This seems to be a book written by Maulvi Abdul Karim Sialkoti and published by the 2nd Khalifa in 1924. Maulvi Abdul Karim had been dead for 18 years, it is strange that this book was published. He doesn’t seem to have had any children who were Ahmadi’s either, his wife is also missing from all the records. This also appeared in the ROR of June-July and August of 1924, it was translated into english by Maulvi Sher Ali.
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A Charactor Sketch of The Promised Messiah
Maulvi Abdul Karim of Sialkot who was a learned scholar and a brilliant orator, came to take the Oath of Allegiance in 1889 and soon left everything behind and came to live in Qadian, in the close company of the Promised Messiah Maulvi Abdul Karim on more than one occasion turned down offers of employment at handsome salaries as these would have taken him away from his beloved Master. He became one of the Promised Messiah’s most constant and devoted companions. When he came to Qadian, the Promised Messiah gave him space in his own house on the third storey, while the Promised Messiah himself occupied the second storey. It was this living arrangement that enabled Maulvi Abdul Karim to observe the Promised Messiah from very close quarters and thus enabled him to present, so successfully, a portrait of the Promised Messiah which detailed many aspects of his character and personality. In one such sketch, he writes that the Promised Messiah possessed such humility and meekness that it is impossible to possess them in higher degree and he goes on to relate an incident to illustrate this point. ‘A few years ago in Ludhiana, I went to sleep on a couch in one of the newly built rooms in the house of the Mirza Sahib. As I fell asleep, he was pacing up and down in the room but when I awoke, I saw him lying on the floor near my couch. Seeing this, I hurriedly sat up. Thereupon he very kindly asked me why I had sat up. I said, ‘How can I go on sleeping on a couch when Your Holiness is lying on the floor?’ He smiled and said, ‘I was keeping watch over you. The children were making a noise and I was trying prevent them, lest they should disturb you in your sleep.’6
In the mosque the Promised Messiah occupied no place of distinction and a newcomer could not tell him apart from others by any outer distinguishing marks. He always sat to one side of the mosque while Maulvi Abdul Karim, who led the prayers, occupied the central niche (Mihrab). It often happened that a newcomer, eager to meet the Promised Messiah (as) headed first towards Maulvi Abdul Karim. Such mistakes were, however, quickly corrected either by the person himself or by other people pointing in the direction of the Promised Messiah (as).
Maulvi Abdul Karim further relates: ‘Every disciple of the Promised Messiah thinks that he is particularly loved by him and speaks out his mind freely to him. A man may go on telling his story to him for hours; he continues to listen to him with full attention, no matter how tedious it may be. Often it so happens that other members of the company become completely tired of the story but no gesture of the Promised Messiah betrays any feeling of annoyance and vexation.’7
The Promised Messiah’s feeling of respect for others and especially for his companions is well illustrated by the following observation of Maulvi Abdul Karim Sahib. He relates: ‘The Promised Messiah always uses a respectful form of address when calling his followers by their name or when addressing them, he names them respectfully even when they are absent. I have often overheard when he is talking with his honoured wife that he always mentions a person’s name respectfully, just as he does when the latter is present. It is usual with him to use the form “My brother Maulvi Sahib” or “My brother and friend in God, Maulvi Sahib”. Similarly, in his conversation he always uses a form such as Maulvi Sahib says so and so.’8
Maulvi Abdul Karim describes an incident which provides an illustration of this commitment to the needs of the poor. He relates that once a large number of country women came with their sickly children to ask the Promised Messiah to prescribe medicines for them. Other women also joined in, containers in hand, wanting syrups and medicines for themselves or their children. The Promised Messiah had that day to write an important and urgent article. I also happened to go there and found that he was standing there, active as a European at his post, ready to serve these people. Five or six boxes were lying open before him and he was dispensing different medicines to different patients. This dispensing lasted for about three hours. When he had finished, I said to him, ‘My Lord, this is a very troublesome business and in this way much time of your Holiness is wasted’. Whereupon he replied most cheerfully and calmly, saying: ‘This too is a sacred work. These are poor people and there is no dispensary here. I have provided some English and Unani (Greek) medicines which I give to these people when they need them. This is a highly meritorious work and a Muslim should not be neglectful or indifferent in this matter.’10
Maulvi Abdul Karim states: ‘I have seen the Promised Messiah engaged in writing on difficult subjects and even composing Arabic works of unparalleled linguistic elegance in the midst of a great tumult and uproar. Reckless children and simple minded female servants are quarrelling all around him, screeching and screaming. But all this fails to disturb him in the least and he goes on writing as if he were sitting in a place of solitude. It is in such noisy rooms that all his great and unparalleled works in Arabic, Persian and Urdu have been written. I once asked him how he was able to think and write so calmly in the midst of such noise. He smiled and said I do not heed what is going on around me and, therefore, I am not disturbed’.13
Maulvi Abdul Karim further writes, ‘Similar is his attitude towards the female-servants in the house. A woman comes to him again and again and asks for what she wants. He never says to her, “0! Wretched woman, why do you trouble me again and again. Why don’t you take all that you want in one go?” He further adds, “The house-servants cook for themselves whatever food they like; they have as free a hand as if the house and everything in the house was their own property. If they ever forget to prepare food for the Promised Messiah (as), they are never admonished. He will not do even so much as say in a mild tone, “Why is it so?”14 The unlettered servants returned his kindness with love, affection and loyalty. Once in the hot summer season, after the sunset prayers the Promised Messiah was taken very ill. People were attending to him all around. When Pira, one of his servants, heard of his sudden illness he came running to him, his feet covered in mud, and rushed straight up to him. Someone tried to stop him but the Promised Messiah said, “Don’t stop him. What does he know about where not to tread with muddy feet? He has come with love–let him come.”‘15
The Promised Messiah’s dealings with his own family were a beautiful example of gentleness and kindness. Those who had the occasion to observe closely his relations with his family, bear witness to the fact that he possessed the most excellent morals in this regard. The female servants of the house were often heard to remark that he ‘accords the wishes of his wife,’ which was a practice not commonly observed in other households. The Promised Messiah (as) has himself commented that, ‘It appears to me to be highly disgraceful that we being men should quarrel with women…… We should treat women with kindness and gentleness.’ Maulvi Abdul Karim relates, concerning the noble wife of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, ‘His respected wife has entered into his ba’iat (Oath of Allegiance) like other disciples and sincerely believes him to be a Messenger from God….. In every matter she believes him to be truthful and trustworthy, like the greatest of his disciples.’17
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