Ahmadi Martyrs

41 AHMADI MARTYRS (S. M. Shahab Ahmad) The Holy Quran is very explicit that since the time of Adam prophets, on whom be peace, and their early followers have always passed through every kind of trial and hardship. I cannot over emphasize this historical fact, which is clearly mentioned in the Quran which states: We will surely try you with somewhat of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and fruits; then give glad tidings to the steadfast, who, when a misfortune overtakes them do not lose heart, but say: Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return. It is these on whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy, and it is these who are rightly guided. (1:156-158) The tests by means of which God intended to prove the faithful are: Fear, Hunger, Loss of wealth and property, loss of lives, and loss of fruits. In the early era of Muslim history the disbelievers inflicted all these kinds of hardships upon the Holy Prophet, on whom be peace, and his com- panions. They remained steadfast, however, and said: Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return”. About these fortunate people God decrees: It is these on whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy, and it is these who are rightly guided. (1:158) In the renaissance of Islam, the same history is being repeated. The enemies of Ahmadiyyat – the True Islam – are following in the footsteps of the disbelievers of Arabia by inflicting the same kind of hardships upon Ahmadis. From their own behaviour, they have affiliated with the dis- believers and have aligned us with believers. Ahmadis are steadfast in facing all these hardships only for the sake of God. Consequently, acc- ording to the verse 1:158, we are rightly guided and blessed by God. God will decree as He has done in the time of other Prophets. The incidents in Pakistan are hard from a worldly point of view, but, spiritually, they strengthen the faith of every Ahmadi. In this short article, I will mention only Hazrat Maulvi Abdur Rahman, 42 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS strangled to death by the order of Amir Abdur Rahman in mid 1901 and Hazrat Sahibzada Syed Abdul Latif, stoned to death by the order of Amir Habibullah on July 14, 1903. While mentioning these great martyrs, I will mention the terrible end of their cruel persecutors. Hazrat MauM Abdur Rahman He was son of late Zahiruddeen, one of the most trusted pupils of Sahibzada Syed Abdul Latif, and the first Ahmadi martyr in Afghanistan. Under the direction of Sahibzada Abdul Latif, he came to Qadian two or three times and enjoyed the holy company of the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, for several months each time. As, a result, his faith rose to the station of martyrs. When he returned to Kabul the last time, he was arrested on the charge of embracing Ahmadiyyat and also for his belief that Jihad or holy war against the British contradicts the teachings of the Holy Quran. He was strangled to death on the order of Amir Abdur Rahman, who himself was installed to the throne of Afghanistan by the British. Sahibzada Abdur Rahman was strangled in the middle of 1901. What happened to the cruel Amir within a few months? I quote Frank A. Martin: Eventually, in the spring of 1901, Amir Abdur Rahman suddenly had a stroke, and it was thought that it was all over with him; but he rallied, and lingered on until some six months later, when, on October 2, he died, and it was said that his feet were dead a few days before, and the stench from them was such that no one could stop long in the same room with him. ! I was told that there was a plot to get the Amir’s body on the way to the tomb, which he had built outside Kabul at Kila Asham Khan some years before, and cut it into pieces that dogs might eat it. (This is looked upon as the greatest evil that can befall the body of a Mussulman.) However, news of all this having reached the authorities, the late Amir’s body was buried instead in the east wing of Boistan Serai Palace, which is just outside the Arak.2 The tomb was three times set on fire by some persons unknown who wished to disgrace it, and that caused it to be commonly said that the heat of the Amir’s soul was the cause of the fires.3 Hazrat Sahibzada Syed Abdul Latif (1840-14 July 1903) He was born in 1840 in his ancestral village Syedgah in the area of Khost, Afghanistan. He was a Syed, belonged to the family of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh, and his father’s name was Syed Muhammad Sharif. He was a great scholar of the Holy Quran, Hadi’th and a leading poet in Pashtu AHMADI MARTYRS 43 and Persian. He was a member of the Durand Commission (1893) from Afghanistan side. This Commission demarcated the boundary line bet- ween India and Afghanistan. He was priest of the Coronation Ceremony of Amir Habibullah (1901), eldest son of Amir Abdur Rahman. Because of his extraordinary scholarship and piety, he commanded great respect in every circle of Afghanistan. He embraced Ahmadiyyat in late 1902 or early 1903, and enjoyed the company of the Promised Messiah, on whom be peace, for several months. The Promised Messiah has praised him in very high words: I declare this on the oath of Allah, Who is Master of my life, that I found him to be incomparably sincere and honest in his adherence to me and in accepting my claim. His love and affection could be likened to a clear crystal phial of the most fragrant perfume. Indeed, I found him to be most sincere in his love for me. His heart, like his radiant face, was very pure. The most enviable quality that the deceased sage possessed was that he always gave preference to matters of faith over all worldly affairs. He was, without the least doubt, from among those true and righteous persons who, through fear of God, piety and obedience to Him, endeavour to reach the highest point of rectitude; those who, for acquiring God’s pleasure, would voluntarily and gladly sacrifice their lives, their repu- tation, their glory and their possessions as if all these were mere chaff as compared to seeking the pleasure of Allah. His zeal and enthusiasm for the faith was so highly advanced that it would not be an exaggeration if it was likened to a lofty mountain and even this resemblance would fall short of reality.* Let us see how this great saint was treated by the criminals in Afg- hanistan; Amir Habibullah being the king was the chief criminal in this case. Frank A Martin,. after referring to the peaceful and enlightened teachings of the Promised Messiah, and Sahibzada Abdul Latif s visit to Qadian, writes: So the Amir, when he heard of all this, sent word to the mullah to return, and the mullah did so, preaching the new religion as he came, and as soon as he was well within the boundaries of the country, he was made prisoner and brought to Kabul. Here he was examined by the Amir, but the Amir could find in the mullah’s clever replies nothing against the true religion which would make him infidel, and therefore worthy of death, for a Mussulman, according to the Koran, who becomes an apostate, must be stoned to death. He was then sent for examination to Sardar Nasrullah Khan, who was regarded as more than a mullah in knowledge of his religion, but the prince could not convict the man out of his mouth, and so a jury of twelve of the most learned mullahs was 44 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS convened, and even their examination of the accused could elicit nothing on which the man-might be killed, and they reported this to the Amir. But the Amir said the man must be convicted, and so he was again sent to the mullahs, who were told that they must sign a paper, saying the man was an apostate and worthy of death Again the majority of the mullahs affirmed that he was innocent of anything against their religion, but two of the mullahs, who were friends of Sardar Nasrullah Khan, and had been persuaded by him, gave their verdict of death, and on the finding of these two mullahs the man was condemned by the Amir and stoned to death. Before being led away from the Amir’s presence to be killed, the mullah prophesied that a great calamity would overtake the country, and that both the Amir and Sirdar would suffer. About nine o’clock at night on the day that the mullah was killed, a great storm of wind suddenly arose and raged with violence for half an hour, and then stopped as suddenly as it came. Such a wind at night was altogether unusual, so the people said that it was the passing of the soul of the mullah. Then cholera came, although according to former outbreaks, another visi- tation was not due for another four years, and this was also regarded as part of the fulfilment of the mullah’s prophecy, and hence the great fear of the Amir and the prince, who thought they saw in all this their own death, and it accounts also for the prince losing control of himself when his favourite wife died. The two mullahs who gave the verdict for his death lived in constant fear. One of them got cholera and almost died of it. 5 Daily the roads leading to the burial grounds streamed with people carrying their dead, and many, I knew, who came to tell me of a mutual acquaintance whom they had taken for burial that day, were themselves carried to the same place the next day, or a day later. The cholera spread among all classes, and penetrated even to the harems of princes, Sirdar Nasrullah Khan’s favourite wife dying of it, and among others the Amir’s favourite slave boy was carried off. Several of the highest officials also got the disease,and died of it.6 Frank A. Martin does not name the two mullahs who gave their verdict of death for Sahibzada Abdul Latif. However, according to Hazrat Amir-ul-Momneen Khalifatul Messiah IV, these two culprits were Dr Abdul Ghani of India, perhaps leader of the Jury and Qazi Abdur Razzaq, the chief Qazi of Afghanistan. The latter threw the first stone on Sahib- zada Sahib. What happened to them? During the regime of Amir Habibullah, whose favourite Dr Ghani was, for some mistakes was sentenced to eleven years rigorous imprisonment. Many times, he was brought to Darbar AHMADI MARTYRS .45 from prison and severely whipped. While in prison, his wife died in Lundikotal, one of his sons was murdered in Peshawar, and the other son was compelled to be a rickshaw puller. After serving the term, he was expelled from the country. No one knows what happened to him afterwards.7 God’s wrath continues To quote Adamec: On January 1, he (Habibullah) left Kabul for his winter quarters in Jalalabad, leaving his third son Amanullah in charge of the capital, and , on the night of February 19-20, Habibullah was assassinated in Kalla Gush in the Laghman district.” There was struggle for power between Nasrullah and Amanullah in which the latter succeeded. On February 27, Nasrullah, Inayatullah, and members of the Mu- sahiban family were arrested by the troops of Jalalabad; the following day Nasrullah abdicated and joined Inayatullah in offering bait (al- legiance) to Amanullah.9 Nasrullah’s trick did not work. Amanullah held durbar at the Qanuni Bagh at Kabul on Sunday, April 13, 1919, and presided at the trial of the’suspected assassins. Nasrullah was sentenced to prison for life, and Inayatullah (eldest son ofHabibullah) was condemned to live in retirement.10 According to other historians, Nasrullah was brought before his nephew in chains. And according to Huzur, his tomb was stoned.11 This was the end of the enemies of Ahmadiyyat who prosecuted Sa- hibzada Abdul Latif. What was the way God treated his pious servant? Mian Ahmad Noor, a favourite and trusted disciple of Abdul Latif, states: The body of the Maulvi Sahib was left under the heap of stones for forty days on the spot where he was stoned. Then during the dead of night I, together with some of my friends, went and quietly took out the sacred body from under the stones and brought it secretly to the town. Although there was a great risk of our being caught by the retainers of the Amir, owing to cholera raging in the town, everyone was preoccupied with his own woes and worries. We, therefore, observed the burial rites calmly and took the body to the graveyard and buried it reverently. The amazing fact is that when we took out the body from under the stones, it sent forth a perfume like musk and everyone was greatly astonished.12 Compare the difference in the way, God treated Amir Abdur Rahman 46 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS and Sahibzada Abdul Latif. The stench from the body of the Amir was such that no one could stay long in the same room with him; whereas, the body of the late Sahibzada sent forth a perfume like musk upto forty days after his death. A PROPHECY FULFILLED In the martyrdom of Sahibzada Abdur Rahman and Sahibzada Abdul Latif the prophecy, revealed to the Promised Messiah in 1880 that two shegoats would be slaughtered, was fulfilled.13 The meaning of this prophecy became fully clear to the Promised Messiah after its fulfilment. He explains: The two services shegoats offer to human beings, a species higher than themselves, are that they provide milk and meat for them. Similarly, the two saints, especially Shahzada Abdul Latif, offered milk to the Afghans by conveying the true teachings of Islam to them; and they offered meat by sacrificing their lives.u Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the present Head of the Ahmadiyya Community has said that sacrifices of these two great persons must have greater positive effect for their own country men. Unfortunately, because of so many great sins of the Afghans, these sacrifices have brought a negative effect on them, which started in 1901 and is still continuing. He is not pleased with this situation and has asked the Ahmadis to supplicate to God for the positive effects of the sacrifices of these two martyrs which will lead to the Afghans embracing Ahmadiyyat in le- gions. Amen. 15 1. Frank A. Martin (1907) Under the Absolute Amir Harper & Bros; London & New York, p.126. 2. Ibid, p.129-130. 3. Ibid, p.135. 4. The Promised Messiah (1903) Tadhkiratush Shahadatain, The London Mosque (1984 English Edition) p.6. 5. Same as 1 -3 p.203-04. 6. Ibid, p.200. 7. Hazrat Amir-ul-Momneen Khalifatul Messiah IV; Eid-ul-Azha Sermon, delivered in Sydney, Australia, on 14th July 1989, in Urdu. 8. Ludwig W. Adamec (1967) Afghanistan, 1900-23. 9. Ibid, p.1 08-09. 10. Ibid, p.109. 11. Same as No. 7. 12. Same as No. 4, p.77. 13. Roohani Khazain, Vol.1, Brahin-i-Ahmadiyya, The London Mosque (1984 edition), p.610, Hashia Dar-Hashia, in Urdu. 14. Roohani Khazain Vol.20, Tadhkiratush Shahadatain, Publisher and Edition as No.13, p.72-73, in Urdu. 15. Same as No.7 and 11. 47 ARTICLES PUBLISHED IN 1990 January. Editorial. Friday Sermon. Prison without Walls. Jesus and the Promised Messiah. Book Review. Sufism. 80 Years Ago. Press Release. Features of the Holy Quran. February. Editorial. Islam and Women. The Promised son. Analytical Book Review. 80 Years Ago. Jesus exonerated. Point of View. Divine protection of Islam. Bounties of Allah. 100 Years of Ahmadiyyat in the service of Mankind. Islamic concept of sin and salvation. March. Editorial. Friday Sermon. Statement on Salman Rushdie. Guru Nanak and Sikh Religion. 80 Years Ago. Islam and the Communist World. Press Report. Reason in Religion. Contact with departed Souls. Belief in the Unseen. April. Editorial. Response of Islam to contemporary Issues. Jesus in Islam. 80 Years Ago. Prophet for all Mankind. Book Review. Divine origin of Ahmadiyyat. Embodiment of the Quran. May. Editorial. Ahmadiyya Centennial Congratulations. Interfaith Dialogue. 80 Years Ago. Why I believe in God. 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Celibacy in the Catholic Church. Regulations Governing the life of a Muslim. November. Editorial. Views of scientists on the existence of God. The day the ‘Stoning’ was cast aside. Role and status of Women. Life after Death. 80 Years Ago. Acceptance of Prayer. Did Jesus visit India before Crucifixion?. December. Editorial. Friday Sermon. Thex Satanic Verses Holy Prophet of Islam as a Father. An excellent Prayer. 80 Years Ago. Way of Spiritual Progress. Sahibzada Mirza Munawwar Ahmad. Ahmadi Martyrs. 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 perfectpeace 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 be upon 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 be upon 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 9 8:4). 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 Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger. 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 Zoroas.ter. We regard them all (and many more not mentioned here) as heavenly teachers born to reform aird regenerate man and lead him to God. Adherents of some other religions may consider it an act of piety to 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 upon 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 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 millions of readers and many fortunate persons have recognized the truth of Islam and accepted it through its study. 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 refutation of the criticism of Islamic teachings 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 Raqeem Press, Islamabad, Shnphatch Lane, TiKonl, Surrey GU10 2AQ, U.K. Published by The Review of Religions, The London Mosque, 16 Gressenhall Road, London SW18 5QL. \ST)J