Migration and Refugees


17The Review of Religions – May 2007 The story of Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad’s(ru) migration from Pakistan to the United Kingdom is one of the most dramatic chapters of his life. It reveals alike a deep-seated trust in Allah on the part of Huzur(ru) and manifest support for His chosen servant by Allah Almighty. In a sense, many parallels can be drawn between his migration and that of the migration of the Holy Prophet of Islam(saw) from Makkah to Madinah. Both migrations had been preceded by persecution that was cruel, bitter and sustained; both had escaped when the opponent had finally resolved to put an end to them; the dangers attendant upon their escape were immense; Divine intervention had delivered them from certain apprehension; and, perhaps most important of all, the success subsequently enjoyed post-migration could hardly have been envisaged beforehand. Since 1974 when Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto colluded with the orthodox religious clergy of Pakistan to declare members of the Ahmadiyya Community as non-Muslim and heretical to Islam, Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan have endured senseless persecution and discrimination. It was a time which saw a heightened wave of anti-Ahmadiyya disturbances across the country. Orthodox religious clergy availed them- selves of the opportunity to put Prime Minister Bhutto under pressure to declare Ahmadis as non-Muslim. The upshot of all this was a constitutional amendment which defined the term ‘Muslim’ specifically such that Ahmadis fell outside its scope and were listed, consti- tutionally, as ‘non-Muslim’. Ahmadi Muslims would face severe attacks on their lives, properties and businesses. The Migration of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV(ru) By Bockarie Tommy Kallon – London, UK 18 The Review of Religions – May 2007 Discrimination was practised against Ahmadis in every government service. Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih III(ru), who was then Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, urged forbearance and fortitude on the part of Ahmadis. They were to defend themselves against attack but not to attack their persecutors. They were urged not to respond to provocation, nor even return abuse for abuse but to continue to smile. When General Zia-ul-Haq, Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army, seized power in 1977 with a military coup, he did so at the expense of international condemnation and public outcry. Pakistan, despite a poor human rights record, was seen as a democracy which now threat- ened to degenerate into dictatorship. General Zia promised elections and a return to democracy within 90 days, a time which elapsed with no delivery on that promise. Instead, he sought to strengthen his hold on power. As more denunciation was poured on his regime, he sought both legitimacy and a diversion. The opportunistic government of Zia made immense political mileage by aligning itself with the desire and designs of extremist Muslim clergy. His claim to legitimacy was the imposition of extreme laws in the name of Islam which gained the assent of leading orthodox Muslim clergy and instilled both fear and subjugation in the rest of the population. The diversion he found was by making the Ahmadiyya Community, a religious minority within Pakistan, a scapegoat for his illegitimate government. With this lamentable stratagem of exploiting religious sensi-bilities for narrow political advantage, he would fan the embers of religious intolerance in a purported bid to exterminate Ahmadiyyat from Pakistan. The persecution of Ahmadi Muslims became wholly legal and even encouraged. Already indoc- trinated by self-serving religious THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 19The Review of Religions – May 2007 clergy, oppression of Ahmadi Muslims by their fellow citizens intensified manifold. Ahmadi Muslims were murdered in cold blood and their murderers were never apprehended. Ahmadiyya mosques were demolished, set on fire, or in most cases, desecrated. Ahmadi graves were defiled and their very existence criminalised. Strange as it may seem, the very Community whose members were prepared to sacrifice their life, wealth, time and honour on a global scale for the promotion and glory of Islam, was denounced and excommunicated by the Muslim clergy and government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It was during such time that Allah Almighty took into His loving care, Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad(ru) and his younger brother, Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru), as Allah willed, was appointed to take on the mantle of Khilafat. Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru), like his predecessor, admonished patience and pra-yers. The Promised Messiah(as) had forewarned that the Community would face perse-cution in diverse ways. He had foretold of various trials to which they would be subjected. But he had also prophesied ultimate victory for the Community, if they remained steadfast in the face of trials and tribulations. As a leader, Huzur(ru) displayed a charismatic air of authority which exuded moral deter- mination and confidence alike. To inspire hope into the Community, Huzur(ru) called in aid all his great talents; he had continuous recourse to advice and exhortation, he set a high personal example of steadfast- ness and resignation to the Divine Will and spent a good part of his nights in earnest supplication. But it was one of his poems that struck a chord with the Community. The poem put heart into millions of Ahmadi Muslims; it recognised their despair, it gave expression to the pain and anguish they felt, but also gave hope, promised final victory and the downfall of the THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 20 The Review of Religions – May 2007 THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru) Khalifatul Masih IV 21The Review of Religions – May 2007 brutal regime. The tempest of persecution would collide with the prayers they were offering and fade away as if they had never arisen. The darkness of persecution would pass away and the tranquillity would illumine the dawning day. That he was Head of the Community at this time of travail was indeed a manifestation of Divine providence. While, however, Huzur(ru) admon- ished patience and restraint, he himself was not prepared to let General Zia’s tyranny go unmentioned. He denounced Zia, now President, in his Friday Sermons and warned of Divine wrath and punishment if the President failed to mend his ways. Some members of the Community, fearful of Zia’s retribution, respectfully request- ed Huzur(ru) not to be so forthright but to no avail. Huzur(ru) continued with his condemnation. Zia, like all dictators, ruled with terror and took great exception to any opposition. His response was to place the Community under surveillance of his secret services reporting all that was said by Huzur(ru) in his many addresses. Zia would also have noticed that all his phenomenal persecution and discrimination, including a series of laws that created a separate electorate system for Ahmadis, had failed to arrest the progress of the Community. His outrage was transformed into more draconian laws that made the most basic acts of worship by Ahmadi Muslims extra-legal. This way he thought he could silence Huzur(ru) and curtail his actions and, as he hoped, check the progress of the Community. Before and after his election as Khalifatul Masih, Huzur(ru) was well networked among the diplomatic corps. Around March 1984, through these means, he began to receive intimation that something was about to happen though none of his contacts knew what exactly. He was, however, strongly advised to leave Islamabad where he had gone to ascertain any details of the imminent events. THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 22 The Review of Religions – May 2007 The outcome of all this was made clear on 26th April 1984. The President of Pakistan, General Zia-ul-Haq, was introducing Sections 298B and 298C, collectively referred to as Ordinance XX, made under martial law to the Pakistan Penal Code. This ordinance explicitly undercut the activities of religious minorities generally, but struck Ahmadis in particular. According to Section 298B: Any person of the Quadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’ or any other name) who by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, refers to, or addresses, any person other than a Caliph or companion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw), as ‘ A m e e r – u l – M o m i n e e n ’ , ‘Khalifatul Momineen’, ‘Sahaabi’ or ‘Razi Allah Anho’; refers to, or addresses, any person other than a wife of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) as ‘Ummul Momineen’; refers to, or addresses, any person other than a member of the family of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw), as Ahle-bait; or refers to, or names, or calls, his place of worship as Masjid; shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to a fine. Any person of the Quadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’ or any other name) who by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, refers to the mode or form of call to prayers followed by his faith as ‘Azan’ or recites ‘Azan’ as used by Muslims, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to a fine. According to Section 298C: ‘Any person of the Quadiani THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 23The Review of Religions – May 2007 group or the Lahori group (who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’ or any other name) who, directly or indirectly, poses himself as a Muslim, or calls, or refers to his faith as Islam, or preaches or propagates his faith, or invites others to accept his faith, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to a fine.’ This ordinance was to come into force effective immediately and would override any orders or decisions of courts. The ordinance in effect meant Ahmadis could no longer profess their faith for fear of being charged with ‘indirectly or directly posing as Muslim.’ Ahmadi publications, the use of any Islamic terminology on wedding invitations or even gravestones, building mosques, making the call to prayer and in effect, any public act of worship or devotion by an Ahmadi had all become criminal offences. The infamous ordinance completely undermined the crucial and basic human right to manifest one’s belief. It was a complete and utter blight on Islam – a religion that otherwise had a good record on the question of tolerance even to other faiths. Ordinance XX and its proscriptions was at best an embarrassment to other good Muslims in Pakistan with an understanding of the basic tenets of the religion of Islam and at worst, it was cruel, demonic and inhumane. Iain Adamson writes in A Man of God: ‘World reaction to the ordinance was one of incredulity. Among Pakistan lawyers, diplomats and businessmen there was a sadness – sadness that their country was sinking into total religious intolerance, sadness that their country’s name was THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 24 The Review of Religions – May 2007 becoming synonymous with infamous regimes that oppressed its citizens because of their colour or religion… ‘The sheer illogicality of the law depressed the lawyers and judges of Pakistan. They had tried in the main to hold on to notions of justice and liberty. How, they asked, could the state abrogate (sic) to itself the ability to define what was, and what was not, Islam? ‘How could a particular number of Islamic divines, even though they were in the majority, consider that they, and they alone, could interpret the word of God as revealed in the Quran? ‘How could a state justify its suppression of the rights of a group of people to proclaim its name and its beliefs, provided no anti-social or criminal offence had been committed? ‘And, most important of all, how could any judge or jury decide that someone was posing as a believer in any religion if all that he did was pray and observe the tenets of that religion?’1 In Rabwah, Huzur(ru) immedi- ately held counsel with the most senior members of the Community to deliberate and advise on the response to the opprobrious ordinance. Huzur(ru) was to later recount of this meeting in A Man of God: ‘I was never in any way scared of General Zia. I had criticised very openly in my sermons. I had told him, ‘Mend your ways and your attitude. Cease this perse- cution or you will face the Wrath of God. ‘But with this ordinance it was a different kind of situation. It was not my safety that was at stake, but my ability to speak out. With this law Zia could silence me as the effective head of the Community. I could remain in THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 25The Review of Religions – May 2007 Pakistan and speak out and then be put into prison. When I came out I could speak out again and be put away for another three years. ‘In Ahmadiyyat you cannot choose another head while the first is living, even if he is imprisoned and completely out of touch. So that would mean a headless community. ‘The Khalifa is guided by God in his decisions; so he cannot delegate his decisions to a committee. Some decisions have to be taken by the Khalifa and that decision is final. If he were not able to take any decisions that could be a very dangerous situation.’2 The advice to Huzur(ru) was unanimous. He was to leave Pakistan and leave immediately. Huzur(ru) agreed to this only with the emphatic proviso that at the time of his departure no warrant should have been issued for his arrest or any charge brought against him requiring him to appear before the authorities. His personal safety would not be secured at the cost of granting an opportunity to the enemies of the Community to calumniate the office of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. Even if at the airport and when about to board, an order came requiring him to report to any authority, he would not depart. He was prepared to pay the ultimate price and lay down his life for the cause of Ahmadiyyat. He also instructed that there should be no mendacity or duplicity about his departure. He would not change from his normal dress up to and including the turban. In fact, he was in no way to be disguised and using a false passport was out of the question. These two points were made repeatedly and emphatically by Huzur(ru). Having decided to leave Pakistan, the most pertinent question was how to accomplish this. It was known that the headquarters were under surveil- lance and Zia was looking for any excuse to have him apprehended. Zia would not THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 26 The Review of Religions – May 2007 permit him to leave the country now that he, in his estimation, almost had him where he wanted – on the verge of arrest. Looking ahead at that time, the journey out of Pakistan seemed a very perilous one. All roads leading in and out of Rawbah were under the surveillance of Zia’s secret agencies, the phone lines were tapped and all conversations recorded. But it is here that the evidence of Divine succour becomes manifest. At each stage, Allah Almighty created such conditions as would ensure Huzur’s(ru) safe deliver- ance. For instance, Huzur(ru) had decided to take the latter of two weekly KLM flights, with which airline he usually travelled. A messenger was sent to Karachi to book the seats. On his return, he reported that the KLM manager had insisted that Huzur(ru) travelled on the earlier flight which was scheduled for Monday, April 30th. This was despite the fact that this flight was fully booked while the other had readily available seats. At the time he did not advance any reasons for his advice but, as he had given assurances that at least six seats would be made available on the earlier flight, his advice was duly accepted. It was not until later that he gave his explanation. The earlier flight was a direct flight to Europe while the latter touched down in a Gulf state. Had knowledge of his escape reached the Pakistani authorities before or during his brief interlude in the Gulf state, it was almost certain General Zia would have brought false charges against him and pressed for his arrest and extradition back to Pakistan. Many people had seen various dreams leading up to the infamous ordinance which por- tended to the imminent emigration of Huzur(ru) out of Pakistan. Further evidence of Divine support and assurance was to come in the form of one such dream which has been related in this regard. Huzur’s(ru) decision to leave Pakistan was kept on an absolute need-to-know basis so much so that even some close family members like his own THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 27The Review of Religions – May 2007 sister had no idea he was about to emigrate. A secret escape plan was agreed and knowledge of these details were even more restricted so that some of those with whom counsel had been held and again some family members did not know these details. This way the likelihood of an erroneous slip was minimised. It was shortly after this that a letter addressed to Huzur(ru) from a senior member of the Community of Chinese proven- ance, Mr Usman Chou, was received. In the letter Mr Usman Chou recounted a dream he had had which, though he could not unravel its meaning, believed it contained some sort of message for Huzur(ru). In the dream he had seen that Huzur(ru) was about to embark on a journey to Islamabad but when he approached the car to pay his respects he discovered that the car was empty. Shocked and distressed, he heard a voice telling him that Huzur(ru) had left via another route and gone abroad. Following the car, he noticed that the car instead of going directly to Islamabad went to Jehlum and stayed there for a night. This was the dream recounted by Mr Usman Chou who had no knowledge of Huzur’s(ru) plans. Amazingly, it contained the secret plan which had been agreed upon earlier. Huzur’s(ru) interpretation of this dream was that Allah Almighty had approved the plan and with that he had absolute faith that it would succeed. He, therefore, suffered no worry or anxiety over its success. So it was that after the dawn prayers on Sunday 29th April, Huzur’s(ru) car, accompanied by the usual entourage of security staff in cars to the front and rear of Huzur’s(ru), was seen heading out of Rabwah. However, seated in the back seat of the car was not Huzur(ru) himself but his older brother, Mirza Munawar Ahmad, wearing the long achkan coat and turban which, though not exclu- sive to him, was traditionally worn by Huzur(ru). As it was still THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 28 The Review of Religions – May 2007 prior to daybreak and the sun had not yet arisen fully, most Ahmadis did not notice this and presumed Huzur(ru) was embark- ing on a brief journey to Islamabad. Most importantly, four of the five surveillance team installed by General Zia also presumed it was Huzur(ru) on his way to Islamabad. They reported this to their superiors and proceeded to shadow the entourage on its way. Later when the entourage headed for Jehlum, they reported that Huzur(ru) was not heading directly to Islamabad but planned a brief sojourn in Jehlum. This was nothing unusual as Huzur(ru) had a cousin there and had stayed overnight there many a time on his way to Islamabad. The surveillance teams and their superiors were aware of this. It was thus that the plan conceived and given Divine assurance in a dream to Mr Usman Chou was executed and executed successfully. Yet this was hardly the end of the road. Huzur(ru) still had to head out of Rabwah to Karachi and onto an aircraft to Europe. Here again another dream has been related which foretold of events to happen, though at the time, no one knew to what it pertained. Huzur’s(ru) second daughter, Sahibzadi Faiza Luqman Sahiba, had seen in a dream that Huzur(ru) was leaving on a journey and was on an isolated road in one of two cars though they were not his usual cars. On the way, they were forced to slow down when approaching a place where it appeared road works were being carried out. However, no workmen could be seen but as they slowed down suddenly she saw some beggars approaching. Their appearance perturbed her. Suddenly a hand appeared from the car in front and scattered some one rupee notes. As most of the beggars ran to gather the money the cars moved past them and gathered speed again. This dream was related by Huzur’s(ru) daughter at a time when no one in the family knew about his imminent departure. What happened was that much before Huzur’s(ru) entourage was THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 29The Review of Religions – May 2007 seen leaving Rabwah on 29th April, at around 2 a.m. Huzur had left Rabwah in two other cars which were not his usual ones taking a minor road leading to the small town of Lalian and then on to Jhang and then to the main road to Karachi. In those days, no visa had to be obtained before travelling from Pakistan like it is these days: again, another sign of Divine succour. Any Pakistani could travel to the UK and on arrival apply for entry clearance which then was at the discretion of the immigration officer to grant or refuse. Had a visa been a prerequisite, Huzur(ru) would have had to go to the British High Commission to seek entry clearance prior to travelling. No doubt this would have brought his plans to the attention of the Pakistani authorities. It was only six months after Huzur(ru) migration that the immigration rules were changed such that entry clearance had to be obtained prior to travelling to the United Kingdom from Pakistan. Returning to the events of that night, Huzur(ru) was in the second car with his wife and two youngest daughters with some security staff in the car in front. Between Lalian and Jhang, the road was badly damaged and was being repaired. The military intelligence had taken advantage of this and set up one of the five surveillance teams there dressed as beggars, though they all looked healthy and wore army boots under their gowns. As the cars slowed down, the putative beggars headed towards the second car which would have meant certain discovery of Huzur(ru) when one of the security staff in the first car opened his window and threw out some one rupee notes. The beggars ran for them and Huzur’s(ru) car moved forward, gathered speed and was on its way again. Amazingly, these events happened exactly as Huzur’s(ru) daughter had related in her dream, even down to the denomination of the rupee notes handed out by the security staff. Some of the beggars who did run for the money thrown stared into both cars. They were to report THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 30 The Review of Religions – May 2007 later that they thought Huzur(ru) was on his way to Jhang and so could be heading for Karachi. But this report conflicted with that of the other four surveillance teams who had reported that Huzur(ru) was on his way to Islamabad via Jehlum. It was thus ignored. Yet again, it could be seen that Huzur(ru) was under the canopy of Allah’s protection. The 750-mile journey to Karachi Airport was accomplished without any difficulty. At the airport, Huzur(ru) and his entourage were shown to a private room and one hour before the scheduled departure time of 2 a.m., he went through immi- gration and passport control. He then returned to his private room and waited for the call to board the plane. The time came for the gates to be opened but there was no call. Instead, it was announced that departure would be delayed. The KLM manager had assured Huzur(ru) the flight would take off on time. Now the manager came in to apologise for the delay saying it was the responsibility of the airport authorities. They had not granted permission for the aircraft to take off. Huzur’s(ru) security staff were trying in vain to conceal their worry and anxiety. His two youngest daughters at the time too young to appreciate the magnitude of the matter fell asleep. Huzur’s(ru) wife, naturally, became full of trepidation. In Cave Thaur when the enemy almost apprehended the Holy Prophet(saw) and Hadhrat Abu Bakr(ra) during their migration to Madinah, Hadhrat Abu Bakr(ra) became extremely anxious. The Holy Prophet(saw) sought to assuage him by giving him assurance of Divine protection. Here it was Huzur(ru) who sought to allay his wife’s fears. As he sat waiting, he had an impeccable trust in Allah. The minutes dragged by slowly. It was patently obvious that the delay was due to Huzur’s(ru) presence but the details of what was going on in the background only came to light months later. The passport officers at the THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 31The Review of Religions – May 2007 airport had in front of them a banning order issued directly from General Zia. It had gone to all airports, seaports and border check posts. But here again the grand Divine design became manifest. The banning order stated that “Mirza Nasir Ahmad who calls himself the Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Movement” was not to be allowed to leave Pakistan. Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad(ru) was Khalifatul Masih III and had passed away almost two years before. But General Zia had dealt mostly with Khalifatul Masih III(ru) so that when he came to issue the banning order, it was his name that he inadvertently wrote. The cause of the delay is now manifest. Huzur’s passport clearly stated his name, ‘Mirza Tahir Ahmad’, and profession, ‘Head of the Ahmadiyya Movement’. This was the mix-up that Passport Control officers at Karachi airport had in front of them. During the delay they tried to contact Islamabad to see if someone could clear up the confusion but at that time of the day, two o’clock in the morning, no one could be reached who could make a definitive pronouncement on the matter. They concluded it must have been an outdated order. Finally, therefore, an hour after the scheduled departure time, Huzur(ru), his wife and two daughters, Chaudhry Hameed Nasrullah Khan, then Amir of Lahore and Huzur’s(ru) Head of Security went aboard the aircraft for the eight-hour direct flight to Amsterdam. Now that Huzur(ru), by the grace of Allah, was safely aboard the plane on his way to London, via Amsterdam, plans needed to be made to receive him appro- priately. Officials of the Jama’at both in Amsterdam and London needed to be informed but it was felt that, as the phone lines were tapped, they had to wait until the plane had gone past Turkey, the last of the Muslim states it flew over, before telephoning London. At around 2:30a.m. London time, Mr Masud Ahmad, then Wakil-ul- Tabshir (Head of Foreign THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 32 The Review of Religions – May 2007 Missions), made the call from Pakistan to the residence of Maulana Ataul Mujeeb Rashed, Missionary In-charge UK, Imam of the London Mosque and, at that time, also Amir, Jama’at Ahmadiyya UK. After exchang- ing greetings, he asked Imam Sahib to get ready. Imam Sahib responded that he was ready but THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) The passport on which the Khalifa openly left Pakistan. 33The Review of Religions – May 2007 inquired for what purpose. Huzur(ru) will be arriving in London, he was told. Thinking that Huzur(ru) would be arriving in a week or two, and hence still not un-nerved, Imam Sahib casually enquired as to when he would be arriving. The response brought with it all anxiety. Huzur(ru) would be arriving 8 a.m. London time that same day. They needed to wait until the flight was approaching Europe before telephoning London. Imam Sahib recalls he and his wife first performed their ablutions and offered prayers beseeching Allah’s help in the discharge of the enormous task of organising for Huzur’s(ru) recep- tion. The London Mission was still very much small scale at the time and, apart from a small guesthouse, the only other premises belonging to the Community was the apartment of Imam Sahib where it was decided Huzur(ru) would best be accommodated while Imam Sahib and his family moved to the small guesthouse. While his wife started cleaning the apartment, throwing all possessions indiscriminately into bed sheets to be knotted and made into bundles, Imam Sahib telephoned Mr.Abdul Hakim Akmal, then Missionary In- charge, Holland, and gave him detailed instructions as to how Huzur(ru) was to be received and that the information of his arrival was to be communicated immediately to London. He then set about clearing out his office in readiness for Huzur’s(ru) arrival and use. An emergency meeting of the National Executive was convened at the London Mosque immediately after the morning prayers held at 4:30 a.m. Various roles and responsibilities were delineated. The flight having been delayed on take-off was late in arriving so that it caused moments of great anxiety among the members in London. Finally came the news of Huzur’s(ru) arrival in Holland from where Huzur(ru) himself tele- phoned to say he would be taking a later connecting flight to London so that his arrival in THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 34 The Review of Religions – May 2007 London was around 11 a.m. local time. At Heathrow Airport, London, Huzur(ru) was cheerful and jovial despite being compelled to leave his beloved Pakistan. He exhibited physical signs of fatigue but he seemed to have a resolve and determination about him. On the way to the London Mosque one of the first things he enquired about was the timing of the noon prayers, Zuhr. He wanted to know if they would make it back in time. Being told the time and being familiar with London, he confirmed himself that they would be there on time. At the London Mosque, some 300 members had gathered to welcome Huzur(ru). On his arrival, despite a long and tiring journey, Huzur(ru) met and shook hands with all the men, went over to greet the ladies briefly before going upstairs to prepare for Zuhr prayers which he promptly came out to lead. In Pakistan, he had been required to speak very loudly as the use of public address systems were forbidden. His voice was, therefore, hoarse. But it was also full of emotion and the prostrations before Allah Almighty, no doubt in gratitude for his deliverance, were long and absorbed. After the prayers, Huzur(ru) gave intimation of his intention to address the members of the UK Community after the Asr prayers which then were at 5p.m. and requested that the necessary arrangements be made. He then retired to his apartment for some rest. A coded telex had been sent as soon as news was received of Huzur’s arrival in Amsterdam by Anwar Kahlon Sahib, then National President of the UK Community to his brother-in-law in Rabwah which caused some perplexity. It simply said, ‘Valuable package sent to Amsterdam has arrived safely. Will arrive in London shortly.’ Not being among those who were in on the secret he could not decipher the message. Enquiries around his office having failed to discover the sender, he phoned THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 35The Review of Religions – May 2007 his wife to find out if she had sent any package. She replied that she had not, then momentarily recalled that there were certain rumours about Huzur’s(ru) departure from Pakistan. She therefore sug- gested he took the telex to the Amir. This was the news those who were in on the secret had been waiting for. In a matter of moments, the news had spread throughout Rabwah and to all Ahmadi Communities across Pakistan. Naturally, they were saddened to see Huzur(ru) leave in such circumstances yet there was relief everywhere and gratitude to Allah Almighty for Huzur’s(ru) deliverance. General Zia had intended to silence Huzur(ru) as the effective head of the Community. He had very evil designs. But right under his nose and with the worldly might and power at his disposal, Huzur(ru) had left Pakistan without disguise, without any charge and without the slightest stain on his character. It is related that the news that Huzur(ru) had left Pakistan, his banning order notwithstanding, sent General Zia wild with rage. There must have been collusion, he concluded. Immigration officials at Karachi airport were suspended and commissions of inquiry launched in all directions. Senior police officers were to receive direct calls from the office of General Zia demanding that they produced the Head of the Ahmadiyya Community. But it was all in vain. God works in mysterious ways. It is believed Huzur(ru) escaped arrest by a matter of hours. Before news of his escape had become public, the Governor of the Punjab had telephoned leaving a message that Huzur(ru) was to report immediately to his office in Lahore. Had that been received before his departure, Huzur(ru) would not have departed as he had already stipulated that he would not leave the country under such circumstances. Had he gone to Lahore, it is believed he would have been arrested on some fabricated criminal charge. THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU) 36 The Review of Religions – May 2007 Back in London, Huzur(ru) addressed the huge crowd that had assembled at the London Mosque in the evening. He gave a detailed insight into the situation in Pakistan including the evil designs of the govern- ment and explained the reasons behind his decision to emigrate. He reiterated that he had been prepared to lay down his life but it was for the benefit of the Community he had sought Divine guidance through supplication and then arrived at his decision. He touched upon the dreams that certain members had had in relation to his migration and also some of his own dreams through which Allah had given him glad-tidings of his deliverance. Huzur(ru) admonis- hed the Community never to give in to opposition. He requested the entire Community to prepare for the great many achievements that now lay ahead. Everyone would be called upon to render services to the Community. He himself would be pre-occupied with highly significant future planning, so he requested the Community in the UK not to seek private audiences with him in those days. If he needed help or consultation he would himself invite that person to an audience. At the end of the address, Huzur led a very solemn and heart- rending silent prayer. Thus was concluded one of the most remarkable and historic milestones in the annals of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. It will always be remembered for the manifest Divine succour Huzur(ru) received at every stage of his journey out of Pakistan and for the remarkable success the Community enjoyed under Huzur’s(ru) dynamic leadership in the post-migration period. References A Man of God, pp.186-188 – by Iain Adamson. Bibliography A Man of God – by Iain Adamson Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(ru), Tariq Commemorative Edition – by Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK THE MIGRATION OF HADHRAT KHALIFATUL MASIH(RU)