The Beloved Muhammad Osman Chou (Chini Sahib)
After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated: A few days ago, a revered member and a scholar of the Community, Respected Osman Chini Sahib passed away. Innaa Lillah Wa Innaa Ilaihi Raji’oon [Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return].
God Almighty through His special decree, brought him to Pakistan from a remote part of China and enabled him to accept Ahmadiyyat. He wrote his memoir in which he has shed ample light on his relationship with God Almighty, how He guided him towards accepting Ahmadiyyat, acquiring religious knowledge and subsequently dedicating his life. These are very faith inspiring incidents. There is so much information about his circumstances, his life, his services and his character, that one could compile a book. In my opinion, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Pakistan could fulfill this task in a more befitting manner.
Osman Chini Sahib was known as ‘Osman Chini, his full name was Mohammed Osman Chung Sai Chou. He passed away on the 13th April 2018. He was born into a Muslim family, on 13th December 1925, in the Chinese province of Anhui. Upon finishing High School in 1946 he completed a year of advanced studies at the Nanchang University before starting to pursue a degree in Politics at the Nanchang National Central University. However, he came to Pakistan in 1949. Having conducted personal research, he performed the Bai’at [Oath of Initiation] and joined Jamia Ahmadiyya. In April 1957 he passed the Shahadatul Ajanib examination. This used to be a short course for missionaries. He dedicated his life on the 16th August 1959 and his first appointment was in January 1960. In order to complete the Missionary Training course, he once again enrolled in Jamia Ahmadiyya in April 1961 and graduated in 1964 after having obtained the Shahid degree.
He had the opportunity to serve in Pakistan in Vakalat-e-Tasneef, Tahrik-e-Jadeed, Rabwah as a life-devotee and also served as a missionary in Karachi and Rabwah. He had the opportunity to serve in Singapore and in Malaysia in 1966. He remained in Singapore for approximately three and a half years and spent almost four months in Malaysia. He returned to Pakistan in 1970 and served as a missionary in various places. He also had the honour of performing the Umrah and the Hajj to the House of Allah.
After the migration of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (rh), various offices were established here in London. With the increase workload, a Chinese desk was formed to work on translations of the literature of the Community. Thereafter, he was called to the UK. He had the opportunity to translate books into Chinese. Among them, the Chinese translation of the Holy Qur’an is especially worthy of mention. He also wrote books on the beliefs and the teachings of the Community. He is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.
The English titles of the Chinese literature that was prepared by Chini Sahib and under his supervision are as follow; he wrote ‘My Life and Ancestry’ in Chinese, ‘Introduction to Morality’ in Chinese. These seven books have been written by him. Aside from these, there are approximately thirty-five books which he translated or which were translated under his supervision. He wrote: ‘An Outline of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at’, which is an introduction to the Jama’at, ‘Outline of Islam’, which is an introduction to Islam, ‘Fundamental Questions and Answers about Islam’, which comprises of basic questions about Islam, ‘Islamic Concept of Jihad and Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at’ in Chinese, ‘Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Contribution to the World’. He also wrote about the need for Islam and religion in a person’s life. These are his scholarly achievements, which I have briefly mentioned.
In relation to his family life, his wife writes, “When I received the marriage proposal of Osman Sahib from Pakistan, initially my father did not agree due to the age difference.” His wife is also Chinese and says “I was twenty years old at that time and Osman Sahib was almost fifty years old. My father did not inform me about this proposal for several months. When he finally told me, he placed the letter before me so that I could decide for myself.” She then says, “I saw in a dream that I am standing in a large field in a foreign country completely empty handed. Suddenly, the thought of what will happen with me crosses my mind. At that time, I saw a person dressed in white in the distance and I heard a voice that all of your requirements will be fulfilled through this person.” She further says, “After seeing the letter [of the proposal], I saw Osman Sahib in a dream, dressed in white and standing beside me whilst I was laying down. When I was shown a picture of Osman Sahib later on, I realised that this is that very person, whom I saw in the dream. As a result of this, I accepted this proposal. We were engaged for four years.” She further says, “Osman Sahib saw in a dream that when Mao Zedong passes away, his wife will come.” At that time, Mao Zedong, who was the chairman of [the communist party of] China, was not unwell and was in rather good health, living a comfortable life. Nevertheless, upon this she said “The wait seemed to be forever and the uncertainty on top of that. Chini Sahib decided to write a letter to Mao Zedong. Chini Sahib says, “I was on my way to post the letter, when I received the news of the demise of Mao Zedong.” His wife then writes, “A few days following his demise, I received my passport.
About Osman Sahib, she writes: “He was a good husband, in fact he was my spiritual guide. He was a patient man and would explain things in great depth using different examples. He took very good care of his relatives. He called his mother over from China to Pakistan and cared for her.” She says those times were difficult and they could only afford one bottle of milk in a day, yet, he would give that bottle to his mother. Whenever he went on a journey, he took his mother along with him. Chini Sahib served his mother very well. She says, “His life was defined by his devotion to his work. When he was in good health, he would work until late in his office and sometimes work through the night until the morning. At home he was most concerned about bringing up his children in a righteous manner. He was very simple in his choice of food and clothing.”
His elder daughter, Dr. Qurratul-Ain writes: “It is difficult for me to describe my father’s attributes in words. He was kind, loving, hardworking, tireless, humble and an optimistic person. In our childhood he never scolded us, he would always explain things in an affectionate manner. The only time he was strict was in regard to the regularity in salat [prayers]. He was concerned about (his daughters’) observing purdah while at the university. He had instructed them to observe purdah when they were at university, and if it was essential to take off the veil, it was only to be for the duration of the classes, but then they should not be wearing any make-up.
His younger daughter Munazzah writes: Beside the five daily prayers in congregation, he encouraged his children to offer the Tahajjud [pre-dawn voluntary] prayers. He would wake us up for prayers by sprinkling water over us. He would ask us to read the books by the Promised Messiah (as) and the Khulafah. He would sit with us for hours answering our questions patiently and would not be annoyed by small matters.” This is an example for all parents.
His son, Dr Daud Sahib writes, “When I was young and would visit my father’s office, if I ever tried to use a pen or pencil from my father’s office, he would not allow me to do so. He would say to my mother, ‘buy him his own pen as he is in need of one.’ If we ever had to do some photocopying, he would instruct us to bring the paper from home and only then use the photocopy machine. He further says, “He used to instruct us to learn the attributes of God; and that we should memorise all the names of God that reflect His attributes. He wrote a poem in the Chinese language venerating all hundred attributes of God. He used to recite this poem every night. He also set a competition between us siblings about who memorised the most attributes of God and would give a prize for that.”
Chini Sahib himself wrote that when he came to Rabwah from China he witnessed how the elders of Rabwah would pray with great fervency and passion, fast, perform the I’tkaf) retire to seclusion) and make supplications God Almighty would listen to their supplications. This had a deep impact on him and he vowed that he will also follow in the footsteps of these elders.
Huzoor (aba) read out many letters from his friends and colleagues, paying homage to his excellent qualities. Ataul Mujeeb Rashid Sahib has written about him, which is an accurate summary and is in complete accord with the truth. He writes, “He was a man of lofty character. I was pondering over Chini Sahibs attributes. Among them was that he was always occupied in worship and had his prayers accepted. He was extremely punctual in offering his prayers. Despite his illness and weakness, he would always go to the mosque. He was a pious, saintly man who did not look to harm anyone. He would always want the best for everyone and would give sound advice to all. He was simple and honest man. He was very hospitable and would always show great generosity to his guests. He was extremely courageous. Despite his frailty, he was always active in serving the faith. He would discharge his responsibilities with full effort, sincerity and passion. His desire and dedication to serve the faith was very evident. He was a humble and a truly loyal servant of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. He would meet everyone unreservedly with a beaming smile as well as countless other qualities.” Whatever has been mentioned is absolutely true.
May Allah the Almighty continue to elevate the status of respected Osman Chini Sahib and grant patience and steadfastness to his wife and also become her helper and guardian. Furthermore, may God Almighty enable his children to become the recipients of his prayers and virtues and enable them to follow in his footsteps. After the prayers, I will lead his funeral prayer in absentia, Insha’Allah [God Willing].