We extol His praise and send benedictions on His gracious Messenger.
No sooner had he finished writing it, than the author of Mujaddid-e-Azam, Dr. Basharat Ahmad, of blessed memory, desired that urgent arrangements be made for the publication of the third volume, but paper could not be procured in time due to the War (World War II) and its printing was kept in abeyance.
Meanwhile, he went to visit his son, Sahibzada Mian Nasir Ahmad Faruqui, ICS, Collector, Thana (presently, Collector, Bombay), in order to enlighten this promising young man with the light of the Holy Quran during the free days that were available. But before long, the disease, from which he had, in fact, been suffering for a long time, took a dangerous turn and he eventually breathed his last and joined his Maker at noon on 19 April, 1942, in Bombay. From Allah we came and to Him is our eventual return. He was buried in the Miani Sahib Graveyard in Lahore on 21 April, 1942, after Friday prayers. O Lord! Forgive him and have mercy upon him and grant him security and pardon him. O Lord! Make his stay there honourable and extend his place of entry and elevate his place in Paradise.
Dr. Basharat Ahmad had gone on pension in the latter part of 1931, after a long service with the Government. He got an offer of employment from some local state, probably sometime in 1932, and when he consulted me by mail on this matter, I responded in the form of a Persian couplet of the Holy Imam, to wit:
Omer be-guzasht, na-mandust juzz ayyamay chand
His heart was already with God, but he decided there and then to bid farewell to worldly affairs and made up his mind to devote the rest of his life to the service of the Faith, and getting this couplet framed, he hung it on a wall before him. He soon immersed himself in a day and night scholarly service devoted to Islam. He already had to his credit a series of articles [in English / in Urdu] that had appeared in Paigham-e-Sulh [the Official Urdu Organ of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam], and now these writings became more extensive.
His articles proved to be a spiritual inspiration for readers. In the meantime, he wrote many short booklets like Ar-Ruh (The Spirit), Tanasukh (Doctrine of Transmigration), Masala-e-Taqdir (The Question of Predestination), The Qurans Universal Message of Freedom, The Birth of Jesus, etc. In 1934, he completed the writing of Anwar-ul-Quran [in English / in Urdu], an exegesis of the thirtieth para (part) of the Holy Quran. And what an exegesis! He transformed the Unseen into the Perceivable. Anyone reading it will find a new faith in the existence of God and in the Final Reckoning. After some time, he published the second volume of Anwar-ul-Quran, which was an exegesis of the twenty-seventh part of the Quran.
He was so enamoured of the Holy Quran that wherever his service took him, he made people fall in love with it by his enchanting durus (lessons) of the Quran. His last dars was delivered on the occasion of the annual gathering of the Lahore Ahmadiyya community and this dars was so full of wonderful insights into the deeper meanings of the Quran and so inspiring that I declared at that gathering my wish that he should have been the writer of Bayanul Quran (Commentary of the Quran).
But his love of the Quran was gradually pulling him into another service: his heart was filled with pain over the fact that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Qadiani, that great lover of the Quran, and from whom he had also gained the understanding and love of the Book, had, on the one hand, not been given due appreciation by his opponents, who had clouded his true portrait under a veil of prejudice and rancour, and on the other hand, his extremist friends had hidden his true status under a haze of extreme veneration. The heart of this truth-loving man bled from this grief. To take on such a gigantic project of writing the biography of the Mujaddid of the fourteenth century Hijrah [Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of Qadian], especially towards the winter of his life and when beset by assorted health problems, looked like scaling a high mountain.
But finally, reciting the prayer, In the name of Allah, be its anchoring and its sailing, he undertook this great project. Diseases would often attack him during this time, but it seemed that a Hidden Hand was secretly helping him. Some attacks were so acute that he was laid up for months at a time, but the Hand of Nature would prop him up again as if to say that there was still some work to be done for which this steadfast servant was needed.
I have seen with my own eyes the hard work that he put in. I had the good fortune to remain close to him in these last years; in fact, so close that we met several times a day. And though I myself have been engaged in writing books for the past twenty years, and have penned thousands of pages, yet I used to be awe-struck by the hard labour put in by the author of Mujaddid-e-Azam. It seemed as if a student was sitting in an examination room, with one eye on the clock, noting that time was running out, hurrying to finish his paper on time. Finally his paper was done and the Great Examiner was so pleased with His beloved student that He recalled him to Himself as soon as the paper was completed.
The first volume of Mujaddid-e-Azam appeared in December, 1939, and the second volume in December, 1941. The two volumes together covered fourteen hundred pages. His health had been further affected by the added labour of correcting the copy and the proofs and of supervising the printing. At times he would give up and say that most of the contents of the third volume had already been covered in the first two volumes. But since he had already announced the publishing of the third volume, God, Most High, granted him the opportunity to complete this part of the work also, with his own hand. Had paper been available, this volume would probably have appeared in December, 1942.
It was not possible to devote as much attention to reading the copy and the proofs of this volume as was his custom. Maulawi Dost Muhammad, who was entrusted with this work by the Anjuman, has put in a lot of hard work in doing it. May Allah reward him for it!
But what the author himself can do, none else can. If readers find any defect or error they should draw my attention to it for future rectification and thus earn Allahs reward.
10 January, 1944.