MGA mentioned the story of the red drops in 1886, in his book, Surmah Chashm-e-Aryah, “Guidance for the Aryas”. This book was created before MGA rejected the miracle of the physical second coming of Jesus. Hence, MGA was on-board with the physicality of miracles. However, after MGA died, all of those miracles were explained away by rational means. Moreover, MGA always had lots of men and women attending to him while he was in the toilet. Most likely because his right hand was broken and he thus couldn’t properly wipe himself. Abdullah of Sannour was the toilet attendant in this case, he claims to be a witness for these red drops and was even buried with MGA’s clothes which were stained as such. It is important to note that this story is from 1884, but MGA didn’t mention it until 1886 in his book. This incident came from an era before MGA had married his second wife, thus MGA would always spend long hours with his toilet attendants. The story of the red drops is also mentioned in the ROR of September-1925 and the Oct-1939 edition of the ROR.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________1886, the Quote
[Surmah Chashm-e-Aryah, pp. 131–132 footnote, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 2, pp. 179–180 footnote](See Also the 2009 online edition of Tadhkirah, see pages 160-163).
“”””I remember that on one occasion I saw in a state of vision that I had written certain divine decrees with my own hand setting out events in the future and then presented the paper to Allah the All-Powerful, Gloried be His name, for His signature. (It should be remembered that
it often happens in visions and divinely inspired dreams that some divines attribute of Beauty or Majesty are beheld by the recipient of the vision in the form of a human being and the person seeing the vision thinks, by way of symbolism, that he is actually beholding God, the Absolutely All-Powerful. Among those with experience of spiritual visions, this matter is well-recorded, known, and accepted as an established fact. It cannot be denied by anyone with experience of visions.) To the same Peerless and Self-Sufficient Being—Who manifested His attribute of Beauty to my mind in the state of vision and appeared to be God, the All-Powerful—I presented the document containing divine decrees for attestation. And He, Who was manifesting Himself in the form of a Ruler, dipped His pen in red ink and first flicked it in my direction and with the
rest of the red ink which remained at the point of the pen He put His signature to the document. Thereupon, the state of vision came to an end and when I opened my eyes to look at the material world around me, I witnessed several red drops falling on my clothes. Two or three of the drops also fell on the cap of one ‘Abdullah of Sannour (Patiala State) who was at the time sitting close to me. Thus, the red ink which was part of the vision materialized externally and became visible. Many other such manifestations have been witnessed which it would take too long to relate.”””
1916, (See Tadhkirah, 2009 online edition, 161-162, footnote)
“”””Note by Hadrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra: Maulavi ‘Abdullah of Sannourra had the following statement published in al-Fadl, volume 4, number 24, September 26, 1916 by way of attestation of this event:
It was the month of Ramadan on the 27th day of which was Friday. I had the honour of being in attendance upon the blessed presence. After offering the Fajr Prayer, the Promised Messiah[as], as was his wont, retired into the chamber (i.e., the small room to the east of Masjid Mubarak) and lay down on a cot. Sitting near him, my humble self started massaging his feet as usual. This continued till the sun came out and the chamber was lit up. The Promised Messiahas was lying on his side and his forearm covered his face. I was thinking with great joy how fortunate I was and what a blessed opportunity had been afforded to me by Allah, the Holy and High, that it was the blessed month of Ramadan and it was the blessed 27th day, the blessed period of the last ten days [of Ramadan], a blessed Friday and I was in the company of the blessed personage. I thought to myself how many blessings combined for me that day; it would not be strange if God Almighty were to show me some Sign of the Promised Messiahas. I was deep in these delightful thoughts as I was massaging his foot near the ankle when suddenly I perceived a slight trembling of his body, whereupon he removed his forearm from his face and looked at me. His eyes were wet and were possibly running with tears. He covered up his face again and continued in that posture. When I looked at his ankle I noticed a red drop which was round and had not spread out. I put the tip of my forefinger on the drop and it spread out and it coloured my finger also. I was surprised and the verse passed through my mind: [Arabic] [The colouring of Allah and who is better than Allah in the matter of colouring. (al-Baqarah, 2:139)]
Then I thought that if this was Allah’s colouring may be it had a fragrance. I smelt my finger but there was no fragrance. Then I started massaging his back and observed a few wet red stains on his shirt which made me wonder, and I got up and examined the whole chamber but did not find any red stain anywhere else. I was very puzzled, and resumed massaging his feet. The Promised Messiahas continued lying down with his face covered with his forearm. In a short
while he sat up and then went to the mosque and sat there. My humble self continued massaging his back.
It was then that I asked him: ‘Hudur, where did these red drops fall from?’ At first, he put me off; but on my persisting he related the whole incident as he has set out in detail in his books. Before describing the incident, he expounded to me in detail the matter of beholding God Almighty and the external materialization of elements observed in a vision. He drew upon the experiences of Hadrat Mohy-ud-din Ibn-e- ‘Arabi to make me fully comprehend how perfect
individuals are vouchsafed the experience of the personification of divine attributes of Beauty and Majesty.
Then the Promised Messiahas asked me: ‘Did any drop fall on your clothes?’ I looked at my clothes and answered: ‘There is no drop on me.’ He asked me to look at my cap (which was of white muslin.) I took off my cap and looked at it and saw that there was a drop on it also. I felt very happy that a drop of the divine ink had fallen on me too. I begged the Promised Messiahas persistently to bestow upon me the shirt on which the red drops had fallen.. He agreed on
the condition that I should give a direction in my will that on my death it should be buried along with me. His hesitation in bestowing it upon me was due to his apprehension that after the death of both of us, people might convert it into an object of worship; and he gave it to me after a good deal of discussion between us. It is still with me and bears the red stains exactly as they were then.
This is my true eye-witness testimony! Suffice to say that if I have lied, may I be subject to the warning of: [Curse of Allah be upon the liars.]
Taking Allah as Ever-Present, All-Seeing, I declare on oath in the name of Allah that whatever I have stated is the truth in its entirety. If I have forged a lie I call down upon myself the curse! curse!! curse!!! and wrath! wrath!! wrath!!! of Allah. Humbly, ‘Abdullah of Sannour.”””””
The “Miraculous” Event:
It was 10 July 1985, Mian Abdullah Sanori was 20–21 and was massaging the feet of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who was 50 years old at that time. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was lying down on a Charpai (make-shift bed) in a bathroom.
Mian Abdullah Sanori was in a very impressionable state of mind, that can be judged from his own statement. He narrates:
میں دل میں بہت مسرور تھا کہ میرے لئے ایسے مبارک موقعے جمع ہیں۔ یعنی حضرت صاحب جیسے مبارک انسان کی خدمت کر رہا ہوں وقت فجر کا ہے جو مبارک وقت ہے مہینہ رمضان کا ہے جو مبارک مہینہ ہے۔ تاریخ ستائیس اور جمعہ کا دن ہے۔۔۔
I was very happy in my heart that such happy occasions are gathered for me. That is, I am serving a blessed person like Hazrat Sahib. The time is Fajr which is the blessed time. The month is Ramadan which is the blessed month. The date is 27th and a Friday.
Seerat-ul-Mehdi, Volume I, page 73
He further narrates that while he was massaging and reached the calf area of Hazrat Sahib, he saw that below Huzoor’s ankle there was a fresh red spot. He examined it with the index finger of his right hand, that drop spread on the ankle and was now also on his finger.
At this point Mian Abdullah Sanori did not investigate where this red spot might have come from, and what he says next is interesting and I will quote.
پھر میں نے اسے سونگھا کہ شاید اس میں کچھ خوشبو ہومگر خوشبو نہیں تھی۔ میں نے اسے اس لئے سونگھا تھا کہ اسی وقت میرے دل میں یہ خیال آیا تھاکہ یہ کوئی خداتعالیٰ کی طرف سے بات ہےاس لئے اس میں کوئی خوشبو ہوگی۔
Then I smelled it, that maybe there is some scent in it, but there was not. I sniffed it because at that moment a thought came to my mind that it was a something from God so there would be some fragrance in it.
Seerat-ul-Mehdi, Volume I, page 73
Mian Abdullah Sanori still did not attempt to investigate and kept on giving a massage. When he reached close to the ribs area of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, he saw a bigger red spot, this time on the shirt (Kurta). Now, Mian Abdullah Sanori wondered where these red spots came from. He got up and started looking around on the ceiling. He said:
مجھے یہ بھی خیال آیا کہ کہیں چھت پر کسی چھپکلی کی دم کٹی ہو تو اس کا خون گرا ہواس لئے میں نے غور کے ساتھ چھت پر نظر ڈالی مگر اس کا کوئی نشان نہیں پایا۔
I also thought that maybe a lizard was on the ceiling with a broken tail, and this might be it’s blood, so I looked carefully at the ceiling but did not find any sign of it.
Seerat-ul-Mehdi, Volume I, page 73
Mian Abdullah Sanori very rationally hypothesised that the red spots might be from a lizard’s bleeding tail. Perhaps, readers in the west won’t be able to fully understand this. In Indian-subcontinent, house lizards are very common. They live and hide themselves in buildings, especially inside rooms, where they enjoy moderate temperature all around the year. These lizards are in abundance and they also happen to be territorial. They occasionally fight, and losing a tail is a most common sight, the tail detaches quickly to distract the contender and then after a few months it fully regrows.
Now, Mian Abdullah Sanori reached a rational possibility of where the red spots might have come from. Unfortunately, he spent long time sniffing the blood drops, expecting some heavenly fragrance and then he also continued giving massage to sleeping Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The bleeding lizard with broken tail was not so patient to wait around the same place and possibly went back to its hideout. This could be one explanation of where the red spots came from.
The young Mian Abdullah Sanori did not find the lizard and perhaps did not think about any other possible reason, so his inner feelings that were expecting some supernatural sign came back to surface. How convenient it is for the believers to attribute an unexplainable event to a divine miracle.
In the meantime, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad woke up, went into the mosque and sat down. Now, Mian Abdullah Sanori continued with giving him a shoulder massage, and asked him where did these red spots came on his clothes. Mian Sanori narrates that Huzoor casually said that it might be mango pulp. Mian Abdullah Sanori insisted that it is not mango pulp, it’s something red. After this, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad turned his blessed head and said:
(Translated from Punjabi: “Where is it?”)
Seerat-ul-Mehdi, Volume I, page 74
Now, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad saw the red spots, and witnessing the desperation of his follower to get an explanation, his typical Indian mystic personality came into action. He narrated two supernatural stories of mystics.
Shah Abdul Qadir who multiple times saw God in the bodily form of his father. Once God gave him a pouch of turmeric and when he woke up, the pouch of turmeric was in his hand.
An unnamed mystic was sleeping and dreamt that someone pulled away the rug under him, when he woke up, the rug was actually not there and was in fact in the courtyard.
After telling these supernatural stories, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad now prepared gullible Mian Abdullah Sanori for his own supernatural story of miracle. I will quote the exact words that Mian Abdullah Sanori narrated and what Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said to him:
اب ہمارا قصہ سنو۔ جس وقت تم حجرہ میں ہمارے پاوٴں دبا رہے تھےمیں کیا دیکھتا ہوں کہ ایک نہایت وسیح اور مصفی مکان ہےاس میں ایک پلنگ بچھا ہوا ہے اور اس پر ایک شخص حاکم کی صورت میں بیٹھا ہے۔ میرے دل میں ڈالا گیا کہ یہ احکم الحاکمین یعنی رب العالمین ہیں اور میں اپنے آپ کوایسا سمجھتا ہوں جیسے حاکم کا کوئی سر رشتہ دار ہوتا ہے۔ میں نے کچھ احکام قضا و قدر کے متعلق لکھے ہیں اور ان پر دستخط کرانے کی غرض سے ان کے پاس لے چلا ہوں۔ جب میں پاس گیا تو انہوں نے مجھے نہایت شفقت سے اپنے پاس پلنگ پر بٹھا لیا۔ اس وقت میری ایسی حالت ہوگئی کہ جیسے ایک بیٹا اپنے باپ سے بچھڑا ہوا سالہا سال کے بعد ملتا ہےاور قدرتاً اس کا دل بھر آتا ہے یا شاید فرمایا اس کورقت آجاتی ہے اور میرے دل میں اس وقت یہ بھی خیال آیا کہ احکم الحاکمین یا فرما یا رب العالمین ہیں اور کس محبت و شفقت سے انہوں نے مجھے اپنے پاس بٹھا لیا ہے۔ اس کے بعد میں نے وہ احکام جو لکھے تھے دستخط کرانے کی غرض سے پیش کئے۔ انہوں نے قلم سرخی کی دوات میں جو پاس پڑی تھی ڈبویا اور میری طرف جھاڑ کر دستخط کر دئے۔ میاں عبداللہ صاحب کہتے ہیں کہ حضرت صاحب نے اور دستخط کرنے کی حرکتوں کو خود اپنے ہاتھ کی حرکت سے بتایا تھا کہ یوں کیا تھا ۔ پھرحضرت صاحب نے فرمایا یہ وہ سرخی ہے جو اس قلم سے نکلی ہے۔
Now listen to my story. While you were massaging my feet in the room, I saw a very spacious and clean house with a bed and a person sitting on it in the form of a ruler. It was inculcated in my heart that this is God, i.e. the Lord of the worlds and I consider myself as if I am the main relative of the ruler. I have written some rulings on qadha and qadr and have taken them to him to get them signed. When I approached him, he kindly made me sit on his bed. At that time I felt as if a son was reunited with his father after many years, and naturally his heart would be full of tears, or maybe he said that he cried. A thought came to my mind that with what love and compassion, Lord of the Lords or Lord of the worlds has made me sit with Him. After that I presented the orders that were written for the purpose of signing. He dipped the quill in the red ink pot and shook it towards me and signed. Mian Abdullah Sahib says that Hazrat Sahib had explained the signature gestures with his own hand gestures. Then Hazrat Sahib said that this is the red ink that came out of that quill.
Seerat-ul-Mehdi, Volume I, page 74–75
Up to this point Mirza Ghulam Ahmad appears to be understanding how to lead Mian Abdullah Sanori to the rabbit hole. Although, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was allegedly in the spiritual presence of Almighty God only by himself, but he asked Mian Abdullah Sanori to see if the red ink spots have fallen on his clothes as well. Mian Abdullah Sanori checked his shirt, no red spots were found!
But wait, red spots were on Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s shirt because he ways lying on the bed at that time. As Mian Abdullah Sanori was sitting while giving him a massage, so if there were any red spots, they should have been on his head covering, isn’t it?
فرمایا کہ تم اپنی ٹوپی پر دیکھو۔
(Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) asked me (Abdullah Sanori) to check head covering.
Seerat-ul-Mehdi, Volume I, page 75
VOILA! A red spot was on his head covering as well. We do not hear about the blessed head covering of Mian Abdullah Sanori, perhaps because it would have taken a little magic away from the grand story of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s spiritual presence in front of God.
What comes next is going to establish that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had just started playing with his young gullible follower.
Mian Abdullah Sanori was excited! The red spots that he was confused about and also thought might be from a bleeding lizard’s tail, after Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s story turned out to be from the red ink pot of God Almighty. The red ink splashed, crossed spiritual realm and sprayed on Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s shirt in physical dimension (Also on Abdullah Sanori’s head covering). Mian Abdullah out of joy asked Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to give him this blessed shirt (Kurta), but he denied saying:
نہیں یہ تو ہم نہیں دیتے۔۔۔ یہ کرتا میں اس واسطے نہیں دیتا کہ میرے اور تیرے مرنے کہ بعد اس سے شرک پھیلے گا اس کی لوگ پوجا کریں گے۔ اس کو لوگ زیارت بنا لیں گے۔
No, this I won’t give… I will not give this shirt to you, because after the death of you and me, Shirk will spread because of it, and people will worship it. People will make it an item to do pilgrimage for.
Seerat-ul-Mehdi, Volume I, page 75
One thing is clear, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad knew the power of his narrative around the red ink drops. He also knew that the type of his followers will fall for it. Nevertheless, Mian Abdullah Sanori promised that this shirt will get buried with him and thus Mirza Ghulam Ahmad agreed to give this shirt to him.
Mian Abdullah Sanori was overjoyed and while Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was still wearing the shirt, Mian Sanori started telling about the story of this miracle to new visitors. They confirmed it from Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and asked for the shirt for themselves and said that they will divide it between them. Mian Abdullah Sanori who promised to fulfil the condition of getting this shirt was surprised that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad agreed to give this shirt to them, and that also without any condition.
Mian Abdullah Sanori says:
حضرت صاحب نے فرمایا ہاں لے لینااور ان سے کوئی شرط اور عہد وغیرہ نہیں لیا۔
Hazrat Sahib said yes, take it and did not set any condition or took pledge from them.
Seerat-ul-Mehdi, Volume I, page 75
Strange, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad denied Mian Abdullah Sanori when he asked for the “blessed” shirt, and set a condition, but simply agreed without a condition to give it someone else who asked for it. Later Mian Abdullah Sanori confronted Mirza Ghulam Ahmad that he has already promised to give this shirt (Kurta) to him, so he does not have the right to give it to anyone else. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad laughed and agreed that it is now in the possession of Abdullah Sanori and thus it is his choice to give it to anyone else or not. These people asked from Mian Abdullah Sanori but he declined. Long story short, this whole game play further established the importance of the shirt for Mian Abdullah Sanori. That day onwards, the shirt (Kurta) came in the possession on Mian Abdullah Sanori. After that, another chapter started under the Khilafat of Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad.
There is no point of a crafty story if it is not used to influence more gullible people who are ready to believe in supernatural. Mian Abdullah Sanori used to keep this Shirt with himself all the time till his death, and shared this story with all his devotion. The propaganda took the next level when Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad asked Mian Abdullah Sanori to show this Shirt abundantly.
حضرت میاں صاحب(مرزا بشیرالدین محمود احمد) نے فرمایااسےبہت دکھایا کرو اور کثرت کے ساتھ دکھاوٴ تاکہ اس کی روٴیت کے گواہ بہت پیدا ہو جاویں اور ہر شخص ہماری جماعت میں سے یہ کہے کہ ۔میں نے بھی دیکھا ہے۔ میں نے بھی دیکھا ہے،میں نے بھی دیکھا ہے۔
Hazrat Mian Sahib (Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad) said: Show this (shirt) a lot and show it in abundance so that many people become witnesses of this miracle, and everyone in our community may say: I have also seen. I have seen, I have seen.
Seerat-ul-Mehdi, Volume I, page 76
From that point onward, this shirt with red ink spots became an attraction at every Ahmadiyya Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana), until Mian Abdullah Sanori passed away on 7 October 1927. The shirt got buried with him.
Tareekh-e-Ahmadiyat, Volume I, page 267–269
SEERATUL MAHDI. PAGE NO 72 PART I STORY NO 100
“””NARRATED TO ME BY MIAN ABDULLAH SINAURI THAT IT WAS ABOUT MAY JUNE 1884, ONE MORNING AFTER OFFERING FAJAR PRAYER AT MASJID MUBARAK HAZRAT SAHAB (MGAQ) WENT INTO THE ATTACHED BATH ROOM WHICH WAS COLD DUE TO RECENT PLASTER WORK. THERE WAS A CHARPOY AND HAZRAT SAHAB LIED ON IT. I STARTED LEG MASSAGE. SUDDENLY I FOUND A RED SPOT ON HIS SHIN AND SHIRT. I TOUCHED IT THINKING IT TO BE BLOOD, SNIFFED IT BUT IT WAS NOT PERFUMED. THEN I ASKED MGAQ WHO TOLD THE WHOLE STORY OF HIS MEETING WITH ALLAH.”””
The scan from Seeratul Mahdi
Mujadid e Azim mentions this story in the 1930’s by Dr. Basharat Ahmad (Lahori-Ahmadi), the abridged english version
(see page 166-171)
“””On the eastern extremity of the mosque was another small room in which the Divine sign of the red drops occurred. The floor of this room was about two feet lower than the rest of the mosque and contained the requirements for performing ablution. Later, the floor of the room was raised to the level of the rest of the mosque and this cubbyhole became the office of Maulvi Muhammad Ali. During the summer months, the evening prayers were offered on the roof of the mosque. On the west side of the roof was a balcony in which Hazrat Mirza sat after the early evening (Maghrib) prayers and the congregation would gather around him
for talk and discussions.”””
Some additional scans
Links and Related Essays
The Miracle of Red Ink Drops: Explained from islam_ahmadiyya
Who is M. Abdullah Sanauri (1864-1927)? The famous toilet attendant of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and the Splitting of the Moon incident of Muhammad
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