Final Days

[ BACK ] The last will

The year 1905 was coming to a close when he received certain revelations to the effect that his end was nigh. On the 24th December 1905, he published his last will, Al-Wasiyya (or The Will), in which he wrote:

"As Almighty God has informed me, in various revelations following one another, that the time of my death is near, and the revelations in that respect have been so many and so consecutive that they have shaken my being to its foundations and made this life quite indifferent to me, I have therefore thought it proper that I should write down for my friends, and for such other persons as can benefit from my teachings, some words of advice."

Below are given some of these revelations:

"The destined time of thy death has drawn nigh, and We shall not leave behind thee any mention which should be a source of disgrace to thee. Very little has remained of the time appointed for thee by thy Lord... And We will either let thee see a part of what We threaten them with or We will cause thee to die . . . Very few days have remained, sorrow will overtake all on that day."

A few words of comfort are added for his disciples, and they are told that the movement will prosper after his death:

"Bear in mind, then, my friends, that it being an established Divine law that He shows two manifestations of His power so that He may thus bring to naught two false pleasures of the opponents, it is not possible that He should neglect this old law now. Be not, therefore, grieved at what I have said, and let not your hearts feel sorrow, for it is necessary for you to see a second manifestation of Divine power, and it is better for you, for it is perpetual and will not be intercepted to the day of judgment."

The arrangements for the carrying on of the movement are then suggested. The first point was initiation into the movement. While the founder was alive, he personally initiated new members into the movement. After his death, he directed that members should be initiated by the righteous from among his followers. And he wrote:

"Such men will be elected by the agreement of the faithful. Anyone, therefore, about whom forty of the faithful should agree that he is fit to accept bai'a from other people in my name shall be entitled to do so, and he ought to make himself a model for others."


Anjuman to carry on work after him

The second point was the management of the affairs connected with the movement, and for this an Anjuman was established with full powers to deal with all such topics. This Anjuman was formed under the name of Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya (or, The Chief Society of the Ahmadis), and the rules and regulations controlling it were given under Hazrat Ahmad's own signature. It began to function immediately after the publication of The Will, exercising full authority over all the affairs of the movement, including its finances. When a dispute arose, about twenty months after the Anjuman was formed, as to the extent of its powers, and the matter was referred to the founder, he gave his decision in the following words:

"My opinion is that any matter about which the Anjuman comes to a decision that it should be thus, such decision having been taken by a majority of votes, the same should be considered as the right decision, and the same should be the final decision. Nevertheless, I would add this much that, in certain religious matters, which are related to the special object of my advent, I should be informed. I am fully confident that this Anjuman will not do anything against my wishes. This is written only by way of precaution, for it may be that the matter is one, which is ordained by God in a special manner. This rule is to be observed only during my lifetime; after that, the decision of this Anjuman in all matters shall be final."

The Anjuman was thus entrusted with the fullest powers in all affairs relating to the movement, and in his own words "the Anjuman was the successor of the Divinely-appointed Khalifa".

Message of peace

As already noted, in April 1908, he went to Lahore. There, while occupied from day to day in explaining his position to eager Muslim listeners, who wondered when they heard from his own lips that he was not a claimant to prophethood, he began writing a pamphlet, containing a special message for his Hindu countrymen, aiming at bringing about lasting union between the Hindus and the Muslims.

The message was based on the broad Quranic principle which he had been preaching all his life that all religions emanated from a Divine source, as the Holy Quran clearly said:

"And there is not a nation but a warner has gone among them"


In accordance with this verse, he held that prophets must have appeared in India, and, as Rama and Krishna were the two great reformers recognized by the Hindus, they must have been the prophets sent to that people. He called upon the Hindus to reciprocate the Muslim recognition of the Hindu prophets by recognizing the prophethood of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. If they did that, a lasting peace could be achieved between the Hindus and the Muslims, in which case he and his followers were prepared to make a further concession to Hindu religious sentiment by giving up their lawful right of slaughtering cows and using beef as an article of food. This message was aptly named the "Message of Peace", and it proved to be his last message.


Founder's demise

At the age of seventy-three, he was still wielding his pen in the cause of Islam with the energy of a man of thirty. He had just finished the last lines of his Message of Peace, outlining the possible basis of an everlasting peace between the Hindus and the Muslims, when suddenly he fell ill at 10 p.m. on the evening of the 25th May, with an attack of diarrhea, to which he succumbed at 10 a.m. on the morning of 26th May, 1908. The Civil Surgeon of Lahore certified that death was not due to an infectious disease, and it was on the production of this certificate that the authorities permitted the carrying of his body to Qadian, where it was consigned to its last resting-place, on the 27th May.

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