A Brief Survey of the Ahmadiyya Movement in the Hazara Region
Hazara used to be a district in the Frontier province of Pakistan. It has now been given the status of a division proper. The land is a beautiful one and its residents given to longevity and slaves to its unique traditions. From a worldly and religious viewpoint, the land has remained under the influence of its chieftains and mullahs. They have been beholden to its deeply ingrained rituals, and remained devotees of its long-standing cultural evolution. As a result, the promotion of the understanding of religion and its incorporation as a living force would appear especially challenging and even an impossibility. But when the assistance of The Divine is present, then the daunting, and even the impossible, becomes possible. Whatever work—wherever, and through whomsoever it is to be performed—once it’s been ordained divinely, avenues for its facilitation open up from the unseen.
Thus, when the invitations to lend an ear to the claims of the spiritual leader of the day, Hazrat Mirza Sahib, echoed in the valleys of the Hazara region, Allah moved through his special Grace and Mercy a few fortunate souls, pulling them in that direction. The first to answer this call was Maulvi Muhammad Yahya of Debgaran. After formally taking the religious pledge, he became active in spreading the message to others with exceptional enthusiasm and zeal. First and foremost, he met, one by one, with those who were among the admirers of his late father, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, and extended a religious invitation to them. And soon enough, a local religious branch of the Ahmadiyya Movement was formed.
Much as embracing the truth in any era invites difficulties, the difficulties that found themselves invited in that era were no less trying. The fire of opposition began to engulf all. Nonetheless, Allah blessed the efforts of Maulvi Muhammad Yahya, and some people accepted Ahmadiyyat and thereafter always stood up for righteousness with great steadfastness, faced difficulties, and never refrained from making any kind of sacrifice.
Doctor Saeed Ahmad makes mention of those elders in his writing titled “The Establishment of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Hazara and General Opposition.” And it was with brevity that it is being presented here.
Maulana Sayyed Sarwar Shah
Maulana Sayyed Sarwar Shah was a resident of the Khori district of Kashmir and was a major scholar of religion. He was the imam of the Abbottabad Central Mosque. In the beginning, Maulvi Muhammad Yahya took the message of Truth to him. Soon, Maulana Shah relocated to the city of Peshawar, and was appointed to teach Arabic in the Mission College. Allah opened his heart for the acceptance of truth, and he moved to Qadian and was appointed to lead prayers and also appointed as a distinguished teacher of the Ahmadi School. He spent his entire life in Qadian.
The Formation of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in Daata
Daata is a famed village of Hazara. Maulvi Muhammad Yahya went there as a missionary and found that a young student by the name of Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen was already an adherent of the Ahmadiyya Movement. He had taken the pledge of Ahmadiyyat three months ago. Thus, these two individuals proved to be a source of strength for each other. Additionally, he learned that two more individuals had embraced Ahmadiyyat: Sayyed Hayat Ali Shah, the son of Fateh Ali Shah, who was the village head, and Sayyed Sarwar Shah, nephew of Fateh Ali Shah. With great daring, they all faced all kinds of difficulties.
It should be noted that Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen was the father of Master Ibrahim and the grandfather of Bashir Ahmad, the DSP (Deputy Superintendent Police) of Peshawar.
In addition to these individuals, another resident of Daata, Haji Ahmad Deen, a well-to-do land owner, had taken the pledge of Ahmadiyyat. Also, from among the family of scholars of Daata, Maulvi Abdul Ghani and his young nephew, Muhammad Akbar, had the good fortune of embracing Ahmadiyyat. Furthermore, others who entered the folds of the Ahmadiyya Movement were Mian Sayyed Ahmad, a shopkeeper, Mian Gul Hasan, Mian Deen Muhammad, Munshi Muhammad Akram, Baba Allah Deen, and Mian Khair Ullah, who was also known as Khairoo Doctor. In this way, a small organization was established in the village of Daata.
Maulvi Muhammad Ibrahim, the son of Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen, shared an article in the book titled Yaad e Raftagan (Remembrance of Those Past) which captures the incident of his father’s (i.e. Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen’s) acceptance of Ahmadiyyat. The essence of that article was that Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen was living as a student in Daata. One day, outside the Christian Mission House of Mansehra, he saw a priest showing two pictures to the public. One picture was that of Prophet Jesus, a beautiful picture, and the other picture was that of Prophet Muhammad, portrayed in an extremely vile way. In this way, the priest was trying to prove the superiority of Prophet Jesus, and thereby trying to make people lean toward Christianity. Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen was simply unable to tolerate this disparagement of the Blessed Prophet and began arguing with the priest. Soon, a large gathering assembled, one in which the argument continued till evening.
In the end, the priest wrote down 10 questions and handed them to Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen, instructing him to return with answers the following day. And that if he was unable to answer those questions, then he would have to convert to Christianity. The decision was that on the following day, the residence of Jumuah Khan, magnate of Mansehra, would serve as the venue of the debate. And Jumuah Khan would serve as the judge. Thereafter, Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen sought assistance from his teacher, Maulvi Abdul Karim. On seeing the questions posed by the priest, Maulvi Abdul Karim gave him a book and told him that the answers to all the priest’s questions were to be found in that book. Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen thereafter memorized the answers.
In this way, in squaring off against the well-prepared Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen, the priest was utterly defeated, and the Muslims gained victory. Now, since Maulvi Abdul Karim had torn off the cover page of the book before giving it to Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen, he inquired into the name of the author from his benefactor. He learned that the book was by Maulana Nur-ud-Din, and titled Fasl-al-Khitab. Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen wrote a letter to Maulana Nur-ud-Din and himself went to Qadian and investigated things to his satisfaction. Then in 1896, he gained the distinction of taking the pledge at the hands of Hazrat Mirza Sahib.
The primary and initial helper of instituting the Ahmadiyya Movement in Mozah Mangalore was Maulvi Saeed Ullah who, on account of his profound intellectual accomplishments, is known to this day as the “Sir Sayyed” of the village. When Maulvi Muhammad Yahya brought the message of the mission to him, he immediately realized its truthfulness. Though he was not able to establish a local chapter of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Mozah Mangalore, he assiduously observed the performance of the weekly jumuah prayers in Debgaran by traveling eight miles through mountainous terrain on Fridays.
Mauza Kachi was in the district of Abbottabad, and is presently in the district of Haripur. Residents of that village were among those fortunate enough to identify the message of righteousness, which led to the establishment of a jamaat in Kachi. Those residents included Maulvi Ahmad Ji, Mian Safdar, Fazal, Umar Din, Mian Warris, Sher Khan, Karam Khan, Rahmat Ullah, Yaqub Khan, Mir Zaman, and others.
A letter based on the missionary work of Maulvi Muhammad Yahya was published in the Ahmadi newspaper Badr in October 1906, as follows:
بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
New Members of the Ahmadiyya Movement
After the tenets of the pledge.
This humble man, Muhammad Yahya, resident of Debgaran, submits salam and blessings of Allah before the Promised Messiah.
The residents of Kachi are eminently pious individuals. Their local religious leader is Maulvi Ahmad Ji, a distinguished and steadfast person. Over a period of six years, he gradually came to understand and embrace the message of Hazrat Mirza Sahib. After him, the person to step forward was Maulvi Abdur Rahman, son of Maulvi Rashid, who, in fact, came to Qadian and spent two months in the company of Hazrat Mirza Sahib. The minds and hearts of those people were thereby further put to rest and ease. Now they are all ready to take the religious pledge, and in fact seek the company of Hazrat Mirza Sahib. And of all those present, their respective letters of pledge were written up. It is requested that Hazrat Mirza Sahib grace those letters with his affirmation and to pray for the pledge-takers. Also requested is that Hazrat Mirza Sahib pray to strengthen their steadfastness; other people in the surrounding regions are opposed to them and resort to mischief.
The names of those seeking to take the religious pledge are as follows:
- Maulvi Ahmad Ji, son of Maulvi Muhammad Ji
- Fazal son of Hasan Ali Khan
- Yaqub Khan
- Dawood Khan
- Sayyed Jumuah Shah, son of Shah Nur Husain
- Muhammad Warris
- Faiz Nur, wife of Muhammad Warris
- Yusuf son of Muhammad Warris
- Sahib Jan, daughter of Muhammad Warris
- Zainab, daughter of Muhammad Warris
- Maryam, daughter of Muhammad Warris
- Saabra, daughter of Muhammad Warris
- Sher Khan, son of Sayyed Khan
- Khanum Jan, wife of Sher Khan
- Abdul Karim, son of Allah Din
- Sharaf Nur, wife of abdul Karim
- Sher Gul, student
- Mullah Aman Ullah, son of Hashim Ali Khan
- Muhammad Irfan, son Aman Ullah
- Sher Khan, son Aman Ullah
- Abdur Rahman, son Sher Khan
- Amir Khan, son Sher Khan
- Gul Zaman, son Sher Khan
- Gul Jan, daughter of Sher Khan
- Karam Nur, daughter of Sher Khan
- Nur Jehan, daughter of Sher Khan
- Mir Zaman, son of Munda Khan
- Habib Nur, wife of Fazal
- Abdullah, son of Fazal
- Illahi, daughter of Fazal
- Kala, son of Mir Zaman
—Writer/Compiler, Maulvi Muhammad Yahya
October 1, 1906
The ties between two religious families—the one from Chehrrh and the other from Debgaran—were longstanding. These families were disciples of Hazrat Sayyed Ameer Kothay Walay and thus were steeped in spiritual brotherhood. But when Maulvi Muhammad Yahya and Maulvi Muhammad Yaqub took the religious pledge at the hands of Hazrat Mirza Sahib, dissension arose between the two religious families. Akhunzaadah Hameed Ullah and his son Maulvi Abdur Rahman—who was in his own right an eminent religious scholar—was deeply unhappy that the family in Debgaran had embraced Ahmadiyyat. In fact, many arguments took place. Maulvi Muhammad Yahya suggested that Maulvi Abdur Rahman should go to Qadian himself and meet Hazrat Mirza Sahib. Thereupon, Maulvi Abdur Rahman undertook the journey to Qadian and investigated matters to his satisfaction. Thus satisfied, he took the religious pledge and returned home. Akhunzaadah Hameed Ullah, however, remained adamant and did not change his position of opposition. In fact, he severed ties with his son (Maulvi Abdur Rahman.) At the continued insistence of his son, though, he relented and traveled to Qadian in the company of a religious elder of his village named Hamiz Sharaf Uddin. Following a stay in Qadian, he, too, investigated matters to his satisfaction and embraced Ahmadiyyat. On returning home, he left the leadership of the local mosque. In this way, the father and son proved to be an additional source of strength for the Ahmadiyya Movement.
Akhunzaadah Hameed Ullah was the father-in-law of Doctor Saeed Ahmad and the father of Habib ur Rahman Sadiq. He was the grandfather of Arjumand Sadiq and brothers and of Doctor Nazir ul Islam. Maulvi Abdur Rahman was the father of Doctor Nazir ul Islam.
Maulvi Ibrahim of Mauza Thathi, as well as his sons—Muhammad Irfan, Abdul Ghani, Abdur Rahman, and Muhammad Jaan—also embraced Ahmadiyyat. One of those sons (Abdur Rahman) wrote the background of how his father (Maulvi Ibrahim) came to embrace Ahmadiyyat:
Maulvi Muhammad Yahya came on a missionary visit to Thathi to meet my father, Maulvi Ibrahim, and spent the night there. After the fajr prayers, Maulvi Muhammad Yahya began a discussion of Ahmadiyyat. After only a little while, my father said, “Why do you go to such pains to explain? If you were to wake up in the morning and say, ‘O Ibrahim! Today, you will face in the direction of the East to perform your prayers,’ how could it be that Ibrahim as a Muslim would not accept what you tell him? In other words, what you have found to be the truth is indeed the truth. This is sufficient certification in the matter for me. Please hasten and send my request for taking the religious pledge.”
Sayyed Fazal Shah of Swabi Mira Haji Muhammad Din aka Muhammadi of Mauza Charriyaan also entered the folds of Ahmadiyyat in those early days, as did Muhammad Abbas of Mauza Langar.
Muhammad Mateeh Ullah, who was at the time an employee in the Department of Treasury, embraced Ahmadiyyat and courageously faced all opposition. He eventually retired from the position of tehsildar. He was a resident of Mansehra. After living a long and honorable life, he passed away in 1960 at the age of 90 years.
Certain students of Maulvi Muhammad Yahya also took the religious pledge at the hands of Hazrat Mirza Sahib. Their names are as follows: Maulvi Hayat Ullah of Madsiri, Maulvi Abdullah of Banda Khair Ali Khan, Masir Ahmad aka Ji Mullah of Damtaur, Mullah Sher Gul of Kachi, Munshi Abdul Ghaffar of Phulrah, Abdullah, Hakim Ata ur Rahman, Abdul Qadir, all the three brothers from Umb, Abdul Latif, Muhammad Sharif, Muhammad Saeed, all three of village Khairi.
Some Other Personalities
Certain individuals who came from other regions of the country and settled down in Hazara—embracing Ahmadiyyat during that time—included Khan Muhammad Ajab Khan who was a distinguished chieftain of the district of Mardan, and was serving in the position of tehsildar. He was exemplary for his great personality, strength of faith, and high morals.
Sheikh Zia Ullah
Sheikh Zia Ullah was the headmaster of Mansehra High School. He originally came to Mansehra in connection with employment and remained there for a long time. He was a member of a family of lawyers from Gujrat, and was the brother-in-law of Hazrat Shaikh Rahmat Ullah, the owner of the English Warehouse. Sheikh Zia Ullah was an eminently pious, pleasant, and refined individual. His presence provided moral support and strength to the Ahamdi Muslims of Mansehra in that delicate period of time.
Sheikh Nur Ahmad (Attorney)
It was in the year 1901 that an especially valuable personality—Hazrat Shaikh Nur Ahmad—arrived in the city of Abbottabad, which was centrally located in Hazara, and thereby the luck of the city began to shine. Hazrat Shaikh Nur Ahmad selected Abbottabad in view of practicing his lawyer profession. His original land was that of Dharam Kot, Randhawa in the district of Gurdaspur in Eastern Punjab. He had been educated in Aligarh. Prior to relocating to Abbottabad, he had taken the religious pledge at the hands of Hazrat Mirza Sahib and been blessed by remaining in his presence. He was a capable public speaker, a compassionate individual, and eminently pious. He had a passion for Ahmadiyyat. On account of his high morals and his sympathetic outlook on humanity, he had attained distinction in his social circles. Despite religious differences—his sect being Ahmadiyya—he was viewed by all Muslims in Hazara with respect, and considered as the de facto leader of the Muslims in Abbottabad. People would turn to Hazrat Shaikh Nur Ahmad in seeking resolution to any difficulty, and he, in turn, never hesitated from serving them in their times of need. He passed away in 1921 while in the city of Lahore after heart troubles. His body was buried in the graveyard known as Miani Sahib and in a tract (of that graveyard) where other luminaries of the Ahmadiyya Movement lay buried as well.
All four of his sons and daughters attained distinction in society and were individuals of great refinement. Both of his older two sons—Professor Shaikh Aziz Ahmad and Shaikh Muhammad Ahmad—remained associated with the Ahmadiyya Movement till the end of their lives. Shaikh Aziz Ahmad was a professor of zoology in Islamia College in Peshawar, and was highly renowned for his high morals, knowledge, wisdom, and refined conduct. He was unique in his decency, seriousness, and humbleness. He passed away in 1962 while on the premises of Islamia College after some heart troubles.
Hazrat Shaikh Nur Ahmad’s other elder son—Shaikh Muhammad Ahmad—became the inheritor of his father’s law practice and practiced law for a long time as a civil lawyer. Like his father, Shaikh Muhammad Ahmad was a man of great substance. He had great regard for Ahmadiyyat and held it close to his heart, and lived his life with valor. He was held in high esteem throughout his wide sphere of influence on account of his spirit of service and his high morals.
Prior to the construction of the Abbottabad Mosque, the Friday congregational prayers as well as the Eid prayers would be performed at his residence. He passed away in 1962, the same year his brother Shaikh Aziz Ahmad had passed away earlier.
Doctor Saeed Ahmad has written as follows:
Of those mentioned, all lived lives imbued with faith and steadfastness and, having lived long lives, went on to meet their Lord. Most of them left behind inheritors in well-to-do condition, and some of them have the distinction of “the-virtuously-remaining ones.” It’s been my good fortune to see all these extraordinary individuals, and have observed in them qualities which distinguish them from their peers. Their lives fulfill the prophecy of Hazrat Mirza Sahib in a befittingly inspirational way when he had prophesied:
Our flag will be the refuge of every Saeed
And a notable victory will issue forth under our name
Initial Difficulties Faced by the Ahmadiyya Movement in Hazara
We begin with an excerpt from Doctor Saeed Ahmad’s writing titled “The Influence and Establishment of the Ahmadiyya Movement in the Hazara region of Pakistan and the Opposition Thereof”:
In the early days, embracing Ahmadiyyat was like grabbing a burning ember: The flames of rebellion and animosity were flaring up everywhere. However, truth has this certain special quality in that it transforms and transmutes every bitterness into sweetness whereby nothing seems difficult any longer. And the presence of the Reformer of the 14th century, Hazrat Mirza Sahib, was an especially resilient source which helped strengthen the resolve of the nascent Ahmadiyya community. Any time that a difficulty arose or a tribulation afflicted them, they would immediately dispatch letters to his attention. And on receiving soul-satisfying responses from Hazrat Mirza Sahib, hearts would find rest, leading to the departure of fear and sorrow. The mention, therefore, of a handful of incidents from that time at some length will be beneficial and a source of increasing the reader’s faith.
The Formation of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Debgaran and Activities of Opponents
While an organization of devoted Ahmadi Muslims had been established in Debgaran—part of which was a group of youth students who lived in the mosque—a group of opponents had also arisen, their leader being the village head, Malik Mir Ahmad Khan. By relationship, he was Maulvi Muhammad Yahya’s father-in-law and thus a member of his family. They shared a mosque. From time to time, Malik Khan would invite maulvis (i.e. religious clerics) to engage in debates with the Ahmadi Muslims. An especially large-scale debate took place on August 28, 1904.
Kazi Aziz ur Rahman had arrived from Hindustan with the Dastar-e-Fazeelat, and his fame was at its zenith. As things turned out, he was utterly routed in the debate. Suffering abject defeat, he made an excuse and fled from the debate. From a distance, though, he started fomenting trouble, inciting people by appealing to their lower instincts. As a result of Kazi Aziz ur Rahman’s instigations, a major dissension rose in the mosque of Debgaran on the evening of June 14, 1905: Following a minor disagreement between a non-Ahmadi imam and an Ahmadi student, matters got out of hand and a skirmish took place. Even though the Ahmadi Muslims were far fewer in number than their counterparts, their profound faith—aided by Divine assistance—put them ahead in that skirmish: During that melee, the opponents were the ones who sustained the most injuries. Police arrived the next day, and things assumed a legal nature. Mr. Powell, the deputy commissioner of Hazara, summoned both parties. He himself was about to depart on an extensive official tour.
To discomfit the two parties, Mr. Powell took them along with him from one place to another on his circuitous route. Ultimately, the legal hearing took place in the town of Balakot. Initially, Mr. Powell kept emphasizing that the Ahmadis should construct for themselves their own mosque, and as an example he pointed out how a Christian sect from England had set up their own church. Maulvi Muhammad Yahya, however, refused to relinquish his rights to the mosque. This infuriated Mr. Powell who ordered that Maulvi Muhammad Yahya be handcuffed. As it happened, handcuffs were not available on premise, so a policeman was dispatched from the precinct to get a hold of handcuffs.
During that interim, Maulvi Muhammad Yahya delivered a speech before Mr. Powell, citing Queen Victoria’s famous proclamation regarding justice and the freedom of religion and creed etc. He also underscored the peculiarly British propensity for justice and truth, and also cited the decision of the Punjab Chief Court as well as the granting to Ahmadis of their own mosques in Sialkot and Jhelum.
When the policeman returned with handcuffs and approached Maulvi Muhammad Yahya to handcuff him, he smiled and stretched his hands forth, saying that it would be a source of pride for him to get handcuffed. But Mr. Powell stopped the policeman and said with marked emotion: “I do not wish to take away your mosque.” Having said that, Mr. Powell made both groups a party to a bail order, adjudicating that both parties would have equal rights over the mosque. And that whosoever among them caused any dissension, their bail would be confiscated. Following that, no mischief arose in the village of Debgaran.
The Debate of Daata
The debate of Daata occupies an especially important place in the history of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Hazara, distinguished by its profoundness as a source of increasing one’s faith. This event took place on August 12, 1903, and it happened like this: A resident of Daata by the name of Zia ud Din was a patwaari (i.e. deed recorder) in the village of Kokal. He said to Maulvi Muhammad Ibrahim, the imam of the mosque in Kokal, and who was at that time the topmost scholar of Hazara, saying that a major problem had arisen in Daata. And that if they, the scholars, did not nip the problem in the bud, the entire village could well be misguided and misled. As a result of Zia ud Din‘s insinuations, and at the invitation of Fateh Ali Shah, who was the village head in Daata, Maulvi Sahib Kokal arrived in Daata.
It should be noted here that the son of Fateh Ali Shah, named Hayat Ali Shah, had embraced Ahmadiyyat. Maulvi Sahib Kokal, having recently arrived in Daata, consulted in the matter with Maulvi Abdul Karim, a local maulvi, who was a wise and acutely observant individual, and who frankly counseled: How can you possibly debate with the Ahmadis? Maulvi Sahib Kokal
replied: We will debate with them on the matters of Nahv and principles. To that, Maulvi Abdul Karim remarked that the Ahmadi would not debate on any matter other than that of the death of Jesus.
That being so because it is the only point of contention and dispute between the two parties. How will you then answer? Maulvi Sahib Kokal replied: The Husaini and Qadri commentaries are available and they support us. Maulvi Abdul Karim replied: Those sources—the Husaini and Qadri commentaries—will be completely inconsequential in this regard. You will have to come up with Quranic references in response to the Quranic references presented by the Ahmadis. Hearing this, Maulvi Sahib Kokal was a bit flustered. And at that moment, he began a debate with Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen who was, of course, an Ahmadi Muslim. However, not much debate had taken place when Maulvi Sahib Kokal remarked that Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen had not received any formal or disciplined scholarship; that he was merely an Urdu speaker and unworthy of the debate. Yes, however, a debate with Maulvi Muhammad Yahya, if he were so inclined, would be worthwhile.
So Maulvi Muhammad Yahya was invited to debate. He, along with his brother Maulvi Muhammad Yaqub—accompanied by Hayat Ullah and Mohammed Din, friends and students—immediately set out for Daata, notifying Maulvi Hameed Ullah of Chehrrh, who also arrived in Daata. These individuals gathered at the residence of Haji Ahmad Ji. As for Maulvi Sahib Kokal, the individuals who came to his aid were Qazi Aziz ur Rahman and Maulvi Muhammad Ishaaq of Mansehra. The debate was to take place the next day. That evening, the religious clerics opposing the Ahmadis practiced for the debate in which Qazi Aziz ur Rahman and Maulvi Muhammad Ishaaq played the role of the Ahmadis.
They presented the argument: [Arabic.] That disproves that all prophets died a natural death.
Maulvi Sahib Kokal: The Arabic alliteration proves that all prophets could not have died. Jesus, therefore, is alive.
Ahmadi: [Arabic.] The Arabic alliteration implies that prophets before Jesus would also be alive.
Maulvi Sahib Kokal: Unable to answer.
Practice for the debate had proceeded only thus far when someone mentioned that an Ahmadi—Maulvi Hayat Ullah—was also present in the audience. Therefore, the debate practice and conversation were immediately brought to a halt.
The next morning, Maulvi Muhammad Yahya wrote down the rules for the debate, whereafter they were taken by three Ahmadi stalwarts—Maulvi Hayat Ullah, and Maulvi Mohammad Din and Hayat Ali Shah—and presented to the opposing maulvis. At the time, six or seven other, non-Ahmadi scholars had already arrived, including the famed Maulvi Khalil-ur-Rahman. The written statement was made up of six conditions. One by one, the maulvis read those conditions. And Maulvi Khalil-ur-Rahman wrote down some answers. Observing the nervousness of the maulvis, Maulvi Ghulam Husain Shah, nick named Pleader Shah, who was also present in the gathering, remarked: “Look, accompanying Maulvi Muhammad Yahya are merely two ordinary students plus his younger brother who is not much of a scholar. When merely a handful of questions has caused such consternation to you, how then will you engage in a debate with Maulvi Muhammad Yahya and compete with his scholarship? He is like an ocean of knowledge. Frankly, when he reads out Arabic text, you will not be able to make heads or tails of it.”
This plain-speaking observation by Maulvi Ghulam Husain Shah effectively dissolved the remaining resolve of Maulvi Sahib Kokal and he saw the stratagem of creating a riot as the easy way out instead of engaging in a debate with the Ahmadis. Therefore, after some internal consultation, that group of people went to Maulvi Muhammad Yahya and pronounced: “Your lives are in danger. It would be best for you if you left immediately.” The idea there being that the departure of the Ahmadis would be perceived as their having fled from the debate, thereby signifying the opposing maulvis’ victory.
Maulvi Muhammad Yahya responded that he had been summoned to the debate by Hayat Ali Shah; that he was responsible for their safety; and that until he said otherwise, they could not leave. Then these four individuals went to the chamber of the mosque where Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen was resident. About to confront them outside the mosque were thousands of ignorant individuals who had converged as a mob.
Maulvi Muhammad Yemeen was summoned with the pronouncement: “Come out, Maulvi Muhammad Yahya has arrived to engage in a debate and that the debate is about to begin.” No sooner had he stepped outside the mosque than the mob surged forward to attack him. Barely a few pushes had taken place in the scuffle, though, when two horse-mounted policemen appeared on the scene and dispersed the mob. It seemed as if those riders had either descended from the heavens or emerged out of the earth.
The sudden arrival on the scene of the policemen so terrorized the mob that they fled the ground, leaving it vacant. In the interim, Divine assistance ground into dust the scheme to assassinate Sayyed Hayat Ali Shah and Sayyed Sarwar Shah. It is said that Hayat Ali Shah’s life was saved by the intervention of the magante of Jaan Bandi Dhoondaan, Ameer Khan. And when one person by the name of Syedan Shah had placed his hand on the neck of Sayyad Sarwar Shah Nandu Khatri that had become the means whereby Allah saved him.
The background to the miraculous appearance of those two policemen is as follows. The aforementioned Ameer Khan, the magante of Jaan Bandi Dhoondaan, was a staunch friend of Sayyed Hayat Ali Shah and was aware of the looming dangers posed by those opposed to the Ahmadi Muslims. With that in mind, he had sent a clandestine notification to the police precinct in Mansehra. The in-charge of the precinct, Sayyed Ullah Khan, was a friend of Maulvi Hameed Ullah. Thus, in addition to his official responsibility, natural sympathy also moved his heart and he immediately dispatched two policemen on horseback and himself arrived later. So this assistance from the Unseen came to the aid of His devoted servants when they needed it desperately.
When the storm of rebellion had subsided, Sayyed Hayat Ali Shah came to meet Maulvi Muhammad Yahya with a smile on his face, whereupon he (Maulvi Muhammad Yahya) remarked, “Today, Our Powerful Lord has manifested His powers. I had remained intensely sorrowful throughout the night and beseeched God, prostrating myself before the Creator, seeking His help.” Thereupon, he had received these Divine words: “And certainly, Allah helped you in Badr when you were weak.” Maulvi Muhammad Yahya added, “Today, we have seen God with our own eyes.” Thereupon, a state of rapture enveloped the small gathering, and one can only imagine the intensity of the spiritual satisfaction and soulfulness they must have experienced at that time. All glory to Allah and all praise to Allah the Great.
Residents of the area surrounding Debgaran were intensely opposed to Ahmadiyyat, and never wasted any opportunity to cause them distress and trouble, and in fact rejoiced in doing so. A magnate from a nearby town could often be seen riding on his horse in those regions. Maulvi Muhammad Yahya relates that whenever he encountered that magnate, the magnate would close his eyes. This was observed on numerous occasions. Perhaps that magnate considered the annulment of his faith by looking at the face of an Ahmadi. Not much time had passed when that man turned blind and came to be known as “Andha Mian” (i.e. Blind Man.) Maulvi Muhammad Yahya used to say that Allah must have been displeased by this behavior and removed the difficulty of closing the eyes on that magnate by closing them for all times to come.
A similar fate overtook a resident of Chehrrh named Sharaf Uddin. Once he went accompanied by Maulvi Hameed Ullah to Qadian and on returning falsely popularized the notion that, God forbid, Hazrat Mirza Sahib was blind. Perhaps it was this impudence by that man that displeased Allah, because not much time had passed than he became totally blind and spent the rest of his life in darkness. Related by Tahir Sadiq.
Doctor Saeed Ahmad has written:
A magnate from another village was outwardly religiously devout. In addition to fasting assiduously, he had professed and vowed to pray 1,000 voluntary rakahs every day. Well, considering the task of performing 1,000 rakahs in a single day brings to mind the metaphorical image of a hen pecking away. That man, in addition, had outdone everyone else in the region in his opposition to Ahmadis, and in giving them grief. Maulvi Muhammad Yahya presented this matter in the Divine presence for many days whereupon one night he received the following revelation:
26:205 أَفَرَءَيْتَ إِن مَّتَّعْنَـٰهُمْ سِنِينَ
Seest thou, if We let them enjoy themselves for years,
26:206 ثُمَّ جَآءَهُم مَّا كَانُوا۟ يُوعَدُونَ
Then that which they are promised comes to them —
26:207 مَآ أَغْنَىٰ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا۟ يُمَتَّعُونَ
That which they were made to enjoy will not avail them?
—Ash-Shu’ara (The Poets) سُورة الشعراء
After relating this revelation to his friends, he observed that the Arabic word for “years” implies a period of nine years. We would have to patiently wait for nine years. He was satisfied by that revelation. After exactly nine years had passed (since that revelation), that man died during a journey in a solitary state. And it was only after much difficulty that his corpse was identified, and his fate served as a cautionary tale:
36:50 فَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ تَوْصِيَةًۭ وَلَآ إِلَىٰٓ أَهْلِهِمْ يَرْجِعُونَ
So they will not be able to make a bequest, nor will they return to their families.
—Ya-Sin (Ya-Sin) سُورة يسٓ
The events and incidents outlined in the previous few pages demonstrate that Hazrat Mirza Sahib’s special spiritual status and his charisma pulled a few fortunate souls in his direction, bringing about a pure transformation in their lives. Giving preference to faith over worldly matters, they cared not for the curses heaped on them by the world, and they deployed their abilities and resources to the fullest extent in the service of the mission of propagating Islam and steadfastly made sacrifices with great daring and courage. They demonstrated such examples as ought truly to be written with words of gold in the history of Ahmadiyyat. In accordance with the Divine revelation received by Hazrat Mirza Sahib to the effect that “I will cause the numbers of your loyal followers to grow and will bless their souls in their worldly affairs,” Allah indeed especially blessed them, and made them the recipients of the best things of this world‘s life and of the hereafter, blessing both their souls and their worldly affairs. All praise is for Allah.
Truth be told, it was through identifying and embracing the spiritual leader of the era—Hazrat Mirza Sahib—that a few souls from some obscure villages in Hazara became the recipients of Divine blessings. And it was through the Promised Messiah’s Divinely-assisted miracles that their lives underwent an internal, spiritual revolution. They became God’s, and God became theirs. They achieved distinction in both religion and in the world. May Allah grant these pure personalities a special place in the shelter of His Mercy. Amen.