Sir Lepel Henry Griffin KCSI (20 July 1838 – 9 March 1908) was a British administrator and diplomat during the British Raj period in India. He errors in his 1909 and 1890 edition of the Punjab Chiefs. Mirza Ghulam Murtaza was barely 11-12 years old and is forced into exile with his 5 brothers and other extended family in Begowal, India. Fateh Singh Ahluvalia protected the Mirza family of Qadian from 1802 to 1814 (see Punjab Chiefs), as the Mirza family fled Qadian and crossed the river Beas and settled in Beghowal. When Ata Muhammad died, in roughly 1814, Mirza Ghulam Murtaza and his extended family were allowed to move back to Qadian (see Griffin, Punjab Chiefs). Ranjit Singh then gave 5 villages (+Qadian) back to Mirza Ghulam Murtaza and his brothers. Mirza Ghulam Murtaza and his brothers joined the Sikh military, wherein they served until 1849-ish.
1865, he wrote the first edition of the Punjab Chiefs, in it he mentions some key points.
1. Fateh Singh Ahluvalia protected the Mirza family of Qadian from 1802 to 1814 (see Punjab Chiefs), as the Mirza family fled Qadian and crossed the river Beas and settled in Beghowal. When Ata Muhammad died, in roughly 1814, Mirza Ghulam Murtaza and his extended family were allowed to move back to Qadian (see Griffin, Punjab Chiefs). Ranjit Singh then gave 5 villages (+Qadian) back to Mirza Ghulam Murtaza and his brothers. Mirza Ghulam Murtaza and his brothers joined the Sikh military, wherein they served until 1849-ish.
2. That the pension was for 700 rupees, and it was given to the entire family, the 4 mirza brothers, not simply to MGA’s father, who was the leader of the entire family, the settlement of 1865, wherein 2/5th’s of the 700 rupee pension was divided. The Mirza estate was divided into five parts; two-fifths belonged to the descendants of Mirza Tasadduq Jilani, two fifths to those of Mirza Gul Muhammad, and one-fifth to Mirza Ghulam Murtaza as the managing proprietor (see Dard page 68). Further, this is why Mirza Imam ud din went with MGA to pickup the family pension. Moreover, this was also Imam ud din’s money, you can read the entire pension story here:
2.a. It seems that 2 of MGA’s uncles had no off-spring at all…thus, there lands were lost. The only other brother left, who was the father of Imam-ud-din, MGA would be embroiled in economic controversy with them until 1905. They also seem to have left no off-spring. MGA was the only one who had 4 sons and 2 daughters who also had off-spring. This may have been since all of these people married each other, or “cousin-marriages’, which sometimes lead to babies being retarded or not being born at all. Nonetheless, by 1908, all of MGA’s cousins had died off and only MGA, since he married a non-relative from Delhi in 1884, seems to have had proper off-spring. One more thing, MGA’s eldest son, Mirza Sultan Ahmad, who took over as the family leader in 1883, he seems to have had one son, Mirza Aziz Ahmad, who seems to have taken MGA’s bait.
3. MGA was incapable to be a family leader, since he could barely speak, and when he did speak, he has a terrible stammer and stutter, and was thus unintelligible. Further, he couldn’t writer because of a broken arm. Thus, MGA’s eldest son, Mirza Sultan Ahmad is listed as the family leader in the 1890 edition of the punjab Chiefs by the same Lepel Griffin.
4. Some additional data on Mirza Sultan Ahmad
Mirza Sultan Ahmad’s name is not to be found in the Edition of 1865, because at that time he was barely 9 years old. Moreover Mirza Ghulam Murtaza was still living. And the adoption of Mirza Sultan Ahmad by his son’s widow was to be enacted years later. His son Mirza Ghulam Qadir, who was chief of the family after his father, died in 1883.
There is an Urdu translation of the later edition of “The Punjab Chiefs” by Sayyid Nawazish Ali unter the title: “Tazkira rousaa-i panjab” which was published from Lahore in 1941. “Ta’rikh-e Ahmadiyyat”, part one, has reproduced its text concerning the family of MGA. There are even some editions also. For example it is reported that after the death of Mirza Sultan Ahmad in 1930 his son Mirza Aziz Ahmad was accepted as the chief of the Mirza Family.
The Omissions of Dard
Dard quotes “The Punjab Chiefs” 1909 edition, however, he leaves out the part that clearly designates Mirza Sultan Ahmad as the head of the family (see pages 15-17). Griffin erroneously confuses MGA’s cousin, Mirza Ghulam Kadir with MGA’s brother, Mirza Ghulam Qadir. MGA even supported the error in 1898 in his book “Kashf-ul-Ghita” (pages 1-4) and “Kitab ul Barriya” (see pages 3-4), MGA knew that his brother never fought in the mutiny of 1857, it was MGA’s cousin who did so and had a similar name. Dard even missed this error and erroneously claimed that Mirza Ghulam Qadir served in 1857 (see Dard pages 15-19).
The 1865 edition
see pages 380 and 381
Also see here, available on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/9693516583?tag=viglink127482-20
Punjab Chiefs_Rivised Pedigree++ Table Mukamal
Controversy after the 1909 edition was published
Mufti Muhammad Sadiq seems to have published the same data in the badr of 1912. One of the comments that upset Nooruddin was because it was written that most of the relatives of MGA had not accepted MGA or Noorudin, which was true, since MGA’s eldest son, Mirza Sultan Ahmad was considered the representative of the greater Mirza family at Qadian. Mirza Nizam ud Din is also mentioned as a major ally of the British Government. There are some minor errors in this 1909 edition. For example, they write that Mirza Sultan Ahmad was born in 1876. that is incorrect. Another point of note is that the Mirza family was getting 5% of all revenues from 3 neighboring villages. However, it is unclear how this money was split up amongst the Mirza family.
Albadr 14 June 1912
Noorudin forced Mufti Muhammad Sadiq to publish a correction
Other important scans, “Chiefs and Families of Note”
Links and Related Essays
Sir Lepel H. Griffin (1865), The Panjab Chiefs, Online: apnaorg.com. pp.381-2
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