Hazrat Maulana Abdur-Rahim Sahib Dard‘s name will be among the most well-known when historians pen the history of the spread of Islam in the west. This great missionary for the Ahmadiyya Muslim community was born in Ludhiana on 19th June 1884 and passed away on 7th December 1955. His father Master Qadir Baksh Sahibra was born on 16th August 1870 and passed away on 10th July 1923. He did Bait in 1892 and was honoured to be among the 313 great companions of the Promised Messiahas. He loved the Promise Messiah and was very loyal to him. Master Qadir Baksh Sahib’s paternal Aunt was married to Maulvi Abdullah Sahib Sanorira who is famous for the red ink incident which was a heavenly sign. Dard Sahib’s mother was the daughter of Master Qadir Baksh Sahib Paternal uncle A’alim Sabib. Dard Sahib grandmothers name was Fatima Sahiba daughter of Khuda Baksh Sahib. Hazrat Maulana Abdur-Rahim Sahib Dardra birth name was Rahim Baskh. Later on, the second Khalifa Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mahmood Ahmadra changed it to Abdur-Rahim. In his childhood, Dard Sahib had the honour to listen to the Promised Messiahas guidance۔
In this manner, he became a companion of the Promised Messiahas and when he became older he followed in the footsteps of the saints and served Islam his whole life. Dard Sahib became a waqf in the time of the second Khalifa.
(Seerat Hazrat Maulana Abdul Raheem Sahib Dardra, page 1 and Tareekh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol 18, Pages 239-240)
Dard Sahib studied in Ludhiana, later he continued his studies in Lahore and Patiala. He also gave full time to sports alongside his studies. An incident occurred where Dard Sahib’s glasses broke and could not partake in a match. When the Principal found out he fixed his glasses and said that “He is the best in the playground and the best in the classroom”.
(Seerat Hazrat Maulana Abdul Raheem Sahib Dardra, Page 28-30)
Living in Qadian and his service
In 1919 Dard Sahib sacrifices his life for the service of Islam and became waqf. This started a period of his life which left an indelible mark in the history of Ahmadiyyat. As soon as he came to Qadian, the Promised son, Hazrat Mirza Bashir Uddin Mahmood Ahmadra made him a committee member of Madrisa Ahmadiyya. In 1920 he was appointed as his private secretary. Before this position was called Afsar Daak, but the name changed to private secretary during Dard Sahibs’ time. He served in this position till 1924.
Dard Sahib’s stay in England
On 24th August 1924, Dard Sahib came to London with the 2nd Khalifa. During his stay in London, His Holiness gave him the position of Imam Masjid Fazal, London on the 4th of October 1924. From 1924-1928, Dard Sahib was a missionary in charge and then he was assigned this duty again in 1933. When the mosque was built, Dard Sahib invited Shahzada Faisal to the Mosque inauguration which he accepted. After accepting the invitation, he had to reject it due to the opposition the community was facing and was very apologetic. Dard Sahib then took permission from Huzoor to invite Sir Abdul Qadir. He happily accepted the invitation and, on the 3rd of October 1926, the inauguration of Masjid Fazl took place. The inauguration ceremony was attended by the Lords of England, Members of Parliament, Ambassadors and some of the Maharajas of Hindustan. This event was published in detail by English newspapers. In 1925, a London newspaper, the Star, published a cartoon in which the Prophetpbuh was insulted. Dard Sahib organized a protest against it. Apart from newspapers, ambassadors of Islamic countries were also asked to protest. This had a profound impact and the editor of the newspaper apologized. Dard Sahib visited Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, Austria and Albania. In 1927, an insulting book “Muhammad” (PBUH) was published in England. In which the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was attacked. Maulana Dard launched a vigorous campaign against it, as a result of which the British government banned the book in Hindustan. Dard Sahib’s performance was sufficiently discussed in the newspapers in India. During his stay in England, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih al-Thani also decided to move the Review of Religions to London and appointed Dard Sahib as its editor. This magazine was published from London from 1925 to July 1931. Hazrat Dard Sahib launched a weekly newspaper “Muslim Times” from London. Also, a magazine called “Islam” was published with the support of Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Nasir Ahmad Sahib (Khalifatul Masih III) who was living in Britain for education during his young days. On the special instructions of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih Al-Thani, he held several meetings with Qaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was permanently residing in London at that time and persuaded Qaid-e-Azam to go to Hindustan and guide the Muslims. Qaid-e-Azam also gave a speech on the subject of India’s independence in Masjid Fazal, London, and at the beginning of it he mentioned Dard Sahib and said;
The Imam of the mosque encouraged me. The eloquent persuasion of the Imam left me no escape. Due to his vigorous movement, I have been forced to stand on the political stage. During his stay in England, Dard completed the draft of his book The Life of Ahmad, which was later published. Dard Sahib established close relations with Members of Parliament, Lords and other eminent English writers.
(Al-Fazl, 23rd December 2013, Page 4)
Maulana Dard Sahib was also mentioned among men and described as doing great things in the world by the Sphere Newspaper on 9 October 1926, similarly on Saturday 16 October 1926, he was introduced once again.
Along with other preaching and religious engagements, academic research continued till the end and he authored several books in English and Urdu language. Among them “Life of Ahmad”. “Islamic Caliphate”. “The Glory of Muslim Woman”. The “Founding Chain Ahmadiyya and the British” are particularly noteworthy. The volume “Life of Ahmad” which contains the biography of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) is a thick book. Apart from this high-level literature, the following books were also published by his pen: “Islami Album”. “Al Huda“. “History of Andalusia”. “Roidad Jalsa-e-Jubilee“.
(Tareekh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol 18, Page 242)
On December 7, 1955. Dard Sahib passed away peacefully. The next day on December 8, 1955, Hazrat Musleh Maoodra led his funeral prayer in Bahishti Maqbarah .