The Hakim(1841-1914) was a physician by profession. He studied medicine and theology in India and spent some time (1865-66) in Mecca. He belonged to a barber’s family of Bhera, a tehsil of district Sargodha, West Punjab. In 1876, he managed to secure the job of a Court Physician in the darbar of Maharaja Ranbir Singh of Kashmir. Lala Mathra Das, a Hindu police officer of the State, and Dewan Kirpa Ram, the famous Kashmir historian, helped him get the job.2 In 1877 he attended the Darbar at Dehli where Queen Victoria was proclaimed the Empress of Delhi.
Hakim was a very shrewd and clever person. He maintained close relations with the British officers who visited Kashmir at different occasions and developed friendship with some of them. The British Government employed him as an informer and relied on his information on the activities of Kashmir darbar.
At the close of the 19th century the British were alarmed at the Russian activities in Central Asia. The Hakim kept a close watch on the bear hugs of Ranbir Singh who aspired to get rid of British domination in collaboration with the Czarist Russia.
To seek Russian help, the Maharaja sent a four-man mission to Russia. Two of his emissaries, including the leader, were murdered on the way, probably by the powerful spy ring of the British agents active in Central Asia and the letter they carried from the Maharaja to Russian authorities in Tashkent vanished with them. The survivors, Abdul Rahman Khan and Sarfraz Khan reached Tashkent in November 1865. They were received by General Chernayev to whom they conveyed a declaration of friendship and inquired what might by expected of the Russians. The mission did not achieve any success because the Czarist Government was not interested in promoting the cause of national liberation in India.3 A second mission from Maharaja Ranbir Singh of Kashmir, headed by Baba Karam Prakash, reached Tashkent in 1870 to seek military help from Russia. It also failed to achieve any success.4 After the death of Ranbir Singh, Patrap Singh (1885-1925) ascended the throne of Kashmir. He was the eldest son of Ranbir Singh. Ram Singh was younger than him and Amar Singh was the youngest of the three. According to the Treaty of Amaristsar, Partap Singh wanted to keep his absolute position over all affairs of the State. The British Government was, however, determined to exert its paramountcy by appointing a Resident in Kashmir who was supposed to check the Russian expansionism and see improvements in internal conditions of the State. The Maharaja had to accept the position. Sir Oliver St. John was the first Resident, followed by Plowden and Col. Parry Nisbet. Soon after his appointment Nisbet claimed to possess certain letter which Partab Singh allegedly wrote to Czarist Russia. London and Calcultta reacted sharply over it and decided to annex the State. Amar Singh who in collaboration with Co. Nisbet, worked behind the scene to acquire power, forced Partap Singh to sign a letter of abdication.5
Hakim Nuruddin worked as an agent of the British Resident and a confidant of Amar Singh. He was actively involed in the court intrigues.6 The British would have safely annexed the State had a curious development not taken place at that time. The course of events took a different turn when the newspaper Amarit Bazar Patrika, Calcutta which represented nationalist ideas, first published an autographed copy of the letter from Partap Singh to the Viceroy denying all allegations against him. In the second instance, the paper published a top-secret note of the British Foreign Secretary to the Government of India regarding the annexation of borderline states. The British Government planned to annex Gilgit at the initial stage. Sufi Amba Parsad, an Indian nationalist, who posed himself employed with the British representative, stole the secret documents and handed them over to the paper for publication. Two members of the British Parliament, William Digby and Bradlaugh wrote several articles in defense of the Maharaja.7 At last the British Government was forced to abandon its decision of annexation of the State.
Nurddin exerted considerable influence over Amar Singh. He convinced him that collaboration with the British was a pre-requisite to attain power. Nuruddin also hatched another plot which was meant to establish British control in Kishtwar but the plan was subsequently dropped by the British Political Department. Muharrum Ali Chisti, who edited a paper, Rafiq-e-Hind, Lahore, after his expulsion from Kashmir, was also involved in the plot.8
The British established a Council to rule over Kashmir in 1889. The Council comprised Ram Singh, Amar Singh, a British Officer, Pandit Suraj Kaul and Pandit Bhag Ram. The entire administration was in the hands of Amar Singh who presided over the Council until 1891 when Partap Singh himself became the president. Suraj Kaul hated the Hakim for his clandestine activities and collaboration with the British Resident. However as soon as Partap Singh became President of the Council and Amar Singh its Vice Preseident, he issued order of immediate expulsion of the Hakim from the State. He had to leave the State within 24 hours. Hence this notorious court intriguer cum British agent hurriedly packed off to his native town Bhera. Afterwards he settled down in Qadian. Raja Amar Singh continued to make contacts with him and secretly wrote him letters even after that incident and held him in esteem.9
Sheikh Yaqub Ali Qadiani says that opponents of Hakim Nurrudin accused him of hatching a political conspiracy to install Maharaja Amar Singh on the throne in place of Partap Singh. That was the reason of his expulsion from the State.10 Mirza Mahmud maintains that the Hakim wanted to convert Amar Singh to Islam. Partap Singh came to know of it.11 At the time of expulsion, the Hakim was under a heavy debt of two laks of rupees. Raja Amar Singh sanctioned a big business contract to a Hindu businessman and managed to pay his debt out of its profit.12
The Hakim became the first successor of Mirza Qadiani in 1908 and was called the counterpart of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique, the first Caliph of Islam. Hardly a year passed, a tug of war started between him and the members of Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, the central body responsible to administer the community affairs, which ultimately resulted in split. He very cunning managed the whole affairs. Influential Qadianis condemned and despised him in private meetings and called him an autocratic head of the community. He won the confidence of the Mirza family and a few members of Sadre Anjuman Ahmadiyya. He led a miserable life and passed his last days in great distress and mental agony.
Before his departure for Hejaz, Jerusalem and Egypt, Mirza Mahmud maintained that he would be undertaking the journey with a view of opening new horizons of propagation of Ahmadiyat,16 besides there are certain other reasons which may not be proper to mention ,17 he emphasized.
On 26 October 1912 Mirza Mahmud and Abdul Mohy Arab reached Port Saeed and held discussions with the British secret agents. After a short stay they moved from Egypt to Mecca. Mir Nasir joined them at Jeddah. They started their religo-political activities by propagating main Ahmadiyya beliefs like abrogation of Jehad, Messiahship and prophethood of the Mirza and loyalty to the British. When the Arabs came to know that the son of a Qadiani impostor had been inviting them to the false prophethood in the Holy City of Mecca, they strongly protested to the Administration and demanded their immediate expulsion from the city. Tarikh-e-Ahmaddiyat says the people pointed towards Mirza Mahmud and called him the son of Qadiani, whenever he passed by. Mir Ibrahim Sialkoti, the famous Ahle-Hadith scholar was in Mecca on pilgrimage in the same year. He and one Mr Khalid of Bhopal exposed the Qadiani mission which stayed in Mecca for 20 days.
The mission made close contacts with the native agents and held frequent meetings with them. Mirza Mahmud also called on the Sharif of Mecca,18 who was preparing to rise against the Turks and proved to be the loyal British Agent at the time of the First World War. The Turk Intelligence got alarmed at the underground political activities of the Qadiani mission. The police made all efforts to apprehend them but they were fortunate to escape arrest. Mirza Mahmud gives an account of his activities in Hejaz:
The three-man spy mission returned from Hejaz and submitted a report to the Hakim. In the light of the Report on Arab countries, the Hakim sent Zianul Abdin Waliullah Shah and Sheikh Abdul Rahman to Egypt on 26 July 1913 under the cover of Ahmadiyya missionaries with the object of working with the British Intelligence. Ch. Fateh Muhammad Sayal and Shaeikh Noor Ahmad to Britain to assist Khawaja Kamaluddin in his work.20 In those days, the British Agency Cairo had been recruiting a number of agents and posting them in Syria, Arabia and Iraq. Christian missionaries also spread their tentacles in Arab lands. Christian evangelists, particularly Dr Zwemmer, a militant Christian missionary, went to Arabia in 1913 with the agent of the Bible Society from Cairo 21 to explore the possibility of setting up a mission there.
As stated earlier Lawrence of Arabia, the notorious British Spy, was actively involved in obtaining Military Intelligence in Sinai Desert with the Zionist aid. He recommended to the British to extend support to the Sharif of Mecca who planned to rise in revolt against the Turk.22 The British realized that the end of Turk rule in the Holy places would prove fatal to their ascendancy in Arabia. The Muslims would presumably shift their allegiance to the new ruler who would assume power and be the guardian of the Holy places.
Zainul Abdin and Abdul Rahman reached Egypt in 1913. They were briefed in the office of General Kitchner, the British Resident in Egypt. For a few months, they worked for the British Intelligence, Cairo, which was actively engaged in supporting Arab nationalists to revolt against Turkey. Abdul Rahman (Masri) stayed in Cairo and Waliullah left for Beirut, where he, besides acquiring knowledge of Arabic, ‘developed contacts with young Arab students'.23 The pro-Turk movement started in India had already created a feeling of friendship for Indian Muslims in the hearts of Turks. Waliullah exploited it for his nefarious purpose and secured the post of lectureship in the Salahuddin Ayubi College, Jerusalem. He was then transferred to Damascus as Vice Principal, Sultania College. He actively worked for the British interests in Beirut, Syria and Jerusalem in all those crucial days when Arab revolt was in the offing.
Muhammad Munir-ul-Qadri, a well-known Syrian scholar has given an explicit account of the Ahmadiyya conspiracies on the eve of the First World War in his famous book entitled Al-Qadianiyah:
The Balkan War proved disastrous for Turkey. Khawaja Kamaluddin, the London missionary, addressed an An Epistle to the Turks.26 Referring to the Mirza’s prophecy regarding the downfall and dismemberment of the Turkish Empire, he emphasized that Hazrat Ahmad’s prophecy had been fulfilled which he had foretold nine years ago.27 The other part of the prophecy, says Mirza Mahmud, related to their temporary success caused by the quarrel that suddenly erupted between the victors and the other states. The defeated Turkish army advanced and within a few days captured Adrianople with all the territory adjoining it from which they had apparently been expelled for ever. Thus was this wonderful prophecy brought to fulfilment.28
During the Balkan War, some ulema made appeals to the Muslims of India to forego sacrifices of animals on the occasion of Eid ul Azha and subscribe the money to the Turkish fund. Hakim Nuruddin criticized the proposal and issued a ‘Fatwa’ against it in December 1912.30 The fatwa was not liked even by some Ahmadis.
Mirza Mahmid says:
Qadian Jama'at justified Government action and extended full support to it.32 AlFazl wrote articles to pacify religious sentiments of Indian Muslims. Hakim Nuruddin also supported the Government action and condemned and cursed the agitators of disturbing the peace. He explained that the baths did not form part of a mosque and that those who were engaged in agitation over the affair were wrong and were in fact acting hypocritically. 33
Molvi Mahmmad Ali, who afterwards became the head of Lahore Jamaat, wrote three articles in the Paigham-e-Sulh Lahore in favour of Muslim demands over Cawnpore agitation. The Hakim strongly disapproved of them. A reply to the articles appeared in AlFazl, Qadian. It was one of the cause of split in the Qadian Community.34
The Lahore Ahmadiyya community made efforts to come closer to the Muslim political aspirations. Its organ, Paigham-i-Sulh carried articles in favour of Turkish Caliphate and softened its policy over religious issues with the view to bringing Ahmadiyya back into the mainstream of Islam. Perhaps, it was Paigham as the first newspaper to come to support Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, when he was served with externment orders on 17 October 1914. It called the Punjab press to support Maulana Zafar Ali. Again, at the end of May 1915, the paper supported Ali Brothers. Support was also extended to the Muslim cause during the Khilafat days, while Qadian group continued to stress their unflinching loyalty to the Government and non involvement in the political affairs.35
In March 1914, the Hakim died, leaving a divided Ahmadiyya community
to choose a new head for them. He in fact desired Mirza Mahmud, his blue-eyed
boy, to succeed him. The liberal group and elders of Sadre Anjuman Ahmadiyya
already knew about it. Due to their stiff resistance he could neither expel
the mischief mongers, from Qadain nor dared to install Mirza Mahmud on
Qadian throne during his lifetime.