MGA’s confrontation with Pir Mehr Ali Shah started in roughly 1899. Pir Mehr Ali Shah had a book vs. MGA published in May of 1899. It was printed at the Mustafa’i Press, Lahore in Ramadan 1317 A.H. Maulawi Nur-ud-Din read a few pages of this book on February 17th, 1900, and wrote a letter to Pir Mihr Ali Shah the next day. It was written in this book that if any one wanted to say anything about this book he must refer to authentic commentaries such as Ibni Jarir and Ibni Kathir and also to the true Hadith or he must base his arguments upon the Holy Quran, which should be acceptable to the great and learned people who are masters of language and rhetorics (page 8). Though the book is written in Urdu, yet the writer has occasionally employed Arabic also to show his learning. So, Maulawi Nur-ud-Din asked the Pir eleven questions in his letter (see Dard). But this book, “Shams ul Hidaya” wasn’t totally written by Pir Mehr Ali Shah, in fact, one of the disciples of the Pir wrote much of, and this was admitted to by the Pir himself. Maulavi Muhammad Ghazi had actually written the book, as Noorudin asked for references, the Pir told Noorudin that he should ask Maulavi Muhammad Ghazi.
April 24th, 1900
Maulawi Abdul Karim wrote a response in the Al-Hakam, dated April 24th, 1900, and pressed Mihr Ali Shah in vain for an answer to the eleven questions put to him (see Dard).
July 9th 1900
Maulawi Sayyid Muhammad Ahsan reminded Mihr Ali Shah and also challenged him to
hold a debate with him about the life or death of Jesusas, the subject of Mihr Ali Shah’s book (see Dard).
On July 20th, 1900
MGA issued an announcement in which he invited Mihr Ali Shah to a contest. On page 81, Mihr Ali Shah had insinuated that MGA did not know the Quran, so he suggested that a meeting be held at Lahore and forty verses of the Quran should be selected by casting lots. MGA and Mihr Ali Shah should then pray that God might enable the truthful of the two to write in fluent Arabic a commentary of the verses in that very meeting with the help of the Holy Spirit. The commentary should be not less than 43 pages. The parties should have no book with them, nor should there be any assistant. Seven hours should be given for this purpose. The parties should then sign the papers which would be read out to three learned men selected by Mihr Ali Shah. They should neither be the followers of MGA nor of Mihr Ali Shah. These three men should then give their decision under oath as to which of the papers was superior in language as well as in commentary. MGA also said he was prepared to entrust the decision to his enemies like Maulawi Muhammad Husain, Maulawi Abdul Jabbar Ghaznavi and Professor Maulawi Abdullah. This Ishtihar was signed by 20 men as witnesses (see Dard). MGA gave Pir Mehr Ali Shah a deadline of August 22nd to respond.
July 23rd, 1900
MGA issued an Urdu leaflet (Arba‘in No. 1) on July 23rd, 1900. He declared that it was not a Mubahala nor was it meant to be a dreadful prophecy for any opponent. He also announced that he would go on publishing leaflets until the limit of 40 was reached or until an opponent came out in good faith in the field of contest (see Dard).
August 25th, 1900
Pir Mehr Ali Shah arrived in Lahore for his contest with MGA, however, MGA was a no-show.
December 7, 1900
MGA invited Pir Mehar ‘Ali Shah to write a quality and in ornate Arabic language, a
commentary on surah al-Fatihah within 70 days. He further elaborated both have 70 days beginning from December 15, 1900. Therefore, MGA wrote an exhaustive commentary in
high flown Arabic on surah al-Fatihah which appeared under the title of I‘jazul-Masih on February 23, 1901.
February 23, 1901
“I’jazul-Masih is published.
Pir Mehr Ali Shah responds with Saif-e-Chishtiya’i, in this book, he makes fun of some of the Arabic phrases used in I‘jazul-Masih and alleged that some of the material is plagiarized and
further alleged that the Revelations of the Promised Messiah are no more than confused dreams. The Pir also made an allegation that the Promised Messiahas had been plagiarizing
8 Shamsul Hidaya HQ
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