‘By the heaven having mansions of stars,
And by the Promised Day
By the testifier and the one who is testified
Cursed be the people of the trenches –
The fire fed with fuel –
As they sat by it,
And they witnessed what they did to the believers.
And they hated them not but because they believed in Allah, the Almighty, the Praiseworthy,
To Whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is Witness over all things.
Those who persecute the believing men and the believing women and they repent not, for them is surely the punishment of Hell, and for them is the punishment of burning.
But those who believe and do good works, for them are Gardens through which streams flow. That is the great triumph.’ (85: 2 – 12)
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said that these verses illustrate exactly the incident perpetrated against Ahmadis in Gujaranwala. It is such a testimony of the truthfulness of Ahmadiyyat and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that if fair-minded Muslims reflect over Surah Al Buruj the reality of the persecution of Ahmadi would open up to them. They would realise the extent of the actions of their leaders, politicians and the government in this regard and they would believe in the truthfulness of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and not be part of this persecution. However, in order to understand the Word of God, one also needs someone commissioned and sent by God and they do not accept that at all and exceed in their persecution.
In brief explanation of these verses, Huzoor said the ‘heaven with mansions’ in the verses above are the twelve stars/planets about which astronomy informs us. However, here the allegorical reference is spiritual and means the twelve Mujaddids of Islam who gave light to Islam after the setting of its sun. Hadith refers to this period. It is strange that Muslims accept the twelve Mujaddids who came in the twelve centuries of the period of gloom of Islam to give light but when according to ‘And by the Promised Day’ which refers to the promise of the advent of the Promised Messiah in the thirteenth century and he came, they rejected him. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had only mentioned about the earlier ones that a Mujadddid will appear at the top of each century whereas not only the Holy Qur’an mentions separately about the Promised one but the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) also gave different signs of his advent like the solar and lunar eclipse etc. And these prophecies have come to pass as clear as the day, yet they do not believe in him. After his advent and up to now, they started saying that no Promised one is now needed. This is so because the Maulawi and the so-called religious scholars would lose their pulpit (member ممبر ) and the veneer of their knowledge and their sense would be exposed.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘It is an amazing matter and I consider it as a sign of God that exactly in 1290 Hijrah this humble one had experienced converse and dialogue with God Almighty.’ After a short while the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also made his claim and heavenly and earthly signs corroborated his truthfulness. Details of this can be found in our Jama’at literature and also in the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) books. In short, Divine succour testifies that this age is the age of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace). God states that Islam’s revival will take place in this age though the true believers who will accept him will have to give great sacrifices.
It is then stated: ‘…Cursed be the people of the trenches – The fire fed with fuel – As they sat by it, And they witnessed what they did to the believers…’ This is an illustration of the opponents depicting how they will oppose. However, their ending will be terrible and they will be destroyed. True believers will have to endure being targeted for oppression for a long period. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that progress of Islam demands of us and the demand is of life!
The verses above inform us that a strong fire will be kindled and it will be fuelled repeatedly and its perpetrators will look on; they will besiege the believers and will spark fire and although believers will have to endure the pain, ultimately those who in their presumption will besiege believers from all sides will themselves be destroyed. We saw in Pakistan, the police also participated in the persecution and those who kindled the fire delighted in burning true believers. Therein is a prophecy that this is how the opponents of true believers will light fire and will encircle them and this is a proof that we are true believers and this includes our opponents in the category of those who kindle fire for the true believers, encircle them and delight in their act. The details of the Gujaranwala incident shows that they shut eleven women and children in a room and kindled fire and mocked those trapped in the room with their gestures and slogans that they could not escape. Videos of the incident clearly show the brazenness and the shamelessness on the faces of the perpetrators and their slogans also depict the same. This was the height of their enmity. Later, a local Maulawi is known to have promised to do worse in future and has taken promises from others for the same.
We cannot say that after this incident perhaps the opponents will be embarrassed or mortified. Among them are such barbaric people who have gone on Twitter to say that what happened with Ahmadis was very good and this is what should have happened. What is regrettable is that they do this in the name of God and His Prophet!
‘As they sat by it’ also signifies that they will make long-drawn plans of persecution. It is an idiom which means that they will continue to carry on for a long period and their lies and deception and persecution will continue and will perhaps continue for a long time with new opponents emerging and their efforts continuing. However, the end of it is decreed by God and that is that they will be burned.
Their religious leaders know that they do not have any evidence against the claim of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), so they fabricate and falsify and in order to fuel fire they get the public to join them. At times they kindle fire in the physical sense at times succeeding in doing so and at times failing. They also light fire of opposition of Ahmadiyyat all around by heaping lies upon lies. In Pakistan false allegations against us are daubed all over the place, on official buildings, even the High Court! They associate matters with Ahmadiyyat which do not even have remote connection with our beliefs. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said:
‘Do not think that God will waste you. You are the seed sown by the hand of God in the earth. God states that this seed will develop and flourish and its branches will grow in every direction and it will become a large tree. Fortunate is he who believes in God’s word and is not afraid of the intervening trials.’
With the grace of God, the tree of the Jama’at will grow and flourish and for this the members of the Jama’at will have to give sacrifices. As for those who kindle fire, they will themselves burn in the same fire or God will destroy them by other means. ‘Cursed be the people of the trenches – ‘ is a prophecy which has been fulfilled in favour of the Jama’at and will continue to do so. But the opponents will not desist, they will continue with their oppression and persecution but the tree of Ahmadiyyat will also continue to grow. They should have taken lesson from the 125 year old history and progress of the Jama’at that it is not a man-made matter and is from God and by trying to curtail it they are only incurring the displeasure of God. They know neither the Holy Qur’an nor anything said by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) corroborates them.
Huzoor said that the accounts of the companions of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that he has related in the past and also accounts of those who accept the truth these days and take Bai’at illustrate that the so-called religious leaders of our opponents coach their followers not to discuss matters with the ‘Qadianis’ based on the Holy Qur’an because they will prove death of Jesus from it, they will prove their definition of finality of Prophethood through it and they will prove truthfulness of the Promised Messiah through it; therefore do not discuss matters with them. They realise they have nothing in light of proofs and reasoning, it is simply their obstinacy and inflexibility! They have made fools of the public with their wrong teaching and views. Such is the situation that without naming Ahmadis, a Maulawi speaking on the governmental TV channel rather than emphasise on pacifying the public, said that the minorities should also be careful about the emotions of the majority. They are the perpetrators, they are also the judge and they also give out guilty judgement. They have power and political backing and the government agrees with whatever they say. They do not know what their ending will be!
God states: ‘Those who persecute the believing men and the believing women and they repent not, for them is surely the punishment of Hell, and for them is the punishment of burning.’ God indeed states that those who torment believers and encircle them will be sent to Hell. They kindle physical fire and also hidden/metaphorical fire so that they can torment true believers in every way! These days they inflame the situation by saying that, God forbid, Ahmadis do not consider the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) as the last law-bearing Prophet or that they insult him. This baseless allegation is extremely painful for us to endure. Today Ahmadis are actively involved in upholding the respect and honour of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in every corner of the world. Ahmadis are the first to respond when the honour of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) is attacked. An Ahmadi can accept death but cannot tolerate even trivial words of insult for the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and this is what the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) taught us. God knows what is in our hearts and what our practices are. It is not for nothing that in spite of the persecution He is granting us progress upon progress. God says that He will not leave unpunished those who burn the bodies, homes and hearts of those who are ever active to promote His majesty and the majesty of His last law-bearing Prophet. He says He will punish them with the Fire of Hell unless they repent and says: ‘…for them is surely the punishment of Hell, and for them is the punishment of burning.’ Just as they tried to burn the bodies, homes and hearts of believing men and women, at times succeeding and at times failing at it, similarly they will be punished. Their punishment will be physical as well as hidden; of Hell and of burning.
They associate falsehood with us regarding a being who is more dear to us than our own lives. They try and inflame our hearts but their own hearts are on fire with jealously to see the Jama’at progress in spite of their overwhelming opposition. They are vexed as to why every Ahmadi is still firm on his faith and no Ahmadi child, elderly person; man or woman is afraid of them and contends with their persecution fearlessly and courageously!
Ahmadis of Gujaranwala were exemplary during the riots of 1974 and today, yet again they have established a new example of sacrifice. A seven month old girl, an eight year old girl and a woman gave the sacrifice of life and established a new example of sacrifice. In fact a life that had not yet come into this world and was to see this world after two months or so was deprived of coming into the world and gave its sacrifice as well. God has informed us about the oppressors and kindlers of fire as to what their ending will be and He has also assured those who believe: ‘But those who believe and do good works, for them are Gardens through which streams flow. That is the great triumph.’
The enemy started a series of fires and watched over it! As news reports tell us that they pelted the fire brigade with stones and also hindered the ambulances. God states that for the victims of this oppression and persecution there are Gardens with shady trees beneath which streams flow from which they can drink water and be refreshed whenever they want. The enemy tried to give them the intense heat of fire but in Paradise they will have shades. The enemy tried to choke our innocent children and an un-well woman with smoke but God states that He will grant them cool atmosphere wherein their throats and bodies will remain fresh.
These verses also have the answer to the letter a woman wrote to Huzoor from Germany following this incident in which she quoted a revelation of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace): ‘Threaten me not with fire, for fire is my servant and indeed, the servant of my servants.’ (Tadhkirah, p. 507 2009 edition). Although the woman had not written anything further the connotation appeared to be that why did this incident take place! First of all we should keep our faith strong. The Quranic verses very clearly state that such an incident was to take place and the revelation also carries the meaning that we are not afraid of fire. Just as the Holy Qur’an states, these people will ignite fires and most certainly they will, however, they will not be able to achieve the objective behind their actions. Here the objective was only to lead Ahmadis astray from Ahmadiyyat. They frighten Ahmadis with fire, they ignite fire! But is the faith of a true believer ever wasted because of these matters? Most certainly, it never has. What has happened is that these very fires have been subjugated and shown true believers the ways of progress! If apparent loss has been sustained due to these fires that too has worked like fertiliser and has opened amazing new avenues of progress and introduction of Jama’at! And many times the enemy was unsuccessful in what he wanted to do. When every outcome indicates Divine succour then it means that everything has different aspects; apparent and hidden. God has stated that He will give the punishment of Fire and of Hell to those who ignite and fuel these fires but for the true believers who suffer loss due to these fires will be cool, shady Paradise. The innocent children who gave their lives belong to Paradise anyhow but their sacrifice has made them that much more beloved of God and He has taken them in His loving embrace. The revelation of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) did not say that fire is a sign for Ahmadis or that it is chastisement for others. No such sign was given. The objective was that we are not frightened of fire. This is fulfilled at times in apparent form and at times in an allegorical form; sometimes fires are extinguished and at other times loss is suffered. We see that in the time of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) the torment destined for the infidels was the torment of war and they were destroyed through it and it was through it that their might was weakened. However, Muslims were also martyred in those wars. Yet, while God deemed the death of the infidels as Hell-bound, it was stated about the loss of Muslim lives that do not consider them dead, for they live and are given the beneficence of new provision every day by God. Our martyrs are also in God’s Paradise!
It is perhaps the first time in the history of Ahmadiyyat that the sacrifice has been all-female. The sacrifice of these innocents will InshaAllah never be fruitless. Huzoor also made it clear that they lost their lives due to smoke inhalation and no one was injured by the fire although the perpetrators continually burnt what they did not wish to loot, including household furniture and other means of fuel! Those who were martyred included Bushra Begum Sahib wife of late Munir Ahmad Sahib and Hira Tabassum and Kainat Tabassum, daughters of Muhammad Buta Sahib. Although everyone must be aware of the incident as it has been widely reported but Huzoor also related it briefly.
On 27 July 2014 extremist opponents of Ahmadiyyat attacked and set fire to Ahmadi homes in Kachi-Pump, Arafat Colony, Gujaranwala which resulted in the martyrdoms of 55 year old Bushra Begum Sahiba, 6 year old Hira Tabassum and 8 month old Kainat Tabassum. Inni lilla he wa inna illaihi raji’oon. On the day of the attack one of the sons of the deceased lady Muhammad Ahmad Sahib went to a nearby clinic to get medicine after Iftari. He saw his cousin Waqas Ahmad being held by some people. When he asked what the matter was they started using abusive language and alleged that an Ahmadi youth had, God forbid, affronted a photograph of the Khana Ka’ba on Facebook. They were told that Ahmadis found this unthinkable. It was clear that they had hatched a plan because they quickly resorted to beating up and started glassing with broken bottles. Seeing the sensitivity of the situation Muhammad Ahmad phoned his brother Muhammad Buta Khan and uncle Fazal Ahmad and asked them to come over. They tried to sort out the matter and although Fazal Ahmadi was injured with a broken bottle the matter ended and they went home. A short while later the doctor in front of whose clinic the incident took place rang and told Muhammad Buta that people were gathering in form of a rally and were preparing to attack. The organisation of traders also announced that people should shut shops and gather and whoever did not shut shop did so at his own peril. Thus, the attack was properly planned.
There were about eighteen Ahmadi family homes in the area. When they heard of the trouble, fifteen families left. However families of Muhammad Buta, Fazal Ahmad and two other families, that of Muhammad Ashraf Sahib, Sadr Jama’at and his brother’s family was at home. About 8.30 p.m. the opponents attacked and started raising extremist slogans and also started firing. They started breaking down the front door of the house. Police has given incorrect reports that firing was carried out from both sides. There was no firing by the Jama’at and only the opponents fired. They attacked from all directions. There are many Shia residents of the area and although Shias give many statements, here they were quite involved in the attack! When Sadr Sahib reported to the police, the officer said he was present on site and was going to take the attackers for negotiations. Whereas the fact is he did not do so. The extremists attacked one more time, they were armed with hammers and firearms. A huge crowd gathered. They broke the electric meters and cut off cables. Due to the severity of the situation Sadr Sahib and his brother’s family took refuge via rooftop at his decent non-Ahmadi neighbour’s house. The families of Buta Khan and Fazal Ahmadi went to an upstairs room in their house and stayed there. The extremists entered the house and went to the room where eleven women and children had locked themselves. They tried to break down the door and when they could not break it they sealed the door so that it could not be opened from inside and broke the glass of a window in the room. They gathered some plastic ware and other things and set them on fire right underneath the window. The toxic smoke filled the room through the window and from under the door. The barbaric extremists gestured with their hands and mockingly said goodbye to those in the room and left. Due to smoke inhalation Bushra Begum and her two granddaughters, Hira and Kainat were martyred.
The mob was so frenzied that it did not allow the ambulances and the fire brigade to come to the site. They continued to burn all the houses and danced while the police stood by like silent spectators doing nothing and did not try to apprehend the frenzied mob in any way. Media too took its time to start coverage of the incident and the Punjab Chief Minister Shahabaz Sharif Sahib also took note of the incident after the extremists had done their deed.
Ahmadiyyat had come in the family of the martyred lady Bushra Begum Sahiba through her grandfather who had accepted Ahmadiyyat during the time of the second Khilafat. She was married in 1976 and her husband had passed away only six months ago. The other two martyrs were her granddaughters. With the grace of God she was regular at offering her daily Salat and also offered Tahajjud. She recited the Holy Qur’an regularly and was a very friendly, compassionate and hospitable person. She was very courteous and was always ready to serve whenever the Jama’at needed anything done. At the time of her martyrdom she had a gold ring on and also earrings. She also had some cash on her, perhaps with the thought that they may have to leave the area. After her post mortem, the oppressors even stole her jewellery. Only a day earlier she had organised Iftari for the neighbourhood and the martyred little girl Hira had gone to neighbours with food for Iftari! Muhammad Buta has a service station and Fazal Ahmad also has a good business. This was a cause of jealously for others.
Amir Sahib Gujaranwala writes that the entire family is very decent and sincere and the halqa in the area had been formed due to them. They had also made a Salat Centre there. They were at the forefront of giving chanda and were also ever ready to serve in every way. Bushra Sahiba leaves behind three sons and two daughters, whereas the little martyred sisters leave behind their mother and father, a five year old brother and a three year old sister.
Amir Sahib Gujaranwala further writes that on the evening of 27 July 2014 a 400 to 500 strong crowd attacked Ahmadi homes. The extremists associated some offensive photograph on Facebook to an Ahmadi youth Aqib Saleem Sahib, which is completely groundless. They started the attack on this basis and apart from the home of the martyrs set fire to six other homes and looted them. They also looted the shop of the victims and took away goods. Among the injured are the wife of Muhammad Buta’s brother Fazal Ahmad’s wife Humaira Sahiba, her three year old daughter who is a Waaqifa e Nau, a one year old son and a month old baby and Muhammad Buta Sahib’s sister Mubashra Jarri, wife of Jarri Ullah Sahiba who was visiting her mother’s home for Eid and also for childbirth. She was seven months pregnant and lost her baby due to smoke inhalation. She was sent to Rabwah and is at Tahir Heart Institute where she is not very well and is suffering from respiratory problems due to smoke inhalation.
Others injured include 33 year old Muneeb Lodhi Sahib who was hurt by the extremists and has a broken jaw and lost two teeth and his ear also received a cut. He is under treatment. Khalil Ahmad Sahib was hurt due to being attacked by a bottle. When Muhammad Anwer Sahib came to know about the attack he rushed to help his sister Humaira Sahiba. By this time the crowd had dispersed so he helped rescue the injured and sustained some injuries in the process. Buta Sahib’s wife Ruqaiyya Begum and her two children also suffered from smoke inhalation and are not well.
There were eighteen Ahmadi homes in the area and most of them were related to each other. They are now in Rabwah. The attackers burned down six homes completely. They ransacked two homes and only burnt down their contents. They looted and burned five Ahmadi businesses and they burned copies of the Holy Qur’an and Jama’at books in the Salat Centre and then martyred the Centre.
This is the account of their oppression and cruelty. God states that if they do not repent then the punishment of Hell and the punishment of burning is for them. May God bring chastisement to religious leaders of kufr (disbelief) and also to those who are at the forefront of incitement!
God elevates the status of martyrs anyhow, may He also grant steadfastness and patience to the bereaved, especially to those who have lost innocent daughters and sisters. May God also grant perfect healing to the injured and may He make good their financial loss and grant them more than before.
Huzoor announced that he would lead their funeral Prayers in absentia after Friday Prayer.