Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a.s.
In Al Hakam (Urdu), 21-28 May 1918, we found an historic article written by the brother-in-law of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Hazrat Mir Muhammad Ismailra on the blessed memory of the Promised Messiahas. This was written for those individuals who were not able to physically meet the Promised Messiahas and was written as an alternative to the photographs of the Promised Messiahas.
Al Hakam (Urdu), 21-28 May 1918
By the grace of God, Ahmadis are spread throughout India. In fact they are present throughout the world. But among them, there is a difference between those who have seen Ahmadas and those who have not.
Those who were blessed to benefit from his noble presence possess a sense of serene pleasure in their heart which resonates with them to this day. Whereas those who were unable to see him are often found to lament this and regret their delay and the fact that they were not able to see the face of their beloved in his lifetime.
There always remains a stark difference between a picture and the reality, something only those can relate to who saw the face of the Promised Messiahas with their own eyes.
It is my earnest desire to describe the appearance and practices of Hazrat Ahmadas so that those who were not able to see this blessed individual might benefit from it.
Form and Features
Instead of going into detail about the Promised Messiah’sas appearance, I deem it better to write more generally so that readers are able to draw their own conclusion.
The appearance of the Promised Messiahas can be summarised in a single sentence: He was a perfect example of masculine beauty. But this statement is incomplete if another is not added to it: His humanly charm and beauty carried a spiritual glow and aura with it.
As he was raised for the Ummah to manifest the beautiful and peaceful aspects of Islamic teachings, similarly his physical beauty was a manifestation of God’s omnipotence and would draw the heart of the observer towards him.
His face, illumined with spirituality, never exhibited arrogance, haughtiness or the slightest pride, rather it always manifested love, humility and modesty.
Once, the Promised Messiahas went to Dera Baba Nanak to see the cloak of Guru Baba Nanak. Upon his arrival a cloth was spread under a tree where they all sat. His arrival had brought people in from outlying villages, eager to see him and greet him.
Unaware of whom the Promised Messiahas was, people started approaching Maulvi Syed Muhammad Ahsan Sahib and after shaking hands with him they would take a seat. After a while the reality was disclosed by Maulvi Syed Muhammad Ahsan Sahib who signaled towards the Promised Messiahas and revealed the reality upon everyone.
A similar incident occurred when the Holy Prophetsa migrated to Medina. Even on that occasion people mistook Hazrat Abu Bakrra for the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. To remove their misconception Hazrat Abu Bakrra took his cloth and shaded the Holy Prophetsa and hence corrected the mistake.
Physique and Height
The Promised Messiahas was neither thin nor stout. He was of stocky build and of average height. Although his height was not measured, it was around five feet, eight inches. His shoulder blades were spaced apart and to his last age he did not lose posture. All parts of his body were perfectly proportioned. Neither his hands nor legs nor stomach were out of proportion. Hence no unpleasant features were to be witnessed in his body parts. His skin was neither soft as of women nor rough. His body was strong-jointed and possessed the toughness of the youth. In his last years his skin neither wrinkled nor withered.
He had a striking ruddy complexion. It possessed the aura and grandeur of spirituality. This was a permanent spectacle. His colour never faded in times of hardships and trials rather it would shine like bright gold. No hardship or difficulty was able to wither it away.
Apart from this aura his countenance was always brimming with a delight and a permanent smile on his face. An observer would remark: If he is false in his claim and aware of his lies then why does his face always manifest the signs of triumph, happiness, delight and serenity? Such faithful manifestations can never be attributed to a wicked person and the light of faith can never shine on the face of a wrongdoer.
When the sun set on the final day of Atham’s respite – set by Divine prophecy vouchsafed to the Promised Messiahas – faces of some members of the Jamaat seemed dejected with dismay and their hearts had sunk. Some naively made bets that Atham would surely die before the prophecy’s set period. They wept in their prayers before their Lord to fulfil the prophecy by putting an end to Atham and deliver them from imminent shame and the bitter jeers and jibes of their opponents that would ensue. There was great commotion which turned the faces of the beholders pale out of fear. But this fearless lion of God marched out of his house with a victorious smile on his face, called his followers to the mosque and announced that the prophecy had been fulfilled, drawing their attention to the qualifying words of the prophecy:
اطلع الله علي همّه و غمّه
“God has informed me that Atham has turned to the truth, so the All-knowing God has allowed him a respite.” Those who were listening saw his contended face and believed him to be true. They contemplated upon the fact that they were being devoured by hopelessness and here he was standing in front of them, jubilant with satisfaction on his face and talking without any signs of dismay, rather with utmost delight.
It seemed as if God had appointed him to judge the matter of Atham. And upon witnessing Atham’s renouncement from his denunciation of Islam and observing his restlessness, Hazrat Ahmadas allowed Atham respite from death. And now he was delighted as if a victorious wrestler out of his beneficence and mercy had forgiven his opponent, considering it an insult to kill someone who was already moribund.
The prophecy about Lekhram was later fulfilled according to its terms and conditions. The foulmouthed started to raise false accusations. A police report was filed to investigate Ahmadas. The Police Superintendent arrived with a force of constables to search his house. The movement of everyone in the house was restricted. The acrimonious opposition was eager to find a single doubtful word that could be found in his correspondence or documents to prove him a culprit. But there he was, standing with full contentment and serenity. He himself would provide all documents, books, bags and letters in the house to the police to assist them in their inquiry and showed them all around the storerooms. Some of the letters that required a second look were taken into custody but nothing changed for Ahmadas. His face still shone like the full moon and manifested utter contentment and jubilancy. It was as if the investigation had further cemented the proof of a manifest victory and established his sheer innocence in this regard.
And then there were those outside the house, terrified and silent as they witnessed constables coming in and out of his house. Their faces had grown pale, unaware of the fact that the person for whom they were worried was himself calling upon constables to search his documents and letters.
Ahmad’sas face conveyed a delightful cheer revealing that now the time had ripened and the truthfulness of his prophecy would be revealed in its complete terms and he would be proven innocent from all false claims made against him.
Hence in all trials and tribulations his courage was singular, calm and imperturbable. Not for a single moment did he act out of spite and this caused many pure souls to accept the truth.
His hairs were straight, shiny and silky and were kept dyed with henna. They were not thick or abundant. He would never have his head shaved nor would he have it cut too short. His hairs would reach up to his neck. He would oil his hair with jasmine oil and henna and this was a constant practice.
He had a full, dense, striking beard on all sides with thick, straight and shiny hair, dyed with henna. The length of his beard would always be the size of a fist and he would have a regular cut to keep it straight and equally spread downwards. It was neither sparse nor dense. It was always oiled. Once due to the appearance of a small pustule on the cheek he had his hairs completely removed from that particular spot. Those hairs are still in the custody of his companions. The hairs of his beard were neither scarce nor so dense as to continue up to his eyes.
Earlier he would dye his hairs with hair dye and henna. But later due to constant severe headaches he would dye his hair with henna only. For some days he also tried manufactured hair dye but later ceased its use.
In his last days one of his companions Mir Hamid Shah prepared a hair dye for him that he also used. It blackened the beard but as for his lifetime routine he would dye his hairs with henna. He would have this applied by a hairdresser every Friday.
As was his beard, so were the hairs of his moustache also thick, strong and shiny. He was in practice of trimming his moustache close to the upper lip but not like the Ahl-e-Hadith custom of completely shaving off the moustache.
He was not hirsute. His back was hairless. Sometimes he would trim the hairs on his chest and stomach. A thin and soft lining of hair covered his shin and the back of his hands.
He had a narrow, straight face. Even in his seventies there were no wrinkles, nor were there any frown lines as are visible on the forehead of short tempered people. Observers would always witness contentment, serenity and a hidden smile on his face. THe colour of his eyes was black. He would always keep his gaze lowered in accordance with the Quranic injunction. During discourses he would keep his gaze lowered even when addressing a gathering. Even at home, his looks would be restrained and he would not immediately notice all in attendance. It is also important to mention that he never used eyeglasses. His eyes would never get tired due to the overload of work. God promised to safeguard his sight and hence it remained unaffected until his death. Yet he was not able to witness the new moon with the naked eye. His nose possessed the traits of nobility; slim, straight, high and perfectly proportioned.
(Translated by Haseeb Ahmad, Pakistan)
Categories: The Muslim Times