In the preface of Seeratul Mahdi (1923), Mirza Bashir Ahmad writes his methodology, he explains how he only used people like Nusrat Jehan (MGA’s widow) and Mian Abdullah Sahib Sanori, since they knew MGA from the earliest period. Mirza Bashir Ahmad then claims that he only took narrations that were authentic, he explains that this was difficult and how Mawlavi Sher Ali Sahib and Mian Abdullah Sahib Sanori were the most authentic narrators. Ironically, he didn’t mention the 2nd Khalifa, his big brother by 4 years in terms of authenticity, and as we look through Seeratul Mahdi we see that most of the narrations by the 2nd Khalifa are with anonymous people, mostly hindu kids who’s information is dubious at best.
“””This is why I have kept this thing in my mind that narrations be compiled from friends who have been in the company of Hazrat Sahib from the beginning. And there are people who have relationships before the commencement of Baiy’at. Hence, I have specially taken narrations from Hazrat Walida Sahiba and respected Mian Abdullah Sahib Sanori.
I have written in the beginning of the book that I have only taken narrations which I deemed according to my own knowledge to be authentic. This does not necessarily mean that I consider the details of the narrations to be authentic. I understand that the method of narrating and memorizing in our country prohibits me from thinking this way. However, from among the narrators that I took from, I have found two specific narrators to be very careful in narrating and they are respected Mawlavi Sher Ali Sahib and respected Mian Abdullah Sahib Sanori.”””
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