CO-EXISTING WITH AHMADIYAHS
IS IT POSSIBLE?
Happenings in Lahore
The Ahmadiyah Prophet Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was in town and visiting men who mattered in Lahore. In most probably a well planned move, he visited many houses in Lahore around 1897 (upto 1903-4). Some very important men lived in Mohalla Chabuk Sawaran, including the famous Chishti family of Lahore. Even a newspaper came out of the area. Baba Hiyadatullah the famous poet was another one of them. The Chinay wali masjid had become a centre for the Quran minded persons and men of letters abounded in the Wazeer Khan mosque. The arrival of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was natural.
I saw recently a book on Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Lahore and was surprised to see the Mohalla of Chabuk Sawaran in it as well as the front of the ancient Chughtai family’s house. Originally named as Mohalla Qazi Saderuddin, the mohalla had a long tradition behind it. The Chughtai brothers were mere children (or not even born) at that time and hardly mattered but the house was occupied by Mian Kareem Baksh Mimar, who belonged to the ancient family of Ustad Ahmad Mimar Lahori. It was amazing for me to know that the Prophet of the Ahmadiyahs had sat on the front of our house more than a hundred years ago. An Ahmadiyah friend told me that as their Prophet had sat there, our family was blessed in all counts.
My step uncle (tahia) Hussain Baksh Chughtai was a well read man, and a holding a Bachelor’s degree from Islamic College, when you could not find educated people around. He was a Royal tutor to the family of the Afghan King exiled in Lahore, and had been given a horse for that purpose by the Britishers. It would have been natural for the Ahmadiyahs to have contacted him too. And talk must have been held with my grandfather Mian Kareem Baksh. No where were they willing to accept any alternative views. My uncle was a Hafiz ul Quran himself and was not inclined to budge from his position. But there were conversions in the mohalla. The Ahmadiyah movement was projected as radical Islam and Lahoris did love radical changes as well. The notion of Prophethood was still not presented then. Mirza Sahib was a well read man and could hypnotize an audience. The Mullahs could not stand in front of him, as they did not rely on the Quran itself. And Mirza Sahib knew more Hadees than anybody else, said some people.The impact was there. Even Dr Allama Iqbal was first moved with the ideas, but later realized the dangers involved in the preaching being done at that time.
Mirza Bashir Ahmad and M.A. Rahman Chughtai did communicate with each other. I remember a letter from Mirza Bashir in our archives, in which he invited Chughtai Sahib to embrace the cult of the Ahmadiyah. M.A. Rahman Chughtai was primarily a follower of Iqballian dream, and ardent well wisher of the great thinker G.A. Pervaiz. The thought of such a thing would not cross his mind. But he always befriended everybody. He was not a bigot in any way.
The tradition is with us. Our family firmly believes in the finality of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) and can never budge from that position. But we carry no hatred, prejudice on our shoulders for anyone. For us human beings can accomodate other human beings with love and affection. In fact we have so many Ahmadiyah personal friends that it may surprise people to know how firmly we believe in JEHAD and it is a word we can all take our pride. We can send our love to Nael and Nida right here.
The attitude of the Mullahs make martyrs of everybody. But not us. Respecting our views, we respect the views of others too, however different they may be from ours. Yes many Ahmadiyahs are very sweet and well behaved persons. They have their own viewpoints. They still idealize the colonial Britishers as demi-gods. The face of those ruthless Masters shout out at us in various incidents of British rule. I heard an Ahmadiyah say (with my own ears) that he wished that the British came back. That indeed is a fool hardy wish in these modern times. And that certainly is not sincere to Pakistan. Co-existence means restraint. Most Ahmadiyahs only know of Islam and their Prophet as a jump of their faith. Thinking and pondering can clear things!