Sheikh Yaqub Ali Irfani was the editor of Al-Hakam from its very inception, he also wrote lots of the early biographies on MGA and some of his top followers. In fact, he famously wrote, Hyat-e-Nasir in 1927, this book has the controversial comments of MGA which indicated that MGA even thought he had cholera just before he died. After the seeing the book, the Khalifa ordered that all copied be returned and confiscated and a second edition was created with the needed edits.
In 1918, in the Al-Hakam, Irfani wrote an obituary for Mir Hamid Shah. In the below is a copy and paste job.
The Promised Messiahas said regarding Mir Hamid Shah Sahibra in his book Izala-e-Auham:
“Syed Sahib is a true friend and the son of one of my most sincere friends. The command of poetry and eloquence in writing that God has gifted him with is evident in the magazine Qaul-e-Fasih. The essence of truth, sincerity and love can be seen in Mir Hamid Shah Sahib’s appearance and I have firm faith that he will be of great service to Islam through his prose and poetry. I cannot even begin to comprehend the deep sincerity and pure love I have witnessed in him. I am extremely happy that he is the son of my old friend Mir Hisamuddin Sahib, chief of Sialkot.”
(Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 3, p. 524)
Al Hakam, 21 November 1918
Hazrat Sheikh Yaqub Ali Irfanira
Editor Al Hakam (Urdu)
The morning of 16 November 1918 arrived, along with news from Sialkot transmitted by telegram. This news came as a shock to the residents of Qadian.
The telegram was regarding the passing away of Mir Hamid Shah Sahib, which was sent by his son Syed Ahmad Shah, in which he wrote, “Due to heart failure, Mir Hamid Shah Sahib has passed away.”
This news was conveyed to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II, may God be his helper. The grief the news of Shah Sahib’s demise brought was visible on Huzoor’s face.
Along with the telegram was a written letter from Shah Sahib which caused a bit of confusion. However, having accepted the news of his demise, the first matter Hazrat Khalifatul Masih thought of was to make arrangements of bringing Shah Sahib’s body to Qadian and to know in detail the final moments of Shah Sahib.
For this purpose, I, the editor of Al Hakam, was sent in the first car [to Sialkot] to express my condolences. Upon arrival, [all doubt was removed as] I came to know that Shah Sahib had in reality passed away.
The events leading to Shah Sahib’s demise is a lesson we all can learn from.
For the past 25 years, Shah Sahib was regular in offering Tahajud prayer. The news of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih’s illness caused him a lot of grief. Shah Sahib prayed excessively for Huzoor. Two days prior to his demise, at the time of Tahajud, he said to his family that he had prayed a lot, yet his prayer had not been accepted. He said it was possible that he had failed to express the extreme humility and self-mortification required for the acceptance of prayer. Immediately after saying this, he made his way to the roof of the house, leaving behind both his hat and shoes, fell into prostration and began praying fervently for a long time. His wife also went to the roof but returned after seeing him in prostration.
Thus, after summoning up extreme humility and self-mortification, he prayed until he was satisfied that his prayer had been heard. He came down and stated that his prayer had been accepted but now he himself has fallen ill and said that he was feeling an aching pain near his right shoulder. He showed no sign of concern for this pain, rather he was satisfied that he was able to show humility and self-mortification for prayer.
On 14 November 1918, after Maghrib prayer, he said to Hakim Ahmad Din Sahib, “I am feeling a pain in my right shoulder. I have taken the medicine that was prescribed in Qadian, which my family members were able to benefit from. However, it has no effect on me. What do you suggest?” He also stated, “Do not think that I fear death. Death is a beautiful concept as it is the only means of meeting one’s True Beloved [i.e. God]. However, my nature is such that I cannot bear the prolongation of pain.”
Thus, after this, Shah Sahib went to Master Abdul Aziz Sahib’s home, who is a master tailor. There, during a table talk, he said, “My soul yearns to meet with my True Beloved [i.e. God] and the only way to do so is through death. Death is not a scary concept, rather it is beautiful. I do not fear it, nor do I worry about it. However, human nature does not wish to die suffering in pain.”
After this, he offered Isha prayer and fell asleep. He woke up for Tahajud prayer as was his practice. After offering Tahajud prayer, he once again mentioned the aching pain he was feeling and asked for tea. Shah Sahib’s beloved wife prepared tea, which he drank. He then asked his daughter to press on his right shoulder where he was feeling pain. As she placed her hand on his shoulder, he passed away and met with his Beloved which, since last night, he was yearning for.
إِنَّا لِلہِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْن
[“Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.”]
Shah Saihb passed away on 15 November at 2 o’clock, at which time the news spread in Qadian that “the saint of the city has passed away”.
Shah Sahib was just over 59 years old when he passed away. Shah Sahib, along with his virtues and morals, was extremely beneficial and a blessing for the Jamaat. He had great humility, devotion and obedience for the Promised Messiahas and the Ahl-e-Bait. These qualities demand from me that I say something about Shah Sahib. Hazrat Shah Sahib’s name has been preserved in the writings and history of the Jamaat in crystal-clear words. God willing, I will write about his virtues, qualities and other aspects with great detail. For now, with a heavy heart, I convey the message of the passing away of our beloved brother to the Al Hakamreaders. I request everyone to offer Hazrat Shah Sahib’s funeral prayer in their respective localities.
The passing away of Shah Sahib brings huge grief and is a loss for the Jamaat. However, I believe that behind this grief also lies great reward.
As Shah Sahib’s life was a means of increasing the sincerity and morality in members of the Jamaat, similarly, his demise shall be a means of increasing the level of faith and knowledge among the community.
Shah Sahib leaves behind many family members and offspring. He had many sincere friends. Shah Sahib has temporarily been buried in Sialkot, but will very soon be buried in Bahishti Maqbara, Qadian.
The entire Jamaat has immense respect for Shah Sahib’s family and this news will be read with a lot of grief and sadness. I pray to God that he may grant Shah Sahib a lofty place in paradise and elevate his status, and may He grant his family patience. Amin.
As I have stated above, Hazrat Shah Sahib’s virtues and qualities will be written on in detail and will be published in Al Hakam very soon, Insha-Allah.
(Translated by Jalees Ahmad)
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