As you very well know, the 23rd day of March commemorates for all Ahmadi Muslims worldwide an exceptional day in the history of mankind when a devout and highly spiritual soul, i.e. the Promised Messiah Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) took from his companions the oath of allegiance. This major event happened in the year 1889 after the Promised Messiah (as) had received repeated revelations from Allah to do so.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (as) thus founded Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam and went on throughout his life on earth to devote his time and energy to calling people to Allah and to share with them all the blessed revelations he used to received from Allah.
THE FAMILY BACKGROUND OF THE PROMISED MESSIAH (AS)
The Promised Messiah (as) Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) belonged to the well-known Persian clan by the name of Barlas. In the year 1530 A.D., one of his ancestors, Mirza Hadi Baig migrated from his hometown Samarkand (in the province of Khurasan in the present day Uzbekistan) to India, along with two hundred of his companions that included his relatives and staff. He was a noble man and a scholar and a saintly figure. India was then under the rule of the Mogul emperor Babar.
Mirza Hadi Baig was granted a large extent of land by the emperor and he thus selected an unpopulated area thereof, some seventy miles northeast of Lahore, to settled down with his clan. He founded the town which he named Islampur and became its overall Chief and Qazi (Islamic Magistrate). With the passage of time, the name Islampur went through a series of changes and came to be called Islampur Qadi, and then Qadi, and finally it became known as Qadian, it's present day appellation.
Mirza Gul Muhammad was the great-grandfather of the Promised Messiah (as), and was known for his honesty and as a God-fearing person. His son, Mirza 'Ataa Muhammad was the grandfather of the Promised Messiah (as). He in turn begot Mirza Ghulam Murtaza who along with his good and caring wife Chiragh Bibi became the parents of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as).
THE BLESSED BIRTH & EARLY DAYS
The Promised Messiah (as) was born on a Friday, 13 February 1835 A.D (14 Shawwal 1250 A.H), before sunrise. He was born with a twin sister who was named Jannat (but who did not survive). His twin birth fulfilled a prophecy recorded in Islamic literature for centuries that the Promised Mahdi (Reformer) will be born as a twin (Fusus al-Hikam, by Muhyiuddin Ibn Arabi).
The Promised Messiah (as), as a child, was not fond of fooling around aimlessly and did not take part in the mischief of his playmates. He received his basic education at home by three different tutors, one after another.
HIS FIRST MARRIAGE
His first marriage was celebrated at the age of fifteen years. It was an arranged marriage with his first maternal cousin, Hurmat Bibi (daughter of his maternal uncle Mirza Jamaat Baig). Two sons, Mirza Sultan Ahmad and Mirza Fazal Ahmad, were born as a result of this marriage. Mirza Fazal Ahmad barely reached fifty years of age when he died, but Hazrat Mirza Sultan Ahmad lived long enough to eventually become an Ahmadi at the hands of his younger brother, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), the second spiritual successor to the Promised Messiah (as).
HIS ATTACHMENT TO PRAYER & MEDITATION
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) cherished his privacy and spent most of his time in prayers or immersed in the study of the Holy Quran. His father was quite conscious of his son’s great preoccupation with religion but nevertheless as a father, he was quite worried about his livelihood. He would normally remark to his friends, regarding his son, saying:
“This son of mine is a ‘Maseetar’ (i.e. In Punjabi: One who spends most of his time in a mosque, saying prayers). He doesn’t seek any employment nor is he interested in earning for himself ...”.
VISION OF THE HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMAD (PBUH)
When he was thirty or thirty one years old, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) saw the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in a vision. The details of this vision shed light on the strong ties of his love for the Holy Prophet (pbuh) that distinguished him from everyone else, and foretold of his remarkable spiritual future.
In 1868 or 1869 A.D., at Batala, he refused to be drawn into a religious debate against Maulvi Muhammad Hussain Batalvi because he did not want to debate somebody just for the sake of debating. He was not interested in seeking fame in this way and preferred to win the approval and pleasure of Allah rather than submit to the pressure of people who wanted him to get involved in that debate against Maulvi Muhammad Hussain of Batala (who held the correct view that the Holy Quran has the top priority, and the sayings of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) (i.e. Hadith), has second priority). Allah was very pleased with this righteous conduct. That night, the Promised Messiah (as) received a revelation in Urdu, translated as thus:
‘God is very pleased with this act of yours, and He will bless you in great measure; so much so that even Kings will seek blessings from your clothing.’
DEMISE OF HIS FATHER & DIVINE REASSURANCE
His father passed away in June 1876 after sunset. The same day at noon, he received a revelation in which Almighty Allah told him of his father’s forthcoming death. In this condition of grief, he was briefly subjected to a feeling of insecurity concerning his livelihood as it was usually his father who used to secure his finance and livelihood and thus he thought that the financial resources associated with his father would come to an end and perhaps the days of poverty and pain would now prevail.
Immediately, he received another revelation from Allah which is also a verse from the Holy Quran, more precisely in Chapter 39, Az-Zumar, Verse 37:
Alaysallaahu bi-kaafin abdahu
Is Allah not sufficient for His servant?
This revelation gave him a feeling of intense relief and peace of mind as it was now clear that Allah will take care of all his needs and relieve him of all his cares.
APPOINTMENT AS MUJADDID
In 1882 A.D., he saw the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in a vision and it was then that he received the first revelation from Allah that he was appointed Mujaddid (Reformer).
According to the divine revelations he received, he married Hazrat Nusrat Jahan Begum (ra), daughter of Mir Nasir Nawab of Delhi, on 17 November 1884.
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT OF HIS SPIRITUAL MINISTRY
In March 1885, he announced through a public advertisement, sent to almost all the renowned religious leaders, scholars and kings of the world, that according to the revelation from Allah, he was the Reformer of the Age and that his spiritual attributes were like the attributes of Jesus Christ (as), son of Mary. This advertisement also included an invitation to all of them to visit him in Qadian and observe for themselves the Divine signs in favour of the truth of his proclamation.
HIS CHILDREN FROM HIS SECOND WIFE
The second wife of the Promised Messiah (as), Hazrat Sayyidah Nusrat Jahan Begum (ra) bore ten children about whom there were several divine prophecies. Five of those children survived and had long lives; their names are:
1. Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad (ra) - The Promised Son and Reformer (Muslih Ma'ud) and the second successor of the Promised Messiah (as). He was born on 12 January 1889 and passed away on 08 November 1965.
3. Hazrat Mirza Shareef Ahmad (ra) - He was born on 24 May 1895, passed away on 26 December 1961.
4. Hazrat Sayyidah Nawab Mubarakah Begum (ra) - She was born on 02 March 1897, and died on 23 May 1977.
5. Hazrat Sayyidah Nawab Amatul Hafiz (ra) - She was born on 25 June 1904 and passed away on 06 May 1987.
BAI'AT (OATH OF ALLEGIANCE)
The first initiation ceremony took place as I was telling you on 23 March 1889 at the house of Hazrat Sufi Ahmad Jan at Ludhiana. The first person to be initiated into Ahmadiyyat was Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin (ra) of Bhera who later became the first caliph of the Promised Messiah (as).
NEARING HIS EARTHLY JOURNEY & MISSION
Upon the request of his wife, the Promised Messiah arrived in Lahore on 29 April 1908. On 09 May 1908, he had another revelation in Arabic - translated as: Departure, then departure. Allah will bear all the burden. This revelation informed him that the hour of his death was near.
On 17 May 1908, in keeping with the wishes of the Promised Messiah (as), a banquet was arranged for the dignitaries and leaders of public opinion in Lahore. On the insistence of the guests, the Promised Messiah (as) spoke for two hours, before the food was served, and gave a detailed account of his claims and teachings and provided convincing refutation of all the objections raised against him by the opponents of Ahmadiyyat.
In response to a suggestion by some people that he should give a public lecture, the Promised Messiah (as) gave his approval and set about to write an essay, entitled, Paigham-i-Sulah, i.e., ‘A Message of Peace’. Its objective was to bring about peace between the Hindus and the Muslims of India. During the writing of this essay, on 20 May 1908, the Promised Messiah (as) received another Arabic revelation from Allah - translated as: Departure, again a departure. The Death is very close now.
Nevertheless he continued working, completed his manuscript, and handed it over for publication on the afternoon of 25 May 1908. After the Asr prayer, the Promised Messiah (as) delivered a short speech on the death of Jesus Christ (as), and then started out on his daily walk.
In the same evening, after performing his Maghrib and Isha prayers, the Promised Messiah (as) went to bed at his usual time. He started experiencing diarrhoea around eleven at night.
As you know the fanatic Mullahs have wrongly blamed the Promised Messiah (as) that he died (God forbid) in the toilet, and they even drew caricatures on his person in this state. This makes us think about the very blames which the non-Muslims have labelled on our beloved prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), and even after centuries, till the present day they are still calumniating him. Now, the Muslims, especially the Mullahs are those who began hate campaigns against the Promised Messiah (as) and this, till this day. They took the fact that he had diarrhoea in his last days as meaning that he died in the toilet. Were they ever present to witness such a thing? Had it been true, would this have amounted to an accursed death? What about at the time of funeral bath of all dead people, especially the Muslims when we have to bathe with care (and respect) the corpse, including lifting it so that the needful may be done - that is, pushing gently on his/ her stomach - to remove all the waste material in the body to make it ritualistically clean? From the perspective of the fanatics Mullahs, having diarrhoea amounts to an accursed death, but what about the waste materials which need to be force out of all corpse during the funeral bath? When these waste material comes out, would they call that an accursed death (as the corpse is surrounded by waste material)?
So the Promised Messiah (as) became seriously ill, and frequently, he fell unconscious during the night. Early in the morning, he asked: “Is it prayer time?” Someone at his bedside replied: “Yes Huzur, it is”. He started praying, but fell unconscious in the middle of his prayer.
Here we note that he even accomplished his prayers. How do those fanatic Mullahs dare to say that he died in the toilet? Does someone does his prayer in the toilet? On the contrary, it is an immense grace of Allah that it was while his Ruh (soul) was still inside him that he was able to get rid of all waste matter from his body before he died. Allah cleansed his body before death overcame him.
By 10 a.m, his condition became critical and at 10.30 a.m, our beloved Imam, the Promised Messiah (as) passed away. Innallaahi wa inna ilayhi raajiioun - To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return.
His age at the time of his death was a little over 73 years according to the solar calendar, and 75 years according to the lunar calendar. May Allah shower His infinite blessings on our beloved Imam, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), who came as a Grand Reformer of Islam and who acts as a blessed example for all his sincere followers. Ameen.
Indeed, with the advent of the Divine Manifestation in this era, and the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam, no power on earth will ever be able to block its progress. Indeed the promises of Allah are ever true. Insha-Allah, Ameen.
---Friday Sermon of 24 March 2017(24 Jamad'ul Aakhir 1438 AH) delivered by HADHRAT MUHYI-UD-DIN AL-KHALIFATULLAH Munir Ahmad Azim (atba) of Mauritius.