9. The Afghan Martyrs

11 Apr

Hadhrat Shehzada Abdul Latif Shaheed (ra)

Ahmad (as) received a revelation in 1883:

“Two goats will be slaughtered; and there is no one on earth who can avoid death.”

The word Shatan (two goats) can be a symbol for ‘women’ or for ‘loyal and obedient subjects’, so much is clear from the generally accepted meaning of dream symbols. The revelation therefore says that two loyal and innocent servants of a king, not guilty of any offence against the State and certainly not deserving the death penalty, will be put to death. It could also mean that two women would be put to death. This however was less likely. The second part of the revelation, ‘and there is none on earth that can avoid death’, points to death and destruction which will follow the killing of the innocent pair. The revelation does not mention the country in which the event will take place, but the words used make clear that:

1. the prophecy relates not to a peaceful country but to a country in which law-abiding citizens can be murdered to appease the anger of the excited masses.

2. the murdered persons are the prophet’s own followers; otherwise the allusion to two victims in the prophecy has little point;

3. the murders were to be unjust and wrong, not the result of any political crime, and

4. as a result of these unjust murders, general destruction was to overtake the country in which the murders were due to take place.

These four points make the prophecy very different from ordinary prophecies. If the name of the country has been omitted, this does not make the prophecy less clear. The four points which the prophecy entails prove its importance. They cannot synchronize by accident.

Sahibzada Syed Abdul Latif of Khost

For about twenty years after the publication of this prophecy, nothing happened, then a series of events began which resulted eventually in a strange fulfillment of the prophecy. It so happened that books by Ahmad (as) found their way to Afghanistan and into the hand of an Afghan saint and scholar, Sahibzada Syed Abdul Latif of Khost, who was held in great esteem by all classes in Afghanistan and revered for his piety and purity by devoted friends and followers, among them members of the ruling family.

Sahibzada Abdul Latif was called Raees-e-Kabul (wealthiest of Kabul). He used to own 400,000 kanals of land in Tani in Khost and belonged to village Sayed Ga in Khost. He knew the languages of Arabic, Persian and Pushto and was a learned man.

He was the Royal Advisor on the European influence in Afghanistan to both Amir Abdur Rahman Khan, 1880 to 1901 and to his son Amir Habibullah Khan, 1901–1919, The Kings of Afghanistan. Sahibzada Abdul Latif was an eminent member of the Ulema of Afghanistan. He had great influence on the kings of Afghanistan and its darbar (court). It was he who placed the Afghan amir’s crown on the head of Amir Habibullah Khan on the eve of his coronation in 1901, the same Amir who was destined to execute him.

The Syed also represented the Afghan side in talks with the British on demarcating the border between British-ruled India and Afghanistan. These talks led to the delineation of the famous Durand Line.

He claimed to be the direct descendant of the renowned Islamic saint Data Ganj Baksh, who is buried in Lahore, Pakistan.

The Syed sends his disciple to Ahmad (as)

The Syed read Ahmad’s (as) books and decided that Ahmad (as) was a true claimant. He sent one of his disciples to Qadian to make further enquiries, authorizing him to take the oath of fealty if he felt so persuaded. This disciple was Maulvi Abdur Rahman. The Maulvi travelled to Qadian and took the oath for himself and on behalf of his leader, Sahibzada Syed Abdul Latif. When he returned to Afghanistan with more books by Ahmad (as), he decided to go first to Kabul so as to acquaint the ruler with this new discovery.

The Disciple meets death on return to Kabul

As soon as Maulvi Abdur Rahman reached Kabul, some unpatriotic and unwise individuals moved Amir Habib Ullah Khan against him. This man had become an apostate, they said. He had gone beyond the pale of Islam and the punishment was death. The Amir was coaxed into signing a Fatwa of death. Maulvi Abdur Rahman was put to death most cruelly. He had not yet been to his village. He had decided to go first to his king to tell him that the Promised Messiah and Mahdi had come. He did so out of special regard and devotion for his king. But he was rewarded with death. A mantle was twisted tight round his neck. He was strangled to death. Twenty years before, God had foretold the murder of two innocent and loyal subjects of the Amir. One of the two had been murdered.

Sahibzada Syed Abdul Latif meets Ahmad (as)

One or two years later, Sahibzada Syed Abdul Latif left Afghanistan with the intention of performing Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca). Having already entered into an oath of allegience with Ahmad (as), he decided to visit Qadian before embarking to Mecca. At Qadian he met Ahmad (as). The impression he had received from his books was deepened; his pure heart was filled with the Light of God. So absorbed did he become that he decided to spend more time at Qadian. After a few months’ stay he went back to Afghanistan.

Emir Habibullah Khan was assassinated on Feb 20,1919

He also decided to acquaint his king with what he had seen and found. Reaching Khost, he wrote letters to some courtiers. They and others got to know what had happened and decided to set the Amir Habib Ullah Khan against the Syed. They made many false statements and persuaded the Amir to have Sahibzada Abdul Latif brought to Kabul under arrest. Orders were sent to Khost and the Sahibzada was brought to Kabul. At Kabul, the Sahibzada was handed over to the Mullas. The Mullas could prove nothing against him. Then some individuals, more selfish than patriotic, excited the Amir Habib Ullah Khan and told him that if the Sahibzada were set free and his influence allowed to spread, people would lose their ardor for Jihad and this would harm the Government of Afghanistan.

The Syed is executed

The Syed was ordered to be stoned. The Amir Habib Ullah Khan, out of feeling for the Sahibzada, asked him to give up his belief and announce his recantation. The Sahibzada replied that he had found the true Islam. He was not prepared to give up a truth he had accepted after due deliberation. When it became clear that the Sahibzada would not recant, he was taken out of the capital and stoned in the presence of a large crowd.

A loyal and self-sacrificing subject became the victim of selfish and self-indulgent intriguers. They cheated the Amir when they told him that if the Sahibzada survived, he would be a danger to his country. These cruel advisers told the Amir that the Sahibzada’s influence would reduce the desire for Jihad. But they did not tell the Amir that one part of the beliefs which the Sahibzada had accepted was loyalty to the government under which one lives.

This teaching, had it been allowed to spread, would have put an end to internecine quarrels in Afghanistan, and made the country loyal and patriotic, ready to stand by authority in all difficulties. Nor did they tell the Amir that Ahmad (as) taught against intrigues, corruption, deceit and hypocrisy. They did not tell the Amir that Ahmad (as) not only taught, but also insisted on, the observance of patriotic virtues. If the Sahibzada’s influence had been allowed to spread, it could only have ushered in peace and progress. Nor did they tell the Amir that the Jihad which Sahibzada Syed Abdul Latif had learnt to deny was the Jihad which seeks to force Islam on non-Muslims through war and violence. This kind of Jihad was no part of Islam. On the contrary, it was an offence against Islam. The Sahibzada was against this Jihad, not against the Jihad which the Holy Prophet (pbuh) had taught and practised. The Holy Prophet’s Jihad was defense against those who attacked Muslims to force them from their faith. Nor was the Sahibzada against legitimate political wars which one people may have to wage against another to preserve their political freedom and independence.

What the Sahibzada had learnt to believe under the influence of Ahmad (as) was that Islam was against making war on any people in the name of Jihad and in the name of Islam, so long as that people had not interfered with the religion of Islam. To do so was to harm Islam and misrepresent its teachings and its ideals. The political interests of a country were quite another matter. Of such interests each country was its own best judge. If these interests necessitated war, war was justified. But such a war could not be called Jihad. A victory wrongly won in the name of Islam, or won at the expense of the good name of its teaching, was worse than defeat in which the good name of Islam had been safeguarded.

Sahibzada Syed Abdul Latif died a martyr, an end brought about by cruelty and deceit. The revelation ‘Two goats will be slaughtered was fulfilled: two followers of the Promised Messiah (as), loyal and devoted subjects of their king, were slaughtered.

There remained the second part of the prophecy which foretold general destruction.

Unexpected Epidemic

Not one month after the stoning of the Sahibzada Kabul found itself in the grip of a cholera epidemic. So many people died that the entire population was struck with fear. People felt that the pestilence had come as punishment from God for the foul murder of the innocent Syed. An unconcerned observer, Frank Martin, who was for many years Engineer-in-Chief to the Government of Afghanistan, wrote in his book Under the Absolute Amir that this epidemic was quite unexpected. The sudden appearance of cholera was, therefore, a sign of God. The event had been revealed to His Messenger twenty-eight years before. The wonder of it is that to reinforce the prophecy, as it were, Sahibzada Syed Abdul Latif himself had a premonition of it. The Syed had announced that he could see dangerous days coming after his own martyrdom. The pestilence attacked every home in Kabul.  But especially seized were those who had taken a prominent part in the stoning of the late Syed. Some of them died; others lost their near relations. Frank Martin writes:

“Before being led away from the Amir’s presence to be killed, the moullah (Abdul Lateef) prophesied that a great calamity would overtake the country, and that both the Amir and the Sirdar would suffer. About nine o’clock at night the day the moullah was killed, a great storm of wind suddenly rose and raged with violence for half an hour, and then stopped as suddenly as it came. Such a wind at night was altogether unusual, so the people said that this was the passing of the soul of the Moullah. Then cholera came, and, according to former outbreaks, another visitation was not due for four years to come, and this was also regarded as part of the fulfillment of the moullah’s prophecy, and hence the great fear of the Amir and the prince, who thought they saw in all this their own death and it accounts also for the prince losing control of himself when his favourite wife died.”

– Frank A. Martin, Under the Absolute Amir, ISBN 978-1-43049488-1, pg.204

The revelation took its time but met with literal fulfillment. Awful signs appeared. God proclaimed the authenticity and importance of His Messenger. The far-seeing understood it as a divine sign and believed.

The Amir executed

Amir Habibullah Khan was assassinated while on a hunting trip in 1919. His brother Nasrullah Khan briefly succeeded him as Emir and held power for a week before being ousted and imprisoned and executed soon after. It is believed that Nasrullah Khan played the most active role in ensuring the death penalty to Sahibzada Syed Abdul Latif.

Kabul in turmoil

And it isn’t a coincidence that Afghanistan has never since seen peace and has been the focus of wars and all sorts of destruction and calamity. Even today, it is one of the most volatile and fragile places on the planet. The prophecy sees fulfillment each passing day. The revelation that Ahmad (as) received in 1883, even before the inception of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (in 1889) found fulfillment in Kabul and its second part continues to testify to the truth of Ahmad (as) to this date.

For more reading:

*(as) = alaih-e-ssalam = on whom be peace


Posted by on April 11, 2011 in Uncategorized


2 responses to “9. The Afghan Martyrs

  1. Asaf Hosein

    September 26, 2011 at 12:16 am

    assalam wa alaikum
    Did you study medicine in St. Lucia? and did you visit trinidad for jalsa?
    Wa Salam

    • Kashif

      September 26, 2011 at 11:00 am

      Wa alaikum Salam brother Asaf,
      I think you are mistaking me for someone else. I did not study Medicine from St. Lucia and did not visit Trinidad. I studied from Lahore, Pakistan and live in the USA. Please take care and thanks for visiting the blog.



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