The book, Blessings of Khilafat, consists of addresses of Hazrat Mulseh-e-Maudra during the first Jalsa Salana of his Khilafat in 1914.
Huzoorra gives a detailed account of the events ensuing the demise of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira and his election to the august office of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. Huzoorra explains various matters such as the functions of Khilafat and also sheds light on various misunderstandings about Khilafat.
Huzoorra talks about the dire consequences of abandoning the robe of Khilafat and various important issues facing the Jamaat.
Huzoorra also explains the objectives of human life, attaining nearness to Allah, seven ranks of spiritual development and many more important subjects linked to Islam and man’s spiritual and moral progress.
This speech was delivered at a time when the Jamaat was facing serious challenges. When Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira passed away, some people, under the leadership of Maulvi Muhammad Ali and Khawaja Kamaluddin, began to challenge and undermine the institution of Khilafat. (To further read on this subject, see A‘ina-e-Sadaqat,or The Truth About the Split, by Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra.)
Below is an extract taken from Hazrat Mulseh-e-Maud’sra first speech during Jalsa Salana 1914. Readers are further encouraged to read the full book, which is accessible on alislam.org
In the extract provided below, Huzoorra explains some important themes relating to Khilafat:
Functions of Khilafat
“The issue of Khilafat is not a complex one. In my speech on 12 April 1914 [the speech has been published under the title: Mansab-e-Khilafat] I had explained with reference to a verse from the Holy Quran what the function of a Khalifa is.
“The word ‘khalifa’ means someone who succeeds another and continues the work of his predecessor. To understand the function of a successor, one has to look at the function of the predecessor. God has explained the work of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, as follows:
يَتۡلُوۡا عَلَيۡهِمۡ اٰيٰتِهٖ وَ يُزَكِّيۡهِمۡ وَ يُعَلِّمُهُمُ الۡكِتٰبَ وَ الۡحِكۡمَةَ
“[‘… who recites to them His Signs, and purifies them and teaches them the Book and Wisdom…’] That is, he should:
1. Recite the verses of God to the people
2. Purify them
3. Teach them the book
4. Impart wisdom to them
“I also explained that these four tasks of a prophet cannot be performed by any ‘anjuman’. They can be performed only by the person whom God Himself appoints after the prophet, and who is entitled as a khalifa. I do not wish to go into details about this subject right now. For the time being, I will take up a few key accusations against me and answer them. I will also explain why I did not give up my courage and determination and remained steadfast in my stance.
“Some people criticise me by saying that I should have shown a big heart and declined the office of Khilafat. Someone who talks like this considers Khilafat to be a source of great pleasure and happiness; what he does not know is that Khilafat has no worldly comforts and pleasures.
“I will now explain why, having gathered all my courage and bravery, I took up this task; what exactly it was which, upon seeing the community divided into two, gave me the heart to stay steadfast and whose hand it was that always supported me to stick to one point of view and not the other. Right now, people have come here from all sides, but there was a time when just a handful of them were initiated into the Jamaat.
“The question is, why, for the sake of unity among the members of the Jamaat, did I not retreat from my position and let this so-called unity stay intact? To answer this, today I would like to explain what has always kept me strong and resolute in my stance. But before I speak on that, I would like to touch on a few other things.
Misunderstandings about Khilafat
“Does a khalifa have to be divinely appointed or a ruler?
“One objection made in this regard by some people is that only a person who is either a king or is directly appointed by God can be a khalifa. Such people ask me, ‘Who are you? Are you a king?’ I say, ‘No.’ ‘Have you been directly appointed by God?’ I say, ‘No.’ ‘How can you be the Khalifa then?’, they ask me.
“They imagine that it is compulsory for the Khalifa to be either a king or directly appointed by God. In fact, those who raise this objection have not pondered over the word ‘khalifa’ at all. Their point of view in this regard is no different than that of a person who goes to the shop of a tailor and finds that a young trainee is addressing his master as ‘khalifa’. Having heard this, he comes out of the shop and proclaims that ‘khalifa’ is a title to be used only for a tailor.
“Similar is the condition of a person who, having visited a school, finds that students use the title of ‘khalifa’ for their monitor [in the past, ‘khalifa’ was the title used for the student who monitored a class] and then proclaims that a khalifa is only he who monitors a class of schoolboys.
“Hence, one who does not monitor the students cannot be a khalifa because to his poor intellect, being a khalifa is conditional upon monitoring some students.
“Similar is the case of a person who, having observed that God made a khalifa and ordered the angels to prostrate before him, starts inferring that khalifa can only be he to whom the angels are ordered to prostrate. Otherwise, he concludes that no other person can be a khalifa.
“Similar is the situation of the person who observes that the Khulafa of the Holy Prophetsa had kingdoms and sovereign governments, and therefore concludes that only a person who has a kingdom can be a khalifa and no other person should be addressed as khalifa, for being a khalifa requires one to have a kingdom.
“Those who say this are absolutely unaware of what the word khalifa stands for. In fact, the word signifies the one who is called someone’s successor and who should succeed his predecessor’s work for all practical purposes.
“If someone is a tailor, then the person doing the same work after him is his khalifa, and if a student takes up the task of conducting a class in the absence of his teacher, that student will be called the khalifa of the teacher.
“Likewise, one who succeeds the work of a prophet is a khalifa of that prophet. If God grants kingdom to His prophet, his khalifa will also be entitled to it and God will surely vouchsafe the kingdom upon him. But if the prophet happens to be without a kingdom, from where will it come for his khalifa?
‘Because God had granted both the worldly and spiritual kingdoms to the Holy Prophetsa, his Khulafa too were granted both of these bounties. But now, as God has not vouchsafed a worldly kingdom upon the Promised Messiahas, with whom should his khalifa fight to have one? Those who raise this objection have not duly reflected upon the word ‘khalifa’.
“Would not such a person be considered a fool who, having seen people here wearing turbans, caps and clothes, should note down with him that human beings are only classified as those who wear turbans, caps and clothes of a specific type? Then when he goes out and finds that people are not dressed as he had thought they should be, he starts proclaiming that the people he saw were not human beings since human beings have a specific dress code? What do you think of such a person? He is definitely a credulous fool.
“Similarly, if someone, having seen the Khulafa of certain prophets, concludes that Khulafa can only be of a particular kind and none other, can his statement be acceptable to any sane person? No, never! Such a person should rather ponder over the word ‘khalifa’ and reflect upon its meanings.
“In this age, too, people have misunderstood the word ‘khalifa’ on account of their being ignorant of the Arabic language. According to the Arabic language, khalifa is he:
1. who succeeds someone
2. who is succeeded by someone
3. who issues commands and orders and gets them executed
“In addition to this, khulafa are of two types. The first type are those who succeed someone after his death. Second are those who work as subordinates to someone during his lifetime; for example, a viceroy who serves as khalifa to the king.
“Now, should someone say that since the viceroy has nothing to do with religion, he cannot be a khalifa to the king, he would certainly be in error because the king of whom the viceroy happens to be a khalifa is possessed of only a worldly government. The viceroy is a khalifa to the king only in matters related to the worldly government and not in matters of religion.
“This is a clear-cut argument which some people have failed to understand, or perhaps they simply do not want to understand it.”
(Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra, Blessings of Khilafat, pp. 9-12)