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The Light & Islamic Review

April-June 2002 Issue
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The Light & Islamic Review Title

April–June 2002
Volume 79, Number 2


  1. Reminiscences of my beloved
    Some eye-witness events of the Imam of the Age,
    by Dr Mirza Yaqub Baig.
  2. Stoning to death: Is it really Zia-ul-Haq’s legacy?
    Pakistani press article and our comments,
    by the Editor.
  3. Some questions and answers
    1. Non-acceptors of prophets receiving salvation
    2. Extent of obedience to khalifa

  4. The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore — the beginning in 1914
    From the English translation of Mujahid-i Kabir,
  5. Foreword to Light of the Holy Quran
    by Dr. Mohammad Ahmad, Columbus, Ohio

Reminiscences of my beloved

‘To recall your beloved is no less than meeting him’

Some eye-witness events of
the Imam of the Age

by Dr Mirza Yaqub Baig

[Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad died on 26 May 1908, and consequently our magazines covering the month of May, as this present issue, usually contain some material about his life. Earlier this year I translated from Urdu such an article by Dr Mirza Yaqub Baig, reproduced below. It had appeared in our Urdu organ ‘Paigham Sulh’ long ago on the 15th anniversary of the Promised Messiah’s death, in its issue dated 26th May 1923 on pages 6 to 9.

Dr Mirza Yaqub Baig (d. 1936) was a distinguished medical practitioner and University medical faculty lecturer. He was one of the earliest Ahmadis and also attended as a doctor to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and his family members and to prominent Ahmadis including Maulana Nur-ud-Din. He was appointed by the Promised Messiah to the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, the executive board of the Movement, and was one of the leading Lahore Ahmadi figures when the AAIIL was founded in 1914. — Editor]

Although fifteen years have passed since the death of the Imam of the Age, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib of Qadian, the Promised Messiah, but as I spent a long period during my younger days, a period of almost sixteen years, in his company the events and conditions of that time are always fresh before my eyes and can never be forgotten. Besides this, during the last thirty years I have had occasion to meet all sorts of people, and I find his life to be the best and most noble example. Today, leaving aside his claims and the exalted rank bestowed upon him by Allah the Most High, I put before the readers some events of his life which show the exalted status of his morals, and it appears even at a cursory glance that a man of this illustrious rank, far from making a false claim about God, cannot even utter an untruth about any human being. Such a truthful man cannot possibly be an impostor, and one who entertains so deep a love and adoration for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) cannot present himself as a rival to him. On the contrary, he considers it his greatest honour to be his servant, as he writes:

The glory of Ahmad is beyond all imagination and comprehension,

Whose servant, observe, is the Messiah of the age.

His physical appearance

There are hundreds of people still alive from among the earliest followers of Hazrat Mirza sahib, who spent a long time in his company, and there are thousands who had the opportunity to see him. However, there are millions of people who never had the chance to see him, and for them I want to say that the description of the coming Messiah in Hadith — that his colour will be wheatish, his hair will be straight, and it would always look as if he had just had a bath — is exactly how Hazrat Mirza sahib would be described in brief. That is how he was shown by Allah to the Holy Prophet Muhammad by means of a vision thirteen centuries earlier, and that is precisely what the appearance of this promised one was like. He was of a very handsome, wheat-like colour, with a brightly radiant face. He had a high forehead and a bushy beard, whose hair were slightly turned at the end. As his hair had turned grey at a young age, he used to apply henna to his hair. His face always appeared to have a smile on it, and his eyes always half open. He was of medium height. The hair on his head were not thick; he did not have any bald patches but his hair were spaced apart. His appearance was quite distinct from the description of the Israelite prophet Jesus as given in Hadith, who is described as being reddish white in colour with curly hair.

He wore a turban of a very simple form. Sometimes he would have a Turkish cap on his head, and sometimes he would wear a turban over the cap. His [Indian style] coat, trousers and other garments were of the simplest kind, and most frequently he wore traditional Indian shoes.

There were no artificial airs about him, nor did he keep any special place or seat reserved for himself. In every way he behaved simply. He would take his seat wherever there was a vacant place. Sometimes he would be seated on the floor while some of his followers, due to lack of space, sat higher up on a couch.

He usually went for a walk in the early morning, accompanied by a crowd consisting of his own followers and visitors. During the walk many people, in order to listen to him, would pass him and walk ahead. As they passed him, dust raised by their feet would blow on him but he would not care in the least. Again and again someone would step on one of his shoes causing it to slip out of his foot, but he would never look to see who did it. Someone would step on his walking stick and knock it out of his hand to the ground, but his face would never show any sign of displeasure. In gatherings he would sit like an ordinary person and talk without assuming any artificial airs. If a humorous remark was made he laughed so heartily that his face turned red and his eyes streamed. Sometimes while laughing he covered his mouth with the end of his turban cloth.

Socialisation and hospitality

His food was absolutely simple. Whatever was cooked in the house he would eat without any fuss. He ate very little. His hospitality was of the highest degree. He looked after his guests with the greatest care. Whenever a guest took his leave to depart, Hazrat Mirza sahib would clearly be grieved. In the early days, he served his guests personally and would go and bring a guest’s meal to him. Quite often during the meal he would rise and go to bring some drink or pickles or something else for his guest.

While eating he took very small morsels of food. Tiny bits of bread collected in front of him as he ate. He would eat at most one chipati at any meal. He would also take out pieces of meat from the curry dish and place them before the guests seated near to him.


He said the five daily prayers in congregation. Sometimes he led the prayer, but usually a senior member of the community would be the imam. Maulana Abdul Karim of Sialkot led the five daily prayers and the Friday prayer till his death. After that, Allama Hakim Maulana Nur-ud-Din used to lead the prayers, although sometimes Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan or another senior member led the prayers.

After almost every prayer Hazrat Mirza sahib engaged in conversation about some religious matter. Everyday there were new people in attendance who had come from distant places, and often a question asked by one of them would become the subject of a talk by him. He sometimes talked about family matters, or if he was writing a book at the time he would talk about the issues under discussion. After the morning prayer he did not sit for long but, after taking a short rest, he would come out and go for a walk of about two to three miles accompanied by his friends. All through the walk conversation continued. He walked so fast that most people had to run to keep up with him to listen to his talk. He would speak with a constant flow and at speed.

Between the zuhr and asr prayers he would usually stay in the mosque, and likewise between the maghrib and ‘isha prayers. Almost all this time was spent on talking about various religious topics, answering questions from people, and giving goodly preaching. Except for those days when he was engaged in writing some book, he spent most of his time with guests in conversations on religion. After maghrib he would usually have dinner with them and retire to his room after the ‘isha prayers.

Tahajjud prayers

Aside from praying in congregation for the five daily prayers, he was regular in his tahajjud prayer. Although his humility before Allah in every prayer was enviable, his tahajjud prayer was quite without equal. He would be in the state of prostration for hours, beseeching Allah from the bottom of his heart to grant success to Islam and the Muslims. While doing so, the thought of the moral plight and pitiable condition of the world would make him shed tears, so much so that his cries could sometimes be heard. In the early days the neighbourhood around his house was sparsely populated, and when he said his tahajjud prayers on the roof in the hot summer months, the sounds of his pleading and crying before the Almighty with a painful heart could be heard far outside the house.

His love and affection

While he had thousands of followers, most of them so devoted that they would give their all for him, he too was no less in showing love and devotion towards them. In fact, his devotion towards them was much greater, and it made each one of them feel as if Hazrat Mirza sahib loved him specially, more than he loved any other follower. He was in reality a model of the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s quality of being a mercy to all. He shared in the grief or the joy of every one of his followers. If anyone was in distress or difficulty he would do his best for him practically as well as by prayer, as if he were striving for his own success. He remembered all his sincere followers in his prayers and in his tahajjud prayers he went so far as to pray for everyone of them by name.

Not only for his friends but he also prayed for his opponents and the Maulvis who called him kafir, especially praying for them in his tahajjud prayers that they be guided aright. As he writes in a poetic verse:

“My soul is eaten away in sorrowing after your faith, my friend,

The wonder is that you consider me to be a kafir.

Penmanship and writing

Apart from his walks outside, the Promised Messiah used to stroll within his house as well. He had a separate room where he sometimes sat down to write. However, he did most of his writing while walking. At both ends of the courtyard he would place an inkpot in a niche in the wall. With pen and paper in hand he would write while strolling from one end to the other. After having done some writing he would fold the paper over to reduce its length so as to facilitate writing further on it.

It was not as if his courtyard was reserved for him. The women and children of the house would be moving about in it. He often likened his house to a railway train station due to the hustle bustle. It was in that tumultuous environment that he did his writing work, but the noise never distracted his attention from his writing. He would be as deeply absorbed and engrossed in his work as if he were in utter solitude and silence.

So absorbed would he be in his writing as to be entirely oblivious to what was going on around him. In the early days his father used to have his meals sent to him in his room. Sometimes a dog would come and eat his food and he would not notice. Nor would it occur to him that he had not eaten. He never asked for another meal to be sent.

Once, in the later days, it so happened that Hazrat Mirza sahib wrote a long article and put the papers by his side. His son, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, at present head of the Qadiani Jama‘at, who was a child at the time, while sitting next to him and playing with a match box, set the papers alight. Hazrat Mirza sahib did not notice. When he needed to look up those papers, he found them burnt to ashes. All he said was: “There must be some Divine wisdom in why this happened”. He rewrote the article, and it was better than the one burnt.

Love of friends

His relationship with his devoted followers was that of a close friend. He addressed everyone of them with respect. When I and my late brother Mirza Ayub Baig took the bai‘at we were the youngest people in the Movement, yet whenever he wrote us a letter he addressed us as: “My dear brothers”. He found it difficult to accept a complaint against a friend. Once when Maulvi Abdul Karim, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and some others made a complaint about a friend from the town of Gujaranwala, Hazrat Mirza sahib told them: I cannot believe that he could have done such a thing, you must make enquiries again.

When friends came from other places to see him he would not let them go quickly. When he did bid them farewell, he would walk with them for a long distance to see them off. Sometimes when seeing off us two brothers he would accompany us for two miles outside Qadian.

Unequalled forbearance and tolerance

I and my late brother Mirza Ayub Baig entered into the bai‘at of Hazrat Mirza sahib in 1892. He had come to Lahore after having been to Delhi. The ulama had just then issued the declaration against him denouncing him as a kafir. He was staying at the house of Mehboob in Lahore where afterwards the Railway Station Dispensary was located for a long time. Opposition to him was so fierce that the main gate of the house was kept locked, and only a narrow, side entrance was open for those going in and out. However, some malicious persons used to slip inside even through there. One day Hazrat Mirza sahib was sitting in a room on the first storey with many people who had come to see him. Some Hindus were present as well. A man came and started hurling abuse at him. Hazrat Mirza sahib simply hung his head down and kept on listening. When the man got tired of insulting him, Hazrat Mirza sahib said to him: Brother, if you have any more to say, then say it also. The man was deeply embarrassed and regretful and asked for pardon. There was a Hindu sitting there who saw it all. He commented about Hazrat Mirza sahib: “This man will be successful” and then added: “In the Gospels we read about the forbearance and tolerance of Jesus, but we had not seen any person practising it till now”.

In those days he used to go to the mosques of the general Muslims and pray behind their imams. He was returning home after prayer from a mosque when he was assaulted by a lunatic who claimed to be the Mahdi. As he was pushed by that man, Hazrat Mirza sahib’s turban fell to the ground. Accompanying Hazrat Mirza sahib were Sayyid Amir Ali Shah, sub-Inspector Police, his brother Sayyid Fazilat Ali Shah, Inspector Police and many other friends, who could have dealt a blow to that man. Sayyid Fazilat Ali Shah grabbed him by the neck, but Hazrat Mirza sahib said: Let him go, he is an helpless man. So no one did anything to him.

Apart from the fatwas of kufr he frequently used to receive abusive mail from his opponents. He used to say that he had two chests full of such letters. But they made no impression on him. One day he said: “If my opponents knew that this sort of obscenity does not upset me in the least, they would kill themselves with disappointment”. He refers to this evil behaviour of these people in a poetic verse as follows:

“The foul stench produced by the jealous opponents cannot harm me,

As I am kept fragrant all the time by the musk of the remembrance of God.”

Qadian in his time

I first visited Qadian in 1893. After that, during my student days I used to go to Qadian almost every day that was a holiday. During the summer holidays also most of my time was spent in his company. After finishing my education I became house surgeon in the medical college. Later on I also spent most of my employment as a lecturer in the medical college. In those days whenever anyone in Qadian fell ill the Promised Messiah used to send for me. In addition to that, being a member of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya I had occasion to visit Qadian once or twice a month in that connection as well.

Whenever I went to see him in Qadian, my faith in the existence of God was refreshed. I would see the truth of Hazrat Mirza sahib and the truth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad appear in a new glory. The reason why this place had such an effect was that the Qadian of that time was entirely different from the outside world. I said to my friends several times that the very earth and sky of Qadian was godly. No worldly business or concern or fire of worldly ambition was at all in evidence there. On the contrary, it was a habitation populated by godly persons who had been attracted there, to that true servant of the Holy Prophet, by nothing other than spiritual aims and love of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Being in his company really cleansed you of sin, and all worldly cares and anxieties disappeared by going to him. His love and affection for his followers was so great that in no physical relationship, whether of father, mother or any other kith or kin, was such an example to be found of a heart-felt connection and passion for the sake of Allah. Nor could such contentment of mind be found in any friendship.

Besides this, his love and devotion for the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his engrossment in matters of faith was so thorough that when you went to meet him there was no other talk except about the teachings of the religion. Moreover, his talk was entirely different in nature from that of the ulama. Every single word he spoke entered into your heart, his speech melted most people’s hearts and breathed the spirit of sacrifice into them. Just as he obtained the promise from every follower, during the bai‘at, of preferring religion to the world, so did his preaching always teach the lesson of acting on this golden rule. Being in his company created within you the strength to withstand difficulties and trials in the way of Allah, and it produced within you such unshakeable faith in his truth and in the truth of Islam that no declarations of kufr or opposition by the Maulvis could scare you, nor could the attacks upon Islam by its detractors make the least impression upon you. He established the whole of his Jama‘at upon such a firm rock of faith that no power could shake them. Even though at this time the Jama‘at has split into two groups, both sections in doing religious service are holding the cause of religion above the world. Even the section that has exaggerated the status of Hazrat Mirza sahib is doing work of propagation of Islam that is an example for other Muslims.

His power of attraction

Before Hazrat Mirza sahib’s mission, no one in the world knew of Qadian. Even in the Punjab very few people had heard of it. But since he began his mission, there is no part of the world from where people have not come to Qadian. Similarly, there is no worldly blessing or comfort which has not reached there. His presence brought people to Qadian from all over the world. This is an evidence of his truth because at the time when no one in the world had heard of Qadian Hazrat Mirza sahib told of a revelation, which he also published in Barahin Ahmadiyya in 1882, that “people will come to you from every remote path”. Events proved the truth of this revelation, and today its veracity is evident.

His victories witnessed

Being with him we always saw the hand of Allah the Most High acting in his support. He had a revelation: “I will help him who intends to help you and I will disgrace him who intends to disgrace you”. His helpers, despite facing widespread opposition, were always made victorious by Allah and by His grace we progressed and prospered. Each and every one of us can compare his past and present conditions and testify to that. Those who tried to disgrace him, as they were really opponents of the truth, were always brought down low.

Debate with Abdullah Atham

I was present at the debate between Hazrat Mirza sahib and the Christian preacher Deputy Abdullah Atham which took place in Amritsar in 1893. Details of the proceedings of the debate have been published. One point is worthy of special mention, and that is that for each of the two parties, i.e. Abdullah Atham and Hazrat Mirza sahib, four helpers had been appointed. Abdullah Atham used to seek assistance from his helpers when preparing his replies but Hazrat Mirza sahib required no help. He had only the Holy Quran in his hand and consulted it on every issue. Whenever he spoke, a river of knowledge flowed forth. Someone asked Hazrat Mirza sahib how he could locate verses in the Quran without help. He replied: When I thumb through the pages of the Quran to look for a particular verse, that verse comes before me as if it were highlighted. “This is Allah’s grace which He grants to whom He pleases”, as the Quran says.

After the debate was concluded Deputy Abdullah Atham and the Rev. Henry Martyn Clarke extended an invitation to the Ahmadi side through Maulana Nur-ud-Din for a meal. The Maulana replied that he would let them know after asking Hazrat Mirza sahib. When the Maulana mentioned this to Hazrat Mirza sahib, he said: Can your self-respect tolerate that you accept an invitation for a meal from an enemy of the Holy Prophet Muhammad? He added: It is a fact that although I was engaged in a debate with Abdullah Atham for fifteen days yet my self-respect could not tolerate that I look at the face of such a dark hearted opponent of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

All thinking persons should ponder on this, and also those who today make Hazrat Mirza sahib equal to the Holy Prophet Muhammad as well as those who call him a kafir should both take a lesson from this, and they should realize the depth of love that Hazrat Mirza sahib entertained in his heart for the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his closeness to and affinity for his master.

We too are witness to the fact that in reality Hazrat Mirza sahib never cast a glance towards the face of Abdullah Atham during the debate. He used to be keeping his attention turned towards the Holy Quran, and when he spoke his eyes would be cast downwards.

Love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad

Apart from the events mentioned above there were many examples of how Hazrat Mirza sahib showed love for and devotion to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. I was present with him at the end of the period of his prophecy about Abdullah Atham, when on the day of the expiry of that period he wrote the announcement, on the basis of Divine revelation, that as Abdullah Atham had repented due to his fear of the prophecy, so Allah had granted him respite. About two or three days before the expiry of the limit of the prophecy he said: I have no worry about myself, my worry is about the honour of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. He added that if he were to be killed, his family butchered and cut to pieces in front of his eyes, and his house destroyed to the ground, but at that moment he were to be told that the honour of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and of the Holy Quran had been established in the world as it deserves to be established, he would regard himself as the most successful person on earth. If someone abused Hazrat Mirza sahib and used bad language about him he never became angry, but he could not tolerate abuse directed against the Holy Prophet Muhammad. He never prayed for punishment for anyone who abused him but he used to get very roused against those who vilified the Holy Prophet Muhammad. He has prayed for punishment for such vituperators, as in the prophecy about Lekhram he has warned him about the fate that will befall him due to his wickedness.


During the debate in Amritsar with Abdullah Atham in 1893, Hazrat Mirza sahib held a mubahila with his opponent Maulvis — the two parties stood in the same open ground confronting one another and prayed to Allah to send His verdict against the liar and to make the truthful one steadfast and show in his support a clear evidence from heaven.

The mubahila took place at the Eid prayer ground in Amritsar. On one side was Hazrat Mirza sahib with a group of his followers, their hands raised in prayer, and on the other side was Maulvi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi with his supporters. It is noteworthy about this mubahila that while Maulvi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi prayed for punishment to befall Hazrat Mirza sahib, but Hazrat Mirza sahib did not pray for punishment to befall Maulvi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi or any other opponent. In fact, he prayed for punishment for himself, saying: “O Allah, if I am the impostor and not from You, then destroy me and save the world from my mischief; and if I am from You then grant me aid and help, and support me openly so that my truthfulness may be clear to the world”. He prayed aloud and his followers who were standing behind him in rows said Amin. I was one of them.

At the time of the mubahila his devoted followers numbered 313. Hence in writing about this incident he has recorded their names and likened this encounter to the battle of Badr. Consequently, Allah the Most High bestowed upon him progress day after day following this mubahila. His Movement, from being in the hundreds, reached thousands, and hundreds of thousands. Today the services of this Jama‘at to Islam and its work of the propagation of Islam have set the seal upon the truth of its founder, the Promised Messiah. As against this, the opponent Maulvis, particularly those who took part in the mubahila, were not blessed with any progress; on the contrary, today those who call Muslims as kafir are denounced and reviled by everyone.

The awe of truth

It was because of the awe and fear of the power of truth that Maulvi Muhammad Husain Batalvi, despite being the staunchest adversary of Hazrat Mirza sahib and the originator of the fatwa against him declaring him as kafir, did not come forward for the mubahila. He was actually present at that time in that very Eid prayer ground and was attempting to ensnare people into opposing Hazrat Mirza sahib but he did not come forward for the mubahila himself. Likewise, Maulvi Sanaullah openly refused to engage in mubahila with Hazrat Mirza sahib.

Pandit Lekhram

According to the prophecy made by the Promised Messiah, Pandit Lekhram died after receiving a wound in his abdomen with a knife. By coincidence, when he was brought to Mayo Hospital [Lahore] after being stabbed, I was in the hospital as I was in my final year of my medical studies. In fact, I bandaged him myself and assisted Colonel Perry in operating on him.

As Colonel Perry lived some distance from the hospital and his arrival took time, Lekhram kept on repeating dejectedly and despondently: “O my qismat (misfortune), the doctor is not here yet”. The Pandit’s friends said to him: Premshar (God) will save you. In reply it was only once that he said: Yes, Premshar can save me, but he was convinced that he would die and kept on repeating his earlier words till the doctor arrived.

Some people have accused Hazrat Mirza sahib of having had Lekhram murdered. But I am prepared to testify on oath that the Pandit held no view of this kind about Hazrat Mirza sahib, even though this situation was one in which he had the best opportunity to express such an opinion.

Even during my student days I was not called by my forename but as Mirza Jee. In those days the late Dr. Ragbir Sahay was house surgeon and lived in a room above the operation theatre. So when Lekhram was brought in, Dr. Ragbir Sahay called me saying: Mirza sahib, please come here, a serious case has just been brought in. When I came I saw a man of height six feet or more lying on the table. On his abdomen there was a cut from one side to the other, some seven to eight inches in length, and his intestines were outside. Dr. Ragbir Sahay asked me to place a warm sponge on his abdomen and then to take his temperature, which I did. In brief, I was with him for about an hour to an hour and a half, until he was given chloroform to anaesthetize him. During this time Dr. Ragbir Sahay called me Mirza Jee several times. When I realized that the injured man was Pandit Lekhram, I paid particular attention to remembering everything that happened so that I could inform Hazrat Mirza sahib of the last hours of his life.

I say with certainty that whenever Dr. Ragbir Sahay called me Mirza Jee, Pandit Lekhram looked towards me with sorrow in his eyes and he remembered Hazrat Mirza sahib as well as his own prophecy he had made that Hazrat Mirza sahib would be destroyed. It had become clear to him that his prophecy had turned out to be false but that the prophecy made by Hazrat Mirza sahib had proved true.

If without the memory of Hazrat Mirza sahib being reawakened in his mind he had remained silent, then it would have been another matter. However, because of the calling of my name he was repeatedly reminded of Hazrat Mirza sahib, and yet despite being fully conscious and able to speak he only expressed regret at his fate and made no accusation whatsoever against Hazrat Mirza sahib.

Although the Pandit was brought directly to the hospital without any dying declaration being taken from him by the police, nonetheless any statement made by the patient in such circumstances in front of the doctor is regarded as equivalent to sworn testimony in court. However the Pandit made no statement even though, in addition to Dr. Ragbir Sahay, as far as I remember there were also two doctors present who came with other Arya Samaj members, Dr. Heera Lal and Dr. Dev Kee Nand, and they remained there till the end.

Another incident

Hazrat Mirza sahib had already announced his prophecy about Pandit Lekhram when in 1896, while on his way probably to Multan, he was at the mosque which used to be to the west of Lahore railway station in those days, performing his ablutions (wudu) before prayer. By coincidence, Pandit Lekhram was passing and, after learning that Hazrat Mirza sahib was there, he went into the mosque to see him. However, Hazrat Mirza sahib did not raise his sight to look at him. The reason was that same deep love he had for the Holy Prophet Muhammad which made it intolerable for him to cast a glance at the face of a man who reviled and abused the Holy Prophet. So Hazrat Mirza sahib paid him no attention.

When Pandit Lekhram was killed the newspapers speculated about who the murderer might be. Some expressed suspicion that the murderer was a Sanatam Dharm Hindu, others that he was a Christian, and yet others that he was a Sikh, because the Pandit used to abuse not only Muslims but all religions and parties that he was opposed to. Some suspected one of his own friends in whose house he lived. Some, of course, expressed suspicion about Hazrat Mirza sahib as he had made the prophecy. When these news reached Hazrat Mirza sahib, he expressed regret that all those people were being suspected and said that no decent person could be involved in an act of murder like this. He added: Even though I had made the prophecy about Lekhram, but if I had been with him when he was stabbed I would have done my best to save him and done everything possible to procure treatment for him.

Journey to Delhi

In 1904 when he went to Delhi I was with him. During the journey he told of a dream in which he had seen that the gates of Delhi were locked. He took it to mean that the people of Delhi would not benefit from him and their hearts would not open to him. So did it happen. He stayed there for more than one month. Everyday he gave a lecture but people did not take advantage from his presence. So he went to the tombs of all the famous saints buried in the outer areas of Delhi and prayed for them. He thought it better to visit these truthful deceased saints than the living persons of Delhi.

The illness and deaths of Maulvi Abdul Karim and Mirza Mubarak Ahmad

When Maulvi Abdul Karim, his beloved and devoted follower, fell fatally ill I was in Qadian on three months’ leave. I spent almost all my leave in attending to the late Maulvi sahib. Hazrat Mirza sahib showed his deepest love for his disciple by procuring every kind of necessity for the treatment of the Maulvi sahib to an out of the way place like Qadian. Let alone other things, when the Maulvi sahib died there was a huge stock of ice in his room, a provision which in those days was very difficult to transport from the railway station to a distant place.

Everyday Hazrat Mirza sahib used to wait restlessly for the latest news about the Maulvi sahib’s health. He prayed for him day and night and made all possible arrangements to obtain medicines. When he died some of us, including Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib, myself and other friends, could not contain our grief and some screams emerged from our mouths spontaneously. Hearing this, Hazrat Mirza sahib came and called us together, and exhorted us to accept the will of Allah the Most High. Despite the fact that his connection with the deceased was the closest of all of us, and he should have been more grief stricken than anyone else, yet he not only showed the most perfect example of patient acceptance of the Divine decree but imbued others with the spirit of resignation as well.

He showed the same example at the death of Mirza Mubarak Ahmad even though he was his own son. He spent many sleepless nights attending to his care and treatment, but when he died and was being lowered into his last resting place, Hazrat Mirza sahib was telling his followers and all others present that this kind of trial and tribulation is sent by Allah upon man for his spiritual reform and for establishing his permanent relationship with Allah, the Being Who is ever living, and that those who fail to show patience and resignation under these trials, destroying themselves with grief, can never attain the pleasure of Allah.

The Promised Messiah’s migration and death

The Promised Messiah had received the revelation dagh-i hijrat (‘Shock of Separation’). He had been informed by many other revelations that his death was approaching. This last time that he left Qadian, to go to Lahore, he felt as if he would not return alive to Qadian, where he expressed regret on this separation. However, it was necessary for destiny to be fulfilled.

He stayed first at the house of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din in Ahmadiyya Buildings. Here he received the revelation from Allah: ‘I will safeguard everyone who is in this house’, the same revelation he had received about his own house in Qadian. As Hazrat Mirza sahib preferred to stay on an upper storey he moved to the house of Dr Sayyid Muhammad Husain, which adjoined the Khwaja sahib’s house. Here he penned his last writing, Paigham Sulh (‘Message of Peace’), whose object was to create harmony between Hindus and Muslims. While writing this message he had a severe attack of diarrhoea. Although he had previously had attacks of diarrhoea, this time he succumbed to it.

In those days I lived in the inner city area of Lahore. It was at two o’clock at night [on 26 May 1908] that Hazrat Mirza sahib sent for me in this state of illness. When I arrived, he was sitting on the toilet seat. He said to me: “Mirza sahib, recommend a medicine for me”. Then he said: “Also pray for me”, and he added: “In truth, the medicine is by decree from heaven”.

When he died he was remembering his True Master, Allah, in the words: “O my beloved, O my beloved”. It was with the love of Allah that he was entirely intoxicated and it was to Him that he went in the end.

Stoning to death: Is it really Zia-ul-Haq’s legacy?

Pakistani press article
and our comments

by the Editor

Recently our brother Tariq Ahmad of Washington D.C., U.S.A., posted us an article from the website of the famous Pakistan English newspaper Dawn entitled Stoning to death: Zia’s legacy, which appeared in its issue dated 6 June 2002. It is reproduced below, followed by our comments.

Stoning to death: Zia’s legacy

by Qazi Faez Isa

Does religion prescribe the punishment of stoning for adultery? The Jewish answer to this question would be ‘yes’. The Old Testament explicitly depicts various adulterous sexual acts, and prescribes that those indulging in them be “put to death” (Leviticus 20:10-21).

If a husband accuses his wife that she was not a virgin when he married her “and no proof of the girl’s virginity is found, then they shall bring her out to the door of her father’s house and the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has committed an outrage in Israel by playing the prostitute in her father’s house: you shall rid yourself of this wickedness.”

If, however, the accusation turns out to be false “they shall fine him a hundred pieces of silver because he has given a bad name to a virgin of Israel, and hand them to the girl’s father” (Deuteronomy 22:20-21). “When a man is discovered lying with a married woman, they shall both die, the woman as well as the man who lay with her: you shall rid Israel of this wickedness”.

The Christian answer to this question is found in the amazing and touching story narrated by the Apostle John. One day when Jesus Christ was teaching in the Temple, “the doctors of Law (Rabbis) and Pharisees brought in a woman caught committing adultery. Making her stand out in the middle they said to him, ‘Master, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. In the Law Moses has laid down that such women are to be stoned. What do you say about it?’…

“Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they continued to press their question he sat up straight and said, ‘That one of you who is faultless shall throw the first stone.’ Then once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard what he said, one by one they went away, the eldest first; and Jesus was left alone, with the woman still standing there. Jesus again sat up and said to the woman, ‘Where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She answered, ‘No one, sir.’ Jesus said, ‘Nor do I condemn you. You may go; do not sin again’ ” (John 8:1-11).

The aforesaid is the only reference in the Bible (New Testament) to adultery and stoning. The Bible does, however, have other references to stoning, all of which mention Jews stoning the prophets or the apostles of Jesus (Luke 13:34, 20:6; John 8:59, 10:31, 11:8; Acts of Apostles 7:58, 14:5, 14:19 and the 2nd Letter of Paul to the Corinthians 11:25). The Bible records the propensity of the Jews to stoning.

The anguish of Jesus Christ is heart rending. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that murders the prophets and stones the messengers sent to her! How often have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings; but you would not let me. Look, look! There is your temple forsaken by God. And I tell you, you shall never see me until the time comes, when you say, ‘Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ” (Luke 13:34).

The Holy Quran does not prescribe stoning as the punishment for adultery. There is not a single verse to this effect. The Holy Quran stipulates the punishment of “a hundred stripes” for the act of adultery, zina (24:2). If a particular sentence is prescribed in the Holy Quran a harsher one cannot be imposed. The Holy Quran also requires the fulfilment of an almost impossible condition before conviction can result. Four eye-witnesses have to testify to sustain the charge (24:4).

And if those who accuse a woman and fail to “produce four witnesses”, they are then to be flogged eighty times. If there are no witnesses and a husband accuses his wife of adultery he has to repeat his testimony and on the fifth invoke the “Curse of Allah” on himself if he is lying (24:6-7). The punishment is averted if the wife similarly swears (24:8-9). Therefore, the Holy Quran here places greater reliance on the testimony of a woman.

In none of the verses pertaining to adultery in the Holy Quran the term stoning (rajama / rajím) is used. Rajím means ‘stoned’, ‘accursed’ or ‘damned’ and is used as an epithet of Satan (3:36, 15:17, 16:98: Shaitán nir rajím, Satan the stoned or accursed). The verb which derives from rajím is rajama, and it means ‘to stone’, ‘the act of stoning’, ‘a missile’, ‘something to stone with’, ‘guesswork’, ‘guessing’ or ‘stoned’ (11:91, 18:20, 19:46, 36:18, 44:20, 18:22, 67:5 and 26:116). However, none of the verses refer to adultery. The Arabic word rajím / rajama is similar to the Hebrew word ragam, which means ‘to collect’ or ‘cast stones’.

How is it then that some Muslims followed the Jewish practice and prescribed stoning as the punishment for the sin of adultery?

General Muhammad Ziaul Haq discovered ‘Islamic law’ to secure his tenuous position. He enacted a ‘law’ which for the first time in the history of Pakistan ordained that “whoever is guilty of zina shall … be stoned to death at a public place”. Zia gathered around him semi-literate and self-styled ulema, legal and other sycophant advisers and introduced laws which purported to be Islamic.

Every legal enactment is or ought to be preceded by an open debate. There was no debate when any of the Hudood laws were enacted. The one in which stoning was prescribed, The Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hadd) Ordinance, 1979, was enacted overnight. The arrogance of the lawmakers knew no bounds. Since the Hudood laws claimed to be implementing God’s intent, it was expected that every care would be taken to ensure against the possibility of any mistake, but none was taken.

The sycophants surrounding Zia had the audacity to refer to him as a modern day Ameer-ul-Momineen (Leader of the Faithful). Any opposition to such a ruler was it not opposition to Islam itself? The craftily drafted question in Zia’s referendum suggested as much.

Twenty-three years have passed since the law prescribed the punishment of stoning and we have seen governments of democrats, technocrats and autocrats, but not one has been able to undo Zia’s legacy. No one is apparently prepared to seek the truth, if it entails being perceived as assailing mazhab.

The facts of the Zafran Bibi case have shocked the nation. A judge has sentenced her to death by stoning relying upon Zia’s law. Zia enacted the stoning legislation contending it to be a Hadd law. Hadd is a legal term for the offences and punishments which are defined in the Quran. The fact that the punishment of stoning for adultery does not find mention in the Holy Quran did not deter Zia’s Zina enactment.

The propagators of stoning support their contention by relying on reports attributed to Hazrat Umar; that certain verses prescribing stoning had been revealed but had been left out from the Holy Quran when it was compiled. This effectively calls into question the very infallibility and sanctity of the Holy Quran as contained in the texts handed down over fourteen hundred years and is anathema to believers and is to be rejected. We are then left with certain traditions attributed to the Prophet reported in the recognized works of hadith literature.

The most famous collectors of the Sunni Hadith were al-Bukhari (Sahih), Muslim (Muslim), Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasai and Ibn Maja. All these compilers died between 256 to 303 years after the Hijrah (or between 870 to 915 AD). The Shiah collections of hadith are called khabar and were compiled even later, between 320 to 454 after the Hijrah (or between 932 to 1062 AD). The five recognized Shiah compilers were Abu Jafar (Kafi), Shaykh Ali (Man la yastihzau-hu al-Faqih), Shaykh Abu Jafar (Tahdhib and Istibsar) and Sayyid al-Razi (Nahj al-Balaghah).

It is an acknowledged rule in reading hadith literature that if a reported hadith purports to record that which is contrary to the Quran, it should be disregarded since the Prophet (p.b.u.h) did not act contrary to Allah’s revelation.

But even if one examines the hadith recorded by the compilers of hadith which purport to prescribe stoning there is no instance when the Holy Prophet ordered stoning of a Muslim who was caught committing adultery or against whom a charge had been levelled.

The instances that have been recorded by the hadith compilers are of Maaz bin Malik and of the woman from the tribe of Azd Gaib. The two are separate instances but the stories are similar. It is reported that they voluntarily appeared before the Holy Prophet and without being confronted with a charge, accusation or being coerced confessed their own guilt. Then too the Holy Prophet is reported to have been extremely reluctant to hear them.

In both these instances it is reported that the Holy Prophet upon hearing the confessions turned his face away, this he did no less than four times, but the persons persevered and repeatedly confessed before him. Thereafter he questioned whether they were mad or drunk. Only then stoning was ordered. The Holy Prophet then read their funeral prayer (namaz janaza) which was a singular honour and prayed for them. The hadith reports that the Holy Prophet then said that the person stoned had sought such profound forgiveness that if it was spread over the entire community (ummat) its blessing (sawab) would be enough for all.

Some hadith compilers record that once the stoning had commenced the person being stoned ran away and was brought back. When this was reported to the Holy Prophet he said: “if you had let him go then it is entirely possible that he would have sought forgiveness and Allah would have accepted his forgiveness” (Muslim, transmitted through Abu Huraira).

The hadith which are relied by the propagators of stoning are really examples of extreme atonement and expiation and can hardly be used to expound a tradition (hadith) prescribing stoning. These incidents have also not been fixed in time. It is possible that these incidents took place before the verses ordaining the punishment of whipping for adultery were revealed (the revelation of the Holy Quran having taken 23 years).

On such slender facts Zia prescribed that a person who commits adultery “be stoned to death”, forgetting the tradition reported by Hazrat Ayesha that “if the Imam (ruler) wrongly forgives it is better than if there is a mistake in sentencing” (Tirmidhi).

By relying upon the Holy Quran it cannot be contended that adultery is a hadd for which the punishment is stoning, but this could be contended if reliance were placed upon Jewish scriptures. Ibn Khaldun had noted just such a tendency in the ignorant: “They turned for information to the followers of the Book, the Jews … so when these people embraced Islam, they retained their stories which had no connection with the commandments of the Islamic law … commentaries on the Holy Quran were soon filled with these stories of theirs” (Ulum al-Quran, Muqaddamah).

End of article

Our response

While we are no defenders of the late Zia-ul-Haq, it is quite unjustified to lay the blame on him for this penalty. It is true that he introduced this penalty into the law of Pakistan, but this has been regarded as the punishment for adultery by the vast and overwhelming majority of the Muslim Ulama throughout the world for centuries. It is mainly Ahmadis who have opposed this wrong view. There are very few other Muslims who have opposed it as being contrary to Islamic teachings. The article says:

“Zia gathered around him semi-literate and self-styled ulema, legal and other sycophant advisers and introduced laws which purported to be Islamic.”

The author should tell us which Ulama would have given him different advice (except Ahmadis).

The author correctly points out the two chief grounds on which this penalty is considered as taught by Islam: (1) the so-called verse of stoning mentioned by Hazrat Umar in a hadith, and (2) the reports in hadith of stoning being inflicted by the Holy Prophet’s orders. Regarding the first he writes:

“The propagators of stoning support their contention by relying on reports attributed to Hazrat Umar; that certain verses prescribing stoning had been revealed but had been left out from the Holy Quran when it was compiled. This effectively calls into question the very infallibility and sanctity of the Holy Quran as contained in the texts handed down over fourteen hundred years and is anathema to believers and is to be rejected.”

What he is calling “anathema to believers” was widely accepted by believers! The argument which was used (to show that this does not contradict the belief that the Quranic text has not suffered any loss) was that the verse of stoning has been abrogated as regards its recitation but is in force as regards the commandment contained in it. Then to back up this groundless assertion, it was claimed that abrogation of verses of the Quran is of three types:

  1. both command and recitation abrogated,
  2. only command abrogated, not recitation,
  3. only recitation abrogated, not command.

This theory is repeated in the English book Ulum-ul-Quran by Ahmad Von Denffer. The relevant chapter is available online.

(Go to, and search for the following text: Three Kinds of Naskh.)

While the theory of abrogation is preposterous in any case, the aspect of it which suggests that a verse of the Quran can be abrogated only for recitation yet its command remains in force is even more senseless and incoherent.

Probably due to influence of Ahmadiyya arguments, the theory of abrogation as such became less and less accepted, so much so that even Maudoodi has rejected it. So to uphold stoning for adultery, they began to rely only on the second ground (that it is found practised in Sunna), as Maudoodi does.

The article says:

“On such slender facts Zia prescribed that a person who commits adultery ‘be stoned to death’…”

This is simply wrong. Zia was only following the almost unanimous view of the Ulama. Perhaps the author of the article has difficulty in accepting that the vast majority of the Ulama could be wrong, which is the actual truth.

Some questions and answers

1. Non-acceptors of prophets receiving salvation

On our ‘Holy Quran Study’ forum (accessible through our website, a questioner quoted the following verse of the Holy Quran:

“Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good, they have their reward with their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.” (2:62)

and asked:

Since ‘belief in Allah and the Last Day’ is equivalent to belief in Islam, and a ‘believer’ is one whom accepts all the Prophets of Allah, does this verse mean disbelievers (ones who don’t accept all the Prophets) can still enter paradise?

The answer I gave is quoted below:

What this verse means is that whether you are a Muslim (those who believe), or are a Jew, Christian, etc., all of whom claim to believe in God and the Day of Judgment, the way to heaven is indeed through these beliefs and the practical doing of good deeds, but of course you have to follow the true concept of these beliefs.

The Jewish or Christian belief in God and the Judgment Day is true at its root but these beliefs are then rendered ineffective by various corruptions (e.g. belief that yours is the favoured nation of God damages the true concept of God, and belief in atonement nullifies belief in the last day when actions will be requited). If the Jews or Christians follow belief in God and the Last Day that they already claim to follow but do so in the correct sense then they will find salvation.

So whether it is people calling themselves Muslims, Jews, Christians, etc., they have to live according to the true concept of what is God and what is the Last Day, to attain heaven. And that true concept is only available through the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Someone who doesn’t accept the Holy Prophet does not have knowledge of the true concepts of God and the Last Day.

You can also compare this verse to the following two verses in the same chapter 2:

  1. And they say: None shall enter the Garden except he who is a Jew, or the Christians. These are their vain desires. Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful.
  2. Nay, whoever submits himself entirely to Allah and he is the doer of good (to others), he has his reward from his Lord, and there is no fear for such nor shall they grieve.

Again, this lays down the principle of how to reach heaven: by a complete submission to Allah and the doing of good to others. It is not by calling oneself a Jew or a Christian or even a Muslim that a person finds salvation but by acting on these teachings. And the only way to have the true knowledge of how to do so is through Islam.

Further clarification

There ensued some discussion of this point when another contributor argued that this verse means that those who believe in God and the Day of Judgment and do good deeds but “who don’t accept Islam because they either never heard of it or anyhow get the false image of Islam through media etc.” will attain salvation in the after-life.

So I posted a further clarification, an edited version of which is given below:

Note that this verse (2:62) does not deal with the question of reward for good deeds done by followers of other religions. That is dealt with elsewhere in the Quran and we are told that anyone who does any good will be rewarded for it. This verse deals with how to reach the high stage described by the expression “there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve”. According to verse 10:62 this is the stage attained by the auliya of Allah.

Our friend is suggesting that, even after the coming of Islam, the followers of earlier religions may still reach this high stage by following their respective faiths, providing that they have not knowingly and actively rejected the real teachings of Islam. If this were true then there would have been no need for Islam to come into the world as the earlier religions still had the power to lead their followers to God.

This verse is referring to various groups who consider that they and only they can attain salvation because of their particular doctrines, i.e. Christians holding the belief that accepting that Jesus died for their sins guarantees them salvation and everyone else is doomed to hell, or the Jews holding the belief that their nation has been exclusively selected to receive salvation. Even Muslims have generally come to hold that if a person recites the Kalima just before his death this guarantees him a place in heaven. There are also Muslim sects believing that they are the only ‘heavenly’ sect among Muslims, the 73rd one.

The meaning of 2:62 is very clear, especially when read along with 2:111-112 which I quoted in a previous post. It says that salvation is not attained by having any name such as believer (Muslim), Jew, Christian, or by adhering to extraneous doctrines that are claimed to lead to deliverance, but by a belief in the very basic principles of the existence of God and one’s ultimate accountability for one’s actions, a belief which must be reflected in practice by doing good. Having explained the principles of attaining salvation, Islam then goes on to show how its teachings are now the only ones which can establish man on those principles in the most true and perfect way.

2. Extent of obedience to khalifa

A member of the Qadiani Jama‘at at the University of Cambridge, England, e-mailed our website about an article he read on the website entitled Reply to a Qadiani Article on Khilafat. He quotes the following passage from our article:

“It is perfectly correct and reasonable to say that a Muslim religious community requires a leader who should be obeyed. But this does not at all justify the Qadiani khilafat which regards the leader as the representative and spokesman of God on earth, who speaks and acts directly under the command of God, and who must be obeyed by the followers absolutely and unquestioningly without any reference to whether his orders comply with the Holy Quran and Sunna or not.”

He regards our statement as wrong because he says:

“Examining the conditions of bai‘at for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama‘at, point 10 says:

‘That he/she shall enter into a bond of brotherhood with this humble servant of God, pledging obedience to me in everything good, for the sake of Allah, and remain faithful to it till the day of his/her death; that he/she shall exert such a high devotion in the observance of this bond as is not to be found in any other worldly relationship and connections demanding devoted dutifulness.’

It was the Promised Messiah who wrote these conditions but when these conditions are read by new ahmadis then we normally refer to the current leader of the time, whom we know as the Caliph. So my point is the Caliph is requesting the initiators to follow him in everything good which contradicts what was said in the article:

‘… who must be obeyed by the followers absolutely and unquestioningly without any reference to whether his orders comply with the Holy Quran and Sunna or not.’

Can you explain why this statement was made in the article?

Thus our correspondent argues that as the Promised Messiah required obedience from his followers only in everything good (ma‘ruf) that he may command, and as his Jama‘at take the same oath in respect of their khalifa, so our statement is wrong that they are required to obey their khalifa absolutely and unquestioningly without regard to whether his orders comply with the Quran and Sunna or not.

I sent the following reply:

Thank you for reading the material on our website and writing to us.

If you were to ask this question from your Khalifa or other officials of the Qadiani Jama‘at whether they believe that the Khalifa:

“must be obeyed by the followers absolutely and unquestioningly without any reference to whether his orders comply with the Holy Quran and Sunna or not”

they will reply that anything whatsoever that the Khalifa does or orders you to do automatically complies with the Holy Quran and Islamic teachings, and it is impossible for the Khalifa to do or order anything that is against Islamic teachings. Therefore, they will tell you, the Khalifa must be obeyed in everything!

This is against Islam. According to Islam the leader or khalifa is accountable before his followers and they have to judge whether he is acting according to Islamic teachings or not. It cannot be assumed that the khalifa, because of being khalifa, is by definition following Islamic standards. In the times of Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar in particular, people (including ordinary members of the public) questioned them regarding the validity of their orders and actions, and the Khalifa had to prove that he was acting according to Islam.

You should ask from your khalifa or your Jama‘at whether, when the khalifa says or orders something, you have the right to check for yourself its validity from Islamic teachings, and whether you have the right to hold and express the opinion that the khalifa was wrong in some belief or action of his. When they give you their answer to this, you will then know that what we have said in the above quotation is correct.

In response our friend has said that he will raise this question with some official of his Jama‘at and let us know what reply he was given.

The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam Lahore — the beginning in 1914

Some extracts from ‘Mujahid-i Kabir’

[Below we quote some sections from the English translation of this biography of Maulana Muhammad Ali which we are finalising these days — Editor.]

After migrating from Qadian, Maulana Muhammad Ali settled in Ahmadiyya Buildings, Brandreth Road, Lahore, where Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig and Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah, who were members of the Sadr Anjuman’s executive from Lahore, lived and had their houses. Here the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam was founded. The nearly fifty years of the Anjuman’s life till today, first during Maulana Muhammad Ali’s life up to 1951 and after that till now, is connected with this place,* and so it seems appropriate to relate a brief history of Ahmadiyya Buildings.

[*Translator’s Note: This was written in 1962. In the early 1970s the Anjuman’s headquarters moved from Ahmadiyya Buildings in the centre of Lahore to the suburb of New Garden Town about six or seven miles away. Ahmadiyya Buildings is still maintained by the Anjuman.]

The foundations of the Ahmadiyya Buildings were laid in 1906. The land on which it is situated was owned by Chaudhry Allah Yar, who was the father of the respected elder of the Movement Chaudhry Zahur Ahmad. At the beginning, it was taken on a very long lease from him by Dr. Syed Muhmmad Husain Shah, Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. First the Shah sahib and the Khwaja sahib had their houses built by the main road side, and sometime after that Dr. Mirza sahib and Babu Manzur Illahi had their houses built as well. At that time the whole of the area was not densely populated, though Islamia College had already been built on the other side of the road. In 1908 the Promised Messiah first stayed at Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din’s house and after a few days went to stay with Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah. On 23 May 1908 Friday prayers (Jumu‘a) were held for the first time at Ahmadiyya Buildings. Before that, the Friday prayers were held at Mian Chirag-ud-Din’s house outside the Delhi Gate. After Friday prayers on 23 May, Hazrat Mirza sahib made a speech which was published afterwards under the title of Hujjat-ullah. Hazrat Mirza sahib also produced his last writing, Paigham-i Sulh, while staying at Ahmadiyya Buildings. On 26 May 1908, the Promised Messiah breathed his last in the house of Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah.

At that time the present mosque in Ahmadiyya Buildings had not been built. Some time later a terrace was built, upon which the daytime prayers were held, and sometimes lectures and classes were given. The Friday prayers were held in a large room in the house of Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din. Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din visited Lahore two or three times while he was head of the Movement and stayed in Ahmadiyya Buildings. Once he addressed a large gathering on this terrace, where the mosque stands today. Later on Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din started a series of lectures every Sunday from the same spot. His delivery of speech was so attractive that the general public, members of the nobility, learned people and government officers used to come from far and wide to attend. After a short while, a mosque was built upon this terrace, though in the beginning it was very small.

After the death of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din, Maulana Muhammad Ali came to Lahore and settled in Ahmadiyya Buildings, as will be explained in full detail later. The first consultative council (Majlis-i Shura) was held on 22 March 1914 on the courtyard of the upper storey of the house of Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah; and when there remained no hope of a reconciliation with Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, as he violated the Will of the Promised Messiah by reducing the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya to a powerless body, the foundation of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam was laid here on 3 May 1914.

Though the Anjuman had been founded in name, the position was that it had no funds, offices or assets. Missionaries and workers were all in the opposite camp. The founders of this Anjuman had used up their life earnings in Qadian by spending them on having buildings and property built for the Anjuman of Qadian and had come to Lahore empty handed. Here there were very few houses. The offices of the Anjuman and the guest house were set up in the houses of various members. The construction of the house adjacent to the mosque, which was later Maulana Muhammad Ali’s residence for a long time, was started at that time by Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah for the offices of the Anjuman. Later, however, the offices were moved to the house which is to the west of the present offices. After that the offices were shifted to the houses of Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig, and that is where they have been located till today. Later on, at the Annual Gathering of 1920, when Maulana Muhammad Ali appealed for donations of one hundred thousand Rupees, the Shah sahib and the Mirza sahib, who were always among the major contributors on such occasions, donated these properties to the Anjuman. In the same way another respected elder, Babu Ahmad Din, gave the Anjuman his house which was in the western part of the present Muslim High school. In the beginning the guest house was located in it, but later on it was demolished and incorporated into the school building.

This is a brief history of the houses at Ahmadiyya Buildings, but the most important house is the one which became the House of God, from where sounds of Allahu Akbar rose and echoed as far as Europe and most parts of Asia, and which illuminated countless hearts with the light of faith. For 37 years Maulana Muhammad Ali delivered his spiritually uplifting sermons in this mosque, exhorting and urging the community to spread the name of God, the message of Islam, in the world. For years he taught here the meanings of the Holy Quran, and after him other elders continued this work. The Maulana lived for 22 years in the house adjacent to it and here he penned those renowned books which were published in large numbers, translated into many languages and spread throughout the world. Thus, not only was a wealth of invaluable knowledge created here for the Movement but also the name Ahmadiyya Buildings became famous all over the world.

Newspaper and journal Paigham Sulh

The newspaper Paigham Sulh had been started before Maulana Muhammad Ali came to Lahore. In July 1913, by when much friction and disagreement had arisen within the Movement, and Mirza Mahmud Ahmad and his faction were spreading false propaganda against the members from Lahore, trying to turn Maulana Nur-ud-Din against Maulana Muhammad Ali, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din and the Lahore members, at that time the Ahmadiyya community newspapers Al-Hakam and Badr in Qadian were largely under the influence of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad. There was an urgent need to counter this propaganda. Also, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din had gone to England a year earlier and issued from there a monthly magazine entitled Muslim India and the Islamic Review, and there was a great need to publish in Urdu selected material from this English magazine for the benefit of Indian readership, as well as inform people in India about the activities of the Woking Muslim Mission founded by the Khwaja sahib.

In view of these needs, Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah floated a company by the name of the Paigham Sulh Society, and under its auspices the paper Paigham Sulh was started in July 1913. Maulana Nur-ud-Din approved of its publication and purchased a five Rupee share as a token of his blessing. Its first editor was one Ahmad Husain of Faridabad, who was secretly connected with Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s Ansarullah party. In its first few issues he tried to use Paigham Sulh for expressing the views of that faction. So he was dismissed in November 1913 after he published some statements fabricated by himself, and Maulvi Dost Muhammad was appointed editor. In those early days the persons who played a special role in the development of this newspaper were, firstly, Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah himself, secondly Babu Manzur Ilahi, and thirdly Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi.

When, following the death of Maulana Nur-ud-Din, the khilafat was taken over by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, with prearranged help from his supporters, who became an autocratic head by altering the regulations of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, and it became necessary to set up the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha‘at Islam, then the Paigham Sulh became the property and the organ of this Anjuman and the Paigham Sulh Society ceased to exist.

Early stay in Lahore

Following the death of Maulana Nur-ud-Din when conditions had deteriorated in Qadian, Maulana Muhammad Ali had sent his wife and children to his wife’s father Dr. Basharat Ahmad who lived in Rawalpindi at that time. On 20 April 1914 Maulana Muhammad Ali migrated to Lahore all by himself. It was decided that he would live in a house adjacent to the mosque in Ahmadiyya Buildings belonging to Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah which was still under construction. Two rooms had already been built on the ground storey but still needed plastering and laying of the floor. In one of these rooms he had a door fixed and made it his office, and the other room was for receiving guests. On the second storey there were two rooms for his family; these did not yet have doors so they managed by hanging sack cloth curtains in place of doors. A hearth in the courtyard was used for cooking. He sent for his family to stay in this house and they managed to live there under these difficult conditions.

Foreword to
Light of the Holy Quran

by Dr. Mohammad Ahmad, Columbus, Ohio

After reading Mu‘araf-ul-Quran by the late Nasir Ahmad Faruqi (may Allah have His Mercy on him), I felt the strong desire in my heart to translate this beautiful exposition of Quranic knowledge into the English language. The task was a spiritually moving and rewarding experience for me. The original work in Urdu was meant to be a series of lectures to be broadcast on radio. I therefore took the liberty to assign headings to various subjects to make it more readable and added twelve more lessons by the same author to this translation. I have also included a few footnotes from Maulana Muhammad Ali’s English translation and commentary of the Holy Quran. I am extremely grateful to Dr Hamid Rehman for editing the translation, and to my wife Lubna Ahmad who proof read all the materials. I accept full responsibility for any oversights and errors and ask for forgiveness from Allah. It is my humble request to the reader to focus on the subject matter, which is like a running stream of Quranic knowledge, the salubrious waters of which are destined to revive many a dormant souls. May Allah have His choicest blessings on the author of this original work!

I would like to quote the words of Mr. Nasir Ahmad Faruqi from the preface to Mu‘araf-ul-Quran:

“I am not a learned scholar, nor are these lessons meant for such elite. I started writing these lessons for the plain and simple Muslims of a country far away from Pakistan. Any light of spiritual knowledge and understanding you may perceive in these lessons is the result of the grace of my spiritual mentor, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (Mujaddid of the 14th century Hijra), and my elders, in particular Maulana Muhammad Ali, and my respected father Dr. Basharat Ahmad. May Allah have His mercy and forgiveness upon all of them. I owe a special debt of gratitude to my father for kindling in me the spark of that love for the Holy Quran that his heart was imbued with in abundance. This interest was generated by those Quranic lessons I heard from him or he gave specifically for me.

I would be extremely ungrateful if I do not mention that according to the word of Allah, ‘Again on Us rests the explaining of it’ (75:19), it is Allah (the Blessed, Most High) Who bestows knowledge and understanding of the Holy Quran upon whom He pleases. ‘That is the grace of Allah, He gives it to whom He pleases. And Allah is the Lord of mighty grace’ (57:21). In gratitude to His mighty grace, I attempted to convey through these lessons what I received from His bounty. If Allah accepts them it will be because of His caring and nurturing of an insignificant one like me. One cannot undertake to do anything without Allah, the Most High, the Great.”

[The translation, of which the Foreword is given above, is now ready for publication — Editor.]


The Light, first published from Lahore, 1921.

The Islamic Review first published from Woking, England, 1913. See cover of first issue.


The Light & Islamic Review.
ISSN: 1060-4596.    Editor: Dr. Zahid Aziz
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