He seems to have been working in Mastung, Pakistan in 1921, it was British-India then, Ahmadiyya sources claim that he left Islam in 1909 and became a Qadiani. He converted the father of Bashir Ahmad Rafiq to Qadianism aka Atheism. His name was Danishmand Khan and he was illiterate and intolerant. It is unclear as to how Moulvi Mohammad Ilyas Khan became a Qadiani-Ahmadi and as to how he became a Maulvi. Nevertheless, he gave his daughter to Danishmand Khan. Bashir Ahmad Rafiq is thus the maternal grandson of Moulvi Mohammad Ilyas Khan. Per B.A. Rafiq, he died in 1947. B.A. Rafiq is his maternal grandson.
Son—-Abdus Salam Khan Sahib
Eldest Daughter— Fatima Bibi, married to the father of B.A. Rafiq.
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.
March 21, 2015
By Bashir Ahmad Rafiq
I had the privilege to be under the direct guidance of my maternal grandfather Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Ilyas Khan Sahib in my formative years. I was sent at an early age of 6 to Mastung, Baluchistan, where he lived, to stay with him. I stayed there for a year and a half. During this period he was my guardian and teacher. He loved me immensely and prayed for me.
In 1941 he came to Peshawar to live with his son Abdus Salam Khan Sahib, who was my Mamoo (maternal uncle). I was then a grown up child and was 11 years of age. As there was no middle school in my village my Mamoon took me with him to Peshawar and got me admitted to a high school. Hazrat Maulvi Sahib was also staying with his son Abdul Salam Khan Sahib. I remained under his guidance and supervision for another two years.
After school most of my time was spent with him. We used to sleep outside the house in the open during summer months. He used to tell me stories of Prophets and of the Promised Messiah (alaihi Salaam). He used to sprinkle water on my face to wake me up for Fajr prayers. After Fajr he would recite the Holy Quran in a loud voice while I listened to his melodious Tilawat.
Once while in Mastung, Baluchistan, I was accompanying him for an afternoon stroll. We saw that a large number of people were standing on both sides of the road. There was also a large contingent of police. On enquiry we were told that the Khan of Qalat (the Ruler of the Qalat State) was passing through that road. We also stood among the multitude. After a while I saw a convoy of cars with a police escort passing near us. People were shouting welcome slogans and waving to the Khan. When the Khan’s car came in front of us it suddenly stopped. The Khan who was of a huge built got out of his car and came straight towards Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Ilyas Khan Sahib, my grandfather. He shook Hazrat Maulvi Sahib’s hand and then enquired about me. Hazrat Maulvi Sahib told him that I was his grandson. The Khan said to him, I had invited you several times to come for a few days to Qalat and bless Qalat with your presence but you had never accepted my invitation. I would now take your grandson with me to Qalat so that you were compelled to come and collect him from there. The Khan then grabbed my hand. I started crying, as I got scared that the Khan was going to take me away with him. Hazrat Maulvi Sahib promised that he would spare some time and would visit the Khan. The Khan then requested him to pray for him and his subjects.
In 1928 the Afghan King Amanullah Khan decided to go on a European tour. He boarded the Vice-Regal Special train from Chamman in Balochistan. There was a large crowed at Quetta Railway Station to welcome and greet the King. Among this huge multitude of people was also Hazrat Maulvi Sahib, my grandfather, standing on the platform. The train stopped. The King was standing in the door of his special Saloon responding to the slogans of welcome by the people. Suddenly he disembarked the train and came straight towards Hazrat Maulvi Sahib. Everybody was surprised and alarmed, as the King was not scheduled to disembark the train. His security guards rushed and made a circle of protective shield around him. The King came straight to Hazrat Maulvi Sahib and shook his hands. He then requested Hazrat Maulvi Sahib to pray for him and Afghanistan. The king then returned to his special compartment and the Royal train pulled off. After the train had steamed out of the station, people gathered around him and asked him as to how he knew the King. Hazrat Maulvi Sahib was greatly surprised himself and told the crowd that he had never seen or met the King before and that he did not know why the King came to him and shook his hands. Hazrat Maulvi Sahib always had a celestial glow on his face, which attracted people towards him. May be the King was attracted towards him with the same reason.
Hazrat Maulvi Sahib was a great scholar of the Holy Quran, the Hadith and the Islamic Jurisprudence. People used to flock to his Dars (Commentary) of the Holy Quran in Peshawar and Mastung, Balochistan. His Friday sermons were treasures of knowledge.
In December 1958 I had a farewell meeting with Hazrat Musleh Maud Khalifatul Masih Thani, May Allah be pleased with him, before leaving for England. At the end of the meeting I requested Huzoor to give me some advice. Huzoor said,
“Follow in the footsteps of your grandfather. He should be a roll model for you in life.”
In 1964 I was the Deputy Imam of the London Mosque. One night I saw my grandfather in a dream. He embraced me for a long time and then took off his cloak and asked me to wear it. I wore it. After a few days I was appointed the Imam of the London Mosque and Missionary In charge. I then interpreted the dream. The wearing of my grandfather’s cloak to signified my becoming an Imam.
Hazrat Maulvi Sahib was a charming, cheerful and handsome person. He was always dressed in white Shalwar Qamees and a white turban. He was very particular about cleanliness of his dress. Every morning he would neatly comb his beard.
In 1947 I was serving in Furqan Force in Kashmir when I heard the news of his demise. Innalillahi wa inna alai hi rajoon.
Photo of Maulvi Muhammad Ilyas
Late Hadhrat Maulavi Muhammad Ilyās was a saintly person of Frontier Province in Pakistan. He was a staunch and fearless Muballigh of Ahmadiyyat. His biography, Hayāt-i-Ilyās has been recently published. This book is replete with stories of how Allah saved him and helped him in the field of tablīgh throughout his life.
He says that when he accepted Ahmadiyyat and started preaching, there was a great uproar by opponents in the whole town of Chārsadda, his hometown. His opponents threatened him every day that they will torch his house and will burn the whole family in that blaze. Along with that, his social boycott was also launched.
In such circumstances, Allah melted the heart of one of his pupils who would bring his few groceries and deliver him at his house at night. It has been related by his wife that when serious threats of torching his house were being given to him, one night, Deputy Superintendent of Police knocked at their door. When Hadhrat Maulavi Muhammad Ilyās came at the door, he consoled him and said that he should sleep in peace and that no one will ever be allowed to harm him.
Now, listen to the reply, which Hadhrat Maulavi Muhammad Ilyās gave to that police officer. He told him that his bravery was apparent that he had come to visit him at the dead of night to console him and did not have the courage to come in the day. So far as his offer of protecting him was concerned, he should know that he did not need that. The angels of God would protect his home and so did it happen. His opponents were so much scared that none dared to torch his house. (From Hayāt-i-Ilyās by Abdus-Salam Khan, pp. 29-31)
From the book Inspiring Events in the Field of Tabligh by Ataul Mujeeb Rashed
Hadhrat Maulvi Muhammad Ilyas was my great grandfather. He accepted Ahmadiyyat the true Islam in 1909 and became a Waliullah (friend of Allah). The faith inspiring stories regarding his life, his love of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya and his zeal for tabligh have been compiled by my late grandfather Abdus Salam Khan of Peshawar in an Urdu book “Hayat-e-Ilyas.”
This website will InshaAllah contain the scan of the Urdu book, and its English translation. Furthermore, this website will also recount the life of my late grandfather Abdus Salam Khan Sahib of Peshawar who also wrote a short book on his life.
May Allah ordain this website to be of benefit to Ahmadi Muslims around the world. Ameen. I also pray that the progeny of Hadhrat Maulvi Muhammad Ilyas and Abdus Salam Khan of Peshawar are able to follow in the illustrious footsteps of their elders. Ameen.
Hadhrat Maulavi Muhammad Ilyās related another incident that in Chārsadda, due to Ahmadiyyat, three persons opposed him bitterly. Praise be to the Lord that every one of them was extremely humiliated under the wrath of God. The details of these stories are very painful, but very heart warming.
Among the three enemies, one was Mullah Mahmūd who tried with his magic spells or talismans that Maulavi Muhammad Ilyās’s wife should start hating her husband. He was himself implicated in an affair with a woman—his relative—and as a result of which he had to flee from his own home to which he never returned.
Second enemy was one Akbar Shāh who was an accomplished swimmer. He used to say that if Muhammad Ilyās ever dared to come to the river, he would drown him. Observe the might of the Almighty that he, who boasted to be a master swimmer, was himself drowned and died while bathing in the same river.
The third enemy was one Mukarram Khān. He was a celebrated and influential landlord and headman of the village. He went to the extremes in executing boycott against Maulavi Muhammad Ilyās. He came under the wrath of God thus, that firstly his wife died with tuberculosis. Next were his three sons who died of the same disease. His whole property was liquidated in gambling. His headman-ship was confiscated. He became so poor that he had to earn his living by driving tongas (carts driven by horses).
One day, it so happened that Maulavi Muhammad Ilyās hired a tonga and inquired the driver about the people of Chārsadda. When he asked about Mukarram Khān, the tonga driver said, Sir, I am the same luckless Mukarram Khān who has ruined his worldly life and his hereafter by opposing the truth. (From Hayāt-i-Ilyās, Abdus-Salām Khān, pp. 34-36)
This kind of divine wrath comes over those who make themselves deserving due to their own misdeeds. Among them are especially those who run amok against the truth and are arrogant and humiliate the people whom God Almighty loves. These are the unfortunate ones whom divine wrath gets hold so quickly and severely that they become the hallmark of humiliation for others.
From Inspiring Events in the Field of Tabligh by Ataul Mujeeb Rashed
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