On this page, we have archived lots of data from Bashir Ahmad Rafiq, a loyal employee of the Qadiani-Ahmadi’s. He seems to have started a website and blog in the 2000’s. All of this data is from there. His final blog entry seems to be in 2014. We have placed his entire autobiography on a word doc and posted it in the below. We have also pasted the entire contents of it.

Bashir Ahmad Rafiq archiving project

Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 1: Preface

My life has not been of a whole string of beads of success and progress or an album of discharge of significant responsibilities. I am fully aware of my weaknesses, my lapses and my sins. I am also fully aware that whatever I have been blessed with has arisen directly from the prayers of my parents, my elders, particularly Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrullah Khan and the Caliphs of Ahmadiyyat. I did not really have a hand in any success that has come my way.
The person who groomed me most and the discipline from which I benefited most was that of Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrullah Khan. One occurrence has left a deep impression on my heart. It has always occurred to me to reflect that if, in spite of his meritorious life and innumerable virtues, Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib rated himself near to the ground what can be the position of someone like me who may be rated lower than a particle of dust.

On one occasion, a sincere but simple friend from a European country wrote to Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib complaining that he had not visited him. At the end of the letter, in his innocence, he wrote that perhaps Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib had not visited him as he was beyond doubt a great man and he himself belonged to a much lower category etc. On reading this sentence, Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib was extremely distressed.

The next day he wrote his reply. He asked me to read it and then post it. On perusal of the letter, I was so stunned that I shuddered from head to toe. Even now when I think of the contents of that letter I begin to shiver. After having apologized to the writer of the letter for not having visited him, Chaudhry Sahib said that when he reached that portion of the letter where it was said that he regarded himself a great man he posed a question to himself. Chaudhry Sahib asked himself: “After a thorough search and investigation, tell me what you think your standing is in your own eyes?” He said: “I postponed my reply until such time as I had received an answer to my question. I pondered over this question for a whole day and a whole night and remained engaged in soul searching. Finally, on receiving an answer I am writing to you.

Now listen how my inner self responded to my question. Addressing me it said to me; ‘Zafrullah Khan, your standing is lower than the position of a dead dog. You possess no greatness or merit. Whatever has been bestowed upon you is merely by the Grace of Allah and nothing else.” Addressing myself, I said, “If Zafrullah Khan assesses himself in this manner how should we, pathetic sinners, who are virtually depleted useless persons assess ourselves?

The question now arises as to why with self-assessment I have ventured to write my autobiography and why have I troubled my dear brother Anwar Ahmad Kahlon to translate it. The answer lies in the fact that my children have, on repeated occasions, insisted that I should write, as they have no knowledge whatsoever of my earlier days, my village, my parents and the environment in which I grew up. They insisted that for their guidance I should put pen to paper and write the story of my life. For a longish period, I kept on making excuses. One-day brother Anwar Ahmad Kahlon came to my house for breakfast. I told him of what my children had been repeatedly insisting on. He asked: “Why not? Why don’t you accept a very reasonable demand?”

I submitted: “I can only write the story of my life with ease in Urdu whiles my children and their children, though they speak Urdu, cannot read Urdu.” Without a moments hesitation Anwar Ahmad Kahlon said: “I’ll be very happy to translate your work into English.” This kind offer inclined me to undertake this task.
I ask my children not only to be grateful to their ‘Baba Ji’ and my brother Anwar Ahmad Kahlon but should also remain engaged in prayers for him. May Allah reward him abundantly for this service to me and may He be his guardian over all his worldly and spiritual affairs. Amen.

I have written this book primarily for my children and a limited circle of sincere friends. In no way should it be considered a part of the history of the British Ahmadiyya Jamaat. It should not be quoted as an authority as I have merely briefly put into words my experiences. This autobiography has not been prepared relying on a diary or a record of events and therefore surely it will contain a large number of mistakes, which can perhaps be rectified in a later edition. Therefore, the contents of this book should not be regarded as very authentic. An autobiography should not be equated with history; their scope is very different. I would also request my children to; if possible, have my book ‘Muhammad Zafrullah Khan – Chand Yadain’ translated into English so that the younger generations and converts to Islam and Ahmadiyyat may benefit from it. Similarly, they should arrange publication of my book ‘Muslim Prayer Book’. This is a useful book and many thousands have already benefited from it.

At the end of this book, I want to tender some advice to my children and I do hope that they will give practical shape to my counsel. In a most humble manner, I ask for prayers for myself so that He may forgive my sins, overlook, cover and conceal my faults, mistakes and lapses. May He make my progeny pious, spiritual and humble so that each one of them should blossom into enviable beings. May they become deeply religious and God fearing and May each one of them be provided a bed of roses. May they remain firm to the awe of anti Christ and may they be protected from the unhealthy influences of the West. May they become true servants of Islam, Ahmadiyyat and Khilafat e Ahmadiyya. “O! My Lord, please do accept my humble supplications. I acknowledge that I have committed innumerable sins and my life is a mere collection of lapses and neglect. If You do not extend the canopy of Your mercy over me no one else can rescue me.”

On this occasion, I express my deep gratitude for my wife Salima Nahid. She has always extended her unconditional co-operation to me. In looking after my children, their upbringing and training, extending hospitality to my guests and taking care of my relations, she has always put in her very best endeavors. I do not have the words to express my gratitude. She is a loving wife and a doting mother. “O my Lord, shower all Your worldly and spiritual blessings upon my wife for the manner in which she has looked after us in this world. Shower on her blessings of every kind both in this world and the Hereafter.

© 2014 Bashir Ahmad Rafiq Contact Me



























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 2: Village

I recall watching peasants of the village, after a day’s hard toil, singing songs in their melodious voices, driving flocks of their animal home, as treasures of my earliest recollections. They would be singing aloud. My village Mohib Banda is situated right in the midst of the agricultural fields. A few miles from my village, impatiently, in turbulent rapid waves, the water of the river Kabul joins the river Sindh at Attok. At sunset, every day, standing on the bank of the river, I would survey the beautiful panorama. On occasion, during moonlit nights, humming a tune, I would watch the reflection of the moon in the waves. Even now, like a movie, these scenes are embedded in my memory. Recollecting those moments, even now, I amuse myself. That was the village where I was born. Although, for education and other pursuits, I had to stay away for long periods, I would invariably spend my summer vacation in the village. I used to enjoy the pure, clean and fragrant environment.

My village is neither big nor small; it only has a population of a few hundred. Various Pathan tribes live in it and they freely intermingle with each other. I belong to the Jamaryani tribe of the Israelites. This is one of those tribes who were taken into custody by King Nabukad Nazr and then exiled from Palestine. Some of them were settled in Afghanistan, the Frontier Province and Kashmir. Along with other Israelite tribes, in his book ‘Jesus in India’, the Promised Messiah has referred to the Jamaryani tribe.

Hujra is quite an institution amongst the Pukhtoons, without which no village or a group of dwellings can be considered complete. Mostly young boys spend many hours of a day and sometimes-even nights in the Hujras. However, in the afternoon, until the sunset the seniors and the aged of the village gather there. Normally a Hujra consisted of one or more rooms and a courtyard. It served as a rural club. During the winter, people got together in the room/s and in the summer, they assembled out in the open courtyard. At night, after the seniors and the aged had returned to their houses the Hujra was monopolised by youngsters. They took turns at the hubble-bubble. Instead of Tabla, stringed musical instruments and indigenous guitars, a Ghara, an earthenware vessel, would suffice. Along with others, Pushto songs Tappays and Badalahs were sung. A Tappa can be described as an amatory verse. With the help of a musical instrument, recalling events of romance or armed conflicts, Badalahs were often sung in a melodious voice. During my childhood, I can recall, romantic tales of Adam Khan Durkhanay were sung with the help of some musical instruments. In a similar fashion tales of the famous Dacoits like Chamnay Khan, were also sung with great gusto. Such sittings would often last until late at night.

However, a Hujra would be the property of one individual; all residents of the village had free access to it. At the same time, it served as a guesthouse and a club for the youth. The old and the aged also assembled there for consultations. Some youngsters, before they got married, would even sleep there. The owner of a Hujra would provide water and tobacco. The owner would also be responsible for keeping the guests well provided.

There were many Hujras in our village. One of them belonged to my father, which consisted of three large rooms. It was constructed with a mixture of burnt and sunburnt bricks. The adjoining courtyard measured four kanals. In it was a Chopal, which could, at a time, accommodate fifteen cots. In one of the rooms, there were cupboards, in which were kept books of my father’s library. Pictures of the Promised Messiah, Jesus Christ and Guru Baba Nanak were hung on the walls. The other two rooms were for miscellaneous purposes. The land between the Hujra and the river was kept vacant. During the summer months, in the afternoons, a cool breeze from the river reached the Hujra directly. In the intense heat of the summer, those who took refuge in the Hujra found it serene. Our house was only a short distance from the Hujra. On Sundays, Ahmadi friends from Peshawar and Nowshera would also stay in the Hujra. Some would shoot wild ducks. During my childhood, my father had a boat, which was used for shooting. Meals for guests were prepared in the house and it was quite a job to carry the food to the Hujra.

My mother was a cook of a very high order. She was particularly good at cooking Pulao and for early morning breakfast some Parathas. Occasionally, visitors from Peshawar and Nowshera would particularly ask for the Parathas. Those days were strange indeed. When two Ahmadis met, it seemed like a reunion of two real brothers. As introduction, just a mention that you were an Ahmadi was more than enough.

When during the Second World War soldiers were to be recruited in our village, I can recall the incident. Many young men of the village, suitably adorned in clean clothes turned up to wait for the Major who was to visit the village for recruitment. They had all assembled in a Hujra situated at a short distance from ours. On his arrival, the Major was seated on a special chair and the process of recruitment began. Every young man seemed keenly desirous of joining the Army. The Major suspended recruitment when it was time for the midday meal. A special meal had been cooked for the Major. He said to the owner of the Hujra that he had heard that an Ahmadi person lived in the village and said he wanted to meet him. The owner of the Hujra sent an errand boy to our house. I was present in the village but my father was not. I walked across to the Hujra where the Major took me indoors and said: “My name is Dr Shahnawaz. By profession, I am a Physician and I hold the rank of a Major. By the Grace of Allah, I am an Ahmadi. Are you also an Ahmadi?” I told him that by the Grace of Allah I too was an Ahmadi. I told him that my father was not in the village that day. The Major embraced me and asked me to take him to my mother. I took him home and behind the panel of a door, he said to my mother: “Dear sister, I am an Ahmadi brother of yours and am in the village for the purpose of recruitment. Do you wish someone to be recruited?” My mother replied that she did not wish anyone to be recruited. However, my mother said: “Now that you have become my brother please come and join my son Bashir Ahmad for tea.” After finishing recruitment, the Doctor came to our Hujra. My mother had made more than adequate arrangements for tea.

My father’s Hujra had an advantage over others. Whenever he happened to be in the village, he would sit there in the afternoons and tea continued to be served to all those present repeatedly. My father had an extreme passion for Tableegh (preaching) of Ahmadiyyat. Regardless of what subject happened to be under discussion he would mould it towards Ahmadiyyat and would adequately discharge his duty for Tableegh. In fact, our Hujra became Dar ut Tableegh. With great fervor, I would join him in such sittings. When I had to absent myself to fetch tea from our house I felt greatly aggrieved and felt that I was, contrary to expectations, being deprived of blessings. At home, I would complain to my mother. I would say that according to my father’s instructions I had to absent myself from the Tableegh sessions for a while. My mother would say: “Hospitality is a special attribute of the Pathans and this feature is in exact accord with Islamic injunctions. Therefore, you should not be distressed by a short absence. In fact you should be grateful to the Almighty.”

I will give one example to show how my father would turn all subjects towards Ahmadiyyat. Once, when a sitting was in full swing in the Hujra and various matters were under discussion, a farmer said: “Khan Sahib! It has not rained for sometime and due to the drought crops are being cleaned out. Please pray that God may have mercy on us.” In response, my father said: “Brother, if there has been no rain there surely is water in the wells and in the canals.” Greatly surprised the farmer said: “Khan Sahib, you know very well that when water does not descend from heaven the water level in the wells gets lower and lower and even water in the canals gets reduced.

At that point, my father said: “If this is so why are you hesitant in accepting the thought that when Divine revelation ceases then the number of saints and Sufis also declines? Had the Mahdi, who claims that he holds a discourse with the Almighty, not appeared because of the spiritual drought the saints, holy men, Sufis would cease to exist, and the spiritual soil would become barren. However, at the appropriate time i.e. at the end of a Century, God has sent the Mahdi and thus the spiritual drought has ended. So do accept him and believe in him so that your own spiritual state may undergo a change and that you may become a recipient of God’s blessings.”

In the villages, functions on the occasions of happiness and sorrow were also held in the Hujras. On happy occasions such as a weddings or circumcisions, the local population in a village would assemble there. Because of the Radio and Television, this has now changed completely. During my childhood, on some such occasions, singing and dancing girls were brought from Peshawar and the music would continue throughout the night. Some people from neighboring villages would join in and thus the Hujra would be filled to capacity. Rounds of hubble-bubble would continue throughout. During the summer months, a sweet drink made with indigenous brown sugar would be prepared in large earthenware vessels. The whole village would keep awake throughout the night. Our father did not participate in such gatherings, nor did he allow us to go there. However, on occasion, unintentionally, I did participate. On such occasions, scenes of disgusting ignorance would become apparent. Sometimes some poor people would squander their hard-earned savings accumulated over the years on singing and dancing girls. Thus, before they returned to their houses, their reserves would have vanished overnight.

Instead of inviting dancing and singing girls, those who were somewhat religiously inclined, held a Meelaad at night and would invite a celebrated Maulvi from Peshawar. I participated in a number of such assemblies. In order to entertain and excite the audience, the Moulvis, who were normally good speakers, but were utterly ignorant, would often narrate stories in the name of religion, which had no basis whatsoever. The story of ‘Yusuf and Zulaikha’ was narrated repeatedly. They would also narrate imaginary happenings concerning Ameer Hamza. In a most comical manner, they would say that those who do not pay Zakat would be burnt in Hell. As Zakat was paid to or through the Moulvis, a great deal of stress was laid on its payment. Influenced by the picture of Hell painted by the Moulvis, the next day, some would pay them Zakat. Most Meelad functions were held in the Mosque, though occasionally even in the Hujras. Therefore, in the villages around Peshawar, the Hujras were quite an institution without which any Pukhtoon village would be beyond imagination.

Whenever he happened to be in the village, my father would normally offer all five prayers in a nearby Mosque. He would take my brother Nazir Ahmad and me along and would lead congregational prayers. From the Pakistani Mullahs, in those days, opposition and prejudice against Ahmadiyyat was not nearly as strong as it is today. In the public the venomous atmosphere created to day by the Mullahs was not to be seen. Instead, normal courtesy and religious forbearance prevailed. In our part of the village, equally for Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis, the doors of all Mosques remained open. There was no hindrance. The Imam of a Mosque would converse with Ahmadis without hesitation. Debates were held but the arguments never got to a point where the sentiments of others could be injured. All of us would freely mingle with each other. When, in 1953, to create hostility towards the Ahmadis in the Punjab, the lava produced by the Moulvis erupted, inevitably, it also affected the lives and assets of Ahmadis in the Frontier Province. In our village there was only one Ahmadi household; i.e. ours. All our relatives were non-Ahmadis. Once a Mullah came to our village from Peshawar. He assembled some people and with a nonsensical speech, he tried to incite the audience. He ended by saying: “In your village there is only one Ahmadi family. It is your duty to terminate them. Assassinating them is a sure way of entering Heaven. Those who perform this noble task will be rewarded by the Almighty by admitting them to the Paradise.”

When the Mullah was busy inciting the audience to kill us, suddenly a few armed men stood up. They asked the Mullah to leave the village immediately otherwise, they said, he himself would be despatched. Mullahs are invariably cowards. As soon as he saw the feelings of the residents of the village, he absconded post haste. Then those who had confronted the mullah came to our house and assured our father that he needs not to worry in the least. They said: “We will protect you. No one dare inflict the slightest injury on you.”

Not only in 1953 but also again during the 1974 disturbances, had my father not left the village. To protect us, in those days, the villagers remained most vigilant. One must not conclude that there was no opposition to Ahmadiyyat in the village. It did exist and in certain circles, it reached extreme proportions. However, the opposition did not result in any disorder. Debates always continued during which both sides put forward their arguments. To check references being quoted, books would be unwrapped but all this happened in a tolerant atmosphere.

The land in our village was very fertile. As the water from the canals was available in abundance, all kinds of crops could be grown. My father would grow wheat, maize, sugarcane, red chillies and barsaim. Barsaim, red chillies and sugar cane were three commodities that brought in a healthy income. Barsaim and chillies were sold within Pakistan at attractive prices, particularly in the province of Sindh. During my childhood, under the name of ‘Danishmand & Sons’, my father remained engaged in sizable business in barsaim. Not only did he sell the barsaim seed in the provinces of Sindh and the Punjab, but he also exported it as far as Egypt. In that region, because of his business in barsaim, he became famous. This trade flourished right until the creation of Pakistan. From then on his interest declined and towards the end, he paid no attention to this trade whatsoever.
In 1948, we had electricity in our village for the first time and our house was the first to be connected. In those days, my mother’s brother, the late Abdus Salaam Khan served in the Electricity Department of the Frontier Province. Once it was decided to bring electricity to our village, he made a start by connecting our house. For the first two months, only our house had electricity and then, slowly, all residences were connected. After the supply of electricity, the entire environment underwent a rapid change. The worms of the earth disappeared from all houses. Because of electric fans, the extreme heat during the summer months became easier to bear.

As our house was the first to be connected, I promptly purchased a Radio, placed it on a table in the courtyard of our house and switched it on. Ladies from all around assembled. From then on between the Asr and Maghrib prayers, to listen to the Pushto programs from Peshawar, every day, the Radio would be switched on and the women would assemble. At the request of some friends, after Maghrib, I would take the Radio to the Hujra so they too could enjoy listening to the programs. Because of the Radio, slowly and gradually, the musical functions normally held in the Hujras began to fade away. Currently, they listen to the Pushto programmes from Peshawar. Hardly any youngsters now hold musical functions in the Hujras with stringed guitars, and a ghara for a tabla. The introduction of Radio and TV has brought about a complete revolution in village life. Therefore the villagers are not quite as simple minded as they used to be during my childhood.

During World War II, before the creation of Pakistan, for the first time I saw a movie. An Army Recruitment Truck came to our village and projected a film. Throughout the day, announcements were made that at night there would be a Cinema show. Until then no one had ever seen moving figures on a screen. There was great eagerness in the whole village. In the evening, a large number gathered in the open ground. Ladies settled on the roofs of surrounding houses. The screen was installed at a height from the ground so that not only the spectators on the ground, but women on the roofs of the surrounding houses could also view it. The show started. It was a story of a family from which some youngsters had joined the Army. As a result, their families became financially comfortable. From poverty, they moved to prosperity. At the end, young men were invited to join the Army.

Because of such shows, in their eagerness to be recruited, very many illiterate young men went to Peshawar. There they were recruited and despatched to the battlefield.

On occasion, it so happened that carrying a plough on his shoulder, driving his two bullocks, a young man went to the fields and in the afternoon when his family sent his midday meal, they only saw an empty Qulba i.e. the two bulls. They wondered what had happened to the young man. The next day or a few days later they would hear that, straight from the fields, he went to Peshawar and had been recruited into the army. Seeing this trend amongst the young some poets composed verses. I can still recall one of them.

We must receive a money order from you. You may or may not visit us. Our final meeting will be on the Doomsday.

The Second World War brought about a significant change. Those who had spent their lives in extreme poverty began to breathe comfortably. Instead of mud huts, houses built with some baked bricks became visible. One could hear Radios from most houses. In short, the whole environment underwent a rapid change.
In 1960 residents of the village decided that there should be a Middle School in the village. Until then there was only a Primary school. For further education, the children had to go to Pabbi, a township at a distance of three miles from our village. Provided the villagers donated a suitable plot of land, the government offered to construct a School. The question arose as to who should donate land without any compensation. Pathans are known for their love of their land. In the absence of a donation, the whole scheme collapsed. A little later, in our Hujra, in the presence of my father, this matter was raised again. The need for a School was being keenly felt but a plot of land, free of cost, was not forthcoming. As a result, the children of the village were being deprived of the benefit of further education. My father enquired how much land was needed. Some said that one kanal should be enough. Opposite the road to our village, our father owned a plot of land measuring seven acres. As it was adjacent to the village, it could fetch a very good price. Addressing the villagers my father said: “Without any compensation I will donate as much land as is needed for a School. My offer is not limited to one kanal; I will donate as much as is needed.”

People were very surprised at this statement. The next day they brought the Tahseeldar to the village and a plot measuring six kanals was transferred to the School. The Deputy Commissioner came to the village for the inauguration of the School. He asked about the generous person who had made available the plot of land free of cost. The Deputy Commissioner said that he would like to meet him. Someone from amongst the crowd said that although the donor had been asked to participate in the inauguration ceremony he had not come. At this, the Deputy Commissioner stood up and announced that he would himself go to meet the person who, without any reward, was prepared to serve the village. Accordingly, he came to our Hujra. He met my father and thanked him. He said: “By donating the piece of land you have created an occasion and yet you did not come. We would have honored you.”

In response, my father said: “Dear Deputy Commissioner, I have done this merely to seek the pleasure of Allah, His pleasure is more than enough for me. As I do not need any expression of gratitude from others, I refrained from going to the function. Now that the School has been established, not only for children from our village but also children from the neighboring villages, it has become a Minaret of Light.”

The villagers in appreciation of my father’s generous donation named the school area as ‘Danish Gharry’ after my father.

Before the establishment of this School, there was only a Primary School in the village. Syed Saleh Shah, about forty-five years old, was the only teacher. It would thus be appropriate to describe him as ‘The Headmaster’. He alone discharged all responsibilities concerning the School. He knew every single resident of the village. Over the years, 90 % of the villagers had been his pupils. Therefore, he was treated with great admiration and respect in the village. Every morning, after he had called the register, Shah Sahib would go to the houses of the students who were absent and would drag them to the school. On occasion, leaving a monitor in charge, he would seek boys hidden in the crops and would haul them along. After the morning roll call, to inspect their fingernails and their teeth, he would ask them to fall in. Those who had not clipped their fingernails or had not cleaned their teeth were disciplined. For a few years, I too was his pupil. Even now, his accomplishments, his kindness and his guidance fill my heart with a sense of gratitude. Shah Sahib’s own house was situated at a distance of three miles. Therefore, for the round trip, he walked six miles every day. As he lived so far, the students took turns to bring him his midday meal. It is said that he lived to be a 100 years. I do not know where his children are at present. Anyway, he was a benefactor of our village. He paid great attention to the education and upbringing of the children, perhaps even more than their parents’ did. May Allah reward him abundantly in the Hereafter.

© 2014 Bashir Ahmad Rafiq Contact Me


















Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 3: Parents

In 1976, as his Private Secretary, I accompanied Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III on his tour of North America. While in Toronto, we were staying at the ‘Inn on the Park Hotel’, my wife called me from London. Her voice was choked with emotion. She said that she did not know how to convey the terrible news to me while I was on a journey. I insisted and she told me that my father had passed away. I felt as if lightning had fallen straight over my head. I blanked out and the telephone fell from my hand. Naturally, I started crying bitterly. A friend, who was sitting next to me, asked me what had happened. When I told him that my father had died, he barged into Huzoor’s room and told him what had happened. Immediately Huzoor came to my room, embraced me, and kept me in his arms for quite awhile. He did his best to console me and said: “All of us have to depart one day. Only Allah is everlasting.”

Hadhrat Begum Sahiba also offered her condolences with great warmth.
On my father’s demise, I felt as if someone had snatched away an umbrella from over my head that had always protected me from various calamities. I felt as if the roof over my house had flown away and now I was exposed to sun, rain and storms against which I had no protection. So far, at every turn, my father’s prayers had shielded me from every assault. I felt that this screen was no longer available to me. It is true that after he passed away I was confronted with a string of trials and tribulations and I missed him at every step of the way.
However, as a direct consequence of his prayers, by his mercy, repeatedly, I emerged unbeaten from all the ordeals and difficulties. I felt that even after his demise my father’s prayers were propping me up. On numerous occasions, recalling the following particular happening reinforced my heart and consoled me.

When the Promised Messiah died, Hadhrat Amman Jaan assembled her children and said to them: “Your father has left for you an inexhaustible treasure of prayers from which you will benefit throughout your lives.”

I felt the same way and felt convinced that the prayers offered by my parents in my favour would keep me fortified. The prayers were indeed a vast treasure and I have benefited from them from time to time.“O My Lord, at your pleasure, solely based on Your Mercy and Grace do provide lodgings for my parents in Paradise.”
My mother, Fatima Bibi, was the eldest daughter of Hadhrat Moulvi Muhammad Ilyas Khan Sahib who lived in Mastung in Baluchistan. Perhaps my mother was born there. She was very dear to him. She was most fortunate in that a spiritual person of such a high order brought her up. The name of her mother was Ashraaf Bibi.

She was still very young when she was married to my father. Soon after their marriage, my parents returned to live in our ancestral village Mohib Banda and that is where they spent the rest of their lives. Their love, affection, co-operation and mutual respect were a shining example for the whole family to follow. Never, throughout my life, did I ever see any unpleasantness between them. As in those days it was not customary for the girls to be educated, my mother’s learning had not gone very far. At home, she learnt to recite the Holy Quran. Habitually she would perform ablution before reciting a portion of the Quran. Every single day, in a subdued voice, we heard her recitation.

My mother was very fond of clean and neat clothes. She would wear fresh clothes every day. Early in the morning, she would put a little oil on her head and comb her hair meticulously. Hospitality was a distinguishing feature of her character. As our village was quite close to Peshawar, usually on Sundays, many Ahmadi friends visited us. After spending a whole day with my father, in the evenings, the visitors would go back to Peshawar. While some of the visitors were our relations, others were just Ahmadi friends. My mother remained engaged in taking care of them and took great pleasure in doing so. She was quite an accomplished cook and was particularly famous for her pulao and her parathas.

I particularly noticed that my mother never indulged in backbiting. Normally, women do get into this habit but fortunately, by the Grace of Allah, my mother was immune to this weakness. Never did I hear her speak against anyone. She would, on occasion, find herself at the receiving end of verbal abuse but she always kept her calm. Anger was no part of her character. She never raised even her little finger over any of her children or grandchildren. I never saw her indulge in malediction. When she was hurt, she would keep quiet but from her calm, we would know that she was hurt. Soon she would forget everything as if nothing had happened. She had great love for and a deep involvement in prayers. Whether on her feet or seated she would always remain engaged in supplications. After reciting Durood and incantation, she would blow over (someone). She would often pray aloud. However, most of the time, from the movement of her lips, one could guess that she was engaged in supplications.

She never thought of her own comfort. During the summer months, early in the afternoons, she would anxiously wait for my return from school. She would have some cold water placed in the bathroom for me to take a bath. Then I would eat and although I did not want her to, my mother would keep on fanning me.
After my midday meal, I would sleep for a while but my mother did not. Later on when I was at a school in Qadian, after vacations, my mother would prepare something for me to eat on the way back to Qadian. She would also provide some home baked biscuits and cakes for me to take with me.

Alas, while I lived in a boarding house and later on when I departed for London, I was unable to benefit much from my mother’s doting company. My brother, Col. Nazir Ahmad, was more fortunate in that in this respect he enjoyed physical closeness of our mother for a longer period. He was therefore enabled to render service to her. Compared with me, in a way, Nazir Ahmad was closer to her.

Mother paid special attention to the matter of the upbringing of my sisters. As we were the only Ahmadi family in our village, my sisters were unable to interact with other Ahmadi girls. However, our mother adequately filled the gap. She taught all her children to recite the Holy Quran. She would make sure that her children offered their prayers regularly and to crown all, she built a protective wall around them with her prayers.

My mother was a Moosia and was buried in the Bahishti Maqbara where my father had been laid to rest. “O my Lord, close to Yourself, locate them in an eminent place in the Paradise. Amen”

My father’s name is Danishmand Khan. He was born around 1890 in our village Mohib Banda. Abd ul Hannan Khan was the name of his father who owned extensive agricultural property. He was an authoritarian person and was easily roused. Since he was illiterate, when angry he would often exceed all limits. Due to this unfortunate feature, he became the target of a bullet shot at him by his own nephew.

Our grandfather had developed considerable animosity against Ahmadiyyat. Our father became an Ahmadi while he was in Mastung. He wrote to his father telling him what he had done and invited him to join the fold. Our grandfather received an unbearable shock. He took his son’s letter to the Mullah of the local Mosque and asked him to respond to his son’s letter. In order to disentangle himself the Mullah said that he should write to his son and make it clear to him that he had become an apostate. The Mullah also said that to reply to a letter of an infidel is tantamount to becoming an infidel. Therefore, he counselled him not to reply to his son’s letter. My grandfather was not quite content with the advice of the Mullah and he continued to be greatly distressed which resulted in his illness. As the days passed by, he became feeble and weak. He would often say to our grandmother: “While I am still alive Danishmand has pushed me into a grave. I am so humiliated that I dare not show my face to others.”

My grandmother responded by saying: “If Danishmand has taken a certain step after due consideration there is really no need for you to be furious. His affair is with his Maker.”

However, my grandfather remained frustrated and his health deteriorated rapidly. Then our grandmother sent a servant to Mastung to tell our father about the state of our grandfather’s health. She strongly suggested to him that he should immediately return to the village to see his father. Our father became exceedingly concerned about his father’s illness and immediately returned to the village. He found him extremely weak and he had lost a lot of weight. The two embraced each other and in that state wept for quite a while. Then, in an emotional voice, my grandfather said: “My son if you had been guilty of theft or robbery or even a murder it would not have caused me much concern. However, on acceptance of Ahmadiyyat you have blackened my face and I am unable to show it to anyone in the village.”

Our father replied: “After having accepted Ahmadiyyat I have totally repented from all my sins. At one time, I did not offer my prayers and now, apart from the five obligatory prayers, I offer Tahajjud. I also keep fasts, not only the obligatory ones during Ramadhan but also, as an option, on some other days. In the past, I never recited the Quran and now not only do I recite the Quran but I am also learning its meaning. Are all these deeds Un Islamic? Compared to what I was do you not now find me a better human being?”

This conversation had no effect on our grandfather and he remained adamant and insisted that father should give up Ahmadiyyat. He said: “Do whatever you like. You may steal or rob. You may commit adultery and even murder someone that would not bother me in the least as long as you give up Ahmadiyyat.”

However, this was by no means a deal acceptable to my father. A few days passed in extreme tension. Father and son debated with each other. Grandfather would insist on his son giving up the truth while the son seemed prepared to give up even his life for the sake of the truth .During this turbulent period, my grandfather said to his son: “I am an uneducated person. Why don’t you discuss the matter with the Moulvi Sahib?”

Accordingly, my father went to see the Moulvi Sahib who admitted that he had already been asked by grandfather to hold a debate. They debated for the whole day about the issue of the demise of the Messiah. The vast majority of the Moulvis believed that, the Messiah was still alive but not one of them could quote any references from the Holy Quran or Ahadees to support their belief. My father maintained that he was bound only by what was in the Quran or what was in Ahadeeth. He said he cared little for what the Moulvis believed in. In this manner, though the debate concluded there was no positive result.

A few more days passed. Once, in the evening, my grandfather told my grandmother that he would go to the Mosque for the Fajr prayers along with his son and he would tell him to pray behind the Moulvi. If the son disobeyed his command, he would immediately put him to death. My grandmother had already seen a pistol under grandfather’s pillow. Naturally, she was thrown off balance and she sent a servant to the Hujra where my father was asleep. The servant faithfully delivered the message to my father, i.e. either obeys your father or be ready to die the next morning. My father knew his parent very well and was sure that his father would do exactly what he said he would do. Therefore, during the night, my father bid farewell to the village and proceeded to Mastung. Thereafter, my father was not able to return to the village until sometime after my grandfather had been murdered.

I have written a separate chapter covering the events that led to my father’s acceptance of Ahmadiyyat. Inshallah, in a separate book, I also intend to write about his life and character in some detail. That is why, at this point, I am not going into this matter any further.

My father was so obsessive in the matter of Tableegh that he was almost on the verge of insanity. He studied the books of the Promised Messiah repeatedly and consequently he became more knowledgeable than some outstanding non Ahmadi Moulvis did and naturally, they avoided meeting him head-on. He was an arch lover of the Holy Quran. He would sit up straight whenever he heard the Holy Quran being recited. He would also tell others to sit up straight whenever they heard the Holy Quran being recited. He would often say: “How can the Moulvis confront me when I have the Holy Quran on my side and they have nothing other than outdated stories?”

His manner of Tableegh was indeed enchanting. He had become quite an expert in rebutting allegations against Ahmadiyyat. He had a great sense of honour for Ahmadiyyat and was always prepared to sacrifice his life for what he believed in. On one occasion when he was waiting his turn to be called to a Court of Law at Charsadah, another Khan, surrounded by his guards and his servants, sat close to him. My father was then reading ‘Braheen e Ahmadiyya’. When the other Khan looked at the book, he enquired what it was. My father told him that it had been written by the Reformer of the Age and his name was Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani. As soon as the Khan heard the name of the Promised Messiah, he was outraged and uttered a few unsavoury words against the Promised Messiah. At once, my father leaped at the Khan, snatched his pistol and pointed it at him. He said: “Unless you apologise and use the same abusive words for yourself as you did for my master I will despatch you at once.”

The Khan was mortified and he did exactly what he was told. Then the Khan said: “I had heard that Ahmadis were a very tolerant and patient people but you are exceedingly hot tempered.” My father said: “Had you verbally abused me or said something against me I would not have bothered to respond but since you abused my master I could hardly tolerate the abuse.”

A lively discussion ensued and in a powerful manner, my father conveyed the message of Ahmadiyyat to him. That is how the confrontation ended.

The Almighty favored my father with true dreams and true visions. His dreams were mostly fulfilled brilliantly. He also received verbal revelations to which all his children were witnesses. I will mention these things in detail when I write my book about his life, Inshallah.

Here I wish to mention a faith-boosting event. In the early part of 1960, during the hours of darkness, an opponent of Ahmadiyyat shot at my father and wounded the lower part of his arm. First aid was not available in the village and by the morning, a lot of blood had been lost. On more than one occasion, he lost consciousness. My younger brother Col. Nazir Ahmad, who, in those days was a Lieutenant in the army stationed at Nowshera, escorted him to the Combined Military Hospital in Nowshera. The wound had become septic and the doctors felt that in order to save his life they might have to amputate his arm. The doctors told my brother that when his father’s very survival was in doubt he could not afford to be very optimistic. They explained that his father was already more than 70 years old and had already lost a lot of blood. The success of the operation could not therefore be assured. My brother told them that the family were happy at God’s will and they should therefore proceed with the operation.

While I was in London my brother Nazir Ahmad wrote to me and said that, the chances of father’s survival were negligible and that quite possibly, by the time I received his letter our father may have departed. Naturally, I was deeply alarmed and in such a condition, in the daylight hours, when the Mosque was completely empty, I fell in a prolonged prostration and with great humility, I prayed:
“O my Lord I am my father’s eldest son and in order to win Your pleasure he has arranged for me to dedicate my life for service to the Faith. My sisters have yet to be married and I live in a foreign country. The whole responsibility might fall on the shoulders of my brother who is currently serving in the Pakistan Army. Therefore, neither he nor I can continue to live with the family in the village. If my father dies now my mother and my sisters will have no one to look after them and support them. There is also a danger, however slight, that if he dies now my Waqf may be interrupted. O Lord, save all of us from this ordeal. I recognize that we all have to die one day and my father also has to depart one day, but in view of the current circumstances, his demise could possibly result in ruin for us all.”
After supplicating in this manner, I went home. Naturally, I was deeply concerned and tense and I spent the whole day in prayers. In those days, it was difficult to speak to someone in Pakistan on the telephone. I was therefore being starved of news.

When I slept that night, in a dream, I saw an aged person, who put his hand over my head in a most affectionate manner. He said: “Do not worry. The Almighty has accepted your prayers and has granted your father a breather of 10 years. Do not grieve as he will live for another 10 years.” In the morning, in a letter, I told my brother Nazir Ahmad of this dream. He received my letter at exactly the time when the doctors were wondering if it was safe to operate on my father. My brother showed my letter to the surgeon, Col. Akram (who later became a General). With great self-confidence, my brother said: “My brother is a participant in God’s own battalion. His dream cannot possibly be false. Therefore, you may proceed with the operation without the slightest hesitation. It is destined that my father will survive the operation and will, Inshallah, live for another 10 years’.

The surgeon, Col. Akram was astounded to see that we had such faith in our God. The operation was successful. One hand/arm became immobilised i.e. one hand/arm was martyred in the way of Allah.

Following is a statement of my brother Col. Nazir Ahmad regarding the operation: “At the time when my father was shot I was serving in one of the artillery units at Nowshera (Nowshera is approximately 13 miles from my village). When I heard the tragic news, I immediately rushed to my village and evacuated my father to the Combined Military Hospital at Nowshera. He was provided immediate medical care but after two days the surgeon informed me that he had developed gangrene and had little chance of survival. He advised me to take him back to the village and take care of him for the last few days of his life because of his imminent death. I somehow did not buy the idea and wanted to do everything possible to save his life. I then sent his medical records to Combined Military Hospital Rawalpindi for their opinion. They agreed with the assessment of physicians at Nowshera. I then sent the records to Lady Reading Hospital (Peshawar) and received the same reply. Finally I showed his medical records to Major Akram (later Major General) in Peshawar. He had recently returned from abroad after surgical training and was posted to C.M.H. Peshawar. After reviewing the case he informed me that he was not very hopeful but was willing to give surgery a chance. He wanted to amputate his hand to stop gangrene from spreading. He gave him a one percent chance of survival. He also asked me to give him in writing that I was fully aware of the consequences and yet I was asking for the procedure. Meanwhile, I received a message from my brother that he had prayed a lot during this period for the health and life of our father. He mentioned about a dream in which somebody had told him that our father will live for another ten years. This reassured me that he will, by the grace of God, live. He was taken to the operation theatre but after a while Maj. Akram came out and said that surgery was not possible due to low blood pressure and low pulse rate.. I told him to go ahead with the operation as I was positive that the operation would be successful. He questioned the reason of my optimism. I told him of the letter that I had received from my brother B.A. Rafiq who was a missionary in London. Major Akram then agreed to perform the surgery but without general anaesthesia. He asked me to hold my father’s other hand during the surgery and to keep him awake by talking to him while he performed the surgery under local anaesthesia. After the amputation I buried the arm at Ahmaddiya graveyard in Peshawar. He remained critical after the surgery for sometime but by the end of the day he showed miraculous signs of improvement which surprised the surgeon and the medical staff. By day two he started walking. Maj. Akram was so impressed by this that he later visited my father at our village twice”

Ten years passed quickly and during that period, I was able to meet my father only twice. One day, I received a letter from my father telling me that according to my dream he had been provided with a respite of 10 years and that period was about to finish. With great self-assurance and cool, he said that he was ready for the transition. Naturally, on receipt of this letter, once again, I was deeply concerned and once again, I bowed at the Divine Altar. I closed the door of the Fazl Mosque, cried my eyes out and I begged my Lord for a further break. I knew very well that my Lord listens to prayers and shows signs of acceptance. He treats everyone, without distinction, in the same manner. I am making a mention of these events, God forbid, not to show any pre-eminence but merely to hark back to His bounty so that my progeny may also rely on the efficacy of prayers.

When, after supplicating in this manner I fell asleep, once again, I saw the same pious person in my dream that I had seen in an earlier dream and who had reassured me by telling me that the Almighty had accepted my prayers. He told me that, once again, my father had been granted another extension of 5 years. I wrote to my father and he mentioned my dream to Hadhrat Maulana Abul Ata. The Maulana insisted on a transcript be sent to him so that he could publish it in his journal ‘Al Furqan’.

Five years later, quite suddenly, as the roof of his house collapsed my father passed away. ‘Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Elehe Rajeoon’.

Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih IV wrote the following letters to me on 25th June 1983.
“Your letters always remind me of your virtuous father and persuade me to pray for him. He was an embodiment of perfect consistency between what he said and what he did. I was extremely close to him and I am extremely close to him now. This relationship manifests itself in the desire for prayers. May Allah overwhelm him with Divine Mercy and may all his progeny become his heirs in the true sense of the word.”

Before he became Khalifa, Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih IV wrote to me on the 3rd of July, 1981 as follows: “In accordance with my potential, even earlier on I have been praying for you. Apart from your dedicating your life for the service of the Faith, the remembrance of your father also inspires me to pray for you. I was very close to him. I often met him on the road. We exchanged greetings, not only while crossing each other but we tarried a bit, enquired about each other’s health and we derived great pleasure through such encounters. On occasion, walking towards the Mosque together we would engage in conversation. He would often relate faith-boosting events of his life. I have always felt that whenever we met he greeted me with great warmth and cordiality. I hope that he too was aware of my regard and esteem for him. You have asked me to pray for him. Even if there were no other grounds this reason alone is sufficient. I often hypothesize that devout parents are like a cool spring from which beneficence flows. In itself it is a great favour and it is impossible either to count such parental favours or to return such gifts.”

A young non-Ahmadi cousin of mine Faqir Muhammad Khan who lived in our village has recently passed away. He had retired as Secretary of the Forest Department in the Frontier Provincial Government. He was recipient of very many favours from my father who in the beginning helped him obtain service in the Forest Department. I reproduce a letter that he wrote to me. “Danishmand Khan was my senior. He was related to me, as he was both my ‘mamoo’ and my ‘chacha.’ However, my relationship of “mamoo” remained dominant and that is why I always addressed him as ‘mamoo’. In such a relationship, the two persons can belong in the same age group and sometimes there can be great disparity in their ages. He was much older than I was. I was still a child when he already wore a white beard. I always saw him offer his Salaat with great regularity and he always kept all the fasts. He often said; ‘I offer Salaat, recite the Quran (with translation), keep my fasts, do not steal, do not indulge in back-biting, have never told a lie, have never harmed or hurt anyone and yet most call me an ‘infidel’. It is indeed a very strange kind of justice.” He would then laugh. In my presence, he once translated and commented on some verses of ‘Soora Al Mulk’. One could clearly see consistency and cohesion in his discourse and in his arguments. There was a strange kind of magnetism in his voice and for a long time the terminology, that he used has remained embedded in my memory. Perhaps it is God’s Will that I cannot recall those exact words although the related experiences occurred as far back as 1947.”

In all probability, I was in my fifth or sixth grade when I saw a few people sitting in his Hujra. As I was much younger than the others were, I sat on a cot lying in a corner in complete silence. Danishmand Khan was talking about the examination of his elder son Bashir Ahmad who is currently known as Bashir Ahmad Rafiq. He said that: “When someone takes an exam he either passes or fails. It is therefore natural that some candidates or students will pass and some will fail. Therefore the result of an examination of a student should not worry the parents unduly.”
His son, Bashir Ahmad Rafiq, was adamant that a student or a candidate must never fail especially when he happens to be poor. He should work hard so that he can be sure to pass every time. Arguments on both sides were being presented. Both Bashir Ahmad Rafiq and his father continued to hold their different views. During this discussion, I saw a particular kind of lustre on the face of my “mamoo”. Obviously, he seemed pleased at the growing potential and ability of his son. Repeatedly, he would bring up the same subject so that the son may have an opportunity to gain proficiency in the matter of a debate and yet he remained firm on his views. I noticed that in the end, with a smile, he conceded defeat. This was really meant to create a sense of pre-eminence in his son so that he may become self-confident.

In the village environment, even over minor and insignificant matters, one can always witness quarrels and hear verbal abuse. Even scuffles and brawls take place. With regard to him (Danishmand Khan), we never heard of his being involved in any quarrel or in any conflict. At the same time, he had complete control over the domestic environment. Neither his own wife, nor his children or his near relations such as his brothers and sisters and their children, dare ever raise their voices before him. His younger son, Col. Nazir Ahmad and I were in the same age group. We played together and often read some stories that I cannot recall any longer. These stories often contained constructive lessons.
Once, Nazir Ahmad and I were playing. Perhaps earlier on that day he had been entrusted to perform a chore but he had forgotten it and was instead engaged in playing. His father turned up looking for him. As soon as Nazir Ahmad saw his father, he knew the purpose of his visit. In a quiet tone, he told me that he had made a mistake and he then feared that he would have to pay for it. He wondered what kind of punishment would be meted out to him. When his father came close to us, he said to his son: “I asked you to do a certain job which you did not do and instead you are playing.” Nazir Ahmad made an effort to explain and I could see that his father was cross. However, in a very low tone his father said to him: “Keep quiet; do not make excuses”. Without saying another word, he departed. In the rural environment most people are very tolerant of verbal abuse but I never heard ‘mamoo’ even reprimand anyone.

The names given to the Pathans are often strange but in our family, the names given to the children were always in good taste, such as Danishmand Khan. My mother’s brother was called Shuja ul Mulk. These two were very close to each other. We had heard of the stories of the bravery displayed by them during their youth. Even in his old age, Danishmand Khan never showed any alarm though several attempts had been made on his life but he never panicked and did not leave his village. He continued his life in the normal way without the slightest variation. In his last few years, he lived in his house in the village by himself. Any decision taken by Danishmand Khan was always bold, flawless and not subject to any change.

A retired Subedar named Haq lived in our village and he was by nature very fond of music. Since there was no electricity in our village the Subedar amused himself by listening to a battery powered radio or a wind up gramophone. Every day he would spend a short time in the company of Danishmand Khan not for music but for meaningful conversation.

The marriage of Danishmand Khan’s elder daughter Amat ul Kareem was settled with Muhammad Hassan Khan of Dab village of Charsada sub division. Members of the bridal party, consisting only of a small number, had arrived. The bridegroom arrived in a sizeable motorcar. At that time, the road from the Grand Trunk Road to our village, a distance of 3 miles, had not been tarred. As a result, the clothes of the guests were covered with dust. Therefore, all of them first went straight to wash. In those days, there were very few motorcars and if ever a car did arrive in a village, children would immediately surround it. Along with the other children, I approached the motorcar. Both Danishmand Khan and the Subedar sat on their cots engaged in conversation. The Subedar suggested that since a radio had been fixed in the motorcar and this was an auspicious event we should listen to the music. In accordance with my modest intelligence at that time, I felt that since the Subedar was regarded as an influential person Danishmand Khan would not turn down the suggestion he had made. However, contrary to my expectations, his decision was in the negative but he also explained his reasons. He said: “First, our guests are not present. We should not play music without the permission of the owner of the car in his absence. Second, even if the guests were present they would never have asked for music to be played as they knew that it would discomfit me”. The Subedar did not have thecourage to pursue the matter any further.

In accordance with his potential, he always helped the poor in the village. On many occasions, he found employment for deserving and educated boys. He never refrained from making any sacrifice for the general good. When the village school was upgraded to the middle level there was need for adequate suitable land. No one in the village was willing to provide a piece of land and it was Danishmand Khan himself who donated a suitable piece of land where a High School now stands in which the children of the village study and have become proficient. Neither of the two sons of Danishmand Khan ever studied in that school. He was fully aware that his children were too old to benefit from that school.
































Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 4: Father’s Baiat

In order to enable people to accept His truth, when the Almighty commissions a Messenger, he employs a variety of means. He opens their hearts for the acceptance of truth. On hearing the message, they believe promptly. He show dreams to some and thus directs their attention to the Truth and enables them to believe.
From this point of view the event of my late father, Danishmand Khan’s acceptance of Ahmadiyyat is faith boosting. He did not accept Ahmadiyyat because of Tableegh by any one. The Almighty Himself instructed him to join Ahmadiyyat.
My father left our village for Baluchistan in his early youth. There he found service in the Mastung jail. Before he left the village my grandfather told him to do whatever he liked but to be careful and stay away from Qadianis. Grandfather said they were worse than the Christians and the Jews as they did not believe in God and (God forbid) they insulted and defamed Hazrat Muhammad SAW. My father promised him that he would stay away from the Ahmadis and would not get entangled in their net.
My father had no knowledge of Ahmadiyyat, had never met an Ahmadi and had no interest in Ahmadiyyat. In those days Mastung was a small township with a very modest population consisting mostly of Baluchis and Pukhtoons. In Baluchistan father lived in a spacious house within the four walls of the Mastung jail. He had been adequately provided with all the necessities of life. In the office under him worked a few members of his staff. He was spending his days peacefully and with great comfort and ease.
Sometime in 1921, in order to offer his Friday prayer, he started walking towards the Mastung Jamia Masjid. As soon as he got out on the road he met Hazrat Moulvi Mohammad Ilyas Khan. Both greeted and introduced each other. Hazrat Moulvi Mohammad Ilyas Khan (who later on became my maternal grandfather) knew my grandfather. My father told me that Hazrat Moulvi Mohammad Ilyas Khan was not a mere acquaintance but had even visited our village once or twice.
Hazrat Moulvi Sahib told my father that he was a member of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. My father was not exactly pleased on receipt of this piece of information. However, he was impressed by his personality and saintly countenance. He often said that within his heart he was convinced that such a person couldn’t possibly be false. Hazrat Moulvi Sahib asked my father where he was going. My father responded by saying that he was on is way to the Mosque to offer his Juma prayer. Hazrat Moulvi Sahib said that he too was on his way to offer Juma prayer. He added:
“We offer our congregational prayers nearby in a house belonging to an Ahmadi. Come with us and join us for the Juma prayer.”
My father pondered over this invitation for a while and then said that he would accompany him on the condition that he would merely listen to the sermon but would not offer the prayer along with the Ahmadis. Hazrat Moulvi Sahib happily accepted the condition and advised him to offer his prayer by himself.
Later on my father often said that he declined to offer his prayer with the Ahmadis as he had been told that amongst Ahmadis, some music was also played along with their prayer. He said that he wanted to see for himself how the Ahmadis offer their prayers.
My father accompanied Hazrat Moulvi Sahib to a nearby house where Ahmadis had assembled for the Friday Service. He only found eight or ten people there. Father sat at a distance from the congregation. He was very surprised that the Ahmadis were offering their ‘Sunnats’ and during their prayer they were sobbing. Father was extremely surprised at this spectacle.
Hazrat Moulvi Mohammad Ilyas Sahib delivered the Friday Sermon. The subject that he chose was based on those verses of Sura Baqra where there was a mention of hypocrites. Hazrat Mouvli Sahib revealed in detail the apparent signs of the hypocrites. Father often said that he was under the impression that Hazrat Mouvli Sahib was relating his (father’s) story. Father said that he felt that all the signs of the hypocrites were present in him. Consequently he received a tremendous shock and became dejected as the qualities of a Munfiq (Hypocrite) referred to in the Holy Quran seemed present in him. He admitted that on listening to the Friday Sermon he was taken aback. He thought that perhaps Hazrat Moulvi Sahib had prior knowledge of the spiritual shortcomings in his life and was relating his circumstances without naming him. On completion of the Friday Service tea was served. However, the manner in which Hazrat Moulvi Sahib interpreted and commented upon the various verses of the Holy Quran won father’s admiration and approval.
When they left the house where they had prayed and were by themselves my father asked Hazrat Moulvi Sahib who had told him about his hypocritical way of life. Hazrat Moulvi Sahib was very surprised and told him that he had met him for the very first time. He said that he was merely interpreting and commenting on the verses of the Holy Quran.
Many weeks passed by and my father did not meet Hazrat Moulvi Mohammad Ilyas Khan again nor did he make any attempt to investigate Ahmadiyyat. The whole matter was forgotten. A little later during the month of December a lot of snow fell in Mastung and all the roads were blocked; all the surroundings were frozen. After finishing his day’s work in the office father proceeded to his house, which was situated within the four walls of the jail. He lit a lantern and had his dinner which his servant had already cooked for him. He was ready to go to bed and he dismissed his servant who was one of the prisoners. He lay on his bed and around midnight he felt that someone was violently shaking one of his big toes. He got up a little apprehensively and heard a voice saying: “Get up and do your Baiat.” My father lit his lantern and searched through every room of the house. Since his house was situated within the compound of the jail which was very heavily guarded he was content that there was no intruder around. He found no intruder and was convinced that no thief would wander around in the extreme cold and snow. He put out the lantern and lay down again. Soon, once again, while in deep sleep somebody put a lot of stress on his foot and said: “Get up and do your Baiat.” Again he was very disturbed and he lit the lantern. He could not sleep for the remaining hours of that night.
During the following day the happenings of the previous night got obliterated from his mind. During the next night, as soon as he fell into a deep sleep, the occurrence of the previous night was repeated and he kept on hearing the command: “Get up and do your Baiat.” He became so terrified that he would not sleep any more and from then on he remained awake.
He often said that he did not know at all what the term ‘Baiat’ was as in his previous life he had never heard of it. He became extremely concerned as he could not figure out what he should do or to whom he should turn. Finally he decided to ask the Mullah of the nearby Mosque what the term ‘Baiat’ meant. With this thought in his mind, having emerged from his house, as soon as he got on to the footpath, in accordance with Divine Destiny, he saw Moulvi Muhammad Ilyas Khan walking towards him. He asked father:

“What’s the matter with you? Your eyes are puffed up? Are you all right?”

He told Moulvi Sahib that he was deeply involved in a severe problem. Then he related the happenings of the three previous nights to him and asked him what ‘Baiat’ was. Moulvi Sahib responded by telling father how and at whose hand Baiat should be performed. He said that Baiat is to be pledged at the hand of Hazrat Khaleefa tul Maseeh II at Qadian. My father said:

“Moulvi Sahib, arrange for my Baiat immediately as I am extremely distressed.”

Moulvi Sahib took my father to his house, filled out a Baiat form and asked him to sign it. Moulvi Sahib assured him that from then on he would not be disturbed. Father returned to his own house and when night fell he became somewhat apprehensive but he slept the whole night most peacefully. He was neither woken up by anyone nor was he ordered to do Baiat’ as he had already done it. A few days later, out on the street, father met Hazrat Moulvi Muhammad Ilyas Khan. He asked father to spare a little time to visit him so that he could teach him a little of the Holy Quran and its Tafseer (commentary). Father told him that during his childhood he had sworn that he would never recite the Holy Quran. Naturally Hazrat Moulvi Sahib was surprised as to how, being a Muslim, he could have taken an oath which was completely contrary to the Islamic Teachings. Father replied:

“From my very childhood my father sent me to the Mullah of the village to learn the Holy Quran. After having learnt to read the text orally I started learning its translation. Certain questions arose in my mind which I put to the Moulvi Sahib and asked him for certain clarifications. One day the Mullah said to me that to ask questions concerning the Holy Quran was a sign of Kufr. Therefore do not ask any questions otherwise you will become an infidel.”
My father related that when he got home he swore that he would never recite the Holy Quran again as its comprehension could turn one into an infidel. What is the use of reciting such a book? On hearing this amazing story Moulvi Sahib said:

“Danishmand Khan! I will teach you the Quran myself. Even if it takes ten days to interpret one single verse I will answer every single question that you might raise. The Holy Quran generates faith and not Kufr. A verse within the book declares that it is guidance for the Muttaqis (those who take care not to incur Allah’s displeasure). If someone who studies the Holy Quran with attention and asks questions there is no possibility of his becoming an infidel”.

My father agreed and became a pupil of Moulvi Sahib. He began not only to read the Quran but also to comprehend its deeper meanings.
A short while after the Baiat’ form was sent to Qadian father received a Postcard from Hazrat Mufti Mohammad Sadiq Sahib who was then acting as Private Secretary to Hazrat Khaleefa tul Maseeh II. He was told that Huzoor had accepted his Baiat. He was advised to pay particular attention to Salaat and to remain engaged in supplications. A Moulvi who worked in father’s office caught sight of the Postcard. Greatly agitated he approached father and told him that by taking this step he had become an infidel and his life in Mastung would become Hell. Father assured him that he cared little for his or other’s threats as he had found the Truth. He assured him that even if the whole world made a determined effort to oppose him he wouldn’t care a fig. He declared that he was not one of those who got scared easily.
This is the story of my father’s acceptance of Ahmadiyyat. He often said that God Himself had conducted him into Ahmadiyyat and that he did not accept Ahmadiyyat as a result of Tableegh (preaching) by anyone.

© 2014 Bashir Ahmad Rafiq Contact Me
















Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 5: Students Days at Qadian

In December 1944, my father made up his mind to participate in the Annual Jalsa at Qadian. My brother Nazir Ahmad and I accompanied him. From Peshawar, we travelled by train in a railway compartment reserved for Ahmadis. As soon as the train began to move, we offered a long collective prayer. This was my first experience of joining in a collective prayer. All of us were sobbing and wailing and I was deeply affected. Then some young men raised slogans of ‘Allah o Akbar’. Mian Muhammad Yusuf, a jeweler, was traveling in the same compartment. He could not claim that he had a melodious voice, but throughout our journey, in a loud voice, he kept on reciting verses from ‘Durr e Sameen’. At Lahore, we changed to a train for Amritsar, which was not situated far from Lahore. The new train from Amritsar was full of Ahmadi brethren. Only a few Sikh passengers were to be seen. As soon as the train moved out of the Amritsar Station, the whole environment resounded with slogans of ‘Allah o Akbar’. Then there was a collective prayer and I was deeply affected by the wailing. Almost throughout the whole journey, slogans raised by Ahmadis were to be heard. We reached Qadian in the evening and Khuddam, by the dozen, were there to help us. They escorted us to the places where we were to stay.
The next day, after having offered our Fajr prayer we went to a teashop in which a long table had been laid. On the table lay cakes, pastries, samosas and various other articles of food. A servant kept on filling and refilling cups with tea from an urn. We had a good breakfast and at the point of exit we told the owner of the teashop, what we had consumed and we paid him the amount he asked for. I was extremely surprised that the owner of the teashop trusted his customers sufficiently to leave it to them to tell him what they had consumed. This was the first occasion when I experienced this measure of trust. Even now, the impression of honesty and trust then prevailing in Qadian is firmly imprinted on my mind. To me, this was proof enough of the revolution brought about by Ahmadiyyat.
The surroundings and the environment in Qadian were very different from any other place in the World. Everywhere, everyone was greeting and being greeted with the salutation; ‘Assalam o Alaikum’. Apart from that, there was complete calm, amity and silence. At that time many dozens of the Companions of the Promised Messiah were still living whom one met at every step. Close proximity and companionship of the Promised Messiah (pbuh) had brought about a great spiritual revolution in them. These Companions had been transformed into spiritual jewels and gems. Each one of them was a minaret of light. I will name only a few of those who then sanctified the lanes of Qadian:
• Hadhrat Moulvi Sher Ali
• Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq
• Hadhrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad
• Hadhrat Syed Sarwar Shah
• Hadhrat Mir Muhammad Ismaeel
• and Hadhrat Mirza Sharif Ahmad.
Overall, because of these Companions Qadian had become a gorgeous, dazzling spiritual park.
Reverting to the subject of the 1944 Jalsa I can say that, in the dwelling allotted to us, along with other Pathan Ahmadis, we spread our bedding on the floor, which was covered with a thick layer of chaff (the outer covering of grains). The straw was not only a poor conductor of heat but it also made us very comfortable. We roamed around Qadian for the whole of the next day. In the evening Pathans from the Frontier Province were scheduled to meet Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II. That was to be my very first meeting with Huzoor. In accordance with our father’s wishes, my brother and I changed into clean and neat clothes. Along with our father, we went for the audience. Outside the room where we were to meet Huzoor, we saw the husband of my mother’s sister Hadhrat Qazi Muhammad Yusuf Sahib, Amir of the Ahmadiyya Jamaats in the Frontier Province. He was to present us formally to Huzoor. The whole atmosphere was solemn. Every one was engaged in invoking blessings upon the Holy Prophet (saw). After a while, the door opened and we filed in. Hadhrat Qazi Muhammad Yusuf Sahib was the first to greet Huzoor and then he sat down on his right. After that, one by one, all of us shook hands with Huzoor. Hadhrat Qazi Sahib introduced each member individually as we shook hands with Huzoor.
I became dumbfounded as soon as I saw Huzoor’s enlightened face. His countenance was so illuminated and becoming that I wanted to continue looking at him. The whole atmosphere was enlightening and fascinating. Huzoor sat on a chair and the lower part of his body was covered with a blanket. The devotees approached him one by one and saluted him by saying; ‘Assalam o Alaikum’. In perfect order, each Ahmadi shook and kissed his hand and then moved on. When it was my turn Huzoor put out his hand as I got close to him. I shook it and kissed it. The mere physical contact with his hand created in me an electric surge and the whole of my body shivered. I was barely thirteen years old then and was a fresh entrant into the spiritual trail. Since that day tremendous love and dedication for Huzoor has been embedded in my heart. Ever since that day, I have been prepared to sacrifice my heart and soul for him.
After our audience with Huzoor, we returned to our dwelling. All of us talked about of our audience with Huzoor. All of us were proud and pleased that we had been afforded an opportunity to kiss the hand of our master.
I have no clear recollection of the speeches that were delivered in the Jalsa. I cannot even remember who spoke or on which subject. However, I carefully listened to every word that Huzoor spoke but I will confess that I did not comprehend much. As far as Urdu was concerned, I was a complete novice. I knew no language other than Pushto.

The hustle and bustle in Qadian during the Jalsa days was worth seeing. The streets had been decorated and were full of people. At prayer times, in the Mosques, every square inch of space was taken. During prayer times the depth and warmth of feelings was noticeable. Sobbing and wails from the worshippers created a unique spectacle. I could not understand why so many people were shedding tears. Nevertheless, these pictures left a deep impression on my mind. After all, I was then passing through a formative age.
On conclusion of the Jalsa, when we boarded the train for our return journey, my father asked me how I had found Qadian. I said I liked it very much and it was indeed a very attractive place. He said to me:

“If I were to get you admitted to a School in Qadian how would you like it?”

I answered,

“It would be a great pleasure for me. Do please get me enrolled into the School in Qadian.”

To be admitted into the school, the next year, at the request of my father, my mother’s brother, Abd us Salaam Khan took me to Qadian. The Qadian that I arrived at that time looked very different. There was no Jalsa and no crowds. There were hardly any people in the streets. Then I realised that the Jalsa days were over and hence there were not so many people around. However, I was perfectly at ease. The next day my mother’s brother took me to see Hadhrat Syed Mahmood Ullah Shah, the Headmaster of the Taleem ul Islam School. He was very good-looking, had meticulous manners and was soft spoken. His sister had married Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II. He hailed from a highly respected Syed family. Even in later life, I have not seen another so cultured, pious person with superb manners. He admitted me into the eighth grade and gave me a letter addressed to Sufi Ghulam Muhammad Sahib, the Superintendent of the Boarding House. Sufi Sahib was a Companion of the Promised Messiah (pbuh). He taught Mathematics in the School. His son, Mubarak Musleh ud Deen Ahmad and I became friends and our friendship continues to this day. Both of us had the privilege of dedicating our lives in the same year and we have been fellow travellers.
I was settled in the Boarding House and then my mother’s brother who had escorted me left Qadian. This was the very first occasion I had been away from my parents and my relatives. For the first few days, I cried as I recalled my parents and my village. I regarded the separation as a great setback. I hardly knew a word either of Urdu or of Punjabi. I had to communicate with my teachers and other students through sign language. I remained somewhat anxious and perturbed in those first few days. Fortunately, there were another three or four Pathan boys in the Boarding House and I spent most of my time in their company. At the same time, I was learning Urdu. Finally, with great effort, after four or five months, I was able to express myself in Urdu. I was then, to a large degree, able to follow my teachers. The Boarding House was situated in a vast and expansive building. It housed not only boys from India but also from East African and many other countries. As a rule, for our Fajr prayer, we were woken up while it was still dark. After we had performed ablution, we were marched, single file, to the Mosque. There, after the Fajr prayer, lessons on Hadeeth were held regularly and we had to participate in those as well. After breakfast, we would go to the School. Again, from there, we were taken in single file to the Mosque for our Zohr prayer. Similarly, for Asr, Maghrib and Isha, again in single file, we were taken to the Mosque so that there we may offer all our prayers in congregation. The curriculum set by the Government was strictly followed in our School but the subject of ‘Religious Education’ was compulsory. A student’s application for an examination was only sent to the University if he had successfully passed in the subject of ‘Religious Education’. During my time at the T.I. High School and at the Tahrik e Jadeed Boarding House, religious outlines began to erupt in my mind. Mainly due to listening to the sermons delivered by Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II, interaction with the Companions of the Promised Messiah and my teachers I began to adore Islam and Ahmadiyyat. The objective with which the teachers of the school taught us was indeed strange. At that time there was no concept of ‘Private Tuition’. Our teachers would hold special classes, completely free of charge to the students, only for the benefit of those students who needed coaching. In addition, the students were helped with the sincere prayers of the teachers.
Chaudhry Abd ur Rahman used to teach us Mathematics. He was appointed when the school was moved to Chiniot. He attached such great importance to prayers that before the beginning of every lesson in his class he would recite, in a loud clear voice, the Mosaic Prayer.
When the school was shifted to Chiniot, there was absolute helplessness all around. Hadhrat Syed Mahmood Ullah Shah continued to be the Headmaster. I was then in the tenth grade. After the partition of the Sub-Continent, for the first time, students from the T.I. High School were to appear for the Matriculation examination then conducted by the Punjab University. Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II, in a message sent to the Headmaster Hadhrat Mahmood Ullah Shah, said that he had a keen longing to see all candidates appearing for the Matriculation examination passing in the First Division. He said he would pray for the realisation of this wish. He asked Shah Sahib to get the students to work hard so that, at the very first attempt, all the students would pass their Matriculation examination with distinction. In order to implement these instructions from Huzoor, day and night, our teachers made us work very hard. In the evenings, for weaker students, completely free of any tuition fees, almost ceremoniously, special classes were held. Great emphasis was laid on supplications. We were regularly woken up for (tahajjud) pre-dawn prayer when we all prayed with utter humility. Chaudhry Abd ur Rahman continued to teach us Mathematics with great diligence. However, he became prayer personified. All the time he focussed our attention on prayers. Every morning, before the commencement of our lessons, he would lead us in a collective prayer. The days of the examinations were nearby and apparently, we were ready. However, I was very weak in Mathematics and obviously, my teacher, Chaudhry Abd ur Rahman, was also deeply concerned. He paid special attention to me. On the day of the Mathematics examination, he woke up the students very early. In the classroom, after silent prayers, he wrote a few Mathematical questions on the blackboard and asked us to solve them. He said that in this way our minds would be prepared for the test. We tried to solve the questions but found them very difficult. Our teacher solved all the questions on the blackboard for all the students to see. Apparently, he had chosen these questions at random.
When we entered the Examination Hall, in accordance with our normal practice, before looking at the question paper, each one of us raised his hands in silent prayers. When I looked at the Question Paper, I was surprised tremendously. The Question Paper contained the same questions as our teacher had solved for us in the morning. As I had memorised the answers to the questions I solved them quickly and was the first to exit from the Examination Hall. I found Chaudhry Abd ur Rahman, obviously very anxious, pacing up and down the corridor. When he saw me, presuming that I had not answered all the questions and had come out of the Examination Hall in a hurry he rushed towards me. He asked me to let him see the Question Paper. When he discovered that the questions in it were exactly those that he had solved in the morning, there and then he prostrated on the ground to thank God. His neat and clean clothes became soiled. In any case, he was not the sort who would bother much about soiled clothes. He remained in prostration for a long while. When he got up, he embraced me and asked me if I had answered the questions correctly. I said that in my own view I had solved all the questions correctly. He pointed his finger at one of the questions and asked me to solve it in his presence – I did that correctly. I repeated ‘Alhamdolillah!
When the University declared the results of the examination we discovered that every single student from the T.I. School who had appeared for the Matriculation examination had passed in the First Division. This news was published on the front page of the Daily ‘Al Fazl’. A few days later, we were presented before Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II, who greeted us with some Urdu words equivalent to ‘Bravo, Well done’ etc. He blessed us with his prayers and entertained us with some sweetmeats.
Such were the Ahmadi teachers who taught us; they were not engaged in this profession to earn money as their mission had a different objective. The salaries they received were inconsequential. Had they so wished they could get much better pay and other fringe benefits in other schools. However, they did not care. May Allah reward them abundantly and may He shower His blessings upon them.
I continued my studies in the Taleem ul Islam School at Qadian until July 1947. This, indeed, was a golden period of my life. Apart from the education imparted, the spiritual environment brought about a complete change in me. I had opportunities to interact with some of the very senior Companions of the Promised Messiah (pbuh) and I greatly benefited from their prayers. Above all, almost every day, after Mahgrib, I was enabled to participate in and benefit from ‘Majlis e Irfan’ of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II. Normally these sittings were held in Masjid Mubarak between Maghrib and Isha prayers. During the summer months, the sittings were held on the top of the roof of Masjid Mubarak and in the winter, they were held within the Mosque. By the Grace of Allah, I was enabled to attend these sittings with great regularity. Apart from gaining additional knowledge, I benefited from proximity to Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II. Such sittings strengthened my heart and soul. These sittings enabled me to obey the Quranic injunctions to ‘Seek the Company of the Righteous’.
One single incident that occurred during my school days at Qadian determined the direction of my future life. As a result, I was enabled to devote my life to the service of the Faith.
An announcement was made in our school and in all the Mosques that, after an absence of nine years, Hadhrat Moulvi Jalal ud Deen Shams, Imam of the London Mosque, was returning from England. To welcome the Maulana all residents of Qadian were asked to proceed to the Qadian Railway Station. That day was being observed as a holiday. All the shops, schools and the college were closed. In single file, we were taken from the Boarding House to the Railway Station. Shortly before the arrival of the train Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II came to the Station. The platform was overflowing with the crowds and hundreds waited outside the Station. Fortunately, I was able to squeeze into a gap close to Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II. As the train approached the whole surroundings resounded with slogans of ‘Allah o Akbar’. When the train came to a stop Hadhrat Maulana Shams and Munir ul Husni, who was one of the first Syrians to join Ahmadiyyat, alighted from the train. They walked straight towards Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II who embraced Hadhrat Moulvi Jalal ud Deen Shams. He held him in his arms for quite a while. There were tears flowing from the eyes of both. I was greatly moved by this scene. Judging from the welcome accorded to him I felt convinced that the Maulana had been responsible for extraordinary accomplishments. Particularly, when I saw the Khalifa of the time hold him in his loving embrace for such a long while. I had an ambition that I may also be enabled to serve the Faith so that I too would be blessed with proximity to the Khalifa. On that day, the seed to devote my life for the Cause was firmly planted in my mind.
Until I was admitted to the College, I was enabled to meet Hadhrat Maulana Shams on several occasions. After every encounter, I could detect spiritual progress in myself. While in college, after I had dedicated my life, I had a dream. I saw Hadhrat Muhammad Mustafa (saw) on his feet. His face was illuminated like an alluring moon. He had long hair that covered his ears. On his right stood Hadhrat Maulana Jalal ud Deen Shams and some other Companions whom I did not recognize. Having seen Maulana Shams so close to the Holy Prophet (saw) my great esteem and devotion for the Maulana was further enhanced. A few days later, quite by chance, I learnt that the Maulana was on a visit to Lahore. I went to see him and asked him to have a cup of tea with me. Graciously he accepted my invitation. At tea, I related my dream to him and he said that he would interpret the dream to mean that I would be enabled to serve the Faith.
Before my departure for England in January 1959, I went to see the Maulana and asked him to tender some advice as guidance to me. One of them, from which I benefited a great deal, was as follows. He said:
“When I was engaged in Missionary work in Syria, through me, Munir ul Husni, a member of a well to do family, accepted Ahmadiyyat. Both day and night, with great zeal and vigor, he remained engaged in the service to the Faith. He was thus enabled to make considerable progress. Every day, after Asr, he would visit the Mission House and lovingly he would cook dinner for me. He insisted that we should have our evening meal together. One day, as we sat down for our dinner, I told Munir Husni that there was too much salt in the dish that he had cooked. I asked him to exercise greater care in the future. For a short time, Munir remained completely silent. Then he said; ‘Maulana, you know very well that at home I have many servants who serve me, so much so that when I get home at night a servant unlaces my shoes. At home, I have never even made a cup of tea for myself. When I come here, I cook for you merely to gain the pleasure of Allah. Otherwise, I am not even remotely interested in or trained for cooking. Therefore, if the spices in the dishes that I cook are more or less, since it is not my job to cook, please do overlook my imperfection.”
After relating this incident, the Maulana said that he had learnt a wonderful lesson from this occurrence. He continued and said, “I then realized that those friends who cheerfully serve us do so because of their love for Ahmadiyyat and to gain Allah’s blessings. They do not serve us because of our individual merit. We must, under all circumstances, bear this truth in mind. We should always remember that he who serves us bestows on us a favor and if there is any deficiency in his help, we certainly have no right to criticize him. When you get to England you will find that many older and persons of a senior standing will willingly serve you. Be sure that you do not become arrogant as in fact they serve you for the sake of prestige and honor of Ahmadiyyat and for gaining the pleasure of Allah. In fact, they are not under any obligation to serve you.” I have greatly benefited from this advice of the Maulana. May his status in Heaven be further elevated. I always remain engaged in such supplications for him.
In July 1947 when our school closed for the summer vacation, I went back to my village. In August, because of the Partition of the Sub-Continent, killings and destruction of every kind became the order of the day. Tens of thousands of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians were slaughtered. Hundreds of thousands became homeless. Many rich and those belonging to the upper classes became paupers. I have seen such scenes myself. With my own eyes, I have seen dead bodies lying on the streets. I could not figure out how and why human beings had become each other’s bloodthirsty enemies. Once I went to Peshawar from my village and there I saw a state of affairs that completely shattered me. In the lane through which I was passing, I saw dogs and vultures devouring stinking human dead bodies. There was no one to bury them. I discovered later that these were bodies of Hindus bound for India who had been slaughtered as they were about to board their trucks. All their possessions were looted. The same happened to Muslims in India, particularly in the Punjab.
The Almighty showed a special favor to the residents of Qadian and its neighborhood. Under the leadership and directions of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II all residents of Qadian safely migrated to Pakistan. Some Ahmadis were indeed martyred but compared to the others the Ahmadis were recipient of Allah’s protection.
In Qadian, during the summer months the mango and rennet (jaman) trees alongside the streets were weighed down with fruit. The produce of some of the trees were purchased by the Boarding House, which, when ripe, was made available to the students. In any case, the Qadian mangoes were famous throughout the Punjab. They were delicious, sweet, fragrant and juicy. Compared with the market rate we could buy these fruits at much lower rates. Jaman was available in plenty but I did not care for it much. During the summer months, a group picnic was always arranged at the canal that flowed at a distance of about two miles from Qadian. Almost all residents of Qadian participated. Food was cooked in many cauldrons (daigs) and each neighbourhood had its own arrangement for cooking. For the students who lived in the Boarding House many cauldrons of good quality pulau and zarda were cooked. Swimming competitions were held throughout the day. The greatest attraction of these picnics was the presence of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II and other members of the family of the Promised Messiah (pbuh). Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II took part in water polo and swimming competitions. It was indeed a very enjoyable setting. Since then I have never been so lucky.
The fact that after Fajr prayers all the students were taken to the Bihishti Maqbara, significantly contributed to their spiritual well-being. There we were enabled to pray over the graves of the Promised Messiah (pbuh) and some other saintly persons. It appeared that after Fajr the students and all other residents of Qadian marched to the Bihishti Maqbara. At the grave of the Promised Messiah (pbuh), one could often hear the sobbing and wailing.
On 20th December 1905, to serve as a graveyard, the Promised Messiah (pbuh) set apart a portion of his fruit garden situated in the southern part of Qadian; the first person to be buried in the Bihishti Maqbara (Heavenly graveyard) was Hadhrat Moulvi Abdul Kareem. When the Promised Messiah (pbuh) died in Lahore on 26th May 1908, his body was brought to Qadian and he too was buried in the Bihishti Maqbara.











Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 6: Waqf

In 1937, in the service of Sardar Muhammad Bakhtiar Khan Domky my father was posted in the State of Lehri in Baluchistan. My mother, my brother and my sisters continued to live in the village. My maternal grandfather, Hadhrat Moulvi Muhammad Ilyas Khan, almost permanently lived in Mastung in Baluchistan. My father instructed us that as my uncle, Abd us Salaam Khan, was proceeding to Mastung, along with him we should travel to Lehri. I can distinctly recall that journey. We got off the train at Bail Paht Station and took a bus, which proceeded towards Lehri. The entire route was like a desert. There was hardly any road and the driver kept on driving according to his own intuition. At last, in the evening we reached Lehri where my father was waiting for us. He took us to his house, which was vast and spacious; without exaggeration, the compound covered an area of around eight kanals. There was any number of rooms, each one decorated and furnished tastefully. After a few days, my father said to me that the proprietor and ruler of the State had expressed a wish to see me. Therefore, in the evening we went towards the palatial house of Sardar Muhammad Bakhtiar. When we went through the main gate, we saw armed guards all around. Everyone showed great deference to my father as he was ultimately in charge of all the possessions of the Sardar. We entered an attractive room in which beautiful carpets had been spread. A portion of the room was covered with white sheets. The Sardar, leaning against an over sized Gao Takia, sat on it. He had long hair that was covered with a white turban. He had an impressive face and he was not very old. He welcomed us and my father introduced me. The Sardar asked me to sit close to him. After the usual conversation the Sardar, addressing my father said:

“From this day Bashir Ahmad is also our son. We will send him to Cambridge for higher education and we shall bear all the expenses of his education.”

My father said:

“I have decided to make him an Ismael so that I can become an Ibrahim. I have made such a bargain with the Almighty. I have made a firm resolve that Bashir Ahmad will be sacrificed in the name of Allah.”
On hearing all this, the Sardar was not only surprised but also perplexed. He said:

“Danishmand Khan, I do not follow what you are saying. We want him
to get the best education and become a great man. Your conversation is above me.”

At that time, I could not comprehend the conversation. I had never heard of Cambridge or of Ibrahim or of Ismael. However, the whole conversation was firmly imprinted on my mind.
A little later, I had a strange dream. I saw that a few people had taken hold of me and were taking me towards deep water. It appeared that the river was excessively flooded and water was spilling from its banks. At that point, I heard someone say that the flood would subside only after presentation of a human sacrifice. Pointing towards me, someone said:

“Throw Bashir Ahmad into the waves of the river so that the flood in the river may subside and we may be saved.”

I was both frightened and perplexed. I was also extremely apprehensive. Suddenly those people lifted me up and threw me into the river. After that, I lost consciousness. A little later while still dreaming, I became conscious and found myself in a beautiful orchard in which there were plenty of fruit trees and flowers. Its splendor was beyond description. In that orchard, there were beautiful canals. The beds of flowers and their fragrance were enough to intoxicate me. Out of the river, I found myself in a fine looking garden. Then I opened my eyes and the impact of the dream was overpowering. I believe that my resolve to devote my life for the service of the Faith was related to that dream.
Time passed on normally and until 1945 when I joined the Taleem ul Islam School in Qadian at the age of fourteen, there was never any mention of my Covenant to dedicate my life.
The period spent in Qadian definitely enhanced my faith. At nearly every step, I had the privilege of meeting some Companions of the Promised Messiah. After Maghrib prayers, Huzoor used to stay behind for a while in the Masjid Mubarak. His discourse was always spellbinding. In a way, during these sessions he freely distributed gems of spiritual knowledge. One could hear the words; ‘Qaal Allah’ from every direction. This environment brought about a complete change in me and I began to take delight in religious subjects. Participating in the sittings with Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II brought about a complete revolution in my life. At about that time, during a Friday sermon, in an effective manner Huzoor invited young Ahmadis to dedicate their lives for service to the Faith. As soon as the Friday Service was over hundreds of young men rushed to offer their lives for the service of the Faith. I was one of those fortunate ones. A few days later, I received a card from Huzoor advising me that my offer to dedicate my life had been accepted. The card included a few prayerful words advising me to remain steadfast. I wrote a letter to my father and in a way apologized that without having obtained his prior consent I had pledged my life in the way of Allah. My father wrote back a most sentimental letter in which he said that from the very moment of my birth he had promised the Almighty that he would sacrifice me in His way. Therefore, throughout very many years he had been supplicating for fulfillment of his desire. He had resolved to continue his prayers but he was also determined not to ask me or bring upon me the slightest pressure to dedicate my life. He felt confident that entirely on my own and with his prayers, I would pledge my life for service to the Faith. The Almighty had listened to his prayers and for this favor, no amount of gratitude could be sufficient. During the summer vacation when I went back to the village, I made a mention of my Waqf to my mother and sought her permission.
She said:

“My Dear son, I am an illiterate woman. I do not even know what the dedication of ones life means and what responsibilities such a step carries. I am very ignorant but I do know that any undertaking to win the pleasure of Allah is definitely always accompanied by untold blessings. Allah will never let you go to waste and my prayers will remain with you for ever.”

Between 1945 and 1949, the matter of my Waqf was never brought under discussion. After I had passed my Matric examination I asked my father what I should do next. He wrote to me from Lehri to say that I should be admitted into the College. About that time, I received a letter unexpectedly from the Private Secretary. He said that Huzoor had enquired of him the name of a Pathan boy who had dedicated his life in Qadian. He asked me if I had written to Huzoor from Qadian dedicating my life. In response, I said that I was that very Pathan boy. A few days later, I received instructions from Huzoor to report immediately to Rabwah. I met Huzoor and he instructed me to be admitted to the Taleem ul Islam College in Lahore.
It is indeed a long story. What I gained from my Waqf will be related elsewhere.

After I had decided to dedicate my life temptations repeatedly surfaced in various shapes and forms but I was not lured. In our village, apart from my father and his family there were no other Ahmadis. My uncles and other relatives were worldly people. They said they ‘believed’ but they had no inkling as to what they were saying. They would spend their days gambling and in meaningless talk. Immediately after sunset young men would assemble in Hujras and spend their time in singing lyrics using earthenware vessels as a Tabla. During the nights, the seniors and the elderly slept in their houses whilst the youngsters slept in the Hujras. How could my non-Ahmadi relatives comprehend what Waqf was and what heavy responsibilities were attached to it in such an environment? An attempt to explain to them would have been tantamount to casting pearls before swine. My own real uncle and other relatives made fun of me and said in a sarcastic tone:

“Look at Bashir Ahmad, in spite of being a son of a Landlord and being well educated, he is becoming a Mullah.”

In the villages, Mullahs were downgraded to the lowest order. They were shown some apparent respect but the Khans really treated them disgracefully. Such taunts were indeed bothersome to me and I would walk away from such company. My father always encouraged me and would enlighten me concerning blessings flowing out of Waqf. He advised me to keep my distance from my relatives. However, this was a period of trial for me. My uncles and my cousins who were not nearly as well educated as I was were rich and proprietors of property. They would often tell me that I had brought shame upon myself with my own hands. They would say:

“You own material wealth and you are well educated, you could easily get good employment. So why do you want to become a Mullah? Leave such plans alone.”

However, the Almighty helped and guided me and I did not allow my resolve to weaken. When I look back on the past after the lapse of half a century, my heart is filled with praises for the Almighty. What God has given me through Waqf is far, far beyond the imagination of my non-Ahmadi relatives and cousins. May Allah be glorified. Viewing my better way of life with envy some of them have even said:

“Alas, had we been Ahmadis we could also have been recipient of the blessings that you have received.”
Some of my relatives had the gift of being very astute. One of them was my uncle Muhammad Sameen Jan Khan. He was a Law graduate and was the most successful lawyer in Mardan and apart from that he was a well know political leader. For many years, he was Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s right hand man. Later he joined the Muslim League and became one of the topmost leaders of the Muslim League in the Frontier Province. In 1945 when the Muslim League party won the elections and established its government, Muhammad Sameen Jan Khan was appointed the Minister for Education and Prisons. He served as Minister for many years.
He seemed to be very fond of me. Once when he came to the village he sent for me and started probing into my Waqf. I filled him in with the relevant particulars in some detail. He was already familiar with the Jamaat Ahmadiyya through my father and to a degree; he had remained under my father’s influence. After listening carefully to what I had to say he said:

“Bashir Ahmad, you have devoted your life for a lofty purpose therefore the Almighty will never let you go to waste. Now that you have stepped onto this trail, do not ever falter. Keep marching on this highway. Do not care for what others may say; these people are illiterate and they do not have the capability to figure out the importance of Waqf. Therefore, just leave them alone.”

Then quoting his own example he said:

“Look, I am a worldly man and I have devoted my life to politics. In this pursuit, on many occasions I have had to bear the hardships of prison. I have also had to suffer great financial losses but never did I abandon the course that I had chosen for myself. You have dedicated your life for a lofty purpose i.e. service to your Faith. You will surely encounter problems and obstacles but, in keeping with the proud traditions of the Pukhtoons, face them courageously. Never turn back under the weight of complex problems.”

Of course, I have had to face trials.

The Pir of Manki Shareef was a great Muslim League leader and at one time, he was the right hand man of the Quaid e Azam. He had learnt much about politics from my uncle Sameen Jan Khan and so he showed him great deference. After I had graduated from the Punjab University and joined the Jamia tul Mobashereen in Rabwah I once met him. During our conversation, the Pir Sahib enquired about my plans and I told him about Waqf in some detail. He was deeply impressed and said that he held our Imam, Hadhrat Mirza Bashir ud Deen Mahmood Ahmad in great esteem. He said he was a great leader and that his contribution to the well being of so many would be recorded in gold. He said that he had met Huzoor at a function in Karachi and he was deeply impressed by his supernatural disposition. He said:

“If you have dedicated your life in response to his invitation then you will surely be successful. Now listen carefully to my advice. After completing your education, do not undertake any training programs in the Frontier Province. You should ask Huzoor to send you to another country.”

I was surprised and asked him why I should not serve the Faith in the Frontier Province?

The Pir Sahib said that apparently the Pathans look upon religious people with deference. However, in the Pathan culture the Mullah does not command any respect though they do look up to the Pirs. Pirs are normally the rich landowners and Jagirdars. Since the Mullahs derive benefits from the public they are not looked upon with any reverence. Most Pathans will also see you as an Ahmadi Mullah. Therefore, it is my advice that instead of working in the Frontier Province you should work in another province of Pakistan or in another country. I told him that I had dedicated my life and I would go to work wherever my Khalifa sends me. Respect is entirely in the hands of the Almighty.
After having spent many years in Waqf, even today, based on my own experience I can truthfully say that the folks from my region have, through Allah’s Mercy and Grace, always shown me great respect. Whenever I visit the Frontier Province and whomever I meet, I am always shown great respect and esteem.



























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 7: T.I. College and Furqan Force

In 1948 when I was a Matriculation student in Chiniot, the Headmaster once directed all students in the 9th and the 10th classes to assemble in the hall. He said that Hadhrat Syed Wali ul Allah Shah, a high-ranking office bearer of the Jamaat, would address us. His address was indeed full of fervor and enthusiasm. He explained in detail the importance of Jihad and said that at the request of the Pakistan Government the Jamaat Ahmadiyya had established a voluntary Battalion to serve at the Kashmir Front. He said that Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad had been appointed as the Commander. Further, he said that it was Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II’s wish that some students from the High School should volunteer and join the force

At the end of the speech I, along with other boys volunteered to go to the battlefield. In those days, India and Pakistan were engaged in a war at the Kashmir Front. News of death of the soldiers from either side was received daily. The volunteer boys were told to go back to their homes to secure formal permission from their parents and to meet friends and relatives. On a fixed date, they were directed to report at Sarai Alamgeer situated on the bank of the river Jehlum. When I went home, my father quite happily granted me permission and wholeheartedly approved my move. However, my mother was very worried and for as long as I stayed in the village, she appeared to be deeply concerned. When I had to go to the Front, to see me off, my father took me to the railway station. He too was on the verge of tears. He said:

“You have volunteered on your own and you were certainly not under any pressure. It is quite likely that you may have to face death. In such an event, lay down your life bravely. He who comes into this world has to depart from it one day. The real objective of life on Earth is to gain the pleasure of Allah. If in your early youth you are fortunate enough to gain martyrdom, what else can you possibly ask for?”

It was of course a great sacrifice on my father’s part as I was the elder of his two sons and God alone knew what expectations and ambitions he entertained in my regard. However, he did not seem to care and quite happily, he showed readiness, if it was His will, for me to die in His way.
On boarding the train due to overwhelming emotions, I continued to cry for quite a while. The next morning at Sarai Alamgeer Railway Station a young man from the Furqan Force received me and took me to the camp. Some of my school friends were there already. For the next fifteen or twenty days we were trained in rifle shooting and in the use of grenades. Every day we heard speeches on the importance of Jihad.
After completion of our training while it was still dark, in a number of army trucks we were taken to Bhimbar (in Azad Kashmir). The following day, again in the dark, we moved to the Front on foot. This journey, over hilly tracks and climbing all the time, was very agonizing. Our feet became benumbed due to the march. As we were being shelled by the enemy continuously we were not even allowed to talk. The shelling caused terror in our hearts. Finally, we reached the Front code named ‘Barbat’, which was situated on the summit of a hill. Trenches had already been dug and that was our abode for the next three months. To protect ourselves from enemy fire we remained in the trenches all the time. The shelling became more intense at night.
Colonel Qaisarani was then the Battalion Commander. Those three months were very difficult for me. I lost weight because of inadequate food and unfortunately, due to the absence of cleanliness and sanitation, boils and pimples appeared all over my body. At the Front, some simple medicines were available but it was difficult to treat such a condition. Of course, it became necessary to undergo a thorough medical examination. In view of my declining health, the Commander ordered me to leave. After an absence of three months, I got back to my village. After having passed my Matriculation examination, I joined the Taleem e Islam College in Lahore. In those days, close to the Government College in Lahore, the T.I College was housed in the premises vacated by the D.A.V. (a Hindu college). Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad was its Principal. As we had migrated from Qadian, when the college was re-established in Lahore, obviously, there was a lack, even absence of the necessary means and equipment. However, due to the selfless hard work put in by the members of the faculty and due to the prayers offered by Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II, the college secured 90% success in the results. By His grace, the college gained fame throughout the country. In the field of sports, the college also earned a great name and for many years, in the tournaments arranged by the University, the college rowing team secured first positions.
The Talim ul Islam College inaugurated its College Magazine ‘Al Minar’ in April 1950. It had both English and Urdu sections and soon it began to contain high quality articles. Since the get up was good and it was printed on art paper it gained immediate fame. As a result, it surpassed other college magazines that had been in existence for many years and had, already gained considerable recognition.
It was my good fortune that, from the very first year, I was appointed the Assistant Editor of the Urdu section. Two years later, I became its Editor. Many of my articles were published in it. One of them concerned the life and poetic works of Khushal Khan Khattak, which was liked by many and that proved to be the beginning of my literary life. After that, by the grace of Allah, very many of my articles were published in the ‘Al Fazl’ and other organs of the Jamaat. Alhamdolillah!
In 1953 while I was, preparing for my B.A. final examination anti- Ahmadiyya riots suddenly erupted in the Punjab. Opponents of Ahmadiyyat, particularly the Ahrar, claimed that (may Allah forgive us) they would erase all traces of Ahmadiyyat. The Taleem ul Islam College was a specific target for their attacks. Every day, hundreds of miscreants in large groups, would besiege the college. They would shout Anti Ahmadiyya slogans and throw brickbats. Attempts were even made to enter the college premises and set it on fire. Thank God, they did not succeed. Under the leadership of its Principal Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, it had become a citadel. In those disturbed circumstances, we could not even think of studies. We were passing through very difficult times. The conditions in Lahore were particularly fearsome and many Ahmadis were martyred. The houses of a large number of Ahmadis were looted and set on fire. It appeared that there was no government in existence and the ‘Law of the Jungle’ prevailed. Apart from protecting the college, we were also sent to protect certain other premises. Shaikh Bashir Ahmad Advocate of the High Court Lahore, was the then Amir of Lahore. His house was attacked and finally he was arrested.

























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 8: Education at Jamia tul Mobbashireen

After I had graduated in 1953, I went to see Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II. He directed me to be enrolled in the Jamia for the ‘Shahid’ Degree course. He said that it was his desire to send me into the field of Tableegh.
In accordance with Huzoor’s wishes, I went to see Hadhrat Maulana Abul Ata who was then Principal of the Jamia. To begin with, he questioned me about my proficiency in Arabic. I admitted that I only had a slight knowledge of Arabic. I said that in my school and in the college I had studied Persian and therefore my knowledge of the Arabic language was limited to religious subjects. The Maulana said:

“Normally students who enroll in the Jamia hold Honors Degrees in Arabic. How will you manage alongside such classmates?”

I said that I had come to him in obedience to Khalifa tul Masih II’s instructions; otherwise I was fully conscious that I was not worthy of studying Arabic subjects. The Maulana said:

“Never mind, for your sake I will start a special class in which you will be the only student. In a period of two years you will learn sufficient Arabic to pull along with other students who are already graduates in Arabic.”

The class was established and I was the only student in it. The teachers chosen for this special class were some of the best scholars of the Jamaat such as Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Ata, Hadhrat Malik Saif ur Rahman, Hadhrat Maulana Abul Munir Noor ul Haq, Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Jaleel, Hadhrat Maulana Ghulam Bari Saif and Hadhrat Maulana Saqib. Under the directions of these scholars, I studied Commentary of the Holy Quran, Traditions of the Holy Prophet, Jurisprudence, Christian and Islamic History. At the beginning of the third year, I was judged good enough to join the other students. The Jamia course was spread over a period of five years.
In the very beginning, the surroundings and the atmosphere of the Jamia were very challenging for me. It was very different from the surroundings and atmosphere prevailing in the T I College. However, gradually, I made the necessary adjustments. In the Jamia, all students were trained to write articles and to speak in public. Even when I was in college, I was having a fondness for writing articles. In the Jamia, I was enabled to pay special attention to this exercise. During that period, some of my articles appeared in the ‘Al Fazl’ and ‘Al Furqan’. Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II liked my efforts. He particularly liked an article published in instalments in the ‘Al Fazl’ headed as ‘Jamaat e Islami in Pakistan’. I was much encouraged. During my college days, I frequently secured first and second positions in declamation contests. Therefore, even in the Jamia I gained distinction in the speeches I delivered. Our class in the Jamia was honored by a few visits by Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II. He would lay emphasis on gaining proficiency in various subjects. He directed that each student should have his own separate personal library. He asked the students to acquire the habit of purchasing books. He mentioned that half of the pocket money, given to him by his father the Promised Messiah (pbuh), was used up for purchasing newspapers and periodicals. He said that in this way his own library was established which he subsequently passed on to the Jamaat. Later, those books were transferred to the Khilafat Library. In order to encourage students to maintain their individual libraries he directed the Jamia to advance Rs.100 to each student.

The advance was to be repaid in easy installments. In this way, Huzoor hoped that the students would purchase books and establish their own libraries. He also directed that all books published by the Jamaat should be made available to the students at half the normal price. Consequently, I also organised my own personal library. I purchased all the books of the Movement that were then available and in addition, I acquired books on the subjects of Islamic History, Commentary of the Holy Quran and Traditions of the Holy Prophet (saw). I still habitually follow the directions issued by Huzoor since I was a student in Jamia. In the interim period, due to frequent transfers of residence, some of my books got lost. However, my love for books continues unabated. Reading and study of books continues to be my pastime.
My favorite books are on the subjects of Islamic history, biography and travel. At one time, I read a lot of English and Urdu fiction and at one stage; someone discouraged me from reading fiction. I mentioned this to Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II and he said that he also read fiction but only English fiction. He said that in Urdu fiction, there is often a great deal of exaggeration and falsehood and therefore he did not read Urdu fiction any more. He told me that if I had to read fiction I should confine myself to English fiction. He suggested that as a result my English might improve. During my college days some how I lost interest in fiction and now I do not go near it.
I have always been interested in Urdu literature and poetry and this interest continues unabated. My library contains the works of very many poets.
In 1957, after I graduated as a ‘Shahid’ from the Jamia, in accordance with the instructions of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II, I reported to the Wakalat Tabsheer.
































Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 9: In Remembrance of Hadhrat Maulana Abul Ata

A good teacher can be counted as one of the greatest gifts from the Almighty. If one has a good teacher one’s whole life can get packed with numerous blessings. Prophets and saints who bring about a spiritual revolution are also teachers. They leave behind thousands of pupils who in turn spread profound knowledge throughout the world.
I count myself most fortunate that, through Allah’s grace, I had teachers who, with their distinguished manners and vast knowledge have left an indelible mark on me. One such teacher was Hadhrat Maulana Abul Ata.

The author with Hadhrat Maulana Abul Ata
Hospitality was the most commendable of the Maulana’s attributes. Repeatedly, even when I was a student, I was beneficiary of his hospitality. He did not enjoy a meal by himself. Once, in Rabwah when I was on a visit from London just for one week, the Maulana was away on a tour. However, he returned a day before I was due to leave. I went to pay my respects and he asked me to join him for dinner the following evening. I had to apologize as I already had an engagement for dinner. He asked me for lunch and once again, I had to say that I had another appointment for lunch. Then he asked me to join him for breakfast. It was much more than breakfast. Roast lamb, kebabs, chicken, eggs, parathas, junket, yoghurt and tea were laid on the table. He persisted that I should eat everything.
I never visited his office without having been given tea. Once I called on him in the summer months. Immediately on my arrival, he pushed a bucket towards me in which there were mangoes dipped in crushed ice. He told me that since he had received the mangoes as a gift he had called me so that I could join him.
When I was Huzoor’s Private Secretary the Maulana once came to my office and told me that I must show hospitality to the visitors who come from great distances to meet Huzoor. He said that tea and cold drinks should be served as a routine. I said that there was no room for the beverages in my budget. He kept quiet and went upstairs to meet Huzoor. There was a great expression of happiness on his face when he returned. He said that he had told Huzoor that there was no provision in the budget of the Private Secretary for hospitality towards those who come to see Huzoor. Huzoor put his hand in his pocket, brought out a pile of notes and instructed that arrangements should be made for tea, cold drinks and biscuits for visitors on a daily basis. He directed that whenever necessary he might be approached for more cash.
The Maulana gave me the cash and I set in motion hospitality on the lines indicated. The Maulana continued to give me whenever he received more money from Huzoor. I was by no means the only one who benefited from his hospitality; hundreds had the same experience.
As the Maulana himself was an ocean of knowledge personified, he wanted his pupils also to delve deep into the ocean of knowledge. Even before I entered the Jamia, I was fond of writing articles. I had discharged duties as Editor of the Urdu section of the College Magazine ‘Al Minar’. However, I did not write on any educational subjects. During my first year in the Jamia, the Maulana instructed me to write articles for the periodical ‘Al Furqan’. With his constant encouragement, when I wrote two articles, he said:

“Keep on writing and do not worry if they are not considered good enough to be published in ‘Al Furqan’. It is my job to make your articles worthy of publication.”
Thereafter my articles continued to be published in both ‘Al Furqan’ and ‘Al Fazl’. That was made possible only because of the Maulana’s specific attention. When I came to London, he continued to insist that I should send him articles. After a while, to encourage me, he included me in the Editorial Board of the periodical ‘Al Furqan’. Therefore, amongst the names of other members of the Editorial Board, for a period of four or five years, my name also appeared on the title page. He was a dazzling luminous lamp himself. From him many other lamps continued to be lit. By no means was he a dry scholar and indeed he had a wonderful sense of humor. He would be thrilled on hearing pure jokes and would often tell some jokes himself. I felt that whenever I was with him and for a while even after I departed I continued to be full of cheer. Once, during a lesson the Maulana said:

“I like those pupils who establish an innate personal and unceremonious relationship with me.”
He added:

“We the pupils of Hadhrat Maulana Roshan Ali Sahib did not stand on any ceremony with him and we even borrowed money from him. Without asking any questions the Maulana would give us cash.”

Three or four days later, I asked Maulana Abul Ata for a loan of Rs.10. After paying the amount to me, he asked why I needed the money. I enquired from him as to whether Hadhrat Maulana Roshan Ali also asked such questions. He had a hearty laugh and asked if I had approached him to put him to a trial. When I attempted to return Rs.10, he said that I could use the sum for tea etc.
There are so very many that I cannot choose which favors to recall. He had been endowed with a handsome, attractive face and his physique was proportionate. He would always wear neat and clean clothes. He took care to wear spotlessness clothes and kept a watchful eye on the clothes of his students. If he ever saw any student wearing soiled or grubby clothes, in an appropriate manner, he would tell the student that cleanliness is an important part of the faith. Never did I see him in soiled or creased clothes. He paid particular attention to our training and guidance. He directed that, every day, all of us, should offer all our Salaats in the Mubarak Mosque behind Khalifa tul Masih II and that we should regularly participate in the discourses of Huzoor. If he found any student absent, he would send for him and in an inspiring manner explain to him the benefits of attending the Majlis e Irfaan. In those days, after Asr, Huzoor used to hold an assembly for quite a while. Once, after such a session, Huzoor asked me to deliver a speech in Arabic the following week. As my knowledge of Arabic was strictly limited, I froze. After the session, the Maulana summoned me and told me not to worry. He said:

“Come and see me.”

He dictated to me my speech and asked me to memorize it thoroughly and then, initially, to deliver it in his presence. He said:
“Don’t be afraid. This is the only way you will learn Arabic.”
Then he related an incident from his own life. When he was very young, a mere student of the Madrisa Ahmadiyya, he was sent to debate with Reverend Abul Haq. Because of supplications, he became victorious. He often said that for success the very first condition is prayer and that if a student or missionary who does not remain engaged in prayers he can never succeed.
Seeing his students in the field gave him great satisfaction. When he heard that the President of Liberia had invited me to Liberia as his personal guest he became ecstatic. He insisted that I should send him photographs taken with the Liberian President so that he could publish them in the periodical ‘Al Furqan’. He did publish some photographs and sent me a loving and a reassuring letter.
I will now give an illustration to show how, on learning what the Khalifa desired, with affection and utter devotion; he promptly took the necessary steps to implement the task. When Hadhrat, Khalifa tul Masih II, inaugurated Waqf e Jadeed and invited members of the Jamaat to volunteer as devotees of life, the Maulana offered all of his sons for service to the Jamaat. The Almighty blessed his sacrifice. One of his sons was enabled to serve the Movement in Liberia for very many years and another son became Imam of the London Mosque. One of his sons in law was given the title of ‘captor of a realm’ while the other son in law, became Sadar of the Majlis Ansarullah in the UK.

























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 10: Marriage and Children

In 1956, when I was a student of Jamia tul Mobbashireen, my father wrote to me saying that soon he wished to discharge his responsibility concerning my marriage. He mentioned a few names and asked for my comments. In response, I said that I would happily accept his choice. Therefore, he could settle my marriage with whomsoever he wished. A little later, he told me that he had a strong preference for Salima Nahid, a daughter of Abd ur Rahman Khan of Ismaeela. Abd ur Rahman Khan was married to my mother’s sister. His father Khan Ameer Ullah Khan was a Companion of the Promised Messiah. Salima was therefore my first cousin. I had seen her on some occasions. I wrote back to my father at once telling him that I agreed with his choice. My father in law Abd ur Rahman Khan, a graduate, was a Civil Servant in the Government of the Frontier Province.
Abd ur Rahman Khan’s father, Hadhrat Khan Ameer Ullah Khan owned a lot of agricultural property and was acknowledged as one amongst the Chiefs of the region. He was well known and famous. He was blessed with an opportunity to accept Ahmadiyyat in 1905. At the end of that year, during the Annual Convention in Qadian, he was fortunate enough to pledge his allegiance at the blessed hand of the Promised Messiah. Therefore, by His Mercy and Grace, he was one of the Companions of the Promised Messiah. He loved me dearly. In 1959 when I left for England, in spite of his age and extreme weakness, he came to Rabwah to see me off.
I was married to Salima Nahid on 10th December 1956. The Bridal Party started from our village, Mohib Banda and went to Peshawar. With me, my bride came to my village.
Now, in the month of March 2005, I have been married for forty-nine years. During this entire period, Salima Nahid has taken good care of me in an exemplary manner. Throughout this period, she has not only co-operated with me fully but has always obeyed my wishes. I do not have the words to express my sentiments but from the bottom of my heart I can state that for whatever little success I have achieved in my Waqf and the manner in which I have struggled in the cause, the major part of the credit goes to Salima Begum. Being a Missionary, in various pursuits, day and night, I remained bogged down in various affairs and remained very busy. On occasion, I would come home to find that my wife and my children were asleep. However, never ever, did Salima Begum complain. She took care of and entertained guests of the Movement very cheerfully. Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III, Hadhrat Begum Sahiba and other members of the family of the Promised Messiah often stayed with us as our house-guests. Salima looked after them and served them with great pleasure.
For many years, Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan stayed in the adjoining flat. Salima looked after him and his guests with great enthusiasm respect and delight. Chaudhry Sahib also loved her dearly. He would call her and refer to her as ‘Khanum’. Salima took good care to attend to the smallest needs of Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib.
In the matter of preparation of dowries for our daughters on the occasions of their marriages, without bothering me in the least, Salima managed everything entirely on her own. Her enviable disposition has always made my home a heaven. May Allah reward her abundantly.
I have been blessed with six children. One of them, Jamil Ahmad died when he was only two years old. That was a terrible shock but Salima; following the example of true believers she bore the bereavement with great patience. She showed complete contentment at Allah’s will.
Munir Ahmad: – My elder son Munir Ahmad was born in October 1957. During his Salaat in a clear vision, even before Munir’s birth my father had seen him. He congratulated me and told me that he had been shown a good-looking boy. Two or three hours later Munir Ahmad was born.

Alhamdolillah. At once I wrote to Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II seeking his prayers and requesting for a name for the boy. In his letter, Huzoor said that he had prayed for the newborn and suggested the name of ‘Munir Ahmad’. Hadhrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad sent us some honey of which he had tasted a little himself. Munir Ahmad is a lawyer and a father of three children. When he had completed his primary education, it was my wish that he be admitted into the Emanuel School where the entrance examination was tough. Munir did appear for the test but since entrance into that school was far from easy, I prayed for an extraordinary success for him. One morning the following Persian verse emerged from my lips.
‘The hardest task is easy for Allah.’

To me it meant that Munir Ahmad would be admitted to the school. The same day, by the Grace of Allah, we received a letter telling us that Munir Ahmad would be admitted to the school. Munir Ahmad has had very many opportunities to serve Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib who loved him dearly. Once Muneer Ahmad needed a reference, Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib wrote one out in his own hand, and contrary to his normal practice, he wrote down all his titles and awards at the end. The letter is attached.
Munir Ahmad married Saadia Begum a daughter of the late Chaudhry Nasir Muhammad Sial and they have been blessed with three children. The boy’s name is Faraaz Ahmad Khan and the two daughters are named Zujaja Iffat and Amina Ambar respectively.

Amat ul Jameel: – My eldest daughter is called Amat ul Jameel. She was born in London. I was in Southall in connection with the Jamaat’s work and there I received a telephone call asking me to return to the Mission House at once. Shortly after my return Amat ul Jameel was born. Amongst Pathans, births of daughters are not viewed favorably. Normally on the birth of daughters, complete silence prevails in the household. By the Grace of Allah, breaking this worthless and absurd un-Islamic custom, I celebrated the birth of my daughter and distributed sweets.
Amat ul Jameel is married to Ijaz Ahmad Khan, son of Subedar Abd ul Ghafoor Khan of Topi of the Frontier Province.Subedar Sahib has, by the grace of God, served the Jamaat in various capacities. He had the honour of being a body guard of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II for a number of years. Both Ijaz and Jameela have been blessed with five boys. The eldest, Iftikhar Ahmad Khan has married Rabia a daughter of his father’s sister. The second son is named Riaz Ahmad, the third son is named Ghalib Ahmad, the fourth son is named Abbas Ahmad and the youngest is named Ayaz Ahmad. They all live in Detroit. Ijaz Ahmad Khan works in the IT industry. He and his whole family are enthusiastic workers of the Jamaat.
Amat ul Naseer: – My second daughter is named Amat un Naseer whom we call ‘Neeno’. She was also born in London. All my three daughters, Jameela, Neeno and Bushra were enabled to serve Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan and Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III. Amat un Naseer is married to Dr. Abdul Waheed Khan. His father, Abd ul Qudus Khan was my mother’s brother. He was enabled to render valuable service to the Jamaat and was Ameer of the Frontier Province for a long while. Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan and Hadhrat Chaudhry Bashir Ahmad, Anwar Ahmad Kahlone’s father, honoured us with their participation. May Allah reward them abundantly.
The Almighty has blessed Dr. Abdul Waheed Khan and Amat un Naseer with three children. The eldest is a daughter named Madeeha Henna. She is married to Faiz ur Rahman son of Dr. Hameed ur Rahman Khan of Los Angeles. Dr. Hameed ur Rahman’s father, Moulvi Khalil ur Rahman, was my teacher in Qadian. Being a Pukhtoon, he was very kind to me and loved me dearly. Faiz ur Rahman is the son of Dr. Aziza Rahman, daughter of Dr. Abdus Salaam, the Laureate. The son is named Humayun Ahmad Khan who is currently a student. May Allah assure him success. After Humayun there is a daughter named Alia Noor. Dr. Abdul Waheed Khan is very active in Jamaat work.
Bushra Nahid: – My third daughter is named Bushra Nahid. She was also born in London and for a while, she lived with us in Rabwah as well. She has gained a B.A. Honour’s Degree from London University and is married to Mirza Zamir Ahmad son of Mirza Bashir Ahmad of Gillingham U.K. Zamir Ahmad gained a MSc. Degree in Engineering from London University. They now reside in America and have three daughters named Natasha, Maha and Zainab Almas. Mirza Zamir Ahmad and Bushra are actively engaged in the service of the Jamaat in various capacities.
Mahmood Ahmad: – My youngest child is Mahmood Ahmad. After Bushra’s birth, we had not planned to have any more children. Hadhrat Mansoora Begum, the wife of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III while on a tour of England was staying with us. She repeatedly said to us:

“I am praying that Allah will bless you with a son.”

A little later, by his Mercy and Grace, Mahmood Ahmad was born. I advised Huzoor by telegram and Huzoor telegraphed us congratulating us. Without a request from me, Huzoor told us to name the newborn ‘Mahmood Ahmad.’ There was another strange happening, which resulted in enhancing our faith. My dear friend and my elder, Dr. Nazir Ahmad, a son of Sardar Mehr Singh (Hadhrat Abd ur Rahman) who had been granted opportunities to render extraordinary services to the Jamaat in Abyssinia was then residing in London. He was indeed a very pious and a prayerful person. Once I asked him to pray that I may be blessed with a son. A few days later, he told me that he did pray and God willing I will be blessed with a son. However, he insisted that the boy must be named ‘Mahmood Ahmad’. When Mahmood was born, without a request from me, Huzoor named him Mahmood Ahmad. Dr. Nazir Ahmad came to visit us and to congratulate us on the birth of a boy. He asked what name had been given to the newborn. I showed him the telegram that I had received from Huzoor. There were tears in his eyes. Thus, the name that the Doctor had suggested was also made known to Huzoor.

Mahmood is married to Samar, daughter of my first cousin Abdul Aziz Khan Naib Amir of Peshawar. They have recently been blessed with a baby boy, Yousaf Ahmad.
All my children, the children of my daughters and the children of my son are all good-looking, well-mannered, sincere servants of the Jamaat, obedient to Khilafat and take pleasure in serving their parents. These are the sweet fruits springing from the prayers offered by my parents, the Caliphs of Ahmadiyyat and other seniors.






























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 11: Giving Up Smoking

In 1945, when I was in my eighth class, I devoted most of my time to studies. I was not inclined towards outdoor games. Once, a friend suggested that we should go out into the open fields and enjoy the open-air surroundings. I agreed and after school, we both went out of the township into an open environment where the crops in the fields, green trees and flowers flourished and we enjoyed them all. Suddenly, my friend took a packet of cigarettes out of his pocket. I was extremely surprised and shocked at seeing a packet of cigarettes on him. He lit a cigarette and gave a discourse on the benefits of smoking. In support of his claim, he said that smoking sharpened ones intellect. He quoted the example of Winston Churchill who, in spite of being a foremost politician, smoked with great passion. He also gave examples of other politicians and doctors who smoked on a regular basis. He argued that had smoking been harmful why these people would smoke.
Although I listened to him his speech had no effect on me whatsoever. The matter ended there. A little later, the same friend suggested that we should go out of the village for a picnic. Carrying with us some food and drink, we went to a well on which there was a Persian wheel. It was situated in the midst of huge trees. The running water and the sweet-smelling crops presented a most striking image. After our meal, my friend brought out a packet of cigarettes and lit one with a match. He inhaled deeply and began his speech on the benefits of smoking. I began to be influenced by the enemy who had appeared to me in the garb of a friend. I began to falter in my determination to keep a distance from smoking.
After a short conversation I began to be of the same opinion that there really was no harm in smoking. I said to myself that if I did not like smoking I would never touch another cigarette. Holding a cigarette in my hand, I inhaled deeply. My eyes popped out and I had a bad bout of coughing. I felt unwell beyond description and I began to see stars dancing before my eyes. I threw away the cigarette and lay down. I began to blame myself for having paid attention to an imprudent friend and for having handled a cigarette. After a while, I recovered a little and had a drink of water. I begged forgiveness from the Almighty and started my journey home. Somewhat embarrassed, my friend accompanied me. To comfort me he said that it is never easy at the start but that on the second or third occasion one begins to like smoking. As I had not yet fully recovered, I started reproaching my friend and cursing cigarettes. I warned my friend that if he ever mentioned the word cigarette again he would have me to contend with.
A few days later, the barrier that had cropped up in our friendship vanished. Two or three of my friends chalked out a plan for a picnic. With great eagerness, we cooked our meal. We had taken some fruit with us. The group happily moved out to open surroundings for a picnic. We chose the bank of a stream for this occasion. Every member of the group started attending to the duty assigned to him. One of us lit a fire, another started cooking, another spread some sheets on the ground to sit on and yet another neatly arranged crockery on it. After running around and playing for a while, we polished off the food. When the meal was finished each one of us, in turn, told a joke. At that point in time the same old friend brought out a packet of cigarettes and presented one to each one of the party. With apparent gratification, apart from me, all others started smoking. Considering me old fashioned they asked how I could hope to make any progress in this world if I did not even smoke, which is a sure sign of being up to date. Finally, I wavered in my determination and my willpower gave way. Following the others, I held a cigarette in my hand and inhaled. I felt unwell; I felt a little sick, but to avoid being ridiculed by my friends I persevered and continued to smoke.
That first cigarette became the foundation of my smoking habit that continued for fully 10 years. This bothersome malady tightened its grip and despite repeated variety of efforts, I could not rid myself of it. Gradually my smoking grew to 40 cigarettes a day. During my college days, the cost of the cigarettes that I smoked began to exceed my pocket money. To meet the extra expense, with one excuse or another, I would ask my father for more money. This bad habit continued from 1945 to 1958. Like a termite, it scoured my spirituality and, from within, it adversely affected my health. In 1953, during the Martial Law Regime in Lahore, we were confined to the College premises. During a one-hour break from the curfew, other students rushed out to buy provisions but I was only concerned about the stock of my cigarettes. In 1948, I served as a volunteer on the Kashmir Front. We were shelled throughout the day and at night as well we had to attend to duties assigned to us. Food was strictly rationed but I was least concerned about food; my only worry was procurement of cigarettes. In the battlefield, sometimes, I paid as much as Rs.5 for a packet which could have been bought in Lahore or Peshawar for only Rs.1. Thus, my hard earned money was sacrificed for a bizarre article. I continued to soothe my mind with a smoke. As time passed, the measure of my smoking became greater and greater.
In 1958 Huzoor’s Private Secretary advised me that Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II wished to see me. I was aware that Huzoor’s sense of smell was exceedingly sharp. Therefore, before meeting Huzoor I scrubbed clean the yellow coating of nicotine on my fingers. I further washed my hands with soap and spirit. I wore freshly laundered clothes and even wore some perfume. I thought I had made sure that Huzoor could not possibly detect any whiff of tobacco from my clothes or from my body. In those days, Huzoor used to receive visitors in his office on the first floor. I climbed the stairs and presented myself. Huzoor kindly gave me some general directions. At the end of the meeting when, after shaking his hand, I was about to leave, Huzoor asked me to wait a while. I sat down and all of a sudden, Huzoor asked me:

“How many cigarettes do you smoke in a day?”

For a moment, I thought my spirit had flown out of my body. I was extremely apprehensive. After all the enormous efforts that I had made to hide my secret it came to me as a shock that it was no longer a secret. I had never imagined that an exposure would occur in this way. I said:

“Huzoor, I smoke a lot.”

He asked how many and I responded by saying that I smoked 40 cigarettes a day. Huzoor was very surprised and he repeated two or three times:

“Do you really smoke 40 cigarettes a day?”

Greatly ashamed and with my head bowed with shame, I said:


Huzoor said:

“You hold a B.A. Degree and also a Shahid Degree and I believe you are an intelligent young man. Surely, you must have seen some advantages in smoking. Please, tell me some of them so that my knowledge may be enhanced.”
With my head hung in disgrace, I said:

“Huzoor, there is no advantage in it whatsoever.”
Huzoor said:

“Then why do you remain involved in such a worthless habit which, apart from being absurd and without any benefit, is patently harmful. How can we expect that an educated young man knowingly commits a weird act and thus ruins his own health?”

Then he said:

“I recently read an article in the ‘Reader’s Digest’ that a member of a European Mountaineering team who had set out to conquer the highest peak in the Himalayas died merely because his stock of cigarettes had exhausted and he just could not bear the shock.”

Again, he said:

“I was taken aback that one who was so proficient in mountaineering that he was attempting to conquer a Himalayan peak should meet his end only because of unavailability of cigarettes.”

Again, he said:

“The use of cigarettes, apart from ruining one’s health, invites the risk of Cancer. Smoking damages one’s heart and one’s mind. In any case, it imposes an unbearable financial burden. If only one tenth of what one spends on tobacco is used for a balanced diet, not only will money be saved but one’s health would also improve.”
After this conversation, Huzoor asked me:

“Are you seriously prepared to give up this habit?”

I said:

“Huzoor, I am seriously desirous of giving up tobacco. I have made earnest but unsuccessful attempts to rid myself of this worthless habit.”
Quoting an Urdu verse I said that this Kafir (bad habit) is extremely difficult to give up and that on-repeated occasion my determination faded away. Huzoor said:

“If, with a firm resolve, truthfully, accompanied by prayers, you promise to do what I tell you, if God so wills, you can be permanently rid of this bad habit.”
I promised that I would act in accordance with Huzoor’s instructions.

Then he said:

“Those who decide to give up smoking often think that they can be rid of the habit even if they begin to abstain after having finished the packet in their pocket or by gradually reducing the number of cigarettes they smoke per day. However, these methods always remain ineffective. It is my advice that when you go downstairs, you should crush under your feet the packet of your cigarettes that you may have hidden somewhere. You should go downstairs with full determination that you will never touch a cigarette again.
The second part of my advice is that for 40 days you will not go near the shop from which you have been buying your cigarettes. You should not even pass close to it.
The third part of my advice is that, if possible, you should refrain from meeting those friends who smoke. If that is not possible you should, today, go and openly declare that, in accordance with my instructions, you have stopped smoking. Tell them that he who persuades you to smoke will become guilty of disobedience to my instructions and that you will yourself tell me the name of such a friend.
The fourth part of my advice is that, as generally the urge to smoke crops up after a meal or after eating something, you should keep some roasted gram in your pocket. When you feel the craving for a smoke, eat some gram and this way the want of a cigarette will be substantially reduced.”

At the end, Huzoor said:

“You must follow these instructions for 40 days. After 40 days, report to me and truthfully tell me what came to pass.”

Before I left, I promised to act 100 % in accordance with Huzoor’s instructions.
For the first few days I was miserable; I was restless and fidgety all the time. I could not devote my full attention to any matter. However, I remained 100 % firm in my determination to keep my promise. After 10 or 12 twelve days, slowly, the desire of a cigarette began to subside. After 40 days I had totally forgotten that I ever smoked. On the 41st first day I went to see Huzoor. As soon as I entered, Huzoor asked:

“Was my prescription a success?”

I answered by saying:

“Huzoor, 100 %.”

Huzoor said aloud:


He asked how, having given up smoking, I felt. I said that I had put on some weight and I could not understand why. Huzoor said:

“As tobacco diminishes the sense of taste food intake diminishes. Now that you do not smoke, your sense of taste has improved. Your improved food intake has been responsible for the additional weight. This is only natural.”




























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 12: A Memorable Journey to England

After having graduated as a ‘Shahid’ from Jamia, I presented myself at the office of Wakalat e Tabsheer. Hadhrat Sahibzada Mirza Mubarak Ahmad was the then Wakeel ut Tabsheer. Both the late Basharat Ahmad Bashir and Hasan Muhammad Khan Arif were his deputies. The Wakalat, as was normal, sought directions from Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II about my posting. Huzoor directed that I be sent to England. Preparations for the journey began to be made
I had been married for three years and had a son, Munir Ahmad. It was my father’s wish that my wife and my child should accompany me. However, in those days the families of missionaries did not accompany them. Without their families, many missionaries had been serving for a number of years in foreign lands.

The financial position of the Jamaat did not allow families to accompany missionaries posted overseas. That was then the normal practice. Therefore, there was no question of the wives and children of those who were being sent abroad for the first time accompanying them. I told my father about the situation prevailing then. He said that there was no harm in trying to seek permission and he promised to pray. He felt certain that the Almighty would accept his prayers.

He directed me to send an application to Hadhrat Ameer ul Momeneen. He also asked me to pray and remain hopeful of the success of my submission. In obedience to his wishes, I sent an application to Huzoor but the outcome was no different from what I had anticipated. Turning down my application Huzoor pointed out that the Jamaat did not have the necessary financial resources to permit me to take my family with me. I wrote to my father and in response, he said:

“Write another letter to Huzoor and say that if you are granted permission to take your family with you, you will yourself bear all the expenses involved and will not claim any support from the Jamaat.”

I sent such an application and Huzoor consented to my request. However, he pointed out that apart from the expenses involved in the journey to England, while in England, I would also be responsible for the expenses incurred by my wife and child.
By the first week of January 1959 all arrangements for my departure had been completed and the Wakalat e Tabsheer issued the relevant instructions. One day before departing from Rabwah Hadhrat Mirza Mubarak Ahmad Wakeel ut Tabsheer took me along to see Huzoor who dictated detailed instructions. He prayed and before departure, heaven embraced me.

From Karachi, we were to sail on the S.S. Caledonia that belonged to the Anchor Line. This vessel carried only one class of passengers.

The vessel was to sail in the afternoon of Friday 23rd January 1959. After attending the Friday service, along with my wife and my son Munir Ahmad I went to the Port. At the time of departure, apart from other friends, Dr. Saeed Ahmad Khan and Dr. Basharat Ahmad were also present. Mr Khaleel ur Rahman, Secretary Ziafat, led a solemn silent prayer and we boarded the ship. Cabin No. B10, which was very comfortable, had been allotted to us. Apart from two beds, there was a cot for the child. Hot and cold running water was available and through a porthole, one could see the ocean.
After leaving our baggage in the cabin we went up to the Deck. Those who had come to see us off remained on the shore until the ship had gone too far out to the sea to be seen.
Anchors were weighed at 6.30 p.m. and very slowly we started moving into the open sea. The setting was charged with affection and I was overcome with emotion. It was a touching scene to see not only those who were traveling but also those who had come to see them off shedding tears. Some sobbed openly and others were inconsolable. My own condition was strange. Turbulent thoughts occupied my mind and I said to myself:

“You have indeed dedicated your life for the service of Islam, but will you be able to carry out its demands? Will you be able to surrender totally your feelings, your life, your belongings and your honor? Will you be able to spend the rest of your life in complete subordination to the will of Allah?”

On the one side, as a Missionary of Islam I was weighed down by the assignment that was being entrusted to me, and on the other hand I was assessing the deficiency in my knowledge. Whilst thinking of my own spiritual weaknesses and insufficient good deeds my heart sank with apprehension. It was indeed a very peculiar state of affairs through which I was passing. These thoughts overwhelmed me and I began to shed tears. With great humility, I raised my hands for prayers and said:
“My Lord, unless You show Your Mercy and Your Grace and be my constant Helper, I will find the responsibility entrusted to me very hard to bear. I fear that I cannot possibly discharge it adequately. My Lord, this worthless person has been entrusted with lofty responsibilities. I am likely to fail unless through Your Grace I am helped and guided constantly. Therefore, my Lord, help me and shelter me. With Your attribute of ‘Coverer of faults’, please cover and conceal my faults and help me through the Holy Spirit.”
After such lengthy supplications when I looked around, I could see nothing but water. The shore was no longer visible. As the ambient temperature had dropped considerably, we went back to our cabin. My wife, Salima was so weighed down with emotion that she seemed below par. This was our first journey taking us across the Seven Seas. The parents of both of us were alive and they had, with tears in their eyes, bid us farewell. By remembering them both, we attempted to warm our hearts. In those days, many who traversed the Seven Seas never returned. Many adopted European customs and settled in the West. Therefore, naturally, the relatives of those who embarked on journeys to Europe became extremely apprehensive. My mother had a heart condition. I was her eldest son. At the time of my departure from Rabwah, perhaps due to the prospect of a lengthy separation she collapsed. I was consumed by her thoughts. Then I recalled what my father just before my departure at Faisalabad Railway Station had said to me. With a halting voice, full of emotion, he said:

“According to your own option you have dedicated your life. No one pressurized you into this vocation. Now you will have to abide by the Covenant that you have made with the Almighty. Drifting away from your Waqf, due to some problems or trials, apart from resulting in a spiritual death, is wholly contrary to Pakhtoons traditions. God forbid, if you ever break your Covenant with God, remember that from then on that will also be the end of my relationship with you. Do not then turn to me as, from that day, for me you will have died. Moreover, if I ever find out that influenced by the European way of life, your wife ceases to observe Purdah, then I will have nothing to do with either of you.”
After resting a while in the cabin all the passengers assembled in the Dining Room for the evening meal. I discovered that at the various tables ladies and gentlemen, all mixed together, and were being seated. Of all the women on the ship, my wife was the only one who observed Purdah. Most women were Europeans and the remaining Asian women regarded Purdah as a ludicrous ancient custom. I sat at a table and asked a steward to take my wife’s dinner into the cabin as she observed Purdah and could not join other men. The steward said that he was permitted to serve only in the Dining Room. He said he would talk to the Captain. In a short while, the steward told me that the Captain wanted to see me. The Captain sat at a separate table in the company of some friends. I sat next to him and we talked as follows:
Captain: “You’ve declined to bring your wife into the Dining Room as she observes Purdah and cannot intermix with other males. As you are going to Europe, how will you cope there?”
Bashir: “Sir, I am going to Europe to make clear to the local population that our ladies hold highly respectable and elevated position in Islam. Purdah is designed to protect the honor and chastity of women. How can I turn away from an objective, which is contrary to my mission in Europe?”
Captain: “In my view, imprisoning ladies in Purdah is tantamount to being narrow minded. If women were given free choice not one of them would volunteer to remain in this jail.”
Bashir: “Sir, my wife is an educated woman. She is intelligent and she has quite happily and of her own will, decided to remain in Purdah. There is no pressure on her from my side. I can prove it by asking you to talk to her yourself. Having full regard to the fact that she observes Purdah you can meet her.”
Captain: “If you insist. Would it not be proper that without any third person you two can sit on a separate table in the Dining Room?”
Bashir: “This will be a most appropriate arrangement and I will be grateful to you.”
The Captain issued orders and we had the advantage of sitting at a table by ourselves.
At 8 o clock on the morning of 27th January the shore became visible. Almost all the passengers assembled on the deck. The sight of land appeared most attractive as they saw the land for the first time in four days. Around eleven o clock the ship dropped anchor outside the Aden harbor. In Aden, the ships always anchored away from the shore and motorboats were used to take passengers ashore. The Captain announced that to look around passengers could go ashore but must return before 7.00 p.m. as the ship would then sail. The Jamaat has an outstanding historic bond with Aden.
Once when Maharajah Daleep Singh was returning to India it was from Aden that he was asked to return to England. When the British defeated the Sikh Government, they took the young prince Maharajah Daleep Singh to England so that the commotion amongst Sikhs may subside. Maharajah Daleep Singh arrived in London when he was very young. He was housed in Guildford and then he moved to London.
A beautiful Hotel named Cannizaro is situated in Wimbledon. Before the building became a Hotel, it belonged to Maharajah Daleep Singh and he stayed in it for a long while. Daleep Singh had a very cordial relationship with Queen Victoria and he was often invited into the Royal Palace. Once, while they were drinking tea on a balcony in the Buckingham Palace Daleep Singh expressed a desire to have a glimpse of the Kohinoor diamond. The Queen went into her room and brought the Kohinoor. The Maharajah put it on the palm of his hand. To look at it in a better light he walked to the end of the balcony. The Queen dreaded that the Maharajah might throw the diamond away. Daleep Singh, who was very intelligent person, guessed the Queen’s suspicion and said to her:

“Madam! The rightful owner of the diamond would like to present it to your Majesty”.

The Queen repossessed the diamond and appreciated Daleep Singh’s sense of humor. Daleep Singh had an intense desire to visit the Punjab, stay there for a while and meet his near and dear ones. On a number of occasions, he had sought permission from the British Government and finally permission was granted. However, as soon as the Maharajah boarded a ship, the Indian newspapers published the news and with great anticipation, many started waiting impatiently for the Maharajah to land on the Indian soil. There was great eagerness, particularly amongst the Sikhs. To welcome him they made programs to hold elaborate functions. In anticipation, there was merrymaking all around. The Maharajah was seeing visions of an astounding reception and a bright future.
At that point in time, on hearing from the Almighty, the Promised Messiah predicted that the Maharaja would not be able to return to India. Not only did the Promised Messiah tell his friends of this communication from the Almighty, but he also made a mention of it in a Handbill.
On the one hand, there was definite news from the Almighty and on the other; the ship carrying the Maharaja was happily proceeding towards India. In the meantime, the British Government was advised by the Indian Secret Service Agency that the Maharaja should be prevented from returning to India. It was feared that if he returned to the Punjab the movement to hold his Coronation would be revived and strengthened and then the British Government might have to face problems. By then the ship had actually reached Aden.

Accepting this advice, the British Government ordered that the Maharaja should be taken off the ship and returned to England on another ship. That was exactly what happened and that was exactly in accordance with the information from the Almighty.
Before leaving Rabwah, I had advised Mr Abdullah Shabooti, the father of my dear friend Mahmood Shabooti that I would be passing through Aden. Mr Abdullah who lived in Aden was a dedicated and devoted Ahmadi. After having accepted Ahmadiyyat, he had to face innumerable problems but he never wavered. As soon as our ship had anchored, Mr Abdullah, along with a Somalian servant, came on to the deck. He welcomed me with warmth and deep affection. To look around Aden and meet other members of the Jamaat he asked me to spend the whole day with him. He invited me to attend a Reception being arranged by members of the Aden Ahmadiyya Jamaat. By a motorboat, along with him, accompanied by my wife and Munir Ahmad we landed at the harbor. From there, in his motorcar, we went to call at Dr. Muhammad Ahmad’s surgery in Aden. The Doctor was of Indian descent and was indeed a devoted and a committed Ahmadi. Two of his sons were my class fellows in Qadian. We stayed with him until lunchtime, met many friends and exchanged views. After Zohr, along with some members of the Jamaat, we set out sightseeing. Aden had assumed a modern pattern. Tall and stylish buildings had been built on an attractive dual carriage-way. It presented a pleasing picture. In the evening, we returned to the ship. Mr Abdullah’s love and devotion, his dedicated approach to the Jamaat and his firm commitment to Khilafat, left an indelible mark on me. Mr Abdullah was probably the first Ahmadi in Aden.
The ship proceeded towards its next destination. Once again we were encircled by water. Very early on 31st January, when it was still dark, we entered the Suez Canal. Right alongside is situated the township of Suez. On either side of the canal, there were small villages and the local population were seemed engaged in agriculture. Most passengers came out on deck, as the landscape on either side of the canal was eye-catching. At 11 o’clock, the ship entered the Great Bitter Lake in which, at that time, fifteen to twenty ships were already anchored. There are three or four of such spacious lakes along the canal. To ensure smooth flow of traffic some vessels from either side are asked to wait there. Thus, there is no problem in navigation and the traffic flows unhindered. Our ship remained on anchor until 5 p.m. In the canal, ships may not exceed the speed of five miles per hour. While in the canal the ships remain under the control of Egyptian pilots. At that time, to pass through the canal, every large vessel had to pay £3,000 as canal fees. The Suez Canal is 118 feet wide and 30 feet deep. It stretches over a distance of 101 miles. At one end of the canal is Suez and at the other Port Said. It joins the Red Sea with the Mediterranean.
We reached Port Said at 1 a.m. and anchored there for the night. It was announced in the morning that those who wished to look around the town could leave the ship after breakfast. They were warned to exercise great care against pickpockets and cheats. This announcement came as a shock to me as we were to land in a Muslim country where the reputation of the locals was so appalling. We hired a taxi that took us around the town in exchange of 10 shillings. A wealthy person named Abd ur Rahman had built a most beautiful Mosque in Port Said. To decorate the Mosque, beautiful Turkish carpets and Venetian chandeliers had been provided. In the dealings in the streets of Port Said, there was no trace of decency or honesty. It is indeed regrettable and a shame that tourists were often asked ten times the acceptable price. At 4.30 in the afternoon on February 3rd, the ship started sailing towards Gibraltar.

During that part of the voyage, instructions were received from the British Government that a few British soldiers had to be picked up from Cyprus. Therefore, the ship had to make a detour and the next day we arrived at Limasol, a Cypriot port. Offering all kinds of alcoholic drinks at ridiculously low prices a number of small boats came alongside. The European passengers showed great interest and a large number of bottles were purchased. On enquiry, I was told that there were a number of breweries that were able to sell their products at highly discounted prices. So much so that some exchanged a bottle of wine for a packet of cigarettes. We were not allowed to go ashore at Limasol but we were able to view the beautiful township from the deck. Hills covered with greenery presented an attractive panorama.
We anchored in Gibraltar on 7th February. I had an emotional attachment with Gibraltar. When I was a student in the 10th Grade, I was very fond of reading novels unfolding Spanish history. As a result, I had fallen in love with Spain. The Muslim conquest of Spain sprang from Gibraltar. I had repeatedly explored Gibraltar in my imagination and now I could see it with my own eyes. I had strange emotions. In fact, Gibraltar’s original name was Jabl ut Tariq. It is only a rock from where one can survey Spain. It was from that point that General Tariq first scrutinized Spain. He burnt all his ships and announced that there was no question of a return. He declared that they would either conquer Spain or lay down their lives in the attempt. I recalled Iqbal’s verse in which he narrated Tariq having burnt his boats.
When the ship had dropped its anchor at Gibraltar, I continued to pray for General Tariq. I also prayed that once again the followers of the Messiah might be enabled to re-establish Islam in that country. As the ship had to remain in Gibraltar for a whole day passengers were allowed to go ashore and we too disembarked. We offered prayers at the exact spot where General Tariq had made his strategy to conquer Spain. In order to identify the exact spot where General Tariq stood a plaque, with commemorative inscription in English, has been fixed.
There is any number of monkeys in Gibraltar and the British Government protects them. It is said that according to a legend, the day the monkeys abandon the Rock the British Government will have to leave Gibraltar. It is indeed very strange that the British, who have made such great strides in Science, should be so superstitious.
Early in the morning on 11th February 1959, our ship dropped anchor at Liverpool and thus our voyage ended. However, because of very thick fog it was impossible to disembark immediately. Once the fog had lifted, we went ashore and boarded the train for London. We reached Euston station by 6 o’clock. It was strange that at the point of disembarkation from the ship no one checked our Passports. An official sat on a chair and from a distance the passengers showed him their Passports and proceeded. No entry was made on the Passport nor was it stamped.

Those days were strange; there was no need for an Entry Permit and nor was there a problem about Visas. Having retrieved our baggage we heard an announcement that the London train was about to depart and that the passengers should board. That was the first time that we had travelled on a British train and we were deeply impressed with the cleanliness of it. There was no comparison at all with our trains in the Indian Sub Continent. Here they were neat and clean and they ran on time. May our country learn a lesson from the British. From Liverpool, it took us 6 hours to reach London. On either side of the train, we saw nothing but snow. It appeared that nature had covered the land with a snow-white sheet. However, the train was well heated. All of us had taken off our coats and some even removed their jackets. One felt reasonably comfortable in shirtsleeves or in a jumper.
Because it is a Port town, Liverpool is always very busy. Around 1890, in Liverpool an Englishman accepted Islam and chose Abdullah as his first name. His surname was perhaps Quillim and therefore he was known as Abdullah Quillim. He had started an Islamic periodical through which 15 or 20 gentlemen and ladies had embraced Islam. The Promised Messiah has made a mention of his in his writings. This mission died with Abdullah and now no one knew him.
The train reached Euston station at 7.30 p.m. At the platform, the following gentlemen were waiting to welcome us: Imam Maulood Ahmad Khan, Dr. Sultan Mahmood Shahid, Abdul Aziz Deen, Moulvi Abd ur Rahman and Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf. From the Euston station, we went straight to the Mission House at 63 Melrose Road. This was a three -storied building. Apart from the Imam’s residence on the first floor, it served as a Mission House on the ground floor. Alongside it was another building, 61 Melrose Road, which also belonged to the Jamaat. Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II had stayed in it when he visited Britain in 1955. On the fourth floor I was allotted a flat consisting of two rooms. Both these buildings have since been demolished. That is how our journey ended. .












Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 10: Early Life in England

On 18th February 1959, we left Liverpool, where our ship had docked and reached London Euston Station. At the station we were received by Imam of the London Mosque Maulood Ahmad Khan, Abdul Azeez Deen, Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf, Moulvi Abd ur Rahman and Professor Sultan Mahmood Shahid. We proceeded towards the Mission House in Moulvi Abd ur Rahman’s car.

The whole of London was brightly lit; the Christmas decorations in the streets and in the shops were still there. Up until then I had never seen such a big city. On our way Moulvi Abd ur Rahman gave us a running commentary on the various historical buildings. Finally, we arrived at 63 Melrose Road (the Mission House) where the Imam had arranged for a sumptuous meal. For the first time in three weeks, we ate spinach with meat and we loved it. During the voyage, for fear that, the meat may not be Halal, we did not touch it.
After dinner, the Imam took us to 61 Melrose Road and showed us into a two room flat on the fourth floor. That was to be our residence.

It was very cold that night and at that time there was hardly any central heating in the houses. Normally coal fires or kerosene heaters were used for heating the houses but in our flat, we did not have either of these. We wrapped ourselves in the quilts that we had brought from Pakistan and even then, we hardly slept due to severe cold. In the morning, we went across to the Imam’s residence for breakfast and he asked if we had spent our night in comfort. I told him that throughout my life, I had never been so cold during the night; even in Rabwah we used an electric heater. The Imam said:

“There is no provision for these items in our budget.”

In the afternoon when Moulvi Abd ur Rahman came he heard our story of the bitter cold through the previous night. Since he was Secretary of the Finance Committee he confirmed that there was no room in the budget but he promised that he would take it upon himself to arrange a kerosene heater. He said that if there was any room in the future he would reimburse himself. In a short while, he brought an Aladdin kerosene heater and he taught us how to light it. Soon the room became cosy and we breathed a sigh of relief. May Allah grant him an exalted station in Heaven. I cannot ever forget this favour.
A few days later, the Imam gave me a list of the members of the Jamaat. He said that there were about two hundred names in the list of which most were students, some of who may have returned to their respective courtiers. He asked me to contact all members and note down their correct addresses so that we may establish contact with them and this may help with receipt of their financial contributions.

After several days hard work I was only able to identify a hundred and forty nine members. That was the total membership of the British Jamaat in 1959. The vast majority of the members were young and only a very few lived with their families. Apart from Moulvi Abd ur Rahman, Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf and Moulvi Abdul Kareem no other member in the entire Jamaat had a car. All three cars were in regular use by the Jamaat. Whenever the Jamaat called them, they would come to the mission house with their cars. They even paid for petrol themselves. In all probability Moulvi Abd ur Rahman was sent to England as a Commerce Missionary. Later on, having obtained leave from Waqf, he got settled in England and he was a devoted servant of the Jamaat. He had business in various places over the years.

At one time, he had a contract for a canteen attached to the students’ hostel run by Pakistani `. Through him, many members were able to approach and seek help from the Pakistan Embassy. I cannot recall a single incident when Moulvi Sahib declined to assist. He would rush to the Mission House whenever he was called for an errand.
At that time Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf also lived in England; he was a sincere, devoted servant of the Faith and he was very hospitable. On occasion, he would take friends to his house forcefully and entertain them with good food. His wife, Mrs Ashraf, later on became President of the British Lajna Ima Ullah. She was incredibly hospitable. She entertained those who visited her home but she also brought all kinds of delicacies to the meetings. Many Ahmadis used Ashraf Sahib’s car for their own personal purposes and it was often referred to as the ‘free taxi’ of the Mission House. He always refused even the cost of petrol. I travelled with him many times to places approximately hundred miles from London; he would drive me happily and with a great measure of pride and in spite of my repeated requests would not even let me pay for the cost of the petrol. May Allah be pleased with him and grant him an elevated station in Heaven.
Moulvi Abdul Kareem had devoted his life for service to the Faith and he was enabled to serve in Africa for a long time. For personal reasons he took leave from Waqf and settled in London. Apart from engaging in earning his livelihood, he spent his years like a member of the staff of the Mission and presented himself happily whenever he was called. His car was always available to the Mission and he served in various capacities in the Jamaat. May Allah forgive him and grant him an elevated station in Heaven.
If a list were to be compiled of those who served the Jamaat it would become very lengthy. In any case, this is not the right place for it. Elsewhere I have made a mention of my dear benefactor Abd ul Aziz Deen.
Syed Iqbal Shah who had migrated from East Africa and had settled in London was a person who was indeed gifted with the traits of an angel. Every day, without fail, he would come to the mosque and very happily attend to the work of the Finance Department. In the matter of Taqwa, high morals and good dealings he was outstanding. He was humble, sympathetic and God fearing. Right up until the time of his death he served the Jamaat with great sincerity. May Allah reward him abundantly. Two of his sons, Dr. Wali Ahmad Shah and Mansoor Ahmad Shah are following in the foot steps of their father. Watching them progress in the spiritual field not only gives me great pleasure but the remembrance of their father is also revived.
Another friend, Chaudhry Abd ur Rahman, commonly known as A.R. Chaudhry also migrated from East Africa. He was Headmaster of a school in Uganda. On arrival in England, he bought a house near the Mission House. He took up employment in a school but he spent many hours of the day and night serving the Jamaat.

In 1960, I started a periodical called “The Muslim Herald’. Chaudhry Sahib was appointed Joint Editor with me. He became General Secretary of the Jamaat and until his last day, he remained devoted to the work of the Jamaat. He remained deeply involved in the Jamaat work day and night. His heart and soul were in his desire to serve the Jamaat. To me he was as dear as my own real brother was. His wife, Tahira Chaudhry, taught for many years in English schools but at the same time, she gained distinction in the performance of work for the Jamaat, especially for the British Lajna Ima Ullah. May Allah accept and acknowledge the services of these two.

Another person, Muhammad Akram Khan Ghauri also migrated from East Africa.He settled in a house that he bought near the mosque and remained engaged in service to the Jamaat. He would visit the Mission House every morning and served very happily. May Allah grant him an elevated station in Heaven.

Some sincere friends who were intimately related to me for Jamaat work are still in the land of the living but I am not mentioning their names here. May Allah grant them long lives and shower them with His blessings. Abd ur Raheem of Mauritius had a very quiet temperament but he was exceedingly courteous. He was hospitable and took great pleasure in serving others. He took a great interest in the work of the Mission. He was a bachelor for a long time and had become an expert cook and on Eid and other functions, he would cook for all the guests. He got married rather late in life. Both Bashir Ahmad Bajwa and Daud Ahmad Gulzar were devoted friends; may Allah exalt their stations in Heaven.
In 1959, the British Mission House was spread over two adjacent houses. In 63 Melrose Road was the main office of the Mission. Apart from a basement, it had three Chaudhri Mushtaq Ahmad Bajwa (Imam)
1946 to 1950
. The kitchen was situated in the basement and there were two other adjoining rooms normally used for cooking. There were two rooms on the ground floor, the dividing wall was demolished and instead a sliding door was provided. The sliding door remained open for meetings. Apart from that, there were two other office rooms. There was a balcony on one side. The two upper stories served as the residence of the Imam.

The house at 61 Melrose Road was large and spacious and apart from a basement, there was the ground floor and two other upper stories. When the initial purchase was made, along with the building at 63 Melrose Road, a plot of land measuring one acre was acquired. The house at 61 Melrose Road belonged to an Englishman who became a bitter opponent after the construction of the mosque.

He objected to the call for prayers (Adhan) from the mosque and he even took the matter to court where it was decided in the favor of the Jamaat. During the Second World War when a few bombs fell around the mosque, he put up a ‘For Sale’ notice. However, he instructed the Estate Agent not to sell the house to anyone connected with the Jamaat. Hadhrat Maulana Jalal ud Deen Shams was then Imam of the London Mosque. He sent a British convert to Islam to the Estate Agent and he made an offer, which the owner accepted. Therefore, the house was registered initially in the name of the British convert and then it was transferred to the name of the Jamaat. This house had the great privilege and honor of housing Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II when he visited England in 1955. He lived on the ground floor. When I first came to England, apart from the flat on the top floor, the rest had been let out. Then in 1964 when I was appointed Imam I shifted to 63 Melrose Road.

The house at 63 Melrose Road is indeed historic. During his tour of England in 1967 Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III stayed in it. Some well-known and famous scholars, leaders and other notables from the Muslim world came to this house. Some are listed below.
President Tubman of Liberia, Crown Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia, King Idris of Libya, Sir Muhammad Iqbal the famous poet, Sir Feroze Khan Noon who later became Prime Minister of Pakistan, Qaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Sir Singhate, The Governor General of Gambia.
Both these houses, i.e. 61 and 63 Melrose Road were demolished after the Mahmood Hall Complex was built.
Majlis Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya existed even in 1959. Malik Khaleel ur Rahman was then the Qaid Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya and he was indeed an active and sincere member. In 1962 the centre appointed me as Deputy Sadar (President) of all the Majalis Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya in Britain. In those days, the Sadar (President) of the worldwide Majlis Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya was based at Rabwah. At that time, in other countries of the world, Qaids were appointed and the name of every Qaid needed approval from Rabwah. In 1964, this arrangement was changed and the Missionary in Charge of every country was appointed Deputy Sadar Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya. As the then Imam, Chaudhry Rahmat Khan, was sixty-five years old, although I was a Deputy Imam in 1962 I was chosen to be the Deputy Sadar (President) of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya U.K.
Lajna Ima Ullah was also in existence and Mrs Naseem was its Sadar (President). Dr. Naseem was a retired judge of the Alahabad High Court. In 1959, he served as General Secretary of the Executive Committee. After Mrs Naseem, Mrs Ashraf served for a while as the Sadar. For many years after that Amat ul Hafeez, the wife of Dr. Abd us Salaam, served as Sadar Lajna in Britain. During the period of her Sadarat, the Lajna made considerable progress; new Lajnaat were established up and down the country and Annual Conventions began to be held. Her close co-operation with me as Imam and Missionary in Charge was inspiring. May Allah reward her abundantly.
In those days the arrangements for heating the Fazl Mosque was substandard. During the winter there were very few who offered Nimaz (Salat) in the mosque and as heating was expensive, from November to Easter the mosque normally remained locked. Prayers, including the Friday Service, were held in the Mission House. In those days it was bitterly cold in England and in December, January and February and sometimes right up until May, there was snow. The most bothersome problem during the winter was fog and smog. Often if lasted for three or four days and visibility was reduced to only a few feet.

Those days were dangerous for those who suffered from Asthma. I can clearly recall that in 1960 as I was walking towards the Mission House from the neighboring shops when a thick fog descended and visibility was reduced to nothing. I became extremely worried, as apart from the bitter cold I could also see nothing. I stood on a footpath and prayed to God so that He may guide me to my residence.

Suddenly, when I heard someone’s footsteps I cried out for help. Someone held my hand and told me that he was going in the same direction. He said he had some idea of the route and still holding my hand, he took me to my house. I thanked the Englishman most profusely. When she opened the door for me my wife was in a near panic, we both thanked the Almighty. In 1965, all coal burning industrial establishments were taken out of London and thankfully, that resulted in freedom from frequent fog or smog. The exterior of all buildings in London were black due to coal fires. Later on, the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral and other historic buildings were sandblasted and cleaned at the expense of millions of pounds.
In those days, on the two Eids all those present were served lunch on behalf of the mosque. As the Mission was unable to bear the expense of feeding all those present, members of the Jamaat were asked to make special contributions. Throughout the night, in the basement of the Mission House, many members remained engaged in cooking. Until I was appointed Imam, I used to remain engaged in cooking along with other members. In those days, a large number of non-Ahmadis came to the mosque for the two Eids. Some Turk and Cypriot Muslims and Muslims from India and Pakistan also came.

On such occasions, neighbors and some dignitaries were also invited for lunch. In this manner, most of the days of Eid were passed in the mosque or in the garden adjoining the mosque. Most left in the afternoon. On one such occasion in 1931, for Eid ul Azhia, the Qaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah also came. After the meal, he delivered an extraordinary speech on the subject of “Freedom of India.”


























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 14: Diabetes

Suddenly in 1970, I began to feel very thirsty and my tongue seemed as dry as a twig. In order to relieve my bladder during the night I had to get up several times. Once, I mentioned this problem to Hadhrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan and he asked me to see a doctor at once. My doctor sent me to a Hospital for tests of blood etc. Some tests were carried out after intake of glucose. I was asked to return in a few days. When I met the specialist, he told me that I had become a diabetic. I felt that a sentence of death had been pronounced on me and for a few moments, I was completely stunned. The Doctor asked me not to worry and said that, with proper care and daily exercise, this problem can be brought under control. He gave me detailed instructions.

When I got back home, I found Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib waiting for me. I told him that I had some good news and some bad news and asked him which one he wanted to hear first. The good news, I said, was that we were now associates. And the bad news, I said, was that I had become a Diabetic. Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib asked me not to be too concerned as he had been a Diabetic for forty years.
He said:

“Diabetes is like a stubborn horse. If a rider takes necessary care and remains on his guard, he can really enjoy riding a stubborn horse. However, if a rider is not attentive the horse will rebel and throw him on the ground. If Diabetes remains under control, one’s daily life can continue normally. Otherwise, very hazardous results can ensue. Because of this sickness, the amount of sugar in the blood increases and that can be damaging. As the blood circulates throughout the body, other organs can be affected. When sugar in the blood exceeds the normal level, different organs can be affected. Because of Diabetes one can see so many suffering from loss of sight, loss of teeth and a weak heart. To control Diabetes it is necessary to take three very important precautions. First: regular medical checks and strictly following medical advice. Second: daily exercise, for example, a brisk walk for two or two and a half miles. Third: due care in the intake of food and a total ban on those items of food prohibited by the Doctor. On a regular basis, I consult Dr. Jocelyn who is one of the topmost specialists in Diabetes. Then, I faithfully follow his advice.

Once when I visited him, after a thorough examination, he told me that all was well. Then he said that as far as possible I should exercise care in some other matters such as, the excessive use of coffee. I told him that I drink eleven mugs of coffee every day and I had, to a degree, become addicted to coffee. However, from that moment, I said, I would give up drinking coffee altogether. The Doctor said that this sudden move may not be possible and that I should reduce the intake gradually. When I came down the stairs I made up my mind not to touch coffee and in the last fifteen or twenty years I have not taken a drop of coffee.”
After he had finished giving me detailed instructions, I expressed my doubt if I would be able to exercise such restraint. At that point, Chaudhry Sahib related an interesting story.
He said:

“When I was Foreign Minister of Pakistan I suddenly received a call from the Prime Minister’s house telling me that the Prime Minister, Khwaja Nazim ud Deen, needed my presence immediately. When I called, the Prime Minister was in his study. He asked me to sit down and said; ‘After examination, the doctors have discovered that I have become a diabetic. I thought it best to seek your advice, as you have been able to bring your diabetes under control. So please advise me.’ In about three quarters of an hour, in great detail I told him how to conduct his life and how to be careful in his diet. I even told him what to eat and what not to eat. For a while, Khwaja Sahib kept completely silent.

Then he said;

‘I have listened to your advice with great care and attention and I have noted how I should conduct my life. However, I regret that I will not be able to. It is impossible for me to bring about such a big change in my eating habits’.”
Looking at me Chaudhry Sahib said:

“I hope you will not say what the Khwaja Sahib said i.e. ‘I have carefully listened to your advice with great attention but I regret I will not be able to act in accordance with it’.”
Then Chaudhry Sahib referred to the commands in the Holy Quran about use of only Halal (legitimate and chaste) and Tayyab items of food. He said:

“We all know what ‘Halal’ means but what is meant by Tayyab? Use of sugar, for example is Halal but for Diabetics it is not Tayyab. The Holy Quran, which is a book of great perception and wisdom, has made clear that Halal items may be consumed by everyone, but since some items of food are not Tayyab for some they should refrain from their use. Those Diabetics who order their lives in accordance with medical advice normally live long lives as their diet becomes balanced.”

Since Chaudhry Sahib lived to be 93 years old, perhaps the secret of his long life was that he was most careful in what he ate. In any case, overeating is injurious to health and obesity is a disease in itself.
An early morning brisk walk is most helpful for Diabetics. A two-mile brisk walk can produce great beneficial results. The following homeopathic medicines brought me some relief;

Natrum Sulph 200 once a week, Natrum Sulph 30 twice a day. Along with these, use of Five Phoses is also helpful.














Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 16: Launch of the Muslim Herald

In 1960, while in England, I made up my mind to launch a monthly periodical. The then Imam of the London Mosque, Maulood Ahmad Khan warned me that it was not going to be an easy undertaking. He told me that I must not expect much help from the Mission. After a lot of prayers and in consultation with some friends, I applied for permission from the Centre. At my first attempt, the Centre turned me down. They said:

“Firstly, we do not have the resources to publish a periodical. Secondly, often, in their zeal, some missionaries launch periodicals and then are unable to continue. Consequently we suffer disrepute.”
I wrote to the Vakilutabsheer that if I was given the permission to start publication of the magazine I would be prepared to be fully responsible for meeting all the relevant expenses. I also pledged that I would not seek any financial assistance, either from the Centre or from the British Mission. Finally, subject to the following two conditions the Centre granted me permission.
I would wholly support the periodical financially and no help would be sought from the Centre or from the British Mission.
2. The address shown on the periodical would not be that of the Mission House in London and it would not be attributed to the British Mission.
I happily accepted both conditions. In the early years, instead of 63 Melrose Road, the address shown was 61 Melrose Road.
The first issue of the periodical appeared in January 1960 and in it were published messages from Hadhrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan, Sahibzada Mirza Mubarak Ahmad and Basharat Ahmad Bashir. An article entitled ‘Some Misconceptions about Islam in the West’ by Dr. Muhammad Naseem appeared in the first issue. Only five hundred copies were printed and distributed free of charge. With great effort and running around “Pakistan International Airlines” gave us an advertisement. In the beginning that constituted our total income. The remaining expense was borne by Abdul Azeez Deen, Moulvi Abd ur Rahman and myself.
By the Grace of Allah, the very first issue was well received and Hadhrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan and Dr. Abd us Salaam encouraged me significantly.
For the second edition, after a lot of legwork, we were able to secure some more advertisements. Apart from its ‘Title page’ the February issue consisted of 32 pages. The magazine was printed on Art paper and included articles on the following subjects:
1. ‘The Need for Effective Balance between Religion, Philosophy and Science’ By Field Marshall Muhammad Ayub Khan President of Pakistan.
2. ‘The Powers and Duties of the Islamic State’ By Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II.
3. ‘Technology and Pakistan’s Attack on Poverty’ By Professor Abd us Salaam FRS. SPK.
4. ‘Islam or Communism’ By Hadhrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad M.A.
5. ‘The Holy Month of Ramadan By Maulana A. R. Dard M.A.
This issue was sold out very rapidly and in view of the huge demand, we had to print extra copies. Some amongst the non-Ahmadis were also pleased with its contents.
I was its Founder, its Editor and its Financier.
In order to obtain advertisements from owners of Pakistani restaurants I had to wait until the restaurants were closed, sometimes as late as 2 a.m. In this task Moulvi Abd ur Rahman helped me a great deal. Being the owner of a canteen, he would accompany me and assist me in obtaining advertisements from other catering establishments. May Allah reward him abundantly. Amen.
By the Grace of Allah, the Periodical became financially self-sufficient. Articles of a very high order began to be published. Because of its popularity, the number of subscribers increased. It began to be distributed all over the world. In this manner, a seed that was planted assumed the shape of a healthy tree.
In August 1962 Mr A.R. Chaudhry, who had migrated from East Africa, became a Joint Editor with me. With his assistance, the standard of the articles published in the periodical was further improved. During this period, some special issues were brought out such as: ‘European Missions’, ‘Christianity’, and ‘Hadhrat Abdul Lateef’.
In the April 1961 issue an article entitled
‘What the War in Algeria is Costing France’
Written by Mr R. Karachi, a non-Ahmadi journalist of repute was published. This article gained huge popularity amongst the supporters of the Movement for Algerian Freedom from France. I was asked to print an additional 500 copies of that issue for which immediate payment was made. The readers also said that they would persuade some of the Algerian community in England to subscribe to the ‘Muslim Herald’. Therefore, we printed another 500 copies and due to their support, we gained some more subscribers. This opened a door for Tableegh amongst the Algerian community.
Soon thereafter, I received a letter from the Press Section of the American Embassy in London. I was asked to visit them. When I called at the Embassy, I was extremely surprised to see a number of our periodicals at the desk of the officer concerned. The officer expressed satisfaction concerning the periodical. I was asked how many copies were being printed. I told him that although only 1,000 copies were printed but the readership was much more. The American said that he would like to see at least 5,000 copies printed. Then he enquired about my remuneration as the Editor. I told him that I was a Missionary of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and merely to earn the pleasure of Allah I had undertaken this work without any remuneration. He said:

“What use is voluntary work? You should be paid for it.”

These remarks greatly irritated me. I said:

“Why don’t you tell me plainly what you want?”

In reply, he said:

“I propose that you should print 5,000 copies of the periodical. We shall pay you an adequate salary and you may continue to work as a Missionary. In return, every now and then, we would like you to publish material against Communism. We would expect you to publish any articles and news given by us to you without any alteration.”

On hearing these remarks, I got up and said:

“I am a Missionary of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and I only publish the periodical for the propagation of Ahmadiyyat and Islam. As a Jamaat, on principle, we also oppose Communism vehemently. Already some articles on this subject have appeared in the periodical. However, I cannot possibly be a servant of the American Government, nor can I continue to edit this periodical in subordination to the American Embassy.” There the meeting ended.

His Mercy and Grace blessed this periodical with opportunities to serve Islam and Ahmadiyyat. Through it, Imam Zook of Poland embraced Ahmadiyyat. This is another story, which is recorded elsewhere. During the torturous days in 1974, this periodical played a crucial role. Attacks from the opponents were strongly rebutted. News of the persecution faced by the Jamaat in Pakistan with relevant photographs was published. Later on, largely based on the material that had appeared in this periodical, a whole book called ‘From the World Press’ was published. This book proved to be of great help in supporting the cases of asylum seekers in Germany.
A little later Syed Mansoor Ahmad Shah also became an editor. His articles gained great popularity. With his help and co-operation, the periodical made further strides. May Allah reward him abundantly. I am deeply indebted to him as he translated into English many articles that I had written in Urdu. He also revised my books. In every way possible, he co-operated with me in an admirable manner. The periodical continued to be published until 1984. For the first four or five years, I was responsible for meeting all the necessary expenses. Then the British Mission assumed the financial responsibility and freed me from this burden.
In 1975, the University Microfilms Ltd. of England saved all the earlier issues on a microfilm.
















Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 17: Launch of ‘Akhbar e Ahmadiyya’

In 1962, Hadhrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad wrote to me and suggested that for the purpose of education, training and promoting mutual friendship amongst the members of the Jamaat it would be advisable to start a Paper on behalf of the British Mission. He said that it did not really matter if the paper consisted only of a few pages.
In accordance with his wishes, I started publishing a bi-monthly paper, ‘Akhbaar e Ahmadiyya’. A part of it was in English. For the Urdu portion, I made an attempt at calligraphy myself. The paper was printed on a cyclostyling machine and was distributed free of charge. Apart from the Jamaat news, it contained rebuttals of the allegations from our opponents. Articles concerning education and training formed an important part of it.
In the beginning, the cyclostyling machine was operated manually and it was quite a chore. A few years later, an electric machine was purchased. By then the standard of calligraphy and printing had improved considerably. For calligraphy Malik Khaleel Ahmad Lateef Jan and for printing Muhammad Ilyas Nasir Dehlvi rendered invaluable service.

By the Grace of Allah, this paper kept on progressing day by day. Even now, this paper is regularly published every month.



























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 18: Ahmadiyyat at Hyde Park, London

Immediately opposite the Queen’s Palace in Central London, full of colorful flowers and some very tall trees, is situated a very attractive and extensive Park. On one side of the Park, there is a whole string of famous Hotels and on the other; there are shops on the Oxford Street. Right in the middle of the Park there is a beautiful lake called ‘The Serpentine’, which is spread over an area of 41 acres. In the summer, it provides an ideal location for relaxation, pleasure and boating. In the winter, when it freezes, people skate on its icy surface. On either corner of the Lake, there are some smart restaurants in which people can eat and from where tourists can buy various items of food and drink of their own choice.
Early in the morning, some affluent persons ride in the Park. Around the bridle path, there are whole rows of bushes and trees. Very often, when it is still dark, some members of the Royal Family also ride in the Park. Throughout the day, tourists, students and others, when exhausted after shopping or some other pursuits, gather in the Park. Under its trees, completely oblivious of all worldly affairs, one can see students engaged in their studies. One can also see whole families busy picnicking.
Everyone seems to be absorbed in his own pursuit. There is never any threat of interference from others. Some, stretched on the green grass, baking in the sun, calmly snore and relax. It must be remembered that brilliant sunshine is somewhat of a rarity in England. Those relaxing in the Park are least bothered by the hustle and bustle in the 361 acres of the Hyde Park.
However, the most significant and the most interesting part of the Park, situated opposite the Marble Arch and the Oxford Street is the place normally known as ‘Speaker’s Corner’. A large number gather there on Sundays. Traditionally, this corner is reserved for speakers and just about anyone can get up and speak on any subject of his choice and for as long as he likes. If a crowd gathers to listen to him, good luck for him. Some speakers continue to speak even when there is no one listening to them. To address the crowd, those who speak regularly, usually bring with them a small stool on which they stand. There is seldom a preamble to an address. The speakers just get up on their feet and begin to speak. Good speakers can attract a sizable audience. Some professional hecklers are always present who by asking various awkward questions attempt to enervate speakers and then they move on.

Some great politicians have in the past been speaking in this very Park. In his early years, Nye Bevin also started his political career in this very Park. Some outstanding socialist leaders also used to speak there regularly. In the afternoons or early in the evenings, when there was no TV and no other means of amusement were available people used to assemble there to listen to the speeches. That was the golden age of this Corner. Then, rather late on Sunday afternoons, crowds began to gather at Hyde Park Corner. Milling crowds were a common sight. One never saw a Policeman. Heated discussions ensued and were a familiar occurrence. Around sunset, the audience melted away into neighboring restaurants. Clutching their wooden stools the speakers also vanished until the following Sunday. Mainly tourist spent stress-free hours in the Park.
Now the whole atmosphere in the Park has undergone a change. Neither the speakers nor the audience seems to be serious any more and that was a special feature of the Park in earlier days. Now most speakers are from amongst the colored and foreigners and some tend to use foul language. Therefore, the audience do not have much of an opportunity to listen to opinions covering serious subjects. Even the Police are now visible and sometimes even a scuffle erupts. If this trend continues, the British Government may have to put an end to this ancient tradition.
Every Sunday, for the last half a century, some unwavering serious minded speakers have been speaking there. They were the ones who attracted crowds. Amongst them were Christians, Socialists, Atheists and Unitarians. One person, to my knowledge, had been seen in the Hyde Park Corner for a continuous period of 22 years. This person hardly ever spoke. He carried a placard on which was written “Repent for the End is Nigh”, i.e. the Doomsday is near so repent. He never made any speeches but with his placard in hand just moved around. However, if any questions were asked of him, he would open his Bible and spell out signs of the last days. He deserved great admiration for his courage. He did not represent any mission but was a mission personified.
Whoever could succeed in speaking at the Hyde Park Corner was sure to become a good speaker. There, questions were showered from all sides and professional hecklers made the speakers life miserable. Sometimes they exceeded all limits. Any speaker who could handle them would never be afraid of confronting any audience. Some Christian denominations used Hyde Park Corner as a training ground. Every week, under the guidance and supervision of a tutor, some young clergy delivered speeches. Normally, on their own, these speakers remained engaged in their speeches and only, if and when necessary, the tutor butted in and guided them. If any difficult questions were asked, the teacher answered them.
Normally all speeches were extempore. I have never seen anyone delivering a written speech. Since the use of loud speakers was not permitted, so that even those at a distance could hear him and benefit from the speech, a speaker had to get used to speaking very loudly. In short, the Hyde Park Corner in England was a Commanding institution where one witnessed an admirable example of free speech.
The great privilege of introducing Islam into the Hyde Park Speaker’s Corner belongs to the Ahmadi missionaries. They were the first to propagate Islam there. There we got a number of converts to Islam. Bilal Nuttall was one of those. He had the rare privilege of calling Adhan on the inauguration of the London Mosque. How, from this Christian platform, the Islamic call was raised is an interesting story.
Hadhrat Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad Sial was our first missionary in England. He arrived in England in 1913. He felt that work for the spiritual conquest of Islam should commence from the Hyde Park Corner. Accordingly, he started speaking there and his efforts were blessed with success. Now hear the story in his own words.
He said:

“I went to Hyde Park on a Saturday where speakers from various faiths and societies were speaking. The Atheists attracted the biggest audience. An Atheist stood up to speak and he raised certain objections against the Old Testament and Moses. Then he enlarged his subject and started criticising all Religions and all those who believed in God. After that, he allowed a quarter of an hour for those in the audience who wished to refute his arguments. Amongst the audience, there were a few Christians. Most were Atheists and no one had the courage to speak up.

Taking advantage of this occasion, in simple terms, I spoke on the subject of existence of God. My emphasis was on ‘Divine Revelation’. I tried to explain that any knowledge based on Divine Revelations was always trustworthy and reliable. At the end of my speech, which only lasted for quarter of an hour the Atheist speaker tried to make fun of me. He said that many prophets had appeared in England and Piggott was still living. Therefore, there was no need for a new prophet. As I had no hope of being given more time to speak so, I stood aside. Some from amongst the audience gathered around me and started asking questions about ‘Divine Revelations’.”
From this beginning, this process continued and for a long while the name of Islam and the name of Hadhrat Muhammad Mustafa (saw) were heard through our celebrated missionaries. When Hadhrat Yaqoob Ali Irfani toured Europe, while in London, he delivered speeches in Hyde Park on a regular basis. Influenced by his speeches our dear brother, Bilal Nuttall became a Muslim.
In the beginning, our Mission House was situated quite close to Hyde Park. Therefore, our missionaries were able to invite to the Mission House those amongst the British audience who showed some interest in Islam. There, apart from conveying the message of Islam, they were also given some literature. Hadhrat Qazi Muhammad Abdullah, Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, Hadhrat Moulvi Abd ur Raheem Near, Hadhrat Moulvi Sher Ali, Hadhrat Meer Abd us Salaam, Hadhrat Aziz Deen the father of Abdul Aziz Deen and Hadhrat Maulana Shams top the list of those who spoke in Hyde Park Corner.
It must be mentioned here that Mr Abdul Aziz Deen who has been referred to above was a very energetic, dynamic and sincere person. He came to England in 1928 and had stayed here ever since. His father, Hadhrat Babu Aziz Deen Sialkoti was a Companion of the Promised Messiah. During most debates he served as a timekeeper. Once, when Abdul Aziz Deen and I went to Hyde Park Corner for Tableegh, pointing to a bench, Mr Aziz Deen said:

“Look at Mr Green seated on the bench.”

I was most anxious to meet him. He met us both warmly and when we told him that Maulana Shams had passed away, he shed a tear or two and said:

“He was a great scholar of the Bible.”

Mr Green was then about ninety years old. For a while, we talked about Maulana Shams.
Whilst he was in England Hadhrat Moulvi Sher Ali also regularly spoke in the Park. A sizable crowd normally waited for him. It is strange that, possibly due to his apparent demeanor and commanding personality, no one amongst the hecklers dare bother him. Hadhrat Meer Abd us Salaam Sialkoti was also one of the regular speakers in Hyde Park. I have listened to several of his speeches. He had a complete command of the English language and was fully conversant with references from the Bible that he had memorized. Since he stood on a tall platform and was himself tall, he could be seen from a distance while he spoke.
For more than half a century Hyde Park Corner has been linked with the history of Ahmadiyyat.



Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 19: John Webster’s Acceptance of Ahmadiyyat

At Hyde Park Corner, amongst the regular speakers was a Mr John Webster, who had, for 30 years been speaking on various subjects. In 1960, it was he who attracted the largest crowds. A while ago, a book entitled ‘Speakers of the Hyde Park’ was published and in it, a prominent mention of Mr Webster was made. His story covered many pages of the book. Soon after my arrival in England, I started going to Hyde Park regularly. I often asked questions of Christian and Atheist speakers and I got familiar with some of the speakers to whom I presented some literature on Islam and Ahmadiyyat. Once, at the end of a session, I approached Mr Webster and he invited me for a cup of tea in a neighboring restaurant. He showed interest in Ahmadiyyat.

The next Saturday I took with me a copy of ‘Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam’. After listening to his speech, I presented the book to him. Two weeks later, during his speech at Hyde Park, he pointed at me and suggested that after his speech I should stay back. At the end of his speech both of us went to a restaurant for a cup of tea. Mr Webster had three or four of his friends with him. He told me that he had read the book that I gave him three or four times and that during every reading he discerned new points of interest. He said that he had never, in his whole life, read another book so full of knowledge and meaning.

Naturally, we started talking about the Promised Messiah (pbuh), his claims and the tasks he had accomplished. I gave him some more literature. The following Saturday, at the end of his speech Mr Webster told me that he wanted to join the fold of Ahmadiyyat. He told me that during the previous week (in a dream or vision) he had seen the Promised Messiah (pbuh). He told me that the Promised Messiah (pbuh) had asked him:

“Is there an impediment in your joining Ahmadiyyat?”

On hearing this from him, I was thrilled to bits. On the following Saturday he came to the Mosque and signed the Form for joining the Jamaat. At the same time, he said to me that, as he was an old and renowned speaker at Hyde Park, his having embraced Ahmadiyyat should remain a secret for sometime. However, the following Saturday, when he stood up to speak, involuntarily, he started talking about the Promised Messiah (pbuh).
Some Pakistani Muslims from amongst the audience opposed him and told him that he knew nothing about the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. Then they verbally abused the Jamaat. In response, Mr Webster said:

“I can assess your manners very well from the way in which you have used such abusive language.”

He said that he was in a position to say that Hadhrat Mirza Sahib was engaged in the struggle for dominance of Islam. His life was pious and pure and he alone had been blessed with scholastic philosophy.

On the following Saturday a large number of Muslims from the Indo Pak Sub Continent came to the Hyde Park Corner. They tried to heckle Mr Webster and tried their best not to let him speak. However, their efforts ended in a total failure. Mr Webster continued to speak on Ahmadiyyat. The following few weeks were somewhat troublesome.

On one occasion, some Pakistani Muslims tried to physically assault Mr Webster. In a scuffle that followed two or three Ahmadi listeners received injuries. One of them was Muhammad Ilyas Nasir Dehlavi. In the hope that the conditions would once again become peaceful, the police asked Mr Webster to suspend his speeches for a while. Mr Webster refused and for the following few meetings the police were present in force. This situation continued for a whole year. After that Mr Webster migrated to Australia and settled there.


























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 20: The Rotary Club of Wandsworth

In America, at the turn of the century, some businesspersons, friendly with each other, got together in a restaurant for their midday meal. In their casual conversation, it was mentioned that mostly the businesspersons remained so engrossed in the promotion of their trade or industry that they had no time left either for social contacts, or for acquiring intimate knowledge regarding subjects other than their own trade or industry. Because of this discussion, it was agreed that, once a week, they would meet for a midday meal and for the most part subjects other than their businesses will be discussed.
That is how the Rotary Club was founded. The Rotary Clubs have now assumed an International status. There is hardly a country in the world in which a Rotary Club has not been firmly established. In the developed countries, in the bigger towns and cities, many clubs have come into being. Their members hold regular weekly meetings either at Lunch or at Dinner. Non-members are also invited to the meetings. Speeches are often followed by Question and Answer sessions. The Rotary Clubs collect sizable sums for national charities. The Clubs ensure that that not only do their members create a healthy liaison with the National dignitaries but that they also become acquainted of their views.
In England 2,000 clubs are in existence. Membership is confined to those whose financial dealings are above board and those who lead unblemished lives. Further, they should hold a senior position in their business. This way, every Rotary Club, in its own region or town includes dignitaries in its fold.
A lot can be written about the Rotary Clubs but the object in writing this article is to talk about the Rotary Club of Wandsworth with which the British Jamaat Ahmadiyya has had a special relationship.
The Fazl Mosque, which was the first Mosque, built in London for the worship of the Almighty, is situated in the Borough of Wandsworth. In 1924 the Second Successor to the Promised Messiah, laid its Foundation Stone with his own blessed hands. Sir Abdul Qadir had the great privilege and honor of inaugurating the Mosque in 1926.
In 1928 it was decided to establish a Rotary Club in Wandsworth. Hadhrat Moulvi Farzand Ali Khan, the then Imam of the Fazl Mosque, was one of the Founder Members and of course he participated in its very first meeting. He also offered a silent prayer on that occasion. On his return to India his successor, Hadhrat Moulvi Abd ur Raheem Dard was invited to join the Club. Since then this practice has continued.

Participation in the activities of the Club not only gave the Imams an excellent opportunity to propagate their faith, but also they had the prospect of meeting local dignitaries and Government officials.
Mr Raymond King was a well-known member of the Wandsworth Rotary Club. After joining the Club, I became friendly with him and we intermingled regularly. Once, I asked him:

“You have had dealings with various Imams, which one of them has impressed you most?”

In answer, he said:

“Every Imam had his own individual qualities. Their presence in the meetings always created great interest. However, I was most impressed with Maulana Dard. He had a clear insight into the British disposition. In a way, he dominated the Club. His opinion was always sound and weighty and he had an excellent command of the English language.”
Mr King quoted an example. He said

“Maulana Dard gave me the manuscript of his book ‘The Life of Ahmad’ so that I may improve and polish his English. I read the Draft word by word and did not find a single mistake. However, I did offer some advice in regard to his style.”

Mr King also said that he was also deeply impressed by Maulana Jalal ud Deen Shams who had a profound knowledge of the Christian Faith and he often quoted verses of the Bible from memory.
Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan addressed the Rotary Club on a number of occasions. He often said that he was an Honorary Member of the Rotary Club of Wandsworth. Many members of the Club told me repeatedly that they were devoted to him.
I had been a member of the Wandsworth Rotary Club for nearly 30 years. Normally Rotary Clubs do not invite speakers to talk on religious or political subjects. However, during this period, I had been enabled to convey the message of the true Faith to approximately 500 Rotary Clubs.
In 1978, members of the Club honored me by electing me as their President. For a continuous period of 5 years, I had already served as Vice President. On many occasions, members of the Rotary Club met the Second and the Third successors to the Promised Messiah. This way, residents of this area, became familiar with the name and the work of the Jamaat.
During his tour of America in 1976, I had the good fortune of accompanying the Third Successor to the Promised Messiah .In Dayton, I stayed in the same Hotel as Huzoor. There, I attended a meeting of the Rotary Club of Dayton, then in progress in the same Hotel. The Chairman of the Club particularly invited me to say a few words about myself. In some detail, I introduced the Ahmadiyya Jamaat to them. I also told them that the Head of the Ahmadiyya Movement Jamaat was currently on a tour of America. This news was published in the Dayton newspapers, which proved its worth.
Our sole object of joining the Club was to introduce the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and to acquaint members with the true Faith, and to repudiate the misguided propaganda against Islam. In this matter the Rotary Club of Wandsworth has, by the Grace of Allah, played an important role













Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 21: Tabligh in Brighton

In 1960 the Pakistan International Airlines acquired their first Jet propelled Boeing. For their inaugural flight, they invited some Pakistani and British dignitaries from London to fly with them in the new Boeing. I also received an invitation. Perhaps in the month of April 1960, with permission from the Centre, I went to Pakistan for nearly a month. During my stay there, two or three times, I had the good fortune of an audience with Huzoor who, in those days, was unwell. In the course of a meeting Huzoor directed that we should pay particular attention to Tableegh in Brighton. He said that in 1924 when he toured England he visited Brighton at the invitation of the Brighton Council. During that visit he saw the room where, as guests of Queen Elizabeth I, some Turkish Muslim Generals had stayed.

On the walls of that room Kalima Tayyeba and some Quranic verses had been inscribed. He stressed the need to pay particular attention to Tableegh in Brighton. On my return to England, I made up my mind to set in motion Tableegh work in Brighton. Mr Abdul Aziz Deen and I went to Brighton and rented a room in the Royal Pavilion.

Announcements were made in the local papers that from the following week, every week, speeches on Islam would be delivered in that Hall.
A local paper interviewed me and published a detailed account and my photograph. We printed 5,000 copies of a handbill that were distributed in the residential areas. During the first meeting, the Hall was filled to capacity. The meeting was presided over by Abd ul Aziz Deen. Moulvi Abdul Kareem and Moulvi Abd ur Rahman also attended the meeting. I spoke on the subject of ‘The Truth of Islam’.

After my speech, a Christian cleric invited me to a debate, an invitation that I could hardly turn down. It was agreed to hold a debate on the subject of ‘Death of Jesus on the Cross’ on the following Saturday. The local papers published the news of the approaching debate. To attend the meeting many Ahmadi friends from London came to Brighton. A large number of British non-Muslims were also present. In fact they formed the overwhelming majority. There was considerable enthusiasm apparent amongst the audience.

We all waited for the cleric but he did not turn up. It appeared that he had no intention of coming. Disappointed, I got up to speak on the subject of ‘Islam’. As the cleric had shied away from the debate, from our point of view, the local British audience seemed to have gained a positive impression.
At the end of the next meeting a Miss Irene Crene joined the fold of Ahmadiyyat. Several of her articles were published in the ‘Muslim Herald’. Later on, she migrated to Turkey.
In the course of three or four meetings, six or seven other English women and men also joined Ahmadiyyat. This way a regular Jamaat was established in Brighton. This outcome was a direct result of the attention and prayers by Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II. For two years, this routine was followed every week. When I was appointed as Imam of The London Mosque, because I was alone and there was no other Missionary who could be sent to Brighton, most reluctantly, we had to give up this practice.











Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 22: Meeting Sheikh Abdullah of Kashmir

After having been released from prison where he had spent many years, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah came to England on a tour. There was considerable excitement and enthusiasm amongst Pakistanis and particularly amongst the Kashmiris. Reception Committees were formed in most big towns and they had chalked out detailed programs to welcome the Sheikh. I had a lot of respect for the Sheikh. I was deeply impressed with the manner, in which, without caring for his life or his possessions, merely for the sake of the freedom of the Kashmiris, without the slightest hesitation, he had borne the hardships of prison for lengthy periods. It appeared that he had devoted his entire life for service to his own people. I too had devoted my life but for another purpose. I knew that in accordance with the advice of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II, the Sheikh had made great efforts to rid the Kashmiris of the claws of the Dogra Raj and had put in hard work for their freedom. Over the years, I had read in the ‘History of Ahmadiyyat’ some letters that the Sheikh had written to Hadhrat Khalifa Tul Masih II Mirza Bashir ud Deen Mahmood Ahmad.
In one of his letters he had said:

“First of all I regard it as my duty to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your selflessness, without any expectation of a reward, the services you have rendered in the struggle for the downtrodden Muslims. In view of the constant and uninterrupted work that you have done to solve the Kashmir problem, I fondly hope that, like in the past, in the future as well, you will remain engaged in the struggle”.
In letters of this kind the Sheikh had recorded his admiration for the Jamaat Ahmadiyya in general and for Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II in particular, who, as Chairman of the Kashmir Committee had worked so hard for the Kashmiris.
When I heard that the Sheikh was in England, within me, I found an overpowering desire to meet this fighter for the freedom of his people who had, for them, cheerfully borne the hardships of prison. In several places, I tried to contact him by telephone. He was so preoccupied that I was unable to establish contact with him. I did not give up and finally I was able to speak to him. I told him that I was the Imam of the Fazl Ahmadiyya Mosque and the Ahmadiyya Missionary in Charge in Great Britain. I said that I was desirous of meeting him.

The Sheikh seemed very pleased that I was able to contact him. He said that he also wanted to contact the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in England. He said that the organizers had framed his program in such a way that there was no time to spare and was involved in an unending chain of speeches and meetings. He also said that the Indian CID had been in his pursuit all the time and kept a strict eye on those who met him. He said that, in a few days time, we could meet and talk. After a few days he told me that he would be in London to deliver a speech. He asked me to come to the Hall where he was to speak half an hour before commencement of proceedings. He directed me to come straight to the stage. I did as directed.

At the entrance of the stage, with orders to escort me to him, the Sheikh had posted two young men. Dr. Sardar Nazir Ahmad was also with me. His close associates such as Mirza Afzal Beg and some other prominent Kashmiris who lived in England surrounded the Sheikh. The Sheikh started by enquiring about the health of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II. I had to tell him that he was unwell and there was cause for concern. Tears trickled down the eyes of the Shaikh, which he wiped with his handkerchief. Then he said:

“You must be writing letters to him.”

I said that I wrote to Hadhrat sahib every week. The Sheikh asked me to convey his affectionate message of adoration to Huzoor. He also asked me to convey to him that in the previous ten or twelve years he had been imprisoned constantly and therefore had not been able to write to him. However, even for a moment, he had not forgotten Huzoor and there was never any weakening in his prayers for him.

Then he said to me:

“You cannot possibly imagine how deeply I am indebted to Hadhrat Mirza Sahib. He has trained me like his own child and he stood besides me whenever I had any problems. He always encouraged me and guided me. Had it not been for his leadership I would not have been where I am today.”

Then he mentioned in some detail what Huzoor had done for the well being and freedom of the Kashmiris. The conversation continued for quite a while and then he enquired about Hadhrat Maulana Abd ur Raheem Dard. I said that he too had passed away. Then he enquired about Hadhrat Syed Zain ul Abid e Deen Wali ul Ullah Shah and I had to tell him that he too had departed. Once again, he had tears in his eyes and for a few minutes, he explained the manner in which these two had faithfully served the cause of the Kashmiris.
It was now time for the meeting to begin. The hall was full to its capacity and slogans of Sheikh Abdullah Zinda Baad were constantly being raised. He asked me to occupy a chair on the stage alongside some other Kashmiri leaders which I did.
A few years later I visited Kashmir in December .I was received by Our Missionary stationed at Srinagar at the airport along with some other Ahmadis.He told me that he had informed Sheikh Abdullah, who was then the prime Minister of Kashmir, of my forthcoming visit. Due to winter the Government departments and the Prime Minister himself had shifted to Jammu. He instructed the missionary to convey his Salaam to me and to ask me to see him at Jammu, if possible, as his guest. Unfortunately I had no time to visit Jammu and meet the Sheikh. However I thanked him for his kind invitation.









Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 23: Meeting President Ayub Khan of Pakistan

In 1962 when the former Chief Martial Law Administrator, Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan, the President of Pakistan came to England he stayed in Claridges Hotel. Apart from having sent him a telegram welcoming him on behalf of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in Britain, a request was made for an audience, to which he kindly agreed and indicated a time for a meeting. According to the program, a delegation consisting of the members of the Jamaat, in which I was also included, went to the Hotel. On arrival, we discovered that the President had cancelled all his appointments for the day as he had received news that an American U 2 Spy plane, as it was flying over their space and had taken off from Pakistan, had been shot down by the Russians.

Mr Khrushchev had threatened that he had put a red ring around Peshawar. If need be, he said, he would not hesitate to destroy Peshawar. This news prominently appeared in all the English newspapers. When we arrived at the Hotel the Military Secretary to the President told us that although the President had cancelled all other appointments for the day, the President had however instructed that he would meet the Jamaat Ahmadiyya delegation. We sat down in the waiting room. Outside the President’s room were TV cameras, press representatives and some government officials. When we saw this array, we felt certain that in these circumstances a meeting would not be possible and that the President would be justified in canceling the meeting.
After a short while, the Military Secretary told us that the President would see us. However, he suggested that the meeting should not last more than ten minutes as the press representatives wanted to ask the President many questions. We entered the President’s room and he met us with great humility. He told us that before his departure from Pakistan he had received a request from the Ahmadiyya Jamaat for provision of Foreign Exchange for the construction of Mosques in Foreign Countries. He said that on receipt of this request he sent for the Finance Minister and asked him to accept the application for Foreign Exchange. He added that the Finance Minister said to him:

“Sir, if this application from the Ahmadis is granted then the Mullahs would create a rumpus and that it is quite possible that they too would apply for Foreign Exchange and currently there is a dearth of Foreign Exchange.”

He said he told the Finance Minister

“Jamaat Ahmadiyya was the only Jamaat that was propagating Islam throughout the world. This work is not financed by any government but is wholly based on financial contributions by the poor members of the Jamaat. Have the Moulvis ever served Islam abroad? They only agitate and disturb law and order. I therefore direct that the application from the Jamaat may be granted and if the Moulvis create disorder I will settle with them myself.”
The President said to us:

“You are rendering great service in Africa and I value this endeavor. You may convey a message to your Centre that any Foreign Exchange needed for propagation of Islam in Africa will be provided.”
After a lapse of ten minutes, the Military Secretary opened the door and signaled to us to conclude the meeting. Looking at him the President asked the Military Secretary to send in some tea and coffee for us. He asked us if we were in a hurry. In answer, we told him that we were in no hurry but due to his pre occupations, we did not wish to take up too much of his time. The President said that only the Press Representatives were waiting outside. He said that they could wait and we could stay. He enquired how many, because of our propagation, enter Islam in England in one year. We said that although only very few embrace Islam but the misunderstandings regarding the teachings of Islam existing in the minds of the British public are removed. We told him that the orient-lists and clergy present a horrible picture of Islam and we challenge them and deal with them energetically and in this field, we were gaining success. This way we said, the misunderstandings that arise in the minds of the public were being removed. We said that we felt that after a while the day would dawn when people would begin to embrace Islam in droves.
The President said that it was his wish that we should further boost our efforts in Africa so that Islam would spread there rapidly. He further said that if the majority of the African countries became citadels of Islam, God willing, in the International Forums, Islamic views would begin to be heard with greater attention. He said that he had made a deep study of African mind and had concluded that the African were not biased or prejudiced. However, they were somewhat naïve. Once they understand a proposition, he said, they stick to the truth firmly and do not care for opposition to the truth. We advised the President of the service that the Jamaat was rendering in Africa. The meeting, which was meant to last for ten minutes, continued for forty-five minutes. We left happily and were deeply impressed by his manners, simplicity and forthright talk.

A few years later the President paid another visit to the United Kingdom. The Pakistan High Commissioner in Britain called me and told me that the President was shortly to visit the United Kingdom. He said that the President himself had directed that amongst those who would be present at the Airport to welcome him the Imam of the Fazl Mosque in London should be included. The High Commissioner very kindly sent an Embassy car for me. A whole row of people stood next to the aircraft from which the President alighted. He shook hands with all of them and when it was my turn, with a smile he asked:

“In this year how many Christians have you converted to Islam?”

Then, addressing the High Commissioner he said:

“The Imam should be invited to all the functions that are to be held during my visit to England.”

I was deeply impressed by his magnanimity and enviable manners. In 1971, I had the great privilege of serving Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III as his Private Secretary. In August 1971, Huzoor went to Islamabad and stayed in a rented house. In that year a Moulvi had made an attempt to kill Mr M.M. Ahmad. He had suffered grievous injuries but miraculously the Almighty saved his life. Because of this incident, Huzoor’s stay in Islamabad continued to be extended. We learnt that the former President of Pakistan, Field Marshal Ayub Khan, was spending his days of retirement in a nearby house.

Sahibzada Mirza Fareed Ahmad and I sought permission from Huzoor to visit the Field Marshal. With Huzoor’s permission, we obtained an appointment with him.
At eleven o’clock the next day, we went to see the Field Marshal. I was extremely surprised at the sharpness of his memory. As soon as we entered the drawing room, he said:

“Do you not now live in London.”

I submitted that Huzoor had recalled me to Pakistan and that currently I was serving as his Private Secretary. We talked on various subjects and he took particular interest in the progress of the Jamaat. Then, most unassumingly, he asked us to request Huzoor to pray for him. He also said that he would like to present himself before Huzoor. When we reported the details of our visit to Huzoor, we also told him that the Field Marshal was in poor health and looked frail. At this Huzoor said:

“In that case I will go and see him.”

That was settled. An appointment was made and Huzoor called on him at his residence. The Field Marshall came out in the porch to receive Huzoor and escorted him to his sitting room. Huzoor spent quite a while with him. The Field Marshal himself came as far as the car to see him off. Both on Huzoor’s arrival and on his departure he himself opened the door of Huzoor’s car. As Huzoor was leaving, once again he made a request for prayers.














Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 24: Maulana Yaqoob Khan of Woking

In 1959 when I reached London Maulana Muhammad Yaqoob Khan was the Imam of the Woking Mosque. He belonged to Pirpiaiee, a village at a short distance from my village. He was on extremely friendly terms with my father. In the early days, he was the Headmaster of the Muslim Model School in Lahore. Hadhrat Mirza Muzaffar Ahmad was one of his pupils. For many years, the Maulana edited the Daily Civil and Military Gazette. Later on, he also edited ‘The Light’, a magazine belonging to the Anjuman Ishaat Islam. During the Kashmiri’s struggle for liberation, under the guidance of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II the Maulana also had the good fortune of making a significant contribution.
At the time of my departure from Pakistan my father had asked me to meet the Maulana as he was a perfect gentleman and also in accordance with the Pukhtoons traditions he was very hospitable.
A few months after my arrival in London I received a letter from my uncle (Khaloo) Hadhrat Qazi Muhammad Yusuf, Amir of the Frontier Province. He had instructed me to convey his letter to Maulana Muhammad Yaqoob. He had also instructed me that I should read the letter before delivering it. The gist of the letter written by Qazi Sahib to the Maulana was as follows:
When Maulana Yaqoob Khan was, a student of the Islamia College in Peshawar Hadhrat Qazi Sahib regularly visited the college to convey the message of Ahmadiyyat. The Maulana was one amongst those under his Tableegh. Qazi Sahib had given the Maulana a few books by the Promised Messiah (pbuh) to read. Qazi sahib said that every week he would go to the college and answer any questions raised by the Maulana. This process continued for quite a while. Finally the Maulana swore allegiance at the hand of Khalifa tul Masih I. Qazi Sahib added that when he was under Tableegh, Qazi Sahib never introduced the Promised Messiah to him as a mere Reformer. Instead, he always presented him as a Subordinate Prophet. When the Maulana swore allegiance, he surely believed that the Promised Messiah (pbuh) had been granted the station of a Prophet.

Qazi Sahib continued and said that he was swearing by God that when he placed his hand at the hand of the Promised messiah (pbuh) for Baiat’ he was absolutely certain that he was placing his hand at the hand of the ‘Prophet of the Age’. Qazi Sahib then posed a question.

‘After having accepted the Promised Messiah (pbuh) as a prophet, influenced by Moulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib why you have strayed away from the true path?’
As soon as I received the letter, I telephoned the Maulana and introduced myself. I also told him of the letter that I had received for him from Hadhrat Qazi Sahib. I also conveyed to him my father’s greetings. The Maulana appeared very pleased at having received my telephone call. He said that Qazi Sahib’s letter could have been sent to him by post but it was his wish that I should visit him and meet him. Accordingly he invited me for lunch on the following Sunday when I was received with great warmth. As soon as I looked at the Maulana’s countenance, I was convinced that this face belonged to a Muttaqi. He was handsome, tall, with a white beard and had a large Karakul hat on his head.
To begin with, we talked about Hadhrat Qazi Sahib and my father. Maulana Muhammad Tufail, at that time Imam of the Berlin Mosque and who, later on, for a long time, served as Imam of the Woking Mosque, joined us for a sumptuous meal. The conversation that ensued was both interesting and enlightening. Maulana Tufail said:

“For no reason at all you believe that Mirza Mahmud Ahmad is the Musleh Maood. The Musleh Maood will appear a lot later. Have you any proof that Mirza Mahmud Ahmad is the Musleh Maood?”

I said:

“Surely you believe the Hadeeth in which the Holy Prophet (pbuh)said that Satan cannot assume his appearance and surely you will also agree that the Satan cannot assume the resemblance of the Promised Messiah (pbuh)”

Maulana Tufail said that he accepted this tradition to be true. Then I said:
“I swear by the Almighty that I have seen a very clear and transparent dream in which the Promised Messiah confirmed that Mirza Mahmud Ahmad was the Musleh Maood.”
I related my dream as follows:

“In a dream I saw a raised platform in the middle of a vast ground in which there were a large number of people assembled. A few were seated on the raised platform and I was one of them. Right in the middle of the raised platform sat Hadhrat Mirza Mahmud Ahmad on a chair. There was complete silence in which one could hear a pin drop. It was announced that the Promised Messiah (pbuh) is on his way. I saw the Promised Messiah taking slow steps towards the platform. He had a staff in his hand and was wearing a long robe. In a short while, he got to the chair on which Hadhrat Mirza Mahmud was seated. Huzur placed his hand on the shoulder of Hadhrat Mirza Mahmud Ahmad and said;

‘Some people are spreading misinformation concerning this son of mine. Today I wish to make it quite clear as to what his status is in the spiritual world.’ Then in a loud voice, the Promised Messiah repeated the words of the prophecy concerning the Musleh Mauood. After mentioning each attribute, pointing towards his son, he said that this attribute had been granted to him. In this manner he read the whole of the prophecy and again and again confirmed that it pertained to Hadhrat Mirza Mahmud Ahmad. In the end, in a most inspiring manner the Promised Messiah said; ‘Remember that Mahmud is a solid rock, whoever collides with him will be out of order into smithereens and with whosoever he collides with will be broken into smithereens’. After this the Promised messiah departed.”
I asked Maulana Tufail what he had to say in this regard. He said that since I had seen the dream it might be a proof to me.
Maulana Muhammad Yaqoob listened to our conversation in complete silence. After lunch I offered two Nawafil in the Shah Jehan Mosque and then took leave of the Maulana. I asked him if he was going to reply to the letter from Qazi Sahib. The Maulana said that he would send a reply to Qazi Sahib’s letter by post. A few days later, I received an open letter from Maulana Yaqoob Khan, addressed to Qazi sahib written in Pushto, which I read. In his letter, he said that every word contained in Qazi Sahib’s letter was true. He tried to justify and explain his position by saying that the boat in which he was sailing had covered a great distance. However, he did ask for prayers. I posted the letter to Qazi Sahib.
Later on I met the Maulana on many occasions and during every meeting, I found him absolutely full of praise for the Musleh Maood. I was indeed surprised that although he belonged to the ‘Ehl e Paigham’, in his own heart he had such great esteem for the Musleh Maood.
A short while later, before his return to Pakistan, the Maulana came to the London Fazl Mosque to see me and my wife Salima Begum. He said that he had made up his mind to spend a whole day with us. I thoroughly enjoyed his interesting and instructive discourse.
Shortly after his return to Pakistan he wrote to Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III saying that he wanted to swear allegiance at his hand. To enable him to fill in the necessary form for joining the fold Huzoor directed Hadhrat Maulana Abul Ata to meet Maulana Muhammad Yaqoob. After signing on the dotted line the Maulana asked Maulana Abul Ata to particularly advise me in London as I also had contributed in his joining the fold. Maulana Abul Ata wrote to me and congratulated me.
In the same year during the Jalsa Salaana at Rabwah Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Yaqoob summoned me and met me with great warmth. He offered very many prayers for me and then he made enquiries concerning the Mosque in Woking. I told him that the Mosque was no longer in the custody of ‘Ehl e Paigham’ but was in the control of non Ahmadi Muslims. He said:
“That is good; in that Mosque a Baiat in the name of the Promised Messiah could not be managed, how could such a Mosque then be linked with Ahmadiyyat?”













Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 25: Construction of Mahmood Hall Complex

In 1964 I submitted a proposal to the Centre that the two houses belonging to the Jamaat at 61 and 63 Melrose Road should be demolished and instead a new, attractive and spacious Mission House be built. The Centre approved the proposal and made it a condition that the necessary funds may be borrowed which could be returned in installments. Under instructions from the Centre a ‘Building Committee’ was constituted of which, apart from me, Abdul Aziz Deen and Moulvi Abdur Rahman were members. The committee made contacts with several Finance Companies, and finally a Building Society agreed that they would arrange to put up a building according to our plans and over 25 years the Centre would pay back the sum in installments.
Our plans were approved by Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III and then we set about obtaining approval from local authorities. When we were ready for signing the Agreement, suddenly and without any prior notice the Building Society withdrew their offer to provide the necessary funds. Our endeavors during the previous year went to complete waste. The day following the refusal by the Building Society, from Holland, Hadhrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan came to London. He stayed with me and during our conversation over dinner; I said that the Building Society had refused to finance the project. Since I was disheartened and disappointment I spoke with great anguish. I said that a whole year’s efforts of the Building Committee had been wasted and that our dream of providing a spacious, beautiful and comfortable Mission House had come to nothing.
At that time, Chaudhry Sahib kept quiet and that was the end of the matter. During the following week, when Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib came back to London he again stayed with me. At dinner he asked that if he personally financed the building of the new Mission House on the same terms as the Building Society would the Centre approve? I said:

“What else could the Centre possibly want? If your offer is firm I will write to Huzoor immediately for his approval.”

Chaudhry Sahib agreed and I immediately wrote to Huzoor and Huzoor conveyed his approval to me by telegram. It was therefore agreed that Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib would finance the building of the new Mission House and after completion, over a period of 25 years; the Centre would return him the loan. At that time it was estimated that the building would cost around £100,000. Building plans were sent to Huzoor and were returned to me with his approval and the construction started.

When the building work had been completed we were confronted with another problem i.e. provision of curtains, carpets, furniture and other necessary furnishings. The agreement with Chaudhry Sahib was confined to the construction of the building. For assistance in the matter of provision of these items I sought assistance from Chaudhry Sahib. He said:

“This was not included in the agreement. However, where so much money has been spent, I might as well finance the purchase of these items as well.”
When the construction and decoration had been completed, in accordance with instructions from Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III, I presented a Draft of the ‘Agreement’ to Chaudhry Sahib. He said that he would study the draft and the following week the signatures would be affixed. Through his benevolence, Huzoor had authorised me to sign on behalf of the Centre. When Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib came from Holland the next week he said that he had studied the agreement and he was prepared to sign it. I said:

“I will call a meeting of the Executive Committee so that the Agreement may be signed in their presence.”

The following morning Chaudhry Sahib said:

“I have been pondering over this matter throughout the night and to a degree I remained anxious and restless.
Addressing myself I said;

‘Whatever you have is an outcome of Allah’s Mercy and Grace. When Allah did not impose any conditions when He gave you the wealth you have, why should you then, when you are returning a portion of it, impose conditions? Is there any justification for it? If you wish to gain His pleasure, on your own accord, you may express your gratitude to Allah by making a donation of the money you have spent.’

He said that he had torn up the agreement and prayed that may the new Mission House bring blessings to the Jamaat.


he said in a very solemnly tone,

‘There is a stipulation to this deal. The fact that I have provided all the expenses incurred in connection with the construction of the new Mission House should not be made public during my lifetime. This is only a gift from me to the Jamaat.”

During his lifetime no mention was made of the fact that Mahmood Complex was constructed with the contributions of Hadhrat Chaudhri Sahib.






















Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 26: Meetings with Mr Kenneth Craig

In 1964 I submitted a proposal to the Centre that the two houses belonging to the Jamaat at 61 and 63 Melrose Road should be demolished and instead a new, attractive and spacious Mission House be built. The Centre approved the proposal and made it a condition that the necessary funds may be borrowed which could be returned in installments. Under instructions from the Centre a ‘Building Committee’ was constituted of which, apart from me, Abdul Aziz Deen and Moulvi Abdur Rahman were members. The committee made contacts with several Finance Companies, and finally a Building Society agreed that they would arrange to put up a building according to our plans and over 25 years the Centre would pay back the sum in installments.
Our plans were approved by Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III and then we set about obtaining approval from local authorities. When we were ready for signing the Agreement, suddenly and without any prior notice the Building Society withdrew their offer to provide the necessary funds. Our endeavors during the previous year went to complete waste. The day following the refusal by the Building Society, from Holland, Hadhrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan came to London. He stayed with me and during our conversation over dinner; I said that the Building Society had refused to finance the project. Since I was disheartened and disappointment I spoke with great anguish. I said that a whole year’s efforts of the Building Committee had been wasted and that our dream of providing a spacious, beautiful and comfortable Mission House had come to nothing.
At that time, Chaudhry Sahib kept quiet and that was the end of the matter. During the following week, when Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib came back to London he again stayed with me. At dinner he asked that if he personally financed the building of the new Mission House on the same terms as the Building Society would the Centre approve? I said:

“What else could the Centre possibly want? If your offer is firm I will write to Huzoor immediately for his approval.”

Chaudhry Sahib agreed and I immediately wrote to Huzoor and Huzoor conveyed his approval to me by telegram. It was therefore agreed that Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib would finance the building of the new Mission House and after completion, over a period of 25 years; the Centre would return him the loan. At that time it was estimated that the building would cost around £100,000. Building plans were sent to Huzoor and were returned to me with his approval and the construction started.

When the building work had been completed we were confronted with another problem i.e. provision of curtains, carpets, furniture and other necessary furnishings. The agreement with Chaudhry Sahib was confined to the construction of the building. For assistance in the matter of provision of these items I sought assistance from Chaudhry Sahib. He said:

“This was not included in the agreement. However, where so much money has been spent, I might as well finance the purchase of these items as well.”
When the construction and decoration had been completed, in accordance with instructions from Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III, I presented a Draft of the ‘Agreement’ to Chaudhry Sahib. He said that he would study the draft and the following week the signatures would be affixed. Through his benevolence, Huzoor had authorised me to sign on behalf of the Centre. When Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib came from Holland the next week he said that he had studied the agreement and he was prepared to sign it. I said:

“I will call a meeting of the Executive Committee so that the Agreement may be signed in their presence.”

The following morning Chaudhry Sahib said:

“I have been pondering over this matter throughout the night and to a degree I remained anxious and restless.
Addressing myself I said;

‘Whatever you have is an outcome of Allah’s Mercy and Grace. When Allah did not impose any conditions when He gave you the wealth you have, why should you then, when you are returning a portion of it, impose conditions? Is there any justification for it? If you wish to gain His pleasure, on your own accord, you may express your gratitude to Allah by making a donation of the money you have spent.’

He said that he had torn up the agreement and prayed that may the new Mission House bring blessings to the Jamaat.


he said in a very solemnly tone,

‘There is a stipulation to this deal. The fact that I have provided all the expenses incurred in connection with the construction of the new Mission House should not be made public during my lifetime. This is only a gift from me to the Jamaat.”

During his lifetime no mention was made of the fact that Mahmood Complex was constructed with the contributions of Hadhrat Chaudhri Sahib.























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 27: Meeting Montgomery Watt

Even when I was a student, I had heard the name of Mr Montgomery Watt and I had been impressed by the fact that he had written a number of books on Islam. Although I did not get an opportunity to read his books when I was at college, on arrival in England, however, I had the urge to read his books, particularly ‘Muhammad at Mecca’ and ‘Muhammad at Medina’. I was also keen to meet him. He was then Professor of Islamic Studies at the Edinburgh University. I wrote to him and expressed a desire to meet him. I was surprised to receive his reply telling me that he would soon be visiting London. He also told me when he would be free for a meeting. A few days later, I invited him for lunch at a restaurant. That was our first meeting. I asked him how he had become interested in Islam. He said that when in 1937 his mother died suddenly, as a mere student, inevitably he had to face some financial problems. It therefore became necessary for him to advertise and look for a paying guest. A student of Veterinary Medicine moved in with him.

The young guest was an Ahmadi and they often exchanged views over breakfast. The young student displayed a great sense of honor for Islam and it was he who introduced him to Islam. Then he became interested in a detailed study of religions. After an in depth study, to gain further knowledge of Islam, he visited some Arab countries. He completed his PhD at Edinburgh on “freewill and predestination in early Islam”.
Between 1944 and 1946 he worked in Palestine under the Bishop of Jerusalem. In 1947 he became head of the department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Edinburgh University from where he retired in 1979. He received the title of Professor.
Only then, he said, he felt that he was competent to write books on Islamic subjects. This meeting was not only very interesting but also very informative. I presented him with some Ahmadi publications, some of which, he said, he had already read.
A little later, the Ahmadiyya UK Mission organized a meeting on ‘Seerat un Nabi’. I invited Mr Montgomery Watt to participate and speak on the life of the Holy Prophet (saw). Accepting the invitation he visited London and stayed in a nearby Hotel. However, I insisted that, on the two days of the proceedings, he should have both meals with me at my residence. By then Hadhrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan had moved into the upper floor flat in the Mission House. He joined us for both meals and for me those lunches and dinners became treasures of knowledge and devotion.

Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib would talk about a variety of incidents in his own life, such as meetings with the Promised Messiah (pbuh) and his successors. He also touched upon some political subjects. I would often invite other guests to join us for meals and they too profited from his company. {This practice continued for many years and I benefited enormously from this spring of benevolence.}
Once when Professor Montgomery Watt was invited for lunch at my residence, he met Chaudhry Sahib and this was a most fascinating encounter. Two world famous dignitaries sat at the same table and talked about Islam. Chaudhry Sahib said to Mr Montgomery Watt:

“I was deeply disappointed on reading your book ‘Muhammad at Mecca’.
In it you had leveled erroneous and unsavory allegations against the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw). After reading this book, I had made up my mind never to read another book written by you. However, a little later, a friend presented to me your book ‘Muhammad at Medina’. I told my friend that I was determined never to read another book written by Mr Watt, as in his first book, mention of the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw), was not really based on truth. I felt that you had written that book wearing prejudicial glasses. My friend told me that in the new book you would find that the attitude of the author had altered radically. He urged me to read it. When I read it I was greatly surprised and pleased as I found that your attitude had undergone a complete transformation. In the new book you have presented the various events in the correct light.”

Mr Watt replied:

“Sir, you have correctly assessed the situation. When I wrote my first book ‘Muhammad at Mecca’ my knowledge of Islam was strictly limited. After further studies I became familiar with the exalted and lofty station of the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw). By writing my second book ‘Muhammad at Medina’, I have made a sincere attempt to compensate for the earlier errors. I have now attempted to present the various events in the correct light.”
Although he was an author of more then thirty books, I was greatly impressed by his humility. He had already written many books on Islam that had gained great fame and acceptance. He had established friendly relationships with a number of Heads of State, Kings and high officials in the Arab World. Even in the remotest corner of his mind, I found no trace of pride or arrogance. He always met me with warmth and listened attentively to whatever I had to say. Even obliquely, he never hinted that he was a renowned scholar. He displayed the same attitude when he met Chaudhry Sahib. He sat with him respectfully as if Chaudhry Sahib was his tutor.
























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 28: Beginnings of the
Annual Conventions (Jalsa) UK

In April 1964, I was appointed Imam of the Fazl Mosque in London. Shortly after assuming charge I felt that for the education and training of the Jamaat in England it was essential to hold Annual Conventions (Jalsas) so that at least once a year all Ahmadis in England and some from the Continent could get together. I called a meeting of the Executive Committee to chalk out a program for the holding of the First Annual Jalsa.
In those days, we had acute financial problems. In any case holding an Annual Convention was no simple task. With trust in God and in consultation with certain friends, it was decided that a beginning should be made in that very year. A committee was formed for this purpose. The dates fixed for the Annual Convention were announced through the ‘Muslim Herald’ and the ‘Akhbar e Ahmadiyya’. The European Missions were also advised of the dates.
It was decided to hold the Convention on the 29th and 30th August 1964. This was the first historic Convention of the British Jamaats.

Accommodation for members who were to visit London for the Convention proved to be a complicated problem. A committee was formed and through Friday Sermons and ‘Akhbar Ahmadiyya’ members of the London Jamaat were repeatedly invited to spare some space in their houses for the guests. At that time the British Jamaat mostly consisted of young men. There were very few members who had their families with them. The young men mostly lived in one or two room bachelor lodgings. However, with His Mercy and Grace, members of the London Jamaat, displaying the spirit of selflessness and sacrifice, accommodated visitors in their houses. Mostly they set apart their sitting rooms to lodge the guests. His Mercy and Grace solved that problem in this manner. Members from Scotland, Bristol, Gillingham, Manchester, Oxford, Preston, Bradford and Birmingham came to participate in the Annual Convention. All meals were served in the Mosque premises. The house at 63 Melrose Road then served as the Mission House. In its basement, there was a spacious kitchen in which all the meals were cooked. The team responsible for cooking remained in the basement both day and night. They served the two meals to all the guests. Tea was served round the clock. Arrangements were also made to serve special meals to those on a diet. May Allah abundantly reward all those who helped.

In 1964, Hadhrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan was a Judge at the International Court of Justice at The Hague. When I invited him to participate in the convention he accepted my invitation with pleasure.. Two or three weeks before the arrival of the guests, on a regular basis, members of the London Jamaat performed ‘Waqar e Amal’ (dignity of labour). They thoroughly cleaned the Mosque and the surrounding compound. They also cut the grass and attended to the garden.
Some non-Muslims had been specially invited to the Convention. We also knocked at the doors of all our neighbours and invited them to the Convention. Many did participate and joined us at our meals. Some Tableegh publications prepared for this purpose were presented to them. The report of the Annual Convention that was published in the September 1964 issue of the ‘Muslim Herald’ appears below:
“THE FIRST ANNUAL GATHERING” of the Ahmadis residing in the United Kingdom was organized at the London Mosque on Saturday, the 29th August 1964. In order to participate in this get-together members from Bradford, Birmingham, Bristol, Gillingham, Hayes, Southall, Oxford, Manchester, Preston, Glasgow and other centres came early in the day.
Elaborate arrangements had been made beforehand in the Mosque premises for this purpose. Accommodation was provided for those who had come from other counties. The London Ahmadis generously offered free accommodation to their guests. The Mission also arranged for their food and tea.
The program commenced with the recitation of the Holy Quran by Mr Masud Ahmad and the singing of religious songs by some vocally gifted individuals. Sh: Mahmood ul Hasan, Member of the Board of Revenue, East Pakistan, who is on a private visit to this country, took the chair for the morning session.
In the opening speech the Imam drew the attention of the audience to the vision of the Promised Messiah that he was delivering a speech in London and after it he had caught some white partridges. He pointed out that a part of the vision had already come true as in and around London, his missionaries gave a number of talks on Islam each year. The Imam emphasized that the time had come when the second part of the dream was to be fulfilled. He expected that English people would join the fold of Islam as the white partridges according to the interpretation of the vision, referred to the English.
The Imam laid stress on the importance of the sacrifice of time and money in order to carry on the work of the spreading of Islam in this country with more vigor. He said that it is the keynote of any success that is to be achieved since without a concerted effort one cannot push the work of the Tableegh ahead.
Mr A. R. Chowdry then read the various messages, which had been received, from our Missions in Africa, America, Europe and the Far East. Besides these a message from the Wakeel-ul- Tabshir, Rabwah, Pakistan, was also received and read. These messages congratulated the Imam on holding the first Annual Gathering in London and drew the attention of the Jamaat here to the importance of the task that lay ahead.
Mr Naseer Ahmad Khan, (Lecturer, T.I. College, Rabwah), read his paper on the various aspects of the Khilafat and its important role in Ahmadiyyat.
Next, the Chairman, Mr Mahmood ul Hasan spoke on the importance of the spiritual uplift and the moral discipline. In his speech he emphasized that according to the Holy Quran one of the main objects of the advent of the Promised Messiah was the spiritual uplift (i.e. Tajziyah-e-Nafs) of the humanity especially of the Muslims and Ahmadis. Tajziyah-e-Nafs is a spiritual exercise, which requires constant personal guidance from a spiritual leader. The leader exercises on the character of those who seek his companionship and contact a sublime influence analogous to the effect of a magnet on a piece of steel. Besides being attracted to it the piece of steel itself becomes magnetized as long as it is under the influence of the principal source of power. If the piece of steel goes beyond the magnetic field, it ceases to exercise magnetic properties; but if it remains in contact with a primary source of magnetism for a sufficiently long time it acquires magnetic properties permanently. So it is that the companionship of spiritually elevated personages has the effect of purifying the spirit of followers. Quoting Maulana Room, he said that the point has been aptly described in his famous mathnavi in the following verse:
“The spiritual benefit, which a person can derive by constant personal contact with a saintly person, is much greater than what one can acquire through a hundred years spent in formal prayers.”
The speaker also emphasized the point that like all other exercises spiritual exercises required constant application of physical, intellectual and moral forces. These faculties are much sharper during youth and decline, as we grow old, become feeble or next to nothing at the stage of seventy. It was an erroneous idea for young men to think that one could put off devotion to spiritual exercises to the later stage of one’s life. The most suitable age for the acquisition of moral and spiritual values was the period of youth.
After the lunch and mid-day prayers, the second session commenced with Professor A. Salaam in the Chair. Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, (Judge at the International Court of Justice, Hague), gave a speech in which he emphasized the importance of setting up a personal example and model of all that we claimed and said. Addressing the Ahmadis gathered on the occasion Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan suggested,
“If we proudly claim to be morally, spiritually and culturally superior to all mankind then it becomes our great responsibility that our own actions should reflect the teachings of which we are the privileged inheritors.”
Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan continuing his speech drew the attention of the members of the Community by saying that they were fortunate that they had come and settled in a country whose religion and culture was different to their own. It happily provided them with a great opportunity to show by their example that their culture and their beliefs and consequently their faith was in every respect superior to any other culture or faith. No other tableigh could be more effective than their own example and actions.
“For this”

he said,

“One should not fear that the Community is in a minority. Every prophet who revolutionizes the entire nation does so single-handed at first. He brings a doctrine quite contrary to the one followed by all the others. Through his own model and example, he brings a complete transformation in the land where he sows the seeds of his faith. So work hard on this side in order to get the pleasure of God. Be fair in your dealings, as God loves those who are fair to all. And above all set up an example so that all the people might walk in your way.”

On the second day, the program commenced under the chair of Mr A.A. Dean. Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan again addressed a large crowd of about four hundred people both the English and Pakistanis. The subject of his address was the life of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of God be upon him).











Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 29: The First European Muslim Convention

In 1965 in the course of Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan’s visit to London, in an inspiring manner, he made a mention of the names and their sincerity to the Faith of several European converts. He expressed a desire to hold a convention of such European Ahmadis so that they may be provided an opportunity to interact with each other. Ways and means, he said, of their further education and training could be discussed in this convention. I offered my services for the holding of such a convention and said that the Centre (Rabwah) permitting the convention could be held in London. I accepted responsibility for making all the necessary arrangements. I wrote to Rabwah and they granted permission. By the Grace of Allah a successful convention was held. A report, by Mr A.R. Chaudhry covering this event, was published in the ‘Muslim Herald’ issue of August/September 1965, which follows.
“The First European Muslims Convention“
With the ever-increasing activities of our Missions on the continent of Europe, it was thought appropriate to have a get together of the Ahmadi Muslims in order to foster the bond of spiritual fraternity and faith amongst them. Accordingly, the Ahmadiyya Jamaat of Great Britain as the host made all possible arrangements for the delegates who came to London to take part in the deliberations of the convention. The London Ahmadis generously offered the guests free accommodation, transport and their hospitality. The Lajna Amaulla, (the organisation of Ahmadi ladies), undertook to cook meals for them during their stay here. They did this painful job in an admirable cheerful manner.
On Sunday the 1st August, the hall of the Mission House presented a picture of a miniature U.N.O. where the Swiss, German, Danish, Swedish, Italian, Arab, Spanish, English, Pakistani and Indian delegates sat with mounting impatience to listen, besides the welcome speeches of the host Imam B.A. Rafiq and the Secretary, Imam M.A. Bajwa (Switzerland), to the inaugural address of Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan. In his inspiring address the speaker said that he considered this convention as a milestone of the propagation of Islam in Europe. He emphasized the point that as we have succeeded in setting up a family of Ahmadis on the continent it was necessary now to do our best to establish as quickly as possible the ideals of Islamic example, culture and brotherhood.
Mr A.S. Madsen (Denmark) in his speech on the propagation of Islam in Europe put forwards some of the new ways and means to achieve our object. He suggested the opening of the study circles at each centre and laid stress on giving training to the new converts to the faith. Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan endorsing his views added that the time had approached when the local individuals could be usefully trained to assist the Pakistani missionaries in their work.
In the afternoon, Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan addressed the audience on the important subject of existence of God and on establishing a firm connection with Him. Quoting several verses from the Holy Quran he explained to them that the true and lasting peace of mind and tranquillity could only be had through ones own relationship with Him.
On Monday, Mr A.R. (Switzerland) gave his commendable talk on ‘Some Aspects of Islamic State’, while Mr Eriksson (Sweden) gave his views on the crucifixion of Jesus. Mr Muhammad Naim-ul-Islam (Holland) spoke quite convincingly on Islam and Christianity. All the three talks had an exclusive standard of their own, which provoked a good discussion.
Mr E.A. Kunzi read out his admirable paper on the quest of the real God. His speech ‘From Humanism to the Unknown Real God’ is being reproduced in this issue.
The women delegates also addressed the gathering in a series of sweet little talks. Miss J. Koopmann, Miss N. Esseiva and Miss F. Paganini had the charming simplicity of their address, which was undoubtedly rich with ideas.
Mr Ibrahim Odeh conveyed the message of affection from the Ahmadis of Kababeer (Israel). Dr. M. Nassem read his scholarly paper on ‘The Missionary Spirit in Islam’.
At the close of the four days session Miss M. Cummins, on behalf of the U.K. Jamaat, thanked the guests for their inspiring talks and for the interest, they had taken in this religious gathering.
At the end, a meeting of the elected representatives and the missionaries took place. Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan was in the chair. The discussions centered round the following points:
Difficulties in the way of propaganda of Islam in Europe.
(i) Cultural conflicts. (ii) Need of an Islamic journal for Europe. (iii) Need of strengthening consciousness of Islamic brotherhood and personal relation between individuals and mission.
Some useful points emerged out of the discussions. Here was a small group of enthusiasts who took stock of their achievements, discussed their problems, reviewed their needs and planned to speed up their work. They seemed to join hands for the massive conquest of Europe for the Muslim faith. It should be noted here that besides the few intelligent speeches which added freshness to the proceedings of the convention, the contributions of Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan by way of advice and guidance was undoubtedly great. His presence brought confidence to the members and his benevolent effect on the convention was to tug them all towards conformity by establishing the true spirit of common objective and ideal Islamic zeal.
It is to be added here that Lajna Imaulla gave a special reception to the lady guests during the convention. Mrs Tahira Chowdry welcomed them in an address. Mrs Nusrat Esseiva (Switzerland) in giving the reply thanked them for their hospitality.
The success of the convention rested on the untiring zeal of Mr B.A. Rafiq, the Imam of the London mosque and his executive committee. The Lajna, too, deserves credit for the hard work they had put in for a number of days. May Allah bless them all with His favor. Amen.










Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 30: Visit to Liberia

In June 1967 Mubarak Ahmad Saqi, who was then Ameer and Missionary in Charge in Liberia wrote to me to tell me that in the immediate future the Liberian President was visiting England. He recommended that, on his arrival, the British Ahmadiyya Jamaat should welcome him. He said that the President’s relationship with the Jamaat in Liberia was both warm and cordial.
I contacted the British Foreign Office and obtained the necessary information concerning President Tubman’s visit to Britain. The Liberian President, after completing his official business spread over three days, settled in the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington where he had reserved a whole wing. I contacted his Private Secretary and asked for an appointment to see him. He returned my call the next day and told me that I could see the President, only for ten minutes, two days later. Accordingly, I got to the Hotel to meet the President. His staff, which had accompanied him from Liberia, had taken control of the management of that wing of the Hotel, which had been reserved for them. Even a lift was set apart for the exclusive use of the President, his staff and his guests.
I found the President, sitting by himself, in a beautiful, well decorated drawing room. He got up to receive me and after making the normal courteous enquiries, he expressed complete satisfaction and approval concerning the work of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Liberia. He said that he had issued standing instructions that Mr Mubarak Ahmad Saqi should be invited to all National functions. I thanked him and then very briefly I gave him an account of the British Mission. When ten minutes had elapsed, the Private Secretary opened the door and signaled to me to leave. I was about to get up when the President said that I couldn’t possibly leave, as I had not even had some coffee. He instructed his Private Secretary to send in some coffee. Therefore, the interview continued for forty-five minutes. We talked on various religious subjects. Although he was a Christian, he believed in the Unity of God and was a champion of religious tolerance. I invited him to visit the Fazl Mosque in London and he very kindly granted my request. He said that the exact date and time could be determined later. The following day his Private Secretary told me when the President would visit the Mosque. I requested that when the President visits the Mosque he should have a meal with us. Accepting our request the President told us that forty people would accompany him. Amongst them would be some Ministers, some Generals and some members of the staff Of Liberian TV and Radio and of course some journalists.

I requested Sir Zafrulla Khan, who was then in The Hague, to join us on this historic occasion..
On the day the President was to visit the Mosque a Chief of the British Police and some Senior Police Officers came to the Mosque to assess the security arrangements. Some local press reporters also turned up. Around the Mosque there was considerable hustle and bustle. At six in the evening, the President, along with his retinue, duly escorted by the British Police, arrived at the Mosque. Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan, Abdul Aziz Deen and I received him. He visited the Mosque where, in some detail, he was advised of its history and its importance. After his visit to the Mosque, he was escorted to the Hall at 61 Melrose Road where, arrangements had been made for dinner. After dinner I presented an ‘Address of Welcome’. The Liberian TV and Radio recorded the entire proceedings. In response to my Address of Welcome, the President delivered a short speech. He started by saying that for the first time in his life no alcohol was served at dinner. However, he said that he was content, as the absence of alcohol had left him in a state of good cheer. He complimented the Jamaat Ahmadiyya clearly. He particularly said that meeting Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan had given him great pleasure. He said that although Liberia was a Christian country and in a way it was the centre for the propagation of Christianity in Africa, he had issued strict instructions that every Faith should have complete freedom to propagate. He expressed satisfaction at the welfare and humanitarian work undertaken by the Jamaat Ahmadiyya in his country. Naturally, the Liberian TV and Radio recorded both the President’s speech and my address. A few days later, these were broadcast in Liberia.
The day following his visit to the Mosque, through a special courier, I received a letter from him in which he expressed his gratitude for the previous day’s function. In this letter, he invited me, as a guest of the Liberian Government, to participate in the Anniversary celebrations of Liberian Independence in July that year. I tendered my apologies for my inability to do myself the honor as Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III was to visit England in August that year.
In the following year, in another letter the President invited me to participate in the celebrations of the 120th year of their independence. With permission from Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III, I accepted this kind invitation.

In 1968, the Liberian Ambassador in Britain told me that he had received instructions from the President, Mr Tubman, to make the necessary arrangements for our travel to Liberia. I told him that my wife and my son Munir Ahmad would accompany me. A few days later, I received First Class tickets for all three of us. As our flight was routed through Sierra Leone, it was settled that, for a few days, we would break our journey in Sierra Leone. On 14th July 1968, we reached Monrovia by an MEA flight from Sierra Leone. When I looked through a window of the aeroplane, I could see hundreds having gathered at the Airport. I imagined that perhaps a VIP was traveling in our plane and the crowd had gathered to welcome him. A short while later, Mubarak Ahmad Saqi, the Amir and Missionary in Charge in Liberia, came on to the airplane and told me that the assembled crowd was there to welcome me. He also told me that the Liberian Foreign Minister, representing the President, had come and that representatives of the Liberian Muslim Congress were also present. Most of them had come to the Airport in buses provided by the Government in accordance with instructions from the President.

My heart was filled with sentiments of gratitude to the Almighty in that a day had dawned when a Missionary of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya was being treated as a State guest. On disembarkation, I met the Foreign Minister who told me that he had come to welcome me on behalf of the President. I met all the VIPs and others. All this took over one hour. We proceeded towards the capital Monrovia in a convoy. Escorting us, a police vehicle travelled in front of our car. The Government had arranged for us to stay in the Inter Continental Hotel. The Foreign Minister told me that at 11 a.m. the next morning I was to have coffee with the President. After the Foreign Minister had departed, Mubarak Ahmad Saqi and I talked about various matters concerning Liberia. We visited the Mission House in the evening where members of the Executive Committee were present. The Police escorted us wherever we went. It was indeed a great pleasure to meet the members of the Liberian Jamaat. I was deeply impressed by the dedication of some members of the Jamaat. Repeatedly I reflected that, in the past, there were days when the Promised Messiah (pbuh) lived in the distant and isolated township of Qadian where there were no modern facilities and where the Promised Messiah (pbuc) spent his life in obscurity. He himself said that no one even knew where Qadian was situated. Now, a day has come when in the far-away and dark African Continent there were so many adherents to Islam who, day and night, invoke blessings on the Holy Prophet SAW. Apart from that, there were Heads of Government and State who take pride in showing hospitality to the servants of the Promised Messiah (pbuh).
The following day, along with the Foreign Minister, I went to Executive House, the official residence of the President. At 11 am when we entered his room the President was waiting for us and he greeted me warmly. We were served coffee. Once again, he expressed his great satisfaction at the work of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat.

He said:

“I know very well that the aim of the members of your Jamaat is only to win the pleasure of God. Other Muslim groups in the country also approach me but they just seem to want help. They flatter me but I have little time for them. I do help them and give them money, but only reluctantly. Not in exchange for any reward but only to win the pleasure of God, your Jamaat is rendering valuable service in Liberia. They have never held out before me their ‘begging bowl’.”
Then he said to me:

“As your wife has come with you why hasn’t she come to see me.”

I explained that she observed Purdah. So he instructed his Private Secretary to arrange a meeting between his wife and Mrs Rafiq. He stipulated that during their meeting only females should attend. The next day my wife went to see the wife of the President.

On her return she said:

“The President’s instructions were being obeyed strictly. As my car entered the porch of the President’s house a lady opened the door and only ladies were operating the lift. During our meeting, which lasted over an hour, Mrs Tubman and I talked, not only about the Jamaat, but also about the conditions in which women in Pakistan spend their days.”

At the end of the meeting Mrs Tubman gave my wife some presents. At the end of my meeting with the President on 25th July he said that on the following day there was a function in the afternoon to celebrate their Independence in which I must participate. I said that I would strictly adhere to the program chalked out for me as I had come to Liberia on his invitation. At the function on 26th July, the President asked me to sit on his left. On his right sat a Guinean person who had come for the celebration of Independence. He was perhaps the Vice President of Guinea. After drinks and refreshments had been served, the President addressed the nation though Television and Radio. Towards the end of his address, he particularly mentioned me. He also made a mention of the Jamaat in favorable terms. He asked me to stand up and he shook my hand. We stood in that position for a brief period. This was an extraordinary honor bestowed on a Missionary of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya., without a doubt, this was entirely and wholly due to God’s bounty.

The next day, during the meeting at 11 a.m. the President said that the Muslim Congress of Liberia wanted to arrange a Dinner in my honor in which he (The President) himself would be present. Therefore, on the evening of the 27th, a Dinner was arranged in a Hotel. The President asked me to sit on his right. The British Ambassador sat on his left. After dinner, in his presence, I spoke on the subject of ‘Islam in Britain’. The President also delivered a short speech and declared that after dinner he would have me wear traditional clothes worn by Liberian Chiefs. At that function, the British Ambassador also delivered a short speech. He said that he was happy that the Imam of a Mosque in his country, as a representative of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya, had received the honor of being invited as State Guest by the President. At the end of the function, the President, with his own hands, made me wear an expensive and attractively embroidered robe and headgear. In a way I then became a Liberian Chief. This whole function was televised live.
The next day my interview was broadcast through Liberian TV. I took advantage of this occasion and introduced the Jamaat and its activities.
By publishing my daily activities with my photographs, the Liberian newspapers covered my entire tour. The British Ambassador in Monrovia also invited me for lunch. I was also shown hospitality by some elders of the Muslim Congress. This occasion proved most advantageous for the introduction of the Jamaat and to the good work, it was engaged in.

At the end of the Liberian tour when I was about to depart for Ghana, at the Airport, dozens had come to see me off. Amongst others, the Foreign Minister, another Minister, representatives of the Police and the Army, Governor Somomomo and some members of the Muslim Congress, saw me off.









Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 31: Aziz Deen Sahib

Aziz Deen was like my brother, indeed he was my brother. He was most affectionate and he always shared with me my moments of joy and sorrow. He was my confidante and he was my associate. I looked up to him and in a way, he was my sermonizer. His company was like being in a meeting with the righteous.
I recall the occasion of the wedding of his daughter Talaat in the Mahmood Hall adjacent to the Fazl Mosque. In the open ground, huge marquees had been set up that got packed with guests. Talaat was to marry Mansoor Ahmad, son of Mubarak Ahmad Saqi. Due to this union the Almighty joined two families who were wholly devoted to Ahmadiyyat. Seated in a chair, I was waiting for the arrival of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih IV. Involuntarily, I became absorbed in remembrance of my dear and affectionate friend, Abdul Azeez Deen. Had he been alive on that day he would himself have seen off his daughter, the daughter who, had him over the moon when she was born. When, over the telephone, he had told me of her birth his voice was vibrant with emotion. I went across to see Talaat and to congratulate her father. AzIz

Sahib said:

“Now that the Almighty has blessed me with two daughters I hope that I will be enabled to bring them up and educate them properly”.
On the birth of all his children, he was always overjoyed but on the birth of Talaat, he was ecstatic and joyful.
What can I recall and what can I not? Aziz Deen was loaded with enviable attributes. He was noble, tall, handsome, gifted with masculine magnificence and graceful. He was comeliness personified. Apart from all these qualities, in the matter of integrity and Taqwa, he had achieved a very high order.
It’s a well known saying

“He who repents in his youth follows the pattern of a prophet”.

Aziz Deen was one of those. He could never have been responsible for casting a wicked eye on others, iniquitous dealings or any other unsavory pursuit. He once told me that during World War II, at the peak of his youth, he had a furniture shop. A young woman once visited the shop, bought some furniture and gave her address to which the furniture was to be delivered. She said that she would pay at the time of delivery. The next day, he said, he went to the given address to deliver the furniture. A young good-looking girl emerged from the house and said that her mother had gone out of the house but that she had left with her the price of the furniture. She asked him to arrange the furniture in the basement, which he did. He sat in a chair waiting to be paid when the young girl appeared with nothing on. As soon as he saw her in this state, in a huff, he rushed upstairs and left without receiving any payment. He breathed a sigh of relief when he got to the road. He thanked God that by His sheer Grace He had saved him from a horrific trial. He begged His forgiveness throughout that day. All this occurred when he was at the zenith of his youth.
This occurrence took place in the days when, on arrival in the West, Indian young men got deeply involved in merrymaking and even risked their future. Aziz Deen was extremely fond of conveying the message of Islam; in fact, he was fanatical about it. The singular object of his life seemed to be Dawat ill Allah. In 1961, in accordance with instructions of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II, for weekly speeches delivered by one of us a Hall was rented in Brighton. According to the plan, under the Chairmanship of Azeez Deen, I would deliver a speech. In spite of our efforts at promotion, on one occasion no one came to the venue of the meeting at the appointed time. After a few minutes, Aziz Dean said:

“Let’s go and sit on a bench outside the hall.”

He asked me to read the Newspaper, and he would try to persuade some passers by to enter the hall, and when we had a reasonable number present we could hold our meeting. Accordingly, I sat on a bench and started reading the paper. Aziz Deen kept on inviting passers by to participate in the meeting but he had little success. Finally, he met a deaf and dumb gentleman and brought him along. He sat next to me on the bench. Aziz Deen said to me:

“If nothing else let us convey Allah’s message to this person.”

Aziz Deen would write a few words on the blank spaces of the newspaper and the deaf and dumb person would reply in writing. This continued for a while until suddenly he saw a woman walking towards us. He asked me to keep the deaf and dumb man engaged and promised to bring the lady along. In spite of his endeavors, the lady paid no attention to him. Disappointed, he resumed his seat on the bench. The deaf and dumb person appeared to be very intelligent and had a sense of humor. After a while, he wrote on the paper:

“You couldn’t catch her?”

A little later, he wrote:

“I would like to donate £ 5.00 to the admirable work that you are doing.”

Aziz Deen said to me:

“Thank God, the rent for the Hall has been recovered in full.”
Once he took me to the Old Bailey where he worked as an interpreter. On that day a Judge, well known for his short temper, was presiding. During the interval, as the Judge was proceeding to his retiring room, suddenly, Aziz Deen rushed towards him. After greeting him,

he said:

“If you don’t mind may I present to you a book?”

At this apparent audacity on the part of him, the Judge’s staffs were flabbergasted and this reaction was evident from their faces. However, the Judge accepted the book ‘The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam’. Aziz Deen had written his name and address on the inside of the book. After the Judge had entered his retiring room his staff threatened Aziz Deen and told him that in the Court premises, neither a book nor any other article could be given to a Judge and it was quite possible that the Judge would take some action against him. However, Aziz Deen took no notice of the intimidation. A few days later he happily came to the Mission House and showed me a letter that he had received from the Judge in which he had thanked him for the present. Not only had he highly praised the contents of the book but he also invited him to his country home for tea. Habitually Azeez kept a few small booklets and pamphlets in his pockets and whenever an opportunity arose, he would present some.
He told me that once his son Muneer Deen said to him:

“You have lived in England for quite a while and you have had the most excellent opportunities and yet you have spent all your life more or less like as a recluse and have never made any attempt to save.”

He told me that he replied to his son in these terms:

“In the shape of earnest supplications I have amassed a treasure for you from which you will benefit throughout your lives. God willing, you will never see a day when you are hard-up.”
Once the subject of Life Insurance was under discussion. Aziz Sahib told me that he had never had the slightest desire to insure his life as he was fully confident that Allah would never allow his children to go to waste and that beyond the imagination of any Insurance Company He would bless them abundantly.
He was deeply in love with the Mosque and that attribute was characteristic to him. His obedience and love for the Imam of a Mosque was also an outstanding quality. He would often say:

“It’s my experience that those who do not regularly bring their children to the Mosque and do not admonish them to strengthen their ties with the Mosque, either gradually sever their connection with it altogether or sometimes their contact with the Mosque becomes very fragile.”
Once we made an assessment and discovered with surprise that the children of nearly 70 % of those parents, who are not regular in their visits to the Mosque, gradually distance themselves from it. In the summer or in the winter, whether the weather was pleasant, overcast or snowbound, Azeez Deen never allowed his contact with the Mosque to be weakened. He maintained a positive and a loving relationship with the Imams of the Mosque. He often said that he who obeyed the Missionary became recipient of unbounded blessings.
A particular attribute of his was the extreme love and devotion towards the members of the family of the Promised Messiah. His respect and devotion towards each member of the family was his specific quality. Whenever they were in London most members of the family stayed with him. Aziz Deen regarded hospitality and being of service to them a matter of pride. In 1961 when Hadhrat Nawab Amat ul Hafeez Begum Sahiba came to England, he pleaded with her to stay with him and permit him to discharge the responsibility of a host. A daughter of Begum Sahiba was also with her and both stayed with Aziz Deen for nearly three months. With great pride, he would mention that when a daughter of the Promise Messiah (pbuh) visited London she blessed his house.
Aziz Deen had the rare privilege of serving Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah at the Mosque on several occasions. At all functions, he discharged responsibilities normally assigned to a host.
Disgusted with the attitude of the Indian Muslims and in the absence of any practical measures the Quaid e Azam moved to London. He bought a house in Hampstead and started practice in the Privy Council. He announced that he would have no interest in or involvement in Indian politics. Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II who kept a watchful eye on the political developments in India directed the Imam of the London Mosque, Maulana Abd ur Raheem Dard, to persuade the Quaid e Azam, who in those days was merely referred to as ‘Mr Jinnah’, to return to India and once again assume leadership of the Muslims. Huzoor said that he could not see anyone amongst the Muslims who had the necessary ability to lead. Maulana Dard was directed to advise Mr Jinnah that if he agreed to return to India he would have the full support of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya.
On receipt of these instructions, Maulana Dard got in touch with Mr Jinnah and invited him to the Mosque for tea. He told him that he had a message from the Imam of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya to convey to him. The Quaid accepted the invitation. On the morning of the Quaid’s visit Maulana Dard instructed Mr Deen to make the necessary arrangements for tea. Mr Jinnah came at the appointed time. Both Maulana Dard and Mr. Jinnah sat in the drawing room of the house at 63 Melrose Road.Mr. Deen went to fetch tea and after placing it on the table he was about to leave when Maulana Dard invited him to join them.Maulana Dard conveyed the message from the second successor to the Promised Messiah, to him. He began his efforts to persuade him to return to India but the Quaid remained adamant and insisted that he would not return. Four or five similar sittings ensued. On each occasion Maulana Dard invited Mr.Deen to join in the discussion.
Aziz Deen was indeed a walking history of the London Mission. He had established cordial relationships with Colonel Douglas who delivered the judgement in the murder case against the Promised Messiah. The Colonel related the whole story to him and said:

“When the Mirza came to my Court and I looked at him I became convinced that, without a shadow of a doubt, he was totally innocent. On the other hand, there was strong evidence against him. Christians, Muslims and Hindus all were determined to prove that the Mirza was guilty. The case dragged on for a few days and my confusion continued to intensify. Finally, on the day the judgement was to be delivered I was pacing up and down on the veranda of my house. I began to ponder over the proceedings. Suddenly in a vision, I saw the Mirza standing in front of me and he said: “I am innocent.”

When I looked at his clean and pure face something within me directed me to have a good look and see if such a face could be that of a person guilty of murder. Something within me declared that he was certainly not a murderer. I went indoors and called the Superintendent of Police. I told him that this person could not possibly be guilty. The Superintendent said that the pivotal point of the case was the evidence of Abdul Hameed. The whole case was dependent on Abdul Hammer’s statement that the Mirza had sent him to kill Dr. Clarke. However, as Abdul Hameed lives amongst the Christian Clergy, if he was separated from them and kept in the police custody he may tell the truth. The next day Douglas ordered that Abdul Hameed should be taken into police custody. Thereafter Abdul Hameed broke down and cried out that the Mirza had not spoken a single word to him and that the case was registered on the basis of what Reverend Martin Clarke had instructed him.”
Aziz Deen relates that once, Colonel Douglas had said to him:

“I am surprised that in such a short space of time the Mirza’s Movement has made such rapid progress.”

One can narrate a lot about Azeez Deen. I request friends to pray that the Almighty may raise the status of my dear brother in Heaven. May He shower His blessings upon his wife, his children, and his grandchildren.



Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 32: Journey to Kashmir

In accordance with the instructions from Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III, when I was preparing myself to participate in the Annual Convention in Rabwah in December 1977, it occurred to me that since, in the following year an International Conference on ‘Deliverance of Jesus from the Cross’ was to be held, why not persuade a British Press representative to accompany me to Rabwah. (Further details appear elsewhere). He could, after attending the Conference, accompany me to Kashmir and see for himself, with his own eyes, the grave of Jesus Christ (pbuh). He could then research, investigate and gather information independently, which could then be presented in the forthcoming Conference. An invitation was extended to a number of major Newspapers. Finally, the ‘Sunday Telegraph’, a famous British newspaper that had a large circulation, accepted the invitation. They agreed to send a Press Representative and a photographer with me. They made it a condition that, other than the usual hospitality, their representatives would meet all the relevant expenses themselves and would not accept any financial assistance from us. So Mr Philips and a high class Photographer accompanied me and we reached Rabwah on the appointed day.
At Rabwah Huzoor granted a lengthy and a detailed interview to Mr Philips. He spelt out for him in some detail that Jesus Christ was saved from the Cross and his subsequent journey to India and burial in Kashmir. Huzoor said that he was conscious of the fact that Mr Philips was a citizen of a free country and a representative of a free newspaper. Huzoor made it clear that Bashir Ahmad Rafiq would only act as a host and would accompany them to assist them. Huzoor added that he was welcome to carry out his research and investigations with complete freedom.
The two representatives of the ‘Sunday Telegraph’ participated in the Annual Conference in Rabwah. They met some of the seniors and the scholars of the Jamaat. They took a large number of photographs and appeared to be favorably influenced by the arrangements at the Annual Conference.
After the Jalsa the three of us set out for Qadian via Lahore. Hadhrat Sahibzada Mirza Waseem Ahmad (Nazir e Aala Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya Qadian) had already been advised of our program. Therefore, at the Indo-Pak border a delegation from Qadian had come to receive us. We stayed in Qadian for three or four days during which Mr Philips visited all the historic places. He asked a number of questions which were answered frankly.
We travelled to Amritsar from Qadian and took an Air India flight to Srinagar. Mr Ghulam Nabi, who was posted there as a Missionary of the Jamaat, received us at the Airport. Some other representatives of the Jamaat also came with him. I advised them of the purpose of our visit. I promised them that at the end of our visit I would hold a Press Conference.
Arrangements had been made for our stay in the Oberoi Hotel. Before the partition of the sub-continent, that building was a Palace of the Maharaja. It was situated on the banks of Lake Dal and was really enormous and expansive. The view from the Hotel of Lake Dal was indeed fascinating and alluring. The next day, along with Mr Ghulam Nabi, we went to visit the tomb of the Messiah (pbuh). The tomb has incessantly attracted very many visitors during the past 1900 hundred years. It is generally believed to be the tomb of a Prophet known as ‘Yooz Asif’. The tomb had been built in the Jewish style. The grave is situated in the basement, which has a small window. It is not aligned in the same way as the Muslim graves. It is very different from East/West layout and follows the style of the Jewish graves. A strong argument to support the belief that the Messiah (pbuh) is buried there is that, through the ages, a candle has always been lit on a stone next to the grave. An accumulation of melted wax was noticeable. A few years earlier, during the research and investigations concerning this grave, all the wax was scraped away. When the stone had been cleaned, the footprints of the Messiah (pbuh) emerged. It is worth mentioning that those who engraved the footprints clearly showed scars on his feet. This is surely an authentic proof that, according to the belief of the people of the olden days, the feet of the person buried in the grave had in fact been disfigured because of being put on a Cross. Otherwise why would there be any scars on his feet.
There was no one present when we arrived at the tomb. But in a little while a gentleman appeared and introduced himself as the (mujavir) attendant of the shrine. He opened the door for us. Mr Philips described the environment in the 4th June 1978 edition of the ‘Telegraph on Sunday’ Magazine in these words:
It was an experience to make even a casual Church of England backslider feel deeply uneasy. A taxi had taken me from the most extravagant Hotel in Kashmir to a crossroads in one of the poorest areas of Srinagar, the Capital. Cows, goats and children struggled through the mud – and worse. On one corner was a small booth, which served as a butcher’s shop. On another was a two story house, which turned out to be a factory serving the trinket trade. Opposite them, in the corner of a disused cemetery occupied by fierce stray dogs, was a small white building with a corrugated iron roof.

”There you are,’ said my guide: ‘The tomb of Jesus Christ”.
We entered the tomb and inside the building was a wooden fence behind which there were two graves. In one of them was buried the Messiah (pbuh) and in the other a Muslim Saint named Naseer ud Deen who had lived in the fifteenth century. He was highly impressed by the teachings of Hadhrat Yooz Asif and therefore he had made a will to be buried next to Hadhrat Yooz Asif i.e. the Messiah (pbuh.)
At our request, after receiving a monetary gift, the attendant of the shrine permitted us to go beyond the railing. It was dark in the room and the attendant lit some candles for us. I stood at the head of the grave and prayed with great humility. I said:

“O my Lord, here I am next to the grave of an exalted Prophet who had been sent to spread ‘Unity’, the Prophet who had spent all his life stamping out (shirk), the practice of associating others with You. This day, in his name, his followers are themselves involved in a form of polytheism. They have placed a Holy and a pious servant of Yours on the Divine Throne. Surely as a result his spirit is being tormented. O my Lord, through Your Mercy and Grace, arrange matters in such away that it may be established beyond a shadow of a doubt that Your servant was taken off the Cross when still alive and is buried right here. So that the practice of associating others with You may be obliterated, particularly amongst those who claim to be his followers and may they revert to ‘Unity’. May Your promise to the Promised Messiah (pbuh) regarding the ‘breaking of the Cross’ is fulfilled.”
After I had finished my silent prayer, at the request of Mr Philips, we sought permission from the attendant of the shrine to take some photographs. The permission was happily granted and therefore we took a number of photographs, including some showing, scars on the feet of the Messiah (pbuh) engraved on the stone. These photographs can be seen in the Khilafat Library. The Kashmir Department of Archaeology had prepared the gravestone. The inscription states that the grave is of a Prophet named Yooz Asif, who many centuries ago, had travelled through distant lands and who spent all his life in worship and propagation of his Faith. This is proof enough that Yooz Asif and the Messiah (pbuh) was one and the same person. Many other proofs are available.
The Promised Messiah’s renowned book ‘Jesus in India’ is worth reading. When we came out of the tomb, Mr Philips said that he wanted to ask a few questions of an old Kashmiri passer by. He insisted that he alone would ask the questions and I would merely interpret. He made it clear that I must not add a single word of my own. I called the Kashmiri old man over and the conversation, which was witnessed by the attendant of the shrine who knew a little English, went this:
Mr Philips:“How old are you and when did you settle in Srinagar?”
The old Kashmiri: “I am more then 80 years old. I was born in Srinagar and have lived here all my life.”
Mr Philips: “What do you know about this tomb?”
The old Kashmiri: “This is the tomb of a Prophet named Yooz Asif who we hear came from a distant land to Kashmir 1900 years ago. He spent most of his time here in worship and tendering excellent advice and good counsel to the local Kashmiris. I have also heard that he lived for more than 100 years.”
Mr Philips: “Please tell me whatever you know about this grave.”
The old Kashmiri: “There is a basement in the tomb from which a window opened towards the street which has now been closed. Fragrance of a very high order used to emerge from the window and those who pushed their hands through the window found that their hands remained perfumed for a whole day. It is also said that any prayer offered at the grave finds acceptance with the Almighty.”
After visiting the grave, we returned to the Hotel. In the evening we received a telephone call from Mr Fida Husnain, a Professor at the Kashmir University. He was the Head of the Archaeological Department. He was highly qualified and had carried out thorough research and investigations concerning the grave of the Messiah (pbuh) and had written a few books on this subject. He is not a member of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. He told us on the phone that he had learnt of our visit from the newspapers and that he was anxious to meet us. We arranged to meet for dinner in a restaurant. When Mr Philips, the photographer and I arrived at the restaurant we found Mr Fida already waiting for us. He was indeed a highly cultured and well-mannered person who always wore an enchanting smile on his face. He told us about the grave of the Messiah (pbuh) in detail. He said that through his writings he had presented authentic and categorical proof that the tomb was that of the Messiah (pbuh). On this occasion, he paid great tributes to the Promised Messiah (pbuh). He said that he had carried out the real research and investigations and the rest were just gleaners. The meeting was most interesting and informative and Mr Philips was deeply impressed.
On several occasion subsequently I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr Fida Husnain in London. During one of his visits, he stayed with me for three days and I arranged for him to meet Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih IV. In the course of the meeting with Huzoor, he presented his latest book ‘The Fifth Gospel’. He had dedicated this book to the Promised Messiah (pbuh) and on its first page appeared a photograph of the Promised Messiah (pbuh). In the book, he paid glowing tributes to the research carried out by the Promised Messiah (pbuh).
During the next three or four days in Kashmir Mr Philips and the photographer met various people in connection with their research. At the invitation of the Jamaat, I visited and addressed some Jamaats outside Srinagar.
This tour was not only enjoyable but spirit boosting. While we were in Kashmir, on many occasions, on witnessing the sentiments and the enthusiasm of the Kashmiri Ahmadis for Ahmadiyyat and Khilafat of Ahmadiyyat, my eyes became moist and I shed tears. Since they did not have adequate clothing to cover, their bodies they shivered in the cold but the warmth of the faith in their hearts made them prosperous. Obviously, in the worldly sense, these Ahmadis were very poor.
After having spent a week in Srinagar and its surroundings areas we returned to Pakistan via Qadian.
While in Srinagar, we saw many places worth visiting and had feasted our eyes at the boats in Lake Dal. In spite of the severe cold, I had no option but to admit that the panorama of the Lake and the boats in it was gorgeous.
In the month of June of the following year a Conference was held (details appear elsewhere) in London.
In the 6th June 1978, Sunday Edition Mr Philips published a detailed article with photographs. The circulation of the paper was around a million. Many other papers, all over the world published selected extracts from it.

Concerning me Mr Philips wrote:
“There has been an Ahmadi Mosque in Britain, the imperial homeland, since 1924. It is situated in Gressenhall Road, southwest London, and has small branches throughout Britain, with strength of about 10,000. The Imam, Mr B.A. Rafiq, is a charming and cultivated man whose land owning family used to fight the British in the northwest frontier area.”






Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 33: Meeting Dr Ashiq Hussein Batalvi

Dr. Batalvi was not really a religious person and he claimed that he was secular. He bitterly opposed the activities of the Mullahs in Pakistan. Once, while talking to Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan on the subject of the life and character of the Holy Prophet (saw), Chaudhry Sahib related certain heartrending incidents in Huzoor’s life concerning his attributes of forgiveness and of overlooking the faults of others. During the conversation concerning the Holy Prophet (saw), certain words emerged from Dr. Batalvi’s lips that had a trace of insolence. At that point, Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib stood up and said to Dr. Batalvi:

“Don’t ever come to see me again.”

After Chaudhry Sahib had gone Dr. Batalvi was most remorseful and said that he had not really meant to be disrespectful towards the Holy Prophet (saw) but the wrong words had involuntarily emerged from his lips. He said:

“I am deeply ashamed and remorseful. Please approach Chaudhry Sahib and seek forgiveness for me.”

I went to see Chaudhry Sahib and told him that Dr. Batalvi was extremely ashamed and remorseful and that he could not ever imagine impudence concerning the Holy Prophet. This was a silly mistake and all of us make mistakes sometime or another. At my repeated requests, Chaudhry Sahib agreed to see Dr. Batalvi who attempted to clarify his position and explain that due to his secular disposition; on occasion he uses inappropriate words that created the wrong impression. He said that otherwise he was an arch lover of the Holy Prophet (saw). Fortunately, the matter ended there.
Around that time, Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib gave me a voluminous manuscript and told me that it covered his interview carried out by Columbia University. They had interviewed a number of renowned personalities amongst which he was one. They had recorded the interviews spread over a year. The Columbian University had by then put it on tape. Chaudhry Sahib said that he had no need for it. A few days later when I met Dr. Batalvi, I told him about the manuscript and he insisted that I should lend it to him for a few days. After 15 or 20 days, when I asked him to return the manuscript he made it plain that he would not return it but would, after editing it, print it in book form. When I complained to Chaudhry Sahib, he asked me not to insist on the return of the manuscript. He told me that if necessary he would procure another copy for me. Later on, Dr. Batalvi showed me the edited manuscript, which he wanted to have print in Lahore in the shape of a book name ‘The Forgotten Years’. The book was published after Dr. Batalvi had passed away.














Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 34: Meeting Abdul Qayyum Khan of NWFP

Abdul Qayyum Khan played a very important role in the history of Pakistan. Before partition, he was Deputy Leader of the All India Congress Party. On the formation of Pakistan, he became Chief Minister of the Frontier Province. For many years, he ruled the Frontier Province with an iron hand and great awe. He introduced some revolutionary reforms and firmly established the province on the road to progress. Then he took charge of the Commerce and Industry Ministry in the Central Government. He also had charge of many other ministries. He became the Home Minister in the Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s Government. He was a fiery orator. He could speak in Pushto, Urdu and English with equal fluency. On many occasions, Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan paid tributes to his mastery of the English language.
In 1953 during the Anti-Ahmadi Movement, the province of the Punjab was engulfed in bloody disturbances. However, through his political practical skill, in his province, the Khan dealt with the situation very firmly and did not permit any disorder to take place. As a result, although it was the centre of some Mullahs who were known for spreading anarchy, the Frontier Province remained immune from disturbances. The life and possessions of all Ahmadi remained unaffected.
In 1967, an Urdu newspaper in London published the news that Khan Abd ul Qayyum Khan was to visit England. I obtained his telephone contact from the Pakistan High Commission and on the phone; I introduced myself as Imam of the London Mosque. I also told the Khan that I was a nephew of Khan Sameen Jan, a former Minister for Education and Prisons in the Frontier Province. My uncle, apart from being a well-known leader in the province had for four years served as a Minister in the Muslim League Government. Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan expressed his pleasure at my having welcomed him and when I expressed my desire to meet him, he said that I could come anytime.
The following day when I went to see him, he received me with warmth and love. We talked a lot and it would suffice to sum it up as follows. The Khan said:

“I consider the Jamaat Ahmadiyya and particularly Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II, Hadhrat Mirza Bashir ud Deen Mahmood Ahmad, praiseworthy. I was deeply impressed by Huzoor and regarded him as a great political leader of India. Although he was a religious leader, in the field of politics he had no peer. In 1924 when I was a student at the London School of Economics, I read in the papers that Mirza Sahib was soon to tour England. I contacted your Jamaat at Putney and I was told the date on which Mirza Sahib would arrive. On that date, I took some Indian students along with me and went to the Victoria Station where the boat trains were to arrive. There the Imam of the Mosque and some seniors of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in England were present. Many English dignitaries had also come to receive him. We joined one of the welcoming delegations and when the train came to a stop at the platform and Mirza Sahib emerged, I raised the slogan of ‘Takbeer’. The Indian students joined me in my slogan and thus Victoria Railway Station resounded with our slogans. I then presented myself before him. After enquiring about my circumstances, he tendered valuable advice and counsel. Even in those days in India, your second Khalifa was well known as a political leader. We the Indian students regarded him not only a religious leader but also as a great statesman.
In 1953 when the whole of the Punjab Province was engulfed in disturbances against your Jamaat, I was Chief Minister of the Frontier Province. I was well aware of the anti Pakistan deeds of Majlis e Ahrar. I knew very well that this uprising was in fact of a political nature and for the achievement of political objectives; it was cloaked in a religious garb. Therefore, I said to myself ‘come what may, I would protect the lives and property of the Ahmadi Muslims in the Frontier Province and that I would, with an iron hand, suppress any movement that creates disorder’. Accordingly, I held meetings up and down the whole of the Frontier Province and during my speeches warned the Mullahs that whoever tried to take the law into his own hands will have me to contend with and would be dealt with most severely. I banned the entry of some papers published in the Punjab that were supporting the Mullahs. I imprisoned those Mullahs from whom I feared disturbances”.
He said that in those days the Amir of our Jamaat in the Frontier Province, Qazi Muhammad Yusuf, leading a delegation called on him. He returned with an assurance that the life and property of every Ahmadi in the Frontier Province was his own responsibility. Therefore, they need have no worry.
When I heard this detailed account, I thanked the Khan sincerely and submitted that I would convey a detailed account of this meeting to Khalifa tul Masih III.
The Khan paid a glowing tribute to Hadhrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan and said:

“He was my role model in the field of politics. I must admit that I have not met another politician who was so honest, principled and self-respecting. After Qaid e Azam, he was the greatest leader in Pakistan. However, it is a pity that our nation did not look upon him in that light.”

Then I invited the Khan to visit the Mosque. He very kindly accepted the invitation but suddenly he had to leave for Pakistan the next day and he tendered his apologies over the phone.

































Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 35: A Meeting with the Prince of Wales

On 13th December 1996, the Almighty afforded me an opportunity to meet the Prince of Wales and also some Muslim and non-Muslim dignitaries and scholars. The Foreign Office of the British Government arranged a seminar named
‘A Sense of the Sacred- Building Bridges between Islam and the West’.
The Prince of Wales was invited to participate and speak, an invitation that he kindly accepted. There were about 30 participants in the seminar. Amongst them were Ambassadors of some Muslim countries, senior officials in the Foreign Office and some intellectuals. Participants sat around a very large Round Table. As I had also been invited to attend the conference, on 13th December I reached Wilton Park Station by train, where along with other participants I was met. We were all given distinctive badges to wear. At 10 o’clock, a Helicopter carrying the Prince of Wales landed in the Park. All participants stood in a row. The Prince shook hands with every one. Each participant introduced himself. The participants stood around the Prince for a short while when some Islamic subjects came under discussion. The Prince said he was happy that the Islamic teachings were now beginning to be better understood and that the old prejudices were subsiding. In an informal manner, all participants sat around the Round Table. Alongside the Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan, I sat opposite the Prince. On the other side sat the Saudi Ambassador.
The proceedings of the meeting commenced with a speech delivered by the Prince. Only those participants who had already been nominated were allowed to take part in the discussions.
Then Bishop Michael Nazir Ali of Rochester, who is of Pakistan descent, presented his paper on ‘Tolerance Amongst Religions’. In his speech, the Bishop quoted English version of some verses by the poet Iqbal. In them, there was a prominent mention of the relationship between God and man. Here is the English translation of the verses:
“You made the night, and I the lamp. You the clay and I the cup You – desert, mountain-peak and vale I – flowered, Park and Orchard.”
In his speech, the Bishop laid great emphasis on the fact that both Islam and Christianity believe in the same God and both lay great stress on the need for mutual respect. Therefore, he said, there was no reason why the followers of the two faiths should not live together with mutual love and respect. In his support, he quoted several examples from the Islamic and Christian history. Some other speeches were also delivered.
The meeting continued until midday and after that, participants were given an opportunity to intermingle with each other. Apart from discussing various matters with other participants, I had a lengthy conversation with Bishop Michael Nazir Ali. For the atrocities being perpetrated on their members in Pakistan, he sympathized with the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. He stressed the need for followers of all major religions to use their best endeavors to create an atmosphere of tolerance so that no one should be persecuted merely because of his dissimilar beliefs.
At 1 o’clock, at the dining table, all participants sat around the Prince. Arrangements had been made for a group photograph with the Prince. Since I also appeared in the photograph, I was sent a copy. I was extremely surprised to see that amongst the participants, I was the only one wearing a hat – all others were bare headed. After the photograph had been taken the Prince once again shook hands with everyone and left in a motorcar. I regarded this occasion as a blessed one as I was enabled to convey the message of Islam to them.



Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 36: My Visit to Dera Baba Nanak

In 1991, the Centenary Annual Convention (Jalsa) of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya was held in Qadian. Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih IV himself travelled to Qadian to participate in that blessed occasion. I was privileged to accompany Huzoor as Huzoor had very kindly included me in his entourage. We flew to Delhi on the appointed date and after a few days’ stay there, via Amritsar and Batala, travelled by train to Qadian. After partition of the sub-continent, this was the first occasion when a Khalifa tul Masih visited Qadian. Therefore, for every single person i.e. Huzoor, members of his entourage and every resident of Qadian it was an extremely sentimental occasion.
Even after the partition of the sub-continent, I had been privileged to visit Qadian on a number of occasions. However, this journey was totally different and unique. Thousands of Ahmadis from Pakistan had the good fortune to attend the Jalsa. From very many parts of the world, in their thousands, members of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat attended this celebrated convention. In a book, that he has written Mr Hadi Ali Chaudhry has covered this journey in some detail. Here, it is not my intention to describe the historic occasion. Therefore, I move on to describe our visit to Dera Baba Nanak to pay homage to the ‘Cloak’.
A day after the conclusion of the Jalsa I said to Fazl Ilahi Khan, a ‘Dervish’ of Qadian and a member of the Nazaarat Umoor e Ama Qadian. Presuming Huzoor grants me permission, would it be possible to visit Dera Baba Nanak to pay homage to the Cloak. He said that he saw no difficulty in arranging a visit but he warned me that it might not be possible to view the Cloak as it always remains secured in a glass treasure chest and that it always remains covered with expensive fabrics. Some very rich Sikh people bring the fabrics for the specific purpose of covering the casket. Visitors and pilgrims are only allowed to view the casket. Since the cloak is 500 years old, for fear that it may get torn or soiled, it is kept in a folded condition.

I said that for us, the cloak had become doubly significant and blessed since to examine the cloak, on 30th September 1895 the Promised Messiah (pbuh), along with ten of his companions had undertaken a journey to Dera Baba Nanak. I said that even viewing only the casket would be a great privilege.
The next day, to view the cloak, I sought permission from Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih IV for Mr Fazl Ilahi Khan and I to travel to Dera Baba Nanak. Huzoor very kindly granted permission and requested Sahibzada Mirza Waseem Ahmad Nazir e Aala Qadian to make the necessary arrangements. On the following day, Mr Hadi Ali Chaudhry expressed a desire to come along with us. Early in the morning, we travelled to Dera Baba Nanak by car. Mr Fazl Ilahi Khan persuaded a Sikh Advocate, a descendent of Guru Baba Nanak, to accompany us. We reached Dera Baba Nanak around 11 a.m. Before I narrate any further details, it seems appropriate that I should record something in regard to the cloak.
It is written in the Holy books of the Sikhs that Hadhrat Baba Nanak received this cloak, from the heavens, on which appear heavenly inscriptions. It is said that Hadhrat Baba Nanak wore it often. After his demise, it has remained in the custody of the Baba’s descendants and has been secured in a treasure chest in Dera Baba Nanak. To seek blessings from it, for centuries, pilgrims from everywhere have been visiting Dera Baba Nanak. It is said that whenever the Sikhs face any severe problems, by keeping this cloak on their head, they pray and thus their prayers find ready acceptance.
Even today, for the Sikhs in particular and in general for followers of other religions, this cloak embodies sentiments of love and devotion. At Dera Baba Nanak, every year, a fair is organized which, to seek blessings, is attended by Sikh devotees in their hundreds and thousands. The cloak remains protected in a strong room.
When the Promised Messiah (pbuh), along with his companions, went to view the cloak, at Huzoor’s request, it was displayed. This was no ordinary event. In his book, ‘Sat Bachan’ Huzoor has made a reference in these words:

“It is a very blessed garment on which, instead of embroidery verses of the Holy Quran are written in gold thread.”

Again, Huzoor said:

“When we expressed our desire to see it, in the beginning they only showed it to us while still wrapped in a cloth. However, a small portion of the corner was visible on which the inscribed words had faded. Another thin cloth covered the back and we were told that this was the cloth that had been woven by Arjan’s wife with the thread spun with her own hands. The narrator was an old Baidi, a descendent of Baba Nanak. He was the one who was showing us the cloak. He also told us that whatever was written on it had not been written by a human but by a Divine hand. Then we insisted that we wished to see the inscription written by the Divine hand. We pleaded that we had come from a great distance to view it. Then he lifted the cloth a little and on the cloak underneath the cloth, ‘Bismil Allah ur Rahman-e-Raheem’ was written in a beautiful hand. Then the old man wanted to wrap up the cloth. But on further persistence from nearly twenty of us and some dignitaries of the town who had come to meet us, the old man lifted the cloth a little. On one corner, with a bold pen, in a clear and beautiful hand was written ‘La Ilaha Ill Allah Muhammad Rasoollu Allah’. Then the old man wanted to wrap up the cloth but instantly Sheikh Rehmatullah of Gujarat placed three silver Rupees on the old man’s palm. Of the three Rupees, he had paid, two were from himself and Moulvi Muhammad Ahsan had paid the third. The Sheikh had already paid four Rupees earlier on. Then the old man lifted the cloth slightly and on this occasion, in one corner we could see ‘Inna Deen Indallah al Islam’ i.e. ‘the true religion is Islam and no other’. Once again the old man felt most hesitant. Then, on behalf of Hakim Moulvi Noor ud Deen the Sheikh placed another two Rupees in his hand. To please him further the Sheikh placed another four Rupees on his hand. Another devotee placed another Rupee. Having received fourteen Rupees, the old man seemed pleased and we were thus allowed to view it without any restriction. Some further cloths were removed and the following became visible. ‘Ashhado an La Ilaha Illallah wa Ashhado anna Muhammadan Abdohoo wa Rasool o Hoo’. Then, by chance, the Sheikh noticed some dust within the cloak. He suggested to the old man that the dust should be removed from the cloak. WE offered to clean it. After that, the remaining cloths were also lifted and it was proven beyond doubt that the Quranic verses were written on it, and nothing else. In one place Sura Fatiha and in other places it was written that the Quran was the sacred word of God and those who were impure must not touch it.” (Satt Bachan page 32)
When our party reached Dera Baba Nanak outside the hallowed room in which the cloak was housed we met Sardar Anop Singh Baidi. He was a direct descendent of Guru Baba Nanak and the Chola (cloak) was in his custody. He met us with great warmth and we told him the purpose of our visit. Quite happily, he showed willingness to let us view the casket. Saeed Ahmad Jaswal and his brothers who had brought with them their movie cameras accompanied us. In the beginning, the Baidi appeared most hesitant to authorize the cameras indoors, but then he agreed. We removed our shoes and entered the room where there was a kind of platform on one side of the room, which was covered by very expensive sheets. A glass casket had been placed on the platform, which was fully covered by large handkerchiefs. The Baidi and some of his Sikh friends prostrated before the casket. We raised our hands and, with great humility, prayed for Hadhrat Guru Baba Nanak and that He may enable the Sikhs to enter the fold of Islam. After having had prostrated the Sikhs also joined us in our supplications. After our silent prayers, we presented a monetary gift to the Baidi. Then I submitted,

“We have come from the distant land of England to see with our own eyes the blessed cloak and to seek blessings from it. By merely looking at the casket our thirst will not be quenched nor would our desire be satisfied. We humbly submit that permission may be granted for us to view the cloak after it had been taken out of the casket.”

To begin with, the Baidi made an excuse and said that it was impossible to take the cloak out of the casket. However, on our repeated submissions his heart melted. In fact, God Almighty moderated his heart. He closed the doors of the room with great respect and deference. With prayers, with the help of his friends, he opened the casket with his own hands and the cloak came in to full view.
Mr Baidi bestowed another favor on us and unfolded the cloak. For us it was a moment of great emotion as this was the garment that had touched the body of Hadhrat Baba Guru Nanak for many years and on it were inscribed verses of the Holy Quran. This was proof enough that the Baba was a God-fearing Muslim and an arch-lover of the Holy Quran. We were therefore able to examine the cloak at close quarters on which, apart from other verses of the Quran, Sura Fatiah and Sura Ikhlas had been inscribed. Mr Hadi made a note of the verses and Mr Jaswal saved the inscriptions on film with the help of his camera.
After having viewed the Cloak, I asked Mr Baidi about the origin of the cloak. He said that it was related that it had descended from Heaven and was given to Baba Sahib. He also said that, according to another narrative, a Muslim King had the cloak made and presented it to Baba Sahib. He added that Baba Sahib wore it all the time and it came into the possession of his successors after he had passed away. He added that whenever a new Guru was enthroned he would put the cloak over his head to seek blessings. That is how this sacred Cloak as Amanat (trust) of Baba Sahib has been safe with the Sikhs for more than 500 years. He told us that every year, to pay homage to and view the casket, which is never opened, hundreds of thousands visit Dera Baba Nanak. We became very envious of our good fortune in having been given an opportunity to view the cloak in its uncovered condition.
Because of our visit, Sardar Anoop Singh Baidi and I became very close. When he came to England the following year, I requested Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih to grant him an audience. Most graciously, Huzoor agreed to meet him. I was instructed to arrange a feast in honour of the guest. On the appointed day, along with some friends, Mr Baidi came to meet Huzoor and I was privileged to be present during the meeting. After the meeting Mr Baidi, charged with emotion said:

“Mirza Sahib’s face is illuminated and on it signs of contentment and tranquillity are apparent. Never before in my life have I seen such signs on anyone’s face.”

In the evening in the Mahmood Hall a well attended dinner had been arranged in which Huzoor also participated. In my address, I welcomed Mr Baidi and in response, he expressed his sentiments of love and esteem for Huzoor. On this occasion, many other Sikh people had been invited. A brotherly relationship with Mr Baidi continues.
While on the subject of Sikhs I would mention that in 1976, along with Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, I had an opportunity to visit Qadian. A detailed account of this journey has been published in the ‘Badar’ from Qadian.
Before commencing our return journey from Qadian I said to Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib that I would not be able to accompany him to Lahore as I wished to see the Durbar Sahib at Amritsar. Chaudhry Sahib said:

“We have come together and we will go back together. For a long while I have not been to see Durbar Sahib, therefore we can go together.”

During his stay in Qadian, as hosts, the Indian Government had posted two Ministers from the Federal Government and another Minister from the Provincial Government. Two of these Ministers were Sikhs and Chaudhry Sahib mentioned my desire to them. They agreed quite happily to make the necessary arrangements for us to visit Durbar Sahib.
The next day early in the morning, we moved to Amritsar where we were housed in the Guest House. Many dignitaries and officials had assembled there to see Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib. Before 11 a.m., we went to visit the Durbar Sahib. To welcome us some organizers were present at the entrance. They garlanded us. One of the organizers acted as a guide. After having taken off our shoes, we followed the guide into the premises of the Durbar Sahib. For our benefit, the guide related the history of the Darbar Sahib. We saw the Guest House and the communal kitchen at Durbar Sahib. Akaal Takht was opened particularly for our benefit and there we caught a glimpse of the jewels the Sikhs had collected during their rule. We also saw some precious wonders of the world that had been donated to the Durbar Sahib. Throughout our visit the guide remained busy with his running commentary.
After having visited the Durbar Sahib we entered Pakistan through the Wagah border post. In earlier years, whenever I went to Amritsar, I also visited the famous Jallian Wala Bagh where during a freedom movement, under orders from the Governor of the Punjab General O’Dwyer; General Dyer opened fire and massacred many hundreds of Indians. Even now, bullet holes can be seen on the walls. The Indian Government has established a Museum on the spot where the atrocities were perpetrated. In fact, the indiscriminate firing at Jallian Wala Bagh had given an impetus to the freedom movement against the British rule.
We have always enjoyed an extremely cordial relationship with the Sikh community in Britain. For the Fifth Centenary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak, a convention was held at Ealing Town Hall. On that occasion Edward Heath, High Commissioners for India and Pakistan and some Sikh leaders spoke on the life and character of Guru Baba Nanak. On behalf of the Muslims, I was invited to speak. I congratulated the Sikh community on the Centenary Celebrations and in my speech covering the life and character of Guru Baba Nanak; I highlighted his love and devotion for Islam. The Sikh audience applauded. At the end of my speech, the Indian High Commissioner particularly congratulated me on my speech. On that occasion, there were more than 500 present and the convention was widely reported in the local papers.
When I began holding Seerat un Nabi (saw) meetings every year some Sikh speakers, in the course of their speeches, paid glowing tributes to the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw). These events were always reported in ‘Akhbar e Ahmadiyya’ and ‘The Muslim Herald’.
The Sikhs have been endowed with some noteworthy qualities. They are very hospitable. Visitors to their Gurdawaras are always received with open arms. Once a friendship is established, they always remain faithful.

















Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 37: Meeting Mian Mumtaz Muhammad Daulatana

In February 1953, while I was a student in my last year at college agitation against the Ahmadiyya Jamaat erupted all over the Punjab, particularly in Lahore. Primarily the ‘Ahraari’ Jamaat were responsible for the turmoil. They seemed to have complete support of the Government of the Punjab. A secret pact seemed to have been concluded with Mian Mumtaz Muhammad Khan Daulatana, the then, Chief Minister in the Punjab. Apparently, it had been agreed that the Government of the Punjab would render financial assistance to those newspapers and periodicals that published inflammatory articles and statements against the Jamaat as well as activities of the Ahraari Jamaat. It had been further agreed that the government would not take any action or arrest miscreants responsible for disrupting law and order.
Mian Mumtaz Muhammad Khan Daulatana belonged to a wealthy land owning family. His father, Mian Ahmad Yar Khan Daulatana had a close relationship with Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II. Mian Mumtaz was up at Oxford at the same time as Hadhrat Sahibzada Mirza Nasir Ahmad and they had become good friends. On the formation of Pakistan, Mian Mumtaz Daulatana was elected as the Chief Minister of the Punjab, the principal province of the country. He had the support and backing of the land owning families of the Punjab. He had a very strong ambition to embark on a task, which would help him to eventually become the Prime Minister of the whole country. It occurred to him that, for the achievement of this goal, he should secure the help and assistance of the ‘Ahraar’ who were perpetual opponents of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya.

This is a long story and is not directly linked to my life story. What I really wish to say is that at that point Mian Mumtaz Daulatana was at the summit of his political career. The Punjabi sphere seemed too small to him and he had his eye on the Prime Minister ship of Pakistan. He seemed prepared to sacrifice every principle for the achievement of this objective. However, the Almighty had other plans. Although during the 1953 Anti Ahmadyya disturbances the lives and belongings of Ahmadis did suffer, nevertheless, collectively, by the Grace of Allah, the Jamaat emerged relatively unscathed. Once again, the Jamaat started marching on the highway of progress. Instead, these disturbances not only shattered Mian Mumtaz Daulatana’s dreams in the political field but also destroyed the Ahraari influence. The one who had visions of becoming the Prime Minister of the country even lost his position as Chief Minister of the Punjab. This was tantamount to a political demise.
In the decade of the 1970’s, Mumtaz Daulatana was one of the top most leaders of the Muslim League. When Zulfiqar Bhutto rose to prominence, in order to get him out of the way, Bhutto offered him the position of High Commissioner in London, a position that he could not refuse. The news that soon Mumtaz Daulatana would assume charge as High Commissioner for Pakistan in England was published in all the papers.

In those days the Jamaat Ahmadiyya in the UK had a very cordial relationship with the Pakistan High Commission. At my invitation, one after the other, several High Commissioners had visited the Mosque. In turn, I was invited to participate in all the High Commissioner’s functions.
When I read the news in the papers concerning Mumtaz Daulatana’s appointment I feared that because of his attitude towards the Jamaat during the 1953 disturbances, we may not be able to continue our cordial relationship with the Pakistan High Commission. In view of this situation, I wrote to Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III and asked if we should maintain relations with Mian Mumtaz Daulatana. Huzoor replied that the Almighty had already punished Mumtaz Daulatana enough for his contribution to the 1953 disturbances. Huzoor said that since we neither oppose nor hate anyone we leave the consequences in the hands of the Almighty. Huzoor permitted me to establish a relationship with Mian Mumtaz Daulatana. He further said that if Daulatana’s attitude had undergone a change and if he was remorseful of his earlier performance there was no reason whatsoever to restrict our dealings with him.
Soon after Mumtaz Daulatana assumed charge of the Pakistan High Commission, I wrote to him congratulating him on his appointment as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. I pledged complete co-operation from the British Jamaat e Ahmadiyya and I expressed a desire to meet him. Soon after the receipt of my letter, Mian Mumtaz Daulatana himself called me on the telephone. He thanked me for my letter and invited me to have tea with him.

I arrived at the Pakistan High Commission at the appointed time. He had made arrangements for tea and received me with considerable warmth. That surprised me. During our conversation he said that he was pleased that I had written to him and that it had resulted in a meeting. Otherwise, he said, he was going to contact me. He said that perhaps I knew that his father had a very close relationship with Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II and that his father always consulted Huzoor in every matter of any importance.

Due to Huzoor’s far sightedness and complete understanding of the leadership in the political field in India his father regarded him as a great leader. Qadian was often talked about in the Daulatana household and there was a continuous exchange of presents. He further said that when it was decided that he should be sent to Oxford, his father took him along to see Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II. His father instructed him to sit at Huzoor’s feet but Huzoor would not have him sit at his feet. Huzoor made Mumtaz sit next to him.

“Addressing Huzoor my father said:

“Here is my only son who is going to a country beyond the seven seas. I have certain misgivings about the moral environment in that country and I fear that influenced by the irreligious and free atmosphere in England my son may put aside his Indian and Islamic values. Therefore I seek your prayers.”
Huzoor promised to pray and then, addressing me (Mumtaz), he said:

“We have a Mosque in London. On arrival, please contact them and they will help you in every way possible. This very day I will send them instructions to this effect.”
On arrival at London I went straight to the Ahmadiyya Mosque in Putney and was warmly received by the then Imam, Maulana Abd ur Raheem Dard.”
Mian Mumtaz told me that he spent his first few days in London in a room in the Mission House. He said that Maulana Dard not only guided him with his advice and counsel but his observations regarding the British way of life were most helpful. He said that a few days later when he had to go to Oxford, Maulana Dard went along with him right up to the Hostel where he was to stay. The Imam invited him to spend his holidays with him in London. He also said that if he were in any need then he should contact him unceremoniously. Mumtaz Daulatana said that on several occasions, whenever he visited London, he stayed at the Mission House and became friendly with Mirza Nasir Ahmad who was a student at that time. He acknowledged that he could never forget the great favours that were bestowed on him by Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II. During his early days in England, he admitted he received enormous support from him.
I was not aware of what Mian Sahib told me and I must say, I was very surprised. It occurred to me to ask him how, in 1953, he had returned the great favors bestowed on him. However, I said nothing.
Before departure from the High Commission, I invited Mian Sahib to visit the Mosque an invitation that he readily accepted. After having fixed a date and time for his visit I came back.

At the appointed date and time, Mian Daulatana visited the Mosque where elaborate arrangements had been made for hot and cold beverages. On getting out of his car, he said that this was not the building in which he had stayed and that it looked newly built. I explained that he had stayed at 63 Melrose Road, which had since been demolished and a new building had been erected in its place. After tea, he expressed a desire to see the Mosque again – which he did.

A meeting had been arranged in the Mahmood Hall, which was filled to capacity by members of the Jamaat. After recitation of the Holy Quran, I presented a welcome address.

Mr Daulatana began his response by telling the audience that he was at these premises to renew his sentiments of love. Then he repeated all the incidents that he told me about at the High Commission. He also made certain general observations concerning politics in Pakistan. In the end he said that his doors were always open and whenever there was a problem he may be approached. He assured the audience that he would be found a good and sympathetic friend.
This function was a great success and apart from the local English newspapers the ‘Jang’ of London also published the news. Some papers also published photographs.

As time went on my relationship with Mr Daulatana became closer and closer. I would often visit him in the Pakistan High Commission. Mr Hidayatullah Bangvi was then working as Second Secretary in the High Commission. He was a devout Ahmadi and had served in the Foreign Service for a long while. When I visited the High Commissioner he would also often join us.
A little later Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III was to tour England. When I advised Mr Daulatana of his visit, he insisted that he should be given an opportunity to hold a Dinner Party in Huzoor’s honor. On his arrival I advised Huzoor of Mr Daulatana’s desire to throw a party. Huzoor accepted the invitation.
Mr Daulatana hosted a well attended party at his residence. Apart from officials of the Pakistan High Commission, Hadhrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan and I were present. Separate Purdah arrangements had been made for the ladies. Hadhrat Begum Sahiba, my wife, and Mrs Dr. Abdus Salaam were also invited.
In 1974 when the so called scholars of Majlis Khatam un Nabbuwat began their onslaught on the Jamaat Ahmadiyya Mian Daulatana was then the Pakistan High Commissioner in London. He seemed deeply concerned about the events in Pakistan and on many occasions, he sent for me and gave me some details of the events. During one of our meetings, he said:

“How unfortunate is Pakistan as a peace loving Jamaat is being persecuted.”

He expressed his regret for being in a position when, as the High Commissioner, he had to represent the Pakistan Government which was then supporting the Majlis Khatam un Nabbuwat and who seemed bent upon creating disorder.
Although he hailed from a very wealthy land owning family and had served as Chief Minister of the Punjab, in his dealings with me I found Mr Daulatana a courteous and a humble person. He always talked to me in Punjabi. On occasion, I would admit that being a Pathan my competence in the Punjabi language was strictly limited. In spite of that, he always talked to me in Punjabi.



Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 38: My Visit to Poland

With His grace, the monthly periodical ‘The Muslim Herald’ started by me was being sent to several countries of the world. It had become a means of propagation of Ahmadiyyat and Islam. In certain countries, some libraries even subscribed to the periodical. I received very many letters from the readers every day. I received a letter from Imam Zook who was an Imam of a Mosque and a leader of the Muslims in Warsaw (Poland). He said that he had seen a copy of ‘The Muslim Herald’ and was deeply impressed by its contents. He asked for some more literature to be sent to him. He asked for his name to be added to the list of subscribers to ‘The Muslim Herald’. He admitted that he did not know much English but a dear friend who lived in the adjoining flat knew English really well. He said that his friend had already translated various articles in the periodical into Polish for him. He also said that his friend was interested in Islam. I added Imam Zook’s name to the list of subscribers and sent him some literature.
Fortunately, around that time, through the Rotary Club, I met an Englishman, Mr Mark, who was well versed in the Polish language. He promised that he would translate the letters from Imam Zook for me. That is how Imam Zook and I started corresponding with each other in Polish. For my benefit, Mr Mark would translate the letters written to me in Polish. This state of affairs continued for a while and slowly Imam Zook was introduced to Ahmadiyyat. A little later he invited me to visit Poland and said that on my arrival he would arrange for some Christian scholars and me to meet some Muslim. I forwarded Imam Zook’s letter to Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III who instructed me to take advantage of this opportunity.
Therefore I travelled to Warsaw on 20th may 1976 and was received by Imam Zook at the Airport. I stayed at the Grand Hotel and the following day we had a long detailed discussion at his residence. His neighbor, who knew English well acted as an interpreter. Our meeting continued late into the night. Earlier on Imam Zook had prepared a lengthy list of questions that he wished to ask. With Allah’s Grace I was able to answer all his questions and my answers seemed to satisfy him. In the evening, in the company of the Imam and his interpreter friend, I went sight seeing. He for the most part he showed me that section of Warsaw, which had been destroyed by Hitler during the Second World War. There was no trace of any of the old buildings.

However, at the end of the war the residents of Warsaw collected donations and restored that part of the town to its former glory. As a result there was no trace of a war on any of the buildings. I was deeply impressed and felt convinced that if any people rise with determination no power on earth could annihilate them.
After a few days discussion Imam Zook accepted Ahmadiyyat. He filled the Ba’it form and signed it. At that time Imam Zook was one of the six Imams in Poland. Since he was the Imam of the Mosque in Warsaw and was a learned person, he was considered more important than the others were. He was born in a Christian household. He came across a copy of the Holy Quran when he was studying in an academy to be a Christian priest. On the study of the Holy Quran, he accepted Islam. In this way, instead of a cleric he became Imam of a Mosque and later on the Almighty directed him towards Ahmadiyyat. Imam Zook had the good fortune to visit Rabwah in 1978 where he had the honor of meeting Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III.
By the Grace of Allah the Ahmadiyya Jamaat has now been regularly registered in Poland and a Central Missionary is posted there.






Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 39: Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III

In 1945, for the first time in my life, when I was a student at the T.I. High School in Qadian I had the privilege of an audience with Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad. However, from the early part of 1949 when in my first year I joined the T.I. College in Lahore, a strong, loving and benevolent relationship began. Huzoor was then the Principal of the College and in those days, in a way the T.I. College was at its zenith. Due to Huzoor’s excellent administration, in many ways, the T.I. College had surpassed all other colleges in Lahore.

I was Imam of the London Mosque when Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II passed away in 1965. Thousands of miles away from the Centre, all Ahmadis in Britain, active in their prayers, were impatiently waiting to hear who had been elected to be the third Khaleefa. Engrossed in these thoughts many Ahmadis had assembled in the Mission House. A British Muslim, Bilal Nuttall, approached me and told me that he knew who the next Khalifa would be. I was very surprised and asked him how he knew ahead of the election who would be chosen to be the new Khaleefa. Bilal Nuttall gave me a photograph that he had in his hand and in a choking voice said:

“Here is a photograph of Sahibzada Nasir Ahmad, taken in the London Mosque that he gave me. In those days, he was up at Oxford for his studies. I had spent a period very close to him and I found him to be God fearing, well mannered and an arch lover of the Holy Prophet. After my first glimpse at the Sahibzada I have always been absolutely certain that he deserved to occupy the exalted position and that the Jamaat would surely elect him.”

Bilal Nuttall was still with me when we received a telegram from the Centre telling us that Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad had been elected as the third Khaleefa. Therefore, being far sighted, in Huzoor’s youth, for the fulfillment of a monumental task Bilal had his eye on Huzoor. He was a witness that Huzoor was a chaste, pious and God-fearing person. He was also a witness that Huzoor was an arch lover of the Holy Prophet of Islam.
Many members of the family of the Promised Messiah had a close relationship with a British farming family in Cornwall (England) The Pearce family were well to do and had a farm called Trenodden near Liskeard. While Huzoor was a student at Oxford, along with his cousins Mirza Muzaffar Ahmad and Mirza Zafar Ahmad, in a most unceremonious way, he would often spend his holidays at the farm. Once, along with Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, I also spent two or three days in Cornwall. Mrs Pearce repeated all the old tales concerning the times the three grandsons of the Promised Messiah spent at the farm.
During the course of our conversation, Mrs Pierce enquired about Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad. She pointed to the room where Huzoor stayed and said that during his stay whenever she passed in front of his room she could hear a fascinating hum. She said that she would stand next to the window and hear what was being recited. Once she asked Nasir what he recited every morning without fail. Huzoor replied that he recited a portion of the Holy Quran. Mrs Pearce also said that at the evening meals the grandsons of the Promised Messiah often talked about their plans. When it was Huzoor’s turn, he would say:

“I intend to serve the Islamic faith and I am determined to devote all my life for this purpose. I have no other desire or ambition and I am certainly not inclined towards worldly affairs.”

Normally the British, particularly the Christian British, do not have a strong inclination towards religion. Mrs Pearce admitted that on hearing this discussion she said:

“What a waste of time.”

She continued:

“Now that I see he is the Head of the Jamaat I feel sorry that I let such a remark escape from my lips. Now indeed, he has been granted the kind of life that he had wished for. Even in his youth he was very shy and a very affectionate person. During his holidays, he would assemble children, give them chocolates out of his pocket and feel very pleased. He would only eat Halal meat and as Halal meat was not easy to come by he would slaughter a chicken with his own hand.”

I was shown a photograph of him in the course of slaughtering a chicken.
In 1967 nearly two years after Khilafat, in order to inaugurate the Ahmadiyya Mosque there Huzoor went to Copenhagen. I was also present. When, for the first time after his ascension to the throne of Khilafat I cast my eyes on Huzoor’s countenance I had a very strange sensation. With great compassion, Huzoor embraced me and allowed me to stay with him for a while. A few days later, when Huzoor came to England, all of us in the British Jamaat were very happy and over the moon. At the Heathrow Airport, for his reception, a modest stage had been arranged and a microphone had been provided.
On Huzoor’s arrival, the Queen’s Building at the Heathrow Airport resounded with slogans of ‘Takbeer’ and other Islamic slogans. I asked Huzoor if he would like to address the audience but he said that he was so impatient to meet other Ahmadis that there was no need for a speech but instead he would shake hands with all those who were present. No plans had been made for shaking of hands and certain difficulties arose. However, Huzoor insisted and shook hands with all the hundreds of Ahmadis who had assembled. He even embraced some of them. Most returned to their houses very pleased. Huzoor had to remain on his feet for an hour and a half but on meeting Ahmadis Huzoor’s face was aglow with pleasure.

Huzoor stayed at 63 Melrose Road and the Mission House shifted to the adjoining building at 61Melrose Road. That building, at that time, was not in a good shape. Parts of it were covered in dust and smelt of fresh paint. I would normally remain in the other building at Huzoor’s disposal. At night, with great pleasure I attended the Majlis e Irfaan.
Once, when I got home in the evening my wife told me that due to the stink of the fresh paint and the presence of dust, our senior daughter Amat ul Jameel had suffered a severe attack of Asthma. When the doctor came to see her, at his advice, the child was moved to a Hospital. I rushed to the hospital and found that my daughter was very weak and in an oxygen tent. The doctor on duty was far from pleased with her condition and said that she may not survive the attack. He asked me to pray. When I got back home, I found Huzoor just about ready to lead the Isha prayer. I was deeply worried and in that state of mind, I told Huzoor about Jamila’s sickness and the doctor’s opinion that she may not survive. Huzoor asked me not to worry and promised to pray. He assured me that Allah would grant a healthy long life to Jameela. Even when I got home, I remained engaged in deep supplications.

After the Fajr prayers, Hadhrat Begum Sahiba told me that throughout the previous night Huzoor did not sleep a wink and with great humility he prayed for Jameela. Begum Sahiba instructed me to go to the Hospital and enquire about Jameela’s condition. On arrival at the hospital, I saw a great sign of the acceptance of prayers. Jameela was no longer in an oxygen tent but was sitting happily in an armchair. The doctor told me that after I had left there was an extraordinary recovery and now she was out of danger. After a few days Jameela came back to the house. This miracle was a direct result of the heartfelt humble prayers offered by Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III. Instead of my daughter facing death, she was gifted with a long life.
At every step during this tour the British Jamaat witnessed signs of the acceptance of Huzoor’s prayers. While in Scotland, by the way, Huzoor asked a devout Ahmadi, Muhammad Ayub how many children he had. He answered that he had three daughters. Huzoor smiled and said:

“It is high time you had a son.”

In a despondent manner, Mr Ayub said:

“Now I cannot hope for a son.”

In a very firm tone, Huzoor told him that it was a sin to be despondent and that it did not behove a believer to be pessimistic. Then Huzoor promised to pray for him and said that, God willing, he would have a son. A little later Mr Ayub wrote to Huzoor and advised him that his wife was pregnant and asked him to pray that they may be blessed with a son. In reply, Huzoor assured him that the Almighty would grant him a son and asked him to name the child ‘Ibrahim’. This letter from Huzoor was written four or five months prior to the birth of the boy. In fact, Mr Ayub brought the letter to me. I congratulated him. On the due date, a son was born and he was named ‘Ibrahim’.
Similarly, Sadiqa Haidar, a woman living in London started crying bitterly when she met Huzoor. When asked the reason Sadiqa said that she had no children and the topmost specialists in London had told her that it was not possible for her to bear any children. In a very firm tone, Huzoor said to her:

“Our faith is based upon the living and sustaining God and not upon any Doctor. I will pray for you. Do not despair. The Almighty Allah will show His Mercy and Grace.”

A little later Sadiqa told Huzoor that she was pregnant but that the doctors felt that she would miscarry. Huzoor wrote to her, gave her the glad tidings of the birth of a boy, and assured her that she would not miscarry. The Almighty accepted Huzoor’s prayer. There are very many other occasions, which I cannot possibly recount, as there is not enough space in this article. Huzoor had been gifted with a special sign; i.e. acceptance of his supplications.
In the matter of the intake of food Huzoor always exercised great restraint. He often said that the root cause of ill health is overindulgence. He would say that a believer is he who eats very little. He related that once, when he was a guest of a (zamindar) landowner for his meal he was given seven chapattis (flat bread) with some saalan (curry). As was his habit, he ate very little. The landowner’s wife was watching him from behind a curtain and she said:

“Today you must not eat like you eat at home. You must eat as much as I would like you to.”

Huzoor assured her that normally he ate very little but she had difficulty in believing him and kept on insisting that he should eat more and more.

He was kindness personified. He would become restive at even the slightest problem faced by those around him. In May 1971 when I had, the honor and privilege of being his Private Secretary once a day had been set aside for meeting visitors. On that day, from early morning, to meet Huzoor many visitors assembled from everywhere. According to the schedule, the meetings were to begin at 11 a.m. At around 10 a.m. Huzoor suffered extreme weakness. Sahibzada Dr. Mirza Munawar Ahmad came immediately and for a whole hour kept on dispensing various medicines. At 11 a.m., Dr. Mirza Munawar Ahmad strictly prohibited him from meeting any visitors and instructed him to take complete rest. Huzoor said:

“Since some members of the Jamaat have come from great distances how is it possible for me to send them away without meeting them. Therefore I will definitely meet them.”
Dr. Mirza Munawar Ahmad made it a condition that Huzoor would only shake hands with the visitors and would not get involved in any dialogue. Huzoor started meeting the visitors and in fact, after shaking hands he conversed with them for an hour and three quarters. Signs of weakness were apparent on Huzoor’s face and one could clearly see that he was unwell. Nevertheless, he met the visitors and only returned after having seen all of them.
A missionary once complained to Huzoor that the Anjuman had refused to pay a few hundred Rupees due to him. Huzoor passed the application on to Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya who held that in accordance with the Rules and Regulations no amount was payable to the missionary concerned. On perusal of the report, enclosed in an envelope, Huzoor gave me six or seven hundred Rupees and instructed me to send for the missionary and explain to him that being bound by their own Rules and Regulations the Anjuman could not accept his claim. Therefore, the missionary was advised to withdraw his claim and accept from Huzoor the amount that he had claimed. Accordingly, the whole amount was paid to the missionary concerned. Often when either a son or a daughter of a missionary or a Devotee of Life would get married, Huzoor would send for me, put a reasonable amount of money in an envelope and instruct me to deliver it on his behalf. On occasion, the cash enclosed in the envelope would be in thousands. The gratification that Huzoor derived from these gifts is beyond description.
Huzoor strictly adhered to what had been enjoined in the Hadeeth ‘He who does not show gratitude to others does not show gratitude to Allah’. He would glorify Allah all the time. He would also advise Ahmadis to show gratitude to God. He once gave a certain medicine to an Ahmadi and asked him to use it along with honey. The recipient said that it was very difficult to obtain pure honey. Huzoor said to him
“I am prepared to give you pure honey but on the condition that for every spoon that you use you will express gratitude to the Almighty 2,000 times as in accordance with a Divine command 2,000 bees have to work hard to collect a spoonful of honey. These bees derive nectar from flowers in an area of a mile and a half. It is in this way that a clear, pure, aromatic, life giving, naturally sweet honey is prepared. It is therefore incumbent upon us that every moment of our lives we should remain engaged in thanking Allah for His gift and while consuming every single drop of honey we should recall Allah’s blessings in that He has, of His own Mercy and Grace, instructed hundreds and thousands of bees to prepare syrupy honey.”
Huzoor remained continuously engaged in the observation of natural phenomena. His speeches are dotted with hundreds of examples where he refers to observation of natural phenomena. He once said that in the Holy Quran the Almighty says:

“And there falls not a leaf but He knows it.” 6:60
Therefore, it is quite apparent that not even a leaf can fall from a tree without His command. Huzoor said that he once chose a Peepal tree for his personal observation. He would sit next to the tree every morning. He observed that some leaves that had become pale should, following the natural pattern, fall, but these remained together with the tree and some apparently green and healthy leaves fell. Had the natural law been in force all the time the yellow leaves should have fallen first only to be followed by the green leaves. However, the green leaves that received Divine command, in obedience to Him, fell ahead of the yellow ones.
Huzoor mentioned another example. He said that in the event of a hailstorm crops in some fields are ruined and in other fields, under identical circumstances, remain perfectly secure. The natural laws are equally applicable to both but the Almighty of His own will suspend the natural law and the crops in some fields remain safe. In a way the natural laws operate but subject to the Divine Command.
He showed great interest in research. From time to time he would prove the truth of Islam based on his research. Once he said that because of research it had been established that gold and silver are also constituents of the human brain. Earlier on doctors had believed that gold was not a component of the human body; therefore they prescribed kushta (oxide) of gold, which would be excreted naturally. He said that another matter that had been established because of research is that in the female brain the content of gold is only half of that in the brain of males. The results of this research prove the wisdom of the instructions of the Holy Prophet that men should not wear gold. The amount of gold needed in the male brain is adequate and therefore they have been prohibited from wearing gold. Since the female share is not as much they are permitted to wear gold ornaments.
I have had the privilege of being a recipient of continuous kindnesses, affection and love for a period of seventeen years. Because of Huzoor’s kindness and love every single particle of my body prays that in the next world the Almighty God will grant Huzoor the proximity of his master, Hadhrat Muhammad Mustafa (saw). Amen.
I was privileged to be included in Huzoor’s entourage when he toured Europe and America. While in America, I served him as his Private Secretary.

For a long time I have been in the habit of drinking coffee every morning at 11 a.m. Almost exactly at that hour, I hanker after coffee. Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib was aware of the habit of mine. When Huzoor toured Europe, which included a visit to Scotland, I was asked to drive his car. Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib travelled with Huzoor. Before leaving London, in a somewhat sarcastic manner, Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib said to me:
“How will you manage as Huzoor will not stop for coffee at 11 o’clock?”
I said that God does arrange for procuring what one is habituated to. Chaudhry Sahib laughed at my response. On our way from London to Scotland, a quarter of an hour before 11 o’clock I saw a board for ‘Services’. I slowed down and signaled for turning left. Huzoor enquired why I was leaving the Motorway. I said that right ahead are Services where the toilets are neat and clean where we could make a stop for a while. We could make use of the washing facilities and stretch our legs. Huzoor liked the idea and said that he himself wanted to get out of the car and relieve himself. When the car came to a stop and Huzoor stepped out, Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib chuckled a bit. He said to me:

“Somehow you have managed to stop for your coffee at 11 o’clock!”

I also laughed. On enquiry, Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib told Huzoor that I was in the habit of drinking coffee at 11 o’clock. He also told him of our conversation prior to leaving London. Huzoor was also amused. For me a bonus arose from that incident. From then on, a few minutes before 11 o’clock Huzoor would say to me:

“It’s nearly 11 o’clock; you can make a stop for your coffee.”
In 1970, when I was appointed as Huzoor’s Private Secretary, at exactly 11 o’clock, even while busy reading his mail, he would say:

“You can go and have a cup of coffee. I will continue reading the mail.”
On the very first day of my appointment as Private Secretary at Rabwah Huzoor said to me:

“I want you to be my driver. While you are driving I remain tranquil.”

Therefore, during a period of eighteen months, while I was Huzoor’s Private Secretary at Rabwah I had the honor of driving his car. During that period, on one occasion, while I was driving Huzoor’s car Hadhrat Dr. Mirza Munawwar Ahmad was seated in the front next to me. As usual, Huzoor and Begum Sahiba occupied the rear seat.

Mian Munawwar pointed out to me that the exterior of the car was covered in dust and that I should take care to see that it is clean. Huzoor did not like this comment and addressing Mian Sahib, in a voice a little louder than usual,

he said:

“Munawwar! It is a favor of the Imam Sahib that he drives my car. In fact, he is not a driver but my Private Secretary. Cleaning the car is not his responsibility. Others are employed for this purpose.”

That evening when we went out for a walk, Mian Munawwar Ahmad said he was sorry that he made that remark.
In 1971, when for the second time Huzoor sent me to England as Imam of the London Mosque and Missionary in Charge, out of the compassion of his heart he said to me:

“As you are my Private Secretary I do not really wish to send you to England. However, many of the British Jamaat has written to me asking me to post you back to England. I am, therefore, asking you to go to England unwillingly.”

Two days before my departure Huzoor had marquees erected in his own compound and threw a party for me to which, apart from members of the family of the Promised Messiah some other dignitaries such as Nazirs and Wakeels were invited. For me this was the greatest tribute.
While I was his Private Secretary at Rabwah, with great hesitation, I said to Huzoor that I wished to invite him and Begum Sahiba for a meal at my house but I was fully aware of my station. Huzoor replied instantly:

“Why not? We will come to your house for a meal whenever you like.”

I was thrilled and a few days later after making the necessary arrangements, I invited Huzoor, Begum Sahiba and some of their children for a meal at my house. Huzoor and the members of his family came along. My parents, a sister and her children were staying with me and they too participated in the get-together. Huzoor stayed until late at night and held a discussion on various subjects.

Although my residence was only a few paces from my office, as soon as I assumed charge, Huzoor kindly told me that my midday meal would be sent to me from his residence. This routine remained in force for a period of eighteen months. At the exact time fixed for lunch my meal would be sent to my office. Once or twice, I humbly submitted that my house was very close to my office and there was really no need for my meal to be sent from Huzoor’s residence. However, Huzoor did not agree and until the day I left for England this practice continued.
It is totally impossible for me to record the never-ending favors and love that I was recipient of during those days.

I have seen Huzoor from close quarters and I always found him to be God fearing, an arch lover of God and a spiritual giant. His interior and exterior were identical. He was a very shy person. He habitually covered and concealed faults of others. He never kept a grievance in his heart. Even when he got cross, he soon forgave. Throughout the time that I worked with him, his favors were showered upon me continuously. He would take care of my smallest needs. He would address me as ‘Imam Rafiq’ in an affectionate manner. In all his European and American tours, he included me in his entourage. While meeting Heads of State and other important political figures he would always keep me with him. The treatment of Hadhrat Mansoora Begum Sahiba was of the same pattern. Her treatment to me was that of a kind and benevolent mother.




















































Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 40: My Spanish Visits

Spain is probably the only country in the world that has witnessed 700 years of Islamic rule with splendor. The Islamic Quranic teachings and treasures profited not only the Muslim Spain but also the rest of the whole world during this golden age. The Muslims entered Spain when the Spanish were suffering from tyranny and despotism. At that time, the whole of Europe was in a pathetic state.
Once a Muslim King of Spain despatched a General to assess for conquest some European countries, particularly England. After touring up and down the country, he gathered information relative to military needs and submitted a report to the King. The General in his report said:

“In my view England can be conquered in a matter of days but what use will such a victory be when the general population live like animals, where, due to swamps, quagmires and dust the economy is in a miserable state.“

Thereafter the Spanish King abandoned any idea of conquering England.
Since education was then confined to the clergy and the hermits, these two classes were amongst the rich. At that time, in Europe, the majority of the agricultural property was in the ownership of the Church. The public suffered from extreme poverty.
The moral condition of the European Kings was worse than that of animals. It was such intolerable state of affairs that attracted the attention of the Muslims towards Spain. When the Muslims attacked Spain it was being ruled by a tyrant named ‘Roderick’ and the general population was tired of his mismanagement and tyranny. In other words, lava was simmering within. Count Julian, an influential General, was the then Governor of Sabetha. Having had enough of the atrocities, he contacted Moosa bin Naseer, the ruler of Morocco and requested him to rescue the poor people of Spain from the tyrannical rule of Roderick. After having secured permission from the Caliph and after having studied in detail the report of a delegation that he sent to Spain to verify the account presented by General Julian, he commissioned a freed slave named ‘Tariq Bin Zyad’ to attack Spain.
In the month of July in 701 (Hijri 92) Tariq landed at the Spanish coast. After a bloody battle, he inflicted heavy losses on the opponents. King Roderick vanished and no one knew if he had been swallowed by the earth or had been drowned in the sea.
Such were the conditions in the early days of the Muslim entry into Spain. Then, not only in Spain but in the whole of Europe the Muslims spread the light of the Quranic teachings far and wide The Spanish soil was barren, infertile and sandy, where no fruit trees other than olives grew, where ignorance and poverty prevailed and where the general public had no idea what their rights were. Within a few centuries after the country was taken into the guardianship of the Muslims, it became the centre of education, information, skills, Sciences, technology, poetry and literature. Under the Muslim rule, Spain surpassed all other countries in Europe. The Muslim engineers introduced a system of irrigation that resulted in plentiful production of food grains. Stable economic conditions were established that were badly needed by the whole of Europe.
Unfortunately, towards the end of their rule the Muslims set aside the Holy Quran. In the middle Ages the Muslim scholars themselves blemished the beautiful features of Islam with their customs, their innovations and their tendency to associate others with God. The Islamic sun began to decline all over Spain. Mutual quarrels and promiscuity crossed the threshold of the palaces. Having lost any meaningful and real contact with the Faith the Muslim scholars became greedy and as a result, a well established government of over 800 years suddenly collapsed and ended in ruins. In a state of utter helplessness, the Muslims left Spain. After their departure, the Christian rulers engaged in Barbarianism to a degree, which had no equal. They either destroyed or turned into Christian Churches all the beautiful and grand Mosques. Even the gardens and canals so meticulously made laid out by the Muslims just vanished from the face of the earth. On certain days, hundreds of thousands of Muslims were massacred. Stringing tiny little Muslim children on their lances, they demonstrated their Bohemianism.

Surely, in the heart of every Muslim child these legends have been giving rise to aspirations to see Spain and examine the remains of a Majestic era. I too had such ambitions since my childhood and my dream was fulfilled in 1960 when in the company of Sahibzada Mirza Mubarak Ahmad, Wakeel ut Tabsheer, I saw the outdated Muslim splendor.

I was privileged to accompany Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III to visit Spain for the second time in 1970. How fortunate was this humble person to be given an opportunity to once again visit Spain, which could provide a new life to the historic and spiritual memories. Through his benevolence, Huzoor included me in his entourage.
In June 1970 the Spanish soil was restored to spiritual life with greater glory than in the past. After nearly four centuries the sterile soil of Spain once again witnessed the advent of a spring.
On 25th June, Huzoor, along with his entourage left London for Spain by air. In this historic journey, apart from Hadhrat Begum Sahiba, the following accompanied Huzoor:
Sahibzada Mirza Mubarak Ahmad, Ch. Zahur Ahmad Bajwa, Ch. Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Saleem Nasir and this humble servant (B.A. Rafiq). It was a flight that lasted about two hours. Huzoor became somewhat restive as we approached Madrid. When the Madrid Airport came into view, he turned back and said:
“I can hear the tramp of the hooves of Tariq’s horses. Can you also hear them?”

In an agonizing manner, Huzoor repeated this question two or three times. I was ready to testify that a sagacious saint, who outshone Tariq is about to bless the Spanish soil. Tariq landed in Spain with the might of his swords. Later on, again by the use of a sword the majesty and grandeur of the Muslims in Spain was blown to smithereens. Now a victorious General of Islam and Ahmadiyyat, who has memorised the whole of the Holy Quran, carrying messages of peace and love was landing on the same soil. This entry of the Muslims into Spain will, God willing, is permanent and everlasting. Now Ahmadiyyat will bring about a spiritual revolution in Spain. Since this victory will not be achieved through the use of force but through prayers, messages of love and peace it will last for ever. Inshallah.
My sentiments and thoughts had created turbulence in my very being. I was proud at being so fortunate as to be included in the vanguard of the spiritual army that would triumph over Spain. A country where for centuries past Muslims had spread Quranic teachings that had made the land lush; the land where later on the Muslims faced devastation in a state of utter helplessness. Once again an era had just dawned through which, it is destined that the Islamic spiritual triumphs will begin. When we were about to land at the Madrid Airport, I was drenched in such thoughts. Through my spiritual eyes, I could see hundreds of angels, all standing in rows waiting to welcome my master. I felt as if, in the spiritual world, this blessed day is being celebrated with pomp and ceremony.
When Huzoor disembarked from the aeroplane Moulvi Karam Ilahi Zafar, our Missionary in Spain, along with his family, was there to welcome him. We moved to a Hotel in Madrid where we stayed for two days. Arrangements were made for our travel to the Andalusia Province by road. We left for Cordoba on the 27th June. During the Islamic rule of all the towns in Spain Cordoba was a gem. It was truly worthy of being described as the ‘Wedding of the Land’. A sturdy wall surrounded the town. The whole town had well laid out wide roads. Its citizens adorned themselves by wearing robes and decorations of knowledge. Thousands of students attended the Cordoba Islamic University. Students all over Europe and Asia considered it a great honour to be admitted to this academy. There were any numbers of scholars. The great Ibn Rushd also lived in Cordoba.
The Royal Palaces built on the pattern of Islamic architecture further enhanced the magnetism of the town. The town was spread over an area of ten miles. The Muslim Caliphs had decorated the town with rare trees and bushes brought from all over the world. In order to supply water to the gardens, with great effort, some hills around Cordoba were cut so that the canals could carry plentiful clean and pure water. It was because of this water that Cordoba became a ‘garden town’. It was in Cordoba where to remember his native land Abd ur Rahman, the first Monarch of the Umayyad dynasty planted a date tree brought from Damascus. That was the very first date tree planted in Spain. Abd ur Rahman was a literary person and also a poet of a high order. Through this tree, he had sentimentally linked Spain with his native land. Perhaps he kept on gazing at the tree for hours.
The gardens of Cordoba were famous all over the world. These gardens not only had fragrant flowers of different colors and hues but also all kinds of fruit bearing trees that provided shade and portrayed a semblance of the heavens. In the gardens in Europe, the early Arab settlers were the very first to arrange trees and bushes in rows. The art of landscaping of gardens was in fact a creation of the Muslims. Along with their keenness on physical beauty, they possessed incisive eyes with which they could scrutinize the spiritual objects.
Cordoba accommodated many beautiful Mosques. The Jamia Mosque of Cordoba was the greatest of them all and was adorned with beautiful features. In 784 A.D. Amir Abd ur Rahman started work on this Mosque and after his demise his son completed the structure in 793. This Mosque is a rare example of Islamic architecture. After these two Kings, some others Kings tried to further beautify and extend the Mosque. One of them had all the floors laid with marble; one of them had all the pillars gilded; one of them added very tall minarets and one of them provided arrangements for ablution and showers. To comprehend the extent of the Mosque it may be mentioned that there are 1,293 pillars and for illumination 400 chandeliers were provided. The niche and the pulpit were decorated with the very best timber and ivory. To complete this task 36,000 ivory tusks and a large quantity of expensive timber were used.
From Madrid to Cordoba
Along with his entourage, Huzoor left Madrid for Cordoba on 27th June. The whole route was dry and barren. Here and there one could see orchards of grapes and olives. Judging from the houses and cafes alongside the road it appeared that the region was impoverished. We made two or three stops on the way and reached Cordoba in the evening. In its splendor the modern day Cordoba is not even 1,000th part of the Cordoba during the Islamic regime. At one time, it had no equal in the whole of Europe and today it consists of dilapidated buildings. We stayed at the Melia Hotel. The next day We went to visit the famous Cordoba Mosque.
As Huzoor entered the Mosque a Professor, who taught in one of the Cordoba colleges, being deeply influenced by the Huzoor’s countenance, approached him, shook his hand and with great deference offered to show him round the Mosque. Huzoor went inside the Mosque guided by the Professor and in the archway, in spite of centuries having passed, saw verses of the Holy Quran written in gold. ‘Ayat ul Kursi’ was easily legible. Inside the archway, to prevent people entering, an iron fence had been fixed. Without being asked, a guard opened the door and invited Huzoor to enter the archway. All those who accompanied Huzoor also followed him. They were all bursting with emotion. Standing in the archway Huzoor raised his hands and prayed. That was an historic moment indeed. Photographs were taken. A part of the Mosque had been transformed into a Church. Huzoor said

“After all, why did the Christians not convert the whole of the Mosque into a Church. There was nothing to stop them. The reason appears to be that the Christians feared that if the whole of the Mosque became a Church how they could fill it with worshippers. In a way, it was an admission of the lack of confidence. After all, the Muslims had made the Mosque as vast as they felt that the Muslim worshippers would fill it.”
At any one time the Mosque could accommodate 30,000 worshippers. That is perhaps the biggest Covered Mosque in the whole world.
Departure for Granada
The following morning we were to leave for Granada and Huzoor decided that after leaving the hotel we should make a stop at the Mosque and Al Qasr. At one time Al Qasr was the residence of the Muslim Governor of Cordoba. Even now, the beautiful fountains, gardens, shaded trees and rows can be seen in the same condition as they were during the Muslim regime. The trees and the flowers undergo a change but the pattern remains the same. Bearing in mind the local climate and the peculiarities of the soil an attempt was made to grow the same flowers as those planted by the Muslims.
In the afternoon, we left for Granada. The surface of the road was good but due to the absence of shady trees along the road, the heat of the sun became unbearable. Granada is situated at the foot of the hills and the journey from Cordoba to Granada was pleasant as the entire route passed through fertile hills. There were plenty of olive orchards and here and there, one could also see grape vines. As the road passed through an undulating region, occasionally driving on the hills was somewhat hazardous. Alongside the road, one could see signs showing the names of the villages. We noticed that the name of some villages began with ‘Al’ for example ‘Al Kala’, Al Kaza’. The term ‘Al’ is derived from Arabic. Other differences, which we noticed was that the Andulucian people, compared with people from other regions, were taller, healthier and the colour of their hair and eyes was darker. The reason for this seems to lie in the fact that they also had Arab blood in their veins.
Alongside the road there were plenty of cafes and restaurants. Because of the heat, soft drinks were being consumed in plenty.
We reached Granada in the evening and Huzoor stayed in the Granada Palace Hotel situated in a part of Alhambra. This hotel has been built on the top of a hill. Therefore charming Granada can be seen clearly. In Granada, my thoughts went back five centuries when it portrayed a beautiful specimen of Islamic culture and civilization. Due to the presence of a large number of scholars and poets, most towns had become centers of learning. There were thousands of beautiful Mosques and baths. It was from Granada that the last Muslim ruler, Abu Abdullah was exiled. Alhambra is the heart of Granada, which had assumed great fame. A great distinction of this Palace is that here, there and everywhere the words ‘La Ghalib Illa Allah’ have been engraved. In whichever direction you look, you can see these words.
It is related that when Ameer Abd ur Rahman went to see the Palace, he paused at the entrance for a few minutes and then suddenly returned to the palace from which he came. A little later, the courtiers approached the King and enquired as to why he did not pass through the gate of the Palace. The King said:

“When I reached the entrance to the Palace, influenced by its vastness, its beauty, its architecture and the tastefully laid out gardens, for a moment arrogant feelings touched me. At that moment, I said to me; ‘Oh Abd ur Rahman, display of your importance is shirk. My heart shuddered and I came back without seeing the Palace. I was determined not to return to the Palace until here there and everywhere there is evidence of the dominance of the Almighty so that the thought of pride and arrogance do not enter my mind.”

Only after these words had been engraved did the King move into the Palace. So much has been written about the splendour and architecture of Al Hambra that perhaps no other building has had so much written about it. Every part of the Palace is worth seeing. However, the ‘Court of Lion’ is a rare specimen of the Muslim Expertise.
The next day Huzoor went to see Alhambra. Chaudhry Muhammad Ali took note of the Quranic verses and other Arabic inscriptions and Huzoor took a number of photographs.
Huzoor stayed in Granada for two days. Early one morning Huzoor said that during the previous night when he was enabled to pray for the resurgence of Islam in Spain he received the revelation in Arabic which clearly pointed out that at the appointed time Islam would once again be dominant in Spain and that, Inshallah, that would come to pass through Ahmadiyyat.
Move to Toledo and Madrid
After staying in Granada for two days, Huzoor moved towards Toledo and Madrid. Toledo was the capital of Spain when Tariq invaded Spain. Even after Tariq’s conquest, Toledo continued to be the capital of the country. Later on, during the Muslim rule the capital was moved to Cordoba and then to Granada. Toledo is situated on top of a bare and desolate hill. At a lower level, a river flows around the town, which provides security like a trench. Even now, in spite of desolation three Mosques still exist. One small Mosque had been privileged as according the historic records Tariq bin Zyad offered his first Salaat in it. In the current era, in accordance with the Divine Plan, Nasir e Deen, Khalifa tul Masih III also offered a prayer there.
Close to the Mosque, there is a huge gate. When Huzoor passed through the gate he met a University Professor who told him that during the Islamic rule that particular gate was reserved for the exclusive use of the Khalifa. It was destined that Huzoor would one day passed through the same gate as if he was inaugurating the second phase of Islam in Spain. Toledo is a small town, to see the Mosques that are now under the charge of the National Trust very many tourists visit it. The Trust ensures that they are cleaned and are properly looked after.
In 2002 my son Mahmood Ahmad invited Salima and me to accompany him on a tour of Andulucia.We travelled to Malaga, from where we rented a car and travelled to Cordoba and Granada. We also visited the Ahmadiyya Mosque and Mission house in Cordoba.





























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 41: My Brothers and Sisters

My parents were blessed with five daughters and three sons. A brother and a sister passed away when they were five and six years old respectively. My brother was named Bashir Ahmad and my sister was named Mah e Talaat. Naturally, it was a great shock for my parents as two of their children had passed away within a period of forty days. Talaat was the first to go to meet her Maker and Bashir followed her forty days later.
At the demise of these two my parents displayed exemplary patience. Contrary to the normal practice in our villages, my parents did not go into mourning. They were reconciled and content at God’s Will. In a state of deep grief my father was shown a dream that he would be blessed with more children. He was particularly advised of the birth of two sons. He wrote down this dream on a piece of paper that I have seen with my own eyes. It is a pity that it has been lost.
Amat ul Kareem: – My senior sister was named Amat ul Kareem. She was three years senior to me and has passed away recently. Since her childhood, we had been very fond of each and were very close. She was married to Muhammad Hassan Khan Durrani, son of Muhammad Akram Khan of Charsadha. Muhammad Akram Khan was the first graduate from the Frontier Province. He was a classmate of the famous poet Iqbal. He was indeed a devout and zealous Ahmadi. He always showed great kindness to me. He would always come to see me in the Boarding House whenever he visited Qadian and would bring me some presents. He took up residence in a new village that he had himself established near Charsadha. The surrounding agricultural lands belonged to him. The Almighty blessed him with the order of a ‘martyr’. Details appear in the ‘Tareekh e Ahmadiyyat’ Volume 14 Page 256.
My sister’s husband, Muhammad Hassan Khan Durrani was a very sincere and honest person and had the character of a Sufi.
Amat ul Kareem and Muhammad Hassan Khan were blessed by God with three sons – Muhammad Saeed Khan Durrani, Muhammad Arshad Khan Durrani and Muhammad Daood Khan Durrani. They were also blessed with a daughter, Shahida Begum.
Col. Nazir Ahmad Khan: -I have only one brother, Col. Nazir Ahmad Khan who has now permanently settled in Chicago. Naturally, we spent our childhood together and by the Grace of God we always benefit from a great, mutual love. Although he is only three years younger than me he treats me and respects me as if I were his father. In the Army, he rose to the rank of a Colonel and commanded the Kharian Army Station. He saw active service during the wars with India.
When I left for England in 1959 my mother became somewhat downcast. In those days, whoever sailed across the Seven Seas was liable never to return. My mother kept on crying whenever she recalled me. Once my father took her along to see Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II. My father said to Huzoor that my mother remained downhearted and due to having parted with Bashir Ahmad often cried. Addressing my mother Huzoor said:
“Why do you cry? You should be happy and grateful to God that he has endowed you with two sons and one of them is a soldier in the spiritual Army and the other is a soldier in the Pakistan Army.”
After retirement from the Army Nazir Ahmad remains continuously engaged in serving the Jamaat Ahmadiyya in Chicago. For many years, he served as General Secretary of the Chicago Jamaat. Now he holds and in the past, he has held some other offices in the Jamaat. He married Shameem Akhtar, a daughter of a martyr, Muhammad Rustam Khan. His father in law was the first to be martyred during the third Khilafat. Opponents of Ahmadiyya shot and killed him in his own village.
Nazir Ahmad has been blessed with three sons; Tanweer Ahmad Khan, Dr. Nadeem Ahmad Khan and Dr. Faheem Ahmad Khan. He has also been blessed with a daughter, Durr e Sameen Nausheen. All of them are settled in Chicago.

Amat ul Hafeez: – My second sister, Amat ul Hafeez was married to the late Muhammad Hussain Khan, son of Abd ul Qayyoom Khan. They have been blessed with four sons; Dr. Mobasher Ahmad, Engineer Maqsood Ahmad, Kaleem Ahmad and Mansoor Ahmad. They have also been gifted a daughter, Rasheda. Muhammad Hussain Khan had a very gentle character. He was a sincere and devout Ahmadi.
Amat ul Hameed: – My third sister, Amat ul Hameed was married to Sahibzada Mahmood Ahmad, a grandson of Sahibzada Abd ul Lateef, the Martyr. A few years ago, Sahibzada Mahmood Ahmad passed away. He had a very gentle temperament and was a very sincere and a pious person. He has two sons; Dr. Manzoor Ahmad and Imran Khan. He also had two daughters; Amat ul Basith and Tahira Begum.
Amat ul Waheed: – My fourth sister, Amat ul Waheed is married to Sahibzada Fazil Lateef, a grandson of Sahibzada Abd ul Lateef, the Martyr. They have two daughters, Naomi and Aashi and one son, Khalid Ahmad. I pray that the Almighty God may make all of them earnest Ahmadis with a deep attachment to Ahmadiyyat and the Faith.







































Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 42: My Umras

On two different occasions, the Almighty God has enabled Saleema and me to visit the land of our beloved Prophet. He enabled us to present ourselves at his grave. Before writing about our journeys I would particularly wish to record my gratitude to my son in law Dr. Abdul Waheed Khan and my daughter Amatun Naseer (Neeno). It was through their initiative, help and prayers that I was enabled to perform Umra on two different occasions. They made all the necessary arrangements that enabled all of us to perform Umra together. In that journey, my grandchildren Madeeha, Humayun, and Alia also accompanied us. Humayun Khan in particular remained close to me and took care of my smallest needs with great pleasure. May Allah shower all of them with His blessings and bestow on them all kinds of worldly and spiritual gifts.
On both occasions, we undertook our journeys in the middle of the month of December. Our hearts were overflowing with strange sentiments in that the Almighty had granted us the ability to undertake a journey for which I had been longing for throughout my life. We landed at Jeddah International Airport and stepped out onto the sacred land of Hijaz. As this was the very soil where the Master of the Two Worlds, Muhammad, Peace and Blessings be upon him, was born, grew up and was gifted with the mantle of prophet hood our viewpoint underwent a sudden change. In a matter of 23 years the Holy Prophet brought about great changes. In that period the world witnessed spiritual upheaval that resulted in a complete revolution. The revolution did not only cover Najad and Hijaz but the entire world. His teachings enlightened the dark world and once again, the eminence of humanity got established.
This was the very land where the very first House of Allah was built – the house that the Almighty Himself referred to as ‘Ba’it ul Ateeq’ i.e. a very antique house. He made it obligatory on the Muslims to visit it and named such a pilgrimage ‘Hajj and “Umra”
Malik Bashir ud Deen and our dear friend Tahir Safeer were present at the Airport to welcome us. The Malik had been residing in Jeddah for the past 22 years (since then he has moved away from Saudi Arabia). He has a very cheerful personality and in the matter of hospitality, he has no equal. Whoever met him once became extremely fond of him. Because of his naturally admirable attributes, he has a very large circle of friends. Tahir Safeer grew up in London before my eyes and we were therefore together in London for a long period. I was very close to his father Dr. Safeer ud Deen. The family can be described as a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. They were a loving and sincere bunch.
When, along with our hosts we left Jeddah Airport we found that the whole town was brilliantly lit. On arrival at Tahir Safeer’s residence we discovered that his wife had prepared a sumptuous meal. A good wife is indeed a very great gift from God. Both Malik Bashir ud Deen and Tahir Safeer are recipients of this generous gift.
Jeddah is a beautiful modern and attractive town. Some of the buildings are high-rise, the roads are wide and the Marine Drive along the coast, which is the longest in the world, further, enhances its splendour and charm. There are many large and beautiful shopping centres in the town.
The following day, so that we may perform Umra in the relatively cool part of the day, in accordance with the advice from Malik Bashir ud Deen and Tahir Safeer, we set out for Umra from Jeddah after Asar. We had bathed and had worn ‘Ihram’. Malik Sahib, his friend, Tahir Safeer and their families, in the shape of a convoy, we moved towards Mecca. My wife and I travelled in Malik Sahib’s car while Dr. Abdul Waheed Khan, Neeno and their children rode in another car. Before commencing our journey, we offered a collective silent prayer. The convoy then moved towards ‘Harem Shareef’. On the way, Malik Sahib remained engaged in a running commentary. By the Grace of Allah, he had been enabled to perform Umra on numerous occasions and he had also been able to perform Hajj on several occasions. Therefore, he had become a walking encyclopaedia. Mecca is situated at a distance of 45 kilometres from Jeddah. At one time, this distance was covered either on foot or on camels. Now, in roomy air-conditioned beautiful motorcars this journey can be completed in a matter of 45 minutes. As soon as the caravan was under way, all of us started reciting Talbia aloud i.e.
Here O’Lord I am present …
As our car had Saudi number plates we were not stopped for checks anywhere on the way and we entered the Holy city of Mecca. At a very short distance from Haram Shareef we booked into the Kaki Hotel. The hotel building has six-stories, has a lift, is fully air-conditioned with all other facilities. Once again, we took a bath, wore Ihram and proceeded towards the Haram Shareef. Although the sun had, set the House of Allah was so brilliantly lit that one could imagine that it was daytime. Because of the excitement, our hearts were racing and we had Durood on our lips. It is stated in a Hadeeth that the Almighty accepts any supplication offered when the House of Allah is first sighted. In my heart, I had a whole collection of prayers and I could not decide what to ask and what not to ask. I said:

“I am in need, am helpless and have empty pockets. O My Lord, I need your help at every step.”

Engrossed in these thoughts, when I first caught sight of the House of Allah I began to tremble, my heart was overflowing with emotion and I was shedding tears. It was a strange form of elation. At that moment, I recalled an incident experienced by Hadhrat Maulana Noor ud Deen, Khalifatul Masih 1. When he first saw the House of Allah, he supplicated in these terms:

“O My Lord, I am in need of your help all the time and my heart is overflowing with supplications. Therefore, I pray that whenever I supplicate You may grant acceptance to my prayers as indeed You are prosperous and self sufficient.”
I supplicated in a similar manner and I am sure that my prayer was accepted.
Haram Shareef has five entrances and one can enter through any one of them. As our hotel was in the direction of Babb Abd ul Azeez, we entered through that gate. Deeply occupied in prayers, with moist eyes we approached the House of Allah. The floor on which we walked was of marble. It was beautiful, cool and comfortable. Even in the extreme heat, it was always kept cool.
At one time, there was just gravel around the House of Allah. Because of the heat of the day, it became as hot as live embers. Therefore, the feet of those who performed circuits were often injured.
Performing circuits around the House of Allah was an emotional experience. Every eye was shedding tears and the sound of Durood and Salaam seemed like intoxicating music. We entered the holiest of the holy places and reached the corner in which the Hajr e Aswad ‘Black stone’ is installed. There is a white line opposite the black stone from where one begins the circuits. Whether by day or by night, every single hour, approximately four to five hundred people always remain engaged in the performance of circuits. The number is further enhanced in the evenings.
We stood opposite the black stone and blew a kiss towards it. Because of the crowd, it was impossible to actually kiss the stone. When I had performed the circuits Malik Bashir ud Deen said that he could arrange for me to kiss the stone. He is indeed a strong man. He held my hand and took me close to the black stone. He safeguarded my head and thus I was enabled to kiss the stone to my heart’s content. I thanked the Almighty. I could not contain my happiness as I knew that other than the black stone nothing exists in this world that had actually touched the lips of Hadhrat Muhammad Mustafa (saw). There is not the slightest doubt that he had kissed the black stone repeatedly and again. In a way, my lips touching the stone were practically the same as kissing the Holy Prophet himself. This thought formed great elation in my heart.
One is required to perform seven circuits during which one can either supplicate in Arabic or in ones own language. Here again Malik Bashir ud Deen proved to be a guardian angel. As he had memorised the correlated prayers in Arabic he kept on reciting them in aloud and we kept on repeating them. When one is engaged in prayers during the circuits, one has a strange confidence that the prayers are being accepted. We prayed for the domination of Islam and Ahmadiyyat, our parents, our friends and the Muslims in general. During the circuits one can become choked with emotion. I saw an African lady who was unable to walk and was crawling to perform a circuit. In a way, this setting was distressing as well.
After having performed seven circuits the Holy Prophet used to offer two Nawafil near ‘Maqam e Ibrahim’. We too offered two Nawafil there and then, following the example of the Holy Prophet, had our fill of water from the Zamzam.
After having our fill of water from Zamzam, revitalized we moved towards the Safa and Marwa hillocks. Passing through Baab us Safa we walked between Safa and Marwa seven times. The first trip begins from Safa and ends at Marwa.
At one time walking between Safa and Marwa injured the feet of the pilgrims. The whole passage was then covered with gravel and during the heat of the day; the gravel became hot beyond description. However, now the whole passage has a roof and it is air- conditioned. Now the marble floor is made cool.
Even during the walk ‘Saayee’ between the two hillocks our eyes were moist and we begged from the Almighty for whatever we could think of.
Comparable was the condition of Dr. Abdul Waheed Khan and my other companions. They too were overwhelmed with emotion. For Humayun, Madeeha and Alia it was a strange faith boosting and fascinating experience.
In accordance with the practice of the Holy Prophet, at the end of Saayee we also had our haircut / trimmed. In this manner, by the Grace of Allah, our Umra was concluded. We stayed on in Mecca for the next few days during which we were able to perform further Umras.
The Almighty additionally blessed us in that Brother Shahid Ahmad Bengali had also come for Umra. He is a devoted Ahmadi and had performed Umra many times. He is fluent in Arabic and for us his being there was like the presence of an ‘Angel of Mercy’. He was staying in the same Hotel. As he had performed Hajj and Umra on many occasions, he was an excellent guide for us. In his desire to serve us and show hospitality towards us he left no stone unturned. His wife became intimate with the ladies in our group. Guided by him we were able to visit all the historical locations and were enchanted at his running commentary.
The Cave of Hira is situated at a distance of approximately 5 miles from Mecca. Neither Salima nor I could climb up to the cave and I wished we had attempted an Umra in our younger days. However, Dr. Abdul Waheed, Neeno, Madeeha, Alia and Humayun, along with Shahid Ahmad decided to climb up to the cave early in the morning. They took their water bottles with them. Shahid Ahmad had, on many earlier occasions been blessed with opportunities to visit the cave. The Cave of Hira is that Holy place where the last Law was revealed to the Holy Prophet of Islam SAW.
When Dr. Abdul Waheed, Neeno and the children came back to the hotel from the Cave of Hira their faces were lit with pleasure and delight. Therefore, the government has now prohibited an ascent. We stood at the base and prayed. We also visited the Plain of Arafat. After spending a few days in Mecca; we proceeded towards Medina in taxis. Having started from Mecca early in the morning we reached Medina in time for Zohur. Along the route, we could only see rock-strewn fields but the road was wide and the taxis were comfortable and air-conditioned.
When we arrived at Medina, we found Brother Abd ur Razzaq waiting for us. He had reserved accommodation for us in a hotel quite close to the Mosque of the Holy Prophet. Abd ur Razzaq belonged to Azad Kashmir and had lived in Medina for the past 18 years. He has vast business interests there. He is most sincere and loving. Soon after our arrival in Medina, he announced that although we would live in the Hotel he would provide all our food for us. I insisted that we could eat in the hotel but he would not agree. May Allah reward him abundantly. Abd ur Razzaq told us that he would return in a matter of two hours and take us to the Holy Prophet’s Mosque. He said that in the meantime we could take a bath and relax. When we were ready for the move, we waited somewhat impatiently for Abd ur Razzaq to appear. We were so keenly looking forward to presenting ourselves at the mausoleum of the Holy Prophet (saw). That the moment of realisation of our dreams throughout our lives was drawing near made us edgy.
Compared with Mecca Medina is a lot more green and fertile and the weather is relatively pleasant. Only at night had one had to cover oneself with a sheet or a blanket. Guided by Abd ur Razzaq we reached Mosque of the Holy Prophet. The Asar prayer had already been offered in the Mosque. As there were quite a few in our group I led the Asr and many who were not even in our group joined in. The Mosque of the Holy Prophet had recently been extended and its appearance and eminence is impressive and worth seeing. After a visit to the Mosque of the Holy Prophet, Salima, Dr. Waheed Khan, Amat un Naseer (Neeno), Madeeha, Alia and Humayun and some others proceeded towards the holiest Mausoleum. It is impossible to express in words our feelings at that time. There was a big crowd around the mausoleum. Therefore, we started supplicating and lost track of time. Perhaps, for a whole hour, we remained engaged in presenting our sincere and devoted sentiments before our master.
We were blessed with opportunities to offer all five obligatory prayers and Tahajjud in the Mosque of the Holy Prophet and we were able to visit the mausoleum on several occasions. We were able to pray there and evoke Durood and Salaam. We spent the next few days visiting other places of interest such as the battlefield of Uhud, the Quba Mosque, the Mosque of Two Qiblas and the place where the trench was dug where there is now a Mosque.
I been have written another book covering my journeys of Umra which will, Inshallah, be published soon. In it I have made an attempt to relate further details.
It may be appropriate to mention here a faith-boosting episode. It enhanced my faith and that of my children. One can be reassured from this experience that not only does the Almighty hear our prayers but, if He so wills also accepts them. In this way, proof is provided that He maintains a living relationship with His creation and a positive proof of His existence becomes evident.
Before proceeding for Umra I was grievously ill. At the end of 1978, I suffered from a bout of depression and acute anxiety. The interval between attacks kept on decreasing. I felt that my heart was sinking and I did not have a moment’s peace of mind. For longish periods, I would continue walking up and down and the depression made me very helpless. Finally, I sought medical help and was prescribed anti depressant medicines, which resulted in giddiness but brought no real relief. I also tried Homeopathic and Greek medicines but even then, the problem kept on developing. I was so anxious that I had considerable hesitation in stepping out of the house or undertaking even a short journey. I would suffocate in closed rooms. Often the attacks occurred during the night and I had to spend the whole night awake, walking up and down both inside and outside the house. During this period, my wife kept a keen eye on me all the time. In the year I was to proceed for Umra I made up my mind that at the first sight of the House of Allah and then later on during the circuits and walks between Safa and Marwa all my prayers would be centred on a plea to be rid of this predicament. I asked my wife also to particularly pray for my malaise. By then I had become despondent. During the circuits, the visits to the Mosque of the Holy Prophet and his mausoleum I supplicated with great humility and compassion that I may be rid of this grievous illness.
After Umra, we proceeded to Pakistan. We also visited Qadian for a few days. There in the ‘Bait ud Doa’ during one night, I was again enabled to pray in great anguish.
I do not have the words to express my gratitude to the Almighty as while still in Qadian I saw in a dream that someone said to me:

“The Almighty has accepted your prayers and now you will not have another attack of depression.”

I related this dream to Salima in the morning and I expressed my gratitude to the Almighty. I swear by Him that since that day I have never had any depression.
Salima is my witness. While in a Hospital, the night before my open-heart surgery, a nurse gave me a pill to swallow. I asked her what it was for, she said that during the night prior to an operation one becomes extremely anxious, and this pill helps to sleep. I told her that I was not in the least anxious. I did not take that pill but I was enabled to sleep flawlessly. After the operation whilst I was still on a stretcher the same nurse said to me:

“In such circumstances most people are deeply concerned and you were not in the least fretful.”

I was my usual self.
My brother Col. Nazir Ahmad gently rubbed my hand and reassured me. I cannot recall whether I was fully under sedation but later on, my brother told me that at that time I recited the following verse composed by Hadhrat Musleh Maood:

“Whether we are recipient of Your mercy or under a trial we are contented in any circumstance in which You are pleased”.
I always advise my children never to neglect prayer. It is a very potent weapon. It also results in tranquillity. It can solve the most difficult problems. Whether by day or night there are blessings in it. It is not necessary to pray aloud or even move your tongue. One should train oneself to pray all the time. The Promised Messiah has said:

“Your hand may be engaged in any task but your heart should be engaged in the remembrance of the Beloved.”

I.e. one can remain engaged in any task as long as one’s heart is filled with the remembrance of Allah. Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib once said to me that while the first astronaut was in space I remained in a prayerful mood and kept on praying for his safe return. What he meant to say was that although words were not emerging from his lips throughout that period he was in a way supplicating for the safe return of the astronaut. May our hearts and souls be enriched with the blessings of prayers.

















Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 43: My Publications

When I arrived in England in 1959, with overwhelming intensity, I felt that we should pay particular attention to the education and training of the young and the new converts. At that time English literature, covering the subject of tarbiyyat (training) was almost non-existent. So that they may offer their Salaat in the exact prescribed manner, for familiarizing the young and the new converts there was paramount need for a book covering ‘Islamic Salaat’. Covering this particular subject, in spite of thorough search, I was not able to find a book or a book in English. There was urgent need for a book, which would explain the fundamentals of the Faith and the correct manner of offering Salaat. Placing my trust in the Almighty I started the preparation of a booklet called ‘The Muslim Prayer Book’. With a great deal of effort, this book consisting of 63 pages was published in 1962. It gained immediate acceptance and since then six editions have been published. It has been translated and published in four different languages.
The publication Department of the Ghanaian Government printed 20,000 copies and the booklet got integrated into their School curriculum. Another 7,000 copies were printed in Qadian. The book was also published in Nigeria. In an International Shoora, Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih IV, referred to this book. A Yugoslavian Professor made comprehensive comments.
In those days, whenever I had occasions to speak on Islamic subjects in various Clubs and Societies most questions asked related to the status and rights of women in Islam. There was a great deal of misunderstanding and misinformation on this subject. I wrote a book ‘The Status of Woman in Islam’. It gained immediate popularity and since then three editions have been published.
At the suggestion of Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, I wrote a small booklet in English covering the events that led to the martyrdom of Hadhrat Sahibzada Abdul Lateef.
To enable our young to expose and rebut the groundless allegations made by non-Ahmadi clerics against the Jamaat, it was keenly felt that there was a need for a book. I wrote ‘Truth about Ahmadiyyat’. Hadhrat Muhammad Zafrulla Khan suggested this name and he very kindly improved its text. The book contained responses to about a dozen different allegations and consisted of about 100 pages. Some very favorable reviews appeared in many places and it became popular within and without the Jamaat.
I also wrote a book in English covering the life and character of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III called ‘A Glimpse into the Life of Hadhrat Khalifa Tul Masih III.’ This book also found ready acceptance.
I wrote a book ‘Islam My Religion’ in English for the upbringing and tarbiyyat (training) of the Ahmadi children. This book also gained popularity. Four editions have been published since and it has been translated into many other languages.
During the troublesome and torturous events of 1974 the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in England, through newspapers and other media, embarked on a campaigned to counter the attacks of opponents. We actively responded to the attacks of the opponents and presented facts before the world. Apart from the prestigious newspapers and magazines in Britain, all over the world, many dozens of papers and magazines published our articles. I collected all the relevant clippings and after having arranged them country-by-country published in the form of a book ‘From the World Press’. This book, containing 200 pages became very popular. To support their cases Ahmadi immigrants seeking asylum both in England and in Germany, extracts from this book were presented in various courts.
In 1985 when I lived in Rabwah, at great insistence of some friends, referring to my association and interaction with Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan over the years I wrote a book in Urdu entitled ‘Muhammad Zafrulla Khan – Chand Yaadeyn’. The book was still under print when the Secretary of the Majlis Khatem e Nabuwat alleging that I had contravened the provisions of the notorious Anti Ahmadiyya Ordinance of 1984 filed a case against me. While the book was under print an F.I.R., (First Information Report) was registered. The police raided the Printing press, took custody of the book, arrested four non-Ahmadi employees of the Press and put them into jail. While I was touring various Jamaats in the Frontier Province, the police started searching for me. I got to know of their objective and sought guidance from Huzoor who directed me to migrate to Britain. On arrival in London Huzoor appointed me as Additional Wakeel ut Tasneef and Chairman of the ‘Review of Religions’ magazine. On arrival in England, I published this book, which gained great popularity. Very many Ahmadis told me that in their houses, this book is used for imparting lessons to their children. It is my great desire that this book should be translated into English. May He create conditions that this wish may be realized.
In 1986 I wrote a book containing a detailed account of the events that led to the martyrdom of Hadhrat Moulvi Abd ur Rahman and Hadhrat Sahibzada Abd u Lateef. It was named ‘Shaheedaan e Rah e Wafa’. The Jamaat in England published it and it gained ready acceptance.
When ‘Shaheedan e Rah e Wafa’ was published very many friends demanded that for the benefit of the young Ahmadis, the recent converts and the public at large it should be translated into English. I asked Brother Anwar Ahmad Kahlon to translate it for me. With great pleasure, he readily accepted this assignment. He said that this undertaking would give him some credit with the Almighty. With a great deal of effort, he translated the book, which was published under the title ‘The Afghan Martyrs’. This book also gained recognition and within a few weeks, the first edition was sold out.
Sincerely I request all my dear ones and my children who read my autobiography to offer earnest prayers in favor of my brother and my elder Chaudhry Anwar Ahmad Kahlon. May Allah accept his efforts made purely to gain His pleasure. May His doors also remain ajar for his progeny as well. Amen.
In 1995, I wrote ‘Dars e Ibrat’, a book in Urdu. In this book, a detailed mention has been made of the disastrous ends of some of the prominent opponents of the Jamaat. A great deal of effort went into the preparation of this 200-page book. Thousands of copies of this book have been sold and it has gained great fame.
On two different occasions I have been blessed with opportunities to perform Umra. I have written a 200-page account named, ‘Safar Naama Deyar e Habeeb’, which awaits publication. The first three chapters of this book have already been serially published in the weekly ‘Lahore’. Readers have sent me some flattering reviews. I pray that this book may also be published soon and may lead to the enhancement to the knowledge of the readers.
In 1996, I started writing a book covering fourteen different facets of the life and character of the Promised Messiah. Putting in hard work my Brother Anwar Ahmad Kahlon has translated it and in my view, this book will be an important step pertaining to the life and character of the Promised Messiah. The work on this book is still under way and Brother Anwar Ahmad Kahlon has already sent me 100 typed pages translated by him. This book will, I hope, Inshallah, be presented in the form of an attractive educational bouquet. It will serve as a beacon for the English speaking generations. In this book many attractive, faith-boosting events have been covered.












Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 44: Early Days in Peshawar

There was only a primary school in our village. As the middle school was at a distance of three miles from our village my father decided that for my schooling I should proceed to Peshawar where my uncle (mother’s brother) Abdus Salaam Khan lived and where many other relations resided and served. I was fortunate in that around that time, to stay with his elder son, Abdus Salaam Khan, my maternal grandfather Hadhrat Muhammad Ilyas Khan got back to Peshawar from Mastung Baluchistan. Therefore, by the Grace of Allah, for one more year, I was afforded a further opportunity to benefit from his direct supervision. Before that, I had spent a whole year with him in Mastung.
Hadhrat Moulvi Muhammad Ilyas Khan was indeed a righteous person. He was truly pious and a complete personification of the Ahmadiyya teachings. After my education, before departure for England, to bid farewell when I called on Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II among many directives that he gave me he said:

“For the purpose of spreading the word of God it is absolutely essential to present a virtuous example. I would counsel you to make a deliberate effort to walk in the footsteps of your maternal grandfather. He should be your role model.”

In his demeanor and masculine splendor, Hadhrat Moulvi Sahib was a perfect example to follow. He was fair in complexion and had a truly enlightened face. He wore a conspicuously long beard. Normally he would wear an embroidered cloak. Because of his humility and bashfulness, he hardly ever looked up. He always wore white clothes and a snow-white turban. During the summer nights, in my uncle Abdus Salaam’s residence in Peshawar, both of us slept in the open on adjoining cots (char pies). It was his habit to wake me for the Fajar Salaat in a soft tone. He would also gently sprinkle drops of water on my face. In a loving manner, he would ask me to rise and perform ablution. After the Fajr Salaat, in a loud and melodious voice, he would recite the Holy Quran for nearly one hour. I always listened to him. At the end of the recitation, for my benefit he would translate what he had just recited and explain the import of some of the verses.
He loved me dearly. Whenever, during my holidays, I returned to the village, every few days, he would visit our village. His son, my uncle, Abdus Salaam, has written his Biography entitled ‘Hayaat e Ilyas’. Details can be studied from this book. I will only refer to two occurrences:
When he passed away, his coffin was lying in the ground. Hadhrat Moulvi Rajeki Sahib led the Funeral Service. He announced:

“I have seen in a vision that in the next world very many saints and the selected few of the Faith had come to welcome Hadhrat Moulvi Muhammad Ilyas Khan.”

Then he said:

“Before this funeral service, if someone wants to see the countenance of a saint, he should take a look at Hadhrat Moulvi Sahib.”
While in London in 1964, I saw in a dream that my maternal grandfather had come. He held me in his arms in a most loving manner. He tendered some venerable counsel and then, removing his cloak, put it on my shoulders. A few days later Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II appointed me as Imam of the Fazl Mosque in London. I concluded that in my dream my grandfather meant to refer to this auspicious assignment.
I firmly believe that throughout my life, every single step of my progress was made possible due to the prayers offered in my favour by my grandfather. Even now, I feel the outcome of his prayers.
After studying in Peshawar for one year, at a distance of three miles from our village, I was admitted to a middle school in a township called ‘Pabbi’. I would get to the school in the mornings and would return in the evenings on a Tonga (horse drawn carriage). The teacher in the Religious Education department in that school was highly prejudiced against Ahmadiyyat. He would constantly torment me by referring to me as ‘Qadiani’ and ‘Mirzai’. I mentioned this matter to my uncle Sameen Jan Khan who was then the Education Minister in the Frontier Provincial Government. A few days later, he came to our village and the next day took me to my school in his own car. When the Headmaster, a Hindu, saw him approach the school, he came running to welcome him. After having inspected the school, in the Headmaster’s office, my uncle sent for the biased Moulvi and warned him to never refer to the religious background of any student in his class. The Moulvi became deeply apprehensive, sought forgiveness and promised to behave in the future. After that visit, all amenities at school became available to me. In 1945, I migrated to a school in Qadian and was admitted into the Eighth Grade.
During my one-year stay in Peshawar I had the good fortune of meeting some elders and some pious friends and I believe I benefited from their company. In those days, there was only one Ahmadiyya Mosque in Peshawar. Attached to the Mosque was a modest guesthouse where visitors could stay and where the local Jamaat provided all meals to them for the first three days. After every Friday service very many assembled around Hadhrat Qazi Sahib and many informative spiritual subjects came under discussion. Every now and then green tea would be served. I often attended such gathering. As Hadhrat Qazi Sahib was my uncle (Khaloo), he was extraordinarily kind to me. When the assembly broke up he would often take me to his room, which was attached to the Mosque. In fact, he normally lived in Mardan but for about 10 or 12 days in every month he would put up in a room attached to the Mosque in Peshawar. Since he was not only Amir of Peshawar but also Amir of the Frontier Province, he had adopted this routine.
In those days, as a Missionary, Hadhrat Moulvi Ghulam Rasool Rajeki, a Companion of the Promised Messiah was resident in Peshawar. Every evening after the Maghrib Salaat, for the benefit of those present, he would recite a portion of the Quran and explain the meanings of the verses recited. On occasion, some non Ahmadi Moulvis would come for the Dars. Though some points in the Quranic teachings explained by the Maulana were beyond my intellect, very often, I participated in the Dars. The Maulana’s magnetism drove me towards such gatherings.
Later on, while perusing my studies at Rabwah, to seek his prayers in my favor I would call on the Maulana almost every day. He knew my father well and was therefore always extremely considerate towards me. He always offered me cool soft drinks whenever I visited him.
Muhammad Khawas Khan was very prominent amongst the Ahmadi residents of Peshawar. He was not only good looking but also had an agreeable demeanor and he possessed praiseworthy manners. He lived in the Civil Quarters at Peshawar. Opposite his house, out in the open, marking a spot with bricks, he established an open air Mosque where, every evening, we would regularly offer our congregational prayers. In the winter months, we offered our congregational prayers in a room in his house. Very often during the winter, the congregation would be served tea etc. He was always extremely indulgent towards me. All three of his sons i.e. Khaleel Ahmad Khan, Bashir Ahmad Khan and Saeed Ahmad Khan are not only related to me but are dedicated friends. Two of the daughters of Khawas Khan were married to two of my maternal uncles i.e. Abdus Salaam Khan and Abd ul Quddus Khan.
By the Grace of Allah Muhammad Khawas Khan made substantial progress in government service and retired as Deputy Secretary to the Provincial Government.
In those days my uncle (Mamoo) Abd us Salaam Khan served as the Finance Secretary of the Peshawar Jamaat and I always stayed with him. His wife Bibi Ayesha treated me like her own son. I am indeed deeply indebted to both my maternal uncle and my aunt. May Allah shower His Blessings upon them both.
My contact with my other maternal uncle, Abd ul Quddus Khan, was somewhat spasmodic as mostly I lived in the Peshawar region and he was posted at Gwadar in Beluchistan. I met him briefly for the first time when he visited Peshawar for his marriage. Even later on we could not meet as he was posted at Gwadar and I lived in England.
Both my maternal uncles were extremely pious and presented splendid examples for others to follow. Abdul Quddus Khan was particularly blessed as he was enabled to serve as Ameer of the Frontier Province. As a result of the excellent manner in which they were brought up, by the Grace of Allah, their children are true soldiers of Islam and Ahmadiyyat and are ever prepared to sacrifice their lives for the Faith.
In those days, my uncle (Khaloo) Abdur Rahman Khan was in government service and lived in the Civil Quarters in Peshawar. I would often visit his house. Later on, by the Grace of Allah, I married his daughter. He had a cheerful personality and was very popular amongst both the prominent and the general public. His father, Hadhrat Ameerullah Khan, was a Companion of the Promised Messiah. From his village Ismaeela he would often visit his son Abdur Rahman Khan in Peshawar. I would often call on him and hear from him some narratives concerning the Promised Messiah. He was extremely handsome and was always adorned in neat clean clothes. He seemed extremely pleased to hear that I had devoted my life for the service of the Faith. When the matter of my proposal for the hand of his granddaughter, Salima Begum, was under consideration, he told his son, my future father in law, Abd“ur Rahman Khan, to accept the proposal without hesitation or delay. He told his son that he should be happy that his son in law to be was a Devotee of Life. He asked him what more he could ask for. When I was about to leave for England, although more than 80 years old then and somewhat infirm, he came to Rabwah to see me off with his solemn prayers.
My younger brother Col. Nazir Ahmad and I grew up together in our village. Although he is three years younger we always spent our days playing together. Apart from our family there were no other Ahmadis in our village. In the village Mosque, the two of us offered our prayers behind our father.
In 1944, our father took us to Qadian for the first time. As a result of that visit I decided to pursue my studies in Qadian whilst my brother was admitted to a school in Charsadah. From there our ways parted. From Qadian I proceeded to Chiniot and then to the Taleem ul Islam College in Lahore. I ended up in the Jamia tul Mobashireen at Rabwah. After having passed his matriculation examination my brother joined the Cadet College in Peshawar. He was commissioned from the Kakul Military Academy. Eventually he retired from the Pakistan Army with the rank of a Colonel. Towards the end of his services, for a period of three years, he commanded the Kharian Cantonment. Had General Zia not ruled that no Ahmadi officer could rise above the rank of a Colonel my brother would certainly have risen much further. Now he is settled in Chicago where he is serving the Jamaat as its General Secretary and Zaeem Ansarullah. He also holds some other offices. Of his three sons, Tanveer Ahmad Khan is engaged in the Insurance business. His other two sons, Nadeem Ahmad Khan and Faheem Ahmad Khan are both doctors. The whole family lives in Chicago. Nazir’s only daughter Durr e Sameen Nausheen is married to Dr. Mobeen Ahmad. She and her husband also live in Chicago. May Allah shower His blessings on all of them.
I have fond memories of Shams ud Deen Khan who for quite a while served as Ameer of the Frontier Province. He was extremely pious and was absolutely devoted to Ahmadiyyat. He was handsome, wore a thick beard and had an impressive personality. Most Friday sermons in the Peshawar Mosque were delivered by him both in Urdu and in Pushto. He too was very fond of me. In the Annual Conventions held at Rabwah, wearing his pistol, as his body guard, he could always be seen standing behind Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II.
One incident has left a very deep impression on me. A few days before my departure for England, the news of my move from Rabwah to England, as a Missionary, was published in the Daily ‘Al Fazl’. At about that time when I happened to be walking from my house to the Railway station I suddenly saw Shams ud Deen Khan coming from the opposite direction. After alighting from the train he was on his way to Dar uz Ziafat. I ran towards him to welcome him. After he had set down his baggage at Dar uz Ziafat, I asked him of the purpose of his visit to Rabwah. He said that as soon as he read in the Daily ‘Al Fazl’of my imminent departure for England he immediately decided to come to Rabwah to bid me farewell. Then he said:

“We are proud of you. In the service of the Faith, you are the first Pathan to be sent to a Foreign Country. I have offered a lot of prayers for you.”
Then he broke down, stood up and held me in his arms for quite a while. One of his sons, Col. Nisar, was my classmate in Lahore. Another son, Dr. Anwaar, lives in Chicago. Both Dr. Anwaar and his wife have maintained a loving relationship with us. May Allah the Almighty bestow His favours on them both.
From my childhood, I can also remember Muhammad Rustam Khan who was my uncle (khaloo). I often visited his village Jalozai, as he always loved me dearly. He was a distinguished Pushto poet and was truly an intellectual. While serving the Survey of Pakistan he would spend his summers in Murree. In his letters, he persisted that I should visit him and stay with him during my summer vacations. We would thus spend a month or two together. I wrote an article concerning him, which was published in the ‘Al Fazl’. During the third Khilafat of Ahmadiyyat, he was the first Ahmadi to be martyred. May Allah elevate his station in Heaven.
From my childhood, I also have extremely fond memories of Muhammad Akram Khan Durrani of Charsadah. He had the distinction of being the first graduate from the Frontier Province. He too was very fond of me and I cherish his memories. He would insist that I visit him in his village. My elder sister was married to his son. Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II has made repeated mention of his name in the series of his lectures on ‘Sair e Roohani’. He was a truly learned man. He had a strong physique, was tall and could be easily recognised from a distance. He was fanatical about Tableegh. While I was a student there, he visited Qadian on two separate occasions. After school hours, he would take me along to the Guest House and we would spend the rest of the day together. Although he was the same age as my father, we became fairly intimate friends. Together we would go to the Bahishti Maqbara and together we would go to Masjid Mubarak in Qadian to offer our prayers. He was truly a great man. An opponent of Ahmadiyyat shot him and killed him. He was thus martyred.
At a distance of about three miles from our village is a township named ‘Pabbi’. Two Punjabi families had migrated to Pabbi i.e. Hakeem Fazl Muhammad and Dr. Azeez ud Deen. Both were staunch Ahmadis and were indeed very pious. In my childhood, I often visited their houses. Mostly we offered our Friday prayers at the residence of Dr. Azeez ud Deen. Being an Ahmadi, he too was wronged to some extent, but since he was a Doctor and many from the surrounding villages visited his clinic for treatment and to get medicines, even ruthless hostility of the Moulvis could not really do him any harm.














Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 45: Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan

For the first time in my life, during my student days, while in Qadian during a Majlis Irfaan held by Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II in the Masjid Mubarak in Qadian, I saw Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib sitting on a chair next to Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih as the rest of us sat on the floor of the Mosque.
In 1953, I passed my Degree Examination from the Taleem ul Islam College in Lahore. Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib, who was then Foreign Minister of Pakistan, presided at the Convocation Ceremony. After having delivered a speech he awarded the Degrees and I received one from his blessed hands. A photograph was taken at the end of the ceremony. In it Hadhrat Sahibzada Mirza Nasir Ahmad, the then Principal of the Taleem ul Islam College stood in the middle. The students who had been awarded their Degrees, wearing their gowns, surrounded Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib. The memory of that day is impressed deeply on my mind. I was so happy at the award of a Degree from the hand of such an outstanding personality.

In 1959 when I was Deputy Imam of the London Mosque, Mouvli Abd ur Rahman, proprietor of the restaurant at the Pakistani Students hostel told me that Chaudhry Sahib was due to arrive in London by train from The Hague. He said he was going to the railway station to receive him and invited me to accompany him; an invitation that I could not refuse. We received Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib at the railway station and went straight to the Royal Commonwealth Society. As he was a member of the society, he normally stayed there. Having been sponsored by him I also remained a member of the Royal Society for many years.
The two of us, along with Chaudhry Sahib, settled in the spacious drawing room of the society. Chaudhry Sahib asked me at what time the Fajar Prayer was offered in London. He told me that when I came to see him the following day I should bring him the recent ‘Daily Al Fazl’ issues. When I called to see him the next day I took with me the few issues of the ‘Al Fazl’ received during the preceding few days.
I was asked to properly introduce myself and I did exactly that. I was fortunate to spend some time with him. I was exceedingly happy and considered that day to be a most auspicious one as I was enabled to spend time in the company of a Companion of the Promised Messiah, who was, in his own right, a famous and outstanding person.

During Chaudhry Sahib’s next visit to London, I accompanied Moulvi Abd ur Rahman to the Liverpool Railway Station when he went to receive him. On that occasion, apart from advising Moulvi Abd ur Rahman of his visit he also wrote a letter to me and asked me to bring along with me some recent issues of the ‘Al Fazl’. That was his very first letter to me. During the second visit, he stayed in London for two days during which I was with him most of the time. It became apparent to me that it was also his desire that I should spend time with him. That was the foundation of my association with him, which continued for 14 or 15 years. Throughout that period, right until the end, I remained recipient of his kindness, his affection and his countless favours. He was like a kind, indulgent and affectionate father to me. The following will exemplify this relationship. When I once asked him to pray for me, he held my hand and said:

“Imam Sahib, there is no need for you to ever remind me to pray for you as every single day, without fail I pray for Khanum (my wife), her husband and her children. This was immense good fortune for me.
Apart from him, there is another individual who, in a way, was a son to him and who, in his youth, had been brought up by him in his care. That person is my brother, Anwar Ahmad Kahlon, who also, on very many occasions, has told me that there is no need for me to remind him for prayers as he had permanently included me and my in the list of those for whom he prays regularly. He told me that, by naming each, he always prays for Saleema Begum, all my children, their spouses and me. I am convinced that this habit grew out of his upbringing under the influence of Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib who, in a way, was his parent.

(Both of us have written books concerning the life and character of Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib. My book is in Urdu and Brother Anwar Ahmad Kahlon’s book is in English, which is worth reading. How I wish his book could be translated into other languages, particularly Urdu, so that on its perusal, the readers will have their faith enhanced.)
After retirement from the International Court of Justice Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib became a permanent resident of the top floor flat of the Mission House. At that time I occupied the first floor. During this period of 8 or 9 years, I was blessed with repeated occasions of being very close to him. It was our good fortune that, every day, he had all his meals with us. My wife took good care to serve him the kind of dishes that were suitable for his health. After dinner, Chaudhry Sahib would habitually talk about the current events and certain occurrences in his earlier years. For me his talk was like lessons provided in an academy. I learned a lot at the dinner table.

Here I consider it appropriate to repeat what Brother Anwar Ahmad Kahlon has written about the manner in which my wife took care of Chaudhry Sahib.

“From February 1973 until September 1979 while Baba Ji lived in the caretaker’s flat, Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq and Khanum assumed responsibility for caring for and feeding him. Although Baba Ji ate simple meals, he had to eat a well-regulated diet at well-regulated hours. Throughout this period Khanum, the wife of the Imam, took special care to serve to him only what was good for him, and at the appointed times. This was no easy task, as the Rafiqs were a very hospitable family and she had to cater for many other guests. During his visits to England, Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III always stayed in the Imam’s flat. The Imam and his family squeezed themselves into the library. Nevertheless, Khanum remained responsible for hospitality and care of all the guests. During such periods, one of the Rafiq children took up Baba Ji’s meals to the caretakers flat on a tray. Baba Ji developed deep affection and love for the Rafiq family, particularly for Khanum whom he held in very high esteem.”
As I was fortunate enough to have spent so many years in the exalted company of Hadhrat Chaudhri Sahib that I wanted to relate so many events that will easily fill a whole book. The readers can imagine what a great deal of material is available to me to write about. However, since I have already written about my remembrances concerning Chaudhry Sahib.

Chaudhry Sahib, I have now made a conscious effort not to repeat what is already included in my Urdu book. I do hope that the almighty Allah will create conditions so that the English translation of my book “Muhammad Zafrullah Khan- Chand Yadain” will be published.










Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 46: Meeting General Akhtar Hussain Malik

In 1968 Sahibzada Mirza Mubarak Ahmad, the then Wakeel ut Tabsheer, wrote to me from Rabwah and said that he was planning a trip to Turkey, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. He said that he would be happy if I could accompany him at my own expense. A short while earlier I had already written to the Sahibzada that under instructions from Mr Tubman, the President of Liberia, and the Liberian Government had already sent me some travel vouchers. I said that by using these vouchers and without spending any money of my own, I could undertake a journey to those few countries. I believe the Sahibzada had in mind those Travel Vouchers. Therefore I made up my mind to accompany him. As the journey was to commence from Turkey I reached Istanbul ahead of the Sahibzada and got settled in a hotel. Two days later the Sahibzada arrived at Istanbul where we spent 5 days together. We saw all that there was to see in Istanbul. We saw the beautiful mosques constructed during the Ottoman period; we visited the world famous Tapkoopi Museum where we looked at curios associated, in one way or another, to the Holy Prophet SAW, his Successors and his Companions. With great respect and reverence the priceless articles were all secured in protected glass cabinets and we were able to offer prayers in that room. We prayed for the reappearance of past lofty splendour of Islam. More than a dozen Companions of the Holy Prophet are buried in Istanbul. The most prominent amongst them was Hadhrat Abu Ayub Ansari. When Huzoor SAW migrated from Mecca to Medina, he stayed at the dwelling of Abu Ayub Ansari for a period of 6 months. Abu Ayub Ansari was included in the army that attacked Istanbul. That is where he died and that is where he is buried. We went in a taxi to pray over his grave. We offered Nawafil in the adjoining Mosque. For having been given the privilege to visit the grave of such an outstanding Companion, we expressed our gratitude to the Almighty. We visited Izmir from Istanbul and spent one night there. There we met our sincere Turkish friend Shabbir Sanai. He had translated the Promised Messiah’s book ‘Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam’ into Turkish. He was indeed a very sincere friend. Alas, he has since died.
We planned to visit Ankara where General Akhtar Hussain Malik was then representing Pakistan in CENTO. During their student days in Qadian, the General and the Sahibzada were classmates. On instructions from the Sahibzada, I telephoned the General and asked him to book us into a hotel. The General responded by saying:
“Where is the need for a hotel? I have a house and it will give me great pleasure to have you two stay with me.”
On the appointed day of our arrival, we found the General waiting for us in his car on the tarmac quite close to the exit from our aircraft. On very many occasions, I had heard a lot about the General but I had never met him. From the door of the aircraft, we saw a handsome, elegant and attentive young man. It was one no other than General Akhtar Hussain Malik. He drove us to his residence. While he was stationed in Turkey, he had the rank of an Ambassador.
To honour Sahibzada Mirza Mubarak Ahmad, the following day, the General arranged a magnificent party at his residence. All the members of the staff of the Pakistan Embassy and some other respectable Pakistanis were amongst the guests. We were introduced to his guests. At the dinner table he narrated certain incidents of his student days in Qadian. During his conversation, the General paid great tributes to Hadhrat Musleh Maood He told us that, even during his military career, he received valuable guidance from Huzoor. He said that although Huzoor was a religious leader from his discourse it appeared as if he had been to a distinguished Military Academy for his education. The General said that on occasion, he would take along with him other Generals to meet Huzoor and all of them came back deeply impressed. They were all greatly amazed at Huzoor’s knowledge of military affairs. In the evenings, the Sahibzada retired into his bedroom while the General and I continued to talk until late at night.
He told me in detail what happened at the Kashmir Front during the 1965 war. While he was relating the events that took place at the Chamb Jaurian Front, there were tears in his eyes. He told me how, due to erroneous orders, a nearly won battle had turned into a defeat. He said:
“The troops under my command were moving towards Tawi River from where Jammu could be seen. We felt confident that a victory was about to kiss their feet. The whole dispute of Kashmir was about to be resolved when suddenly I received orders from President Ayub to hand over command to General Yahya Khan and return to Headquarters. I was greatly astonished on receipt of these orders. I told General Yahya that at that point in time, when victory was in our grip, a change in command could turn into a success for the enemy.”
General Yahya said:
“What can I do? Orders have been received from above.”
Some of my subordinates protested but in keeping with the traditions of the Pakistan Army, I handed over command to General Yahya and thus we lost a battle that had been almost won. I returned to the General Headquarters with a broken heart but I had no option.
The following day, in my conversation with the General, I brought up the subject of Maulana Rumi. The Sahibzada asked the General if it would be possible for us to visit the grave of the Maulana. The General said that he adored the Maulana and on repeated occasions he had read his Mathnavi. The General instructed his Secretary to make all the necessary arrangements for us to visit Konia.
The following day the Sahibzada sat in the front of the car and the General and I occupied the rear seat. Another vehicle carried our lunch. All the way to Konia the General kept on reciting verses from the Mathnavi. He had obviously memorised all the verse that he recited. I was greatly surprised that an Army General should have mastered the work of Maulana Rum. On arrival at Konia, we discovered that it was a holiday and the mausoleum was closed. As the General had sent a message earlier on, as a special favour to us, the doors were opened and we were able to visit the mausoleum. Standing near the headstone, we were enabled to offer earnest supplications. We especially prayed for the day to dawn when, through Ahmadiyyat, the grandeur and majesty of Islam would once again be established. In the evening, we returned to Ankara. The next day the General took us to the mausoleum of Kamal Ataturk. The General seemed to be abnormally impressed by Kamal Ataturk.
In her hospitality the General’s wife left no stone unturned. Mrs Malik was a Moosia and was very devoted to Hadhrat Musleh Maood. She had difficulty in containing her pleasure at being able to play host to a grandson of the Promised Messiah who was also a son of the Musleh Maood.
What impressed me more than anything else was the extreme simplicity in the General’s behaviour. Although he was a very highly regarded and a high-ranking General, there was not the slightest trace of pride or arrogance in him. Although I was much younger than he was he treated me with great respect. Whenever he noticed humility in my conduct, he would say:
“You are the Imam and Hadhrat Musleh Maood has appointed you to this position.”
He would assume such meekness in front of the Sahibzada as if he had taken on a role of a domestic servant. May Allah admit the General and his wife into Heaven and elevate their positions. Both are buried in Rabwah.
In 1998, Dr. Abd ul Waheed Khan invited me to accompany his wife Neeno, his children Madeeha, Alia, and Humayun for a tour of Turkey. We spent 7 days in Istanbul and were able to relive very many pleasant memories. We visited the graves of the Companions of the Holy Prophet and were able to offer our prayers there. We saw a number of places and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. May He reward these members of my progeny abundantly. During my visits to Turkey, again and again, I remembered my dear friend Muhammad Afzal Khan. I first met him during my student days in Chiniot half a century ago. Soon our affection for each other was transformed to brotherhood. Afzal Khan belongs to a very well to do influential Turk family and he was the first to accept Ahmadiyyat in Rabwah. Hadhrat Musleh Maood regarded him as the ‘first fruit’ granted to the Jamaat in Rabwah. These days he permanently resides in London and has always maintained a deep, sincere and loving relationship with me
Daily Jang, a well known Pakistani newspaper, published from Lahore, dated 6th September 1984 wrote about General Malik as follows:
“The skill with which Akhtar Malik attacked Chumb cannot be given any other name but magnificence success. He was in the position to take over Jaurian because the enemy was fleeing after its defeat at Chumb and had cleared Jaurian for the on-coming Pakistan Army.But; this was not allowed to happen. The change of command at that juncture was a fatal mistake. It was designed that Yahya Khan should reap the laurels of the battle. But who ultimately suffered from this design? The one chance to inflict total defeat on India had slipped from our hands”








































Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 47: Dr. Abdus Salam the Nobel Laureate

When I reached London in the early part of 1959 Dr. Abdus Salam lived in Putney, about a mile and a half from the Fazl Mosque. He was already a Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Imperial College. I had repeated opportunities to meet him. He visited the Mosque very often. Although he occupied a very high position and I was a mere young Missionary he always showed great kindness to me. He would often invite Hadhrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan Sahib and some other friends for breakfast at his house. It was always an informal affair and I too would be invited on such occasions. Along with other eulogists, I would also benefit from his discourse. Poetry, literature and current events would normally form subjects of discussion on such occasions. Doctor Sahib would be a guiding light in such assemblies. Later on, when Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan took up residence in London and would be invited by Dr. Salaam I would also receive an invitation.
Dr. Salam, apart from his scientific achievements, also showed a great deal of interest in Urdu and Persian poetry. He was a great admirer of ‘Hafiz’ the famous Persian poet. He had memorised very many of his verses, which he would recite on appropriate occasions. He dearly loved ‘Maulana Rum’ and had memorised very many of his verses. Doctor Salam adored Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan and always consulted him, even about his personal and private matters. He would act in accordance with the advice tendered.
Shortly after my arrival in London his father, Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Hussain, also visited London. Naturally, Doctor Sahib was devoted to his esteemed parent and held them in very high regard. The various outstanding politicians and scientists who came to meet him were always introduced to his father. When it was arranged for Doctor Sahib to meet the Duke of Edinburgh he took his father along with him and introduced him to His Royal Highness.
Once he came to the Mission House and said to me that his father, sitting alone in the house got bored. He wondered if it would be in order for him to drop his father at the Mission House in the morning and collect him again in the evening on his way back from the college. He thought that in this way his father would remain involved and would have an opportunity to meet other Ahmadi friends.
I said:

“It would give me great pleasure to have your father at the Mission House. In this way the Jamaat will benefit from him in the field of Tarbiyyat.”

Therefore, Chaudhry Muhammad Hussain started visiting the Mission House every single day. He would spend a lot of time with me in my office discussing various educational and Tarbiyyati matters. Once he asked me to pray that his son may be awarded the Nobel Prize.

I said:

“You yourself are an extremely pious person. Therefore, compared with me, your prayers will have a ready acceptance.”
I promised to pray myself and I promised to ask some others to pray for him. A short while later in a dream someone said to me:

“Dr. Salam will surely be awarded the Nobel Prize. He is still very young whereas much older scientists are waiting in the queue. They will be awarded the prize first and then it will be Dr. Salam’s turn.”

The next day I related this dream to Chaudhry Muhammad Hussain. The following day when Dr. Salaam came to the Mission House to fetch his father he wanted to hear the dream from me directly; I recounted the dream to him.

He said:

“It is strange that a few days ago someone close to the Nobel Prize Committee said the same thing to me.”
Dr. Salam was one of the first to reach the Mosque for Friday service and he normally sat in the front row immediately behind the Imam. When I delivered my sermon, Dr. Salam would make certain notes in his notebook. One day, as a joke I said to him:

“Perhaps you like my sermons so much that every now and then you take notes.”

The doctor laughed aloud and said:

“The truth is that every now and then in my mind I receive an electrical impulse which is often brilliant and concerns some scientific issues. I make an immediate note so that in the future they would form the basis of my research. Unless I make a note of them immediately there is a danger of them being lost.”

This was his custom day and night. Even when he was eating, he would suddenly open his notebook and write something in it. He would then resume the conversation in which he was engaged. He was an arch lover of Ahmadiyyat and had a great sense of honour for it. In 1974 when the Pakistan National Assembly unanimously resolved that Ahmadis were non-Muslims, Dr. Salam was the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Pakistan holding the rank of a Minister. When he heard the terrible news, he came to the Mission House and showed Hadhrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan a letter of resignation that he took out of his pocket. He said:

“How can I serve such a government that has, exceeding all limits, taken an unjust and shameful decision.”
Dr. Salam was deeply shocked when General Zia promulgated the notorious ordinance prohibiting Ahmadis from carrying out Islamic injunctions. After a lapse of some time, I asked him if he had met General Zia ul Haq after the promulgation of the Ordinance. He said he had met him and told me in some detail what had transpired.

He said:

“When I was at Trieste I received repeated calls from General Zia asking me to go and meet him. I made certain excuses but then I had to go on a visit to Pakistan. The General called me and I went to meet him in the Presidents house where many other scientists were already present. The General came out of his office, opened the door of my car, embraced me and took me along to his room where there were some others present. During our conversation, I expressed my disgust on the promulgation of the Ordinance. The General held my hand and invited me to move to another room so that we could talk in private. The Minister responsible for Scientific Affairs also joined us.

The General said; “The truth is that some Ulema came to see me in a delegation and told me that the Ahmadis had made certain interpolations in the Holy Quran which hurt me. They told me that because of these interpolations they should be excluded from the fold of Islam.”

I said to the General;

‘A promise to protect the Holy Quran is present in the Quran itself where the Almighty, addressing the Holy Prophet said that He Himself would protect the Quran. Because of this Divine Promise how can any Ahmadi possibly make any interpolations in the Holy Quran?’ The General got up, walked to a bookshelf and picked up ‘Tafseer e Sagheer’.

He said;

‘this contains the Urdu translation of the Holy Quran by Mirza Mahmmod Ahmad. In it the Ulema have marked those verses in which Jamaat Ahmadiyya has been responsible for interpolation. I will show you some.”

He opened the ‘Tafseere Sagheer’, put his finger on a spot, which was already marked and said; ‘Here you have made an interpolation.’ I said; ‘The verse has been produced in its entirety, where is the interpolation?’ The General responded by saying:

‘Look here, in this particular verse you are guilty of interpolation as you have translated the verse containing the words ‘Khatam un Nabiyyeen’ as ‘Seal of Prophets’. We cannot possibly bear this.’

I said; ‘The word Khatam used in the Quran is neither a Punjabi word nor an English word and in the Arabic language it means a ‘seal’. I do not wish to be involved in an argument. Have you available to you a translation by some other scholars?’ The General rose and brought a copy of the Holy Quran with translation by Allama Asad, which had been published from Mecca. I opened the Quran and found that the word ‘Khatam un Nabiyyeen’ had been translated in it as ‘Seal of Prophets’.
The General seemed flabbergasted.

I said;
‘General! Allama Asad was not an Ahmadi and his translation has been published by the Saudi Government. Would you then find the Saudi Government guilty of interpolation?’ The General responded by saying;

‘I am only an illiterate General and I accepted as the truth whatever the scholars told me.’ I said; ‘You are not just a General but President of a country and as such it is your responsibility to protect the rights of all sections of the population. Here in Islamabad itself the Jamaat Ahmadiyya has stationed a Missionary. Many members of the Jamaat also live here. Was it not your responsibility to send for some Ahmadi scholars and satisfy yourself? Should you not have heard both sides before taking a decision?’ On this, the General read ‘Kalima Shahadah’ aloud and invited me to do the same. In a loud voice I read the ‘Kalima Shahadah’.

Then the General said; ‘Salam, I swear by God that I regard you a better Muslim than myself but what could I do when I was pushed into a corner by the Ulema?’ Then he switched to another subject.”
Dr. Salam was wholly and utterly devoted to Pakistan and loved his country. When I obtained my British passport, I suggested to him at the breakfast table that he should also apply for British nationality and get a British passport, as on a British passport he would find travelling in foreign countries a lot easier. I offered to bring the application form for a British passport across for him. He remained quiet for a while and then said:

“I will never abandon my Pakistan nationality. I am hopeful that before long I will be awarded the Nobel Prize and on my account I would hate to see a country other than Pakistan to be recipient of that honour. I am a Pakistani and I will always remain a Pakistani even though I may have problems in my travels.”

Therefore, throughout his life, he remained a Pakistani and he died a Pakistani.
He was utterly devoted to his parents. When his father passed away, he was grief stricken and confined himself to his house. A few days later I heard from his wife that he had taken the event to heart and could not devote his mind to any other subject. She said:

“Kindly ask Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib to visit and console him.”

When I mentioned this to Chaudhry Sahib, he visited Dr. Salaam who was in a bad way due to his grief. Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib made an effort to console him and said:

“Grief beyond a certain degree is liable to become shirk.”

Quoting himself as an example he said that although he was an arch lover of his own mother, on her demise he patiently became reconciled and accepted the Will of Allah. After talking to him for a while, he embraced Dr. Salaam and held him in his arms for a long time. Dr. Salaam broke down and wept bitterly. That is how he lightened the burden of his grief. Both his parents were ‘Olia of Allah’ and were recipient of visions. They were prayerful. They dearly loved God’s creation and came to the assistance of the poor.
Mrs Abd us Salaam served as Sadar (President) of Lajna Imaullah UK for very many years. Throughout the period when I was Imam and Missionary in charge in the UK, I received complete co-operation from her. She always remained engaged in service to the community. She also remained engaged in taking care of and showing hospitality towards the guest of her husband.
Very recently, by the sheer mercy and grace of Allah, another relationship has been established between my family and the family of Dr. Salaam. Dr. Salaam’s grandchild (a son of his daughter) Dr. Faiz ur Rahman, who is a son of Dr. Hameed ur Rahman and Dr.Azeeza Salaam, is engaged to marry my granddaughter Madeeha Henna Khan, a daughter of Abd ul Waheed Khan and Amat un Naseer (Neeno). May Allah bless this union overwhelmingly. Madeeha is very dear to me and she is my favourite.





















Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 48: Conference on the Deliverance
of Jesus from the Cross

In May 1977, I read in the papers that throughout the year 1978 various Christian organizations would research the ‘Shroud’ and in this regard very many seminars would be held.

The Holy Shroud is a sacred garment in which Jesus Christ was wrapped after he had been taken off the cross. This sacred shroud is safely lodged in a church in Turin in Italy. It seems significant that, when it was photographed for the first time in the middle of the 19th century, someone noticed that the hands and feet had been injured and bloodstains from his ribs were visible. According to the belief of the Ahmadis, this is an image of Jesus Christ. The dripping, trickling or oozing of the blood on the cloth is clear proof that when Jesus Christ was wrapped in the Shroud, his heart was still pumping and he was alive. Obviously, blood does not drip, trickle or ooze from a dead body. This is a very wide subject and very many books have been written on it.

On perusal of the reports of the Shroud in the newspapers and as the year 1978 was chosen for research I wrote to Huzoor and suggested that perhaps advantage could be taken of this happening and may the British Jamaat be permitted to hold an International Conference on the subject of : ‘The Deliverance of Jesus from the Cross’.

I requested that Huzoor should also participate in the conference. Huzoor liked the proposal and granted permission for the Conference to be held and he promised to personally participate in it. He also sanctioned the necessary expenditure to be incurred in this connection. For further consultations, I was asked to visit Rabwah for a week. Accordingly, I reported at Rabwah in 1977 and in the presence of Wakeel ul Tabshir Huzoor gave me detailed instructions. He approved the proposed program for the conference.

This anticipated conference was held on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th June 1978 in the Commonwealth Centre in Kensington in London. During the first two days, some world famous scholars read their papers on the subject of “Deliverance of Jesus from the Cross”.

By the Grace of Allah, the conference was extraordinarily successful. More than 1,500 persons from many religions, and many countries attended. Every day some very distinguished scholars also graced the occasion with their presence.

Before the conference ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ asked me to provide them with the necessary material so that they may produce a special issue. In this connection, I had already undertaken a tour of Kashmir, which I have mentioned separately. On the last day of the conference i.e. a Sunday, ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ published a special edition, which included reports of interviews with Khalifa tul Masih III, and an interview with Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan. They published a photograph of the mausoleum of Jesus Christ in Srinagar. I have already provided the necessary details elsewhere. The conference produced an upheaval in the Christian Church. We had, through papers, magazines, TV and radio prepared a plan to cover the conference. By the Grace of Allah, it was most successful. The British TV and the radio broadcast several interviews with me. ‘The Times’, ‘The Telegraph’, ‘The Daily Guardian’ etc. published the proceedings of my press conferences. Our message being: Jesus Christ did not die on the cross but was miraculously saved from the cross and at the age of 120 years died a natural death in Srinagar, Kashmir where he is buried.

A few days before the commencement of the conference I began to receive threatening calls from some Christian circles. It was said that my children would be abducted and the assets of the Jamaat might be damaged. I told the Police about these calls and as a result, for a few days before and for a few days after the conference, my children went to and returned from school in Police protection. On the inaugural day of the conference, I received an anonymous call telling me that a bomb had been placed in the Commonwealth Conference Hall. The Police surrounded the Commonwealth Conference Hall and mounted a thorough search. The conference only started after clearance from the Police.

One the day prior to the commencement of the conference an announcement was made on the Radio that the British Council of Churches had made certain proposals to Bashir Ahmad Rafiq, Imam of the London Mosque. I advised Huzoor that I had not received any proposals. I was instructed to telephone the British Council of Churches and tell them that no letter had been received. The Secretary of the Council apologized and explained that an announcement on the Radio had been made prematurely and that in the near future I would receive the letter. Huzoor told me that in his final address he would himself respond to the letter. Therefore, at the end of the conference Huzoor did reply to the letter.

The total proceedings of the conference are a part of the history of Ahmadiyyat and will, Inshallah, be published in its entirety. It is a pity that although Huzoor had accepted the invitation from the Church for a debate and although the Church had formed a committee for a debate they paid no further attention to this matter and corroborates the suspicion that it was never their intention to hold a debate. This step was taken only to divert attention from the conference where they had to cut a sorry figure.

I have compiled a book covering the proceedings of the conference called ‘Deliverance of Jesus from the Cross’ which has been published and has been well received.

During the preparation for the conference I addressed a Press Conference in Birmingham, a report of which was published in many British papers. A glimpse also appeared on the TV the same evening. The following day the TV recorded a dialogue between the Bishop of Birmingham and me. The Bishop was unable to rebut the arguments that I presented in support of my belief that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross. Members of the Jamaat highly appreciated this program.

At the end of the conference, Mr Tom Cox MP held a reception to honor Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III in the House of Commons cafeteria. Apart from members of the Jamaat, a large number of members of the British Parliament also attended and met Huzoor. Naturally, some very interesting subjects came under discussion.

During the reception the Parliament was in session and I escorted Huzoor to the public gallery. After a few minutes an office bearer of the Parliament told me that the Speaker of the House was curious, as to whom the distinguished visitor was in the public gallery. The office bearer told me that the Speaker had been deeply impressed by Huzoor and enquired of certain details concerning him. On our way back from the public gallery we met Mr Edward Heath, a former Prime Minister of Great Britain. Years earlier both Mr Heath and Huzoor had been classmates at Oxford. Huzoor asked Mr Heath if he recognized him. Without the slightest hesitation, Mr Heath said:

“Mirza Nasir Ahmad”

Huzoor was also surprised that after a lapse of so many years Mr Heath had recognized him. They talked for a while. On being asked Huzoor explained to the former Prime Minister certain details regarding the institution of Khilafat.

A somewhat similar incident had occurred a little earlier. Huzoor had studied at Balliol College, Oxford. When along with his wife and family he visited the College I accompanied him. The Begum Sahiba was keen to see the college where her husband had been and Huzoor wanted to refresh his memory of the earlier days. On our arrival, an old man on guard duty demanded to see our passes. Huzoor asked him:

“Don’t you recognize me?”

We were greatly surprised when, after carefully looking at Huzoor’s face, he declared:

“Nasir Ahmad.”

Huzoor was extremely pleased and shook his hand. The guard reminded him of certain events in the days gone by. In all probability, the guard had seen Huzoor after 35 years and in the meantime, quite naturally, Huzoor’s demeanor had changed incredibly. One must pay a tribute to the memory of the guard who recognized him and then showed esteem for him.

At the end of the conference, the British Jamaat arranged a big picnic for Huzoor in the Birmingham area. The picnic was held in the Stately Home of a well-known peer. On that day, the local papers published details of the event with photographs in their special issue. By the Grace of Allah, this conference was extremely successful.




























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 49: Meeting with VIPs and Envoys

Shortly after assuming charge of the British Mission, I felt that in order to promote Tarbiyyat amongst members of the Jamaat and to enhance the prestige of the Jamaat we must establish a cordial relationship with foreign visitors and National dignitaries. A comprehensive plan was drawn up, the salient features of which were:
1. So that the Ambassadors of various countries accredited to Britain should make a commendable mention of the Jamaat in their reports, we should establish a close relationship with them. God forbid, if any problem surfaced in their countries we could raise our voice through their Ambassadors in London.
2. We should invite visiting Prime Ministers, Ministers and other dignitaries from foreign countries and they should be kept advised of the activities of the Jamaat in the UK. This may help remove any misunderstandings that may exist.
3. Establish a cordial relationship with important people in Great Britain such as; Members of Parliament, Police Officers, Mayors and other dignitaries, etc. The Jamaat literature should be made available to all such people. A spirit of mutual co-operation should be established.
In accordance with the above programme, we prepared a comprehensive plan and made appointments to individually meet many Ambassadors stationed in London. During such meetings, the Jamaat literature may be presented and the activities of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in their respective countries could be discussed with them. I led delegations to meet many Ambassadors, including those from the following countries: Pakistan, India, Mauritius, Ghana, Nigeria, China, Russia, Poland, Liberia, Turkey, Syria, Sierra Leone, Gambia and last but not least, America. Beneficial results accrued from these meetings; for example:
From 1967 until the end of the period of his Khilafat, Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III toured Europe eight times. During seven of these tours I accompanied Huzoor. On two of them, I served as his Private Secretary. During his second visit to England, we felt that we should make an effort and arrange the use of a VIP lounge so that Huzoor may be spared the ordeal of immigration and custom formalities. The British Airport Authority told us that in order to establish a VIP status very lengthy procedure has to be followed. For this purpose the concurrence of the country from which the VIP hails is necessary. I was disheartened, as I knew very well that the Pakistan Embassy would never support our request. Around that time, I met Mr Jeneeh, the Gambian Ambassador. He received me with great warmth and told me that while in Gambia he was able to help in the matter of the registration of the Ahmadiyya Mission in Gambia. In a somewhat casual manner, I told him of the forthcoming tour of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III and he said that he would be at the Airport to receive Huzoor. There is a rule of which I was not aware that whenever an Ambassador of a country visits the airport a VIP lounge is made available. The Gambian Ambassador asked his secretary to advise the airport authorities that he would be at the airport on the day of Huzoor’s arrival and a VIP lounge may be reserved for this purpose. Thereafter, for every subsequent visit by Huzoor, again through the Gambian Ambassador the use of a VIP lounge was permitted. In this manner, things were made very simple. On repeated occasions the Gambian Ambassador visited the Mosque. At my invitation he came for lunch or dinner on two different occasions. He became exceedingly fond of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III and he also displayed great regard and esteem for Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan.
I had a number of meetings with various Ambassadors and established a genial relationship with them. I made a separate mention of my relationship with Mian Mumtaz Muhammad Khan Daulatana in another place.
In 1972 when Lt. Gen. Muhammad Yusuf Khan, the Pakistan Ambassador stationed in Britain was transferred to Switzerland, I arranged a farewell dinner for him at the Mosque. I had developed a friendship with him and he visited the Mosque at least two or three times. He had been inviting me to all the Pakistan Embassy functions. A report concerning the farewell Dinner Party was published in the ‘Muslim Herald’ is reproduced below.
“On Friday the 23rd June, 1972, a farewell party was given by the London Mission to His Excellency Lt. Gen. Muhammad Yusuf Khan, the Ambassador for Pakistan in the UK on His Excellency’s transfer to Switzerland. The party was attended by His Worshipful the Mayor of Wandsworth, Their Excellencies the High Commissioners of Ghana, Gambia and Nigeria and by seventy members of the Community. Other guests included the Manager of PIA Office in the UK and Mrs Senkyi, the wife of the High Commissioner of Ghana and Mr Standing.
After the dinner, the gathering was addressed by His Worshipful the Mayor of Wandsworth, Mrs J.D. Standing. She spoke for some time about the London Mosque, the beautiful Mission building, and her first impressions of this important centre of the Ahmadiyya Community. Mr B.A. Rafiq, the Imam, then, in his address welcomed their Excellencies and all other guests besides the chief guest of the evening Lt. Gen. Muhammad Yusuf Khan. He briefly spoke on the history of the Ahmadiyya Mission, its activities abroad and the part played by the London Mosque in furthering the cause of Islam. He also mentioned about the ‘Leap Forward Programme’ of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III following Huzoor’s visit to West Africa in His Excellency, in reply to the address, thanked the Imam and the Ahmadiyya Community for arranging a sumptuous farewell dinner in his honour. He appreciated the services of the community in the cause of Islam and Pakistan and the part played by the UK Mission in participating in the Defence Fund during the last war.”
In 1968 His Excellency Sir F.M. Singhate, Governor General of Gambia visited London. I met him and invited him to visit the Mosque. He himself was an Ahmadi. He said:

“I wanted to visit the Mosque on my own but I am glad that you have invited me.”
He came to the Mosque for the Friday service. In my Friday sermon I made a prominent mention of a prophecy of the Promised Messiah i.e.:

“Monarchs will seek blessings from your garments.”

This prophecy having been fulfilled in his person I congratulated the Governor General. Many Ministers of his government accompanied the Governor General.
I hosted a dinner in his honour in the evening in which, apart from some Gambian Ministers, the Gambian Ambassador and members of his staff, the local Member of Parliament and some British guests were also present. At the end of the dinner, I thanked my honoured guests. On that occasion the Governor General applauded the efforts made by the British Jamaat and thanked the Almighty God that he had become a recipient of the blessings of Ahmadiyyat.
In 1962, the Education Minister of Sierra Leone came to England. I called to see him at his hotel and extended an invitation to him to visit the Mosque – which he accepted. A dinner was arranged at the Mosque. On behalf of the British Jamaat, I welcomed the ambassador and his staff and in my address, I made a prominent mention of the efforts made by the Jamaat in the field of education in Sierra Leone. In his reply, the Minister said:

“I am a close friend of Mr. B.A. Bashir the Missionary in Charge and Amir of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in Sierra Leone and I am a great admirer of the efforts made by the Sierra Leone Jamaat in the field of education. On behalf of my country I thank the Ahmadiyya Jamaat.”
In 1965, the first Prime Minister of Mauritius, Sir Ram Ghulam, came to England. When I called to meet him at his hotel, he received me with great warmth. He paid glowing tributes to the services rendered by the Jamaat in Mauritius. He instructed his Ambassador, who was accompanying him, to always invite the Imam to all the Mauritian Embassy functions. Some photographs were taken on this occasion, which, along with a detailed report have been published in the May 1968 issue of the ‘Muslim Herald’.
In 1959 Mr Muhammad Ikramullah was the Pakistan Ambassador in England. His wife Begum Shaista Ikramullah was extremely well known person in the social circles of Pakistan. Dr. Muhammad Naseem, a former Judge of the Allahabad High Court, who was at that time General Secretary of the British Jamaat, knew her well. Dr. Naseem invited me for a dinner at his house, a function in which Mr and Mrs Ikramullah were present. I became fairly close to Mr Ikramullah. Begum Ikramullah showed great kindness to my wife.
In 1975 I invited the Polish Ambassador for Dinner at the Mosque and very kindly he came with his staff. In my introductory speech I made mention of the activities of the Jamaat, particularly in the field of public welfare. In his response, the Ambassador, inviting me to visit Poland, pledged support in this matter. I met him on several occasions subsequently. To adequately cover the subject of establishing and promoting a sound and lasting relationship with the Members of Parliament and other dignitaries would take many pages but is by no means a part of my autobiography. However, there will be a mention of this in the Jamaat history, Inshallah.
I invited Members of Parliament, Peers of the Realm and other dignitaries to preside over the various sessions of the Annual Conventions of the British Jamaat. The most prominent amongst them has been Mr Tom Cox MP.In my view; along with the propagation of Islam it is necessary for the Missionaries to establish relationships with local and foreign dignitaries. In this way, the Jamaat can benefit in diverse ways. Eventually these relations will prove useful
During the period when I was Imam and Missionary In charge, the well established relationships resulted in unusual benefits. On two occasions, I was invited to the Queen’s Garden Party, which was held on the lawns of Buckingham Palace. Apart from Her Majesty, members of the Royal Family, Ministers, Ambassadors and other dignitaries were present. Naturally on such occasions it became possible for me to introduce Ahmadiyyat.






























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 50: My Colleagues

When I first arrived in London, there was only one missionary in the UK. Moulood Ahmad Khan was serving as the Imam of the London Mosque. I assisted him as his Deputy until the end of 1960.
Chaudhry Rehmat Khan succeeded him as Imam of the London Mosque. After handing over charge of the Mission Maulood Ahmad Khan returned to Pakistan. Until 1964, I continued to work as Deputy Imam under Chaudhry Rehmat Khan.
Early in that year, Chaudhry Rehmat Khan fell sick. After some treatment in London, he was repatriated to Pakistan.
Nazir Ahmad Hyderabadi arrived in England on 12th April 1966 as Missionary and worked with me until 13th April 1967. During this period, he also served as the Central Finance Secretary. He left on 7th July 1967
Laeeq Ahmad Tahir succeeded him as Deputy Imam and worked in that position until 14th December 1970. In this period he rendered valuable service by speaking at several Colleges and Clubs on the subject of Islam. He also worked as a Joint Editor of ‘Akhbar e Ahmadiyya’. The Centre in Rabwah appointed him as General Secretary of Majlis Khuddam e Ahmadiyya in the UK.
In those days, I served as Deputy Sadar of Majlis Khuddam e Ahmadiyya in the UK. He is a Scholar of the Faith and bore excellent demeanour and excellent manners. His connection with members of the Jamaat was deep and strong. For his cheerful co-operation and obedience, I am duly indebted to him.
Ata ul Mujeeb Rashed M.A. started assisting me with effect from 2nd September 1970 and continued until 25th September 1973. He is a son of Hadhrat Moulvi Abul Ata who was my teacher and also my benefactor. With great credit and in a most admirable manner he discharged his duties in the field of Tableegh. His support in certain other responsibilities of the Mission was exemplary. In his own right he is a Scholar of the Faith. He was exceptionally courteous and humble. He treated me with great love and extended his co-operation unstintingly. May Allah reward his efforts in the very best manner. Currently he is both Missionary in Charge in Britain and Imam of the London Mosque.
Major Abdul Hameed retired from the Army and devoted his life to the service of the Community. On 22nd March 1962, he was sent to Britain assist the Mission. In those days, Chaudhry Rehmat Khan was the Imam and I was the Deputy Imam. The Major was appointed Secretary of the UK Mission. In the matter of Tableegh, he was truly passionate. Based on his extensive experience in the Army he reorganised the Mission Office on proper lines. On 13th April 1964, he was sent to Washington as a Missionary for America.
Abd ul Wahab Adam arrived in England on 16th October 1972 and worked with me as Deputy Imam. Particularly in 1974 when in Pakistan the Jamaat passed through a turbulent phase, to convey the Pakistan news to the Missions all over the world he worked along with me day and night. He was a tireless worker and in the matter of obedience and zeal he became an example worth following. He played an important role in enlivening the Press. He was equally proficient and fluent in English, Arabic and Urdu languages and paid particular attention to the use of appropriate idioms of the three languages. He rendered valuable assistance to me in the matter of the ‘Muslim Herald’. May Allah reward him abundantly. Having been appointed the National Ameer of Ghana he departed from England on 5th December 1974.
Bashir Ahmad Orchard having served in British Guyana after being demobbed he was sent to the UK. He assumed charge of the Glasgow Mission, which he had also held in earlier years. He was the first British Missionary of Islam. Due to his co-operation and obedience, his work with me was commendable. He wrote articles for the ‘Muslim Herald’ and he started a two page pamphlet styled as ‘Scotland Gazette’. He was most God fearing, a true Muslim and a Wali ul Allah. He had a very simple lifestyle. May he be given a special place in Paradise.
Munir ud Deen Shams arrived in England on 2nd July 1973 and worked with me for a long period as Deputy Imam. He was enabled to render valuable service in the field of education, Tarbiyyat and administration. Currently he is serving in London as Additional Wakeel ut Tasneef. He is a son of Hadhrat Maulana Jalal ud Deen Shams, a former Imam of the London Mosque.
Ameenullah Khan Salik served in the British Mission from 5th July 1974 until 18th May 1977. During most of that period he served in the Yorkshire region and is now a resident of America.
Naseem Ahmad Bajwa came to England on 15th October 1975 and worked in various Jamaats in the UK. In fact, he is still serving in the North East region of the UK. He is an extremely enthusiastic Missionary of Islam. While he worked with me, he co-operated with me and obeyed me in every matter.
Anees Ur Rahman Bengali came to England on 4th June 1977. For a period of three or four years he was in charge of the Huddersfield Mission. He was a pious and a courteous person and had a pleasing personality. Alas, he has passed away.
Mubarak Ahmad Saqi; was appointed a Missionary for the United Kingdom on 22nd July 1978. For a long period in the past, he had served in Liberia as Missionary in Charge and National Ameer. He was courteous to the extreme and he had an enviable sense of humour. To me he was most co-operative and deferential. He could write and speak extremely well. Alas, he has passed away. May he be granted proximity to the Almighty.
I cannot possibly thank Allah enough that I was gifted with such wonderful colleagues. That is how the British Jamaat was able to render service as a team. We lived and worked like brothers and never did any differences arise amongst us. May Allah reward all of them in the very best manner.




























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 51: Launch of ‘Urdu Literacy Society’

From my school days, I have been interested in poetry and literature. Good verses always touched me deeply. Even in my childhood in my village when I heard Pushto poems I was elated. My interest further enhanced when I was at school. In the beginning, I was interested in novels and some concocted stories. While I was at school at Qadian, I did not have access to novels and concocted stories from the library. Therefore, I would save money from my pocket money to buy some novels. My favorite novelists in those days were Maulana Abd ul Haleem Sharar, Naseem Hijazi, Raees Amrohi and M. Aslam. I became interested in the work of Abd ul Haleem Sharar as Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih I once praised his novel ‘Flora Florenda’. Therefore, apart from this particular novel I read many others that were based on Islamic history. Although I no longer have an interest in fiction, even now I read novels by Maulana Sharar.
During my College days, on perusal of a College Report relating to me Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II noticed that I read novels. Huzoor said to me:

“If you are fond of reading novels please study English novels. Reading them might help improve your English and you will learn a lot about the way of life in Britain. The contents of Urdu novels are mostly grossly exaggerated and are often untrue. In English novels though there is plenty of imagination but in most of them a factual story is portrayed.”

Consequently, during my college days I read the novels written by H. Rider Haggard and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with great pleasure. I also read some novels by Kipling and many others.
This was possibly the result of my having been chosen to edit the Urdu portion of the college magazine ‘Al Manar’. My very first article in that magazine concerned the poetry of Khushal Khan Khatak, which was highly appreciated. Later on, by the Grace of Allah Hadhrat Maulana Abul Ata included me in the Editorial Board of his famous publication ‘Al Furqan’. I wrote several articles for that magazine.
I was then blessed with an opportunity to edit the ‘Review of Religions’ – a periodical inaugurated by the Promised Messiah himself.
When I was in London in 1965 it occurred to me that except for a few, the books written by the Promised Messiah were all in Urdu. It was therefore a duty of the Jamaat to publicise and popularise the Urdu language. In England in those days, except for one or two, there were no other societies or organisations to promote Urdu. ‘A. Bazm e Tafreeh’ did exist that held a monthly meeting in a hall in Victoria. The moving light behind this society was Chaudhry Akbar Ali who had been in England since before the establishment of Pakistan. The activities of the society were not confined to poetry or creative writing. Without any agenda a few friends would get together and meet. Chaudhry Akbar Ali would take the Chair and invite those present to relate, read or recite either in English, or in Urdu, or in Punjabi, or any other language, whatever they wished. Some would recite a poem or some amatory verses. Some would read a written ‘Paper’. Some would come to the stage and recite a poem or relate humorous stories. Some would even sing a song. In this manner, without a set schedule, a meeting would be held and last for two or three hours. In the end, at his own expense Chaudhry Akbar Ali would entertain the guests with light refreshments.
In 1965 I founded ‘The Urdu Literary Society’ and I became its Founder President. Laeeq Ahmad Tahir, who was then the Deputy Imam, became its Secretary. The first session of this society was held in the Hall adjacent to the Mosque. It was decided that the society would hold a meeting every month and would invite poets and scholars to participate. It was also decided to hold regular Mushairas. In addition, Papers on Urdu creative writing would be presented. Regardless of religion, colour or creed membership of the society would be open to all. It was also settled that the expenses incurred for light refreshments to be served at the meetings would not be borne by the Mission but instead a few friends would bear the expenses on a rotational basis. The society was launched with great success. In the early meetings, many famous scholars and poets presented their poems and Papers. Muhammad Shareef Baqa presented an article on ‘Allama Iqbal Kee Shaeeri’. In a later session, the famous British scholar of Urdu Rolf Russell presented an article on ‘Ghalib Kee Shaeeri’. He also related his own life story in Urdu. Hadi Ali Chaudhry presented an article on ‘Urdu Economiumi?’ Many international Mushairas were held in which, not including the poets in England, some famous poets from the Sub Continent presented their ‘kalam’ (Poetry). Amongst them were Saqib Zeeravi, Jagan Nath Azaad, Naseem Saifi, Obaid Ullah Aleem, Saleem Shahjahanpuri and Chaudhry Muhammad Ali. Resulting in the contact of the Jamaat with them being strengthened almost all the eminent poets of the country participated in these Mushairas. Nazim Khan Ghauri, Mansoor Ahmad B.T., Bashir Ahmad Saami, Arshad Baqi, Hidayatullah Bangvi and some others rendered invaluable help. Nazim Khan Ghauri is Secretary to the ‘Asian Elderly Society’ and has a large number of friends. Recently, for services rendered to the elderly from the Sub Continent, he was awarded an M.B.E. He utilised his contacts for the promotion of our society. May Allah reward him plentifully. Amen. I am pleased that some poets from within the Jamaat told me that by participating in the proceedings of the society their ability in the poetic field developed further. Being encouraged, they made progress.
The proceedings of the meetings of the society were reported in the ‘Jang’ and in the ‘Daily Al Fazl’ published from Rabwah. The ‘Bazm Sheyr o Adab’ exists even now and from the very beginning I continue to be its President. Many Secretaries, have one after the other served. Mansoor Ahmad B.T. who was in turn succeeded by Bashir ud Deen Saami followed Laeeq Ahmad Tahir.
An historic Mushaira of the ‘Bazm e Sheyr o Adab’ was held in 1972. When Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III toured Europe, he also came to England and I made a mention of the work of the ‘Bazm’ to him. He liked the scheme and said that he would like an opportunity to meet some of the chosen poets residing in England. I suggested that if he permitted we could hold a Mushaira under the auspices of ‘Bazm e Sheyr o Adab’ in which Huzoor may also join. Huzoor very kindly granted permission and with the help of Nazim Khan Ghauri, Mansoor B.T. and Bashir ud Deen Saami an historic Mushaira was held in the Mahmood Hall. About a dozen of the famous and well-known poets living in the United Kingdom participated. Amongst them were some Muslim, some Hindu and some Sikh poets. Huzoor sat through the entire Mushaira. He showed appreciation and even applauded some good verses and presented fountain pens to some poets. Huzoor particularly liked the ‘kalam’ of my dear friend Bakhsh Lyallpuri. He called him back to the stage two or three times and as a gift gave him a fountain pen that was then in his own use. I was an extremely close friend of Bakhsh Lyallpuri. He was President of the ‘Progressive Writers Association’. He strongly condemned the action of the Pakistani Ulema who persecuted Ahmadis during the 1974 disturbances. Some of his verses in this regard were published in some Urdu newspapers.
Huzoor also highly appreciated the verses recited by Sohan Rahi in his melodious voice. At the end of the Mushaira Huzoor said that this ‘Bazm’ should continue in their work. He also bestowed a donation out of his own pocket.
In one of the Mushairas organised by the ‘Bazm’ a very famous and distinguished poet of the Indo Pak Sub Continent, Jagan Nath Azaad participated and presented his ‘kalam’, which was highly applauded. He occupies a very special position in the poetic and literary circles of the Sub Continent. It was because of him that in large numbers so many famous and well-known poets participated in the Mushaira. ‘Saqib Zeeravi Kay Saath Aik Shaam’ another international Mushaira was held under the auspices of the ‘Bazm’.





Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 52: 1974 Pakistan Riots

In 1974 Mr Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto held the reigns of power in his hand. A few years earlier, the Jamaat Ahmadiyya had helped his ‘People’s Party’ in the General Election as it was laid down in their Manifesto and Constitution that religion or faith is a personal matter for every individual and the government had no right to interfere. All other political parties were bitterly opposed to Ahmadiyyat and were not prepared to tolerate even its continuance. The Jamaat Ahmadiyya is certainly not a political party but is a wholly religious organization. In its history, as a Jamaat, it has never involved itself in politics. However, on occasion, when Muslim interests were threatened they did enter the field quite openly and courageously. The Jamaat has always been protecting Muslim interests.
In 1974, in order to further their political aims some narrow-minded prejudiced Ulema hatched a well thought-out conspiracy against the Ahmadis.
On 22nd May 1974, as a first step, a group of Nishtar Medical College students boarded a train for Rawalpindi. That train was to pass through Rabwah. When their train arrived at the Rabwah station some students got out and started shouting offensive dirty slogans. They even tried to humiliate some Ahmadi women. When the boy’s boarded the train again they announced that when they return on a given date and then, at that very railway station, they would teach the Ahmadis a lesson. When, a few days later, the students returned, once again, they ran riot at the railway station and shouted slogans against the Jamaat in a most provocative manner. Consequently, a scuffle between the students and those Ahmadis who happened to be present at the railway station broke out. Some amongst both the students and the Ahmadis received minor injuries.
As this conflict was a part of a well-prepared conspiracy, even before the train carrying the students reached Faisalabad, tents and marquees had already been pitched at the railway station. Some bigoted, blinkered Moulvis were busy delivering offensive speeches. They incited the audience by saying ‘since Ahmadis had beaten up the Muslim students and had wounded some of them it was the duty of the Muslims to wrest revenge.’
(Detailed account of this incident is a part of the Ahmadiyya History and will be published in due course. Inshallah. It is not my intention to delve into the pages of history but merely to record the humble contribution made by the British Jamaat in this regard.)
On the evening of the happening of this event Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan and I were busy with our evening meal when a friend rang up and told us that someone from Nairobi had told him over the phone that there had been a riot at the Rabwah Railway Station. I had not yet finished my conversation when I received another call. Mr Abd ur Raheem Baig from Karachi told me to advise all the Jamaats of the incident at Rabwah Railway Station. He had learnt of the incident directly by the centre at Rabwah. Mr Baig told us that Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III had directed that the true version of the incident should be conveyed to the Ahmadi Missions all over the world. He made me write down what he told me verbally. I advised all Missions on the phone. It was my good fortune that in those days as Deputy Imam Mr Abd ul Wahab Adam was assisting me. Along with Mr Munir ud Shams he put together a strategy on behalf of the British Ahmadiyya Jamaat. His help to me was invaluable indeed. Around midnight I would receive messages from Pakistan. For conveying the messages to others, I would wake him up for his help. I do not have the words to express my gratitude for Mr Wahab’s cheerful co-operation and assistance. May Allah reward him in the very best manner.
We waited for a few days but the disturbances in Pakistan continued unabated. Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib asked me to find out from Huzoor if we, in England, we were permitted to undertake suitable measures. Huzoor permitted us to do what we thought fit. We were told that since the means of contact with Rabwah had been severed a courier service, manned by Ahmadi young men should be organized.
The next day I called a meeting of the Executive Committee and advised members in detail of the instructions that had been received from Huzoor. The Executive Committee decided that a courier would travel between London and Rabwah twice a week and he would carry all messages and mail on his person. From amongst those British Nationals who were already working for some Airlines and were therefore entitled to travel by payment of a discounted fare a list of suitable personnel was prepared. The overall responsibility for operation of the courier service was entrusted to Mr Abd ul Lateef Khan, President of the Hounslow Jamaat. With the help of his assistants and members of the Executive Committee, he discharged this duty admirably. May Allah reward all those who participated in this endeavour abundantly.
As a result, between Rabwah and London, an Ahmadi courier carried mail on his person. In this way we were no longer be dependent on mail or telephone. After that our communications and liaison remained intact continuously. Lateef Khan, Hameedullah, and Ch: Rasheed Ahmad and Mirza Abd ur Rashid actively helped the Jamaat. May Allah shower His Blessings on all of them.
Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib decided that details of the maltreatment of Ahmadis in Pakistan should be brought to the notice of the British press. He offered to address a Press Conference and directed me to organize it. I assigned different duties to different members of the Executive Committee.
A Press Conference was held to which representatives of all major newspapers were invited. A Church Hall in Fleet Street where almost most British Newspapers are based was rented for the purpose. Both Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib and I addressed the Press. In some detail, Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib advised the audience of the persecution to which Ahmadis were being subjected in Pakistan. He also answered all questions asked. In this regard, through the press, the British Government was asked to protest to the Government of Pakistan.
The Press Conference was a success and the following day most of the important newspapers published the relevant details. A representative of the Pakistan Embassy and some representatives of the Pakistani newspapers were also present at the conference. Both TV and Radio broadcast the news and that too proved effective.
Two days after the Press Conference a Consular in the Pakistan Embassy, whose name I do not wish to disclose, invited me to call on him. He seemed terribly offended at our holding the Press Conference. He protested strongly and said that we had projected Pakistan as if preposterous state of affairs prevailed there. With great respect, I said:
“Is it not very peculiar that after being ill-treated we are not even being permitted to complain? Thousands of Ahmadis living in England have relations in Pakistan. When they hear of the harassment of their near and dear ones, being apprehensive they telephone us and expect us to protest and yet you do not even let us complain. What kind of justice is this?”

He said:

“You must immediately stop the campaign that you have launched in the British newspapers.”

I responded by saying:

“Please arrange to stop the persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan and on our part, we shall we abandon the campaign. You will not then find us lacking in praising the Government of Pakistan. Pakistan is indeed our homeland and its prestige and honour is very important to us. The recent happenings in Pakistan, are earning Pakistan a really bad name.”
On my return from the Embassy I told Chaudhry Sahib what had transpired at the meeting with the Consular.

He said:

“I knew the Consoler’s father. He was a perfect gentleman and in fact, the Consular himself is also a gentleman. Since he is an employee of the Government of Pakistan, he is perhaps making an attempt to discharge what he regards to be his duty. Otherwise, I don’t think he could really be an opponent of the Jamaat”.
During this turbulent period Mian Mumtaz Daulatana was the Pakistan Ambassador in the U.K. His attitude towards the Jamaat was both friendly and sympathetic. I have made a mention of this elsewhere.
Most Ahmadis resident in England wrote letters to their respective Members of Parliament and this practice continued for quite a while. As a result a significant number of Member of Parliament became aware of the persecution of Ahmadis and they established contact with us. The name of Tom Cox M.P. appears at the top of the list. To keep himself up-to-date and familiarise himself with the current happenings he would visit me almost every week. He helped us as much as he possibly could. May Allah reward him abundantly. The sympathetic Members of Parliament brought some pressure on the Government of Pakistan and through their letters they asked the Government of Pakistan to stop maltreatment of Ahmadis. Finally, through an ‘Early Day Motion’, six Members of Parliament asked the British Government to help redress the difficulties of the Ahmadis in Pakistan. This process yielded agreeable results. Our campaign through the Press was most successful and forms a part of the History of Ahmadiyyat.
Later on, consisting of 330 pages, I put together a book in which were reproduced cuttings from the various newspapers that had written on the subject. The book was named ‘From the World Press’. It was extremely well received but unfortunately, currently it is out of print. My heart is drenched with prayers for those members of the Jamaat who were enabled to render service during the 1974 occurrences. Some of them are: Ch: Hidayat Ullah Bangvi, First Secretary in the Pakistan Embassy, Nazeer Ahmad Dar, Abd ul Wahab Adam who is currently Amir of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in Ghana, Abdul Lateef Khan who is currently President of the Hounslow Jamaat, Hameed Ullah, Ch: Rasheed Ahmad, Mirza Abd ur Rasheed of Hounslow, Bashir Ahmad Shaida of Greenford, Ch: Rashid Ahmad who was then in-charge of the Press Section, Ghulam Muhammad Chughtai, Munir ud Deen Shams currently Additional Wakeel ut Tasneef, Khwaja Rashid ud Deen Qamar. Last but not least, Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan. It was through his guidance, his prayers and his encouragement that all of us were enabled to lend a hand. One cannot possibly forget Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib’s contribution towards education and Tarbiyyat of the British Jamaat. In fact he trained most of those whom even today, are privileged to diligently render service to the Faith. On the top of such a list appears the name of Rafiq Ahmad Hayat, Amir of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in the U.K.
For the education and tarbiyyat of members, in 1965 I started a fortnightly Seminar. Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib and I would regularly address the participants. On and off others also addressed the youngsters. Some of those who attended the seminars are now enabled to render significant service to the Jamaat. Amongst them were Rafiq Ahmad Hayat and his younger brother Laeeq Ahmad Hayat. There were many other young men and all of them have become Servants of the Faith. These youngsters can be described as the produce of Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib’s prayers and hard work. For the manner in which he devoted attention to my own tarbiyyat, my heart remains flooded with prayers for Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib. I pray to the Almighty that in the Hereafter Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib may be granted proximity of Hadhrat Muhammad Mustafa (PBUH) and that of the Promised Messiah. He was indeed an arch lover of both. Amen. By the time the turbulent storm of 1974 passed away very many Ahmadis lost their assets. Dozens of them were martyred and thousands lost their means of livelihood. However, even now, 28 years later when I think of those events, I see a very strange spectacle. The martyrs were granted the respect of martyrdom. What else could they ever wish for? The Almighty has compensated those who lost their assets in diverse ways. The progeny of those who lost their means of livelihood have been blessed with great riches.
Currently hundreds of thousands of those who were persecuted have migrated to other countries and have been blessed with great prosperity in the countries where they settled. Beyond their wildest expectations, their children are being educated in some of the best Universities of the world. Because of their migration vigorous sound Jamaats have been established in the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, America, Canada and very many other European countries.










































Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 53: An Address

In 1970, I was transferred back to Pakistan and was appointed Private Secretary to Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III. On that occasion an address was presented which has been reproduced in the January 1971 issue of the ‘Muslim Herald’. The address is reproduced below:
“The Imam Mr B.A. Rafiq has left for Pakistan under the instructions of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih. His twelve years of stay in this country have endeared him to people who had the opportunity to meet him. As both the Missionary in Charge as well as an individual his work stands out in the history of the London Mission. Day and night, he worked hard in the service of Islam and Ahmadiyyat and won the respect of all. Scores of people have had daily discussions with him in which he cheerfully conveyed the message to them. In this period, he addressed nearly 600 clubs, schools, colleges of education and other institutions. Individually he welcomed hundreds of seekers after truth and answered their questions about Islam.
He received numerous letters each day and replied to them all, despite shortage of staff. He wrote articles, published books and pamphlets, which were in great demand. More than a dozen books were published in the Mission under him. Most of the books are of outstanding value, which contain the key-facts of Islam.
He first published the monthly magazine ‘Muslim Herald’ eleven years ago. Since then he carried it through successfully and kept the light lit despite various difficulties. Now it has achieved its status and commands a great prestige as a mouthpiece of the Islamic Faith. Its continuous demands by individuals and libraries, as well as by overseas readers are a testimony of its popularity. Scores of letters of appreciations are being received each month. The credit for all this goes to the Imam Mr B.A. Rafiq, who spared no pains to improve its quality and get up.
The local paper ‘Akhbar e Ahmadiyya’ was another of his efforts. It goes to every Ahmadi home now. It contains brief news of Headquarters, Friday sermons of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih and several articles on Islam. The cultural aspect of Islam is specially featured in each issue.
The Ahmadiyya Community on his first arrival in the UK in January 1959 was a small bunch of sincere Ahmadis who were either students or daily wage earners. Now a gathering on an Eid day alone runs to almost two thousand people in London. The Jamaat has eighteen strong centres spread over different cities of the United Kingdom.
They are well-organized communities who are closely linked with the London Headquarters. In London, he was actively concerned with numerous activities. He was an active member of the Rotary Club, a member of the Race Relations Board, the founder of the Literary Society at the Mosque, the London Mosque Society and had been responsible for the establishment of Khuddam, Ansar, Atfaal and Lajna organisations. He played a vital part in the construction of the Mahmood Hall, as well as the building of offices and flats for the missionaries. In fact, he gave a new look to the Mosque and the Mission.
In financial matters, he laid the firm foundations of the Mosque finances. Nearly £21,000 had been collected by the London Mosque for the Fazl e Umar Foundation Fund and £2,000 have already been collected for the Nusrat Jehan Reserve Fund for Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih’s programme for the help of the Africans, Ahmadis of the UK Jamaats subscribe regularly and generously to the Jamaat funds and appeals.
The extraordinary events during his stay were the visits of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III, the London Mission was fortunate to have been favored twice in this way. The Imam Mr. B.A. Rafiq organized and planned these visits very efficiently. The Jamaat showed utmost devotion on both these occasions.
Though Mr Rafiq will be away from us he will always be remembered for his work and intimate relationship with the London Mission. He was affable, polite, extremely sociable and friendly and extraordinarily hospitable and generous. We wish him a long life of happiness and prosperity. Amen.” (The Muslim Herald January 1971).















































Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 54: Education and Tarbiyyat Activities

When I first arrived in England, the Jamaat mainly consisted of young married couples and therefore there was no problem about Tarbiyyat of their children. However, in 1962 very many from Pakistan, India and East Africa migrated to England. Obviously, they came with their children. There was therefore an obvious need to organize programs for the Tarbiyyat of the children and the young on a sound basis so that our new generation may not become a victim of the western influence and so that they may not lose their identity and their culture. This was indeed a very important undertaking. I held consultations with the Executive Committee, the Khuddam, the Ansaar and the Lajna Imaullah. I sought assistance from Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan and from the Centre. After prolonged consultations, the following proposals emerged:
A Sunday school must be established in the Mosque where young children would be taught to read the Holy Quran and learn some of the basics of the Faith.
For the Tarbiyyat of the new generation, in a simple language, covering Islamic subjects some books may be prepared. The younger generation may be provided opportunities to practice delivering speeches so that they might use the skill in Tableegh. They may also be invited to write articles on Islamic subjects.
1. In every year, a few days may be set apart during which, the new generation in particular and other members of the Jamaat in general should remain engaged in Tableegh for the whole day.
The first task performed under this program was the establishment of a school where Bashir Ahmad Khwaja took charge as its Headmaster. A.R. Chaudhry, Daud Ahmad Gulzar and Moulvi Abd ur Rahman assisted him. Later on Malik Abd ul Azeez also joined the teaching staff. On 18th October 1964, not only children who lived near the Mosque but also some who lived at a distance started to attend the school. Their parents would bring them to the Mosque. By the Grace of Allah, many dozens of children learnt to read the Holy Quran and they learnt much of other Islamic subjects. In this manner, our duty of religious Tarbiyyat was also discharged to a degree. Even today, this school functions on a large scale and is rendering valuable service.

As suggested by Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan weekly seminars meant particularly for the older children began to be held. Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib and I addressed every seminar. Some other scholars and missionaries were also invited to address. Laeeq Ahmad Tahir who was then the Deputy Imam involved himself in this effort with great enthusiasm. The younger generation profited a lot as they were blessed with the company and proximity of Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib. This was no less than a great bounty. One of those young men is currently the National Ameer of the United Kingdom i.e. Rafiq Ahmad Hayat. His brother Laeeq Ahmad Hayat was also a member of that class. A list of those students who participated in the seminars is very lengthy but, I can say that by the Grace of Allah, all of them are now engaged in serving the Jamaat as Office Bearers.
Under the auspices of Lajna Imaullah, guided by Mrs Salaam the Sadar, separate classes were held for female children. By the Grace of Allah, the young children who benefited from the class are now grown up young ladies and are engaged in serving the Jamaat. The efforts made by Mrs Salaam and her active team to save our young female children from the detrimental effects of the western environment will be written in gold in the History of Ahmadiyyat. It is my wish that if Allah enables her, Mrs Salaam would herself record the services rendered by her team so that others in the Jamaat will become aware and pray for them.
The second part of the program consisted of preparing books for the children. A beginning was made by publishing ‘The Muslim Prayer Book’. This book became most popular and has been translated into many languages.
I also wrote a book entitled; ‘Islam – My Religion’ and three or four editions have since been published. The book gained great popularity. With great diligence and hard work, Chaudhry Rasheed Ahmad prepared a number of books for the children and all of them became very popular.
Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan kindly translated ‘Shamaele Tirmizi’ into English and called the book ‘The Prophet at Home’. This book proved a bounty for the younger generation. Two or three editions have been published since. Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib also translated hundreds of Traditions of the Holy Prophet. A book entitled ‘The Wisdom of the Holy Prophet’ was published by the British Mission. Some of the younger generation memorized some and many became familiar with the traditions.
The third part of the program consisted of training the younger generation to deliver speeches. It was agreed that in the monthly meetings of the Jamaat at least one youngster would speak. Also a Declamation Contest would be held each year. To encourage the successful speakers philanthropic members of the Jamaat would be asked to provide shields and members of the teams would be given trophies. This practise continued for many years and many youngsters participated with great enthusiasm. Both individually and as a part of team members from Gillingham, Birmingham, Bradford and London joined in these contests. As a result, the task of Tarbiyyat was fulfilled to some extent. Members were not only provided training in speaking but some also got involved in research work. Many from amongst those who participated became very good speakers and now rank amongst the best.
Mansoor Ahmad Shah as Secretary of this programme did excellent work.
The fourth part of this programme consisted of generating a wish and a desire for Tableegh amongst the new generations. Every year a few days were set apart for Tableegh.
The first Tableegh day was celebrated on 17th March 1968. Many young and many of advanced age gathered in their own localities and prepared placards on Islamic subjects. Pamphlets styled as ‘Introduction of Islam’ and ‘Islam a Religion of Peace’ was printed. After collective silent prayers young and old spread them in their respective localities and remained engaged in Tableegh for the whole day. They returned to their respective centres in the evening and shared with each other their experiences during the day. Both the BBC and The Times made a mention of this first ‘Yaum e Tableegh’ and some local papers also made a reference to it. Some photographs of Ahamdi men and women engaged in Tableegh were also published. This programme continued on a permanent basis and as a result not only did many join the fold of Ahmadiyyat but also the message of Ahmadiyyat was extended to very many. As a result considerable enthusiasm for Tableegh was generated. In short, the exercise was a great success.
For the education and Tarbiyyat of the Jamaat another significant programme in the shape of a Taleem ul Quran Class was launched on instructions from Hadhrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan. Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib, some other missionaries and I used to address this class every other week. Participants were encouraged to ask questions. A very large number attended and the class successfully continued for many years.
It is necessary to make a mention of another matter in which Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib and I played an important role. In spite of his advancing years, Chaudhry Sahib used to attend the Tarbiyyati Class with great regularity. He would address meetings of the Jamaat and at my request on many dozen occasions, he delivered Friday sermons. He would accompany me on my tours of various Jamaats and in a most admirable manner discharge responsibilities in connection with the education and Tarbiyyat of the Jamaat. I cannot recall a single occasion when I requested him for any job for the Jamaat and he turned me down. He would share with me the pain and pleasure pertaining to the Jamaat and remained diligently engaged in solving problems confronting any members of the Jamaat. He would visit their houses and would engage himself in discourse on educational and Tarbiyyati subjects. To be honest, I would say that throughout the time he was based in England and that covered the major part of my service as Imam, very many tasks could not have been satisfactorily attended to without his advice, help and active co-operation. It was a piece of great good fortune of the British Jamaat that a great well-wisher, sincere and God Fearing teacher was available to them. O Allah grant Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib a truly elevated status in the hereafter. He was truly Your arch lover. He had reserved every moment of his life for the benefit of humankind. Although financially he was extremely well off for Your sake he passed his days most frugally. He was truly great but he always behaved with great humility. He was an arch lover of the Promised Messiah who in turn was an arch lover of Your Messenger Muhammad (saw). He was wholly obedient and subservient to them both.













































Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 55: My Second Term in England

In April 1987, covering the period that I had the privilege to spend close to Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan I wrote a book entitled ‘Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan – A Few Remembrances’. The book had been printed but I had only received a few copies. The remaining copies were still in the press when the Government of Pakistan confiscated all copies and instructed that, apart from me, the owner of the printing press and some members of his staff should have proceedings started against them and also that an F.I.R (First Information Report) should be registered against all. Accordingly, the owner of the printing press and four of his staff, all of them non-Ahmadis, were arrested. Before I could be arrested, under instructions from Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih IV I reached England. On arrival in England Huzoor appointed me as Additional Wakeel ut Tasneef and permitted me to send for my wife and children. Two weeks later, they also arrived in England.
The major problem that confronted us in England was that of residential accommodation. There was no room in Islamabad and the Jamaat had no other residential accommodation at their disposal. To live in I purchased a flat quite close to the Mosque. I sold the comfortable and beautiful house that I had built for myself in Rabwah and for the second time all of us started living together in England. Since in the past I had served as Wakeel ut Tasneef in Rabwah and had gained some experience in that line I did not therefore have any difficulty in assuming responsibility of the work assigned to me in England. Then again, at every step Huzoor’s supervision and guidance was available to me.
A little later, very kindly, Huzoor appointed me Chairman of the Board of ‘Review of Religions’. While in Rabwah, I had edited this famous magazine for a period of two years. By the Grace of Allah, in that capacity I was enabled to discharge my responsibilities for a lengthy period. Since Mr Orchard, the editor of the magazine and I were old friends and were familiar with each other’s temperament, in the management of the affairs of ‘Review of Religions’, by mutual co-operation, for the second time, there did not surface any difficulty whatsoever. Mr Orchard was a saintly person; he was simple in his demeanour and had attained a very high order in the spiritual world. He was absolutely saturated in the love for Islam and Ahmadiyyat. There was never any disparity between what he said and what he did. He lived the life of a Sufi. To gain the pleasure of Allah, as a Moosi, he had made to bequeathed to the Jamaat one third of whatever he left behind. During his entire life, he always paid to the Jamaat one third of his income. He had strictly limited his own needs. He was extremely brief in his conversation. He had ordered his life to strictly comply with the instruction to say little, eat little and to sleep little. I never heard him indulge in backbiting. He was sympathetic to everyone and he was a well-wisher of everyone. While in his company one felt a strong magnetic field, which invariably left on one a special kind of spiritual impact. May Allah grant him a high order in Heaven.
Professor Mrs Amat ul Majeed Chaudhry has a substantial part in the management of the ‘Review of Religions’ in England. She assisted Mr Orchard and me with great devotion and hard work. She was responsible for printing, proof reading, despatch and other associated odd jobs. She continues to discharge these functions admirably.
A little later, graciously, Huzoor appointed me a Member of the Board of Directors of ‘Al Shirkat tul Al Islamia Ltd.’ and also made me responsible for the MTA Department. In those days, through a Russian satellite, MTA were only able telecast for a few hours a day. For quite a while, as a result of the hard work put in by Saeed Jaswal, Waseem Jaswal and Raja Tahir Ahmad this organ continued to function admirably. From the very beginning the Almighty had granted MTA many hard working and selfless volunteers. Huzoor’s prayers and their extreme hard work made MTA a roaring success. Today it has assumed the shape of a great shady tree.
While I was Additional Wakeel ut Tasneef, by the Grace of Allah and Huzoor’s guidance and supervision, I was enabled to have several books published. To crown all, from 1987 until 1996, the date of my retirement, for a continuous period of nine years, I had the great privilege of working closely with a great Khalifa. That was the sum total of my accomplishments. Throughout this period, I was overwhelmed with gracious benevolence and numerous favors from Huzoor.
During this period I was also enabled to render some service in the field of Tarbiyyat. I was enabled to deliver speeches in the various Jamaats in England as well as to deliver speeches at the Annual Conventions of the United Kingdom, France, Denmark and Germany. In 1991 Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih IV undertook an historic journey to Qadian. I was included in the sanctified group that accompanied Huzoor. Mr Hadi Ali Chaudhry has written a detailed account of the journey that will be printed in due course.
I was also privileged to speak at the Central Annual Conventions held at Rabwah, Qadian, and Islamabad (UK).
At this point I want to make a mention of some friends who are no longer with us. They were all sincere, devoted and hard working members. Mr Bashir Ahmad Hayat worked closely with me throughout the period that I was Imam. He left a very pleasant impression on me. He had a simple temperament and he rendered selfless service. He was a well-wisher of all and he was sympathetic towards all. May Allah forgive him.
Mubarak Ahmad Saqi also served the Movement during this period. Our close relationship was spread over a quarter of a century. He was a simple person and by tradition always prepared to serve. He was always cheerful and was completely harmless. We were very close to each other and we were very fond of each other.
I had another two friends whom I can never forget. They were Ch: Hidayat Ullah Bangvi and Mr Nazir Ahmad Dar. Both these gentlemen having retired from very senior positions remained wholeheartedly engaged in the service of the Jamaat throughout the period of my Imamat. For a long while Ch: Hidayat Ullah Bangvi served as First Secretary in the Pakistan Embassy in London. Mr Nazir Ahmad Dar served as an Inspector General of Police, in Tanzania and for having rendered outstanding service had been honored by awards from the British Government.
When Ch: Hidayat Ullah Bangvi was first posted as Second Secretary in the Pakistan Embassy he came to my office to see me. I was then the Imam of the London Mosque. During this very first meeting, I was deeply impressed by his devotion, sincerity, humility and deep love for the Jamaat. At the very first meeting he made an offer to serve the Jamaat in every way. Soon he would spend all his spare time in the Mission House. He worked in various capacities and soon, as a result of his pleasant demeanour, willingness to help others and humility he created a vast circle of friends for himself. I was particularly impressed to find in him complete harmony between what he did and what he said. He always spoke the truth and in simple words. Although he had served in very high positions it was difficult to find another as obedient as he.
We were very fond of each other and our relationship developed to a stage where we could be real brothers. There are very many incidents in my mind that I would one day, Inshallah, record. I pray that he may be given an exalted position in Paradise.
Mr Nazir Ahmad Dar was a bundle of superb qualities. He always fully discharged his responsibility towards his friends. He was always willing to serve others. He was always found to be a well wisher of all. He adhered to his principles so meticulously that very often some people were offended. However, everyone knew that his heart was filled with love for all. Until the very last day of his life, he continued to serve the Faith. I had a special relationship with him of love and sincerity. As Imam, I worked very closely with him for a long time. He was a perfect example of obedience.

Occasionally he would take a stand but whenever I said anything in my position as the Imam, he would agree and never deviated even slightly from the dictates of obedience.
Both these gentlemen were blessed with the opportunities of being close to the Kholafa of Ahmadiyyat. They presented an excellent example of love and devotion for the Kholafa.
Now we do not physically see so many but we cannot possibly forget them even if we try.
Hadhrat Syed Iqbal Shah was a saintly person with the temperament of a Soofi. He left a very deep impression on me and I learnt a lot from him. He devoted the remaining days of his life for service to the Faith. He would regularly turn up at the Mission House and work in an office next to mine. I have never seen another meek and humble person like him. It appeared that one could see an angel in his person. He would continuously remain engaged in supplications. He was extremely honest and deeply conscious of his duty. He died suddenly and the books of the Jamaat, which he was responsible for keeping, balanced to the last penny.
He was extremely kind to me and dealt with me with love and sincerity. I was younger than his children were but merely because I was the Imam he showed such great respect to me that I would be put to shame. I would often protest and say that I was in need of his prayers. He was a virtuous example for me to follow.
His sons Syed Wali Ahmad Shah and Syed Mansoor Shah, following in the footsteps of their father, hold me dear and are always extremely kind to me. I am deeply indebted to both the brothers.
In the early days of my Imamat it was Mr Daood Ahmad Gulzar who left no stone unturned, day and night, in the service of the Faith. After attending to his personal business, he would spend all the remaining time in serving the Jamaat. He always made supreme efforts to avoid incurring Allah’s displeasure. He was a young man, virtuous and pure. He spent a considerable time in supplications. He was a son of Hadhrat Moulvi Qudrat Ullah Sanori, a Companion of the Promised Messiah PBUH. He tried his best to follow his father’s example.
Apart from the few friends who have passed away and whom I have mentioned above there are very many others who are still alive. They too worked with me very closely and diligently and they too carried out meritorious work. Since they are still in the ‘land of the living’, I do not think it appropriate for me to mention them by name. May Allah shower His Blessings on all of them.























Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 56: Dr. Saeed Ahmad Khan

Throughout his life, like a moon, Dr Saeed Ahmad Khan kept on illuminating his surroundings. He was indeed endowed with some rare and superlative attributes. He was gifted with superb principles to which he strictly adhered all his life. Fear of God and sympathy for others, were firmly ingrained in his character. He was an arch lover of Hadhrat Muhammad Mustafa SAW and of the Promised Messiah. He was passionate about calling others to the path of Allah. He was very hospitable, extremely well mannered and a true devotee to the institution of Khilafat.
The late Dr. Saeed Ahmad Khan inherited the esteem for Ahmadiyyat and high morals from his father, Hadhrat Muhammad Khawas Khan. I had known him from my childhood and in various ways, we were related.

In January 1959 when I sailed for England from Karachi three gentlemen came to see me off i.e. the late Sheikh Khaleel ur Rahman Secretary Ziafat in Karachi, the late Dr. Saeed Ahmad Khan. He was then a student in the Medical College in Karachi and Dr. Basharat Ahmad of Yorkshire who was also a Medical student in those days. A few years later, after having obtained a medical degree Dr. Saeed Ahmad Khan came to London and stayed with me. He found employment in Edinburgh and went there. There he married an English lady who became a Muslim, Selma Mubaraka Khan. The wedding ceremony took place in my house and I made the necessary arrangements for the Waleema feast. On the advent of Selma Mubaraka Khan Dr. Saeed Ahmad Khan’s house assumed an image of Paradise. Seldom have I met such a blessed couple who, in the matter of good deeds, Taqwa, Dawat il Allah and hospitality tried to excel each other. They remained engaged in this endeavor as if every moment of their life was reserved for service in the name of God. They held their faith above all worldly affairs in the true sense.
Like fanatics, both husband and wife remained engrossed in Tableegh. Never even for a moment, did they neglect their duty in bringing up their children. They were blessed with three sons and a daughter. They brought them up in an endearing manner and trained them to follow the teachings of Islam and Ahmadiyyat. Because of this effort all four of them are shining examples of Ahmadiyyat and all four of them strictly follow the path of Ahmadiyyat. .
Whenever they visited London Dr. Saeed, his wife and children stayed with me. In those days, Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan used to visit London from The Hague. After his retirement, he settled in a flat in the Mission House.
For the very first time Dr. Saeed met Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib in that flat. Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib was deeply impressed by, not only the husband and wife, but also by their little children. That relationship with the whole family became so close that they all became members of the same family. Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib often said that in spite of being a Pathan, Saeed was meek, serene and tolerant. Selma Mubaraka Khan and Chaudhry Sahib also grew very close to each other. Once, for several days, Chaudhry Sahib stayed in their house in Yorkshire. He corresponded with their children on a regular basis and always referred to the family with great affection. In the days when the Annual Conference of the Jamaat was held in Rabwah at the end of December each year, Dr. Saeed and his family would visit Pakistan and while they were in Lahore, they were guests of Chaudhry Sahib. They really enjoyed his hospitality.
In the days when Dr. Saeed was newly married and lived in a small flat in Edinburgh, Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III toured Scotland. I accompanied him. Dr. Saeed asked me if Huzoor, along with his retinue, could visit him in his flat for a short while. I told him that we were pressed for time but if he himself made the request Huzoor might agree. Saeed came to see Huzoor, introduced himself and then begged Huzoor to visit him at his flat in Edinburgh. Without the slightest hesitation, Huzoor accepted the offer. I am sure this was made possible only because of Saeed’s devotion. Huzoor visited him along with his retinue and stayed there for a while. Saeed and his wife Selma Mubaraka were beyond themselves with joy. With full zeal, they remained engaged in serving Huzoor. Although there were other Ahmadis in Edinburgh Dr. Saeed was most fortunate as Huzoor had visited him. Possibly, as a result of that visit the whole family’s contact with Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III grew closer and closer. Whenever Saeed and his family visited Rabwah for the Annual Conference, out of his kindness, Huzoor would invite them for a meal at the Qasr e Khilafat. He would also instruct the Ziafat staff to take good care of them.
After a while, Doctor Saeed got employment in Yorkshire on a permanent basis. He bought an enormous and spacious house in a beautiful village. Since both husband and wife were hospitable to the extreme their house became Dar uz Ziafat and all Jamaat visitors and guests began to visit them. Although she was British, in order to be hospitable to her Pakistani guests, Selma Mubaraka learnt to cook Pakistani dishes. She often entertained twenty guests at a time. I too have been privileged to participate in such feasts.
As Waqefeen e Aarzi, Dr. Saeed and Selma Mubaraka, visited Western African countries on several occasions. There they held free clinics and saw thousands of patients; they even provided free medicines to the patients. Their spirit of sacrifice and devotion was rewarded in that dozens of the locals joined the fold of Ahmadiyyat. Very often the Doctor would not accept any fee from some of his private patients. He had indeed been endowed with a big and a generous heart. When, at the end of the Annual Convention in the UK, some V.I.P. visitors set out to tour the Lake District, on the insistence of Saeed and Selma, they would make a stop at their house where they were entertained sumptuously. At being, afforded opportunities to show hospitality to such visitors both would be extremely happy. Selma would prepare some rare dishes and there was never a shortage of any item at their table. Often she would insist that the departing guests took with them some food prepared by her. On many occasions I too was recipient of her favours. Since both husband and wife were mad about Dawat il Allah, for a long time, every week, they would invite a dozen or more non-Muslim neighbours for a meal. Then they would present Islamic literature and answer any questions the guests may ask.
The Doctor was very regular in offering the five obligatory prayers in congregation. He also insisted that all members of the household should regularly join him for the congregational prayers. They had set apart a spacious room in their house for this purpose. During the Holy month of Ramadhan, after prayers, Selma Mubaraka would read aloud the English translation of a portion of the Holy Quran so that her children, who were not conversant with Urdu, would become familiar with the Quranic teachings. In this way, again and again, the English translation of the Holy Quran was read out.
















Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 57: End of Story

I embarked on the vessel of my life on 12th September 1931. Having made stops at 72 stages the boat is now sailing towards the final terminal and that cannot be too distant. The last stage will be in the ‘Hereafter’. During the last 72 years my vessel has been through some huge and some small whirlpools and it was pounded a great deal. On occasion, the boat had to face gale force winds and storms. On two occasions, the hurricanes were so ruthless that the vessel of my life nearly went under. These two deadly spiritual ordeals turned my life upside down. Had the Divine hand not helped me I wonder what would have happened? However, by the sheer Mercy and Grace of Allah, in spite of apparent deadly trials, I emerged relatively unscathed. Alhamdolillah.
At every step of the way I have seen the Divine hand of help over my head and I have full faith and confidence in it. In His sacred book the Holy Quran the Almighty has said:

“I am near and I hear the supplications of my servants and accept them. I am close to My servants. I and hear their cries and respond.”

On very many occasions, I have witnessed this fact i.e. My Maker is nearest to me.
A little while ago, I read the autobiography of Sardar Kushwant Singh. He writes that ‘many say that God is omnipresent but I have never felt that way’. I was very greatly surprised that such an extremely eminent and famous writer, journalist, intellectual and well read person should be ignorant of this fact. The fact that He is our God, He is always present, He is closer to us than our jugular vein, He speaks and He replies, even a feeble, humble and ignorant person like me has witnessed and experienced at every step. When we are downcast, He raises our spirits. The doorway to His treasury is always wide open for those who solicit. The only condition is that one should ask.
I often wonder how after severing his relationship with the Maker anyone can be content. His denial truly turns one into a coward. All kinds of superstitions surround him who denies. He loses his way and is encircled with darkness. He becomes a slave of the worldly means whereas those who hold His hand spend their days in complete contentment. Therefore, I advise my children never to drift away from His door. Always ask only of Him as everything belongs to Him and there is no deficiency of any kind in His treasury. He will never let you down, as I have never been disillusioned. I swear by Allah that whenever I have begged of Him He has given me plenty and He has never disappointed me. There has never been a need, which out of His Mercy and Grace He has not fulfilled. If I begin to write in detail of His Blessings many books will get filled. He loves us more than our parents do and His gifts far exceed those of all the kings put together. Never ever abandon His door.

Quite regardless of the measure of sacrifice needed prostrate only before Him. A single prostration before Him will save you having to stoop before so many. Ask of Him alone as He has what no one else has. Be His and His alone. May the dazzling affluence of the world not detract you from Him. Once He becomes yours, everything becomes yours. The essence of my long life is that supplications lead o Him and that prayers are omnipotent. I have been deeply fascinated by prayers. I was perhaps 12 years old and only a student of the Eighth Grade when, in the evenings, I would walk towards the River Kabul that flowed close to the village. I really enjoyed supplicating even then. In those early days, I hardly had any experience of acceptance of Prayers but I was very fond of Praying. By His Grace that habit of praying bore fruit. Throughout my life I have been engaged in and took pleasure in prayers. I have so often witnessed the manifestation of acceptance of prayers. As a result, my life has been full of joy and contentment. Prayers grant one potency equal to those of mountains. It provides serenity to the heart and it strengthens it. In the midst of an ocean of grief, problems and worries like a safe boat it conveys you to your port of destination. A life without prayers becomes unfilled and meaningless.

I advise my children to make their prayers into a strong citadel and derive strength and security from it. Never be neglectful of prayers. You will see that as you become engaged in prayers you will, at every step, find that your life has become blissful and peaceful. Normally before supplicating, I invoke Durood on the Holy Prophet PBUH. Then I pray for the Promised Messiah PBUH, his successors and his progeny. Then I pray for my parents and grandparents on both sides and then for their ancestors who are no longer with us. I pray for my mother’s brothers, their spouses, my mother’s sisters and their spouses and their children. I also pray for my teachers and then I pray for my wife and my children. May Allah make them true servants of the Faith and they become fond of praying. Then I pray for the progress of Islam and Ahmadiyyat. Then I pray for such dear friends who are still alive and I also pray for those who, having formed a favorable impression of me, ask me to pray for them. I pray for my brother, his wife and their children. I pray for my sisters their spouses and their children. Over and above these, I offer many prayers with great regularity. I advise my children that, in this age, the Almighty has made the Jamaat established by the Promised Messiah a sanctuary from trials and tribulations. Make sure that you remain within the four walls of this sanctuary. Never even for a single moment should your contact with the Jamaat diminish. Always strengthen your link with Khilafat and make your best endeavors to develop a close relationship with the current Khalifa. There is nothing but trepidation outside the Jamaat. This is a great bounty from the Almighty that has been bestowed on us through the Promised Messiah. Always treat it as a great treasure and if there be need lay down your life with out the slightest hesitation.
In the Holy Quran, the Almighty says ‘if you appreciate My gifts I will continue to enlarge them and if you are ungrateful my torment will be severe’. Make this teaching of the Holy Quran a beacon for your life. There are hundreds of thousands of His gifts. In order to show gratitude you must, whenever from amongst them any one is demanded, without the slightest hesitation you should surrender it. This is how you should show your gratitude. Allah has granted you all your resources. Never be miserly in the payment of Chanda. Whenever a Khalifa invites you for financial sacrifices pay your subscriptions most generously. You will surely see that against what you give He pays back many times. He does not owe anyone a debt. I have never seen anyone who pays Chanda in poverty. Instead, I have often seen people who do not pay Chanda surrounded by financial problems. Since I have been a missionary I have, repeatedly observed that those who make substantial financial sacrifices lead a happy and contented life. Treat one who calls at your house to receive Chanda with utmost courtesy. Whoever invites you to spend in His way is in fact your benefactor. Never look at him except with great respect. It is his favor that he persuades you towards excellence.

There are many other ways of expressing gratitude for His gifts. The basic principle to be always borne in mind is that whatever He has granted you is really His. Therefore, never be niggardly in spending in His way.
I also advise you to always strictly stick to absolute truth and never ever come within reach of falsehood. Falsehood is an ugly blemish on one’s character; a blemish that stinks to the extent that others move away. Truth is a fragrance. It makes one courageous and saves one from every kind of fear. Telling a lie to gain some insignificant profit does not ever result in a gain. In Allah’s Court, a liar is cursed. May Allah make you a standard-bearer of the truth. May you always be clothed in truth.
In the end, I beg all of you to pray for Salima Naheed and me. May Allah be pleased with us and may our end be good. May He take us away from this world when He is pleased with us and we are pleased with Him.



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When Bashir Ahmad Rafiq met Shaikh Abdullah


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