The Martyrdom of Sahibzada Abdul Latif Shaheed
by Prof. Khalil-ur-Rahman
Joining the Ahmadiyya Movement
Departure for Haj (Pilgrimage) and Meeting with Hazrat Mirza:
After Hazrat Sahibzada had studied the books of Hazrat Mirza, the desire to meet him intensified to the extent where it became difficult for him to wait any longer. His ardour and affection, and his restlessness to meet him led Hazrat Sahibzada to make the decision to go for Haj. Enroute, he hoped an opportunity would present itself for going to Qadian for a meeting with Hazrat Mirza. Accordingly, he asked the King in Kabul for permission to go for Haj, and as the King held Hazrat Sahibzada in high esteem, he gave him many expensive presents and happily accorded him permission to proceed.
Hazrat Sahibzada, along with some companions, left for Haj by way of Punjab, but on reaching Amritsar, they were informed that there were restrictions on going for Haj. The days of Haj were still distant and some of his companions advised that they should go to Qadian to see Hazrat Mirza. So from Amritsar, they caught the train to Batala. From Batala to Qadian, a distance of about eleven or twelve miles, had to be travelled on a horse drawn carriage. Hazrat Sahibzada, along with his companions, hired one and set out for Qadian. When they approached the environs of Qadian, his eyes alighted on the Messiah minaret, and involuntarily the words,
“Glory be to Allah! Glory be to Allah!”
escaped his lips. Soon they were in Qadian. Hazrat Mirza invited them to stay in his house but Hazrat Sahibzada answered with great respect,
“We are the guests of the Messiah and so we will stay in the guest house of the Messiah.”
According to his wishes, he was put up in a room of the guest house and his food too came from its kitchen, but sometimes he had the honour of eating with the Promised Messiah.
Hazrat Mirza was always very concerned about the welfare of his guests. He asked Mir Nasir Nawab Sahib (his father-in-law), who was incharge of the guest house, to enquire from Hazrat Sahibzada what he would like to eat. When Mir Sahib delivered this message, Hazrat Sahibzada replied,
“I am a man of God, not of the stomach. I will eat whatever is cooked in the guest kitchen.”
Visit to Hazrat Mirza and Stay in Qadian:
As soon as he saw the spiritual light on the face of Hazrat Mirza, the Imam1 of the time, Hazrat Sahibzada was in a world of ecstasy, quite oblivious to this world and what is in it. The emotion of love and affection gripped him with such intensity that nothing else mattered except the reality of life in Qadian. Even the time for Haj came and passed. Hazrat Mirza, in his book, Tazkirat-ul Shahadatain2, has the following to say about this meeting:
“I swear by God in whose hands is my life that when I met him, I found him so completely convinced of my claim and devout in my following that it is not possible for a man to be more so. Like a glass vial that is filled with perfume, so too did I find him filled with my love, and just like his face had a spiritual light, so too his heart, it appeared to me, had a spiritual light. A quality worthy of emulation in this pious person was that he, in reality, gave precedence to religion over things of this world. He, in truth, was from among the righteous who, from fear of God, take their duty and obedience to Allah to the highest pinnacles. They, in order to please Allah and obtain his pleasure, are willing to let go their life, reputation, and wealth from their hands as if these were useless sticks and straws. His faith was so strong that if, by analogy, I refer to it as a mountain, I am afraid that my analogy may not do justice to him… And when he came to me, I enquired from him, what arguments had identified me to him. He said:
“Foremost, it is the Quran that guided me to you. I am the kind of person who had already concluded that the era in which we are living is such that the majority of Muslims have strayed far from Islamic spirituality. They say with their lips that they believe, but in their hearts they do not. Their words and actions are filled with heretical innovations, infidelity, and all kinds of sins. Similarly, external attacks (on Islam) have reached their maximum intensity, but most hearts remain motionless and insensitive, underneath veils of darkness, as if they are dead. The religion and observance of duty that the Prophet (on him be peace and blessings) had brought and whose knowledge was imparted to his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and the truth, conviction and faith that were given to this pure party, most certainly, by virtue of the neglect of the majority, are extinct and only in rare cases has it not been annihilated. I was seeing Islam turning into a dead body. The time had come that out of the unknown a reformer from Allah should appear. In fact, my restlessness was increasing because the time (for this event) was getting late. In those same days, I heard that a person in Qadian, Punjab, had claimed to be the Promised Messiah. With great difficulty, I was able to procure some of the books written by you and read them without prejudice. I then examined the statements in them in the light of the Quran and found the Quran corroborating each and every one of them.”
Hazrat Sahibzada stayed in Qadian for about three months, and during this time he undertook a journey to Jhelum in the company of Hazrat Mirza.
A close friend of Hazrat Sahibzada, Rafiq Ahmad Noor, has given the following testimony:
“In Qadian, he repeatedly received the following revelation: ‘Sacrifice your life in this path, and do not withhold from it because this is what God has desired for the land of Kabul.’ Once he said that it had been revealed to him: ‘The sky is in agitation and the earth is trembling like a person who has ague [shivering]. The world does not know, but this event is about to happen.’ He understood from these divine signs that martyrdom had been ordained for him in heaven, and he decided to return to Afghanistan.”