The calendar of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya is punctuated with a number of days that are celebrated, or rather commemorated, globally.
Khilafat Day is one of such days that bears utmost importance. Khilafat is the bond that holds the whole community together and makes it a unity; the defining element between a Jamaat and a crowd.
This day is commemorated on 27 May every year in the Jamaat all across the globe. Commemoration or celebration, in the context of the Jamaat, means remembering the blessings of Allah in that particular regard and seeing how we can further benefit from it. The same is done when celebrating Khilafat Day; Ahmadis thank Allah for the blessing of unity, for the bond that holds the whole community together as one unified Jamaat and pledge to Allah that we will never become negligent of this great blessing that makes us “Al-Jamaat” [the united community] as prophesied by the Holy Prophet of Islam, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
Celebrating this day, every local Jamaat holds jalsas (conventions) where speeches are delivered. The speeches cover various topics on Khilafat from a variety of aspects; Quran, Hadith, writings of the Promised Messiahas and the testimony of history on how Allah the Almighty has always been on the side of the Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya.
Speakers of these jalsas remind the audience of how tests and tribulations have struck the Jamaat and how the Jamaat has always sailed through triumphant, only and only because of the Divinely guided leadership called Khilafat.
One may ask why a day has to be celebrated for this cause? Well, the whole world does so. Matters that are considered to have great importance in our lives are allocated a day; World Health Day, Stop Smoking Day, Labour Day, Women’s Day, Fathers’ Day and Mothers’ Day to name a few. TV programmes, newspaper articles, special editions of magazines are dedicated for the cause that the day has been dedicated to. This helps in realising the importance of the cause at hand and drawing the attention of the general public by raising awareness.
The world only lately started to dedicate days for certain causes, whereas the Holy Quran has instructed us to do so before anyone else could have thought of doing so. “Zakkirhum bi Ayyamillah” is a Quranic commandment, meaning, “remind them of the days of Allah”. By commemorating such days, we follow a Quranic injunction.
It must be also be remembered that the we commemorate such days only and only to remind ourselves and our younger generations of the signs and blessings of Allah. No day on the Jamaat calendar is dedicated for birthdays or death anniversaries, rather every such day is dedicated to celebrate the signs of Allah.
The Promised Messiah Day (23 March) commemorates the fulfilment of a prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa of Islam that a messiah would come to save the world in the latter days. Musleh Maud Day (20 February) marks the fulfilment of a prophecy of the Promised Messiahas that Allah would raise from among his progeny a reformer who would take the message of Islam to the corners of the earth. Similarly, Khilafat Day is a celebration of the fulfilment of a grand prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa, where he mentioned the establishment of the institution of Khilafat and also a prophecy of the Promised Messiahas that he made in Al Wasiyyat (The Will) as to how his succession should be established in the form of the second manifestation of Allah’s omnipotence: Khilafat.
The contention that occurred between the two groups at the time of the election of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra must also be borne in mind when commemorating Khilafat Day. There appeared a pseudo-ideology at that time that there was no need for Khilafat in the Jamaat and that the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya was sufficient to run the affairs of the Jamaat. While the majority of the Jamaat thought otherwise – that there should be Khilafat, otherwise the whole system would eventually collapse – the proponents of the anti-Khilafat camp were persons of great scholarly credentials, great influence in the outside world, with globally recognised educational qualifications and, above all, in-charge of the funds of the Jamaat. The latter decided to break away taking away with them all of the assets of the Jamaat.
It would have appeared to be a great loss, but Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra – although very young and with none of the above worldly assets – had never set his eyes on any one of these as a means to the greater spiritual goal. He believed that it was Allah’s Jamaat and Allah alone was sufficient for it.
Only time was to prove that those who had fled with the worldly treasures were to become devoid of them in a matter of decades while the Jamaat – “Al-Jamaat” of the Holy Prophetsa and the Promised Messiahas – was to be blessed with every blessing (worldly and spiritual) of the world and a success that has spanned over a century-and-a-quarter, and counting.