Captain Muhammad Hussain Cheema Sahib
In early sixties Capt. Cheema Sahib was an enthusiastic member of the Southall Jamaat. Prior to his arrival in the UK he was a personal body guard of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masihh II in Rabwah. He was a retired Army officer and had devoted himself, after retirement, to serve the second and the third Caliph of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at. Captain Sahib had a commanding personality and was always well dressed. He accompanied Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II during his trip to Europe in 1955.
After his departure from his service as Afsar Hifazat (Security Chief) of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II, he arrived in Britain in the late fifties and got a job in Southall, Middlesex, England.
On my arrival in 1959 I was appointed Deputy Imam at the London Mosque and Finance Secretary of UK Jama’at. In those days we did not have any transport of our own. To meet Ahmadi friends and to collect Chanda (contributions) I used to travel by public transit. There was no direct public transport from our mosque in Putney to Southall. Sometimes it would take me the entire day to travel and meet members of the Jama’at. On my second or third visit Captain Sahib suggested that if he was given a Receipt book he would be happy to collect contributions from Ahmadis living in Southall. I was greatly relieved and gave him the receipt books and appointed him the first finance secretary of Southall Ahmadiyya Jama’at.
In 1963, a large number of Pakistani Ahmadis arrived in Britain to beat the forthcoming Voucher system introduced by the British Government to curb the influx of immigrants from the Indian sub-continent. Their first port of call was the London Mosque. We made arrangements for their boarding and lodging in the Mission House and in some Ahmadi houses. Our first priority was to find them jobs. Captain Sahib came to our rescue and offered his services to find jobs for many of them in Southall. Numerous job seekers were sent to him and all of them were soon employed in various factories.
In his later life he started memorizing the Holy Quran and was able to memorize a large portion of it. He attended the Tarjuman-ul- Quran classes of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV regularly. I had seen tears in his eyes quite often while reciting the Holy Quran. He used to do Ea’tikaf (retreat in the mosque during the last ten days of Ramadhan) and would recite the entire Holy Quran during the Ea’tikaf.
Captain Sahib was a pious, obedient and a righteous person. He had performed several Umras and Hajj and also used to visit Qadian every year. He had a vast circle of friends and found happiness in inviting them to his home for dinners. I was one of those who had enjoyed his hospitality on numerous occasions.
He had a great desire to be buried in Bihishti Maqbara (Heavenly Graveyard) at Qadian, India. As he was a Pakistani National it was not possible. He started lengthy correspondence with the Indian High Commission in the UK and requested them to give special permission for his body to be interned in Qadian. His request was denied which made Captain Sahib very depressed and sad. I tried to console him and said that Allah would grant him a place in paradise irrespective of the graveyard he was buried in.
In 1991, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV visited Qadian for the first time after the partition of the sub-continent. It was a historic occasion. I had the honour and privilege of being a member of Hudhoor’s entourage. On our arrival there I met Captain Sahib in the Mubarak Mosque. He was very happy to meet me and invited me to have tea with him the next day at his residence. He said he had bought some special bananas and tangerines and would also get some fresh fish to be fried at Daru-Ziafat (public kitchen). I gladly accepted his invitation and promised to be with him after Asar prayers the next day. But Allah had His own plans for Captain Sahib. He died early the next day and as he had wished all his life, was buried in the Heavenly graveyard, Qadian. His funeral prayer service was led by Huzoor. Allah saved him from begging the Indian Government to give permission for his remains to be buried at Qadian. Almighty Allah brought him to Qadian alive and then made him to die there to be buried there as he had wished. God is Great.