The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement In Islam
Basharat Ahmad, Dr.ڈاکٹر, بشارت احمد
Dr Basharat Ahmad A worthy example (commentator of the Holy Quran and author of The Great Reformer) Hazrat Dr Basharat Ahmad was Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali’s father-in-law. Even before Hazrat Dr Sahib joined the Ahmadiyya Movement, he regarded Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a great and true servant of Islam. When one of his sons fell critically ill, Hazrat Dr Sahib went to Qadian to ask Hazrat Mirza sahib to pray for his son. The doctors had little hope of the boy surviving. However, the moment Hazrat Mirza sahib started to pray for the boy’s health, at that very moment the fever unexpectedly broke and his pulse which had become irregular became normal. A medical doctor by profession, he saw this as a Divine sign of the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah. In the Paigham i Sulah, he described what he saw on his first visit to Qadian. “We arrived in Qadian at 2 a.m. It was pitch dark and bitterly cold. I wondered what Mirza sahib would be doing at this time. Would he be asleep? I wanted to know. As it was dark and we could not see where we were going, I stumbled and fell against a door which flew open. Inside Hazrat Mirza sahib was just finishing his Tahajud prayer. . . . We went to Masjid Mubarak and I saw the whole Ahmadiyya community there saying their Tahajud prayer. In the guest room next to the mosque, Khawaja Kamal ud Din was asleep. On seeing me he got up, offered me his bed . . . and went to say his Tahajud. . . The fervour and devotion of the prayers is indescribable. . . At 4 a.m. some one woke me for Fajr. . . Maulvi Abdul Karim was the imam. His leading the prayers was not something new for me. In Sialkot, I had said prayers behind him for a long time. However, never before had I felt the glory in his recitation of the Holy Quran that I felt in Qadian. The beauty in his voice and the emotion that it created was new. I heard the recitation and cried. . . I had heard Maulana recite the Holy Quran on previous occasions but it did not have the same impact. . . . After the prayers Hazrat sahib went in and a short while later called me in. In a room where children were asleep, Hazrat sahib sat on a bare bed. . . I asked how I could purify my heart and he told me to pay close attention to my prayers. He then addressed me as if he could see into my heart and read the doubts and he was answering them. . . After hearing him, I found it embarrassing to ask him to pray even for my son’s health. Such a glorious person and to ask him to pray for the mundane things of this world seemed wrong.” Hazrat Dr Basharat Ahmad passed away on 21 April 1943 C.E. The body arrived in Lahore on Friday, 23 April and the burial took place the same day. During the Jummah Khutba Hazrat M a u l a n a Muhammad Ali said: “The state of heart is such that I am unable to deliver a khutba. However, I think it is important that I put before the jamaat the lessons that may be learnt from Doctor sahib’s life.” He later wrote an article about Dr Basharat Ahmad’s life. The following extract is from that article in the Paigham-i Sulah which described Hazrat Dr Sahib’s qualities. “The hadith says that the life of two people is enviable. One is the person who is given wealth by Allah and He also gives him the ability to spend it in Allah’s way. The other is the one who is given knowledge by Allah and he uses it to make correct decisions and propagates that knowledge. How enviable is the person who is granted both of these. That is the person who spends of his wealth in Allah’s way and also uses his knowledge so that the world may benefit from it. “Hazrat Dr Basharat Ahmad was not a wealthy person. If he had wanted to be, he could have been very rich but his life had the colour of the Holy Prophet’s (peace be on him) virtues of mercy, generosity and contentment. From the beginning, there were some distant relations whom the tragedies of time had left unable to fend for themselves, they were added to his family just like his own children. . . . after Hazrat Dr Sahib joined the Ahmadiyya Movement, he set aside a fixed part of his income for . . . subscription to the Anjuman as if it was being held in trust. His response to every appeal was like the Companions’ response to Holy Prophet’s appeals. . . he shared other qualities with Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din, our first amir. One being contentment. “He left one third of his assets to the Anjuman; the Sharia does not allow for more than one third. From the beginning to the end, his life was a shinning example of spending in Allah’s way. In an age when the heavens echo with cries of: “More, More”, and the stomach of the son of man, for which a few handfuls should be sufficient, is not filled by mountains of Gold and Silver as greed for worldly riches eats away at the hearts and the minds; men with hearts untainted by love of riches are saints. The truth is that love of Allah and the love of riches cannot occupy your heart at the same time. A man is not purified until his heart is cleaned of the obsession that is love of riches. When a virtue reaches its pinnacle in a person, then it bursts forth like rays of light, and falls upon others. I have seen that the closer a person was to Hazrat Doctor sahib, the least was the love of worldly riches in his heart. Children are closest to a person. They are also the point at which a person is most helpless. Despite his greatest desire, he cannot instil in them the qualities and virtues that he considers worthy. However, this quality (of sacrificing wealth in Allah’s way) is in all of Dr sahib’s children. He had two sons; Mumtaz Ahmad Faruqi, for whose health Hazrat Mirza sahib had prayed and Nasir Ahmad Faruqi. Both of them were granted high posts by Allah. They were also given a good deal of wealth. The spirit that they both have to serve religion and the sacrifices they make for it, are found in very few people who achieve such high worldly status. Hearts of both of them have cooled to the love of wealth. I have seen the same quality in his daughters. His eldest daughter is my life partner. There have been times of great difficulty in my life. There was one time when, for a long period of five and a half years, I had no source of income. Whether it was at the time of shortage or, after that, plenty and then shortage again; she did not make any demands on me which may have been a burden on my heart. At the time of abundance, she donated items of her jewellery, one after the other, without asking for new jewellery to replace it. “Another virtue, which has been called enviable by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that Hazrat Dr Sahib possessed, was a high degree of knowledge and understanding of the Holy Quran. He also granted him the ability to pass this knowledge on to others. He did so with such beauty that the love of the Holy Quran he had in his own heart, was also generated in those who listened to his discourses and those who read his commentary of the Holy Quran. The beauty that I saw in his understanding of the Holy Quran was the sea of spirituality that would pierce the heart like absolute truth. . . He filled hearts of others with the same certainty with which his own heart over flowed that every thing in the Holy Quran is the shinning truth. “In addition to the love of God, His prophet and His book, Doctor sahib had another love in his heart. This was the love of the person who infused in his heart love of the Book of Allah. In other words love of the imam of the age. At the age of sixty he undertook and completed a task which will not only ensure that his name lives for ever but which also shows how the love of something strengthens the heart. This task was the writing of “Mujaddid i Azam” (The Greatest Reformer). In 1936, he was over sixty years of age, he suffered from illness and, because his wife had died, he had the responsibility of two daughters on his shoulders. However, because of the restlessness in his heart that he speaks about in the introduction to the book, he undertook the task of writing this biography which stretches over 2000 pages and for which he had to read 25,000 pages for research. That is the love of the imam of the age. “No other biography of the Promised Messiah can compare with his. He was the only one with the ability to undertake this task. It was as if Allah had granted him a second life after his serious illness just to write Mujaddad i Azam. No sooner was the third volume completed that he died. “Love of riches constrains your heart and love of Allah makes it generous and raises your morals. Love of God is a spiritual light that breaks out from your heart and glows in your face. When he met others, it would seem as if his face glowed with a spiritual light. In fact, a man’s morals are to be judged by how people of his own household regard him. His children . . . believed in his closeness to Allah and that his prayers were answered. In slightest difficulty, they would run to him for prayer. Real sainthood is when your wife and children accept you as a saint. It is easy to become a saint for the people outside your household, it is very difficult to do so for the members of your family. . . He was such a friend to me that just meeting him would lighten any burden that may be on my heart, whether I talked to him about it or not. . . However, the real remover of burdens is ever-living.”
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