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The Great Mujahid: Life Story of Maulana Muhammad Ali

Part 1: The First Twenty-Five Years
From birth to May 1899
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Part 1

The First Twenty-Five Years
From birth to May 1899

During the period of Moghul rule, a Hindu by the name of Hari Chand, who belonged to the Janjua Rajput community, migrated from Jhelum district and, arriving in the well-populated and fertile area of Doaba Bast Jalandhar, he settled in Kharla Kingra, a place two miles from Jalandhar city. As most of the population in that area were Muslims, Hari Chand too embraced Islam. In Kharla Kingra and surrounding places most of the inhabitants belonged to the Ara‘een ethnic community, so the descendants of Hari Chand also began to be counted amongst the Ara‘een people. Hari Chand was the progenitor of the family whose tree is given in the official records of Jalandhar District for 1860 as shown below:

Family tree

Doaba Bast Jalandhar and in particular Jalandhar District was very densely populated, and the farmers due to their small holdings were finding it difficult to make a living. Being industrious and hardworking, whenever they saw better economic opportunities elsewhere they did not allow love of the homeland to hold them back. So in the 19th century many of them emigrated to foreign lands. Facing the same dilemma and being mindful of good cultivation prospects, a man of this family by the name of Mian Muhkam-ud-Din and his brother Mian Qutb-ud-Din migrated from Kharla Kingra to the village of Murar in the state of Kapurthala. At the time the chief minister of Kapurthala was a Muslim who wanted to settle Muslims in the state. So he offered large tracts of agricultural land to Muslims and called hardworking farmers from the adjacent Jalandhar area to populate untilled lands.

Around 1860 Mian Muhkam-ud-Din moved to Murar, and Maharaja Nihal Singh of Kapurthala bestowed upon him all the lands of the village. To populate that vast area, Mian Muhkam-ud-Din brought his relatives and some other people of the neighbouring village to settle there. Such was his generosity that he gave them equal shares in the lands that he received.

At that time, his only son Hafiz Fateh-ud-Din was about 30 to 35 years of age and well known in the area for his good morals, honesty and integrity. He was made headman of the village by the state government. Being just and fair-minded he was often asked to mediate in major disputes in the state, and the authorities used to appoint him to arbitrate in old, long-standing cases. His decisions were accepted because they were based on justice. Hafiz Fateh-ud-Din had not only committed the Holy Quran to memory, but he was also highly learned in Persian. So great was his love for the Holy Quran that he used to recite it during his daily activities. He had a mosque built next to his house where he led the prayers and children from the village were taught the Holy Quran.

Birth and early education

Hafiz Fateh-ud-Din had six sons and a daughter, as follows in order:

  1. Khair-ud-Din
  2. Amir-ud-Din
  3. Aziz Bakhsh
  4. Nabi Bakhsh
  5. Muhammad Ali
  6. Imam Begum
  7. Ahmad Ali.

Muhammad Ali was the fifth son in order of birth and was born in December 1874.

There was no school in Murar, so for the purpose of elementary education Hafiz Fateh-ud-Din sent Maulvi Aziz Bakhsh, at the age of six or seven, to the Anglo-Vernacular school in the nearby town of Diyalpur. Muhammad Ali, who was only three and a half years old at that time, started to accompany his brother to school out of his own interest. The school teacher, Rahmat-ullah, was very impressed by the enthusiasm of such a young child who was walking two miles with his brother to come to school. Being the younger one, the teacher used to call him lovingly as “assistant sahib” and would teach him with the same affection. When the annual examination came, Muhammad Ali passed it too along with his older brother. After that both of them continued to study together for five years of primary education in the same class in this school.

In 1883, Hafiz Fateh-ud-Din sent both the brothers to Randhir High School, Kapurthala. At that time Maulana Muhammad Ali was nearly nine. Their father arranged for them to stay in Kapurthala in a room in the house of Nathoo Mal the Patwari (village registrar). For cooking their food, in the beginning he appointed a man by the name of Badr-ud-Din (whose younger brother Baba Nur-ud-Din was later on in Maulana Muhammad Ali’s service for a long time). Later on, Maulvi Aziz Bakhsh mostly used to cook himself. He loved his younger brother very much and took care of all his needs.

Every Saturday evening Hafiz Fateh-ud-Din would ride on his horse the twenty miles from Murar to Kapurthala and fetch his children home on horseback; he would take them back similarly on Sunday evening. All along the way he would recite the Holy Quran and pray for the moral and material welfare of the children. As a result of his piety and devoutness, frequent recitation of the Holy Quran and prayers, Almighty God not only made all his children righteous and servants of the faith but chose one of them, Muhammad Ali, specially to serve Islam.

In the Kapurthala school both the brothers were noted for their good character and ability. They said the five daily prayers in the mosque regularly and carried on their studies quietly. In school sports, Maulana Muhammad Ali was interested in cricket and played it sometimes, but abstained from too much frivolous activity. In 1890 both brothers passed their matriculation examination. At school their good character and conduct was exemplary and their teachers had very high regard for them.

Education and employment in Lahore

After his sons had passed matriculation Hafiz Fateh-ud-Din decided to send them for higher education. Despite his limited financial means he had them admitted in Government College Lahore, one of the best institutions not only in the Punjab but the whole of India. Consequently they took up residence in Lahore, where they spent their student days leading a very simple, frugal life, mostly cooking their own meals. In 1892 both brothers passed the F.A. examination. For this examination Maulana Muhammad Ali took Arabic as an optional subject, but as he was very good in mathematics he chose mathematics for his B.A. and passed this examination in 1894, standing first in the University. Once when he needed a reference from one of his professors, the professor wrote only this: “Muhammad Ali is the best mathematician of our college”.In 1894, after passing his B.A. examination, Maulvi Aziz Bakhsh got admission in the Central (Teacher) Training College, Lahore, where he passed his Senior Anglo-Vernacular examination and in 1897 he entered government service. However, Maulana Muhammad Ali, after passing B.A., continued his education in Government College Lahore, studying English for his M.A. At the same time he took a job in Islamia College Lahore as professor of mathematics. He taught mathematics in Islamia College for three years. In 1896 he passed his M.A. in English, being one of only five students who passed the examination out of a class of twenty-three.

After passing his B.A. when Maulana Muhammad Ali started teaching he was only nineteen. Chaudhry Muhammad Ismail (a retired Extra Assistant Commissioner) who himself was a student in Islamia College at that time said that most of Muhammad Ali’s students were older than their teacher, and that his ability, good character and righteousness were so well established that the best compliment for any other student was that he was another Muhammad Ali. Many students of that era, who later on in life became famous and renowned in the fields of politics, law or business in the Punjab, could vouch for that. Chaudhry Sir Shahab-ud-Din, who was later Speaker of the Punjab Assembly for a long time, lived in the same house with Maulana Muhammad Ali. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din also taught in Islamia College in those days and it was here that the two of them first met.

During his college days Maulana Muhammad Ali did not take part in any extra-curricular literary activities. He never wrote an article nor did he take part in debates or speeches. In sport he played soccer.

In 1896 after passing his M.A., while continuing to teach in Islamia College, he got admission in LL.B. (law) classes. In the three University examinations in law he secured second, first and third positions. In 1897 he left employment in Islamia College and took a job in Oriental College, Lahore, which in those days was outside Taxali Gate, and worked there as a professor of mathematics till May 1899.

Meeting Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian

From the time when the two brothers were studying in Kapurthala they had heard the name of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian. In 1890, after passing the entrance examination in Kapurthala, when they got admission in Government College Lahore, they came to learn about the claim of Hazrat Mirza sahib through their former fellow student Munshi Abdul Aziz, known as Bhai Jan (brother), who gave them a copy of Izala Auham. After reading this book they became convinced of the truth of the Promised Messiah. Then in January 1892 when Hazrat Mirza sahib came to Lahore both brothers went to see him. Maulvi Aziz Bakhsh describes the occasion as follows:

“We arrived in the field of debate.* There was a huge crowd and in the middle of it the Maulvis (religious leaders) were sitting with piles of books. By chance I looked towards the people who were standing in the veranda on one side and caught sight of a man whose face was radiant with inner light and his appearance dignified. He was wearing a long robe, and standing with his eyes cast down. It appeared as if he was a saint absorbed in contemplation whose sight was not towards this world. Immediately the thought came to my mind that if he was Mirza sahib who has claimed to be the Promised Messiah then he is really true because this cannot be the face of an imposter. I asked one of the people standing near me to tell me which one was Mirza sahib. He and his friends pointed towards the man with the radiant face. At that moment I felt such exhilaration in my heart that I cannot describe it.” (Paigham Sulh,  7 November 1933)

[*Footnote: This debate was with Maulvi Abdul Hakim of Kalanur. During this stay of Hazrat Mirza sahib in Lahore, Mirza Yaqub Baig who was a medical student at the time and his younger brother Mirza Ayub Baig took the bai‘at.]

In May 1893 when the two brothers were still doing their B.A. in Government College, a major debate took place between Hazrat Mirza sahib and Christians in Amritsar. The leader of the Christian side was Deputy Abdullah Atham. Full details of the debate are given in Hazrat Mirza sahib’s book Jang Muqaddas. Reports of this debate were issued daily and the brothers would get them by post to read. Then from 1894 till 1897 when Maulana Muhammad Ali was still a professor in Islamia College Lahore, Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din was also teaching there and they used to discuss about Hazrat Mirza sahib and his claim. The Khwaja was already an Ahmadi. Maulana Muhammad Ali also wrote some articles in newspapers in support of Hazrat Mirza sahib; these were his first writings. However, he still had not taken the pledge (bai‘at). At last in 1897 he went with Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din to Qadian for the first time and took the pledge of Hazrat Mirza sahib.

Maulana Muhammad Ali has himself described in detail his acceptance of Ahmadiyyat as follows:


“I first came to know about the Promised Messiah from my dear friend and fellow student Munshi Abdul Aziz of Dehli. My elder brother and I were studying in Randhir College, Kapurthala, and this dear friend was also studying there, whom we used to call Bhai Jan (brother) out of affection.

“In 1890, after passing the entrance examination, both of us brothers joined Government College, Lahore, and it was here that we learnt about the Promised Messiah’s claim. During the summer break of 1891 when we came home, we went to Kapurthala to see Bhai Jan and he gave us the book Izala Auham that had been published recently. On the way back we met a former teacher of ours, the late Maulvi Rahmat-ullah, who, seeing the book in our hands, showed much disapproval, saying that one can became kafir (unbeliever) by reading it. We explained that there was no harm in reading it and if we found in it anything against Islam we would not accept it.

“As soon as we got home, both of us and our father, the late Hafiz Fateh-ud-Din, read the book and we all agreed that whatever was written in it, was true: Jesus was dead and Hazrat Mirza sahib was right in his claim.

“Our late father had not only committed the Holy Quran to memory but had also mastered other Islamic books. So religious matters were always under discussion in our family. It was due to our father’s influence that from an early age we became so zealous about prayers that during our school days in Kapurthala we said the five prayers regularly in congregation in the mosque.

“Our village Murar was not very far from Qadian, perhaps twenty miles, and Hazrat Mirza sahib was well known in these areas as a most holy man. People knew that in Qadian there was a very saintly man whose prayers were accepted by God and who was without equal in piety, worship and religious knowledge. My father knew all that, and it was the renown of the good name of Hazrat Mirza sahib that was the first reason in attracting us to accept him.

“Today the many people who are indifferent towards Ahmadiyyat are perhaps under the impression that before accepting it you have to engage in many complicated discussions and study many intricate religious issues, but the three of us at least never needed to go through that. The first deciding point for us was his righteous and blameless life. The Holy Quran itself has offered the same proof to establish the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s truth: “I have lived among you a lifetime before this. Do you not then understand?” (10:16). When Allah wants to appoint someone to a high position, that is how the ground is prepared: first the hearts are captured by his saintliness, high moral character, truthfulness and service of humanity.

“The scholastic matters were not difficult either. Our father was well versed in religion, and though we two brothers were only students it was not difficult to understand the simple fact that the Holy Quran proves the death of Jesus. This belief is the foundation stone of accepting Ahmadiyyat. Even an illiterate person who is willing to accept the verdict of the Holy Quran can understand it without difficulty.

“The second stage of accepting Ahmadiyyat is the issue of the descent of Jesus. Even for this you do not need much knowledge. Everyone knows that the advent of the Messiah among the Muslim people was foretold by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, and there are the most reliable Hadith reports speaking of this.

“If the foundation stone has been laid and you have accepted Jesus’ death then the next step is also very easy. Who is this Messiah that had been mentioned in the Hadith reports? After admitting the death of Jesus, one of two views must be accepted: either that the Promised Messiah must be a mujaddid (Reformer) of this Umma or that all those Hadith reports are untrue. The second view cannot be accepted by any Muslim who has reverence for the Holy Prophet’s Hadith because in that case the entire mass of Hadith reports will have to be rejected. So there is no choice but to accept the first view, that a mujaddid of this Umma will fulfil the prophecies of the descent of the Messiah.

“In resolving this issue some other points also come to mind. All Muslims agree that the Holy Prophet Muhammad was the Last Prophet. The Quran makes it clear that there will not be any prophet after him. A prophet can only come if there remains some work of prophethood to accomplish. If the doctrine of the finality of prophethood is true then no prophet can now come. It makes no difference whether he was raised to prophethood before the Holy Prophet or after him. After the Holy Prophet Muhammad the coming of any prophet in the world is prohibited, and after him only mujaddids are needed.

“The other point is that authentic Hadith reports give different physical descriptions of what Jesus and the coming Messiah look like. If the same Jesus was the coming Messiah, how could the physical appearance be different?

“The third question is that if it is true that Jesus has died and it is also true that the Promised Messiah must be a mujaddid of this Umma, then is Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian that Messiah or do we wait for someone else? This step was also very clear because his claim to be mujaddid had been widely established. There was no one who could doubt his truthfulness and righteousness. A man who had never made a fabrication about a human being, could not make a fabrication about God, let alone that a mujaddid could do such a thing. Moreover, he was the man to whom such a great truth was disclosed, to whom Allah told the secret which had not been made known to other people for such a long time, and whom Allah had informed of the real meaning of the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s prophecies. Who could be more deserving of fulfilling these prophecies than him? The truth is that when the time comes for the fulfilment of a prophecy it is only then that people are informed about its real meaning.

“I have mentioned these broad, basic points that helped my father, my brother and I to take our decision. These points were so clear that after studying Izala Auham all three of us reached the same decision simultaneously and were convinced of the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah’s claim. However, none of us at that time entered into the pledge of Hazrat Mirza sahib. When in 1892 the Promised Messiah came to Lahore where he had a debate with Maulvi Abdul Hakim — which ended in his announcement that he was not claiming to be a prophet and that he used the word ‘prophet’ only in its linguistic sense as meaning muhaddas, and that even after this explanation if the Muslim brethren object to the use of this word then they may consider it deleted and replaced by the word muhaddas — it was on this occasion that we two brothers had a chance to see the Promised Messiah and our belief in his truth increased even further.

“After passing my B.A. examination in 1894, when I was studying for my Master of Arts, and Maulvi Aziz Bakhsh had gone to the teacher training college, I became a professor of mathematics in Islamia College and it was then that I met my dear friend Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din who was also doing his M.A. and was a professor at Islamia College. The Khwaja sahib had already taken the pledge, though I had not. Yet there was such affinity in our ideas that we soon became very close. In those days I used to write newspaper articles in favour of Hazrat Mirza sahib.

“About two years or so after I had befriended Khwaja sahib, he asked me to accompany him to Qadian and meet Hazrat Mirza sahib. So in March 1897 I went to Qadian with him (some other friends were also with us). Our stay of only a few days unfolded a new spiritual world before our eyes. Although the writings of Hazrat Mirza sahib showed his fervour and passion for the advancement of Islam, but what we discovered in his company was that he had absolutely no other interest or occupation, day or night. After the fajr prayer he would sit and talk about the propagation of Islam. A little later when he would go for a walk, all the way the topic would be the same. On his return, while sitting and eating with his friends the same thing would be under discussion; and similarly when he would sit in the mosque after the maghrib prayer till the isha prayer. The discussions would be about how no other religion can stand against the truth of Islam, how Islam can be propagated in the West, the need to meet the challenge of the Arya Samaj in India, how to create a connection with God, how to derive enjoyment from prayers, and the necessity to make the Holy Quran our guide. In short, this was the only pastime, which is not found in any worldly gatherings. I stayed there for seven or eight days, and in the end through Khwaja sahib I myself expressed the desire to take the pledge of this holy man and entered into his bai‘at.

“After taking the pledge I informed my elder brother Maulvi Aziz Bakhsh and my late father. Both of them immediately took the pledge. Later on, all my other brothers and various other relatives followed, so that today by the grace of Allah there is a very large group of these relations all of whom are helping the cause of the faith according to their means.” (Paigham Sulh, 7 November 1933)

Letter from father on Muhammad Ali’s bai‘at

When Maulana Muhammad Ali informed his elder brother Maulvi Aziz Bakhsh that he had taken the pledge, the latter wrote to their father expressing his desire also to take the pledge. Hafiz Fateh-ud-Din replied as follows in a letter dated 2 April 1897:

“Praise be to Allah that you have asked for my permission regarding taking the pledge of Mirza sahib the Promised Messiah. When I first heard about his claim, at the time of the census of 1891, I had little belief. Afterwards when I read books written by Hazrat sahib I turned away from the earlier belief. Since 1892 I have believed that in this age a special righteous man accepted by God, the Promised Messiah, is undoubtedly preaching the truth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and supporting the religion of God, and the claim of the Hazrat sahib is all correct and true. I have no doubt about his claim. Due to laxity I could not come to his presence, but I have taken the pledge truly in my heart. I am very pleased to learn that Maulvi Muhammad Ali has taken the pledge. I permit you also to do the same, and am happy at such a felicitous act. I too will come in a few days to the company of the Hazrat sahib to have the privilege of meeting him. Till I come to his presence I will remain anxious because there is no surety of life. I am there in my heart, as Allah knows best.”

Stay in Lahore after joining the Ahmadiyya Movement

After taking the pledge in 1897, Maulana Muhammad Ali stayed in Lahore for a further two years. This was the time when he was a professor in Oriental College and also taking his law examination. During that period the Promised Messiah used to send him some of his writings and submissions etc. to be translated into English. He used to go to Qadian almost every weekend and in other vacations, and used to spend all the summer vacations there. In those days it was not easy to travel to Qadian because there was no train service to it. Batala station was at a distance of twelve miles and there was an unpaved track from there to Qadian. Sometimes a horse-cart could be hired along that road but at other times you had to walk all the way. He himself once described the journey to Qadian in the following words:

“During our student life we often travelled to Qadian. The train from Lahore used to arrive at Batala at midnight and there would be no horse-cart or carriage to take us to Qadian. So we would set out on foot and after arriving in Qadian spend the night on the floor of the mosque and wake up for the fajr prayer. We used to go there just for one day, so much was our zeal and our longing to meet Hazrat Mirza sahib. We would go there on Saturday night and leave Sunday evening.”

Correspondence with Hazrat Mirza sahib and arrangements for legal practice

Maulana Muhammad Ali passed his final law examination in 1899, and gave up his employment intending to set up a legal practice. At that stage he had been accepted as a candidate for the E.A.C. (Extra Assistant Commissioner) competitive examination and had a strong chance of qualifying. At that time this was the highest competitive examination that Indians could enter.

In these two years, from 1897 to 1899, Maulana Muhammad Ali and Hazrat Mirza sahib corresponded frequently. A large number of letters from Hazrat Mirza sahib are preserved in the papers of Maulana Muhammad Ali. Some of these are reproduced below by way of illustration. These letters are in connection with matters such as getting his writings translated into English, preparing his defence in some court cases, and various other topics. During that period Hazrat Mirza sahib sent many submissions to the government of India as well as the state government of the Punjab on topics such as reforming the ways in which religious debates and discussions were conducted so as to prevent offending any community’s feelings, Muslims to be given time from work to attend Friday prayers, and facts about his own movement and its beliefs. In addition to translating these into English, Maulana Muhammad Ali also translated the defence statements for Hazrat Mirza sahib in court cases brought by his opponents, such as the cases involving Maulvi Muhammad Husain Batalvi and the income tax case.

Letter 1

My dear brother Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib, M.A., Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu!

I received your kind letter. I am praying for you whole heartedly all the time. May Allah the forgiving, the merciful, make you successful. It is hoped that, trusting in Allah, you will write the answers after careful consideration. You should also pray much. May Allah be gracious to you. Amen, again amen. I have not received any letter from Doctor sahib. It is still awaited.

Humbly, Ghulam Ahmad from Qadian, 5 December 1898.

Letter 2

My dear brother Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib, Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu!

Looking at the hard work and amount of effort you are putting in purely in the way of Allah, the prayer comes out of my heart that may Allah give you good reward in this world and the hereafter. Amen.

At the moment I am sending you sixteen pages of the book. More will follow as they are printed. What you have asked is very appropriate. You may reduce or expand the biography as you like. I leave that entirely up to you.

Humbly, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, 3 January 1899.

Letter 3

My dear brother Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib, Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu!

The defence paper that is to be printed today is being sent to you through brother Maulvi Sher Ali sahib. It is my firm opinion, which I consider absolutely essential, that you should translate it very carefully and get it printed as you translate it. For the costs a sum of money has been sent now. If the expenses exceed this then you may get them from Babu Taj-ud-Din. You must remember that in this defence in English it must be stated very clearly that the prophecy published in the announcement about the Mubahila, dated 21 November 1898, has come true, and references should be given to the announcements. If I have missed out any points in this paper, you should complete them. In the end I pray that Allah may grant you to pass, and reward you for these services. Amen, again amen.

Humbly, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, 18 January 1899.

Letter 4

My dear brother Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib, Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu!

Congratulations on your success in the examination. In the days just before the result was announced I was very anxious and thinking about this. Praise be to Allah, that you passed it. In the defence that is to be published, if there is scope by the time you receive this letter then please mention at a suitable place the proceedings which took place at the meeting about the plague.

Humbly, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, 8 February 1899.

Letter 5

My dear brother Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib, Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu!

Today, on 8 February 1899, your letter was received. The labour that you have undertaken out of sincere zeal, may Allah bestow upon you goodly reward for it. Amen, again Amen.

Humbly, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, 8 February 1899.

Letter 6

My dear brother Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib, Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu!

I have received your kind letter and hope that, after spending a few days in your village, you will, according to your promise, come here for eight days. I have started to write the book which you are going to translate, and brother Shaikh Rahmat-ullah is ready to go to London so that it can be published in Europe. It would be best if you could arrange to come at the earliest possible convenient time so that you could say Eid prayers here. Many other friends are also expected. Wa-salam.

Humbly, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, 29 March 1899.

Letter 7

My dear brother Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib, Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu!

Your kind letter was received. I am very happy to know that Allah in His perfect wisdom has provided you an opportunity to stay in Qadian. It appears that Allah Almighty intends to shower much of His blessing and mercy upon you by this opportunity. I think it would be better if you spend the entire summer till October here in Qadian and devote yourself to religious work with youthful vigour. During this time you can learn the Holy Quran from Maulvi (Nur-ud-Din) sahib.

Then in October, which is the onset of winter, you will have the choice of starting your own career. This period will inshallah act as an elixir for you in the completion of religious tasks. I hold an extremely good opinion about you and believe that during this time you will make great progress. It has long been my intention to divide my community into two groups: one group consisting of those who are partly for this world and partly for religion, and are not able to withstand great trials, nor can they render any important services to religion; and the other group consisting of those who enter through this door with full sincerity and faithfulness and in reality sell themselves in this path. I wish that God would include you in the latter group. After 15 May 1899 you should come prepared for this long stay. I am sure God will reward you for this. During this period if you intend to take any other examination,* the solitude here will provide ample time to prepare. Anyhow I can see it will be a great blessing, but you must be determined to stay in Qadian in any case till October. Everything is fine. Wa-salam.

Humbly, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, 8 May 1899.
*Footnote: His name had been accepted for the E.A.C. competitive examination.

The last letter above was received by Maulana Muhammad Ali at the time when he was about to give up his job at Oriental College and had decided to set up his legal practice. Accordingly, for this purpose he had already rented a house, bought books and furniture and hired a clerk. Before starting this legal practice he had expressed his wish to stay for some time with Hazrat Mirza sahib in Qadian, and intended to leave Lahore around 15 May 1899.

On this date the first phase of his life, consisting of twenty five years, comes to an end.

(Note: Images of the original letters by Hazrat Mirza sahib, translated above, are reproduced in Mujahid-i Kabir, along with their text in printed form.)

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