Glimpses into the Life of The Promised Messiah

24 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS FEBRUARY 1985 GLIMPSES INTO THE LIFE OF THE PROMISED MESSIAH By Syed Hasanat Ahmad The single most historic event of modern history took place some ninety-five years ago when the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza- Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, accepted the first Bai’t (initiation into Ahmadiyyat) on March 23, 1889 not in Qadian, so dear to millions of Ahmadies around the world, but in Ludhiana. The Divine destiny was that the Promised Messiah should begin the monumental task of “breaking the cross” from where the first church in India went up and the first Christian mission was set up with the avowed object of converting the whole of India into Christianity. There can be no better beginning into the glimpses of the life of the Promised Messiah than to revert to a leaflet that he issued a fort- night before this historic event. Ahmad stated the purpose of his Mission and object of the movement in these words: “God wishes me to found a Community of the Faithful to manifest His Glory and Power. He will make the Community grow and prosper, so that it establishes the Love for God, righteousness, purity, piety, peace and goodwill among the mankind. He shall strengthen them with His spirit and bless them as He Promised that thousands of faithfull shall join their ranks. He shall himself look after them and ensure their progress which will amaze the world. The Community shall be a lighthouse so high as to illuminate the four corners of the world. The members of the Community shall serve as models of Islamic blessings. There shall rise among them till the day of Judgement Per- sonages who will be chosen ones of God in every respect. So has decreed the Almighty and He does as He chooses.” The great spiritual con of the Holy Prophet started his Mission in a big way. This clarion call to true Islam took the slumbering Muslim clergy by surprise. True to historic scenario, all stood up against him in an unwitting testimony to a rising divine voice, for these are the FEBRUARY 1985 GLIMPSES INTO LIFE OF PROMISED MESSIAH 25 ways of the material world that unless the Messenger of God faces a volley of abuse, vile and scandalous attacks, the scenario is not com- plete. The first to rise against him was an admirer and a friend and a leading figure of the Ahle Sunnat Jamat, Molvi Muhammad Hussain Batalavi. He was laboring under the mistaken belief that his support, backing and praise had put Mirza Sahib on the pinacle of glory. Therefore, in great majesty, he asked Ahmad to clarify his position. Prompt came Ahmad’s brief reply “yes,” that is, he has claimed that in him the advent of the Promised Messiah has taken place. Molvi Muhammad Hussain, in a letter, tried to prevail upon him and threatened to use his pen against him. Three days later came a calm and composed reply, C ‘I am not concerned at all with victory or defeat. All I want is to remain a devoted and obedient servant of God.” Then relating his vision, Hazoor said, “I saw a vision yesterday that I was writing on my arm, that I am alone, but God is with me.” Then the Molvi tried to wean away his friends. He got in touch with Hakim Maulvi Nuruddin (who later became the first Caliph) coaxing him he asked him, “If you can do something, do it now, while there is still time.” But the Hakim Sahib was made of different stuff. He retorted back, “I have been convinced for a long time of your determination to oppose Mirza Sahib. Who looks to the Stars in the presence of the Sun?” The Molvi is now only known in relationship to the promised Messiah. The Molvi was only the beginning. The Promised Messiah had to face a host of opponents from diverse faiths, Pandit Lekhram, Abdullah Athim and Alexander Dowie all died as a result of Hazoor’s Prophecies—the Prophecies that were made to vindicate the honor of Islam and uphold the dignity of the Holy Prophet. Hun- dreds of Prophecies were fulfilled in the lifetime of the Promised Messiah. During his life, Ahmad held an open invitation to anyone who wished to see a sign of God to spend some time in his company and be a witness to a heavenly sign. When we look back to Ahamd’s early life, it was a humble beginn- ing. He spent four years in a job in Sialkot, just to please his father. But then the ways of God are strange, his own father, Mirza Ghulam Murtaza, felt a need of him and asked him to return to Qadian. We find an account of this period in Hazoor’s own words: “At this period of my life, scarcely anybody knew me, I was in- ‘ clined to lead a retired life. This did not escape the notice of my father. Being fully convinced that I was given to solitude and had 26 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS FEBRUARY 1985 an aversion to mixing up with the society, he entertained apprehen- sions about my future. A message was conveyed to me that being friendly with a high government official he might be able to get a job for me. I replied, ‘Please tell my father, I am grateful to him for his love and affection, but he need not worry about me or for a job, for I have already secured a job I like most.’ ” During the same priod, he was informed in a dream about the ap- proaching end of his father. Hazoor was in Lahore, he rushed to Qadian. On arrival in Qadian, he found that his father was not seriously ill and was suffering from ordinary dysentry. On the assurance of his father, he withdrew to his room. As he was reclin- ing, it was revealed to him that his father would die after sunset the same day. He describes his own feelings in these words: “A sudden thought passed my mind, perhaps I would now face poverty and distress. All these thoughts flashed through my mind like lightning and then there came the second revelation, ‘Is not God sufficient for his servant?’ This was followed by a feeling of relief as though some painful wound had suddenly been healed and I felt assured that God would not allow me to perish.” Hazoor’s father died the same evening, and from that moment onwards, God took care of him in a way that had no parallel. While still in Sialkot he had a dream which indicated what greatness lay before him. Writing about this dream Hazoor says: “I saw the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. While watching him, I felt I had a religious book in my hand which appeared to be based on my writings. The Holy Prophet en- quired in Arabic, what name I had given it, I submitted ‘Polar star.’ The Holy Prophet took the book from my hand and it sud- denly assumed the shape of a colorful fruit closely resembling a pear but of the size of a melon. When the Holy Prophet cut it into pieces, so much honey oozed out of it that it soaked the hands of the Holy Prophet. Then I realized that a dead body, lying outside the door, had come to life on account of the blessings of the Holy Prophet and this resuscitated body stood behind me. Meanwhile this humble being stood with all submissiveness as if I am standing before a king, and the Holy Prophet with a majesty of an Emperor was seated in a high chair. The Holy Prophet held out a slice of that pear to me with the intention that I should give it to the resuscitated man and dropped all the slices in my lap. I gave that slice to that man. As he ate it, I noted that the Chair of the Holy Prophet had greatly been elevated and the forehead of the Holy Prophet was shining like rays of a rising sun.” Time had now come for the fulfillment of this vision. Islam was FEBRUARY 1985 GLIMPSES INTO LIFE OF PROMISED MESSIAH 27 under attack from all directions. The Muslims of India were suffer- ing from the traumatic effects of defeat in 1857. They had lost their rule on the subcontinent after five glorious centuries. The decline was so fast that they had lost their national identity. It was at this time that Ahmad stood up like a giant and a champ- tion of Islam. In Braheen Ahmadiyya, the first of his monumental writings, spread over five volumes, he recaptured the glory and majesty of Islam. Millions of words flowed from his pen, his writings occupy thousands of pages bound in over eighty volumes, and this did not include hundreds of posters, leaflets and handbills that went to nail the lie or to challenge the enemies of Islam.’ Ahamd’s pen produced a magic, cast a spell, exercized a fascina- tion in a way that no writer could ever claim. His cold logic, his power of reasoning, his marshalling of arguments, his method of induction and deduction, his dynamism in style and expression, left his friends and foes dumbfounded and speechless. Ahmad’s love for God, his devotion to the Holy Prophet and his complete immersion in the Holy Quran were simply matchless and unparalleled. God had blessed him with two special gifts—the gift of knowledge and the gift of the power to communicate that knowledge. Ahmad demonstrated with proofs that the Holy Quran is replete with pro- phecies, some fulfilled and some still to be fulfilled. He asserted and established this assertion with logic that the Holy Quran is an infinite source of knowledge, infinite in its meaning and infinite in its nature. He brought a new glory and a new lustre to the Holy Quran, discovering numerous excellences and graces that had laid hidden for centuries. Ahmad discovered that the Holy Quran contains a systematic account of the spiritual advancement and enumerated the stages to which the human beings are capable of attaining. The Pro- mised Messiah has left to us a fathomless treasure — an abiding source of knowledge which will serve for centuries to come as a Lighthouse of guidance to those who seek the eternal truth and the fundamental principles of progress in this and the world hereafter. Now a word about the personal appearance of the Promised . Messiah. He was a model of manly grace. He had an unusual attrac- tion in his face, sparkling with divine light. He was a picture of humility with no trace of pride or arrogance, he was approximately 28 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS FEBRUARY 19S5 five feet eight inches in height with broad shoulders. He was white in color. The eyes were large and black with a slight brownish tinge. They appeared to be half closed except when he wanted to open them on purpose. His dress consisted of a shirt, shalwar and a long coat. He kept a large handkerchief for tying medicines. He used a pocket watch and kept a stick while walking. Like the Holy Prophet, he was a poor eater and his normal food consisted of sattoo (roasted grain) dates or a cup of milk. His second marriage took place in 1884, five years before he accepted the first Bai’t, with Nusrat Jehan Begum, also known as Hazrat Amman Jan, who was the daughter of Mir Nasir Nawab, belonging to a most distinguished Syed family of Delhi—descendents of a well-known saint, Khawja Mir Dard. From the second marriage, Hazoor had ten children, five of them died in infancy and the other five led a full life, including the Promised son and the Promised Reformer, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad (Raziallah Unho), the second Caliph. The canvas of the Prophecies of the Promised Messiah is varied and incredible. About the third world war, he said: “it will be of frightening dimensions, death and destruction will rain from the sky. The colossus of the western civilization will tum- ble to the ground. Both the opposing camps will clash with such suddenness that everyone will be taken by surprise. The survivors will stand aghast and amazed at the tragedy. Russians will recover sooner from the calamity than the West.” Hazoor’s prophecy is clear that the Russians will reconcile to their Creator and will accept Islam and the Holy Prophet. At another place Hazoor siad: “I see my community in Russia like the grains of sand in number.” Hazat KhalifatulTSasih III (raziallahtala unho) in a lecture in 1967, said: “you may consider this as a fantasy, but those who will survive, will witness and bear out the truth. These ar the words of God and shall be fulfilled. No one can avert His decree. The end of the third world war will be the beginning of the triumph of Islam, the Pro- mised Messiah himself spoke of it in these words: “Hearken, all ye people, this is the prophecy of Him who has created the heavens and the earth. He will spread this community in all lands and will make it prevail over all by reason and argu- ment. The days are coming, nay they are near, when this will be the only faith to be mentioned with honor. God will bless this faith and this movement in an extraordinary manner and will frustrate the designs of those who wish to destroy it.”