Thursday, January 29, 2015

165. Prophet Muhammadpbuh Seen The Over Centuries. Part Two


We were discussing the authentic dreams about Prophet Muhammadpbuh. Next night Ghazi (see previous blog) had another dream:


3. In the dream he saw that he was going home from the school in the company of several students. They met an apparition of a jet black, giant of a man, whose arms appeared to be about fifteen feet long and he had a horn on his forehead. Everybody was shaking with fear. Ghazi recognized that he was Dajjal, an evil figure, who is supposed to come before the end of the world. Dajjal asked the first student that who did he belong to? He replied ‘I belong to God’. Dajjal killed him. The next student was asked the same question, and he answered ‘I belong to you’. Dajjal was very pleased with the answer and gave the boy sweets. Next he asked the same question to Ghazi. Ghazi timidly replied that he belonged to God. Dajjal slapped him. He started weeping. Dajjal ordered him to come towards him.


Then he saw that prophet Muhammadpbuh was seated nearby. The prophetpbuh called him to come near. A thought occurred to Ghazi that he had seen the prophetpbuh just yesterday, in far away Mecca, and today he was here. He saw the prophetpbuh this time very clearly; his dress, his face, and a rosary in his hands. The prophetpbuh was reciting something, facing Kaaba.


He said, “Son, listen, I have come so far only to help you. Now stop crying.” He was also stroking his back with his holy hand, just as a father would do to a weeping child. “Don’t ever accept the commands of Dajjal. He cannot hurt you anymore. These worldly gains are nothing as compared to heavenly rewards. If you stay steadfast in this test, you will get great boons in heaven. Pay no attention to Dajjal’s offers. I am praying for your success. By the grace of God, you will succeed. God will help you”


Dajjal called me again. I saw that the other boys were eating sweets. The other boys said, ‘obey him, and enjoy like us.’ I said, ‘I will enjoy the bounty of next life’. Hearing these words, Dajjal became angry and lifted his hand to strike me. Out of fear, I woke up”


The prayer of prophetpbuh bore fruits throughout Ghazi’s life. He succeeded in all the endeavors that he undertook. He had a very successful and peaceful life. He did Masters in two subjects and stood first in the university both times. He retired as principal of an Intermediate College.

He did not waver during the severe tribulations caused by his conversion to Islam. His mother would cry every day. All his relatives would taunt him for giving up the religion of his ancestors, and be a source of shame for the whole Hindu community in general and his parents in particular. His parents and his grandmother would beg him repeatedly, not to dishonor the family. His father beat him to a pulp with blood soaking his dress. The father took him to the edge of a creek and threatened to throw him down into the creek  from a mountain in Kashmir. He escaped with the help of a guide. They walked for about forty miles, over snow covered paths, sometimes over crevasses in ice. They did not find food for three days.

His father took the case to the court, and got the verdict in his favor, after bribing the judge. He had to leave his house and live with Muslims. During all this period he prayed to God and the holy prophetpbuh to help him

In 1947, all his family members had to leave their ancestral village and migrate to India, because they were Hindus. He was left all alone in Pakistan with not a single relative because he was a Muslim. He never met his father again. He talked to his mother and one brother, once, across the barbed wire at the boundary between India and Pakistan. That was the last time he saw his mother.



4. Ghazi’s son, Tahir Jamil had the following dream:


“I was with my father. I saw a man with naked sword coming towards us. I felt that he was going to attack us. I moved forward to defend my father. The man approached near. I looked back and my father was no longer there, instead the holy prophetpbuh was standing there. I thought this man is going to attack the prophetpbuh . I thought I should sacrifice my life in order to defend the prophetpbuh. I was going to step forward to fight with the man, but the prophetpbuh gestured me to stop. I stopped as ordered. The sword fell from that person’s hand, and he said, ‘make me Muslim’. He became Muslim. I was very happy. The prophetpbuh said ‘Tahir Jamil is there a mosque nearby?’ I said ‘yes, there is an old mosque’. The prophetpbuh said, ‘Let us say maghrib prayer’. The prophetpbuh led the prayer, with me and that other person following. As I finished the prayer, I woke up.”


5. Tahir Jamil had another dream of the prophetpbuh.


“In the dream I was in Medina (where the prophetpbuh is buried). I was reciting darood (a prayer honoring the prophet Muhammadpbuh and prophet Abraham), with great fervor, at the outer boundary of the prophet’spbuh grave. The door to inner area opened by itself. I entered that door and kept on reciting darood. Another door which led to innermost room also opened. I saw three graves in that room. There was a tablet at the head of one grave, which read ‘ Muhammad rasool ullah’

I continued reciting darood, very passionately, at the foot of the prophet’spbuh grave. The grave opened and the prophetpbuh came out. He asked me the reason of my coming. I said ‘to ask forgiveness for my sins’

The prophetpbuh repliedGod has forgiven your sins and so have I’

I started weeping with happiness and gratitude.

Seeing the prophetpbuh in such a kind mood I said ‘I want to do postgraduate studies in medicine. I request your prayer for my successes

The prophetpbuh said ‘Son, study hard, I will pray for your successes’

I woke up.”


6. Ghazi received a letter from a man, Nazir Hussin Shah of Lalian, Pakistan. He thought that the man must have read his book and wanted to talk about it. Once he was travelling near Lalian, he thought of meeting the sender of the letter. He met Mr Nazir, an elderly man. He had never heard of Ghazi Ahmed nor had he read his book. He said he had a message from the prophetpbuh for Ghazi, but he was told to go to Ghazi and give the message. Therefore, he would travel to Ghazi’s residence and will give the message. Ghazi got upset that may be the prophetpbuh is upset with him, and the message is a scolding for his dereliction.


To be continued

Thursday, January 22, 2015

164. Prophet Muhammadpbuh Seen Over The Centuries. Part one



Here are some visions of Prophet Muhammadpbuh, over the centuries, all in dreams, narrated by the persons themselves, all except one, in the books written by their own hands. Therefore, the authenticity of the dreams is above board, except, if the writers were lying. The readers have to decide for themselves.


1. Readers of my blogs are familiar with Shahab. I have mentioned him in various blogs (9, 64-66). He was a mystic. He wrote his autobiography, ‘Shahabnama’, and the dream is mentioned in the book.

Shahab was a boy of about fourteen when he had this dream. He dreamt that he was in a vast desert. He was running in sand, which was coming to his knees. He could not breathe due to running. When he could not run anymore, he started crawling on his knees. Soon he could not even crawl on his knees. Still he crawled with his trunk. He got very tired and short of breath. There was severe pain in his chest. Suddenly his hands caught a corner of a prayer rug. The rug was spread under a date tree, and on it the Holy Prophet Muhammadpbuh was sitting. He smiled at him.

At that very moment he woke up. It was the bitterly cold month of February. Despite the cold, his whole body was inundated with perspiration. His throat was dry like a bone and breath was coming in and out like a bellow. There was severe pain in both sides of his chest. The pain in the chest remained for the rest of his life.

He sat in the bed dazed. Then he started weeping. His weeping woke his mother. “Did you have a bad dream, child?”

“Yes, I had a strange dream” he replied.

She took deep breaths to smell the air in the room.

“I have told you so many times not to use fragrant oil in your hair at night, but you don’t listen to me. Off course with fragrant oil one gets bad dreams.”

“I have not used any oil”. And then he quickly told his mother his dream.

Mother also started crying. Both mother and son wept silently, at the profound grace that had fallen on him.

The room was redolent with fragrance.


2. The writer of the book, named Ghazi Ahmed, (1) had a dream when he was a fourteen years old Hindu boy, living in a village in rural Pakistan, in 1938. The village had Muslims and Hindu inhabitants. Hindus were only a quarter of the total village population, but owned most of the land and were richer than the Muslims. The school boys used to discuss about the merits of Hinduism and Islam. The author happened to read a book in which Islam, Hinduism, and Sikhism was compared. Religious ideas started swirling in his head. His one Muslim friend took him to a pious Muslim scholar. He told the scholar that he had been praying everyday to God and reciting his Hindu rosary. The pious man was very pleased to hear his religious inclinations. He said the God of Hindus and Muslims is the same. “I am not asking you to convert to Islam but I am asking you to pray to God, every night, before going to sleep, the following:  O god! I am an ignorant person, without friend or helper, please show me the right path, etc………….”

He started reciting the prayer every night. Nothing happened for ten to fifteen days. Then one night he had a long and complicated dream. I am only going to narrate the part related to Prophet Muhammadpbuh.


 “………A large moon appeared in the west. It was about fifteen times bigger than the full moon. The light was so powerful that one could see for thousands of miles. We (the author and his friend Sadiq ) started our journey. I felt that we have arrived at Mecca. We reached Kaaba (the holiest site of Islam). Countless sahaba (companions of Prophet Muhammadpbuh) were sitting in white dress, facing Kaaba. Prophet Muhammadpbuh was sitting with his back resting on the wall of Kaaba. We recognized him from a distance. I was walking behind Sadiq, because he was a Muslim and I was not, so he had the right to meet the Holy Prophet first. We passed through the sahaba. Sadiq shook hands with the seated Prophet.

When I (Ghazi) extended my hand, the Holy Prophet stood up, and embraced me; this lowly non-Muslim. Every pore of my body got filled with happiness. Holy Prophet sat down with me sitting beside. He asked, ‘Why have you come? ’

‘To become a Muslim’ I replied.

Prophet Muhammadpbuh took my right hand in his hands and read something. Then he said “now you are a Muslim”

I, Ghazi, was very happy to hear this, because I had been converted to Islam by the Holy Prophet himself.


To be continued


(1) Mayra Qabool-a-Islam ( My conversion to Islam), by Ghazi Ahmed (this book is in Urdu)



Thursday, January 15, 2015



163. Saint Augustine. Part Five


St Augustine did not perform any miracles (he might have but he did not record it in ‘Confessions’). However there are some incidents which are miraculous.


1. Episode of the voice in the garden, which led to his conversion. I have already narrated it.


2. He developed toothache. The pain was so great that he could not speak. He asked all his friends who were with him to pray to God for him. He wrote down the message and gave it to them to read, and as soon they all knelt down to offer to God their humble prayer, the pain vanished. He writes:


 ‘What was that pain? How did it vanish? My Lord and my God, I confess that I was terrified, for nothing like this had ever happened to me in my life. Deep within me I recognized the working of Your will.’


3. St Augustine writes: “God revealed Bishop Ambrose, in a vision, where the bodies of martyrs Protasius and Gervasius were hidden (see the footnote). All these years (over two hundred) You had preserved them incorrupt.”


4. While the bodies were being carried, on the way, several people who were tormented by evil spirits were cured. There was also a man who had been blind for many years, a well known figure in the city. He asked why the crowd was running wild with joy, and when they told him the reason, he leaped to his feet and begged his guide to lead him where the bodies lay. When he reached the place, he asked to be allowed to touch the bier with his handkerchief.  No sooner had he done this and put the handkerchief to his eyes, his eyesight was restored. The news spread.

What do the followers of David Hume, the Scottish philosopher, say about this episode? St. Augustine was there in the city of Milan. He would not have recounted it unless it was authentic. He may even have witnessed it. Augustine was a highly rational man, as is clear from his struggle to understand time, astrology, and how prophets could see future. He was not likely to suffer from what Hume calls ‘superstitious delusion’.


5. I have already recounted the visions of Monica; crossing of Mediterranean Sea, and Augustine and she on the wooden rule when she saw a young man in a halo of splendor.


Astrology. People used to consult sorcerers and astrologers, frequently, in St Augustine’s time. Young Augustine did not go to sorcerers because he did not want the sacrifice of any living thing to learn the future, but he frequented astrologers. He became friends with a wise old man. When the old man learnt that Augustine was an enthusiast for books of astrology, he told him to throw them away and waste no further pains upon such rubbish. He asked him why it was that the future was often correctly foretold by means of astrology. He gave him the only possible answer that it was all due to the power of chance.

St Augustine still did not give up astrology, but he started to have doubts.

One day a friend, Firminius, told him a story. The father of Firminius and a friend of his father were deeply interested in astrology. So much so, that they would note the exact time of birth of their domestic animals and studied the position of stars at the time of birth. When Friminius’s mother was pregnant, a female slave was also expecting a child. The two men made the most minute calculations to determine the time of labor of both women, counting the days, hours, even the minutes, and so it happened that both gave birth at exactly the same moment. This meant that the horoscopes which they cast for the two babies had to be exactly the same. If the horoscopes were the same, their lives should be the same!

The one baby born of a rich family had a good life. His wealth increased and high honors came his way. But the slave continued to serve his masters. His lot never improved.

This story made the final end of St Augustine’s doubts.

Later on, he considered astrologers as imposters



Footnote. The sons are said to have been scourged and then beheaded, during the reign of the Emperor Nero, under the presidency of Anubinus or Astasius, and while Caius was Bishop of Milan. Some authors place the martyrdom under the Emperor Diocletian, but others object to this time, because it is not clear how, in that case, the place of burial, and even the names, could be forgotten by the time of Saint Ambrose, as is stated. It probably occurred during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180)


St Ambrose in 386 had built a magnificent basilica at Milan, now called the Basilica Sant'Ambrogio. Asked by the people to consecrate it in the same solemn manner as was done in Rome, he promised to do so if he could obtain the necessary relics. In a dream he was shown the place where such relics could be found. He ordered excavations to be made outside the city, in the cemetery Church of Saints Nabor and Felix, who were at the time the primary patrons of Milan, and there found the relics of Saints Gervasius and Protasius. In a letter, St Ambrose wrote: "I found the fitting signs, and on bringing in some on whom hands were to be laid, the power of the holy martyrs became so manifest, that even whilst I was still silent, one was seized and thrown prostrate at the holy burial-place. We found two men of marvelous stature, such as those of ancient days. All the bones were perfect, and there was much blood

Source: Wikipedia: St Protasius and Gervasius

Thursday, January 8, 2015

162. Saint Augustine and Time. Part Four


What is time?


 St Augustine pondered over this question. Why did he ponder over this question? Because, he pondered over another question first. How have the prophets been able to predict future events?

A modern man, even if he was a thinking man, like David Hume, an 18th century Scottish philosopher, would simply deny that prophets could do such a thing (Hume did not believe in anything supernatural). However, Augustine believed in it.


If prophets could tell future then it exists somewhere, but future cannot exist since it has not been made yet. Now, I hope you realize Augustine’s difficulty. Let me quote his words from his book (1):


As a boy I learnt that there were three divisions of time, past, present, and future. But there might be people who would maintain that there are not three divisions of time but only one, the present, because the other two do not exist. Another view might be that past and future do exist, but time emerges from some secret refuge when it passes from future to the present, and goes back into hiding when it moves from present to the past. Otherwise how prophets see the future, if there is not yet a future to be seen? It is impossible to see what does not exist.

In the same way people who describe the past could not describe it correctly unless they saw it in their minds, and if the past did not exist it would be impossible for them to see it at all. Therefore both the past and the future do exist!’


Is St Augustine contradicting himself? No, he is simply thinking loud and exploring various theories. He is trying to think which of the two is true, three divisions of time or only the present, and secondly he is trying to figure out how could prophets see future?

He observes very succinctly, “How can two, the past and future, be, when the past no longer is and the future is not yet?”

At one point he even questions whether present exists. He writes: “ How can we say that even present is, when the reason it is is that it is not to be? In other words, we cannot rightly say that time is, except by reason of its impending state of not being


He observes the other attributes of time: it is never still, that it derives its strength only from a great number of movements constantly following one another into the past; once it becomes past it ceases to be. The present has no duration (see footnote 1)

He arrives at a very important conclusion, that the past and future wherever they are and whatever they are, it is only by being present they are.

This is a subtle point, that we do not see past and future as such, both have to be converted to the present.

He floats a theory ( I do not know whether that was his final conclusion about prophecies ) about how future may be foretold. Sometimes future events give a sign of things to come. For instance, one can tell that the sun is about to rise by witnessing the break of day. Nowadays, this theory will not carry any weight. Weather forecasters do it every day. What we are discussing, are future events that cannot be predicted by any scientific means.

He cannot solve this mystery. He surrenders. He writes:


“For it is utterly impossible that things which do not exist should be revealed. The means by which You do this is far beyond our understanding. I have not the strength to comprehend this mystery, and by my own power I never shall.”


 He asks God for help (see footnote 2)


“My mind is burning to solve this intricate puzzle. O Lord my God, good Father………..I long to find the answer. Through Christ I beseech You……..Let Your mercy give me light”


He disagrees with some men who says that time is nothing but the movement of heavenly bodies (one rotation of sun makes a day and a night). He argues that everything moves in time, it is not that their

 movement constitutes time.


Finally he states his solution. Remember, he had made an important point which I have already mentioned; that the past and future wherever they are and whatever they are, it is only by being present they are. We do not see past and future as such, both have to be converted to the present.


He carries this point to its logical conclusion. Where is the place where past and future exist, as present? The answer is; in the mind. Past is memory, present is attention, and the future is expectation.


British Philosopher Bertrand Russell did not agree with his analysis, because it made time something mental (2)


He still did not solve the riddle that how prophets had been able to predict future.


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ (1) ‘Confessions’ by St Augustine

(2) A history of Western philosophy by Bertrand Russell

Footnote 1. Smallest unit of time is a Planck time; 10-43 seconds. It is the time for the light to take to travel a Planck length.

Footnote 2. This mote also begged God to help him to understand how future can be foretold, by giving him such an experience. I quote from blog 142; “this mote prayed to God, even today, a way to access the future, at least for once, so that I can then say that I have myself seen some future event. For me, at least, then it won’t be hearsay”.



Thursday, January 1, 2015

161. Saint Augustine. Part three; Conversion


A fellow countryman of Augustine by the name of Ponticianus visited him in his house and saw St Paul’s epistles at his table. His close friend and fellow countryman from Africa, Alypius was also there. Ponticianus told them the story of Antony, the Egyptian monk, whose name was held in high honor. They were astonished to hear of the wonders You had worked so recently, almost in their own times, and witnessed by so many. Then he told them of the time when he and three of his companions were strolling in the gardens. Two of them got separated and came to the house of some men, who were although poor in spirit, but had the kingdom of heaven within them. In that house they found a book containing the life of Antony. One of them started to read it. The book had a profound impression upon him. Augustine writes:


“All at once he was filled with the love of holiness. Angry with himself and full of remorse, he looked at his friend and said, ‘What do we hope for the efforts we make?.......Can we hope for anything better at court than to be Emperor’s friends?.......’

While he was reading, a cry broke from him. He said to his friend ‘I have torn myself free of all ambitions and have decided to serve God. From this very moment, here and now, I shall start to serve Him.’ The other answered that he would stand by his comrade….. So these two, now Your servants, built their tower at the cost which had to be made, that is, at the cost of giving up all they possessed and following You.

Both these men were under a promise of marriage, but once the two women heard what had happened, they too dedicated their virginity to You.” 

The story had a tremendous effect on Augustine. He writes: 

‘In the heat of the fierce conflict which I had stirred up against my soul……I turned to Alypius and explained “What is the matter with us? What is the meaning of this story? These men have not had our schooling, yet they stand up and storm the gate of heaven,………….while we lie here groveling in this world of flesh and blood!’


Augustine took refuge in the garden attached to the house. He was beside himself with madness. He was frantic, overcome with violent anger with himself for not accepting His will. He was wracked with indecision. He tore his hair and hammered his forehead with fists. He locked his fingers and hugged his knees. He wanted to take the course of serving God, but also he willed himself not to take it. 

A great storm broke into him, bringing with it a deluge of tears. He states: 

“I was asking myself questions, weeping all the while with the most bitter sorrow in my heart, when all at once I heard the sing-song voice of a child in a nearby house. Again and again it repeated the refrain

‘Take it and read, take it and read ’. At this I looked up, thinking hard whether there was any kind of game in which children used to chant words like these, but I could not remember ever hearing it before. I stemmed my tears and stood up, telling myself that this could only be a divine command to open my book of Scripture and read the first passage on which my eyes should fall. For I had heard the story of Antony who had heard in a church a counsel which he thought was addressed to him. He heard ‘Go home and sell all that belongs to you. Give it to the poor…………….then come back and follow me’.

He had obeyed the counsel”.

He rushed back and opened the book of Paul’s Epistles. He read the first passage on which his eyes fell:


Not in reveling and drunkenness, not in lust and wantonness, not in quarrel and rivalries. Rather, arm yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ; spend no more thoughts on nature and nature’s appetite


As he came to the end of sentence, a light of confidence surged in his heart and all the darkness of doubt was dispelled. He was now calm. He told Alypius what had happened to him. Alypius asked to see what he had read. He read on beyond the text Augustine had read. It said: 

Find room among you for a man of over-delicate conscience.

Alypius applied this to himself and told Augustine so. The admonition was enough to give him strength and he also made his resolution without any hesitation. And it very well suited his moral character, which had long been far, far better than Augustine’s.

Then they went and told Monica (mother of Augustine), who was overjoyed. As has been stated in a previous blog, she had been praying and weeping daily to the Lord, for Augustine’s conversion.

To be continued