Acceptance of the Prayers of a Servant of Islam

A Recollection

by Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi

The Light (UK), March 2009 Issue (pp. 7–8)

Editor’s Note: I have translated below some extracts from a short article by Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi (d. 1977), the famous scholar of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jamaat, in the Urdu journal Paigham Sulh, 11th June 1952 [p. 8], about acceptance of prayers. I have added some explanatory footnotes.

The blessed month of Ramadan is one in which a Muslim should pray and try to attain closeness to God. All Jamaats [branches of the Movement] should be exhorted to recite the Holy Quran frequently in this month. Friends should pray to Allah, in the early morning, for the progress of the religion of Islam, success of the mission of the Promised Messiah [Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian], and their own spiritual welfare. It must be remembered that prayers for various objects, said with humility before God, should be in the following order: for propagation of Islam and acceptance of the Holy Prophet Muhammad by the world, for the progress of our Movement, and for the needy, sick and suffering friends that Allah may bring them healing and resolve their problems. As to those people to whom you are preaching, however sternly opposed and hostile they may be, you should pray that Allah may open their hearts, and you should feel the deepest sympathy for them.

This fact must never be forgotten that he who prays for others sincerely from his heart, Allah Himself takes care of his needs. Someone has well said that that patient in hospital recovers earliest who prays for the recovery of others.

Editor’s Note: At this point the Maulana writes a prayer in the form of an Urdu poem, which he says is most effective for the relief of personal problems, but I have not included it here.

If you are beset by some great suffering or involved in terrible difficulties, then besides the prayer quoted above you should have recourse to fasting. Also give in charity what you can afford. If you are not able to give anything, then in its place resolve to give up some bad habit, laxity or negligence and to do some good work and to give your time and effort for the service of Islam. This is a most effective way of resolving your difficulties.

When our country was first struck by a pandemic of influenza,1 taking away from us many valuable people, I and my wife also fell ill with the same disease. My wife died within one week. Although I was just as seriously ill as she had been, I continued in the state of illness for a month. Six medical doctors of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jamaat [Movement] were jointly treating me, but my condition was deteriorating. Ultimately, due to severity of fever and headache I despaired of my life. In that condition of hopelessness, I prayed as follows:

“O Allah, I have become fully convinced of the truth of Islam through my study of Sanskrit, the Hindu religion and other faiths. But I have not had the chance yet to serve Islam. Everyone must die, and I would not feel disappointed to die if I could see two or three men in our Jamaat who could prove the truth of Islam to the world in the struggle with other religions.”

After this prayer, tears welled up in my eyes and in that state of distress I received in revelation from Allah the Most High the following prescription: Khub Kalan, Isabghol, Sharbat Bazuri, Kiyora, Bed Mushk.2 When that state of revelation passed, I poured the medicines of the doctors on the ground and slowly proceeded to the shops to get these ingredients. It was a great blessing and favour of Allah the Most High that with just one dose of this prescription the fever decreased and the headache eased. Taking more of the medication the next day, the fever subsided and I recovered completely.

In the following years, Allah granted me such great success in the work of the propagation of Islam that I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude. Everyone knows that the Jamiat-ul-Ulama Hind (Committee of the Ulama of India) has pronounced our Jamaat [Movement] as kafir [non-Muslim]. They have declared it as unlawful for Muslims to listen to our speeches or come to our meetings. But the verdict of events goes against their pronouncements.

Several years ago, a huge debate took place in the vast grounds of the Red Fort of Delhi at the annual gathering of the Arya Samaj of Delhi. The Aryas were represented by Pandit Ramchandar and I was appointed as the representative of the Muslims. The topic of the debate was: Which is the revealed book, the Vedas or the Quran? Present on this occasion were also Hafiz Ahmad Saeed, chairman of Jamiat-ul-Ulama Hind, Maulana Mufti Kifayat-ullah, President of Jamiat-ul-Ulama Hind, and other leading Ulama. During the debate, an educated man said to Hafiz Ahmad Saeed:

“You also debate with the Arya Samaj, but today we are seeing a real debate. It is the same Pandit Ramchandar who usually quotes so many verses of the Quran and raises objections against them, but today he can’t remember any verse to object to!”

Hafiz Ahmad Saeed replied, saying about me:

“Yes, I agree he is very intelligent but it is a pity that his language is not that (pure Urdu) of Delhi. I wish I had his brain and he had my tongue.”

At this, the man said jokingly to Ahmad Saeed:

“Maulana, then you should keep on running your Delhi tongue on your lips, because you are not able to do anything practical.”

A few days after the debate there was a meeting of an Islamic society in Rae Seena in which both myself and Hafiz Ahmad Saeed made speeches. Throughout his speech lasting one and a half hours, the Hafiz sahib praised my performance in the Delhi debate.

Sometime later on, a meeting of the Jamiat-ul-Ulama Hind was called and a resolution was unanimously passed that the Committee should apply to the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore to obtain the services of Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi for a period of two years to train their Ulama in debating. It was further stated that during this period I would even be allowed to perform any necessary duties for the Anjuman. The Committee offered me a salary of Rs. 200 per month at a time when my salary from the Anjuman was Rs. 80 per month. As the saying goes,

‘The best testimony in your favour is from your opponents’.

This application was presented before the executive body of our Anjuman. The reply given (by Maulana Muhammad Ali) was: As we have only one Abdul Haq we cannot spare him, but if you send your students to us here we will train them in the propagation of Islam.

Further Comments:

1. In another issue of Paigham Sulh (24 January 1962), Maulana Vidyarthi relates that when the lecture entitled Message of Peace by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was read out to the public at University Hall in Lahore on 21st June 1908, a few days after the author’s death, he was among the audience. In this Message, Hazrat Mirza appealed to Hindus to accept the Holy Prophet [Muhammad (pbuh)] as true, in return for Muslims accepting the Hindu Sacred figures as true prophets. The Maulana writes:

“At that time I was a youth, who then devoted his life for the completion of this Message, learnt Sanskrit, studied Hindu scriptures in depth, gave lectures on these topics, and participated in public debates.”

2. Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi also stated:

“The great victories I won in my public debates with the Arya Samaj and the Christians is proof of the truth of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and our Lahore Ahmadiyya Jamaat ”.

These are the words he said to me (Zahid Aziz, Editor of this magazine) on a visit to England in the summer of 1976, and I feel it my duty to convey them to the public. He said this in view of the extremely hostile anti-Ahmadiyya atmosphere prevailing in Pakistani circles at that time, following the branding of us as non-Muslims by the government of Pakistan in 1974. That wave of opposition only strengthened the Maulana in his faith in Hazrat Mirza sahib and the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jamaat.

Footnotes:

  1. This was the famous world-wide influenza of 1918/19 which caused the deaths of between 20 and 40 million people.
  2. These items are used in the traditional Unani system of medicine. Khub Kalan is Sisymbrium irio (also called London Rocket). Isabghol is also known as Isapgul or Isapgula. Sharbat Bazuri is a medicinal syrup. Kiyora is Orris root. Bed Mushk is Salix caprea Linn., or Goat Willow.

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