Time of Maulana Nur-ud-din
Shortly after his meeting with Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Dr. Iqbal
went to Europe for higher education. By the time he returned, Hazrat
Mirza had passed away and, under the leadership of Maulana Nur-ud- Din,
Qadian had come to be recognised as the centre of a truly Islamic way
1. Dr. Iqbal sent his elder son, Aftab Iqbal, to be educated
at the Ahmadiyya community’s school known as the Taleem-ul-Islam High
School in Qadian.
2. In the same period, in the year 1910, Iqbal delivered a lecture
in the famous Muslim University town of Aligarh, during the course of
which he referred to the Ahmadiyya community in the following words:
"In order to be a dynamic member of the Muslim community, a person must
not only repose unconditional faith in the religion of Islam but also
imbue himself thoroughly in the colouring of the Islamic civilisation.
The object of diving into this jar of the ‘colouring of Allah’ is that
Muslims should give up duality and become of one hue. … In my opinion
the aspect of national life represented by Aurangzeb is a model of pure
Islamic life, and it should be the purpose of our education to develop
this model and to make Muslims keep it in view all the time. … In
the Punjab a true model of Islamic life has arisen in the form of that
community which is known as the Qadiani sect.”
(Millat Baiza Per Ayk ‘Imrani Nazar, published by Aeenah Adab,
Lahore, 1970 edition, pp. 84 – 85.)
Dr. Iqbal expressed these views two years after the death of Hazrat
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, fully knowing about his claims and teachings. There
was no way that Hazrat Mirza could now make different claims which would
lead Dr. Iqbal to change his views about the Ahmadiyya Movement. If
by the year 1910, in the period of leadership of Maulana Nur-ud-Din,
there had prevailed in the Ahmadiyya Movement the beliefs that Hazrat
Mirza was a prophet and that his deniers were kafir, then Dr.
Iqbal certainly would not have recommended to his audience in Aligarh
to look to Qadian to find “a true model of Islamic life”. This is no
ordinary matter. It shows that Dr. Iqbal was himself deeply impressed
by this “model”. Besides, this opinion expressed by Dr. Iqbal caused
no commotion among the audience; on the contrary, his hearers listened
to him with attention and calm. This shows that in those days Muslims
in general held the Ahmadiyya Movement in very high regard and honour.
If a Muslim public figure today were to express such views, one shudders
to think of the hostility and adverse reaction which would result. It
is, however, a solid fact that in the time of Maulana Nur-ud-Din the
opposition to the Ahmadiyya Movement had all but disappeared, and a
wonderful era of general acceptance was on the rise day by day.
First phase of opposition.
The first obstacle in the continuance of this popularity came when,
in April 1911, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad wrote and published
a magazine article entitled A Muslim is one who accepts all those
appointed by God. In this article, contrary to the clear pronouncements
of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement and the unanimous stand-point
of the Community, M. Mahmud Ahmad condemned as kafir all the
Muslims of the world who had not taken the bai‘at to join the
Movement of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. This caused a certain amount
of unease, both within the Ahmadiyya Movement and Muslims in general.
However, the true position was made clear very quickly when Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din
published a Notice entitled My beliefs about non-Ahmadi Muslims,
dated 18 August 1911, bearing Maulana Nur-ud-Din’s endorsement in the
words: “I approve it, you may publish it.” At around the same time,
Maulana Nur-ud-Din made an observation in the presence of several people
about M. Mahmud Ahmad’s beliefs as follows:
“The question of kufr and Islam is a very subtle matter. Even
our Mian [M. Mahmud Ahmad] has not understood it.”
As these statements cleared up the misconceptions caused by M. Mahmud
Ahmad’s article, there arose no difference of view between Dr. Iqbal
and the Ahmadiyya Movement. In fact, he used to have recourse to Maulana
Nur-ud-Din for advice on matters of Islamic law. As an example, we mention
one incident related by Maulana Abdul Majid Salik:
“At last the Allama (Iqbal) agreed to take his wife back. However, as
he had intended to divorce her, he suspected that in Islamic law divorce
had taken place. So he sent Mirza Jalal- ud-Din to Maulana Hakim Nur-ud-Din
in Qadian to enquire about the Islamic position. The Maulana said that
no divorce had taken place according to Islamic law, but if he was uncertain
in his mind he could hold the marriage ceremony again. So a maulvi was
called, and the Allama was re-married to this lady. He then took her
to Sialkot. This happened in the year 1913.”
(Zikr-i Iqbal, p. 70.)
Public Meeting in Lahore as Lord Headley accepts
At the same time, Dr. Iqbal was a fervent supporter of the work of
the propagation of Islam being done by the Ahmadiyya Movement. In 1913
Lord Headley, a British nobleman, embraced Islam in England through
the work of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, the famous Ahmadiyya missionary to
the West. To celebrate this, a big gathering of the Muslims of Lahore
was held at Ahmadiyya Buildings, the centre of the Movement in Lahore.
We reproduce below the report of this meeting as published at the time
(Paigham Sulh, Lahore, 25 November 1913):
In accordance with the announcement, a meeting of the Muslims
of Lahore was held on 23rd November 1913 at 3:30 p.m. in Ahmadiyya
Buildings, Lahore. Even before the appointed time, Muslim brethren
started arriving in crowds, and by the time of the opening of
the proceedings the Ahmadiyya mosque and the adjoining marquee
were entirely full. Besides Muslims of all sections of society,
followers of other religions were also present in large numbers.
Khan sahib Shaikh Khair-ud-Din, pensioner, District Traffic Superintendent
of the Railways Department, who takes a keen interest in Muslim
national affairs, was chosen as President of the meeting. First
of all, Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig (A prominent Lahore Ahmadi and friend
of Iqbal) recited the Holy Quran. He was followed by Sufi Ghulam
Muhammad who recited the poetry of the Promised Messiah in praise
of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. After this, Dr. Sayyid Muhammad
Husain Shah (Another prominent Lahore Ahmadi and friend of Iqbal)
delivered a speech for nearly an hour, which derived its force
from his sincerity.
After him, Dr. Shaikh Muhammad Iqbal, whose heart is full of
love for the Muslim nation, made a profound and meaningful speech
on the propagation of Islam. He said:
“The allegation against Islam that it was propagated by the sword
is proved to be utterly baseless when we look at world history.
Taking India as an example, history shows that Muslims never established
any permanent or lengthy rule in Bengal, yet the proportion of
Muslims there is greater than in other provinces. Similarly, in
the Balkan states, Islam first spread from a Muslim prisoner to
his Christian fellow-inmates, and then further afield. In Java
Islam spread at a time when Muslim political power in Asia was
declining fast. At the present time, the downfall of Muslim political
power is complete but the progress of Islam is such that in the
island of Madagascar Christian clergymen have held a conference
which passed the resolution that, as the daily advance of Islam
on the island poses a threat to the French government, it should
take measures to stop the spread of Islam. The same is the situation
in Africa where Islam is expanding rapidly even though Muslims
have no political power worth mentioning in those countries, and
that too is due solely to individual efforts. The biggest cause
of the decline of the Muslims is the neglect of the task of the
propagation of Islam. Thank God that the man who first recognised
this shortcoming is Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, who has sacrificed all
worldly interests to take this great work upon himself. It is,
therefore, our duty not to neglect to help him in any way, and
we must not let the question of Ahmadiyyat stand in the way of
this noble work, for our God, our Prophet and our Scripture is
In short, his speech was praiseworthy from every angle, and was
full of concern for Islam from beginning to end. Afterwards, the
following resolutions were passed unanimously:
Resolution no. 1, moved by Dr. Shaikh Muhammad Iqbal:
"A telegram of congratulations should be sent on behalf of the
Muslims of Lahore to the Right Honourable Lord Headley, through
Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din of the Woking Mosque, England, on his acceptance
of Islam. This resolution was passed unanimously by all present."
Resolution no. 3, presented by Nawab Muhammad Salim Khan, Raees
"This meeting proposes that a campaign for funds be launched among
the Indian Muslim population for the Islamic mission of Khwaja
Kamal-ud-Din. A trust should be created, having Ahmadis and other
Muslims as members, to receive the contributions, and the funds
should be spent to support Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. This resolution
was seconded by Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig and Mr. Abdul Majid, and
passed unanimously by those present."
Resolution no. 4: At the proposal of the President of the meeting,
and with the unanimous agreement of those present, the following
persons were elected as members of the trust:
1. Dr. Shaikh Muhammad Iqbal, M.A., Ph.D., Barrister at law.
2. Khan Bahadur Mirza Sultan Ahmad Khan, E.A.C., Member of the
Council of Regency, Bahawalpur.
3. Shaikh Rahmat-ullah, proprietor, English Ware House, Lahore.
4. Nawab Muhammad Salim Khan, Raees of Taitri, the Frontier.
5. Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Husain Shah, L.M.S., Lahore.
6. Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig, L.M.S., Lahore.
7. Mian Charagh-ud-Din, Raees, Government Pensioner.
The Joint Secretaries were declared to be Shaikh Rahmat-ullah
and Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig. The meeting closed with a prayer.
|From Paigham Sulh, Lahore, 25 November 1913
News of the activities of this trust appeared some months later in
Paigham Sulh of 5 July 1914:
Report of the Isha'at Islam (Western countries)
This trust was created on 23rd November 1913, at the proposal
of some friends, on the occasion of the magnificent gathering
in Ahmadiyya Buildings to mark the embracing of Islam by Lord
Headley, and had the object of helping the Islamic mission of
Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din in England. The following members were appointed
to the trust: …
Afterwards the following were added:
8. Maulvi Muhammad Ali, M.A., Ll.B., editor Review of Religions,
9. Maulvi Ghulam Muhiy-ud-Din, B.A., Ll.B., lawyer, Qasur.
The Secretary Shaikh Rahmat-ullah and Sayyid Muhammad Husain
Shah toured various places in the Punjab to collect funds. At
the annual meeting of the Muhammadan Educational Conference held
in Agra, a large meeting was convened at the suggestion of Maulana
Abul Kalam Azad for the support of this Islamic propagation mission
of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. Many speeches were made and great interest
was expressed by those attending. The following dignitaries were
also appointed members of the trust:
1. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
2. Maulana Maulvi Abdul Qadir Azad Subhani.
3. The honourable Khwaja Ghulam Asqalain.
4. The honourable Sahibzada Aftab Ahmad Khan.
5. Maulvi Ali Ahmad, M.A., Allahabad.
6. Qazi Kabir-ud-Din Ahmad, Lucknow.
7. Mr. Shaukat Ali, B.A. (Aligarh).
8. Nawab Imad-ul-Mulk Sayyid Hasan Ali Balgrami.
9. Sayyid Mazhar-ul-Haq, Bar-at-law.
10. Haziq-ul-Mulk Hakim Muhammad Ajmal Khan.
Besides these the following were appointed patrons of the trust
by unanimous agreement:
1. Maulana Hakim Haji Hafiz Nur-ud-Din.
2. Maulana Maulvi Shibli Numani.
3. Waqqar-ul-Mulk Maulvi Mushtaq Husain Bahadur.
On 14th May 1914 a meeting of the Isha'at Islam Trust (Western
countries) was held with Dr. Shaikh Muhammad Iqbal as President,
which was attended by the following prominent persons:
1. Maulana Muhammad Ali.
2. Dr. Shaikh Muhammad Iqbal.
3. Shaikh Rahmat-ullah.
4. Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Husain Shah.
5. Maulvi Ghulam Muhiy-ud-Din Qasoori.
6. The Secretary.
|From Paigham Sulh, Lahore, 5 July 1914