Some Inspiring Anecdotes from the Life of a Companion of the Promised Messiah

45 SOME INSPIRING ANECDOTES FROM THE LIFE OF A COMPANION OF THE PROMISED MESSIAH (Bashir Ahmad Rafiq) Hazrat Chaudhry Ghulam Muhammad Khan of Hoshiarpur (India) belonged to the distinguised and noble group of people who had the great privilege and honour to be amongst the earlier blessed companions of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian the Promised Messiah and Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement. He joined the Movement in 1893 and had the distinction of performing his bait (initiation) at the hand of the Promised Messiah himself. Allah through his life he remained steadfast and made great sacrifices in the way of Allah. Many seekers after truth saw divine light through him. He died on 16th February, 1961. His whole life was dedicated to the task of preaching with zeal, facing challenges and opposition, and this was the focus of his entire life. I have extracted a few incidents from his unpublished memoirs which he had compiled in 1948 and which had been sent to the present Head of the Ahmadiyya Movement, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, by his eldest son, Doctor Ghulam Ullah Khan in its manuscript form, before getting it published. Hazrat Chaudhry Sahib states that he was born in 1882. He then says: ” My Father’s name was Chaudhry Fateh Deen. I was only six years of age when my grandmother told me that the Promised Messiah had appeared. Munshi Habib ur Rahman who was a companion of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) and belonged to the distinguished group of 313 companions, was my tutor of the Holy Quran. In my spare time I used to study the literature of the Movement and books of the Promised Messiah. I was, in particular, told of the prophecies of the Promised Messiah by my tutor and was impressed by witnessing many of these being fulfilled, like the light of day. I joined the Movement in 1893. Inn those days the Jamaat was rather small and insignificant. As news of my acceptance of Ahmadiyyat spread, people of my village and neighbouring areas started a campaign of opposition and ridicule against me. Once they approached my father and 46 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS asked him to compel me even by force to renounce my faith in the Promised Messiah. They also pronounced that I had gone astray, become an infidel and had, in fact gone out of the pale of Islam. My father knowing that I was not only regular in my five daily prayers and had also never missed my Tahajjud prayers, asked these people whether he should prohibit me from saying my daily prayers. At this they said that they were not against my offering daily prayers. My father then asked them whether he should prevent me from reciting the Holy Quran. They said, no. My father mentioned some other things to which they said no. At last my father said, well ” All right, I will order him to engage in mischief just like the other boys. By being an Ahmadi he only engages in good deeds. At this the villagers went away,” Hazrat Chaudhry Ghulam Muhammad Khan says that he was utterly unprepared to take a professional examination about which his officers told him only about a week in advance. He also had a bad cold and fever. Also he needed another day to recover from the ailment. He prayed to Allah for an extra day to be given to him. He also despatched a letter to the Promised Messiah to solicit his prayers. Allah accepted the prayers. The invigilator was delayed by one day. When the exams were taken, he stood second and beat several other students more educated than himself. He recalls a dream in which he saw the Holy Prophet Mohammad (peace be on him) riding towards his village. This was when he was only 9 years of age. He states in retrospect that he wished he had spent more time in the company of the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) to whom he wrote frequently. Never-the-less he recalls an occassion when he was present along with other men in the company of the Promised Messiah. They were engaged in massaging his reclining body in Masjid Mubarak, Qadian. His face was ‘glowing brightly like the sun, and radiated a heavenly light. The light was so overpowering that it was at times difficult to look at his countenance without shading one’s eyes. Some members of the Arya Samaj movement who had come to Qadian in a marriage party, entered the mosque to meet the Promised Messiah. He got up and received them cheerfully. The Aryas were so impressed by his illumined face that they uttered loudly and repeatedly”. Surely this is none but ‘Krishan Maharaj’ himself.” After a while they left the mosque. Qazi Atta Ullah was a Patwari who had joined the Movement through him. Before joining the Ahmadiyya Movement he used to accept bribes from his clients. The evening before signing his Bait (initiation) he took the first sixty rupees instalment of a bribe from a client who promise that another instalment would be given to him the next day. The same evening he joined the Movement and the next day the client brought him the second instalment of the bribe money, but he. refused to accept it and also refunded to him the earlier instalment. The client was astonished and insisted that he should THE LIFE OF A COMPANION OF THE PROMISSED MESSIAH 47 accept the money as he was giving it to him with pleasure. Qazi Sahib told him that he had joined the Ahmadiyya Movement at the hand of the Promised Messiah and had thus repented from all his previous sins and had made a covenant with Allah to refrain in future from every thing evil. He had thus turned a new leaf of his life, he told the client that he would not accept a penny as a bribe and from thence forward would do his job with strict honesty. Qazi Sahib says, “While I was 13-14 years of age I had the bad habit of saying my morning prayers late and sometimes even after sunrise. One day I made a firm resolution that from now on I will incalculate the habit of early rising and will offer morning prayers in time. I also decided to be regular in my Tahajjud prayers. Once while I was sitting in the mosque at Tahajjud time I saw that the whole of the mosque had become filled with heavenly light. This light was glowing bright and had a cool and comforting effect on me. I made many supplications before Allah and many of these were accepted later on in my life. This vision lasted about fifteen minutes.” Hazrat Chaudhry sahib stated. “Once I went to the mosque for my Asr prayer leaving the company of numerous colleagues and farmers. The mosque was empty. I started my prayers. Suddenly I felt a peculiar uplift of my soul, my heart started melting and I felt as if I was present in the Majesty of God. I felt as if I was not in this world any more. I then prayed to God and sought repentence for all my sins. While I was busy in my supplications and repentance, Allah the Almighty gave me the glad tiding of the acceptance of my prayers. In seconds my life was transformed and even my face was illumined. When I came out of the mosque some people exclaimed:” Look at the face of Ghulam Muhammad. It looks bright, beautiful and serene”. They asked me why my face had became so bright and beautiful. I could not offer any explanation, except that God had accepted my prayers. The strange thing was that my physical complexion had also changed with this spiritual experience. Not only my heart became illumined but my face also became bright and radiant. I was in Karnal when I received the news that my sister in law was suffering from plague and that her condition was serious and hopeless. I went to see her and found her in a very bad state. In the night, during my Tahajjud prayers, I earnestly prayed for her and was told that she will no only survive but will aslo give birth to a son and that she will die soon after giving birth to the child . After eighteen months she gave birth to a child and soon after died a natural death”. 48 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS These memoirs are replete showing how he would look for opponents and challenge them to debates and lengthy discussions which he invariably won or else the opposition would retire. Unfortunately, the period from 1948 to his death remains undocumented at his own hands due to illness. Never-the-less, he was instrumental in establishing various Jamaats, during his life time particularly in Karnal, Jhang and Hoshiarpur districts. QURANIC PRAYERS My Lord, make me constant in observing Prayer, and my children too. Our Lord! bestow Thy grace on me and accept my prayer. (4:41) Our Lord, bestow on us mercy from Thyself, and furnish us with right guidance in our affair. (18:11) Our Lord, we believe; so forgive us and have mercy on us; for Thou art the Best of those who show mercy. (23:11) My Lord, grant me that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou hast bestowed upon me and open my parents, and I may do such righteous deeds as may Please Thee. And establish righteousness among my progeny for me. I do turn to Thee; and truly, I am of those who are obedient to Thee. (46:16) Our Lord, perfect our light for us and for give us, surely Thou hast power over all things. (66:9) What is Islam? Islam literally means Peace, surrender of one’s Will; and to be in amity and concord. The significance of the name Islam is the attainment of a life of perfect peace and eternal happiness through complete surrender to the Will of God. The Quran — the Holy Book of the Muslims — interprets it to be the religion whose teachings are in consonance with human nature. Islam, as the Quran has stated (5:4), is the completion of the religion inaugurated by God in the beginning of the world, on His sending the Quran through the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be on him). As a child is taught his alphabet, so God taught the religion to the world gradually and little by little, by sending His prophets at different times and to different peoples. When the world reached that stage of understanding when it was ready for the final lesson, He sent’the last and complete Book through the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be on him). This Book not only corrects the errors which had found their way into various religions, but preaches the truths which have not been preached before, on account of special circumstances of the society or the early stage of its development. At the same time it gathers together in itself the truths which were contained in any Divine revelation granted to any people for the guidance of men (The Quran 98:4). Lastly, it meets all the spiritual and moral requirements of an ever advancing humanity. This is Islam which is wrongly called Muhammadanism. According to Islam, the object of man’s life is its complete unfoldment. Islam does not support the idea that man is born in sin. It teaches that everyone has within him the seed of perfect development and it rests solely with a person himself to make or mar his fortune. We created man in the best make says the Holy Quran (95:5). The cardinal doctrine of Islam is the Unity of Godhead. There is none worthy of worship but the one and only God, and Muhammad is His Prophet. He is free from all defects, Holy and Transcendent. He is All Good, All Mercy and All Power. He has no partner. He neither begets nor is He begotten, because these are the traits of frail and weak humanity. Furthermore, Islam helps us to establish a permanent relationship with God and to realise Him during our earthly life as our Helper in all our affairs and undertakings. This Unity of God is the first and foremost pillar of Islam and every other belief hangs upon it. Islam requires belief in all the prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Confucious and Zoroaster. We regard them all (and many more not mentioned here) as heavenly teachers born to reform and regenerate man and lead him to God. Adherents of some other-religions may consider it an act of piety to use disrespectful words and heap abuse on the prophets of other religions, but if a Muslim were to show the slightest disrespect towards the founder of any other faith, he does so at the cost of his own faith. He has to utter the respectful benediction Alaihis-Salam (peace be on him) after mentioning the name of every prophet. Thus Islam establishes peace between all religions. The REVIEW of RELIGIONS The Review of Religions is the oldest magazine of its kind published in the English language in the Indo-Pakistan Sub-Continent. Its first issue was published in 1902 and it has been continuously published since. It bears the distinction that it was initiated under the direction of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah himself. During more than eighty-six years the message of Islam has been conveyed through this magazine to hundreds of readers and many fortunate persons have recognised the truth of Islam and accepted it through studying it. The articles published in it deal not only with the doctrines and teachings of Islam but also set forth a comparative appreciation of the teachings of other faiths. One of its outstanding features is the refutations of the criticism of Islamic teach ings by orientalists and non-muslim scholars. It also presents solutions in the light of Islamic teachings of the problems with which the Islamic world is from time to time confronted. A study of this magazine is indispensable for the appreciation of the doctrines of the Ahmadiyya Movement and the teachings of its holy Founder. Printed by The Raqeem Press. Islamabad. Titford. Surrey GU10 2AQ, U. K. Published by The Review of Religion*, The London Mosque, 16 Gressenhall Road, London, SW185QL