Sunday, March 18, 2012

Remembering Hadhrat Massih Maoud (as)- II

Prophets and other Messengers are raised by Allah, the Most High. He bestows His favour on whomsoever He wills among His servants and such persons declare a Divine Mission when the Divine Grace descends on them. And Allah knows best when and where to place His Message (6: 125). The Holy Qur’an declares: He cannot be questioned as to what He does, but those who reject the Messengers will be questioned as to what they did (21:21).

About the Divine Messengers, Allah states in the Holy Qur’an: We sent none as Messengers before you but men to whom We sent revelations. So ask those who are well versed in scriptures, if you know not. And We did not give them bodies that ate no food, nor where they to live forever” (21:8-9).

No wonder, Divine Messengers invariably affirm their humanity. The Holy Qur’an repeatedly mentions this fact: “We are indeed only men like yourselves, but Allah bestows His favour on whomsoever He wills from among His servants” (14:12). About his status and mission, a Messenger declares: I am only a man like yourselves; but I have received the revelation that your God is only One God. So let him who hopes to meet his Lord do good deeds, and let him join no one in the worship of his Lord” (18:111).

Hence, the profound duty and responsibility of a Messenger of Allah is to make people understand the real purpose of life and to guide them in leading a life of meaning and enduring value, both in this world and the world to come. Their life as lived in this very earth is the message for their fellow beings. In this way, the Messengers essentially seek to purify people and to guide them to their Lord through their noble precepts and credible practices.

To know the prophets and the Divine messengers is to know the ways of Allah. The life of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian is a recent testimonial to the enduring principles of Divine Mercy and continuity of revelations confirmed by the Holy Qur’an. Understanding the physical and material circumstances of his times, family background, early education, traits of character and spiritual inclination from early life are important in a way for the believers to marvel at the contingent circumstances against which Divine Messages emerge and thrive.

In a world that refuses to recognize the spiritual reality of a Living and Ever- Subsisting Lord who speaks to His servants and answers the prayers of His supplicants, what better way to affirm those principles than to remember the lived history of such Divine Messengers? In his Friday Sermon of March 16, 2012, Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius sketched a fascinating glimpse into the early life and times of Hadhrat Massih Maoud (as). The first part of the Sermon was published here at the Sahih Al Islam Blog on March 17, 2012.

Read the second and final part of the Sermon:

“Hazrat Massih Ma’ud’s (upon him be peace) father as well as being the hereditary chieftain of Qadian, was a trained soldier used to commanding men and having his orders obeyed. People were scared of him. He was equally choleric to people of his own rank and to British Government officials. At a meeting with one British official the British asked him how far away Qadian was. It produced an immediate misunderstanding. For the British official it was a polite, innocuous generality, a way of starting off the conversation. That was not how Mirza Ghulam Murtaza took it. He flared up. “If you want to know how far places are apart then ask your servant” he told the official. He rammed the point home, “I am not your servant!”

The British official was confused, unsure how to react, but then he apologised and the conversation started again. If Mirza Ghulam Murtaza had a sense of his own dignity it might also be through that beneath his gruff exterior was a kind heart. He had studied medicine and as there were no doctors in the area he looked after all the people in the surrounding district. He never charged for his services.

“My father was an expert physician and I read some books on medicine with him”, Hazrat Massih Ma’ud (upon him be peace) wrote later. This belief in his ability was not confined to Hazrat Massih Ma’ud (upon him be peace). The Rajah of Batala sent for Mirza Ghulam Murtaza when he was ill. When the Rajah recovered he offered him the rents of two villages as a reward for his services. Mirza Ghulam Murtaza refused. He never took any payment for his medical treatments and he certainly could not accept the rents of these two villages. They were two of the villages in his ancestral estate and to accept them in this way, when he believed they were rightfully his, would compromise not only his honour but also that of his descendants.

Hazrat Massih Ma’ud (upon him be peace) could ride and swim. He was once saved from drowning by an old man who happened to be near and he could run fast, but he never cared for games or sports and seldom took an active part in them. Usually his playmates asked him to be umpire. Most young men learned martial arts in those days. Fencing was a popular pastime – and for a member of the Mirza family it was considered almost essential to be skilled in the use of the sword, the bow and the gun. But Hazrat Massih Ma’ud (upon him be peace) never became involved in any of these martial sports. Already his future life was starting to take shape. In that worldly household “getting on” and recovering the family estates were the two main subjects of conversation.

“By that time I had become very fond of reading books, so much so that I paid little attention to anything else”, Hazrat Massih Ma’ud (upon him be peace) wrote later... “My father repeatedly admonished me to reduce my study of books as he was afraid that too much concentration on books might have an adverse affect on my health. He was also desirous that, laying aside books I should begin to take an interest in his affairs and should become involved with the problems with which he was preoccupied.”

Hazrat Massih Ma’ud (upon him be peace) was interested in a different life. He recalled that when he was “quite young I found myself powerfully attracted towards my Lord and there dawned upon me the dim consciousness of a future when God would use me as His instrument in carrying out one of His great plans. I was like gold hidden in dust which, at some time in the future, was to display its brightness.”

When he was a mere child he was with a cousin called Hurmat Bibi, the daughter of his maternal uncle, when the subject of prayer arose, as it does even with small children. Hazrat Massih Ma’ud (upon him be peace) asked her, “Pray that I might be granted the grace of prayer”.

When he was 17 he and Hurmat Bibi were married. It was an arranged marriage, not a love match and it faltered from the start. There were two sons born from their wedlock, Sultan Ahmad and Fazal Ahmad. They were born in the first four years, but after that the light of their marriage grew dim and finally went out. Hurmat Bibi and her two sons moved into the household of Massih Ma’ud (as) brother – whose only child, a boy, had died young.

Hazrat Massih Ma’ud (upon him be peace) moved back into his single bachelor room. When he was not in his room reading the Quran the family always knew where to look for him – he was in the mosque. Indeed, one of his father’s friends visiting them one day, said, “I know you say that you have two sons, but I have only ever seen one. Where is your other son?” Hazrat Massih Ma’ud (upon him be peace) was sent for, a shy, diffident boy, it is recalled, and who stared at the ground and answered monosyllabically when he was spoken to..."

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