The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement In Islam
Hazrat Asadullah Shah
Biography By : Mumtaz Ahmad Faruqui
STORY OF ANOTHER HOLY MAN, WHOSE PRAYERS BROUGHT RESULTS The greater a man’s faith in God and the nearer he is to Him, the more are his prayers answered. According to this criterion, the man proved the best and the highest, was the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. You read the life-story of the Holy Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and you would find how God’s grace covered him and favoured him in his day to day living. In fact, many a things he did, the decisions he made and the talks he gave were through God’s guidance which descended upon his heart. In Islamic terminology it is called Wahy-i-khafi. The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is the best exemplar and the highest model of virtue (personified) for the ‘faithful’ under all circumstances. The verse 33:21 in the Holy Quran supports this statement: "Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the Latter day, and remembers Allah much." After the Holy Prophet came his four exalted caliphs (Khula-fa-al-Rashi-deen), and later on came the mujaddids of each century (Hijrah). Of course, there were holy men (auliya-Allah) to be found more or less at all times amongst the Muslim ummah after the Holy Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. These were righteous men and some of them had risen to a stage where God chose them to be the recipients of his messages at times. Some of them (especially the mujaddids) proclaimed to the Muslim people of what they received and heard from ‘On High’, while others kept it to themselves. Of those Mujaddids who were directed by God to proclaim themselves, the latest was Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (of Qadian -- India) who was not only the ordained Mujaddid of the 14th century (Hijrah), but also claimed to be the Promised Messiah and Mahdi (whose advent was expected by people of different religions). He founded the Ahmadiyyah Movement in Islam to defend the Faith and propagate it. Many thousands of Muslims (including non-Muslims who accepted Islam) entered his bai’at (Pledge of Fealty) to serve the faith of Islam. He claimed to be a humble follower of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, the last (final) and the best of the Prophets. Amongst those who accepted him were many righteous men. About one of them I want to write in particular, as he was the one whom I knew intimately and from whose prayers I myself, my family and our mutual friends benefited considerably. He was one of those chosen few, holy men with whom God speaks (through His angels) and who are favoured with visions and true and vivid dreams. As he deserved the favour of God through worship, meditation and exemplary conduct, so his prayers were often favourably answered. My object in writing about him is not only to express my gratitude for his prayers for me in the past (as he is gone to his heavenly abode now), but also to impress upon the readers the fact that anybody who has a sincere faith in God, His prophets and the Holy Quran, and leads a righteous life, could be favoured by God (if He so wills) with visions and true dreams, etc. The holy man in question was one Syed Asadullah Shah (may Allah’s peace be on him). My father was posted as an Assistant Surgeon incharge of the Civil Hospital at Pindi Gheb (Punjab) about 1903 C.E. One day, a medium-sized, bearded young man of about 30 years of age came to the hospital for consultation with the doctor (my father) and introduced himself as Syed Asadullah Shah working as Girdawar Qanungo (like a head clerk) in the local tehsil (land revenue collector’s office). Both of them took to each other and soon found out that they both belonged to the same Ahmadiyyah Movement. My father prevailed on Shah Sahib to shift his residence to a quarter attached to my father’s bungalow, so that they could say their five daily congregational prayers together in the small mosque at the hospital. Shah Sahib came of a respectable land-owning Syed family of Sialkot district, and had finished his education in a high school and then joined Government service. He was religiously inclined from his boyhood, which led him to investigate about the claims of Mirza Sahib, and finding them true, he joined his followers. During his stay in Pindi Gheb we all soon found out that Shah Sahib was one of those chosen few whom God favours; and then there was no end to the requests for prayers from all members of our family. When we, the children, pestered him with trivial requests, as I now realise, he would in good humour ask us to bring him some halwa (sweet pudding) to eat so that he may feel better able to pray for us. We would get our mother to prepare the staff and then take it eagerly to Shah Sahib. This relationship of love, admiration and close friendship and mutual help continued on for all our lives; even when we happened to live apart and later on got into service or business and had our own families. But whenever anyone of us was in trouble or ill, forthwith would go a telegram to Shah Sahib to pray for us. He always obliged and would inform us if he received any indication for or against. Quite often we were benefited. I will mention a few typical cases later on. Here I may mention one incident which throws light on the sterling character and faith of Shah Sahib. The midday prayer on a Friday is an obligatory congregational prayer. Shah Sahib used to leave his work in the Tehsil Office when he heard the azan (call to prayer) on Friday noon, and went to the mosque. In those days, no interval (as a concession) was given to Government Muslim employees for saying the Friday prayer in the mosque. So the tehsildar (officer in charge) a Sikh by religion, reprimanded Shah Sahib for leaving his work at midday, on Friday. Shah Sahib told him about the importance of the Friday prayer, and also made clear that on that day he (Shah Sahib) sat after office hours to finish that day’s work. But the prejudiced Sikh tehsildar forbade Shah Sahib to leave office. On this Shah Sahib wrote his resignation from his job and gave it to the Tehsildar; saying: ‘When the Lord God calls I must obey, though it may be disobedience to your man-made rules’. The tehsildar, knowing the worth and honest work of Shah Sahib, did not accept the resignation and allowed Shah Sahib to leave office at midday, on Friday, in future. In 1956 C.E. he fell ill and never recovered. He knew the end was drawing nigh but felt no regrets. Till at last, on 14th February 1957, he left for his heavenly abode at the age of 87 years. He has left us all sadder and poorer for the loss of his goodly company and prayers.
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