The Great Reformer (Vol. 2) [‘Mujaddid-e-Azam’]
Biography of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian
by Dr. Basharat Ahmad
Translated by Akram Ahmad
Chapter 51: Sojourn in Ludhiana
Maulvi Abdul Qadir had especially traveled to Delhi from Ludhiana to invite Hazrat Mirza to visit the Ludhiana chapter of the Ahmadiyya Organization and Hazrat Mirza had accepted the invitation. Hazrat Mirza, along with his family and disciples, departed from Delhi by train around 8:30 P.M. on November 4, 1905. A few disciples joined the traveling party at Sirhind when the train made a scheduled stop en route.
The train arrived in Ludhiana at 8:30 A.M. on the following day. Approximately one thousand people had gathered at the railway station to see and greet Hazrat Mirza. Apart from the locals of Ludhiana, members of the Ahmadiyya Organization and well-wishers from surrounding towns and villages such as Patiala, Rahaul, Kapurthala, Bunga Hajipura, Bassi, Malerkotla, etc., had also converged on Ludhiana to be among the receiving group when Hazrat Mirza arrived.
The Organization’s branch in Ludhiana had secured a spacious house for lodging the guests and had furnished it with all kinds of amenities. They had also made excellent arrangements for dining.
Visitors by the hundreds flocked to see Hazrat Mirza and there was a constant stream of people arriving and departing from his lodgings. Maulana Nur-ud-Din delivered a noteworthy lecture on the evening of November 4, 1905. Hazrat Mirza delivered a speech the following morning.
Announcements by Saadullah Ludhianvi:
Maulvi Saadullah Ludhianvi and other clerics published several extremely vile announcements on the arrival of Hazrat Mirza in Ludhiana. In particular, the two-page announcement of Maulvi Saadullah, a new convert to Islam, titled “Saadullah’s Hospitality” was especially replete with vile and abusive language.
Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab, the editor of Al-Hakam, responded with an announcement on November 6, 1905, in which he ignored the vile language of his antagonist but repudiated forcefully the substantive points raised by the cleric. He also challenged Saadullah to a debate. It should be borne in mind that, as for those people that can only fall back upon absurdities, they do not respond to such challenges. Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab also published a reply to the announcement of another cleric.
Hazrat Mirza’s Lecture in Ludhiana:
The Ludhiana chapter of the Ahmadiyya Organization had publicized well ahead of time that Hazrat Mirza would deliver a lecture at 8:00 A.M. on November 6, 1905 in the Committee Park adjoining the Arya School.
The promotional fliers stated that Hazrat Mirza would discuss the veracity of Islam, its current status, and the resources available for its reformation. He would also demonstrate how true salvation can be achieved and would dispel false notions regarding the Unity of God that had crept into the Muslim community. Further, Hazrat Mirza would adduce arguments to support his claims. The promotional fliers finally stated that the objective of the lecture was the propagation of Islam and speeches and argumentation from members of the audience would not be allowed.
At the appointed time, thousands of people showed up at the venue of the lecture. Starting at 8:30 A.M. and concluding at 11:30 A.M., Hazrat Mirza spoke for almost three hours on the merits of Islam and the truth of this religion. The lecture is available in published form in the files of the September-October 1906 issue of Al-Hakam and is worth reading.
The portion of the lecture that deals with Hazrat Mirza’s claims is presented below:
“I have maintained from the beginning that I consider straying even slightly from the obedience of the Quran and the Holy Prophet as an act of faithlessness. I believe that anyone who deviates even an iota from their obedience is bound for hell.
“I have expounded this belief not only in my speeches, but have also explained it with great clarity in over sixty of my books, and I reflect and worry about fulfilling this, day and night … If my opponents were God-fearing people and considered that a particular matter was outside the bounds of Islam, then was it not their obligation to ask me why I subscribed to it or what was my explanation? But they treated the matter perfunctorily and declared me a disbeliever on hearsay.
“I view this act of theirs with great amazement. First, the issue of whether Jesus is alive or dead is not an issue that is a precondition for inclusion in Islam. Hindus and Christians convert to Islam here as well. Are they also asked for such an undertaking?
“The essential ingredients of belief are given in: ‘I believe in Allah and in His angels, and in His Books, and in His Messengers, and that the decree of good and evil are from Allah, the Most High, and in the raising after death.’
“This issue (belief in the life or death of Jesus) is not an essential component of Islam. Then why was I the target of so much oppression when I announced that Jesus had died? It was alleged: ‘They are disbelievers and Antichrists; they should not be buried in Muslim cemeteries; it is permissible to loot their wealth and keep their women in their houses without marrying them; to kill them is a virtuous deed,’ etc.
“There was a time when these same clerics used to clamor that if there are ninety-nine reasons for considering a person a disbeliever and only one reason to consider him a Muslim, a verdict of disbelief should not be given and he should be called a Muslim.
“What has happened now? Am I even worse than such a person? Do my followers and I not recite, ‘I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger’? Do I not perform my prayers, and do my disciples not perform their prayers? Do we not fast during Ramadan? Do we not adhere to all the Islamic articles of faith that the Holy Prophet has urged us to follow?
“I speak the truth and state on oath with God, the Most High, as witness that my followers and I are Muslims and we believe in the Quran and the Holy Prophet just as a true Muslim should.
“I consider stepping even the width of an atom outside the boundaries of Islam as a sure means of damnation. It is my firm belief that all the bounties and blessings that a person can achieve, and the maximum nearness to God that one can attain, can only occur through true obedience and unblemished love of the Holy Prophet and in no other way. There is no path to virtue now except the path of the Holy Prophet.
“Yes, it is also true that I absolutely do not believe that Jesus ascended to the heaven with his physical body and is still bodily alive because such a belief is extremely insulting and disrespectful of the Holy Prophet.
“I cannot bear such mockery even for a moment … If the Holy Prophet had lived till now, there would be no harm in it because he brought such a magnificent guidance the like of which cannot be found anywhere in the world. His conduct in multifarious situations has set an example the like of which no one can present starting right from the time of Adam till now.
“I tell you in all honesty that the need for the existence of the Holy Prophet for the Muslims and the world is far greater than the need for the existence of Jesus … I speak the truth when I say that if the Holy Prophet had been alive, there would not have been a single unbeliever in the world today. What was the outcome from the life of Jesus besides that there are now four hundred million Trinity worshipping Christians?”
Further in the speech, Hazrat Mirza noted:
“The Holy Prophet is the Seal of the prophets and the Quran is the final book. There can now be no other creed or form of worship. The Holy Prophet showed with his practice what he preached. There is now no deliverance outside of what is given in the Quran and whoever forsakes its guidance is bound for hell. This is our faith and creed.
“But along with this, it should be remembered that the door of Divine communion and conversation is still open, and this door is an everlasting testimony to the truth of the Quran and the Holy Prophet.
“God, the Most High, has taught in Surah Fatihah a prayer for this: ‘Guide us on the right path, the path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors.’ (The Holy Quran, 1:5-6). The indication in the words, ‘upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors,’ is to achieving the excellence of prophets. It is obvious that the excellence granted to the prophets was the knowledge of God. This knowledge was granted to them through communion and dialogue and you should be desirous of the same.”
Hazrat Mirza then stated:
“Islam is now the only perfect and living religion. The time has arrived for the greatness and magnificence of Islam to be manifested again, and that is the objective with which I have come.
“Muslims should appreciate the spiritual light and blessings that are descending from the heavens in this era and should give thanks that Allah has assisted them in a timely manner in accordance with His promise to help them in this time of tribulation. But if they do not value this blessing, then God shall not care for them. His work shall be done, and only lamentations will remain for the ungrateful. I state with all the force at my command and with complete conviction and insight that Allah intends to obliterate other religions and to give Islam dominance and strength.
“No hand or power can now alter this decision of God. He is the ‘Doer of what He intends’ (The Holy Quran, 11:107).
“O Muslims! Remember this! Allah has given this news to you through me, and I have delivered my message to you. Now it is up to you whether you listen to it or not. That Jesus has died is the truth. And I swear by God, the Most High, that I am the one who was promised to come. It is also an unequivocal fact that the life of Islam lies in the death of Jesus.”
Later in the speech, Hazrat Mirza observed:
“Remember that there are two reasons for my appointment.
- Islam has been rendered like a weak orphan child by the domination of other religions that are in a manner of speaking devouring it. So God has sent me at this time so that I may defend Islam from the attacks of false religions by presenting proofs of the strong arguments evidencing its truth. These proofs are in the form of enlightened, scholarly arguments and heavenly blessings that have forever been manifested in support of Islam. If you read the reports of the Christian clergymen these days, you would know the kind of material they are publishing to malign Islam and the quantities in which each one of their papers is distributed. In this situation, it was necessary that the superiority of Islam be re-established. It is for this very purpose that God has sent me, and I state with full conviction that the domination of Islam will take place and its signs have appeared already. It is true however that no sword or gun is required for this domination and neither has God sent me with such armament. Any person who considers such force necessary is a foolish friend of Islam. The purpose of religion is to conquer the heart and this objective cannot be achieved with the sword. As I have shown many times, the only reason why the Holy Prophet had to lift the sword was for self-defense and for safeguarding self-determination. And that too, he did at a time when the torments and cruelties of the opponents and disbelievers had exceeded all limits, and the earth had been stained red with the blood of helpless Muslims. In short, the purpose of my coming is to bring about the domination of Islam over all other religions.
- The second purpose is to reform those people who say that they perform their prayers and that they do this and that — these are mere lip-professions. So it is necessary to produce that spiritual state of mind that is the essence of Islam.”
This lecture was highly effective and insightful, and the audience listened to it with rapt attention for three hours. Following the lecture, Maulvi Abdus Samad of Patiala recited a poem in affirmation of Hazrat Mirza. After that, Misri Shah, a resident of Nawashehr in Jalandhar district, related his dream under oath, according to which he saw the Holy Prophet narrate and verify the status of Hazrat Mirza. On the morning of November 7, 1905, Hazrat Mirza delivered another sermon and the following morning, he departed from Ludhiana.