by Maulana Muhammad
After completing the manuscript of the third part of Mujaddid-i-Azam,
its author, the late Dr. Basharat Ahmad, wanted its publication
to be started immediately. However, since there was a shortage of
paper due to the Second World War, the work was temporarily delayed.
Meanwhile in the January of 1943 he went to stay with his son Naseer
Ahmad Faruqui, who was the ICS (Indian Civil Service) Collector
at Bombay, so that in his spare time he could illumine the heart
of this faithful young man with the knowledge of the Holy Quran.
Dr. Basharat Ahmad had been unwell for quite some time and was bearing
it with remarkable patience, but he had not been in Bombay for long
when the illness took a critical turn. Finally he succumbed to it
and met with his Creator in the afternoon of April 19th, 1943. We
belong to Allah and to Him shall be our return.
His body was taken the same day from Bombay to Lahore on the Frontier
Mail railway. On April 21st, after the Friday prayer, he was laid
to eternal rest in the Miyani Sahib graveyard of Lahore. O Allah!
forgive him and have mercy on him, pardon him and overlook his faults.
O Allah! honour him just as a guest is honoured and widen his grave
for him and elevate his status in Paradise!
Dr. Basharat Ahmad retired in 1931 after a long period of government
service. I think it was sometime in 1932 when he was offered a job
in one of the princely states. He wrote a letter to me asking my
advice; I wrote in reply one of Hazrat Mirza Sahib's verses which,
translated, means that, 'life has passed by and only a few days
are left. It is better if these few days are devoted in the memory
or service of Allah'.
His heart had always been inclined towards Allah. Now he gave up
all his worldly engagements and firmly resolved to serve Islam.
He had the above verse framed and hung on the wall in front of him;
from that time onward he devoted his entire time to the writing
of articles based on his vast knowledge. He had already written
a series of articles for the newspaper 'Paigham-i-Sulh'. Now he
broadened the scope of his writings. His articles were so brilliant
that they were a spiritual sustenance for his readers, who would
eagerly look for his article in the Paigham-i-Sulh before reading
anything else out of it. He also wrote a number of booklets in those
days. These were entitled 'Al-Ruh', 'Tanasakh', 'Taqdir', 'Quran
ka Alamgir Paigham Hurriyat', 'Wiladat-i-Masih' etc. In 1943 he
wrote a detailed explanation of the 30th part of the Holy Quran,
by the name of 'Anwaar-ul-Quran'. It is a remarkable book. The style
of explanation is so lucid that the reader feels that he is actually
experiencing faith at first hand. One senses the awakening of one's
spirit while reading it and belief in the Divine Presence and in
the consequences of ones actions is strengthened. A second part
of 'Anwaar-ul-Quran', comprising the explanation of the 27th part
of the Holy Quran, was also published after a while. Dr. Basharat
Ahmad had tremendous love for the Holy Quran and he used to inspire
other people with this love by teaching the Holy Quran (dars)
wherever he was posted during the duration of his service. The last
time he delivered Dars was on the occasion of the annual convention
of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam Lahore. He had such deep
knowledge and insight of the Holy Quran that I found myself wishing
that he had been the one to write 'Bayan-ul-Quran' and I even said
so in the convention.
Dr. Basharat Ahmad's great love for the Holy Quran was rapidly
drawing him towards another significant service of Islam. He had
learnt to love and understand the Holy Quran from the Promised Messiah,
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, and held him in the highest reverence
and esteem. Unfortunately, however, Hazrat Mirza Sahib was not universally
popular and well loved. This was partly due to the prejudice of
his enemies who, failing to recognise his true status, presented
a distorted picture of his person before the public and hence their
false propaganda prevented the masses from seeing the true face
of Hazrat Mirza Sahib. In addition, a group of his followers had
turned the public intensely against him by raising him to the level
of a prophet after his death. This state of affairs deeply troubled
Dr. Basharat Ahmad and robbed him of his peace of mind. He resolved
to write the biography of Hazrat Mirza Sahib although his old age
and delicate health made the task seem almost impossible. He was
not daunted, however, and began embarked upon this important project
in 1936, with Allah as his Supporter and Guide, saying, like the
Prophet Noah, " … in the name of Allah be its sailing and its anchoring."
His work was often interrupted by bouts of severe illness but it
seemed as if the Mighty Hand of Allah was behind him. Some of the
attacks of Neurasthenia were so severe that they left him incapacitated
for months on end. However, he soon regained his strength, by the
Grace of Allah, and continued the work that demanded the patience
and perseverance he alone possessed for its completion. I have witnessed
the untiring work of Dr. Basharat Ahmad with my own eyes. We were
very close in the last year of his life and met as often as twice
or thrice daily. I have also been writing since the age of 25, and
have thousands of pages to my credit, but even so, the sheer volume
of work of the author of Mujaddid-i-Azam
left me astounded. He laboured like a candidate in an examination
hall, who saw the time running out and knew that he had to complete
his paper before it did. The paper he was working on was finally
completed and his Examiner was so pleased with him that He lost
no time in summoning him to His Presence to give him a great reward.
The first part of Mujaddid-i-Azam
was published in December 1939 and the second part in December 1941.
The entire manuscript comprised of 1400 pages and Dr. Basharat Ahmad
himself arranged for its publication and went through the text and
the proofs although this exertion affected his health adversely.
He sometimes thought that most of the material of the third volume
had been covered in the first two, but since he had already announced
that there would be a third part, Allah helped him to its completion.
It would probably have come out in December 1942, if paper had been
available. The Anjuman assigned to Maulvi Dost Muhammad Sahib the
task of reading the copies and proofs of the third part, and he
did this to the best of his abilities, may Allah give him great
reward. Even so, no one could do the same as the author himself
would have done; the arrangements made were not quite up to his
standards. We would be very grateful if the readers inform us of
any errors or omissions so that corrections are made for the next
edition. Thank you.
Head, Jama'at Ahmadiyya Lahore
10 January, 1944.