Imam Bashir Ahmad Rafiq’s Biography
Chapter 10: Marriage and Children
In 1956, when I was a student of Jamia tul Mobbashireen, my father wrote to me saying that soon he wished to discharge his responsibility concerning my marriage. He mentioned a few names and asked for my comments. In response, I said that I would happily accept his choice. Therefore, he could settle my marriage with whomsoever he wished. A little later, he told me that he had a strong preference for Salima Nahid, a daughter of Abd ur Rahman Khan of Ismaeela. Abd ur Rahman Khan was married to my mother’s sister. His father Khan Ameer Ullah Khan was a Companion of the Promised Messiah. Salima was therefore my first cousin. I had seen her on some occasions. I wrote back to my father at once telling him that I agreed with his choice. My father in law Abd ur Rahman Khan, a graduate, was a Civil Servant in the Government of the Frontier Province.
Abd ur Rahman Khan’s father, Hadhrat Khan Ameer Ullah Khan owned a lot of agricultural property and was acknowledged as one amongst the Chiefs of the region. He was well known and famous. He was blessed with an opportunity to accept Ahmadiyyat in 1905. At the end of that year, during the Annual Convention in Qadian, he was fortunate enough to pledge his allegiance at the blessed hand of the Promised Messiah. Therefore, by His Mercy and Grace, he was one of the Companions of the Promised Messiah. He loved me dearly. In 1959 when I left for England, in spite of his age and extreme weakness, he came to Rabwah to see me off.
I was married to Salima Nahid on 10th December 1956. The Bridal Party started from our village, Mohib Banda and went to Peshawar. With me, my bride came to my village.
Now, in the month of March 2005, I have been married for forty-nine years. During this entire period, Salima Nahid has taken good care of me in an exemplary manner. Throughout this period, she has not only co-operated with me fully but has always obeyed my wishes. I do not have the words to express my sentiments but from the bottom of my heart I can state that for whatever little success I have achieved in my Waqf and the manner in which I have struggled in the cause, the major part of the credit goes to Salima Begum. Being a Missionary, in various pursuits, day and night, I remained bogged down in various affairs and remained very busy. On occasion, I would come home to find that my wife and my children were asleep. However, never ever, did Salima Begum complain. She took care of and entertained guests of the Movement very cheerfully. Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III, Hadhrat Begum Sahiba and other members of the family of the Promised Messiah often stayed with us as our house-guests. Salima looked after them and served them with great pleasure.
For many years, Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan stayed in the adjoining flat. Salima looked after him and his guests with great enthusiasm respect and delight. Chaudhry Sahib also loved her dearly. He would call her and refer to her as ‘Khanum’. Salima took good care to attend to the smallest needs of Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib.
In the matter of preparation of dowries for our daughters on the occasions of their marriages, without bothering me in the least, Salima managed everything entirely on her own. Her enviable disposition has always made my home a heaven. May Allah reward her abundantly.
I have been blessed with six children. One of them, Jamil Ahmad died when he was only two years old. That was a terrible shock but Salima; following the example of true believers she bore the bereavement with great patience. She showed complete contentment at Allah’s will.
Munir Ahmad: - My elder son Munir Ahmad was born in October 1957. During his Salaat in a clear vision, even before Munir’s birth my father had seen him. He congratulated me and told me that he had been shown a good-looking boy. Two or three hours later Munir Ahmad was born.
Alhamdolillah. At once I wrote to Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih II seeking his prayers and requesting for a name for the boy. In his letter, Huzoor said that he had prayed for the newborn and suggested the name of ‘Munir Ahmad’. Hadhrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad sent us some honey of which he had tasted a little himself. Munir Ahmad is a lawyer and a father of three children. When he had completed his primary education, it was my wish that he be admitted into the Emanuel School where the entrance examination was tough. Munir did appear for the test but since entrance into that school was far from easy, I prayed for an extraordinary success for him. One morning the following Persian verse emerged from my lips.
‘The hardest task is easy for Allah.’
To me it meant that Munir Ahmad would be admitted to the school. The same day, by the Grace of Allah, we received a letter telling us that Munir Ahmad would be admitted to the school. Munir Ahmad has had very many opportunities to serve Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib who loved him dearly. Once Muneer Ahmad needed a reference, Hadhrat Chaudhry Sahib wrote one out in his own hand, and contrary to his normal practice, he wrote down all his titles and awards at the end. The letter is attached.
Munir Ahmad married Saadia Begum a daughter of the late Chaudhry Nasir Muhammad Sial and they have been blessed with three children. The boy’s name is Faraaz Ahmad Khan and the two daughters are named Zujaja Iffat and Amina Ambar respectively.
Amat ul Jameel: - My eldest daughter is called Amat ul Jameel. She was born in London. I was in Southall in connection with the Jamaat’s work and there I received a telephone call asking me to return to the Mission House at once. Shortly after my return Amat ul Jameel was born. Amongst Pathans, births of daughters are not viewed favorably. Normally on the birth of daughters, complete silence prevails in the household. By the Grace of Allah, breaking this worthless and absurd un-Islamic custom, I celebrated the birth of my daughter and distributed sweets.
Amat ul Jameel is married to Ijaz Ahmad Khan, son of Subedar Abd ul Ghafoor Khan of Topi of the Frontier Province.Subedar Sahib has, by the grace of God, served the Jamaat in various capacities. He had the honour of being a body guard of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II for a number of years. Both Ijaz and Jameela have been blessed with five boys. The eldest, Iftikhar Ahmad Khan has married Rabia a daughter of his father’s sister. The second son is named Riaz Ahmad, the third son is named Ghalib Ahmad, the fourth son is named Abbas Ahmad and the youngest is named Ayaz Ahmad. They all live in Detroit. Ijaz Ahmad Khan works in the IT industry. He and his whole family are enthusiastic workers of the Jamaat.
Amat ul Naseer: - My second daughter is named Amat un Naseer whom we call ‘Neeno’. She was also born in London. All my three daughters, Jameela, Neeno and Bushra were enabled to serve Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan and Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III. Amat un Naseer is married to Dr. Abdul Waheed Khan. His father, Abd ul Qudus Khan was my mother’s brother. He was enabled to render valuable service to the Jamaat and was Ameer of the Frontier Province for a long while. Hadhrat Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrulla Khan and Hadhrat Chaudhry Bashir Ahmad, Anwar Ahmad Kahlone’s father, honoured us with their participation. May Allah reward them abundantly.
The Almighty has blessed Dr. Abdul Waheed Khan and Amat un Naseer with three children. The eldest is a daughter named Madeeha Henna. She is married to Faiz ur Rahman son of Dr. Hameed ur Rahman Khan of Los Angeles. Dr. Hameed ur Rahman’s father, Moulvi Khalil ur Rahman, was my teacher in Qadian. Being a Pukhtoon, he was very kind to me and loved me dearly. Faiz ur Rahman is the son of Dr. Aziza Rahman, daughter of Dr. Abdus Salaam, the Laureate. The son is named Humayun Ahmad Khan who is currently a student. May Allah assure him success. After Humayun there is a daughter named Alia Noor. Dr. Abdul Waheed Khan is very active in Jamaat work.
Bushra Nahid: - My third daughter is named Bushra Nahid. She was also born in London and for a while, she lived with us in Rabwah as well. She has gained a B.A. Honour’s Degree from London University and is married to Mirza Zamir Ahmad son of Mirza Bashir Ahmad of Gillingham U.K. Zamir Ahmad gained a MSc. Degree in Engineering from London University. They now reside in America and have three daughters named Natasha, Maha and Zainab Almas. Mirza Zamir Ahmad and Bushra are actively engaged in the service of the Jamaat in various capacities.
Mahmood Ahmad: - My youngest child is Mahmood Ahmad. After Bushra’s birth, we had not planned to have any more children. Hadhrat Mansoora Begum, the wife of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih III while on a tour of England was staying with us. She repeatedly said to us:
“I am praying that Allah will bless you with a son.”
A little later, by his Mercy and Grace, Mahmood Ahmad was born. I advised Huzoor by telegram and Huzoor telegraphed us congratulating us. Without a request from me, Huzoor told us to name the newborn ‘Mahmood Ahmad.’ There was another strange happening, which resulted in enhancing our faith. My dear friend and my elder, Dr. Nazir Ahmad, a son of Sardar Mehr Singh (Hadhrat Abd ur Rahman) who had been granted opportunities to render extraordinary services to the Jamaat in Abyssinia was then residing in London. He was indeed a very pious and a prayerful person. Once I asked him to pray that I may be blessed with a son. A few days later, he told me that he did pray and God willing I will be blessed with a son. However, he insisted that the boy must be named ‘Mahmood Ahmad’. When Mahmood was born, without a request from me, Huzoor named him Mahmood Ahmad. Dr. Nazir Ahmad came to visit us and to congratulate us on the birth of a boy. He asked what name had been given to the newborn. I showed him the telegram that I had received from Huzoor. There were tears in his eyes. Thus, the name that the Doctor had suggested was also made known to Huzoor.
Mahmood is married to Samar, daughter of my first cousin Abdul Aziz Khan Naib Amir of Peshawar. They have recently been blessed with a baby boy, Yousaf Ahmad.
All my children, the children of my daughters and the children of my son are all good-looking, well-mannered, sincere servants of the Jamaat, obedient to Khilafat and take pleasure in serving their parents. These are the sweet fruits springing from the prayers offered by my parents, the Caliphs of Ahmadiyyat and other seniors.