A True Servant of Allah

Hazrat Ameer (III), K.B. Dr. Saeed Ahmad Khan, S.K. — Recollections by some of those whom he Inspired

Mrs. Samina Sahukhan

The Light & Islamic Review (US), May/June 1997 Issue (Vol. 74, No. 3, pp. 3–5)

It is with great sadness and a deep sense of loss that I am writing about our beloved late Hazrat Ameer, Dr. Saeed Ahmad Khan sahib, affectionately known to us as Janji, for this commemorative issue at his death. lnna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun — indeed we are Allah’s and to him is our return.

I have already published a brief history of Hazrat Ameer’s life in the December 1996 issue of Basharaat-e-Ahmadiyya, our news magazine, and another account of his life by Dr. Zahid Aziz has appeared in the November–December 1996 issue of The Light and Islamic Review. In this article I would like to focus on how Hazrat Ameer inspired and influenced me by his goodness and spirituality to come closer to Ahmadiyyat and Islam.

Hazrat Ameer, for his whole life, faithfully lived up to his pledge to

“Hold religion above the world”.

For the last fourteen years that he was our Ameer (leader), we all felt that through him we had a direct connection with Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. With Hazrat Ameer’s death, this last living link has been severed. Our feeling of sadness and loss at his death is compounded by the realization that our direct connection with Hazrat Mirza sahib has been broken and that the blessed spiritual era of the Great Mujaddid has ended.

I joined the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement in 1969, three years after I had embraced Islam. In 1974 I migrated to Canada from Fiji with my family. There we formed the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jamaat (community) in Vancouver at the urging of the late Hafiz Sher Mohammad sahib (may Allah grant him paradise). Although we were very close to Hafiz sahib and deeply involved in the Jamaat affairs, it was Hazrat Ameer’s visit to Vancouver in 1982 that greatly increased our commitment to the Jamaat. He stayed at our house for four days. His goodness, spirituality and kind and caring temperament impressed us deeply. We had never before seen such a saintly person. When he left, our whole family felt very sad and missed him badly. During his short stay I developed a strong bond with Hazrat Ameer, and began to correspond with him regularly and keep in touch with him by phone.

In 1984, when my husband Yaseen was going alone to attend the Convention in Suriname, I found out that Hazrat Ameer was coming to the Convention to open the Mosque in Paramaribo. Thereupon, I immediately booked my ticket to Suriname, as I was very eager to see him again.

During the Convention, I personally experienced that special trait of Hazrat Ameer’s character, that he cared for every member of the Jamaat irrespective of their social standing. Once during the morning session, I could not find a place to sit, and was standing to one side in the Convention Hall listening to the speeches when Hazrat Ameer spotted me and immediately asked brother Rahman Libed, who was sitting next to him, to call me and made me sit by his side. On another occasion when I fell ill during the Convention, he came especially to see me in spite of his busy schedule. Hazrat Ameer attended all the activities from fajr to late at night for the ten days of the Jalsa. He went around meeting everyone personally and holding discussions. He kept up this gruelling pace for the duration of the Jalsa in spite of his 84 years. He also invited Yaseen and me to attend the U.S.A. Convention which was going to be held a month later in California. We again had the good fortune of spending several days with him and Yaseen was privileged to be asked by Hazrat Ameer to lead the maghrib and isha prayers.

In 1985, at the conclusion of the Ahmadiyya court case in South Africa, when I called Hazrat Ameer to give him the good news that we had won by the Grace of Almighty Allah, he suggested that instead of returning home directly, I should come to Lahore to attend the annual Jalsa. When I landed at the Lahore airport at about ten o’clock at night, I was shocked and surprised to see that Hazrat Ameer himself had come to receive me. He was accompanied by his daughter Mrs. Zubaida Ahmad, and Mrs. Zakia Sheikh and Mr. and Mrs. Fazl-i-Ahmad. I was very moved and humbled to see Hazrat Ameer, the leader of our organization, at the age of 85 years disregarding his own comfort, coming to welcome me. Such humility and goodness of heart is found only in those who are near to Almighty Allah. I stayed with his daughter Zubaida Ahmad. Hazrat Ameer would send me the car daily to take me to his house where I would spend the rest of the day. We used to have long discussions during which we were frequently joined by Hafiz Sher Mohammad sahib, Chaudry Mansur Ahmad and Brother Anwaar Ahmad. He became like a father to me and I regarded his children like my own brothers and sisters.

He was extremely kind-hearted and would never refuse to see anyone no matter how tired he was after a long and exhausting day at the Jalsa. His opening and closing speeches and dua would move the audience to tears. My love for him and the inspiration I drew from him made me come to each and every annual Jalsa for the next thirteen years, and for the last three years I have travelled to Pakistan several times a year to see him. Last December [1996], although the masjid was full, without Hazrat Ameer it appeared empty. His loss is truly irreplaceable.

When in 1988 I related a dream to Hazrat Ameer in which I saw Maulana Muhammad Ali giving me a Holy Quran with a reddish cover instead of the usual green color, Hazrat Ameer interpreted the change in the color of the cover as signifying translation of the Holy Quran into other languages, and that Allah Almighty wanted me to do this work. It was with his encouragement and permission that I undertook the translation project into French and later on into other languages. He especially wanted our literature translated into German, and by the grace of Almighty Allah, we have published eight books in German including The Religion of Islam and A Manual of Hadith by Maulana Muhammad Ali.

At times I would phone him late at night or very early in the morning and apologize for disturbing him at such an inopportune time. He would reply that this work was more important to him than his rest, and he would never be angry or upset. He would always listen with great interest and joy about the publication and translation work and other Jamaat activities such as our participation in book fairs and visits to Jamaats abroad. His life truly centred around Islam and the Ahmadiyya Movement.

Hazrat Ameer had a special attachment to the U.S. Jamaat. He personally knew each of the directors. The directors had great love and respect for Hazrat Ameer and always listened to his advice. All projects undertaken by the U.S. Jamaat were due to his inspiration. These included the translation and publication projects, donations for the purchase of the London Center, renovation of the Berlin Mosque and the South Africa Cases.

Hazrat Ameer’s door was always open to everybody at all times. He would listen to their difficulties and troubles and was ever ready to pray for them. Whenever I had a problem I would, like so many others, turn to him for help and advice and request him to pray for me. Once in 1989 in South Africa, I was alone and feeling very lonely and apprehensive because of the many important decisions I had to make. I received a call from Hazrat Ameer and he reassured me that a person is never alone as Allah is always there. His words comforted me greatly and gave me a great sense of security and strength to carry on. This genuine concern by Hazrat Ameer for Jamaat members made every person feel that Hazrat Ameer cared for him or her the most. This love and concern combined with his spiritual eminence was responsible for resolving disputes or conflicts in the Jamaats in Pakistan or abroad.

Ever since the publication and translation work in which I have been involved started in 1988, Dr. Noman Malik and I would spend a few hours every morning with Hazrat Ameer during our visits to Lahore for the Jalsa and discuss our publication projects and other Jamaat affairs. We were often joined in these discussions by Chaudry Mansur Ahmad and Anwaar. In 1993, Dr. Noman Malik and I recorded Hazrat Ameer’s life history on video tape which he narrated himself.

Hazrat Ameer’s family took very good care of him. May Almighty Allah bless them all. I must especially mention Anwaar Ahmad who devotedly took care of Hazrat Ameer for the last fifteen years. May Almighty Allah reward Anwaar and his family for their sacrifice.

In September 1996, after returning from a trip to Kashmir, I visited Hazrat Ameer in Lahore and stayed with him for a week. During this time, I fell ill with a high fever. Hazrat Ameer would visit me several times a day to inquire about my wellbeing. On the day of my departure, I was sitting next to him and crying at the thought of leaving him; he was also in tears. He asked me to pray for him and said that, God willing, he would see me at the Jalsa in December. I did not know at that time that this was not to be.

Two weeks before his death in November 1996, when his son, Dr. A.K. [Abdul Karim] Saeed, informed me that he was seriously ill in the hospital, I made my reservation at once to fly to Pakistan to be with him. Chaudry Mansur Ahmad and his wife were also on the same flight with me. The next morning when I entered the hospital room, I greeted him and said that I was Samina and had come to see him. He replied that Samina was a very beautiful name, and took my hand and kissed it. Then Dr. A.K. Saeed stepped forward and told Hazrat Ameer that I had brought the typeset of the Chinese translation of the Holy Quran, and that I would also be bringing the Russian and German typeset of the Holy Quran for the Jalsa. He also informed him about other publication and translation projects. Each time Hazrat Ameer would say loudly:

“Al-hamdu-lillah” [“All praise be to Allah”].

He said this at least seven or eight times. This was the last long conversation he had. It showed his love for Islam and the Ahmadiyya Movement till the very end. During the eight days of my stay, I was deeply impressed by the love and care shown to Hazrat Ameer by his family.

I left for the U.S.A. the following Friday due to deadlines I had to meet for projects which were to be presented at the Jalsa. I left fully convinced that Hazrat Ameer would return home and that I would meet him again at the Jalsa, but Almighty Allah had willed otherwise. If I had known that his condition would rapidly worsen, I would have stayed back.

When I received the news that he had passed away, I was devastated and felt that I could not carry on with the work as my main spiritual support had gone. But my Jamaat brothers advised me that Hazrat Ameer would have wanted me to carry on this work. Now I am resolved to redouble my efforts and continue his work which he had started and encouraged us to undertake.

Many times, when I think of Hazrat Ameer, I feel a great sense of loss and sadness. The memory of his death is still fresh in my mind. But I thank Almighty Allah that He gave me the opportunity to work with such a saintly and great man and get very close to him. May Almighty Allah bless him and give him his reward in paradise!