The Soul at Rest

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

by Dr. Mohammad Ahmad

The Light & Islamic Review (US), May/June 1997 Issue (Vol. 74, No. 3, pp. 5–6)

یٰۤاَیَّتُہَا النَّفۡسُ الۡمُطۡمَئِنَّۃُ ﴿٭ۖ۲۷﴾ ارۡجِعِیۡۤ اِلٰی رَبِّکِ رَاضِیَۃً مَّرۡضِیَّۃً ﴿ۚ۲۸﴾ فَادۡخُلِیۡ فِیۡ عِبٰدِیۡ ﴿ۙ۲۹﴾ وَ ادۡخُلِیۡ جَنَّتِیۡ ﴿٪۳۰﴾

“O soul that art at rest, Return to thy Lord, well-pleased, well-pleasing, so enter among My servants, And enter My Garden.” (The Holy Quran, 89:27–30).

These verses of the Holy Quran perhaps best describe the noble soul of our late Hazrat Ameer Dr. Saeed Ahmad Khan. He was a beacon of spiritual light for all the lives he touched and mine he certainly did in more than many ways that I can describe.

My memory of his radiant and smiling face goes back to my own childhood when I would occasionally visit his family at the Dadar sanatorium during the summer. I remember how he would hold Quranic teaching lessons after the evening prayers. He would make it a point to specially mention and encourage the youngest members in his audience so that we would try to compete with each other to be present for at least part of this spiritual discourse.

I then had the good fortune as a young boy to be part of similar sessions in Abbottabad which he started holding over there regularly when he retired from government service. Every evening after a hectic clinic schedule he would sit down with us and discuss a segment of the Holy Quran followed by Hadith and writings of the Promised Messiah [Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian]. He would tell us that while people go out at this time to attend social activities for purpose of entertainment, for us the real entertainment was getting together and listening to the word of God.

If one had the good fortune of standing next to him in prayer, one could hear him cry and supplicate before Allah in the most humble way. He would with the utmost humility tell us about incidents in his own life where prayer turned things around for him. In his loving and encouraging way he made all the children memorize the dua-i-istikhara (or prayer to be guided aright when undertaking an affair), telling us that it had given him strength throughout his life and that if we remember to use it, it would do the same for us.

I remember carrying the blind sister of my grandmother who was dying of tuberculosis and was having considerable difficulty breathing, to his clinic. In the middle of a busy day, he immediately paid attention to this poor soul, and comforted her although he knew her condition was bad. She in turn asked him to pray for her so that Allah may forgive her sins. He kindly listened to her and although I was a young boy, I could see the miraculous change his kind demeanor worked in her.

He would sometimes show us the workings of his x-ray machine to arouse our curiosity. He struggled hard to build a mosque for the Jamaat and when its construction was stopped by the local religious fanatics, he would point to the room in the basement that we were able to complete and say that at the moment it was enough to meet the needs of our small Jamaat. When Allah would see that we need more space, He would allow its completion (his words came true and the mosque was eventually completed when the Jamaat expanded). He would humorously say that we were like the as-haab-ul-kahf (‘people of the cave’) hiding in this room below ground level. Pointing to the black labrador, who was the family pet and would accompany him to the door of the mosque and then dutifully sit outside, he would smilingly say, and this is their dog.

When I was coming to the United States, he gave me the prayer of the Holy Prophet [Muhammad (pbuh)] for the wayfarers, written with his own hands, again reminding me that it would be a source of strength for me whenever I felt lonely. I can still remember the strength and calm in his voice when I talked to him over the telephone after the trying events of 1974. I was lost in the worldly pursuits of my life when he visited the States in 1981 and asked me to attend the Jamaat meeting in San Francisco. All kinds of excuses came to my mind, and I even voiced a few to him. His kind persuasion was so moving, however, that it made me realize how in his eighties he had undertaken this long and hard journey to spread the word of God. I felt ashamed not to answer his call.

During the 1984 crisis against the Ahmadiyya movement in Pakistan, his leadership again kept the Jamaat together. At the time he related to me this story of the late Asad-ullah Shah sahib, a saintly person of the Lahore Ahmadiyya movement. Shah sahib, he said, during his younger days, would participate in wrestling matches. Once he found a gold sovereign and folded it up in the crease of his pants for safe keeping. Every time when he would go for a wrestling match, he would worry about the coin falling out and would therefore get weak in front of his opponent. Realizing this, he took hold of the sovereign and flung it far away to get rid of it.

In relating this event, he was perhaps encouraging some of us weaker souls to hang in there and not to worry about our wealth and possessions while striving in the way of Allah. He certainly was a living example of such steadfastness. May Allah bless his soul and give us the strength to follow his example, Ameen.