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 69: Eulogies in Contemporary Newspapers on Hazrat Mirza’s Demise

1. Opinion of Maulvi Abdullah al-Imadi:

The newspaper Wakeel of Amritsar was the leading Muslim newspaper of the time enjoying the highest reputation for its profound and serious journalism. In particular, the editor of this newspaper, Maulvi Abdullah al-Imadi occupied an eminent status among the Muslims for his knowledge, scholarship and eloquent writing. He was not an Ahmadi but had an open and unbigoted mind.

On the demise of Hazrat Mirza, he wrote an editorial under his own name in the newspaper Wakeel entitled the

“The Death of a Scholar.”

A translation of this article follows:

“That man – that great man – whose pen was enchanting and whose tongue was bewitching; that man who was an embodiment of the marvels of the mind, whose sight was incisive and speech overwhelming, whose fingers were entwined with the strings of revolution and whose two fists were electric batteries; that man who shook and stormed the religious world for thirty years, who generated a doomsday din to awaken those sleeping in oblivion; that man has departed this world — empty handed. This bitter death, this poisonous bowl of death that has concealed the being of the demised under a mound of earth will give the taste of disappointment to thousands and millions of people. And the wailing of the mourners will keep alive for ages to come the memory of this providential decree that has killed along with this living soul the hopes and expectations tied with him.

“The death of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani is not such that one should just be patient while the passage of time effaces its memory but valuable lessons should be learnt from it. Such people whose advent presages revolution in the world of religion and thought appear very seldom in this world. They are the pride of the sons of history and are seen on the stage of this world infrequently.

“But whenever they appear they leave behind a world revolutionized. This death of Mirza Sahib, this eternal separation of his from us, notwithstanding our serious differences with him on some of his claims and ideas, has all the same made us, Muslims, particularly the educated among us, feel that one of our great figures has taken leave of us.

“And with him has ended the magnificent defense of Islam against its opponents that was specific to his being. His role as the victorious general of Islam constrains us to voice this particular distinction of his openly so that the magnificent movement he managed that had rendered our opponents defeated and trampled may continue in the future. And if misfortune does not become a hindrance in the way of peace and kindness, then to discharge this common duty in an expedient partnership, with unity and in accordance with the blessed principles of an Islamic society.

“Mirza Sahib appeared in the front rank of those lovers who took upon themselves on behalf of Islam that sacrifice of dedicating their whole life from the cradle through youth and old age, right up to the grave at the altar of one single purpose.

“Syed Ahmad, Ghulam Ahmad, Rahmatullah, Aal Hasan, Wazir Khan, Abu Al-Mansur were people belonging to the category of al-sabiqoon and al-awaloon (the first and foremost) who initiated the chapter of the defense of Islam and remained busy in this striving until the end. As a consequence of differences in their temperaments and degrees of ability, their manner of service was different.

“And for this reason, their status is also different depending upon the impact and the degree of success they had. Nevertheless, the admission is inevitable that they were the first to throw the ranks of the opposition into disarray.

“The literature produced by Mirza Sahib in the confrontation with Christians and Arya Hindus has received widespread acceptance.

“And he is in no need of any introduction for this distinction. We have to admit with all our hearts the magnificence of this literature now that it has completed its job for we cannot forget that time when Islam was besieged by attacks on all sides and those who had been appointed by the Real Guardian as the guardians of Islam through the provision of resources and goods were unwilling or unable to assist it and were themselves taking their last gasps as a consequence of their own omissions and failures.

“On the one hand, the incessant attacks were such that the entire Christian world was bent on exterminating the light of Islamic perceptiveness and understanding of God, considering it to be the biggest hindrance in the achievement of their objectives, and the full power of their intellectual and material resources was put behind these attacks. On the other hand, the weakness of the defense was such that they did not even possess arrows against the cannons of the opponents and totally lacked the ability to defend or counterattack.

“Because contrary to facts, and through sheer misfortune, the Muslims had been held responsible for instigating the mutiny of 1857, there was a political upheaval against the Muslims in the Christian habitations in general and in particular in England. The Christian clergy made the most of this sentiment by making a call similar to the one they had made for the Crusades of old.

“The spontaneous success of Islam over the last twelve or thirteen centuries had accumulated an awful legacy of complaints in their hearts that the Christians sought to remedy when the Muslims embarked on their mission of self-defense of which Mirza Sahib was a part.

“This defense not only negated the initial success that Christianity had achieved primarily as a result of the State support which was its major asset, and thus saved hundreds of thousands of Muslims from this dangerous and initially deservedly successful onslaught, but also pulverized and dissipated the magic spell of Christianity.

“There is no doubt that these gentlemen showed proof of the fact that Islam has forever been victorious against its opponents even when the latter were backed by political power, and God willing will continue to be in the future until the end of time. They changed the complexion of self-defense and made the vanquished into the victorious. The exuberant bishop who, overlooking the God given strength of Islam made a speech at the Fiftieth Anniversary of a Christian mission and boastfully claimed that by the next Jubilee celebrations the Jamia Mosque Delhi would be a Cathedral.

“Even today, if we forgo our new and old differences and declare the service of Islam as the ultimate objective then for sure during the lifetime of this exuberant but naïve bishop, the time may come when the spiritual conquests of Islam may replace the worship of Jesus and Mary in the St Paul Cathedral by the worship of One God and the holy chanting of ‘I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,’ may waft through the air from it instead of the tolling of the church bells.

“Although the clergymen have manufactured a mountain of literature against Islam but only a few sparks are all that are needed to destroy this mound of paper.

“In contrast, the literature of the Muslims is both an offensive weapon against the insolent and haughty but also a healing balm for those who yearn for the truth. One wishes that its efficacy would be tried, and that it should be widely disseminated after translating it into the languages of the Christian nations.

“The progress in material knowledge and wisdom has made religion an increasingly burdensome responsibility for the Christian nations and their absorption with materialism has made them insensitive to man’s innate spiritual thirst. Christianity is unable to resuscitate this natural urge that has become buried under the weight of worldly pomp. This distinction belongs only to Islam that even given these conditions a spiritual awakening takes place wherever its shadow falls.

“In short, this service of Mirza Sahib will keep future generations of Islam under a heavy debt of gratitude. By his stand on the front lines of those who carried on their crusade of pen on behalf of Islam and in defense of it, Mirza Sahib’s service has left such a legacy of literature behind that will last as long as the living blood courses through the veins of the Muslims and the spirit of the defense of Islam continues to be their national characteristic.

“In addition, Mirza Sahib has rendered very special service in crushing the poisonous fangs of the Arya Samaj Hindus. Ever since Swami Dayanand had commenced his elegiac lamentation about Islam based upon his invented philosophy, Mirza Sahib and Maulvi Muhammad Qasim had pursued him and driven him against the wall.

“Even after the Swami was cremated in Ajmer and right up to the end of Mirza Sahib’s life, he remained busy in taking down the veneer that the nineteenth century Hindu reformer had put on the face of Hinduism. It can safely be claimed that the literature produced by Mirza Sahib in his contention with the Arya Samaj will not be ignored in any future defense of Islam regardless of how extensive its scope may become.

“Natural intelligence, practice, skill, and steady participation in religious arguments and debates had lent a distinct glory and eminence to Mirza Sahib. Over and above the knowledge of his own religion, his study of other religions was vast and extensive and he could make use of his knowledge most aptly.

“He had such proficiency in the work of propagation and instruction that irrespective of the ability, vocation or the faith of the addressee, Mirza Sahib’s prompt replies would for once send him into deep thought.

“India is a sort of museum of religions at present. There are many different religions, big and small, that make their existence known by extolling their mutual differences. A similar state of affairs is perhaps unknown in any other part of the world. Mirza Sahib claimed to be an authority and arbitrator for all these.

“And there is no denying that he had an extraordinary ability of placing Islam above every other religion. His gifted powers, his love of study, and extensive experience was responsible for this result. It is difficult to conceive that another person of this caliber could emerge in the religious world of India, who would sacrifice his finest desires for the cause of studying religion.”

I, the author of this book would, however, like to point out that while Maulvi Abdullah al-Imadi is correct in stating that Syed Ahmad, Maulvi Muhammad Qasim, and Rahmatullah, etc., also rose in the defense of Islam, the fact is that the magnificence of Hazrat Mirza’s defense of Islam is so grand that there is no comparison with the efforts of these other revered gentlemen.

Hazrat Mirza laid the foundation of a new body of knowledge based on the Quran and Hadith that not only served to magnificently and rationally defend Islam but also dealt a fatal blow to the false religions of the opponents. By means of the religious literature that he produced, the specter of vice was forever crushed, and Islam emerged as the dominant religion over all false religions.

2. Opinion of the Newspaper Wakeel:

Another editorial appeared in the May 30, 1908 issue of the newspaper Wakeel in which the editor opined:

“Though Mirza Sahib did not receive a formal education in theology and modern knowledge, yet it is evident from a study of his life that he came into this world with a distinctive nature that does not fall to the lot of everyone. By virtue of his study and righteous disposition, he acquired a good deal of mastery over religious literature.

“In 1877, when he was 35 or 36 years of age, we find him brimming with religious enthusiasm. He lives the life of a true and pious Muslim, and he is completely uninfluenced by worldly attractions — he is busy in the effort of seeking the pleasure of society in solitude, and of seeking the pleasure of solitude in society. We find him restless, and it appears as if he is in search of some lost thing that cannot possibly be found in this mortal world.

“He is colored in Islam’s most profound coloration. Sometimes he is engaged in debates with the Arya Samajists, and sometimes he is writing extensive works in the support of and on the truths of Islam. The pleasure that we derived from his debates in the city of Hoshiarpur, in the year 1886, is memorable and still fresh in our minds … As for the invaluable books composed by him in support of Islam, and in refutation of other religions, the ecstasy that we felt upon reading them for the first time has not worn off. His book Barahin Ahmadiyya overawed the non-Muslims and was heartening for the Muslims. He presented to the world the true and beautiful picture of religion by removing from it the impurities and dust that had come to blemish it as a consequence of the superstitions and foibles of ignorant people. His work Barahin Ahmadiyya created a stir within the boundaries of India at least, and its echoes ring in one’s ears to this day. Some elders may now try to discredit this great work ‘Barahin Ahmadiyya’ simply for the reason that in it Mirza Sahib had made many prophecies regarding himself and as a precautionary measure had gathered a lot of material for his claims. But a better time to adjudge this work was the year 1880, when this book was published. At that time Muslims unanimously gave a verdict in favor of Mirza Sahib. As regards character, Mirza Sahib does not have even the minutest blot. He lived a pure life of piety. So as for the first fifty years of his life, with regard to his morals and customs, his sterling conduct, and his services in the support of Islam, the Muslims of India had elevated him to the enviable status of a distinguished and venerable person.”

I, the author, wish to assert here that Hazrat Mirza did not gather any material as a precautionary measure about his future claims in Barahin Ahmadiyya. Hazrat Mirza had already claimed in this work that he was a Reformer (mujaddid). The claim that he made after this and which resulted in the opposition to him was that of Promised Messiah. If Hazrat Mirza had been preparing the ground for his future claim of the Promised Messiah then he would not have appeared to be supportive of Jesus being alive in his book. Even if he did not write anything about the death of Jesus, he should at least have refrained from writing about a living Jesus. The truth is that he had no knowledge at the time about the fallacy of believing in a physically alive Jesus, and this knowledge did not come to him till many years after writing the Barahin Ahmadiyya when his attention was drawn to this by the Divine revelation:

مسیح ابن مریم مرگیا وجعلناک المسیح ابن مریم

“Messiah, son of Mary, has died and We have made you Messiah, son of Mary.”

3. Opinion of the Newspaper Sadiq-al-Akhbar:

The editor of the newspaper Sadiq-al-Akhbar wrote Hazrat Mirza’s eulogy as follows:

“With his forceful speeches and superb writings, Hazrat Mirza gave crushing replies to the distasteful objections of the opponents of Islam and silenced them forever. He showed thereby that truth is always the truth. For sure, Hazrat Mirza properly discharged his duty to Islam and left no stone unturned in serving the cause of Islam — fairness demands that we should extend our condolences at the untimely death of this highly resolute supporter of Islam, this helper of Muslims, this gloriously learned person, this irreplaceable scholar.”

4. Opinion of the Newspaper Al-Bashir:

The editor of the newspaper Al-Bashir also wrote an article on the demise of Hazrat Mirza. An excerpt from it is presented below. This newspaper editor was not favorably inclined towards Hazrat Mirza; hence his article is all the more noteworthy. While discussing various issues, the editor observed:

“Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that Hazrat Mirza was among the most renowned people of this era. During this period of great progress in the arts and sciences, it is not surprising that there are hundreds of thousands of his dedicated disciples who consider his every command and prophecy to be Divinely inspired and to accept it unhesitatingly. Among his disciples are the common people, the educated and the uneducated, the rich and the poor, as well as scholars and newly educated people. In short, Muslims from every station and every class of life are Hazrat Mirza’s followers. There is no doubt that the status Hazrat Mirza had among his disciples, and the influence that he had on the party of his followers was unrivaled by that of any other cleric, or scholar over their followers and disciples or by any sufi or saint on their disciples, nor that of a leader or a reformer on their followers. Since Hazrat Mirza was the righteous leader of a large party of Muslims, civility compels us to respect him, and to express our regret at his demise.”

5. Opinion of Aligarh Institute Gazette:

The newspaper Aligarh Institute Gazette published a brief synopsis of Hazrat Mirza’s life. The following sentence at the end summarized the text of the article:

“The deceased was undoubtedly a great champion of Islam.”

6. Opinion of Municipal Gazette:

The Municipal Gazette of Lahore published the following commentary on the occasion of Hazrat Mirza’s demise:

“Hazrat Mirza enjoyed a special reputation from the standpoint of scholarship and learning. His writing was eloquent. In any case, by virtue of being a Muslim scholar, his death has deeply grieved us, and we think that a scholar has passed away from this world.”

7. Opinion of the Newspaper Zamindar:

On the occasion of Hazrat Mirza’s demise, the editor of the newspaper Zamindar, Munshi Siraj-ud-Din Sahib, who was the father of the present editor, Munshi Zafar Ali Khan, wrote an article in his newspaper. While describing the events of Hazrat Mirza’s life, here called in one place:

“In the year 1860, or perhaps 1861, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib was working as a scribe in Sialkot. At that time, his age must have been 22 or 23. As an eyewitness, I can state that Hazrat Mirza was a virtuous, saintly, and pious person even in his youth. After attending to the business of his job during the day, he would devote his entire time to the study of religion. He rarely interacted with people. In 1877, I had the honor of staying as a guest for one night at his house in Qadian. Even in those days, he was so engrossed in religious worship that he had little time for conversation with guests…

“I have stated repeatedly, and shall say it again, that while Hazrat Mirza’s claims may have been the consequence of intellectual immersion, he was not guilty of any insincerity or deception. We consider his claim to be the Promised Messiah and the incarnation of Krishna, to be in the same class as the claim of Mansur when he said, ‘I am the Truth (God).’ Great and scholarly dignitaries such as Maulvi Nur-ud-Din, Maulvi Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi, as well as enlightened and highly educated individuals like Khwaja Jamal-ud-Din (BA), Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din (BA), and Maulvi Muhammad Ali (MA) are among his disciples. Although I did not personally have the honor to be convinced and to believe in the claims and revelations of Mirza Sahib, nevertheless I consider him to be a staunch Muslim.”

8. Opinion of Curzon Gazette:

Mirza Herat Dehlvi, the editor of the Delhi newspaper Curzon Gazette, had been a bitter opponent of Hazrat Mirza during the latter’s lifetime. At times, he had also toyed with the idea of debating Hazrat Mirza. In addition to being a scholar, Mirza Herat Dehlvi was a reputable author and an elegant writer. Given his lifelong opposition to Hazrat Mirza, his article in the Curzon Gazette issue of June 1, 1908 is truly amazing:

“The great service rendered to Islam by the deceased in the confrontation with the Arya Hindus and Christians is indeed highly praiseworthy. It totally changed the nature of the debate and laid the foundation for a fresh perspective in theological literature. I acknowledge, not from the standpoint of being a Muslim but as a researcher, that not even the most capable Arya Samajist or Christian clergyman could dare to open their mouths in argumentation with Hazrat Mirza. The matchless books that were written in rebuttal of the Arya Hindu and Christian faiths and the crushing replies given to the opponents of Islam have remained without a rational response at least as far as we can see. Besides directing a barrage of abuses in the most uncivilized manner against Hazrat Mirza, or the leaders of Islam or the principles of Islam, the Arya Hindus have neither given, nor can they give a rational response.

“Although the deceased was a Punjabi, but he wielded such a powerful pen that he has no rival as a writer today, not only in the whole of Punjab but in the whole of India. His brain always had a huge number of words — emotion inspiring, and powerful — ready for use. When he sat down to write, he had such a spontaneous flow of apt and choice words as is difficult to describe.

“Those who do not know Maulvi Nur-ud-Din, the first caliph after Mirza Sahib, think in their ignorance that he has given much help to Mirza Sahib in the writing of these books, but I say on the strength of personal knowledge that in comparison to Mirza Sahib, Hakim Nur-ud-Din cannot write even a few lines.

“Although the coloration of the Punjabi language manifests itself on certain occasions in Mirza Sahib’s writings in the Urdu language, yet his powerful literature is absolutely unique in its magnificence. The fact is that a state of exultation results from reading certain portions of his works. Although Mirza Sahib did not receive any formal training in the Arabic language, literature, or grammar, yet he had acquired such great competence in these areas that, through his God-given intelligence and perspicacity, he composed religious works in Arabic effortlessly…

“He counts among his disciples not only common and illiterate people, but also men of learning with bachelors and masters degrees as well as learned Maulvies. It is no matter of small pride for a religious leader in these days that he should have as his disciples, scholars of the old learning as well as the new. He confronted opposition, criticism and prophecies of death but boldly cut his own path in every stage of his advancement to reach the highest peak of progress…

“Every claim of his had an unhesitating acceptance from his disciples. And from this ready response of his followers anybody can assess the degree of success that the deceased achieved in his lifetime.”

9. Opinion of Newspaper Tahzib-un-Niswan:

The proprietor and manager of the newspaper Tahzib-un-Niswan, Syed Mumtaz Ali, was a highly learned, scholarly, and open-minded person. On the occasion of Hazrat Mirza’s demise, he wrote:

“The late Mirza Sahib was an extremely pious and saintly person and had such strength in his piety that the hardest hearts had to bow before it. He was a well-informed scholar, a resolute reformer, and a model of a virtuous life. We never accepted him as the Messiah of the Traditions but it cannot be denied that his guidance and leadership was indeed messianic.”

After the death of Syed Mumtaz Ali, one of his essays titled Sahih Muslim (A True Muslim) was published in the November 12, 1938, issue of Tahzib-un-Niswan. In it, he wrote:

“When the Jews added the Talmud, Midrash, Misna, etc., to the Torah, God sent a Messiah to reform them. Perhaps the late Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of Qadian (may God bless his soul) adopted the role of the Messiah, to rid the present-day Muslims of their similar Jewish characteristics.”

Syed Mumtaz Ali spoke the truth. But if Hazrat Mirza “adopted the role of the Messiah” to “rid the present-day Muslims of their similar Jewish characteristics,” he did so on the directive of God and not on his own volition. It is God who has promised to send reformers and revivalists for the defense of the religion; it is not in the province of human control.

10. The Views of Chaudhry Afzal Haq, President of the Organization Jamiat-e-Ahrar:

The organization Jamiat-e-Ahrar is a product of these times, and its bitter opposition to the Ahmadiyya Movement is well known. So it is extraordinary to find a true and factual passage in the book, Fitnah-e-Irtadad aur Political Kalabazian (The Evil of Apostasy, and Political Maneuverings) written by Chaudhry Afzal Haq, the president of Jamiat-e-Ahrar. On page 46 of the book, the author while discussing the stagnation and inertia of Muslims in the late nineteenth century stated:

“Before the coming into existence of the Arya Samaj, Islam was a lifeless body in which the sense of religious propagation had become defunct. Swami Dayanand’s misgivings about Islam stirred Muslims temporarily, but as usual they fell into deep slumber again. And there was no sect among the Muslims that came forth to propagate Islam.

“However, there was one Muslim whose heart was agitated by the oblivion of the Muslim community — by forming a modest organization around him, he came forward for the purpose of propagating Islam. Although Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib did not remain untainted by sectarianism, nonetheless he created such great zeal in his organization to propagate Islam that it is worthy of emulation, not only by the Muslims, but by all the organizations of the world.”

This confession by an opponent is highly significant. The President of this inimical organization acknowledges here that when the Muslims were languishing in a deep slumber of oblivion, and even the scourge of Arya Samaj was unable to wake them, there was just one Muslim in whose heart was born a great urge to propagate Islam. That heart was the heart of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. He was the first one to form an organization for the defense and propagation of Islam at a time when Islam was in great danger, and that organization was a model for all organizations of the world. As for the assertion that Hazrat Mirza did not remain untainted by sectarianism, the allegation is completely untrue. To the contrary, Hazrat Mirza established a basic principle which if followed by the Muslims, would totally eradicate the evil of sectarianism from the Islamic community.

Just as people are different in their physical countenance, despite having descended from a single lineage, they also differ in their temperaments. So differences in opinion are unavoidable.

The basic principle therefore for a religion like Islam, which is a religion in accordance with human nature, must be to create unity in the fundamental articles of faith and to disregard inconsequential issues. “Disregard” does not mean that those issues should never be discussed or that wrong notions should not be pointed out, but the meaning is that individuals and communities should not be dubbed as unbelievers and excommunicated merely on account of differences in minor issues.

By all means, point out the error, but do not call a person an unbeliever on account of that error. Hazrat Mirza drew attention to this principle and ingrained this conduct in his disciples that no person who recites the kalimah (Muslim confession of faith) and prays facing the qiblah (in the direction of the Sacred Mosque in Makkah) should be called a kafir (unbeliever).

And if a Muslim calls another Muslim an unbeliever, he should be stopped, and if the person does not desist he should be boycotted, that is, prayers should not be offered behind him and no social intercourse should be held with him till such time that he desists. This penalty was imposed strictly so that the disease among the Muslims of calling each other as unbelievers may be cured.

Hazrat Mirza strongly emphasized that if there were ninety-nine reasons for calling a person an unbeliever but just one reason for including him in the Muslim fraternity, he should not be called an unbeliever. The only party that can be said to be free of sectarianism is the one that firmly believes that all those who recite the kalimah and pray facing the qiblah are Muslims, and detests those who call other Muslims as kafirs to the point that they are ready to boycott them.

Such a party is only the Ahmadiyya organization whose center is in Lahore and which fully subscribes to this principle. Unless this principle is adopted, the curse of sectarianism cannot be rooted out from the Muslim community.

11. Views expressed in some Non-Muslim Newspapers:

a. View of the Pioneer:

A small tract is presented below from the editorial in the renowned English newspaper Pioneer published from Allahabad. The British editor of Pioneer wrote:

“If one of the Prophets of Mount Carmel could return from the upper world and resume his mission among mankind, he would hardly be a more incongruous figure among Twentieth Century surroundings than was Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Khan of Qadian, whom death has overtaken, as it overtakes all in these days, at his home in the Punjab. Of late years the Mirza under the influence of advancing years had relapsed into quietude, but at one time his name was as familiar to people out here as that of Dr. Booth.

“His position as a Muhammadan theologian we are not qualified to appreciate; but it is certain that he had at one time a very large following, the result of his personal influence and teaching. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad never doubted of himself or his calling and believed with absolute sincerity that he had been endowed with inspiration and of superhuman powers. But instead of living in the Eighth century B.C., his lot was cast in the Nineteenth A.D., and he had to accommodate himself to the surroundings. So instead of going off to the desert and taking up his abode under a gourd or in a cave, he took in the newspapers, joined in current controversies, remained a good citizen and a loyal adherent of the British Government.

“Yet sometimes the other side of his nature would get the upper hand, as when he challenged the astonished Bishop Welldon to a contest of miracles after the manner of Elijah and the priests of Baal, the result to decide once and for all which was the true religion. Even then the Mirza was ready to accept every modern guarantee against deception but the Anglican champion would not take up the appeal…

“Those who have moved the world in religion have been much more akin to Mirza Ghulam in temperament than to a modern Archbishop of Canterbury. Had Ernest Renan been in India during the last twenty years, he would certainly have gone and studied the Mirza, and the result might have been some added flashes of insight in the wonderful accounts of the prophets of Israel. Our insular instincts do not encourage such affinities, and the result is that our theological literature is what it is — stamped with the limitations of the Deanery and the Close. In any case the Seer of Qadian was a man who does not come every day. Peace to his ashes.”

Upon reading this editorial in Pioneer, I (the author) could not help but recall the hadith of Prophet Muhammad which states that:

علماء امتی کا نبیاء بنی اسرائیل

“The scholars of my nation are like the Israelite prophets.”

So the British editor of Pioneer spoke the truth when he stated that if Ernest Renan, the famous French historian, had been present in India during the previous 20 years, then his study of Hazrat Mirza’s life would have shed new light on the lives of the Israelite prophets of the past.

b. The View of the Newspaper Amrita Bazar Patrika:

Bengal’s celebrated newspaper, Amrita Bazar Patrika, published the following sentiments on Hazrat Mirza’s demise:

“He led a life of great simplicity and hundreds of people ate their meals from his public kitchen. His disciples included people from all walks of life — scholars, clerics, influential magnates, educated men and women, merchants and wealthy people.”

c. Letter from a Respected Hindu:

Lala Narayan Das was a highly enlightened, learned and respected Hindu. On the demise of Hazrat Mirza, he wrote a letter dated June 20, 1908 to Maulvi Muhammad Ali of Baddomalhi:

“Respected Maulvi Sahib, I extend my greetings to you. You must have heard the details regarding the Promised Messiah. It would be an error to think that he has died, because he is eternally alive. His name will be resplendent as long as the world remains. Intelligent people in general and enlightened people in particular shall continue to profit from Hazrat Mirza’s writings. Our only lament is that his presence has been hidden behind a curtain forever and we will not be able to see him physically. A meeting with him alone was sufficient to bring sinners to the path of uprightness. But I think that any bemoaning is also contrary to reason, because as Kabir Sahib says:

سادھ مرے کیا روئے جو اپنے گھر جا
روز ساکت مر گیا جو ہاٹوہاٹ  بکا

‘Why bemoan the death of an ascetic for he has gone to his home;
But mourn for the death of a sinner who is floundering from alley to alley.’

“The writer is your obedient
Narayan Das.”

12. The View of Shams-ul-Ulema, Maulana Mir Hasan:

In the end, I present the opinion of a person who was not Hazrat Mirza’s disciple but knew him from an early age, i.e., the celebrated scholar Maulana Syed Mir Hasan of Sialkot. Two of his letters were quoted in the first volume of this biography. Many years after Hazrat Mirza’s death, he happened to meet Sheikh Yaqub Ali Torab and reminisced with brimming eyes about Hazrat Mirza. His reminiscence was published in the April 7, 1934 issue of Al-Hakam:

“Alas, we did not value Hazrat Mirza. I do not have words to express the excellence of his spirituality. His life was not the life of an ordinary individual. He was one of those especially chosen people of God who appear in this world only occasionally.”