Maulana J.D. Shams was from a small village called Sekhwan (“n” is silent), which is a few miles away from Qadian. His father’s name was Khwaja Imam-ud-Din Wyne Sekhwani, and his grandfather’s name was Khwaja Muhammad Siddique. His father is listed in the 313 companions of the Promised Messiah (AS) as is his grandfather. They were ethnically Kashmiri and that’s why the have the foretitle Khwaja and the surtitle Wyne (“n” is silent) around their names, but they lived in Punjab, India. In the 1950’s, he went back and edited every single book of MGA and added his own explanatory notes.
His father, Imam-ud-Din, had two brothers: Jamal-ud-Din and Khair-ud-Din (also listed in the list of 313 companions) and they were known to be exceptionally poor. However, they strived so much financially that even though their combined amounts were still pretty meagre, the Promised Messiah (AS) gave them special attention. For example, for the construction of the white Minaret-ul-Masih (the minaret of the Messiah), which symbolised the mission of the Promised Messiah (AS) and the minaret mentioned in the hadith prophecies, there was a special call for construction funds. A minimum contribution of 100 rupees entitled the person’s name to be commemorated near the foundation. The three Sekhwani brothers, as they were called, asked for a special exception if they all three could combine their contribution to add up to 100 rupees. This was still a great financial sacrifice for their families and the Promised Messiah (AS) accepted their request and included their names along the list of those who made the 100 rupee contributions.
Imam-ud-Din made more than financial sacrifices in the cause of Islam. His son, JD Shams was a life dedicate to Ahmadiyyat. This meant that he had to leave for missionary assignments as ordered by the Khalifa. I heard from JD Shams’ sister’s daughter, Aamina who is still alive in the US, that Imam-ud-Din had a dream indicating his own death while his son, JD Shams was away (I think in Palestine or England). Aamina was a young girl living there at the time and personally witnessed this. Imam-ud-Din had written a letter to the Second Khalifa to allow his son to come home so that he could see him before he passed away, but as he started on his way he had second thoughts. He felt ashamed to ask for this when the time called for the sacrifice of persons and wealth for the cause of Islam. He went to the courtyard of his home and tore up the letter. He had the dream again, and wrote another letter, but tore up that letter too. He died before seeing his son again. He took comfort in the company of JD’s young son (i.e., his grandson), Dr. Salah-ud-Din Shams, who resembled his father JD.
Imam-ud-Din’s two sons were very important to him. His family had a history of problems with male children. They were rare births and tended to die in infancy. He requested the Promised Messiah (AS) to pray for him to have sons. The Promised Messiah (AS) gave him medicine (which Dr. Salah-ud-Din Shams told me was iron) and the Promised Messiah (AS) told him that he would have two laudable sons.
1876 to 1890, Jalal-ud-Din’s grandfather was Imam of the mosque in Qadian
MGA never led Salaat during his life. MGA’s father employed Jalal-ud-dins grandfather as an Imam, to essentially lead the Salaat and give all the speeches (skip to 2:36). This proves that MGA never led salaat in his life.
He is made an Imam by the Khalifa and sent to Syria(See the Forward). He was sent to Damascus, Syria. He relieved another Ahmadi cleric by the name of Maulvi Syed Zainul Abedeen Wali Ullah Shah who had been sent to Damascus a few years earlier, most likely 1922.
He is stabbed while in Damascus and then forced by the British government to leave Syria. He ends up travelling directly to a small town area called Kababir. It seems that the British government purposely worked on getting the Muslims of Kababir to convert to Ahmadiyya en-masse. It was the Odeh family, many of them have left Ahmadiyya by 2019.
Shams returns to Qadian, India. He got married and had two children. He was appointed the Secretary of the All- India Kashmir Committee, of which the Second Khalifah was elected President and Sir Muhammad Iqbal was a member. The Mission at Kababir continued with a new imam.
The Khalifa sends him to London to be the Imam at the London Mosque.
In 1946, after ten years of separation from his wife and two children, Maulana Shams was called back to the Ahmadiyya Headquarters in Qadian to serve in various capacities.
He was appointed the Ameer of the last Ahmadi caravan departing from Qadian to Pakistan. Upon reaching the outskirts of Qadian, he halted the caravan, looked back at Qadian, and recited the same words that the Holy Prophet saw recited as he departed from Mecca’s city limits. Maulana Shams also proposed the name Rabwah for the Ahmadiyya Community’s new Headquarters in Pakistan, which was approved by Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih II.
The second Urdu edition of Tadhkirah was prepared under the leadership of Jalal-ud-Din Shams and was published in 1956.
Maulana Shams served as Nazir Islaho-Irshad (in charge of missionary work in Pakistan) until his death on 13th October 1966. He held various positions until that time including: Secretary
of Bahishti Maqbarah, Managing Director of Al-Shirkat-ul- Islamiyyah, Secretary Majlis Iftaa, and President of Majlis Kaar Pardaaz. At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife and
seven children. He had written approximately seventy books in Urdu, Arabic, and English.
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