In my own town I once heard Sheikh Maula Baksh Sahib reading your paper from the Great Conference of Religions. I was going somewhere, lost in my own thoughts when my ears caught the sound of his voice. In an unusual manner, I felt it in my soul that these words carried a light within them and that the person who had written these words must also carry a light within him. I read that paper several times and I had the desire to come to Qadian. However, perhaps due to the new developments surrounding the issue of the death of Lekhram, whenever I asked a Muslim for the address (of the writer of that paper) no one would tell me. Perhaps they feared that I was intending to come and murder Mirza Sahib! My agitation, however, was becoming greater and it is now that my wish has been fulfilled. I want to make something of my life and it is for this purpose that I have come to you, Huzur.’
To this the Promised Messiah (as) responded in the following words.
The Promised Messiah (as): The truth is that a person should not be satisfied with the outer shell alone and no person likes to be satisfied with just the shell. Rather, a person wishes to move forward and Islam seeks to take him to that very kernel and spirit which a person by nature wishes to attain. The name of Islam is a name in which the soul finds pleasure. For the soul there is no satisfaction to be found in the names of any other religion. What spirituality is to be found in the name ‘Arya’? Islam has been created for peace, for ‘shanti ‘ and for satisfaction for which the human soul hungers and thirsts. It is so in order to convey to the person who hears the name (Islam) that he who truly believes in this religion and practices it, is a person who has true knowledge of God. But the thing is that if a person wishes that everything should happen at once, that a person should attain to the highest levels of knowledge of God in an instant, that can never be. In this world everything happens gradually. There is no knowledge or skill that a person does not have to learn with patience and dedication. It is necessary that he should move systematically through the different stages. You see, the farmer has to wait after he has sown the seed. First he puts one of his dearest things into the ground from where they can easily be picked by animals or ‘swallowed’ by the earth or wasted through some other means. But experience gives him comfort that a time will come when these seeds of grain which have now been entrusted to the earth, will bear result and in time there will be a green and lush field, and this seed thrust into the ground will turn into his food and livelihood.
Now, you should consider this that the production of food and the means of existence sufficient to keep a person alive for one day, requires a period of six months when the life for which the food is thus produced is finite. How can it then be possible for the spiritual ‘food’, being nourishment for the spiritual life which is eternal, to be attained in a matter of days? It is true that God has power over things such that, if he so wishes, he is able to do whatever he wills in an instant, and it is our belief that nothing is impossible before him. Islam has not presented a God who, like the God presented by the Aryas can neither bring into being a spirit nor anything material and cannot give peace and eternal salvation to the truthful and to those who seek after him. Not so. Instead, Islam has presented a God who is unique in his powers and strengths. There is none who can compare with him and none who has a share in his powers and attributes. But, yes, his law is such that everything is done gradually and systematically. Hence, if one is not patient and does not have positive expectations, success is difficult. I remember once a person came to me and said that the holy people of earlier times used to make people reach great (spiritual) heights with one blow of their breath. I told him that he was mistaken. This is not God’s way of doing things. If you were to lay the floor in a house, it is necessary to first, repair any parts which are in need of repair and wherever there is any filth or dirt, to cleanse it and to purify it with a disinfectant. In short, the ground will be made ready for laying the floor only after a great many schemes and methods have been employed. The human heart is the same. Prior to its becoming worthy of being inhabited by God, it is the throne of Satan and the seat of his government. It is necessary for the destruction of this government (of Satan) for the sake of the other government (of God).
Very unfortunate indeed is the person who sets out in search of the truth and then does not hold positive expectations (regarding the outcome). Learn at least from the potter and see how much he has to do to make a pot of clay. Watch the laundry man, how much hard work he has to do when he begins to clean dirty and soiled clothes. Sometimes he puts the clothes on the boil, sometimes he rubs them with soap and through different means draws out the dirt and at last the clothes come out clean and white. All the dirt that was in them is washed out. If there is need for so much patience for such inferior things then how foolish is the person who, for the sake of reforming his life and for the sake of the removal of the dirt and filth found in his heart, desires that they should all be drawn out with a single blow and the heart should thereby be cleansed!
Remember, patience is the condition for self-reform. Then the second thing to remember is that the purification of morals and of the soul cannot take place without close contact with a person who is pure. The first door that opens, opens because of the removal of filth. However, there still remain those impurities which have a connection (with one’s inner self). In the company of a pure person, these inner impurities find an antidote and begin to be gradually removed. This is because there can be no relationship with the pure spirit, which in the Holy Qur’an is called ‘Ruh-ul-Quds’, the holy spirit, unless there is some affinity with it. We cannot say when such a relationship is created but, certainly, one should practice the means for its attainment. One should ‘turn to dust’ upon this path and tread upon it with patience and steadfastness. God will not waste the efforts of one who strives hard and such a person finally will be rewarded with that light for which he had been searching. I am surprised and do not understand how it is that a human being acts so daringly when he knows that God exists!
The person I have just mentioned, who had said to me that the earlier holy men turned people into saints just by blowing over them, was advised by me that such stories were incorrect and that this was against God’s law. Instead, a person should strive (for God), it is only then that God will open his path for him. The man did not pay any attention to this and left. After some considerable time he came to see me again — his condition this time was even worse than before. In short, it is the misfortune of man that he adopts the rule of hurry and when he sees that nothing can be achieved in a hurry as God’s law is gradual and systematic — he becomes agitated. The result is that he becomes an atheist – this is the first step to atheism. I have seen people who either present great wishful claims that they wish to become this or that, and on the other extreme, in the end they accept a life of a low level of (moral) existence. Once a person came to me to ask for some help. He was a Jogi, (a person wrapped in dyed cloths, symbolising asceticism). He told me that he had gone to such and such a place to beg from some dead person. It appeared from his condition and his conversation that his view was that one should exist on charity, asking for it from others. The real and true fact is this that one should strive with patience. God watches till the last limit. Whoever is seen to be weak and deceitful, such a one cannot find the path to his honoured presence. Even though the alchemist knows that up to now nothing has been achieved, he still carries on patiently with his experiments. My meaning is this that first there is need for patience. The true purpose is that there should develop a love of God. But I say that love is yet another level or it is a consequence. First of all, however, it is necessary that there should also develop a certainty about the existence of God. After this there develops in the soul, of its own accord, an aptitude for absorption and the soul is naturally attracted towards God. Pleasure and enjoyment from this increases as one’s vision and knowledge (of this dimension) increases. Without knowledge there can never arise any pleasure. The real basis of fervour is knowledge. It is true knowledge that gives rise to love. It is the union of knowledge and love that results in pleasure. Remember this that a glimpse of beauty by itself is not sufficient to give rise to feelings of love without there being any knowledge of it. Consider it certain that without knowledge, love is impossible. Without the knowledge of him who is the beloved, what kind of love would that be? To say otherwise is an imaginary thing. There are many who consider a humble human being to be a god. What sort of pleasure can people find in such a god? Like the Christians who make Jesus into a God and then call out, ‘God is love, God is love’. Their love cannot be a true love. It is merely a wishful and imaginary love when it has not been their fortune to have acquired true knowledge of God.
After understanding the importance of patience, it is then necessary for one to, first, correct one’s beliefs. Hindus present one thing as God, the Christians another and the Chinese yet another. The God of the Muslims is the God that they have, through the Qur’an, presented before the world. Until that God has been identified and recognised, there can be no relationship or love with God. Nothing can come of mere claims.
After there has been a correction of beliefs, the second stage is to progress in the knowledge of God by staying in the company of righteous persons and by asking God, through prayer, for the ability to see the path of truth. As the ability to see the truth and the knowledge of God increases, so will there be the development of love. It should be remembered that without the true knowledge of God, there can be no progress in love. You see, man does not love tin or iron as much as he loves copper, and he does not hold copper as dear as he does silver, and gold is even more of an object of desire. Jewels and diamonds are considered to be yet more desirable. What is the reason for this? It is this that man receives knowledge about metals which results in an increase in his desire for some of them relative to others. In short, the truth is that the cause of progress in love and for the increase in the value of and the desire for love is knowledge. Before a person can desire pleasure and enjoyment, it is necessary that he attains knowledge. However, the most important element on which are based all the others, is patience together with a positive attitude. Until there is patience to an amazing degree, nothing can be achieved. When a person perseveres with untiring patience and strives and struggles in the path of God, then God the Almighty in accordance with his promise, opens the path of guidance for him. As is stated in the Holy Qur’an: ‘We will surely guide in our ways those who strive after us’. (Ch. 29, v. 70), i.e. those who adopt Our way and strive and struggle, We do guide them towards our path and doors are opened for them. It is very true when it is said, ‘Those who seek, shall find’.
I will say this, however, that a person who comes to me (apparently searching for God) and then after a cursory conversation, walks away, such a person mocks with God. This is not the way of seeking God nor has God set up such a system.
So, the first condition for the search of God is a true desire and the second is to be patiently committed to this search. It is a fact that as one progresses in age, one increases in experience. Does this not necessitate living in the company of a holy person? I have seen many men who in their early years abandon the world and cry out loudly but ultimately their end is such that they are found to be totally engrossed in worldly matters and in fact became worms of the world. Some trees bear a sort of fruit which is of a temporary nature, as is the case with the mulberry tree. This tree displays an early show of a fruit all of which falls away and the real fruit then follows later. Similarly, the desire to search for God also arises temporarily. If one does not at this stage show patience and a positive attitude, the temporary desire is not only extinguished, but is obliterated from the heart forever and turns one into a worm of the world. However, if one works with truth and with a positive attitude, this temporary fervour and thirst for the search of truth does give rise to a real and true desire which progresses daily, so much so that if there is a mountain of difficulties and tribulations on the way, the true seeker will not care in the least and will continue to progress in his aim. So, the person who at the time of the initial fervour and desire is patient and understands that he has to stay loyal to this feeling for the rest of his life, is a person of good fortune. But he who gives up after a few experiments and becomes tired, all that is left for him is that he should go round saying that he has seen many who just talk and found many who were just like shopkeepers, but that he found none who could show the truth nor any who could lead to God!
I don’t know the inner state or the intention of everyone who comes to see me and states that he has come for God and wishes to find God. I must, however, say this that the first thing a person who actively seeks God must do is to check and rectify his beliefs. He should ascertain (for himself) what sort of God it is that he is trying to find. Is the God that he is seeking really the Creator and the Master of the world? Is he a God that possesses all good attributes and is pure from all deficiencies and negative characteristics? Or, is the God that he is searching for the child of a woman or some other such weak and feeble god from among the 330 million gods (which are said to exist). I say this because if one’s beloved and the centre of one’s desires is stood at the edge of an ocean, what will be gained by diving in! For example, the Christians state that the Messiah son of Mary is God even though he was born from the womb of a woman in the same way as any other human being is born and he ate and drank and had all the attendant human needs including those of ridding the body of waste matter. Now, this much is possible that someone should love him but human wisdom can never suggest that such a weak human being may also be God or that gods are given birth by women. When the first step is on the ground of falsehood, what hope can there be of the second step being on the ground of truth? Rays of light fall upon the heart as a result of believing in a living God who is the possessor of all perfect attributes. Where is this to be found with a belief in a mortal being and the worship of an image of weakness and feebleness?
There is an Arabic saying: ‘He who seeks has no religion’. A seeker should abandon all prejudices and suspend all beliefs and then begin his search for true beliefs. Only then can there be any hope of progress. In this search God should be the foundation stone. If this is the case then the final ‘stone’ will also be God. Rushing these things is not a good thing. It usually causes deprivation for an unfortunate person. For instance, if you did not stay with us for a while and leave, and then say such things as, ‘There was nothing there’, or ‘I didn’t get anything from there’, then, tell me, what will be our loss in that? There are many in this world who can talk like that but they are unfortunate and deprived. You see, if some shapes of geometry are presented to a child, he may like some of them but his liking them can be of no benefit to him because he is unaware of their properties and does not know what benefits can be gained from them.
I have seen people who make objections against Islam and I have collected these objections and I say this truly that the point on which those who are unfamiliar with these matters have raised an objection, is precisely the point where a treasure of wisdom, truth and deep knowledge is buried and the person who objects has nothing but foolishness and blindness. With their objections they prove that they are narrow-minded and possess an unprincipled nature otherwise they would not have raised objections against what is, in fact, a mine of deep and true knowledge. It is for this reason that I advise you to pursue your search for the truth with gentleness and patience.
You are in search of God. The best way for you is that you, first, check and correct your beliefs which will help you in identifying what that something called ‘God’ is that you wish to find. This will enable you to progress in your knowledge of God. There is in the true knowledge of God a strong capacity to absorb love and it can become a means of developing in you the love of God. Without this any claims of love are like the superficial fruit which disappears after a few days.
You should remember this and this is our religion, that God’s light does not shine upon a person until that light descends from the heavens. It is absolutely true that blessing comes down from the heavens. Until God himself reveals his light for the one who seeks him, the speed of (progress) of the seeker is like that of a worm and that is how it should be because he is engulfed by all manner of ignorance and darkness as well as facing the difficulties of this path. But when the light (of God) shines upon him, his heart and his mind become bright and being thus enlightened by the light his speed becomes as fast as lightening. Questioner: Hazoor, I am not an adherent of any religion. The Promised Messiah (as): If someone comes to us having decided that they will not agree to anything then we can say nothing–what can we say? But if someone possesses intelligence, he will be compelled to make some path (for himself).
What is religion? It is that path which a person adopts for himself. Every person needs to adopt a path. Even the non-religious person who does not believe in God needs to adopt a path (for his life) and that is mazhab (‘religion’). But, yes, the point under consideration should be whether the adopted path is a path through which one could attain true steadfastness, eternal pleasure, peace and satisfaction.
You see, mazhab (religion) is a common word which means a space for walking upon, that is, a path and this word in itself is not specific to faith. Specialists in the field of every type of knowledge and skill such as medicine, geography, astronomy, the study of nature, etc., all have a mazhab (a direction) which they follow. No-one can dispute this. This is a necessary aspect of human life to which there can be no exception. So, just as the human soul requires a body and meaning requires word and perspective, so man needs mazhab (a path). It is not our concern, nor are we arguing that someone should say ‘Allah’, or ‘God’, or ‘Premaishar’. Our concern is just this: what does he understand about the deity that he calls upon? I say that you can call him whatever name you like but you should say what he is. You should define the characteristics you have attributed to him. It is the issue of the attributes of the divine being that is the major problem which should be given serious consideration.
Questioner: I believe that the purpose of mazhab (religion) is to correct one’s nature.
The Promised Messiah (as): There is at present the King, Edward VII. Now, even if we did call someone else that, it would be forced, it would not make that person a king. What we desire is exactly this that the true God should be identified and all the other presumptions should be abandoned.
What is Islam? The very name of Islam has been given by Allah to connote the ‘nature’ of Allah. Islam is a natural religion, (i.e. it takes human nature fully into account). But when is the truth of these matters revealed? It is revealed when a person stays in the company of a holy person with patience and steadfastness. There is great blessing in steadfastness. Look at the honey-bee. When it engages in its hard work steadfastly, it produces something so fine and useful as honey. Likewise, a person finds God when he engages in the search of God with steadfastness. What is more, he not only just finds God, it is my belief that he actually ‘sees’ him.
In the acquisition of worldly knowledge how much expenditure of finance and time is involved. These (procedures of acquiring) knowledge clearly point to the rules of acquiring spiritual knowledge. The path that a beginner should adopt in the realm of spiritual knowledge is that he should, first, acquire familiarity with the (nature of) God’s being and then he should gain familiarity with God’s attributes, familiarity with which would take him to the level of certainty about God. It is then that he will be informed about God’s being and about his perfect attributes and at that point his soul will speak from within that it has found God and is fully satisfied. When there is such faith in God that it reaches the level of certainty and a person feels that he has ‘seen’ God and has acquired a familiarity with God’s attributes, at that stage a person develops a hatred for sin. The nature (of such a person) that was once attracted towards sin, now hates it, and this condition is known as tauba, i.e. repentance.
The point that after acquiring total faith one’s nature comes to hate sin is something that can be clearly and easily understood. You know that there are poisons such as strychnine or that there are some poisonous animals — why does man fear them? Simply for this reason that experience shows that a certain poison, taken in a certain quantity, proves fatal. Many have been seen to have died after an intake of poison and that is why one is not inclined towards taking poison – one fears it. When this is the case, what then is the reason that all manner of sins are committed, so much so that if there was even a paisa (a small coin) lying in the street, someone would stoop down to pick it up, when a brief enquiry could establish its owner. I know that there have been cases where for such paltry amounts as 12 aanas the lives of innocent children have been taken. You can see from the proceedings of the courts what dark and fearful scenes emerge. Lies are told for the most petty things. The bad and evil deeds are flowing like a river in full flow. Why is this? Simply because there is no belief in God. People are afraid of snakes and poisons because they believe them to be fatal and they have faith in such things being dangerous. If there is complete faith in God, then I see no reason why there would not be a hatred of sin.
There are two things which are important for a human being — to safeguard against the bad and to run towards the good and there are two aspects of goodness. One is the abandonment of harmful acts and the other is the performance of deeds which are of benefit to others. A person cannot achieve perfection merely through giving up bad deeds unless there is also a move towards the performance of deeds which benefit others. This is an indicator of how much change has, in fact, taken place (in a person) and the higher levels of goodness are granted only when a person has faith in the attributes of God as well as knowledge of those attributes. Unless this condition is fulfilled, one cannot even protect oneself against bad deeds, leave alone being beneficial to others which is a great thing indeed. Is it not the case that people also stand in awe of kings and there is fear, to an extent, of the penal system of India and many people do not go against the law? Why then the audacity to go against the law of the one who is Judge Supreme! Is there any other reason for this than that there is no faith in him — this is the only reason.
In short, the first stage of safeguarding oneself against bad deeds can only be successfully completed when there is faith in God. The second stage should then be one of searching for the path that was adopted by God’s holy people and there is only one such path which has been adopted by all the God’s holy people who by treading this path benefited from God’s beneficence. The way to discover this path is this that one should try to ascertain what kind of relationship God had with the holy people.
The first stage of safeguarding against the bad is acquired through the manifestation of awe-inspiring (Jalali ) attributes of God because he is the enemy of those who indulge in base and shameless acts. The second stage is granted through the manifestation of God’s Jamali attributes, i.e. attributes of beneficence and beauty. The ultimate, however, is that nothing can be achieved unless one is granted strength and power from God in the form of what, according to Islamic terminology, is known as ruhul qudus (the holy spirit). It is a force which is granted by God and with its descent comes inner peace and tranquillity (sakeena) and there develops a natural love and attraction for goodness. The person endowed with ruhul qudus runs to perform good deeds with pleasure and enjoyment whereas others see it is as a heavy burden. Just as even a child enjoys eating something delicious, so when a person develops a relationship with God and the holy spirit descends upon him from God, the performance of good deeds for such a person becomes like drinking a sweet and delicious drink. The beauty that exists within goodness begins to become apparent to him and he runs helplessly towards good deeds and the thought of bad deeds makes him shudder.
The nature of these matters, however, is such that they cannot be adequately expressed in words because they are matters of the heart. The true significance of these matters can only be known through feeling them when one is granted fresh signs of light. One should not, however, begin to feel proud and should not consider experiences of deep emotion that, at times, one may have, to be the ultimate spiritual state. Such experiences are of a temporary nature. Sometimes it does happen that a person reading a novel cries at the painful circumstances described there. The reader of the novel clearly knows, however, that it is an imaginary story and not a true one. Hence, if crying or feeling a sense of deep emotion were to be the basis of true happiness and enjoyment, nowhere would there be people more advanced in spiritual enjoyment than in Europe because thousands of novels are published there and millions of people shed tears while reading them.
The truth is that it is in the nature of man that he laughs at something humorous and cries in situations which lead him to tears and, at times, he also derives a certain pleasure from this. This pleasure, however, cannot be the basis of any spiritual discernment. For instance, a man falls in love with a woman and in his state of ardour, makes up verses and recites them which makes him both happy and sad and he weeps. There is in human beings this capacity whether it is used appropriately or inappropriately. A person should not be satisfied at just being in possession of this capacity. God has endowed (mankind) with this capacity so that the true seekers may not be deprived and, when used appropriately, it should act as a prelude to the next stage of spiritual (development) and should become like a faculty.
In short, matters such as crying or the abandonment of certain other material things or relationships are temporary things. One should not become inactive through reliance on them. Matters upon which a true knowledge of God can be based are that if a person is tried in the path of God again and again and is thrown into the river of difficulties and tribulations, even then he should not be perturbed and should keep moving forward. After this, he is made aware of the knowledge he has of God and it is this that is a true pleasure and a true bounty. At such a time there is a deeply felt emotion but this emotion is not temporary, rather, it is filled with joy and pleasure and the soul flows towards God like a spring of pure water. In other words, before reaching the true ocean, one sees a mirage which also appears like an ocean. The person who is deceived by the illusion and does not move forward, loses hope and is left without any achievement or success. On the other hand, the person who does not give up and keeps moving forward, is the one who attains the desired aim.
God has placed different states within the human soul. Among these is the state of feeling deep emotion which makes one cry. One person may become affected by the mere recitation of a few verses of poetry while another person moves on, not relying on such measures and reaches the true point of his journey. Remember this that for the true seeker of truth, there is the condition that wherever he finds truth, he should take it. This is a light which guides him. At the present time there has started in the world a ‘battle’ to attract people (to different religions). The Arya are trying to pull people to their beliefs, the Brahmu are calling to themselves and the Dev Samaj people are inviting to their faith, whilst the Christians present Christianity. In other words, every group tries to attract people to itself and the circle of differences between them is becoming ever wider. However, what we are giving an invitation for and that which we can inform any seeker of truth is this that he should search for God. Take the Aryas, for instance, they swear at and curse all holy and truthful people. For them no matter how much a person truly loves (God) and no matter how holy he is, he can never attain salvation. According to their beliefs, God has not even created the smallest atom. Now, tell me, how can a true seeker of truth place any hope on such a Premaishar (God) and how can the omnipotence and majesty of God create in his soul any deep emotion that could take him away from sin, when he considers that not a single atom of his existence has been created by God. Again, if we accept that God did not bless any other country with his word, other than that of the Vedas, one is left without hope. In short, our advice is that whoever wishes to tread the path of seeking the truth, the purpose and the aim of his search should be the search for God. When he acquires true belief in the true and one God, there will flow a river of truths and of true knowledge of God.
Remember that truths and fine points are related to knowledge. The greater the knowledge, the more truths will reveal themselves. Thus, when carrying out one’s research (into these matters) one should keep one’s heart clean and pure. The more the heart is purified of prejudice and selfishness the quicker the true meanings will be understood. The difference that exists between light and darkness is understood even by the most ignorant of people. The true thing and the accurate thing is one and the same.
The summary of the whole of my speech, in a word, is this that between two points there is only one straight line. These are matters which are worthy of consideration. You should stay here with patience and steadfastness. By God’s grace it is not impossible that you should find the path which has been tried and experienced by millions of holy people and such people still exist.
(The Promised Messiah (as) finished his discourse at this point. The questioner stayed in Qadian for some time and benefited from the company of the Promised Messiah (as)).