By Samina Malik, USA Jamaat
The Third President of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore
It is now 18 years since Dr. Saeed Ahmad (affectionately known as Jaanji) passed away on November 15, 1996. Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilaihi Rajeoon. May Allah the All Mighty and All Merciful Grant him a high place in Paradise.
We thank Almighty Allah that he gave us the opportunity to personally know this great spiritual person. He was one of those rare people who had
a personal relationship with Allah Taala and was the recipient of true dreams Ilham and Kashf. Among his qualities was an intense love of truth, justice, fairness and humility. I never saw him abuse or scold a person or lose his temper. He did not like to be praised and was direct and truthful in his dealings. He had a special aptitude to recognize goodness in a person. Members would follow him because of his goodness and kindness and he never held any grudges.
I remember a member of our organization going to Jaanji and starting to complain
about another very active member. Jaanji listened quietly to him, then asked him if he had finished. On receiving a reply in the affirmative, Jaanji asked him “besides the person’s faults did you not see any goodness in that person?” The complaining member hung his head and was silent. Then Jaanji related to him that a certain person was once complaining to Hazrat Mirza Sahib about another member, and Hazrat Shaib told him that if you see more goodness in a person do try to overlook the person’s shortcomings. This type of healing advice is characteristic of a waliullah.
Jaanji never complained about personal difficulties and bore any such difficulties with great Sabr — patience and equanimity. In 1974, during the anti-Ahmadiyya riots in Pakistan, his clinic with all the medical equip- ment and the top portion of his house were burnt by a mob, and Jaanji had to flee his home in Abbotabad and move to Lahore (darussalaam), where he resided in a simple small house. But he never complained or showed any sadness, anger or remorse. He was always cheerful and thankful to Allah Almighty. This demon- strated his lack of attractions for worldly things.
He once told us that when he was elected Ameer (President) after the death of Maulana Sadr ud Din, he felt very uncomfortable when people began to address him as “Hazrat Ameer”. He said that people who deserve to be called by this title were previous Ameer like Maulana Muhammad Ali. When his close associates used to call him affectionately “Jaanji”, he was very happy.
It is by these qualities that Jaanji was able to hold the Ahmadiyya Jamaat together during the dangerous and difficult times in the 1970s when Ahmadis were declared Kaffir in Pakistan.
Jaanji’s connection with the Berlin Mission
Jaanji had a special love and concern for the Berlin Mission. Before the USA Jamaat started the Holy Quran translations in 1987, I phoned Jaanji and asked him with which language the USA Jamaat should begin the translation project. He replied that it should be in German, as we had a center in Germany and we needed German literature for the propagation of Islam.
The preservation and restoration of the German Mission for the propagation of Islam was one of his prime concerns. He used to discuss the Berlin Mission with Noman and myself. The structural condition of the Berlin Mosque and Mission House was very bad and deteriorating fast. In 1995, I asked him for permission
to approach the German government for funds, as the Mosque and Mission House had been declared Monuments, and were eligible for government funding. He immediately granted my request and I began negotiations with the German Government for a grant.
It was Eid day in February 1996 when I relayed the good news to Jaanji that the Monument Department had granted my request and approved 350,000 Marks for the first phase of the renovation. I remember his joy and thankfulness to Allah Taala which he expressed by repeatedly saying “Alhamdolillah”!
He passed away on November 15, 1996. I am sure he would have been very happy to see the beautiful sight of the fully restored minarets, dome and Mission house in 2007.
Jaanji was very fond of people who engaged in the propagation of Islam with their wealth, time, intellectual and organizational abilities. People loved him for this quality and would sacrifice willingly in the cause of propagating Islam and the Ahmadiyya Movement.
This highly spiritual man was a tower of strength and moral support for me. During the second South Africa case, I was in a dangerous situation and was feeling very insecure and afraid. I sent a message to Jaanji that I was very lonely and afraid. Jaanji called me back and comforted me by reminding me that a person is never alone, as Allah Taala is always there. He also said that he was praying for the success of the work which I had undertaken. I had to find another new attorney and hand over the case to him. This was a very difficult task, but by the Grace of Almighty Allah and the prayers of Jaanji, it was accomplished in much shorter time than usual.
I would like to end by saying that I loved this man of Allah as my own father. He was very dear to me. Just before his demise I was in his house and was sick with flu. He came to visit me with Mr. Anwaar Ahmad, sitting beside me and holding my hand, Jaanji told me that I should keep on doing the good work, and keep the Berlin Mission as one of my main priorities.
We do not believe in celebrating death anniversaries as it is not a part of Islam. But I would like to remind people every year of some aspects of Jaanji’s good qualities such as his humility, justice and honesty.
In 1992, Noman and I asked Jaanji’s permission to record his life history on videotape in his own words. The video-taping sessions stretched over a period of ten days. In these sessions, Jaanji relates the association his father and uncle had with Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, his travelling with his father to Qadian and meeting with Hazrat Sahib, and his taking the bayyat at the hands of Hazrat Sahib at the tender age of six. He recounts his stay in Qadian, attendance at the Jamaat high school there and his association with Maulana Nur ud Din. He subsequently talks about his attendance at King Edward Medical College and his association with Maulana Muhammad Ali and certain Ilhams that Maulana Muhammad Ali had about him. Then he talks about his association with Sayed Assadullah Sahib and the events of 1974 when his home was attacked by a large mob, his migration to Lahore and much more. We have also included footage of Abottabad and Debgaran, King Edward College, Ahmadiyya Buildings, Miani Sahib Grave Yard where many elders of our jamaat, such as Maulana Muhammad Ali, Khwaja Kamal ud Din, Maulana Dr. Mirza Yacub Beg, Abdul Haq Vidyarthi and others are buried and other places of interest for Lahori Ahmadis.
We thank Almighty Allah for the opportunity to record the life history of this great man in his own words. Jaanji gave us permission to distribute the video after his demise.
The entire recording (in Urdu) is available on DVD. Members wishing to obtain a copy should contact the USA jamaat at firstname.lastname@example.org