Introducing the author of Eulogy first:
Bharat Ratna Maulana Abul Kalam Muhiyuddin Ahmed (Urdu: ?????? ????????? ??? ????? ???? ????) was an Indian Muslim scholar and a senior political leader of the Indian independence movement, who lived from 11 November 1888 – 22 February 1958. He was one of the most prominent Muslim leaders to support Hindu-Muslim unity, opposing the partition of India on communal lines. Following India’s independence, he became the first Minister of Education in the Indian government. He is also known for having predicted the future military rule and partition of Pakistan before its independence. He was posthumously awarded India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna in 1992. He is commonly remembered as Maulana Azad; he had adopted Azad (Free) as his pen name. His contribution to establishing the education foundation of India is recognised by celebrating his birthday as National Education Day across India.
Azad was acting as the editor of a well-known Muslim newspaper, the Wakeel of Amritsar. below extracts from the lengthy obituary of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad that Maulana Abul Kalam Azad wrote in it:
That man, that very great man, whose pen was a magic wand and whose tongue spell-binding; that man whose brain was a complex of wonders, whose eye could revive the dying and whose call aroused those in the graves, whose fingers held the wires of revolution and whose fists were electrical batteries; that man who for thirty years was an earthquake and typhoon for the religious world, who, like the trumpet of Doomsday, awakened those lost in the slumber of life, he has left the world empty-handed. This bitter death, this cup of poison, which entrusted the deceased to dust, will remain on thousands, nay millions of tongues, as words of bitter disappointment and regret. The stroke of death which slaughtered, along with one who was very much alive, the hope and longings of many, and the wails it raises of lament, will remain in memories for a long time to come.
The demise of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib of Qadian is not such an event that a lesson should not be learnt from it, nor should it be consigned to the passage of time to efface. Such people who produce a religious or intellectual revolution are not born often. These sons of history, in whom it rightly takes pride, appear but barely on the world scene, and when they do they bring about a revolution for all to see.
Mirza Sahib appeared in the front line of devotees who, for the cause of Islam, accepted the dedication to sacrifice their time from the cradle, through the springs and autumns, to their graves in fulfilling the pledge of loyalty to their beautiful beloved Islam.
The literature produced by Mirza Sahib in his confrontation with the Christians and the Aryas has received the seal of general approval, and for this distinction he needs no introduction. We have to acknowledge the value and greatness of this literature from the bottom of our hearts, now that it has done its work. This is because that time cannot be forgotten nor effaced from the mind when Islam was besieged by attacks on all sides, and the Muslims, who had been entrusted with the defence of Islam by the Real Defender, as the means of defence in this world of means and causes, were lying flat sobbing in the aftermath of their shortcomings, doing nothing for Islam or not being able to do anything for it.
On the one hand, the extent of attacks was such that the entire Christian world, considering the lamp of Islamic spirituality to be a great hurdle in the way of their progress, wanted to extinguish it completely, and the great forces of intellect and wealth were eager to give them all out support in this onslaught. On the other hand, the state of weakness of the defence was such that there were no arrows even to fend off the artillery. In fact, there did not exist any sign of defence or counter-offensive whatsoever.
Then began that counter-attack from the side of the Muslims in which Mirza Sahib had a part. That defence not only shattered to pieces the initial influence of Christianity, which it really had due to support from the government, and saved thousands, nay millions of Muslims from this dangerous attack which would have succeeded, but the talisman of Christianity itself was blown away like smoke.
By turning the defence into an offensive mode he has made the vanquished the victor. Today, if we overlook our new and old differences and consider only the service to Islam as the ultimate purpose – than even in the very life of that over-zealous Bishop who, being oblivious of the intrinsic power of Islam, and who, while speaking on the fiftieth anniversary of a Christian Mission, had evinced an unworthy desire to make the Grand Mosque of Delhi the venue of the next Jubilee celebrations – a time has come when the spiritual conquests of Islam may turn the Cathedral of Saint Paul into a house of worship of God instead of a place for worshipping Jesus and his mother; and in lieu of the tolling of church bells, the divine chant of the Kalimah-i Shahadat (I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger) may reverberate in the air.
So, this service rendered by Mirza Sahib will place the coming generations under a debt of gratitude, in that he fulfilled his duty to the defence of Islam by joining the front rank of those engaged in the jihad by the pen, and he left behind him as a memorial such literature as will last so long as Muslims have blood flowing in their veins and the urge to support Islam remains their prominent national characteristic. Besides this, Mirza Sahib performed a very special service for Islam by crushing the poisonous fangs of the Arya Samaj…. His writings against the Arya Samaj shed clear light on the claim that, however much the scope of our defence will be widened in the future, it is impossible that these writings could ever be overlooked.
Natural intelligence, application and dexterity, and continuous debates, had lent Mirza Sahib a special splendour. He had vast knowledge, not only of his own religion, but also of other religions. And he was able to use his vast knowledge with great finesse. In the art of preaching and teaching, he had acquired such accomplishment that the person whom he addressed, of whatever understanding or religion, was thrown into deep thought by his spontaneous reply. India, today, is an exhibition house of religions, and the number of great and small faiths found here, along with their mutual struggles which announce their existence, cannot be matched anywhere else in the world. Mirza Sahib’s claim was that he was the arbiter and judge for them all, but there is no doubt that he possessed a special talent to make Islam pre-eminent among all these religions. This was due to his natural ability, taste for study, and hard work. It is not likely that a man of this grandeur will be born again in the Indian sub-continent, a man who will devote his highest desires in this way to the study of religions.
Categories: Ahmadiyyat: True Islam