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The background to Hazrat’s entry into the struggle against Qadianism is that during his visit to the Hijaz for Hajj in 1890 AD (1307 A.H.), the chaste atmosphere of the Holy Land had touched him so deeply that he had thought of permanently settling down there. However, Haji Imdad-
“In the near future, a dangerous and evil movement is likely to raise its head in India, and you are destined to play a key role in combating it. Even if you do nothing actively against this movement, your mere presence in the country would help shield the country’s ulama against its pernicious effects”. The truth of these words was proved barely a year later, i.e., in 1891, when Mirza of Qadian announced his (initial) claim to be the Promised Massiah (Jesus Christ) -
Two spiritual visions experienced by Hazrat around this time also deserve a mention in this context. According to one of these, quoted in Malfuzat-
According to the other vision, which is described in a manuscript in Hazrat’s own handwriting discovered later in his personal papers, and which occurred when Mirza challenged Hazrat to an open debate in 1900A.D, Hazrat had seen himself seated in a most respectful posture before the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) in his prayer cell, in the manner of a disciple sitting before his Shaikh (spiritual guide), while Mirza of Qadian was sitting a good distance away with his back turned to the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H).
Hazrat construed this as a clear indication of Mirza’s defiance of the Prophet’s teachings, and this prompted him to accept Mirza’s challenge for a debate in Lahore. In Hazrat’s celebrated book Saif-
Qadyani request to Hazrat (R.A) for support and Hazrat’s response
Hazrat’s first direct contact with the Qadyani movement occurred when Maulvi Abdul Karim of Sialkot, one of Mirza’s followers, sent to Hazrat a copy of Mirza’s published letter of invitation in which he had claimed to be the Promised Messiah and had been assigned by God with the task of reviving the din and working for the ascendancy of Islam. The letter requested Hazrat’s support in this task. In reply, Hazrat wrote that he did not accept Mirza as the “Promised Messiah”, and advised him to continue to confine his activities to the holding of debates with non-
Mirza’s challenge to the Mashaikh (spiritual leaders)
Recognizing the powerful influence which the mashaikh wielded on the minds of the Muslims of India in general, Mirza made every possible effort to enlist the backing of some of them for furthering his mission. However, these efforts met with no success whatsoever. In frustration, therefore, he threw out an open challenge to the entire Mashaikh community in the following words in his Ayyam-
“There is no one under the sun at present who could claim to be my equal. I say to the Muslims openly and without fear: Let all those who lay loud claims to be muhaddith (master of Hadith) and mufassir (commentators of the Quran), who profess to know God, and call themselves Chishti, Naqshbandi, Suharwardi and what not, come before me (if they dare)”.
Hazrat’s book "Shams-
Hazrat Pir Meher Ali Shah Sahib wrote a book titled “ Shams-
Commotion in Qadian
The strength of Hazrat’s arguments in Shamsul Hidayah, written in scholarly style and language, can be fully appreciated only by the truly learned reader. The book was, therefore acclaimed by ulama of all schools of thought. Among other, Maulvi Abdul Jabbar Ghaznavi, a leading scholar of the Ahl-
All the questions were answered in detail with the related Hadith and Quranic verses. At the end of his reply, Hazrat posed just one counter question to Hakim Nurrudin, asking him to explain “the reality of miracles”. This question was, however, never answered.
The aforesaid correspondence was published in the form of a leaflet by Maulana Muhammad Ghazi, senior teacher in the madressah at Golra Sharif, and distributed to ulama in different parts of the country. All ulama paid glowing tributes (both written and oral) to the force of Hazrat’s arguments and the deep learning which they exhibited. The publication of the leaflet led to a widespread demand for Mirza to reply to the questions listed in Hazrat’s Shamsul Hidayah.
Mirza’s challenge to Hazrat for a written debating contest
Nettled by the aforesaid demand, Mirza threw a challenge to Hazrat, in a poster issued on 20 July 1900 and witnessed by twenty persons, to engage in an open debate with him. Curiously, however, the challenge was not for a debate on the specific disputed issue (viz., the “death” of Christ, or on Mirza’s own claims to be the masil of Christ, the Promised Messiah and a zilli nabi, i.e., shadow prophet), but for a contest in the writing of an Arabic language commentary on selected Quranic verses.
According to the poster, the proposed contest was to take place at Lahore, the capital city of Punjab Province (and at no other place), at a venue to be selected and arranged by Hazrat, or failing this by Mirza himself. A maximum of 40 Quranic verses were to be selected by ballot, all of them from one particular Surah of the Quran, and commentaries thereon were to be completed within a period of seven hours on the same day and in the presence of witnesses, without the help of any book or other assistance. A maximum of one hour would be given to each party to prepare himself for writing the commentary. The commentaries, each of which was to span at least 20 leaves (40 pages) of normal-
Hazrat was asked in the poster to convey acceptance of the challenge, along with an assurance that he would pledge allegiance to Mirza in the event of his defeat in the contest, within ten days, through a printed poster witnessed (like the poster of Mirza) by twenty respectable persons. Five thousand (5,000) copies of this poster were to be prepared and distributed by Hazrat to the interested quarters.
Mirza’s poster was accompanied by a supplement, which inter alia emphasized categorically that the commentaries to be written by the contestants would be wholly in Arabic language and would not include any portion in Urdu. It further spelt out some of the conditions mentioned in the main poster, set out arrangements for the contest in greater detail, and also made a few additional proposals. One such proposal was that the participation of Hazrat Pir Sahib in the contest would be essential in any event since he had the reputation of being superior to all other maulvis (Muslim clergy) in the knowledge of Arabic and the Quran. At the same time, however, he felt it was necessary to widen the purview of the contest and to include in it as many other ulama as possible, on the express condition that these ulama would sit at some distance from each other and from the two main contestants so that they could not provide any written or oral assistance to one another or to see what others were writing. This would help avoid the possibility of some ulama regarding themselves as superior to the Pir Sahib in the knowledge of Arabic and the Quran, and on that basis refusing to accept the defeat of Pir Sahib as binding on them. It would also ensure that the “Sign of God” was manifested with the maximum strength and glory. Mirza suggested, therefore, that the Pir Sahib should furnish a list of at least forty ulama (besides himself) who would also take part in the contest. Furthermore, he asked Hazrat to suggest a date for the contest not earlier than one month hence, in order to allow enough time to the other participating ulama to make the necessary preparations and arrangement to be present in Lahore on the date of the contest. A notice of one week was to be given by Hazrat to Mirza, through a registered letter, after fixing the date of the contest. At the end of the supplement, Mirza gave his own list of 86 eminent ulama and mashaikh from all over the country, from among whom the forty ulama other than the Pir Sahib should preferably be selected, and invited them all to be present at the contest.
Hazrat’s reply accepting the challenge
Mirza’s poster and its supplement were received in Golra Sharif on 25 July 1900. Hazrat immediately prepared a poster in reply and had it printed and published the very next day in all leading newspapers of the country. As desired by Mirza, 5,000 copies of this poster were prepared and some copies were sent to Mirza at Qadian by registered post. Copies were also mailed or sent by hand to ulama in all parts of India, including the 86 ulama listed at the end of the supplement to Mirza’s poster, and also to ulama in adjoining Afghanistan. All this generated widespread interest among the people.
In his reply, Hazrat wrote that he whole-
As desired by Mirza, the 25th of August 1900,i.e exactly one month after the date of Hazrat’s answering poster, was proposed by Hazrat as the date for the contest, and Mirza was asked to reach Lahore on that date. Also as desired by Mirza, Hazrat’s poster was witnessed by twenty respectable persons, mostly ulama.
A reply to the supplement to Mirza’s poster was written, on Hazrat’s behalf and with his approval, by Maulana Muhammad Ghazi, head teacher of the madressah at Golra Sharif, and was appended to the main poster. It reaffirmed Hazrat’s readiness, as expressed in the main poster, to undertake the contest proposed by Mirza on the latter’s own conditions, with the additional condition to have an oral contest before the written one. It also added a few auxiliary observations. For example, it reproduced a selected sampling of the many absurd interpretations that had been placed on verses of the Quran by Mirza Sahib, to suit his own ends and to establish his claims to prophet-
Qadiani’s objection to Hazrat’s proposal
Mirza had been asked from Hazrat’s side to give timely intimation about any changes that he desired to be made in the conditions of the proposed contest. However, no such intimation was received until just four days before the scheduled date of the contest (i.e.25 August 1900), when a copy of the printed letter was delivered in Golra Sharif. This letter had been written, not by Mirza Sahib himself but by Syed Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi, one of his close associates. The letter rejected, on Mirza’s behalf, the proposal made by Hazrat for an oral debate and insisted on a written contest in commentary writing only. In reply, Mirza was promptly informed through a poster issued on Hazrat’s behalf on 21-
In their various subsequent writings and statements, Mirza Sahib and other Qadyani writers have contended that in the poster published by Hakim Sultan Mehmood, the condition for oral debate, which was unacceptable to Mirza, had been allowed to stand and had not been withdrawn by Hazrat. Because of this, they say, Mirza Sahib could not have participated in the contest under any circumstances.
Huge Muslim assemblage at Lahore, venue of the contest
As the appointed date approached, hundreds of Muslims belonging to all schools of religious thought (Shi’ah, Sunni, Ahl-
Nomination of Hazrat as leader of Ulama
In this moment of destiny, ulama of various shades of thought sank their traditional differences, and unanimously declared Hazrat (R.A) to be their sole spokesman and leader. They thus displayed once again that all-
The fact that the group of ulama which elected Hazrat as their undisputed leader on this occasion included many who were far senior to Hazrat -
Hazrat’s arrival in Lahore
On leaving Golra Sharif for Lahore by train on 24th August 1900, Hazrat had two telegrams sent to Mirza at Qadian, first from Rawalpindi and then from Lala-
Mirza’s failure to reach Lahore
Hazrat and his associates, as well as all others who had assembled in Lahore in large numbers to witness this epoch-
Reaction among Mirza’s followers
When the Qadyani representatives eventually failed to persuade their leader to come to Lahore for the debate, a wave of dismay swept through the community. Many disillusioned Qadianis deserted the party, while some others went into despaired seclusion. Many more (e.g., Babu Ilahi Bukhsh, who had previously been a long-
As a diversionary tactic, a delegation of the Qadyani community met Hazrat following the cancellation of the debating contest due to Mirza’s crying off, and suggested a Mubahilah (i.e., a contest of supplication to Allah between Hazrat and Mirza). According to this proposal, either of the person whose prayer was answered positively would be acknowledged as the victor. Hazrat readily accepted even this suggestion, but the Qadyan i side did not pursue it further.
Qadyani preachers and orators offered a variety of far-
In still another poster, which was dated 25 August 1900 and was later published in the collection of his posters titled “Tabligh-
Mirza’s new proposal
Accordingly, he sought to revive the issue once again on 15 December 1900 (4 months after the previous abortive contest) by publishing yet another poster. He said in order to settle the matter once and for all; he had been inspired by God with the fresh proposal. Under this proposal, he would, sitting in Qadian, write a commentary in chaste Arabic on the opening Surah of the Holy Quran, Al-
Hazrat’s reaction to this proposal
This new challenge had not the slightest impression on Hazrat Pir Meher Ali Shah Sahib (R.A). Devoted as every moment of his life was to the remembrance of Allah, spiritual contemplations, and providing guidance to knowledge thirsty humanity, fruitless activities like this had no place in a sober scheme of things. Under compulsion of circumstances, and on the insistence of other ulama, he had already spent what he thought to be more than enough attention to this matter, even disregarding the oppositions to this voiced by some Mashaikh (including Hazrat Khwaja Allah Bukhsh Sahib of Taunsa Sharif). He thus had no more time to waste on such futile exercises. While, therefore, Mirza did prepare and publish his planned commentary on Al-
As expected, Mirza’s book was found, not only by scholars but even by students, to be full of glaring errors of Arabic language, grammar and diction, and replete with plagiarized ideas and content. In one place, for example the month of Ramadan had been said to consist of 70 days; at another, yowm-
Hazrat's book "Saif-
In reply to Mirza’s two books, Ijaz-
Mirza passes way
The publication of Saif-
A summing up
Hazrat Syedna Pir Meher Ali Shah Sahib (R.A) was no doubt in the forefront of all those ulama and Mashaikh who waged a heroic struggle to nip the evil of Qadianism in the bud. He occupied a leading position among those who laid down the foundation of what developed in course of time into a nation-
Following the verdict of Pakistan’s Parliament, the Ahmadiyat community’s missions are now reported to be working under covers mainly in some European, African and other countries in the name of Islam. They present themselves and Mirza Sahib as an orthodox Muslim by placing before their audience only the writings belonging to the early period of Mirza Sahib's life when his beliefs were still those of an orthodox Muslim. They expunge the portion of Mirza’s writings that contain his claims to prophet-
It is hoped that the facts about the Qadyani movement presented, in the context of Hazrat Syedna Pir Meher Ali Shah's (R.A) struggle against it and on the basis of authentic original sources, would help to see the Qadyani (Ahmadi) movement in its true colours, and to understand that enrollment in the Qadyani (Ahmadiya) community would not amount to embracing Islam but to adopting a creed that is totally antithetical to that great faith.
|Ala Hazrat Qibla Pir Meher Ali Shah Sahib R.A|
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|Hazrat Pir Syed Ghulam Moinuddin Gilani R.A|
|Hazrat Pir Syed Naseeruddinnaseer Gilani R.A|
|Hazrat Pir Syed Ghulam Nizaamuddin jami Qadri Gilani Shah Sahib|
|Hazrat Pir Syed ghulam Najamuddin Gilani Shah Sahib|
|Hazrat Pir Syed Shamasuddin Gilani Shah Sahib|
|Books of Ala Hazrat Qibla Pir Mehar Ali Shah Sahib R.A|
|Books of Pir Syed Ghulam Moin-uddin Shah Sahib R.A|
|Books of Huzoor Naseer-E-Millat|
|Books of Pir Syed Ghulam Nizaamuddin Jami Gilani Qadri|