MGA never wrote anything. He was helped his entire life, he even had toilet attendants, many servants and other people to massage him all day. Moreover, he broke his right hand in his youth, and thus was never able to have full function of his right hand. In fact, MGA’s right hand was so weak, he couldn’t lift a simple cup of tea with it, he was thus forced to drink and eat with his left hand, which is unislamic and nasty. In Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya Vol. 4, MGA mentions that he used a hindu scribe named Sham Lal, a Pundit’s son who could write in both Devanagari and Persian (seem page 361, online english edition). After Lekh Ram came to Qadian, Sham Lal seems to have grown weary of MGA and told his secrets, MGA immediately himself expelled him from the job and then employed another Hindu Barahman, namely Kalia Bawa Das for this task.
There was also Mirza Khuda Bakhsh and Maulvi Abdul Karim. Another one bears the name of scribe as Pir Sirajul Haq, these names are given in Maktubat. Abdullah Sanauri was another. After 1905, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq became the main ghost writer/scribe.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________Friday Khutbah of Mirza Masroor Ahmad, 1-15-16
“””In olden days, it took a long time to compile books and many edits had to be done and the resources available were very limited. Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) mentions how things were in those days. How the Promised Messiah (as) desired high quality. He talks about how he bore with patience the demands of the scribes. Talking about Mir Mahdi Hassan Sahib when he was not an Ahmadi. He says that Mir Sahib was incharge of the printing in the time of the Promised Messiah (as). When a book of the Promised MEssiah (as) was published he would read it with great care.
Promised Messiah (as) would reject a book even if smallest error was found in it and he would have a new one written. Then he would review the new one and if it too contained errors he would also reject it. And he would not permit a book to be published till he was certain that there was no error in it.
The Promised Messiah (as) would inquire why it took so long to publish and they would say Huzur there are still many errors in the proofs. The Promised Messiah (as) also wanted a clean and good thing produced and so he would never worry that the workers are just sitting around doing nothing waiting and consuming wages doing nothing. It was also his practice that if there was a small shortcoming in the book he would tear it and ask that it be rewritten. And the scribe would re write and till the quality was good he would not give the book for publication.
Initially the transcribers were not Ahmadi but eventually became Ahmadis and the good thing about them was that they recognized and correctly estimated the status of the Promised Messiah (as) and he recognized their worth. Despite not being Ahmadi whenever the Promised Messiah had their need they would be called to Qadian. In those days the wages were low, 25 rupees a month and an allowance for food.
The scribe had the habit that when the work was near an end he would come to the Promised Messiah (as) and say Huzur, I have come to submit my salaams and request leave to go home. The Promised Messiah (as) would ask, what is the hurry? The work of printing the books is ongoing still. We have need of scribes. The scribe would say Huzur I definitely need to go. The promised Messiah (as) would say there is still material that needs to be written down. The scribe would say Huzur here I have to make my own food and this takes up all my day, so I do not know whether I should make my food or do the writing. The Promised Messiah (as) would say to him to stay and provided him food from the Langar [the Promised Messiah’s public kitchen]. Thus he would get his 35 Rupees in wages and the food.
A few days later he would again come to the Promised Messiah and say that he has to go home and upon being asked why he would say that the food of the Langar is lacking and a man cannot do any work eating this food. So the Promised Messiah (as) would ask what should he do. He would say you should please give some money separately for this. The Promised Messiah (as) would raise wages by ten Rupees and say ok you will now receive 45 Rupees.
Then he would return ten days later saying I have come to submit my salaams and seek permission to go home. I spend all day cooking food how can I work. The Promised Messiah (as) would again ask so what should I do? And he would be told to arrange something at the Langarkhana. The Promised Messiah (as) would say ok you will keep receiving 45 rupees and will also start getting food from the Langarkhana. He would return to start work again.
Then he would return a few days later saying I have come to submit my salaams and seek permission to go home. Huzur would ask what is the matter and would say I cannot eat the food of the Langar you should increase my wages by ten more rupees and so the wages were increased to 55 rupees.
Similarly he employed other ways to get more money from Huzur but Huzur loved his writing and would tolerate all these but get him to do the writing. What this does show is how much care and worry the Promised Messiah (as) had for his books. He wanted that the teachings of Islam should be presented in the best manner possible.
We should strive to read the books of the Promised Messiah (as) especially. Our religious knowledge would increase thereby and a zeal would well up within us for conveying the message to others and our knowledge would also become blessed and we will become capable of bringing the world under the flag of Islam Ahmadiyyat.”””
Last Updated on 14th November 2021
Al Hakam, 21 February 1934
Hazrat Sheikh Yaqub Ali Irfanira
Today, I want to tell my friends about the history of the correspondence department of the Promised Messiahas so that they can realise how particular Huzooras was in replying to his followers.
Before he had made any claims and was working on Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Huzooras would reply to letters himself. He would use a reed pen and locally manufactured ink and would write on a thin French paper. Such letters, with the detailed spiritual and theological contents therein, turn out to be a piece of literature in their own capacity. This was the case for a long time until Munshi Abdullah Sanori Sahibra and Sahibzada Siraj-ul-Haq Naumani Sahibra started to visit Huzooras who would write replies on his behalf.
As this work of correspondence expanded and Huzooras, by divine commandment, made his claims public, letters started to pour in in much greater number. Even then, the Promised Messiahas would personally reply to some dear ones (a practice that he maintained till the last breath of his life or theirs), albeit a single line or two. When Huzooras posted books or other literature to some of his followers, he would wrap the parcels, write the address and place the postal stamps himself, with great love and care, before sending them off via registered mail. I intend here to only touch upon this briefly, without going into detail.
After his claims were made public, the Promised Messiahas became very busy and the number of letters only increased; replying to them personally became no longer possible for him. It was then that Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddin Sahibra, Hakim Fazl Din Sahib and, occasionally, Mirza Khuda Bakhsh Sahib, started to help in writing replies.
When Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahibra migrated and settled in Qadian, this duty was permanently assigned to him, with Pir Iftikhar Ahmad Sahib as his assistant. He [Pir Iftikhar Sahib] would reply to letters requesting prayers or Bai‘at and other letters of general nature himself as a set format. Replies to letters of special or specific nature would be written by Hazrat Maulana Abdul Karimra.
A great feature of Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karim’sra time in this service (which ceased with his demise) was that he would issue a weekly circular with the latest revelations, excerpts from various talks of the Promised Messiahas and other enlightening and faith inspiring incidents. These circulars were sometimes addressed to Hazrat Munshi Taj Dinra with the instruction to read it out to the local Jamaat and then send it off to Sialkot. Some would be addressed to Hazrat Mir Hamid ShahSahib with a similar instruction to forward them.
Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahibra had, owing to his great intellect, sensed that the only way to develop a personal connection with the Promised Messiahas was to regularly write to him. Maulvi Sahibra sowed the seed of desire in the Jamaat’s heart to write frequently to the Promised Messiahas. As he came across many letters requesting prayers, Maulvi Sahibra would also give tips on appropriate ways to request Huzoor’sas prayers. Extending this practice further, Maulvi Sahibra would write such information for Al Hakam every week.
After the demise of Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Karim Sialkotira, this duty was passed on to Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq. Mufti Sahib had occasionally helped with this duty in the past, but it was after the demise of Maulvi Sahibra that Mufti Sahibra was assigned this duty. He served in this capacity until the demise of the Promised Messiahas.
It was the practice of the Promised Messiahas that … he would read all the letters himself. Before the envelopes were opened, the whole bundle of the mail would be brought to the Promised Messiahas, who would place it before himself and pray to Allah generally to fulfil the desires of all those who had written to request prayers in various matters. I cannot say what the exact words were, but they would be similar in meaning.
The Promised Messiahas mentioned on many occasions that when letters arrived, he prayed for all those who had written him. He would then open each letter, read it and pray according to the writer’s request. Having read all letters, he would hand them to the scribes when he came for the Zuhr prayer. On days when the correspondence came after Zuhr, he would bring them out at Asr. The letters would be in Huzoor’sas pocket, tied in Huzoor’s handkerchief during Salat and so he would pray for them during Salat. The correspondence department would then prepare a list of all those who had requested prayers through these letters, hence another opportunity for Huzooras to pray for them in his special moments of supplication.
Replies were then written stating that Huzooras had prayed for them. In the replies that Huzooras wrote himself, he would always use a respectful salutation for the addressee, whatever their social status, like Akhwim (my brother), Hibbi Fillah (my brother in Islam) or Mukarrami (respected).
It was not his practice to address anyone with their name only. Huzooras would always use an honorific prefix and address them in second person plural [seen as more respectful in Urdu]. Such examples can be seen in the few volumes of the Promised Messiah’sas letters that I have published and others that are being published in Al Hakam. As gratitude for Allah’s bounties, I would like to say that the blessing of publishing this hidden treasure of letters has been bestowed upon me. Praise be to Allah!
Concluding this essay, I request that if anyone has, in their possession, any letters of the Promised Messiahas, they may send it to myself – the original or a copy – so that I may publish it and both of us can earn a reward from Allah.
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