About my Father
Services of Dr Basharat Ahmad
by Naseer Ahmad Faruqui
The Light & Islamic Review (US), July/August 1992 Issue (Vol. 69, No. 4, pp. 5–6)
This has been extracted and translated from an article in our Urdu journal ‘Paigham Sulh’ — Editor.
It is generally said that, with the passage of time, every deceased person is forgotten. There is Divine wisdom in this, for otherwise the world would not be able to continue. However, there are some human beings whose works and virtues do not allow them to be forgotten. Among such people whom I have known personally, Maulana Muhammad Ali occupies the highest position, and after him comes my father Dr. Basharat Ahmad. Now, everyone loves and reveres his parents, and that is how it should be, because the father manifests the attribute of God known as Rabbubiyya (fostership), and the mother manifests the attributes Rahmaniyya and Rahimiyya (tenderness and mercy) of God. But I will recount some services of my father to the Ahmadiyya community, and some of his personal favours towards me, which had a permanent influence for the good upon me, so that other parents realise how important it is for them to set a good example to their children.
Qadianis pay Tribute to the Book Mujaddid-e Azam:
Some time ago, one day at about mid-day, when I was busy on the telephone, my servant showed a visitor into my drawing room. After I had finished on the phone, I went into the drawing room and found a man seated there whom I did not know. Having exchanged greetings, I said to him:
“Excuse me, but I have not recognised you”.
When he introduced himself, I was utterly astonished and taken aback. He is a very prominent and famous Qadiani, whose name I must withhold to avoid difficulty for him. I was still lost in my amazement when he said:
“I have not come here for any special purpose. A short while ago, I read your father’s magnificent book Mujaddid-e Azam, and I was so impressed that, had the author been alive, I would have gone to see him personally to pay tribute. As he is dead, and my enquiries showed that his elder son has also died, but that you live here, I have come here to let you know of my feelings and to do my duty of appreciating this book.”
He then went on to speak in detail about the merits of the book, its exposition of the truth, and its uniqueness as a biography. He added:
“I gave this book to another member of my Jamaat to read, and he too is greatly impressed by it and discusses it with me at length”.
Those who have read Mujaddid-e Azam know that it dispels the misconceptions about Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad created by the views propagated by the Qadianis. In the light of that, the glowing praises of this book by a prominent Qadiani shows how great a work it is.
I have read many biographies in Urdu and English, but there was never one which was as engrossing, comprehensive and unrivalled. The most famous biography in the English language is Boswell’s Life of Johnson, which is regarded as a model for biographical works. But it is a fact that Mujaddid-i Azam excels even that renowned work. Apart from the first chapter, which is rather hard-going because it consists of research data, the rest of the book is like an absorbing novel, which you just cannot put down once you open it.
It is a surprising fact that in the year 1914, or a little later, my father saw Hazrat Mirza coming to him in a dream. Amongst some other things, Hazrat Mirza said to him:
“In heaven, I have had your name written down as the Scribe of the Mujaddid of India.”
No one could even have imagined at the time that some twenty years later, at the request of our Anjuman, my father would write this magnificent and incomparable biography, to surpass all biographies. These instances of knowledge of the future prove with certainty the existence of God and His being the Knower of the unseen.
Sunni praises his Knowledge of Quran:
A senior member of the Anjuman’s staff, the late Mr. Azam Alvi, related to me the following incident about a year before his death. He went to a shop in the old, inner-city area of Lahore, and found the shopkeeper so engrossed in reading a book that he took no notice of his customer. When Mr. Alvi called to him and awoke him from his state of oblivion, he apologised, saying:
“Sir, I was so absorbed in reading this interesting commentary of the Quran that I did not pay any attention to you”.
Seeing the relatively small size of the book and its cover, a thought came to Mr. Alvi’s mind. He asked him which commentary it was. The shopkeeper replied that it was called Anwar al-Quran. To get more information, Mr. Alvi asked him who the author was. He replied:
“It is someone called Dr. Basharat Ahmad. But what a commentary he has written! And how wonderfully he has explained everything! And what an absorbing book! You start reading it, and you are completely captivated by it.”
Mr. Alvi asked to see it, but he refused. There could have been only one reason for his refusal, which Mr. Alvi told me about. The name of the publisher was given on it: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-e-Islam, Lahore. The poor shopkeeper did not want it known that he was reading a book of the Ahmadis with such enthusiasm and interest.
This is another evidence of the high standard of my father’s knowledge of the Quran. He was able to simplify the most complex religious questions, and the most difficult passages, in his explanations of the Quran. His dars [discourses] on the Quran, which he held from an early stage of his life to the end, were so captivating and enchanting that it is no exaggeration to say that people would listen for two hours and not feel tired. These were held in the evening, six days a week. No listener would ever miss a dars, except for some unavoidable reason. It was natural that my father’s example should have an influence upon me. If there is love of the Quran in my heart, it is but a spark out of that love which was in his heart. When I was yet so small that I had no understanding of the beauties of the Quran, he started taking me to his dars, which often extended from the end of the maghrib prayer to the start of the isha prayer. Being so young, I would fall asleep during the dars, and then after the dars someone would carry me to my bed. I would go to sleep hungry, but the spiritual food I received left such a mark on my unconscious mind that, despite worldly engagements, I could not forget my attachment to the Quran. If I have performed some minor service to the Quran, it is a legacy and favour from my father.