Everybody see dreams during the night or the day.

It is a natural phenomenon. There are various categories of dreams. . Some are of no importance, some are nightmares and yet some are divine. In all the religious books, true dreams have been mentioned. Marayam the mother of Jesus was told in a dream that she will have a son. Joseph, her husband was told in a dream to take the child and mother away from Nazareth. Moses' mother was told in a dream to put her baby son in a basket and then let it flow in the water of a nearby river.
Everybody see dreams during the night or the day.

It is a natural phenomenon. There are various categories of dreams. . Some are of no importance, some are nightmares and yet some are divine. In all the religious books, true dreams have been mentioned. Marayam the mother of Jesus was told in a dream that she will have a son. Joseph, her husband was told in a dream to take the child and mother away from Nazareth. Moses' mother was told in a dream to put her baby son in a basket and then let it flow in the water of a nearby river.

There are numerous dreams mentioned both in the Bible and in the Holy Quran which were true and divine. My father accepted Ahmadiyyat through a true dream. I think everybody has experiences of true dreams in their lives.

Here I wish to mention a faith-boosting event. In the early part of 1960, during the hours of darkness, an opponent of Ahmadiyyat shot at my father and wounded the lower part of his arm. First aid was not available in the village and by the morning, a lot of blood had been lost. On more than one occasion, he lost consciousness. My younger brother Col. Nazir Ahmad, who, in those days was a Lieutenant in the army stationed at Nowshera, escorted him to the Combined Military Hospital in Nowshera. The wound had become septic and the doctors felt that in order to save his life they might have to amputate his arm. The doctors told my brother that when his father's very survival was in doubt he could not afford to be very optimistic. They explained that his father was already more than 70 years old and had already lost a lot of blood. The success of the operation could not therefore be assured. My brother told them that the family were happy at God's will and they should therefore proceed with the operation.

While I was in London my brother Nazir Ahmad wrote to me and said that, the chances of father's survival were negligible and that quite possibly, by the time I received his letter our father may have departed. Naturally, I was deeply alarmed and in such a condition, in the daylight hours, when the Mosque was completely empty, I fell in a prolonged prostration and with great humility, I prayed:

"O my Lord I am my father's eldest son and in order to win Your pleasure he has arranged for me to dedicate my life for service to the Faith. My sisters have yet to be married and I live in a foreign country. The whole responsibility might fall on the shoulders of my brother who is currently serving in the Pakistan Army. Therefore, neither he nor I can continue to live with the family in the village. If my father dies now my mother and my sisters will have no one to look after them and support them. There is also a danger, however slight, that if he dies now my Waqf may be interrupted. O Lord, save all of us from this ordeal. I recognize that we all have to die one day and my father also has to depart one day, but in view of the current circumstances, his demise could possibly result in ruin for us all."

After supplicating in this manner, I went home. Naturally, I was deeply concerned and tense and I spent the whole day in prayers. In those days, it was difficult to speak to someone in Pakistan on the telephone. I was therefore being starved of news.

When I slept that night, in a dream, I saw an aged person, who put his hand over my head in a most affectionate manner. He said:

"Do not worry. The Almighty has accepted your prayers and has granted your father a breather of 10 years. Do not grieve as he will live for another 10 years."

In the morning, in a letter, I told my brother Nazir Ahmad of this dream. He received my letter at exactly the time when the doctors were wondering if it was safe to operate on my father. My brother showed my letter to the surgeon, Col. Akram (who later became a General). With great self-confidence, my brother said:

"My brother is a participant in God's own battalion. His dream cannot possibly be false. Therefore, you may proceed with the operation without the slightest hesitation. It is destined that my father will survive the operation and will, Inshallah, live for another 10 years'.

The surgeon, Col. Akram was astounded to see that we had such faith in our God. The operation was successful. One hand/arm became immobilised i.e. one hand/arm was martyred in the way of Allah.

Following is a statement of my brother Col. Nazir Ahmad regarding the operation:

"At the time when my father was shot I was serving in one of the artillery units at Nowshera (Nowshera is approximately 13 miles from my village). When I heard the tragic news, I immediately rushed to my village and evacuated my father to the Combined Military Hospital at Nowshera. He was provided immediate medical care but after two days the surgeon informed me that he had developed gangrene and had little chance of survival. He advised me to take him back to the village and take care of him for the last few days of his life because of his imminent death. I somehow did not buy the idea and wanted to do everything possible to save his life. I then sent his medical records to Combined Military Hospital Rawalpindi for their opinion. They agreed with the assessment of physicians at Nowshera. I then sent the records to Lady Reading Hospital (Peshawar) and received the same reply. Finally I showed his medical records to Major Akram (later Major General) in Peshawar. He had recently returned from abroad after surgical training and was posted to C.M.H. Peshawar. After reviewing the case he informed me that he was not very hopeful but was willing to give surgery a chance. He wanted to amputate his hand to stop gangrene from spreading. He gave him a one percent chance of survival. He also asked me to give him in writing that I was fully aware of the consequences and yet I was asking for the procedure. Meanwhile, I received a message from my brother that he had prayed a lot during this period for the health and life of our father. He mentioned about a dream in which somebody had told him that our father will live for another ten years. This reassured me that he will, by the grace of God, live. He was taken to the operation theatre but after a while Maj. Akram came out and said that surgery was not possible due to low blood pressure and low pulse rate. I told him to go ahead with the operation as I was positive that the operation would be successful. He questioned the reason of my optimism. I told him of the letter that I had received from my brother B.A. Rafiq who was a missionary in London. Major Akram then agreed to perform the surgery but without general anaesthesia. He asked me to hold my father's other hand during the surgery and to keep him awake by talking to him while he performed the surgery under local anaesthesia. After the amputation I buried the arm at Ahmaddiya graveyard in Peshawar. He remained critical after the surgery for sometime but by the end of the day he showed miraculous signs of improvement which surprised the surgeon and the medical staff. By day two he started walking. Maj. Akram was so impressed by this that he later visited my father at our village twice"

Ten years passed quickly and during that period, I was able to meet my father only twice. One day, I received a letter from my father telling me that according to my dream he had been provided with a respite of 10 years and that period was about to finish. With great self-assurance and cool, he said that he was ready for the transition. Naturally, on receipt of this letter, once again, I was deeply concerned and once again, I bowed at the Divine Altar. I closed the door of the Fazl Mosque, cried my eyes out and I begged my Lord for a further break. I knew very well that my Lord listens to prayers and shows signs of acceptance. He treats everyone, without distinction, in the same manner. I am making a mention of these events, God forbid, not to show any pre-eminence but merely to hark back to His bounty so that my progeny may also rely on the efficacy of prayers.

When, after supplicating in this manner I fell asleep, once again, I saw the same pious person in my dream that I had seen in an earlier dream and who had reassured me by telling me that the Almighty had accepted my prayers. He told me that, once again, my father had been granted another extension of 5 years. I wrote to my father and he mentioned my dream to Hadhrat Maulana Abul Ata. The Maulana insisted on a transcript be sent to him so that he could publish it in his journal 'Al Furqan'.

Five years later, quite suddenly, as the roof of his house collapsed my father passed away. 'Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Elehe Rajeoon'.

Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih IV wrote the following letters to me on 25th June 1983.

"Your letters always remind me of your virtuous father and persuade me to pray for him. He was an embodiment of perfect consistency between what he said and what he did. I was extremely close to him and I am extremely close to him now. This relationship manifests itself in the desire for prayers. May Allah overwhelm him with Divine Mercy and may all his progeny become his heirs in the true sense of the word."

Before he became Khalifa, Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih IV wrote to me on the 3rd of July, 1981 as follows:

"In accordance with my potential, even earlier on I have been praying for you. Apart from your dedicating your life for the service of the Faith, the remembrance of your father also inspires me to pray for you. I was very close to him. I often met him on the road. We exchanged greetings, not only while crossing each other but we tarried a bit, enquired about each other's health and we derived great pleasure through such encounters. On occasion, walking towards the Mosque together we would engage in conversation. He would often relate faith-boosting events of his life. I have always felt that whenever we met he greeted me with great warmth and cordiality. I hope that he too was aware of my regard and esteem for him. You have asked me to pray for him. Even if there were no other grounds this reason alone is sufficient. I often hypothesize that devout parents are like a cool spring from which beneficence flows. In itself it is a great favour and it is impossible either to count such parental favours or to return such gifts."

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