The very first time that Khilafat Day was celebrated by the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat was on 27 May 1957. This was in accord with the instruction of Hazrat Musleh Maud, Khalifatul Masih II that he had given on the Ijtema of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya in Rabwah in October 1956 (details in editorial).
The venue of this august convention in Rabwah was Masjid Mubarak and was presided over by Hazrat Maulana Abul Ata [then Principal, Jamia Ahmadiyya Rabwah]. The proceedings, that started at 7am and lasted till 11am, comprised of addresses delivered by scholars of the Jamaat on a variety of aspects of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. Speeches covered the Quranic aspect of the institution of Khilafat, how it is to be understood from the Ahadith, how the Promised Messiahas gave a clear indication about it in Al Wassiyat (The Will) and how Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira had not only a firm belief in Khilafat but also made his belief known on many occasions when he saw a group of people drifting away from it.
The attention of those in attendance was also drawn to the great blessings Allah the Almighty had showered upon the Jamaat that had opted to stay with Khilafat as compared to those who had not; the latter reducing in number and dwindling away while the former were progressing rapidly on the path of success. Through inspirational speeches delivered on this first Khilafat Day, the audience realised more strongly the fact that Allah the Almighty had always been on the side of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra by granting him and his Jamaat the prosperity which the non-Muba‘in (those who had opted for Anjuman and not Khilafat) thought would only occur by abandoning the institution of Khilafat.
This Khilafat Day Jalsa worked wonders as it left the thousands in attendance much firmer in their faith, and this strength of belief was expressed in the pledge that the whole congregation took to stay loyal to the institution of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya.
It would be appropriate to mention here that the proponents of Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib and Khawaja Kamaluddin Sahib, who chose not to follow Khilafat are now only a few hundred. The mission of the Promised Messiahas has been taken to the corners of the earth through Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya and continues to be so with every passing day.
There was a time when people could have been in doubt, but now, 104 years on, both groups’ trajectories of success tell very faith inspiring stories; Khilafat and its followers making it to 210 countries, in millions and broadcasting the message of the Promised Messiahas while the other group confined to only a few hundred with no significant contribution towards the mission of the Promised Messiahas. The Khalifatul Masih is known as a prominent Muslim leader promoting the true teachings of Islam in every part of the world while the leadership of the non-Khilafat group is not even known. The Khalifatul Masih and his Jamaat are known worldwide for demystifying the misconceptions of Islam and making its true teachings known, while the other group is nowhere on the scene. Would one still ask who was right and who was wrong? It isn’t very hard to decide.