Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 4: Father’s Baiat
In order to enable people to accept His truth, when the Almighty commissions a Messenger, he employs a variety of means. He opens their hearts for the acceptance of truth. On hearing the message, they believe promptly. He show dreams to some and thus directs their attention to the Truth and enables them to believe.
From this point of view the event of my late father, Danishmand Khan’s acceptance of Ahmadiyyat is faith boosting. He did not accept Ahmadiyyat because of Tableegh by any one. The Almighty Himself instructed him to join Ahmadiyyat.
My father left our village for Baluchistan in his early youth. There he found service in the Mastung jail. Before he left the village my grandfather told him to do whatever he liked but to be careful and stay away from Qadianis. Grandfather said they were worse than the Christians and the Jews as they did not believe in God and (God forbid) they insulted and defamed Hazrat Muhammad SAW. My father promised him that he would stay away from the Ahmadis and would not get entangled in their net.
My father had no knowledge of Ahmadiyyat, had never met an Ahmadi and had no interest in Ahmadiyyat. In those days Mastung was a small township with a very modest population consisting mostly of Baluchis and Pukhtoons. In Baluchistan father lived in a spacious house within the four walls of the Mastung jail. He had been adequately provided with all the necessities of life. In the office under him worked a few members of his staff. He was spending his days peacefully and with great comfort and ease.
Sometime in 1921, in order to offer his Friday prayer, he started walking towards the Mastung Jamia Masjid. As soon as he got out on the road he met Hazrat Moulvi Mohammad Ilyas Khan. Both greeted and introduced each other. Hazrat Moulvi Mohammad Ilyas Khan (who later on became my maternal grandfather) knew my grandfather. My father told me that Hazrat Moulvi Mohammad Ilyas Khan was not a mere acquaintance but had even visited our village once or twice.
Hazrat Moulvi Sahib told my father that he was a member of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. My father was not exactly pleased on receipt of this piece of information. However, he was impressed by his personality and saintly countenance. He often said that within his heart he was convinced that such a person couldn’t possibly be false. Hazrat Moulvi Sahib asked my father where he was going. My father responded by saying that he was on is way to the Mosque to offer his Juma prayer. Hazrat Moulvi Sahib said that he too was on his way to offer Juma prayer. He added:
“We offer our congregational prayers nearby in a house belonging to an Ahmadi. Come with us and join us for the Juma prayer.”
My father pondered over this invitation for a while and then said that he would accompany him on the condition that he would merely listen to the sermon but would not offer the prayer along with the Ahmadis. Hazrat Moulvi Sahib happily accepted the condition and advised him to offer his prayer by himself.
Later on my father often said that he declined to offer his prayer with the Ahmadis as he had been told that amongst Ahmadis, some music was also played along with their prayer. He said that he wanted to see for himself how the Ahmadis offer their prayers.
My father accompanied Hazrat Moulvi Sahib to a nearby house where Ahmadis had assembled for the Friday Service. He only found eight or ten people there. Father sat at a distance from the congregation. He was very surprised that the Ahmadis were offering their ‘Sunnats’ and during their prayer they were sobbing. Father was extremely surprised at this spectacle.
Hazrat Moulvi Mohammad Ilyas Sahib delivered the Friday Sermon. The subject that he chose was based on those verses of Sura Baqra where there was a mention of hypocrites. Hazrat Mouvli Sahib revealed in detail the apparent signs of the hypocrites. Father often said that he was under the impression that Hazrat Mouvli Sahib was relating his (father’s) story. Father said that he felt that all the signs of the hypocrites were present in him. Consequently he received a tremendous shock and became dejected as the qualities of a Munfiq (Hypocrite) referred to in the Holy Quran seemed present in him. He admitted that on listening to the Friday Sermon he was taken aback. He thought that perhaps Hazrat Moulvi Sahib had prior knowledge of the spiritual shortcomings in his life and was relating his circumstances without naming him. On completion of the Friday Service tea was served. However, the manner in which Hazrat Moulvi Sahib interpreted and commented upon the various verses of the Holy Quran won father’s admiration and approval.
When they left the house where they had prayed and were by themselves my father asked Hazrat Moulvi Sahib who had told him about his hypocritical way of life. Hazrat Moulvi Sahib was very surprised and told him that he had met him for the very first time. He said that he was merely interpreting and commenting on the verses of the Holy Quran.
Many weeks passed by and my father did not meet Hazrat Moulvi Mohammad Ilyas Khan again nor did he make any attempt to investigate Ahmadiyyat. The whole matter was forgotten. A little later during the month of December a lot of snow fell in Mastung and all the roads were blocked; all the surroundings were frozen. After finishing his day’s work in the office father proceeded to his house, which was situated within the four walls of the jail. He lit a lantern and had his dinner which his servant had already cooked for him. He was ready to go to bed and he dismissed his servant who was one of the prisoners. He lay on his bed and around midnight he felt that someone was violently shaking one of his big toes. He got up a little apprehensively and heard a voice saying: “Get up and do your Baiat.” My father lit his lantern and searched through every room of the house. Since his house was situated within the compound of the jail which was very heavily guarded he was content that there was no intruder around. He found no intruder and was convinced that no thief would wander around in the extreme cold and snow. He put out the lantern and lay down again. Soon, once again, while in deep sleep somebody put a lot of stress on his foot and said: “Get up and do your Baiat.” Again he was very disturbed and he lit the lantern. He could not sleep for the remaining hours of that night.
During the following day the happenings of the previous night got obliterated from his mind. During the next night, as soon as he fell into a deep sleep, the occurrence of the previous night was repeated and he kept on hearing the command: “Get up and do your Baiat.” He became so terrified that he would not sleep any more and from then on he remained awake.
He often said that he did not know at all what the term ‘Baiat’ was as in his previous life he had never heard of it. He became extremely concerned as he could not figure out what he should do or to whom he should turn. Finally he decided to ask the Mullah of the nearby Mosque what the term ‘Baiat’ meant. With this thought in his mind, having emerged from his house, as soon as he got on to the footpath, in accordance with Divine Destiny, he saw Moulvi Muhammad Ilyas Khan walking towards him. He asked father:
“What’s the matter with you? Your eyes are puffed up? Are you all right?”
He told Moulvi Sahib that he was deeply involved in a severe problem. Then he related the happenings of the three previous nights to him and asked him what ‘Baiat’ was. Moulvi Sahib responded by telling father how and at whose hand Baiat should be performed. He said that Baiat is to be pledged at the hand of Hazrat Khaleefa tul Maseeh II at Qadian. My father said:
“Moulvi Sahib, arrange for my Baiat immediately as I am extremely distressed.”
Moulvi Sahib took my father to his house, filled out a Baiat form and asked him to sign it. Moulvi Sahib assured him that from then on he would not be disturbed. Father returned to his own house and when night fell he became somewhat apprehensive but he slept the whole night most peacefully. He was neither woken up by anyone nor was he ordered to do Baiat’ as he had already done it. A few days later, out on the street, father met Hazrat Moulvi Muhammad Ilyas Khan. He asked father to spare a little time to visit him so that he could teach him a little of the Holy Quran and its Tafseer (commentary). Father told him that during his childhood he had sworn that he would never recite the Holy Quran. Naturally Hazrat Moulvi Sahib was surprised as to how, being a Muslim, he could have taken an oath which was completely contrary to the Islamic Teachings. Father replied:
“From my very childhood my father sent me to the Mullah of the village to learn the Holy Quran. After having learnt to read the text orally I started learning its translation. Certain questions arose in my mind which I put to the Moulvi Sahib and asked him for certain clarifications. One day the Mullah said to me that to ask questions concerning the Holy Quran was a sign of Kufr. Therefore do not ask any questions otherwise you will become an infidel.”
My father related that when he got home he swore that he would never recite the Holy Quran again as its comprehension could turn one into an infidel. What is the use of reciting such a book? On hearing this amazing story Moulvi Sahib said:
“Danishmand Khan! I will teach you the Quran myself. Even if it takes ten days to interpret one single verse I will answer every single question that you might raise. The Holy Quran generates faith and not Kufr. A verse within the book declares that it is guidance for the Muttaqis (those who take care not to incur Allah’s displeasure). If someone who studies the Holy Quran with attention and asks questions there is no possibility of his becoming an infidel”.
My father agreed and became a pupil of Moulvi Sahib. He began not only to read the Quran but also to comprehend its deeper meanings.
A short while after the Baiat’ form was sent to Qadian father received a Postcard from Hazrat Mufti Mohammad Sadiq Sahib who was then acting as Private Secretary to Hazrat Khaleefa tul Maseeh II. He was told that Huzoor had accepted his Baiat. He was advised to pay particular attention to Salaat and to remain engaged in supplications. A Moulvi who worked in father’s office caught sight of the Postcard. Greatly agitated he approached father and told him that by taking this step he had become an infidel and his life in Mastung would become Hell. Father assured him that he cared little for his or other’s threats as he had found the Truth. He assured him that even if the whole world made a determined effort to oppose him he wouldn’t care a fig. He declared that he was not one of those who got scared easily.
This is the story of my father’s acceptance of Ahmadiyyat. He often said that God Himself had conducted him into Ahmadiyyat and that he did not accept Ahmadiyyat as a result of Tableegh (preaching) by anyone.