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Maulana Nur-ud-Din’s visit to Lahore, June 1912

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Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din’s visit to Lahore, June 1912

Attacks those who said a family member should have been khalifa

Defends, not reprimands, Lahore Ahmadis

In mid-June 1912 Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din paid a visit to Lahore to lay the foundation stone of a building belonging to Shaikh Rahmatullah, a member of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya appointed by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who later became a founding member of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jama‘at at the Split in 1914.

According to the propaganda put about by the Qadiani Jama‘at, Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din had since early 1909 been greatly displeased with those who later founded the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jama‘at and they allege that he kept on reprimanding them for their disloyalty. Indeed, they even quote from a speech he made during this visit, to the effect that he has been appointed khalifa by Allah and not by an Anjuman, and that he spits on an Anjuman which claims that it made him khalifa.

However, the Qadiani Jama‘at does not reveal the context of his comments nor the background to his visit. Therefore we provide below a more complete record from the pages of Badr, the Ahmadiyya community newspaper edited by Mufti Muhammad Sadiq who was with the Qadiani Jama‘at after the Split.

In his speech at the foundation stone laying, on 15 June 1912, Maulana Nur-ud-Din stated:

“My leader and my benefactor, the Promised Messiah, had promised Shaikh Rahmatullah that he would lay the foundation stone of his building with his own hands. It was the will of God that his promise should be carried out by a servant of his. The Shaikh sahib asked me to come. I am ill and in discomfort because of pain in various parts of the body, but there is an urge in my heart that I must fulfil the word of my beloved.”

(Badr, 27 June 1912, p. 4, col. 2. Paragraph entitled Promise of the Hazrat to Shaikh sahib)

How could Maulana Nur-ud-Din make all this effort for Shaikh Rahmatullah if he were so displeased with the Lahore members?

Pleased with Mosque of Lahore Jama‘at and its founders

The issue of Badr cited above contains a report of the Maulana’s visit to Lahore. It is reported in it:

“Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih [Maulana Nur-ud-Din] stayed at the residence of Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig, which is situated within its [Ahmadiyya Buildings’] bounds…

“After arriving in Lahore, the first thing which pleased Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih [Maulana Nur-ud-Din] was the Ahmadiyya mosque, built in the middle of Ahmadiyya Buildings. He was the first to enter the mosque. After saying two nafal of salat, he said many prayers for the founders of the mosque, for their children, and for their future generations. He prayed so deeply that he said: I am sure these prayers of mine have reached the arsh of Allah. We congratulate the Jama‘at of Lahore on this good fortune. In the construction of this mosque, the entire Jama‘at of Lahore has participated, each according to his means. However, when it was being built we saw that the man who more than anyone else took pains over its construction and displayed the greatest zeal was our honoured friend Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Husain Shah. May Allah the Most High reward them all. After his return to Qadian, Hazrat [Maulana Nur-ud-Din] also expressed his pleasure over the mosque in his first talk on the Quran.”

(Badr, 27 June 1912, p. 3, col. 2.)

Here two founding members of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement are mentioned, Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig and Dr. Sayyid Muhammad Husain Shah, who were, according to the the Qadiani Jama‘at propaganda, rebellious against Maulana Nur-ud-Din and whom he was castigating at this very time. But the reality is clear from this report, that the Hazrat Maulana was highly pleased with them. His own words from his speech at Ahmadiyya Buildings were reported in the next issue of Badr as follows:

“This is the mosque which has pleased my heart very greatly. I have prayed much for its founders and those who assisted in its building, and I am sure that my prayers have reached the threshold of God (arsh).”

(Badr, 4 July 1912, p. 6, column 3)

He ended this speech on the same note:

“Look at your differences. Will they lead you to meet God? If not, then accept what I say and live in harmony, and live in such a way that, when I see you, it would please me just as I was pleased to see this mosque.”

(Badr, 11 July 1912, p. 5, column 3)

This is the mosque where the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement established its headquarters two years later in 1914, after the Split.

Castigates those who wanted a family member to be khalifa

The speech made at Ahmadiyya Buildings during this visit, as mentioned just above, was published in Badr over the two issues of 4 July and 11 July 1912. In it, Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din castigated those who said about his leadership that the right of khilafat belonged to the family of Hazrat Mirza sahib but it went to one who was not entitled to it. The Maulana said:

“Even today someone said: There is a great division over the khilafat — those who were entitled to the right of khilafat did not get it, but it went to someone else. I said: Go and tell a Rafidi that the right belonged to Ali but Abu Bakr took it.”

(Badr, 4 July 1912, p. 6, columns 2 and 3)

By “Rafidis” are meant Shiahs who believe that Hazrat Ali was entitled to be the first khalifa on the basis of his close family relationship with the Holy Prophet, but that his right was usurped by Hazrat Abu Bakr. Maulana Nur-ud-Din is referring of course to those who wanted the family of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to inherit the headship of the Movement.

Maulana Nur-ud-Din went on to say:

“Now the question is: who has the right to the khilafat? One is my very dear Mahmud, who is son of my leader and benefactor. As son-in-law we can say Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan. Then as father-in-law there is the right of Nasir Nawab, or the mother of the faithful who is wife of Hazrat sahib. These are the people who can have the right of the khilafat. But it is strange that those people who argue about the khilafat and say that their right has been taken by someone else do not remember that all of these are obedient and faithful to me.”

(Badr, 4 July 1912, p. 7, col. 1)

And further:

“Listen! I never had the desire to become khalifa. … What happened after the death of Mirza sahib was the doing of God. I did not even imagine it in my mind, but it was required by the will of Allah for His purposes. I was made your Imam and khalifa and those whom you considered as having the right to it were made to submit to me. Who are you to object now? If you have an objection, go and raise the objection aginst God.…

Those who listen, let them listen, and listen well, and let them take this to those who are not listening: To raise the objection that the khilafat did not go to those had the right to it is the belief of the Rafidis. Repent from it. Allah the Most High has Himself made that person khalifa whom He considered as entitled to it.”

(Badr, 4 July 1912, p. 7, col. 2. Words in bold are bold in the original.)

The people whom Maulana Nur-ud-Din is castigating are those who were saying that a member of the family of the Promised Messiah should have become khalifa instead of Maulana Nur-ud-Din. It is they to whom he is saying that God has made him khalifa, and not any human being or any Anjuman.

Maulana Nur-ud-Din has mentioned here only these persons belonging to the family as having the right of khilafat because his critics, whom he is answering, considered these as the persons as the rightful ones. As regards all those who were entitled to be considered for khilafat instead of himself, Maulana Nur-ud-Din mentioned them in his very first speech after becoming khalifa in May 1908:

“Among the relations of Hazrat [Mirza] sahib there are three men at this time. Firstly, Mian Mahmud Ahmad. He is my brother as well as my son. I have a special connection with him. In terms of family relationship, Mir Nasir Nawab holds a position of respect from us and from the Hazrat. The third near relation is Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan. Likewise, from among the servants of the faith, Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan possesses ability of the highest degree. He is a sayyid, and has performed such services of the faith that a man such as myself is put to shame. In his old age he has produced many writings in support of the Hazrat [Mirza sahib], as a unique service which only he could perform. After this is Maulvi Muhammad Ali who performs services which I cannot even imagine doing. All these people are present. From among outsiders there is Sayyid Hamid Shah and Maulvi Ghulam Hasan, and many other persons.”

(Badr, 2 June 1908, p. 8. Al-Hakam, 6 June 1908, p. 7-8)

Then, explaining how difficult it is to bear the burden of leadership, Maulana Nur-ud-Din says in this speech of May 1908:

“At this time it is essential for men, women and children to be under unity. For this unity, enter into the bai‘at of any one of these respected persons. I am with you. I am old and ill, and my nature is not suited to this. … You think this work is easy, but for the bearer of the burden it is very hard. So I swear by God, these pillars of the community whose names I have taken, elect any one of them, and I am ready with you to enter into his bai‘at.” (Reference as above)

The question here arises, if it is God Who has appointed him khalifa, and not people, why is he advising people to choose someone else? Moreover, it may be asked: Has any khalifa of the Qadiani Jama‘at, when being placed into this office, ever told people that there were other persons whom he considered as more worthy than himself?

Defends and exonerates Lahore members

In his speech at Ahmadiyya Buildings, Lahore, that we are dealing with in this article, Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din later on refers to the allegations being made against the Lahore members. He said:

“The third thing is that some persons, who are known as my friends and are my friends, hold the view and say that the people from Lahore are an obstacle in the affairs of the khilafat.…

It is said in the Holy Quran: ‘O you who believe, avoid much of suspicion, surely suspicion is in many cases a sin’, and the Holy Prophet has said suspicion is the worst kind of lie. Allah has given the teaching to refrain from thinking ill of others, as it will turn you into evil doers. The Holy Prophet has said that he who indulges in thinking ill of others is a great liar, so keep away from this. Even now I have a slip of paper in my hand on which someone writes that the Lahore Jama‘at is an obstacle in the way of the khilafat. I say to such critics, you are thinking ill of others, give it up. You should first of all try to make yourselves sincere as they are. The people of Lahore are sincere. They love Hazrat [Mirza Ghulam Ahmad] sahib. Human beings make mistakes and they too can make mistakes, but the works which they have performed, you should also try to do the same.

I say at the top of my voice that whoever thinks ill of the people from Lahore, saying that they are an obstacle in the way of the khilafat, he should remember that the Holy Prophet has referred to those who indulge in ill-thinking by calling it ‘the biggest lie’, and Allah says: ‘avoid much of suspicion, surely suspicion is in many cases a sin’, so it is called a sin by Allah. Thinking ill of others then leads to back-biting, and about that Allah says: ‘Do not backbite one another’. You mistrust the sincere ones and hurt me. Fear God. I pray for you, so do not deprive yourselves of my prayers.”

(Badr, 11 July 1912, p. 4)

“If you say that the people from Lahore are an obstacle in the khilafat, this is to think ill about my sincere friends. Give it up.…

Remember what I have said and give up thinking ill of others and causing discord. Whatever decision Hazrat [Mirza Ghulam Ahmad] sahib has given in any matter, do not speak or act against it, otherwise you will not remain Ahmadis. Give up the notion that the people from Lahore are an obstacle in the affairs of the khilafat. If you do not, then God will make your case like that of Musailima.”

(Badr, 11 July 1912, p. 5)

Maulana Nur-ud-Din has here laid down the rule that Ahmadis must abide by the decision of Hazrat Mirza sahib. His decision, as laid down in his Al-Wasiyya, is what the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement accepts on the issue of headship and successorship in the Ahmadiyya Movement.

From this speech the Qadiani Jama‘at only presents statements by Maulana Nur-ud-Din to the effect that he has been made khalifa by God. The context in which he made those statements is ignored by them. The fact is that:

  1. Maulana Nur-ud-Din has castigated those who were saying about him that the right of khilafat belonged to the Promised Messiah’s family but it was usurped and given to “someone else”.
  2. He has staunchly defended the Lahore Jama‘at leaders against their critics (the critics being supporters of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad), and highly praised them.

Editor of Badr made to apologise

We now refer to another point arising from this speech. The editor of Badr, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, later a leading figure in the Qadiani Jama‘at, had to issue an apology on the instructions of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din for printing a quotation from a reference book in an earlier issue of Badr which angered the Maulana. In Badr of 14 June 1912 (p. 2), he had quoted the entry about Mirza Ghulam Murtaza, father of the Promised Messiah, from the book The Punjab Chiefs by Sir Lepel Griffin. It was stated in this extract near the close:

“The khalifa of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is a famous hakim, Maulvi Nur-ud-Din who was in the service of the Maharajah of Kashmir for some years. Not even one of the relatives of Ghulam Ahmad is his follower.”

Maulana Nur-ud-Din said about this in his speech:

“I was deeply grieved by the words in Badr that no relation of Mirza sahib is a follower of Nur-ud-Din. This is a serious error. The progeny of Mirza sahib are truly devoted to me.”

(Badr, 4 July 1912, p. 7, column 1)

“That journalist who writes that no relation [of Hazrat Mirza sahib] is a follower of mine should repent. He should ask the relatives of Mirza sahib.”

(Badr, 11 July 1912, p. 4, column 3)

The editor of Badr published a 1-page long apology as an addendum to the issue of 4 July, saying that he ought to have refuted the claim made in this quotation when he published the quotation.

If Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din had made a Lahore Ahmadiyya member apologise, it can be well imagined that the Qadiani Jama‘at would be publicising it as an example of treachery by the Lahore members. But here we have a prominent Qadiani Jama‘at member, editor of Badr and later on a leading missionary of the Qadiani Jama‘at, being publicly told by Maulana Nur-ud-Din to apologise for printing words which undermine his position as khalifa.

As Maulana Nur-ud-Din mentions in his speech, there were people saying that the right of khilafat belonged to the Promised Messiah’s family but it had been given to someone else. The quotation reproduced in Badr, or its meaning as understood by Maulana Nur-ud-Din, would have strengthened their position. This was why he took such serious notice of, and such strong exception, to it.

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 Article compiled by Dr Zahid Aziz, January 2011.