The Reformer of Islam

28 The Review of Religions – August 2005 The greatest event in the wholelong and fascinating course of the history of the evolution of man, physical, moral, intellectual and spiritual, was the advent of M u h a m m a d( s a ), the Prophet of Islam, the Messenger of Allah, par excellence, the Perfect Man. The tremendous revolution initiated through him has helped shape the destiny of man through the ages. The impact of this revolution was miraculously re- inforced and re-invigorated, just short of a century ago, through his second advent, spiritual in c h a r a c t e r, in the person of his perfect reflection, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad( a s ) of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi (1835-1908). He laid the foun- dation of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam in 1889. He was to establish the superiority of Islam over all other faiths, which he did. The reason why I have been bestowed the honour of being graciously directed by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV, Head of the Ahmadiyya Movement, to address this august assembly this morning, is that I am one of the still surviving members of the company who had, by the Grace and Mercy of Allah, the good fortune of being enabled to make the covenant of allegiance at the blessed hands of the Promised Messiah(as) himself. I am fully conscious of my unworthiness, and realise that I am the least of the company among whom I have the honour to be included, and am most deeply grateful to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih, one of whose humblest servants I am, The Reformer of The following speech by Chaudhry Zafrullah Khan was delivered at the inauguration of the Pedroabad Mosque in Spain on the 10th of September 1982. It was the first mosque built in Spain for over 500 years since Islam was driven out of Spain. In this speech, the author covers the need for a reformer of Islam, and his personal experiences and feelings in having met the Promised Messiah(as). Islam 29The Review of Religions – August 2005 for the honour he has so benignly bestowed on me. September 3, 1904, was a red- letter day in my life. On that day I was, by Divine Grace, granted the inestimable privilege of beholding for the first time, the blessed countenance of the Promised Messiah ( a s ) and Mahdi, while his speech was being read out by one of his principal disciples, Hadhrat Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahib, to a public audience in Lahore. From the moment my gaze rested on that glorious vision, it remained riveted to it throughout the reading of the lecture, which took more than an h o u r. I was deeply stirred and my soul poured forth its homage to him. I felt myself deeply and completely committed. There has never since been a shadow of a doubt, nor a moment of hesitation. I have, through the sheer Grace and Mercy of Allah, been throughout firmly based on the unshakeable and immoveable rock of certainty of faith. Alhamdolillah. I was then only eleven years of age. Soon after completing my fourteenth year, I swore formal allegiance to the Promised Messiah ( a s ) and Mahdi, at his own blessed hands, on September 16, 1907, in Qadian. That Roll of Honour was closed, less than a year later, by his demise at Lahore, on May 26, 1 9 0 8 . For my own satisfaction I have never felt the need of any reason or argument. The torch that was by Allah’s Grace and Mercy lit within my soul seventy eight years ago, has shined ever more brightly with the passage of time, reinforced by my observation and experience and by the witness of Allah. I have always had a feeling that though reason and arg u m e n t are useful and helpful in the case of an earnest and sincere seeker after truth, they yield little profit in the case of a person who has recourse to them only for the sake of opposition. The history of the Ahmadiyya Movement, though still short of a c e n t u r y, is studded with divine proofs of the truth of its Holy F o u n d e r, and of Allah’s con- tinuous support of it. That is THE REFORMER OF ISLAM 30 The Review of Religions – August 2005 evidence which no reasoning can refute or dispel. The basic claim of the Holy Founder of the Movement was that he was the constant recipient of Divine verbal revelation. That claim was either true or false. If it was true, then whatever that Divine revelation proclaimed as his status and mission must be accepted. If that claim was false, he was (God forbid) an impostor, and no further attention need be paid to him. How can this issue be conclusively determined? The Holy Qur’an sets forth a decisive criterion (Ch:69:Vs 45-48) that an impostor is most surely destroyed by God. How did God deal with this claimant? This is not a matter of argument; it is a question of fact. He who yearns may read. It is a long and continuous spectacle of Divine favours and bounties; a series of triumphs. A tree is known by the fruits thereof. Carry out an honest and unprejudiced comparison of the fruits of the trees of Ahmadiyyat and of the trees of its opponents, and abide by the result. The Holy Qur’an recites a series of blessings which characterise the faithful; so does the Holy P r o p h e t( s a ). I venture to draw attention to one out of each category. (a) The Holy Qur’an says: Allah has promised those among you who believe and act righteously that He will surely make them Successors in the earth as He made Successors from among those who were before them; and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that after their state of fear He will grant them peace and s e c u r i t y. They will worship Me and will not associate anything with Me. Those who disbelieve there – a f t e r, they will be the rebellious ones. (Ch.24.V.56) The Holy Prophet(sa), explained that he would be followed by Spiritual Successors, and that after a time their place will be taken by monarchy, and that in the THE REFORMER OF ISLAM 31The Review of Religions – August 2005 l a tter days Spiritual Succession would be restored. That is what has happened. The Promised M e s s i a h( a s ) has been followed by Spiritual Successors, one after the other since his death, and t o d a y, almost three quarters of a Century later you find his fourth successor present here among you. Thus has Allah, the Exalted, once more fulfilled His promise set out in the Holy Q u r’ a n . (b) A Hadith says: Abu Hurairah ( r a ) has related: Among that which I learnt from the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, was that he said: Allah will raise for this people, in the beginning of every century, one who will revive its faith. (Abu Daud, Kitabal Malahan, p. 589). This prediction of the Holy P r o p h e t( s a ) has been fulfilled throughout. In the early part of the fourteenth century of the Islamic era, Allah raised Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad( a s ) for the revival of Islam. No one else m a de that claim. The fifteenth century of the Islamic era has only just begun, and almost with its beginning Allah has raised Sahibzada Mirza Tahir Ahmad Sahib, Khalifatul Masih IV, for the revival of Islam. He has no competitor. Why is it that outside the Ahmadiyya Movement, the rest of the Islamic world has been bereft of two of the principal bounties promised by Allah to those who are faithful and righteous? Reflect, O ye, who are gifted with insight. Is it not perchance because Allah is the Patron of the faithful, and those who lack true faith have no patron (Ch.47: V.11). Our last word is: All Praise belongs to Allah, Lord and Sustainer of the Universe. THE REFORMER OF ISLAM