We have found yet another rare book in the history of Ahmadiyya. Its “Seerat Maseeh e Maud” by the Khalifa himself, Mirza Basheer ud Din Mahmud Ahmad, it was published in 1925. In the below, we have posted an english translation and the original Urdu. In this book, on every single page, it was written, “Ahmad Akhri Zamana Kaa Rasool”, in english as “Ahmad, The Messenger of the Last Era”. They were essentially asserting that MGA was the last prophet/messenger.
A brief English translation of the Urdu PDF
SEERAT MASIH MAOUD BY MIRZA BASHIR UDDIN MAHMOOD
Printed in February 1925
On the Title Page of the book it says Seerat Masih Maoud
On the first page it states “Ahmad Akhri Zamana Kaa Rasool”
Translation of text in Red box PAGE 1
Ahmad who was the founder of Silsila Ahmadiyya, his full name was Ghulam Ahmad. He
was the dweller of Qadian. Which is a small village (kasba) in the east (of these 3 cities) 11
miles away from Batala, 24 miles from Amritsar, and 57 miles from Lahore. He (aap) was
born in this village (gaoun), in the house of Mirza Ghulam Murtza (father) on a Friday,
years either 1836 or 1837. Your birth was part of a twin (tawaam), yaanee a girl was also
born at the same time who died after a short time.
Translation Top of Page 3
After writing these brief accounts (halaat above) here is the part from Sir lapel Griffin’s
book The Punjab Chiefs, we see it quite appropriate to write the part, which is related to
the family (khandaan) of Hazrat Mirza Sahib.
Translation PAGE 4
Here is necessary/important to point out that, Ghulam Ahmad was the younger son of
Mirza Ghulam Murtza, who became/was the founder of a famous religious sect in Islam.
This man was born in 1837 and had a very good education. In 1891, according to Islamic
doctrine/tradition (bemoujab e Islam) claimed to be Mehdi or Masih (mehdi yaa masih). As
he was learned and mantaqee person (oxford dict MANTAQEE means logic, reasoning
and articulation), in no time he had many followers.
Translation Page 5
HAZRAT MIRZA SAHIB KEE PAIDIASH AND TAFOOLIYAT KAY HALAAT
(Birth of Hazrat Mirza Sahib and his Childhood)
After writing briefly account of his family/khandan/tribe, we divert our attention towards him
(mirza ghulam ahmad), and as we have already mentioned in the beginning, he was born
in 1836 or 1837. That time was the hight (arooj best of time) of his father’s life.
All the different editions
First published in Urdu 1943
Reprinted in 1944, 1945
Several Editions published since
First English edition published in 1946
Reprinted in 1961, 1969
First published in England, 2005
Reprinted in England, 2015
Reprinted in India, 2017
This entry is based on an English translation of the Urdu text available in one of Mirza Mahmud’s books, Mash-ale Rah, pages 207 and 208. Mash-ale Rah is collection of all of Musleh Maud’s speeches. In english as “The torch that guides the way”.
In the entire history of Ahmadiyya, starting from the late 1800s till today, we’ve seen extensive softening of language used, especially when speeches and writings are presented externally in non-Urdu languages (primarily English). Take for example the way that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad firmly labeled anyone who didn’t accept him as a non-Muslim:
“”God Almighty has disclosed to me that whoever has been apprised of my advent and does not accept is me is not a Muslim and is accountable to God “”(source)
We would never hear the current Khalifa say such words, especially not on screen. Similarly, we see an interesting divide in how chanda was institutionalized as compulsory, but is not really much of a concern today to people as a guarantee of their membership (an Ahmadi user on the subreddit has claimed that only 35% of members pay chanda).
The title of the post comes from the writings of Mirza Mahmud describing how the organization of Khudam-ul-Ahmadiyya is compulsory for all male members aged between 15 and 40:
“””If someone doesn’t register their name in Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya in this 15 day period, we will sue them. Then whose crime [not registering] is proved, they shall be ostracized for three days. Nobody would be allowed to talk to them in these 3 days. Fathers won’t be allowed. Mothers won’t be allowed. Wives won’t be allowed. Sons won’t be allowed. And nor would any close relative or friend be allowed. During this period it is the duty of mothers, fathers, wives, kids and all other relatives that they throw him out of their home like a dirty rag is thrown out of a home.”””
The families who heard such rhetoric back then are likely dead today. But Mirza Mahmud was seemingly a man of god and at the time forced young Ahmadis into working for the Jamaat, with coercive and manipulative tactics. It is no surprise a book such as this one has not been translated in English and these quotes are not put on banners at Khuddam Ijtimas, instead sticking to the diplomatic nations cannot be reformed without the reformation of the youth.
Today, these forms of control exist but in much subtler ways – while you are not explicitly told that your membership is contingent on helping the Jamaat or paying your chanda, there really aren’t any options for you to simply leave the Jamaat. It’s a brand you’re expected to carry for the rest of your life, because the alternative is for your parents, extended relatives, and friends to ostracize you to the degree which non-Ahmadiyyat has been connotated through internal narratives as the worst possible state to be in.
An unparalleled example of the Jamaat’s service during the Influenza of 1918 Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. IV, p. 208-209:
“””After World War I, in 1918, an epidemic of influenza broke out; it was as if this outbreak caused more havoc in the world than the battlefields of the war itself. India was also greatly affected by the influenza eruption and saw deaths at an unprecedented level in a matter of days.
During the outbreak, through the guidance of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II, may Allah be pleased with him, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community provided great aid, service and relief for the wider public to encounter the consequences of the epidemic. Regardless of race, religion or creed, the community provided help and relief to people from every background.
Ahmadi Muslim doctors and medics not only voluntarily helped the populace in Qadian, India but from town to town and village to village they ensured medical help reached even the most isolated and deprived. Other members of the Ahmadiyya Community stepped forward and served as nurses etc.
The poor were assisted by the community through financial means and provision of supplies and food were distributed. In the days of the influenza outbreak, Ahmadi Muslim volunteers (which included Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad) painstakingly toiled night and day, despite great difficulties, and served those in need. In some instances, when volunteers were scarce, Ahmadi volunteers who had fell ill themselves, continued to grit through and serve the ill. They would endure the pain themselves and continue treating others until their illness would cause them to drop; they had sacrificed their own rest and treatment for others.
This service was such that both friend and foe commended the sacrifice and efforts of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Through articles and speeches, everyone applauded and recognised the great example the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community set through their constant hard work, sacrifice and efforts in aiding those in need during the influenza outbreak of 1918.”””
Intro Just like his father (MGA), Mirza Basheer ud Din Mahmud Ahmad never wrote anything. Ahmadiyya sources claim that he wrote a huge commentary on the Quran called “Tafseer-e-Kabeer”, sometimes spelled as “Tafsir-i-Kabir”. They also claim that he wrote a shorter Tafsir entitled, “Tafseer-e-Sagheer” also spelled as “Tafsir-i-Saghir”. These Tafseer were most likely written by the paid Mullahs who worked directly for the Khalifa. The Khalifa didn’t have a full commentary written on the Quran, only about half, per the Introduction of the 1988 edition of the 5 volume commentary by Malik Ghulam Farid (died in 1977), Mirza Basheer ud Din’s “Tafsir-e-Kabir” only covered Chapters 1, 2, 10-29 and 78–114, he missed Chapters 3-9 and 30-77, he missed 53 chapters and purposely, since most of the controversial verses about Jesus and prophethood were contained therein. Per 5 Malik Ghulam Farid’s commentary, The first volume comprising the first nine chapters along with an introduction appeared in 1947. The book was found to be too voluminous to be easily handled and, therefore, for the convenience of the readers, it was split into two parts. Volume 1 part I, containing the introduction & the first two chapters (now Vol. 1), was reprinted in 1964, and volume 1 part II, dealing with the next seven chapters (now Vol. 2) was reprinted in 1965 in Pakistan. Further research shows that the 5-volume commentary was first published in 1963 and then in 1968.
Approximately 36 years ago, the Promised Messiah, peace be upon him, settled the nikah of our younger brother, the late Mubarak Ahmad, with Maryam Begum, daughter of Dr Syed Abdus Sattar Shah Sahibra. The purpose behind the nikah was probably to see the practical fulfilment of some dreams and eliminate any subsequent cautionary aspects. However, Allah’s decree came to pass and Mubarak Ahmad returned to his Lord.
The young girl, who was completely oblivious to the concept of marriage owing to her age, began to be referred to as a widow. At the time, Maryam was two and a half years old. She would often leave the Gol Kamra [the round room – best known for being a guest room in the life of the Promised Messiahas] where the late Dr Syed Abdus Sattar Shah Sahibra would reside, and along with her niece, Naseera, she would come upstairs [to the main part of the house] and play. At times, they would become somewhat perturbed and start crying and thus, I would sometimes pick up Maryam or Naseera and take them back to the Gol Kamra.
On such occasions, it was unimaginable that the girl I had picked up to take back downstairs would one day become my wife. What was even more unimaginable was that I would one day have to pick her up and lower her, not towards the Gol Kamra, but towards her final resting place; not with the thought that I would see her face again, but with the certainty that the face I saw before me in the coffin would be the last time I would see it with my physical eyes and that I would never be able to speak to her again.
1907 to 1917
The young Mubarak Ahmad passed away and Dr [Syed Abdus Sattar Shah] Sahib’s leave had come to an end. He returned to his work in Raya, District Sialkot. Syed Waliullah Shah Sahib and Dr Syed Habibullah Shah Sahib were studying at school at the time. Both were my friends, but Dr Habib was closer than most friends. We were both very similar and inseparable as peers, but I had never imagined that their sister would again be a part of our family.
My friendship with him was only because of him and not because their sister and our brother were, for a short period, married. Many days and many years had passed and Maryam’s name was erased from our memories.
One day – either in 1917 or 1918, after the demise of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira – I was in the house of my late wife Amatul Hayy. As I left the washroom and approached our room, at the edge of the courtyard that was in between both rooms I noticed a very thin girl dressed in white and, after seeing me, move back against a wooden wall and wrapping herself [as if to hide]. As I entered our room, I asked my late wife, “Amatul Hayy, who is that girl standing outside?” to which she replied, “Did you not recognise her? She is Maryam, daughter of Dr Syed Abdus Sattar Shah Sahib.”
I was surprised and said that she had covered herself and that even if she had been in front of me, I would not have been able to recognise her. After 1907, that was the first time when Maryam came into my thoughts.
Nikah with Maryam
Now, I began enquiring whether her marriage had been settled anywhere, but I received the response, “We are Sadat [belonging to the Syed family – the lineage of Hazrat Fatima and Hazrat Ali, Allah be pleased with them]; our widows do not remarry. If she is to marry in the
household of the Promised Messiahas then we will allow it, otherwise she will spend her entire life as a widow.”
This came as a shock to me. Therefore, I tried my utmost to arrange Maryam’s Nikah elsewhere, but it came to no avail. Eventually, I attempted to convince my brothers through various means. I would tell them, “Her life should not go to waste in this manner,” and would urge them to consider marrying her, but I always received a negative response.
It was at that point that the thought occurred to me: No action of the Promised Messiahas should prove damaging to a person. Thus, it was for this reason (and because I had a cordial friendship with Syed Habibullah Shah Sahib and Syed Mahmudullah Shah Sahib) that I decided to marry Maryam myself.
Thus, in 1920, I sent my proposal through the late Dr Syed Abdus Sattar Shah Sahib, which was accepted and on 7 February 1921 our nikah took place in the old part of Masjid Mubarak [Qadian]. It was more of a house of mourning than a nikah ceremony; all that could be heard was the wailing of worshippers; tears streamed down all faces.
Eventually, I brought Maryam to our home in a very simple manner and left her at the house of Hazrat Ummul Momineen [wife of the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat (Amma Jan) Nusrat Jehan Begum Sahibara]. She allocated a room for her where I would stay with her frequently. The room where Maryam Siddiqa now resides was the same room where she resided for five years and where her first child was born – Tahir Ahmad (the first, who died at a young age).
It was after his birth that she fell extremely ill and this illness eventually led to her demise.
Early days of marriage
In the early days of our marriage, [Maryam] was extremely thin and had certain facial features that were not very pleasant to me. Similarly, she had a strong Punjabi accent and I detest the usage of Punjabi in our home. She was somewhat facetious in nature and while speaking in Urdu, she would often deliberately mix Punjabi words in her sentences to irritate me.
As she was her parent’s favourite child, if she did not like something, it would irritate her and make her cry profusely, causing a stream of tears. At times, she would cry incessantly for a couple of days. Perhaps this was due to traces of hysteria. When I travelled to England, there was some sort of friction between her and the late Amatul Hayy and as a result, I became somewhat displeased with her. Upon my return, I found that most of the fault actually lay with Amatul Hayy. Due to that displeasure, in the initial part of the journey, I did not write to Maryam but, Alhamdolillah, Allah soon enabled me to realise the reality and I saved her from any further hurt.
I wrote a loving letter to her from Italy, which she preserved. I wrote a couplet in it also, the gist of which is that Rome is a beautiful city, but without you, it appears in ruins. One day, that couplet was mentioned in 1930, seven years after my journey to Europe. As soon as she heard the couplet, she shot up and brought the letter to me saying, “I have kept that letter ever since!” I sent the same couplet to Amatul Hayy. It is strange that God’s will had it that they would both pass away, leaving me alone not just in Rome but to live in this world.
Final promise to Syeda Amatul Hayy
A few days after returning from England, Amatul Hayy passed away. I could not find anyone to care for her young children. Right before her demise, Amatul Hayy expressed great concern for her children’s upbringing. She would express her concern especially for Amatul Qayum Begum [along with the rest of the children] by saying, “[Amatur] Rashid, being brought up by a wet-nurse, will not remember me after I am gone. Khalil is only a month-old and will never know me. Amatul Qayum is the eldest; What will become of her?”
She would glance at each of her children one after the other, but on this subject, she never glanced at me. Perhaps she thought to herself, “What does a man know about raising children?” I would repeatedly look towards her to say something but would supress my feelings in the presence of other people.
Eventually, when we got a moment of privacy, I said to her, “Amatul Hayy, why do you worry so much? If I live, I will look after your children and Insha-Allah will not let any harm come their way.” For her solace I uttered those words, but in reality, I hadn’t a clue what to do.
Fulfilment of a promise
The night after Amatul Hayy’s demise, I asked Maryam, “A heavy burden has been placed on my shoulders. Can you help me?” Allah bless her soul a thousand times over for she immediately replied, “Yes, I will take care of them! Just as a mother brings up her children, I will raise them.”
The following day, I brought [Amatul] Qayum and [Amatur] Rashid to Maryam as a way of passing them on to her. Both of us were oblivious that we were, in fact, giving consent to her death, because as a consequence of this responsibility, both of us endured many hardships. However, it was a result of those hardships that we remained hopeful of Allah’s blessings.
Amatul Hayy was very dear to me and still is to this day. But I cannot truthfully say for sure that if she remained alive, she would have attended to her children when they fell ill in the same way as Maryam attended to them. May Allah raise her soul to the closest possible station to His threshold and may Allah show mercy upon me too. It was no ordinary thing for a 19-year old girl to suddenly become a mother of three. However, she readily and enthusiastically took up the responsibility and helped me in a time when nobody in the world could. She relieved me of a promise I had made at a time when I saw no way of fulfilling it. That moment is still before my eyes when I took Qayum and Rashid to Maryam and she embraced them with tearful eyes, saying, “From now on, I am your mother.” The girls, who were still weeping and scared, immediately jumped into her arms.
A prayer for love that God accepted
At that moment, I made a pledge to her:
“Maryam, if you raise these children, I promise that I will love you immeasurably”. I cried and cried before God, praying that Allah developed love in my heart for her, which He heard. From that day onwards, I had great love for her. Any reservations I ever had were removed and she won my heart over. A face that was unpleasant for me became the most beautiful face in the world and her carefree attitude which once offended me became her birth right.
Maryam was not very literate, and her handwriting was very untidy. She could not read or write very fluently. She would take lessons for a few days before dropping them, however she was remarkably intelligent. She could take a hint through the subtlest of facial expressions and body language. One would think that she had her very own way of acquiring knowledge of the unseen. She possessed a very sensitive temperament. Where sarcasm was not the motive, she knew how to extract it; where displeasure was not intended, she would still sense it. If she was treated better than others, even then she would feel as though she was being subjected to injustice.
This was all something that I was the prime subject of, and this was where her intelligence would be rendered useless.
Her pure faith in Ahmadiyyat
Maryam had true faith in Ahmadiyyat. She had a deep love and dedication for the Promised Messiah, peace be upon him. She loved the Holy Quran and would recite it melodiously. She learnt the recitation of the Quran from a hafiz and for that reason – albeit with slight overemphasis – she could pronounce the Arabic t’s and q’s very well. She was not capable of initiating intellectual discussions but would thoroughly enjoy thought-provoking talks.
On Fridays, if the sermon was on a special subject, after the sermon, I would enter our house with the certainty that Maryam’s face would be beaming with pleasure and that she would immediately overwhelm me with compliments, saying that she had really enjoyed it. This certainty would very rarely be proven wrong. I would always find her waiting for me at the door. Her whole being would be buzzing with ecstasy at such moments.
A while ago on Twitter, I opined that making children as young as 7 year old repeat a word by word pledge in which it says “I bear witness, Muhammad was a Messenger of Allah” could be considered as indoctrination. Many Ahmadis jumped into comment on it and many of them had some meaningful insights to share. One of their major argument was:
“””Ahmadis Children are encouraged to learn about other religions and faiths, and then reach a conclusion themselves using their own reason.”””
Anyway, while many Ahmadis honestly believe Ahmadiyyat completely makes sense and they raise children in such a way which encourages them to use reason, the story of formation of Khuddamul Ahmadiyya by Mirza Mahmud is not a one which gave freedom of choice or reason.
One twitter user, somewhere posted about this based on the writings from a book called Mash Ale Rah by Mirza Mahmud which is available on Alislam.org in Urdu. Since I don’t understand Urdu. I asked about the meaning of this to a friend of mine and she gave me an overall meaning which I found alarming.
So I decided to post about this under a Twitter post of an Ahmadi (Imam I think) who was talking about how Mirza Mahmud was a champion of youth by finding Khuddamul Ahmadiyya, the Youth Association. Here, I shared the screenshots from the book and asked them whether Mirza Mahmur ordered parents, family and friends to boycott, for a day, Ahmadis who refuses to Join Khuddam like a “dirty cloth thrown out of the home”. If you can read Urdu you can find the pages at: https://www.alislam.org/urdu/pdf/Mash-ale-rah.pdf (Page 207 & 208 | Pdf pages 215 & 216)
Anyway, after hours, no Ahmadi shared anything (I hope they’ll come up with some explanation soon) but another exAhmadi BeyondAhmadiyya gave some insights about what Mirza Mahmud Ahmad said in those pages. Which are:
> Mirza Mahmud is talking about the creation of the auxiliaries (khuddam, atfal, ansar). He specified that to recruit khuddam there should be a 15-day recruitment duration when all young men at each selected mosque/location should sign up.
> For those that refuse to sign up, they are to be punished for 3 days through complete social boycott. Mom, dad, siblings, close friends/family won’t be allowed to speak to them. They will only be provided food by the other khuddam.
[I find it very Cultish and cruel. If accurate, Mahmud is asking everyone to boycott a 15 year old kid and only Khuddam (members of the institution in which he is not ready to participate) are allowed to give him food. It’s like a Psychological torture]
> Those who signed up but didn’t do the job assigned them. They are to receive the same social boycott as the others for one day. In addition, they are to be thrown out of the house (like a dirty rag) for 24 hours. Only food will be provided.
> On first page (pg.207) it also says that those who flat out don’t join within the given 15 days will be expelled.
I don’t find any of this as freedom of choice or encouraging reason rather forcing a 15 year old kid to join an institution he’s not willing to participate.
Intro Per all academic sources, Mirza Basheer ud Din Mahmud funded Shaikh Abdullah (Sher i Kashmir) to start a political revolution in Kashmir vs. the ruling party, the Dogra Dynasty. This ended up backfiring on the Khalifa, the Ahrars and Sir Muhammad Iqbal turned on the Khalifa and exposed his for looking at Kashmir as a possible new headquarters for himself, or to gain converts and setup the movement at Kashmir. Historically, by 1931, there were no Ahmadi places-of-worship in Kashmir. All of their current places-of-worship seem to have been acquired after the partition of 1947. Nevertheless, after losing interest in Kashmir (1934), the Khalifa seems to have written a pamphlet wherein he explain the truth about the entire Kashmir situation, the book was called, “Haqiqat i Hal”, in english, it would be “The Reality of What Happened”. This book is available on alislam.org under Volume 14 of Anwar ul Aloom, it was also quoted by Ian Copland in 1981, as he wrote “Islam and Political Mobilization in Kashmir, 1931-34”, which was published in an academic journal entitled: “Pacific Affairs”, Vol. 54, No. 2 (Summer, 1981), pp. 228-259 (32 pages), Published by: Pacific Affairs, University of British Columbia. By May of 1934, the Ahmadiyya Khalifa had fell out of favor with the British Government after it was revealed how he funded the Kashmir movement with mystery funds. The British Government in-turn allow the Ahrar’s to hold a conference close to Qadian. Sir Muhammad Iqbal also went on his tirade vs. Ahmadiyya in this era.
Quotes from Haqiqat i Hal —“”….it is not permitted by religion nor (does) it (seem)..to be right morally””””(See page 251, Copland, 1981).
—-“””we have government sympathy owing to civil disobedience. This should be secured again”””(See page 251, Copland, 1981).
Lavan also quoted Haqiqat i Hal
Lavan summarizes on page 154-155. He claims that after the Khalifa resigned from the President-ship of the All-India (1932), the Khalifa agreed to continue to fund the insurgence against the Maharaja Hari Singh, and kept lots of Ahmadi’s on the All-India Kashmir Committee. The Khalifa also agreed to not order Ahmadi’s to do missionary work for 2 years. Iqbal complained that there were too many Ahmadi’s still on the committee.