The International Bai‘at Ceremony

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“Blessed will be those fortunate delegations who will be invited to the Jalsa for the Bai’it ceremony, and submitting themselves to the divine call, place their hands onto the hands of the Khalifa of God’s holy Messiah and join the community of the Imam Mahdi for the prevalence of Islam.”

In the Holy Quran, Allah the Almighty promised that he would strengthen the religion of Islam through true Khilafat. Thus, in association with the established Khilafat of God Almighty, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat is a group of believers who are daily observing the fulfilment of this Divine promise in a majestic manner. 

This is that community which is advancing with steadfastness, by strongly holding onto the rope of Allah and resisting all unfavourable circumstances with great resolve and courage, on the manifest path to the victory of Islam, based on the succour of God the Glorious. It is without a shadow of doubt that the rising sun of every new day sees the Ahmadiyya Jamaat to have expanded and grown stronger, more than before. The land of the opponents is constricting, and God Almighty is expanding the land of Ahmadiyyat – the true Islam.  

Each and every scheme of the successors of the Promised Messiahas is assisted by God Almighty, and they are schemes which bear great blessings. From among these grand schemes, one such scheme which Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh initiated, was the International Bai‘at ceremony. The manner in which Allah the Almighty bestowed blessings upon this scheme is remarkable and also extremely faith-inspiring. Where the grand outcomes and fruits of this blessed scheme indicate the fact that this was a purely Divine scheme, it also becomes plain that the wind of the unity of God is whirling from heaven. Angels are descending in great numbers on those with pious natures, and those days are not far when God Almighty will gather all good-natured people on one hand, whether they reside in the east or the west. Today, it is only our duty to continue proclaiming everywhere:

جاء المسيح جاء المسيح

[The Messiah has come; the Messiah has come] and have faith that:

جس كي فطرت نيك هے وه آئے گا انجام كار

[He who has a pious nature, will join our fold eventually]. Under special Divine inspiration, the leader of the faithful, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IVrh issued an instruction to the worldwide Ahmadiyya Community, three and a half months prior to the 1993 Jalsa, saying:

“This year, an international Bai‘at ceremony will be held via satellite on the occasion of Jalsa Salana in which a minimum of a thousand pledges of initiation will be taken from people of various countries. Yet, it is expected that from the several countries where God Almighty casts special focus, we shall receive pledges of initiation in sometimes tens of thousands and sometimes many more. Insha-Allah.

“This Bai‘at ceremony shall transpire in the following manner: those taking the pledge of initiation in a country will take part in the Bai‘at ceremony through satellite and in the UK, their delegates who shall be invited to the Jalsa for this purpose, will perform the pledge of initiation, on their behalf, at the hand of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa. This will be such a unique and dear pledge of initiation in the sight of God which shall encompass the face of the earth. This will be such a Bai‘at that, whilst coming from the heights of the heavens, shall encompass the expanse of the Earth. This shall certainly be accepted before God. Thus, blessed will be those fortunate countries wherein so many pledges of initiation shall be achieved that they will be granted the honour to delegate in the Jalsa Salana. Blessed will be those fortunate delegations who shall be invited to the Jalsa for the Bai‘at ceremony, and submitting themselves to the Divine call, place their hands at the hand of the Khalifa of God’s Holy Messiahas and join the community of the Imam Mahdias for the prevalence of Islam. And blessed will be those individuals who, participating in this unique first international Bai‘at ceremony and then, by becoming helpers and assistants of the Imam Mahdi, shall strive for the victory of Islam.

“Thus, step up your pace, relying on prayers, with strong resolve and the praise of God. Irrigate your efforts with tears and advance the number of pledges of initiation to such a level that they arrive at this blessed occasion at the appointed time. Arise today, plan, and in order to be victorious in the field, set forth one and all of the community in it. May Allah grant you success.”

This was the message which was dispatched from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh to all countries by fax in April 1993. Responding to this call of Huzoorrh, all the missionaries and sincere individuals of the world set themselves forth into the field of tabligh. They became prepared to proclaim the message of the Promised Messiahas, filled with sincerity and the spirit of faith. God Almighty has greatly blessed the words of the Khalifa of the time and caused such favourable winds for the acceptance of the message of Ahmadiyyat to gush with great glory around the entire world, that tasks which would take years to complete, were settled in a matter of days. Such showers of God’s grace rained down, the mention of which causes the heart to be replete with the praise of God. 

On the third day of the 28th Jalsa Salana UK – on 1 August 1993 – the first International Bai‘at ceremony was held in Islamabad (Tilford) in which 204,308 fortunate persons joined the community. Besides this, hundreds of thousands of Ahmadis from across the entire globe also renewed their pledges at the hand of the Khalifa of the time.

Prior to the arrival of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh, people were sat in an order according to the guidelines issued. At around 1pm, Huzoorrh arrived in the Jalsa Gah, attired in the green-coloured blessed coat of the Promised Messiah and Imam and Mahdi of the age, peace be on him. Huzoorrh, mentioning its significance, background and purpose, delivered a short speech prior to taking the pledge of initiation in which he stated:

“Since the creation of the heavens and the earth, no eye has observed a scene where numerous countries and nations from every continent are simultaneously taking the pledge of initiation at the hand of a single person in different languages, and that too of a humble servant of the servant of the Holy Prophetsa. This is a fact which is being observed for the first time in the history of the world and in future, it will continue forever. You people are fortunate who are present here for the international pledge of initiation and those too who are listening and watching by radio or television and in this manner, gaining the honour of participating in it. 

“Regarding the International Bai‘at ceremony, I would like to briefly mention that when Allah Almighty placed this inspiration in my heart, the number of those taking the pledge of initiation was 10,00 to 20,000 or perhaps more, and a very short period of the year was remaining. In this short period, I became worried that I placed this expectation upon the Jamaat that they should, at a minimum, convert 100,000 people in a year. How would this occur in such a short period? At that moment, Allah the Almighty intuitively inspired my heart and its entire outline came before me; all the Jamaats of the world should not only be told to be prepared to participate in the International Bai‘at ceremony, but a target should also be assigned, for instance, so-and-so Jamaat would have this much of a target. I had to set a huge target. I was concerned of how such a large target, which was seemingly completely unrealistic, would be fulfilled in some of those areas where yet a hundred people had not even accepted Ahmadiyyat in the past ten years, and their target was set to 5,000. However, Allah the Almighty strengthened my heart and assured me as if to say: I have begun this scheme and I am responsible for it. Have patience and wait. 

“During this period, an account occurred as follows: An extract of the Promised Messiahas came before me in which he had stated, ‘To date, 400,000 people have taken the pledge of initiation at the hands of this humble one.’ A few days before this, Khadija Nazir Sahiba, who is in possession of the International Bai‘at record, mentioned that subsequent to my migration, since she began accumulating the records, 250,000 people have accepted Ahmadiyyat to this date. She said, ‘I congratulate you upon this quarter million.’ Upon this, I replied, ‘If 150,000 more join, we would have the honour of resemblance with the Promised Messiahas by gaining 400,000 conversions to this date simply in the years of migration.’ That being said, I had to slightly increase the target again. Then, I thought that as we are humbly praying to Allah already, why should we stop at 100,000-150,000? Let us beg for 200,000 instead. Thus, I issued a target of 150,000 and began to pray for 200,000. 

“Now, the fact is that today, 204,308 people, in the entire world will join the community at the hands of this humble one. These people who exceed 200,000 are those who are entering Islam for the first time or who are entering into the fold of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat for the first time. Aside from this, there are hundreds of thousands who are Ahmadi already and who will gain the honour of renewing their pledge on this historical occasion today. Thus, take part in this Bai‘at with a righteous heart. May this result in huge international Bai‘at ceremonies in the future. May this community continue to increase and spread every year until the entire world takes refuge under the Islamic canopy of peace. Currently, the state of affairs is that new converts from 84 countries are taking part in this ceremony. 115 nations are taking part in it.

“104 years have passed since the establishment of Ahmadiyyat. In this manner, a new nation is accepting Ahmadiyyat every year as a result of an effort of a few months. These are Allah Almighties favours, the account of which I have briefly presented.”

Thereafter, Huzoorrh stated:

“Afterwards, I would like to mention a prophecy which is, today, being majestically fulfilled. In the Acts of Apostles, chapter two, verses one to twelve, mention is found that the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples of Jesusas and they began to speak in various languages which they had no knowledge of beforehand. People started to listen, comprehend those languages and become astonished. As far as I have looked over history, no evidence can be found that such an account occurred. The overwhelming presumption is that it is an account in a vision, and that this event was to happen, not in the era of the first Messiah but in the era of the second. 

“It is the duty of the Christians to present historical evidence, but the factual testimony which we are presenting is clearly manifesting itself before the entire world. Nobody can deny that if it was a prophecy or a vision, today it is occurring as reality before the world in great glory.”

Huzoorrh stated:

“This prophecy also contains the words, ‘They were all occupied with the Holy Spirit and they started to say, what is going to happen?’ Thus, out of fear and panic, we shall clearly not say, what is going to happen? However, the enemies, out of fear and panic, will certainly exclaim, what is going to happen. What is going to happen is that in the century we entered, it was destined since eternity that Islam would be made to spread by leaps and bounds, and this is occurring. And its [spiritual] fruits have come before our eyes. Rather, they are in our hands and we shall taste them and have the blessings of its spiritual taste. Thus, we pray [to Allah] as we participate in this prayer and we will pray [to Allah] even after this. May Allah enlarge, spread and continue to grant the Jamaat dominance over the Islamic world. It is my desire that those people who have taken part in this struggle should pledge with God’s grace and prayers that they will strive to achieve double [of what they had achieved] again, in the upcoming year. They should take this pledge and tell those who have taken the pledge of initiation to make spiritual progress within themselves this year, and if not more, then every one of you should at least turn into two [by introducing another person into Ahmadiyyat].”

Huzoorrh stated:

“Bear in mind that the moral training of those joining the Ahmadiyya Jamaat is exceptionally important. As a result of a lack of moral training, great chaos and disorder can emerge in the future, faith can be corrupted and unity can change into disorder and discord. We have pledged to achieve the goal of a united people. In other words, we have taken the pledge to cause the entire world to become a united people as the result of the dissemination of the faith of Hazrat Aqdas Muhammad Mustafasa throughout the entire world. Thus, in order to fulfil this pledge, mere verbal preaching is not enough. Drawing people towards oneself through righteous actions is not enough. Rather, transforming verbal preaching into advice which contributes to moral training and employing righteous deeds for sincere moral training constitutes an essential part, which should immediately begin after the International Bai‘at ceremony, without a moments delay.”

Furthermore, issuing detailed guidance regarding this matter, Huzoorrh stated:

“The most important, effective, and purest course of action which endows pious and eternal fruits is prayer. Supplicate [before God] with prayers and humility. Whatever He has granted is purely His grace. Our efforts are also only the result of the grace of God. This course of action which occurred in the mind was also Divinely inspired from God. What capabilities do we possess? What a pious and pure subtle point the Promised Messiahas mentioned when he said:

سب كچه تيری عطا هے گهر سے تو كچه نه لائے

“‘All is your bounty; I have not brought anything from my own home [nothing has been done as a result of my own abilities.]’ This prayer is also His bounty. May God enable all bounties to be bestowed upon us, which descend from heaven through this prayer. May Allah increase our abilities and our resolve. May he endow us with steadfastness and fidelity. May he grant us light i.e. the light of righteousness under which no man can fall astray, whether he be ignorant or a scholar. In both situations, if he is righteous, he will always tread the path of guidance. Hence, may Allah grant us the ability to be righteous and make us a leader of the righteous. In other words, may all of those people who are entering Islam through us become righteous so that we may became the leader of the righteous. Being devoid of righteousness, increasing manpower is a futile and satanic pursuit. It has no significance. This results in an increase in discord and division rather than unity. Thus, it is our duty to make others righteous and increase the party of the righteous. Hence, pray that Allah grants us the opportunity. Fill this world and this pledge of initiation with righteousness so that the forthcoming generations, along with Hazrat Muhammadsa and the Promised Messiahas also send down salutations on us that we advanced His holy mission and translated dreams into reality.” 

Thereafter, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh said:

“I shall now sit for the International Bai‘at. Delegates from five continents are sat before me. I shall place a hand upon their hands and take the pledge of initiation. People assume that [the whole affair is merely] a hand placed on another’s hand. The Holy Quran does not mention this. It states, ‘O Messenger, when you were taking the pledge of allegiance, it was not your hand which was upon their hands. Rather:

يد الله فوق ايديهم

Because you have completely become God’s, it was God’s hand which was upon theirs. The wisdom of Bai‘at has also been mentioned in it, which I would like to present to you. 

“In the Bai‘at, the one leading the pledge of initiation places his hand at the top and Huzoorsa stated that hand of the one who blesses others is at the top. The hand of the one who is receiving blessings is at the bottom. He mentioned that whoever bestows has the upper hand. This is the underlying wisdom as a result of which the Holy Prophetsa used to place his hand upon other hands during Bai‘at. At that point in time, blessings used to flow from him. I, who will be the means whereby blessings shall flow, [would like to say that] these are not my blessings, but the blessings of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allahsa. I am becoming the channel through which this spiritual water will reach you. For this reason, I do not claim that my hand is the upper hand due to my superiority above you in terms of blessings. I am a humble and simple person, but God stated regarding the hand of the person which I am representing, 

يد الله فوق ايديهم

“This is the hand of Allah which is upon theirs. Therefore, the Bai‘at of Muhammadsa is conducted through humble servants. Join into the pledge of initiation, with this perspective [in mind]. What is this Bai‘at in reality? In answer to this question, I would like to present this verse of the Holy Quran:

إِنَّ اللہَ اشتَرىٰ مِنَ المُؤمِنينَ أَنفُسَهُم وَأَموالَهُم بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الجَنَّةَ ۚ يُقاتِلونَ في سَبيلِ اللہِ فَيَقتُلونَ وَيُقتَلونَ ۖ وَعدًا عَلَيهِ حَقًّا فِي التَّوراةِ وَالإِنجيلِ وَالقُرآنِ ۚ وَمَن أَوفىٰ بِعَهدِهِ مِنَ اللَّهِ فَاستَبشِروا بِبَيعِكُمُ الَّذي بايَعتُم بِهِ ۚ وَذٰلِكَ هُوَ الفَوزُ العَظيمُ

[Surah Al-Tauba: V.112] “The meaning of Bai‘at is that God has purchased from the believers their lives and property. He has bought them. Then, after purchasing them, he promised to them that He would surely grant them paradise. Of course, we have given very little. Temporary lives and worldly wealth are only beneficial in this transitory world and hold no value. The bestowal of eternal gardens has been promised in exchange. Thus, the meaning of Bai‘at is to sell yourself to somebody else. Moreover, as people are sold to Allah, ‘Yadullahi fauqa aidihim’ is not sold in the hands of men. It is Allah who purchases, not men. However, people do represent Him. Perhaps, in the sight of men, it is a reason of pride for this humble one to be granted [the chance to] represent Allah’s servants; the Holy Prophetsa and the Promised Messiahas. However, as far as my personal feelings are concerned, this is a cause of utter humility and meekness. Yet I am compelled for God has appointed me to this post. May Allah overlook my omissions and cover up my weaknesses. May He remove them so that you all also receive the same treatment alongside me.  May Allah also bestow His forgiveness upon you. May He conceal your weaknesses as well and bestow such coverings, underneath which weaknesses are being removed and evil is changing into goodness. If one performs Bai‘at sincerely, this is the state of affairs which is certainly initiated after the pledge. This is the state of affairs, the promise of which the Quran has presented in clear words before us:

رَبَّنا إِنَّنا سَمِعنا مُنادِيًا يُنادي لِلإيمانِ أَن آمِنوا بِرَبِّكُم فَآمَنّا ۚ رَبَّنا فَاغفِر لَنا ذُنوبَنا وَكَفِّر عَنّا سَيِّئَاتِنا وَتَوَفَّنا مَعَ الأَبرار ِ

[Surah Aal-e-Imran: V.194] “I remind you of this pledge. When God’s servants join the true religion, they hear the voice of a caller. What do they state before their Lord? ‘O our Lord, we have heard the cry of a caller. He used to say, “I call you to your Lord”. We have believed in what he has to say and heard him and accepted his word. As a result of this, we also have a right [to say] to You, O Beloved Lord, we are entering into Islam, burdened with many sins. Now, what has passed is past. Treat us with utter forgiveness concerning whatever faults we have previously committed. We are entering into Your religion with a clean slate, but despite Your forgiveness, our weaknesses will hold fast to us for a period of time, which we do not have the power to remove. Faghfirlana [forgive us]. By removing our weaknesses, only You can enable us to fully benefit from faith. Only you can fully deliver the benefits. Wa tawaffana ma‘al-abrar. And let this process of our reformation continue until our death, and O God, death is in Your power. Therefore, O God, let us not die until and unless we are included amongst the righteous.’ This is the supplication for the occasion of Bai‘at regarding which the Quran has taught that these were the cries of the hearts of those people who used to accept the Holy Prophetsa. These were their desires that would turn into supplications, whether in verbal form or otherwise. 

“Thus, take part in this prayer with this supplication [in mind]. Take part in this prayer with this desire; we are sinners and we hope that God will forgive whatever has happened before. We beseech You and we know that such a transformation does not occur abruptly in a single day, where the impure become pure. Purity is also granted as a grace of God. It is our expectation from Allah that He will assist us in removing our weaknesses; that He will not allow us to die until we are included amongst the pious in the register of God. May Allah enable for such to happen. Let us now take the pledge of initiation.”

Huzoorrh further stated: “The coat which I have worn today is the coat of the Promised Messiahas. It has been a few days since the revelations of the Promised Messiahas came in front of my eyes, which contain mention of this age. It contained the words: ‘Take a look at what your photo says.’ Then, the Promised Messiahas states, ‘The coat which I had worn in the vision was of a green colour. Prior to this, I had never given thought to the fact that it was green-coloured. Now that I have taken a look, I have found it to truly be of a green colour. Although the colour has somewhat worn away through the passage of time, it is still truly green-coloured.’ Thus, precisely according to the vision, today, I, who am not the Promised Messiahas but rather the humble servant and representative of the Promised Messiahas, am taking the pledge of initiation from you, in the capacity of the representative of the Promised Messiahas, who was made to be the Imam of this age, representing the Holy Prophetsa.  Today I shall take that pledge of initiation from you.”

Huzoorrh recited the words of the pledge of initiation in Urdu, and all Urdu speakers, following him, repeated these words aloud in Urdu. Afterwards, apart from Urdu, the words for the pledge of initiation were repeated in 25 different languages of the world. Representatives of all these languages were also present in the Jalsa Marquee. Of all these languages, the translations of 7 languages – Arabic, French, Spanish, German, English, Russian and Bengali –were being broadcast throughout the entire world by satellite, whereas the intermingled and blessed voices of the translations in other languages were being echoed in the Jalsa Marquee. And these words were also being repeated simultaneously throughout the entire globe. Whilst reciting the words of the pledge of allegiance, Huzoorrh was choked with emotion in the praise of Allah the Almighty to the extent that reading out the words was proving difficult. Similarly, heart rending scenes of collective prayers were also observed throughout the entire world.

In the era of the fourth Khilafat, ten ceremonies of the International Bai‘at took place at the occasion of the Jalsa Salana United Kingdom.

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