The Martyrdom of Sahibzada Abdul Latif Shaheed

by Prof. Khalil-ur-Rahman

Return to Afghanistan

The Painful Scene of Departure from Qadian:

When Hazrat Sahibzada departed Qadian, the Promised Messiah accompanied him for quite some distance outside the town. Finally, it was time to say farewell, but Hazrat Sahibzada broke down and involuntarily fell at the feet of Hazrat Mirza. The Promised Messiah had never permitted anyone to touch his feet or knees to show their respect. Once, when a youth from the Frontier started to bow down towards his feet, Hazrat Mirza stopped him immediately and said,

“God ordained persons are sent into this world to erase infidelity, and not for being prostrated to.”

Subhanallah (Glory be to Allah). However, when Sahibzada Abdul Latif broke down and fell at his feet, even Hazrat Mirza was upset momentarily, but he regained his composure with great effort, and asked him to get up. Hazrat Sahibzada, however, continued to lie there, and Hazrat Mirza said,

“The command takes precedence over respect”.

At this, he got up and said,

“The reason for my restlessness is that I am sure, in my heart, that I will not see you again in this life. I am now seeing you for the last time.”1

On directions of Hazrat Mirza, some food had been prepared for the departing party for consumption on the way. When the food was brought, it was wrapped in paper. Hazrat Mirza remarked that the food should have been put in some clean cloth. He then tore a piece of his turban and gave it for the food to be properly packaged. Those ordained by God have an abundance of love for their true followers. They are not like ordinary Pirs (spiritual leaders) who try to cover the aggrandisement of their desires by hiding from their followers behind curtains. It is this glory of the genuinely ordained persons that completely fascinates those having true heart and sight. The disciples then become totally devoted to these men of God and are willing to sacrifice everything they have.

Stop Over in Lahore and a Vision:

On his way back to Afghanistan, Hazrat Sahibzada stopped in Lahore with Shaikh Rahmat-ullah. A prominent citizen of Lahore invited Sahibzada Sahib and his companions for food. In a big room, the table cloth was decked with food. The guests came into the room and sat down to eat, but Sahibzada Sahib at once got up and started to leave. As he was leaving, he repeatedly kept saying,

“Filth! filth! filth!”

When he was asked, what was wrong? He replied that every plate had excrement in it instead of food and he was unable to eat it. It transpired that the host had the food prepared by using money earned from usury. On learning this, the guests were greatly impressed by the spiritual sight of Sahibzada Sahib.2

Departure from Lahore for Afghanistan:

The following revelation of Hazrat Mirza is given in Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya3:

“Two goats will be slaughtered, and there is nobody on this earth who can escape death.”

In other words, everyone has to face the inevitable reality of death. A little further on, Hazrat Mirza has written this verse, originally in Persian:

It is death that veils, with memories, the faces of friends,
And turns the season of spring into the season of autumn.

God grants to His ordained ones a telescopic sight with which they witness coming events that cannot be seen by those who worship earthly things. This revelation was meant to inform Hazrat Mirza that two of his innocent followers would be slaughtered. The word ‘slaughter’ was used to indicate the coercive, cruel, brutish, and beastly nature of the action to be taken against them by tyrants, who sought to safeguard their power by stifling forever the voices of the innocent persons upholding the cause of truth. Intoxicated by their temporary power, these tyrants do not realise that men of God are willing to sacrifice for the truth their life, their wealth, their relationships, and the love of their relatives and dear ones. They are willing to be stoned to death, or hung upside down, but, at no cost, are they willing to give up that which is right. They consider death to be the gateway to life eternal. Hazrat Mirza says:

Concealed behind this death are hundreds of lives
If you desire life, then put this cup of death to your lips.

These men of God are restless to meet with their Lord. From the drops of their blood emanates the fragrance of the flowers of Paradise so that the entire atmosphere reeks with its fragrance. But after them, the tyrants become an admonitory sign for the world. Because they laid their hands on these brave men of God, they are destroyed, and it is considered an insult even to mention their names. Not only this, but their progeny is annihilated, and they become proof of what is stated in the Holy Quran,

“Surely thy enemy is cut off (has no progeny)” (The Holy Quran, 108:3).

One part of this revelation of Hazrat Mirza was fulfilled by the martyrdom of Maulvi Abdur Rahman, and now Hazrat Sahibzada, with the desire for martyrdom in his heart, was drawing closer to his place of slaughter in Afghanistan, to fulfil the second part. Allah had ordained for him to renew the example of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. Hazrat Sahibzada realised that:

In reality, the murder of Hussain is the death of Yazid,
Islam gets a new life after each Karbala.

Perhaps, Hazrat Mirza also foresaw the coming events, and for this reason expressed himself in a verse as follows:

None can conceive of my pain and sorrow,
Every moment, I see a Hussain, upholding the truth of Islam, martyred by some Yazid.

It is a fact, that in every period, conflict by the likes of Abu Lahab has sought to extinguish the lamp of Mustafa4, and in every period, the incident of Karbala is repeated. This period, too, could not have gone without it. Abu Lahab was the personification of disbelief, waywardness, and enmity to truth. In every era, these evils are manifested, in some form or other, and attempt, unsuccessfully, to blow out the torch lighted by the Prophet. However, the lovers of this light sacrifice themselves to keep it alive and these Abu Lahab type of manifestations remain unsuccessful and are destroyed.

Hazrat Mirza’s comprehensive vision had created a certainty in Hazrat Sahibzada’s heart that Ahmadiyyat is the real Islam which can imbue the spiritually-dead hearts with a new life, and restore Islam to its former position of glory. To resuscitate Islam, he was convinced, he had to re-enact the incident of Karbala by offering his life, and thereby rejuvenating the tradition of Hazrat Imam Hussain. For this reason, he repeatedly told his disciples,

“The land of Kabul is in need of my blood for its reformation.”



  1. Mujaddid-e-Azam, vol. 2, page 941.
  2. Mujaddid-e-Azam, vol. 2, page 942.
  3. Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, vol. 4, page 511.
  4. A title of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.