Ataul Mujeeb Rashed, Missionary-in-Charge UK
Perseverance of unity during trials
It is usual for divine communities to face trials and tribulations. However, their effect on divine communities differs greatly than those on worldly communities. Divine communities stand firm in their faith and resolute in the face of the trials. Allah the Exalted has promised them:
وَ لَیُبَدِّلَنَّہُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِ خَوۡفِہِمۡ اَمۡنًا
“And He will surely give them in exchange security [and peace] after their fear.” (Surah al-Nur, Ch.24: V.56)
The entire history of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat bears testimony to this divine promise. During the time of each khilafat, along with grand successes, there arose oppositions of stormy proportions. There were periods of great hardships. However, on all such occasions, the whole Jamaat remained firm and united like an iron-clad wall under the umbrella of khilafat, and after each trial, emerged stronger than before.
Each and every chapter of the history of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat bears testimony that every trial came as glad tidings of further strength and progress. All that happened only because the divinely commissioned Jamaat was crowned with the Ahmadiyya Khilafat.
The charismatic figure of the khalifa of the time proved to be the unifying force during the hard times. Under the umbrella of Khilafat, the Ahmadiyya Jamaat is blessed with unity, harmony and progress, while the rest of the world is bereft of that.
ایک عالَم جل رہا ہے دھوپ میں بے سائباں
شکر ہے مولیٰ! ہمیں یہ سایہ رحمت ملا
“A multitude of people are getting burnt without a canopy; thank God for we have this umbrella of mercy.”
Global means of unity – MTA
There was a time when the Jamaat had no broadcasting system of its own; it had no radio nor television station. It was even difficult to get a slot for a few minutes on the radio. Then came the time when Allah the Almighty miraculously granted the great gift of globally broadcasting MTA in a manner that no one expected. The Promised Messiahas said:
اسمعو صوت السماء جاءالمسيح جاء المسيح
“Listen to the heavenly voice that says, ‘The Messiah has come! The Messiah has come!’”
His statement was about those heavenly signs that manifested repeatedly to announce the truth of his claim. Lo! How the Gracious Lord made it a reality in a literal sense as well. In the whole Islamic world, it is only the Ahmadiyya Jamaat that has its own independent television network that broadcasts the message of Islam and Ahmadiyyat in 27 languages, 24 hours a day. No other faith group in the world owns such a broadcasting station that can be heard simultaneously on every land of the world, giving the message of unity to the whole world.
Therefore, rise, switch on your television sets and listen to this heavenly voice that has reached your houses and is delivering to you the message of Hazrat Muhammadsa. Indeed, it is the call that originated from Qadian in days gone by; observe how magnificently its fascinating voice is resonating throughout the world.
گر نہیں عرشِ معلّٰی سے یہ ٹکراتی تو پھر
سب جہاں میں گونجتی ہے کیوں صدائے قادیاں
“If it does not strike a chord with the highest Heaven, why does this voice from Qadian resonate throughout the world?”
MTA works for global unity in two ways. Firstly, we observe its programmes bringing about spiritual, academic and moral unity in the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. The words uttered by the blessed lips of the Khalifa are echoed by the hearts of millions of Ahmadis spread over the corners of the world. Every Friday, all Ahmadis throughout the world listen attentively to their beloved master. Every Friday sermon comes with a new spiritual goblet that sows seeds of knowledge, faith and certainty. Just see the miracle of this voice that washes away the rust from the hearts of Ahmadis scattered all over the world and gardens of faith, certainty and obedience start blooming. After listening to the Friday Sermon, Ahmadis the world over adjust their directions in accordance with the sermon. It is impossible to find the like of this miracle of global unity.
Secondly, it is not only Ahmadis who benefit from the speeches of the Khalifa of the time and other programmes, but non-Ahmadis and non-Muslims do as well. A long time ago, a missionary from India told me that a mulla (Muslim cleric) from his region once happened to hear the voice of the sermon of the then Khalifa and that he liked it very much. He did not have enough courage to benefit from the sermons openly. He would shut the windows and doors of his room and listen to the sermon on MTA every Friday. He even started taking notes and based his own sermon the following Friday on those notes. After a few weeks, one of his followers came to him and said, “Maulana! Your sermons used to be very simple, but now the sermons comprise of spirituality that affects the hearts; how is that so?” The mulla was pleased to hear his comments, but did not have the courage to tell him the real cause. This is just one example.
The fact is that fortunate ones from among non-Ahmadis and non-Muslims are watching MTA and are being enlightened, and thus entering the fold of Ahmadiyyat in large numbers. This way, Ahmadiyyat is spreading in countries where public preaching is not allowed.
Inspiring scenes of global unity and divine support are seen everywhere all the time under the umbrella of Khilafat. Let us take a look at some examples. At the very outset of the Fifth Khilafat, Allah the Almighty showed the whole world a fascinating scene of unity. In compliance with the first command of Huzooraa after being elected as the Khalifa, Ahmadis all over the world, even those overseas, wherever they were, sat down.
Then, during the Khilafat Jubilee Jalsa, Ahmadis all over the world stood up in compliance with Huzoor’s command. When Huzooraa took the covenant of faithfulness and obedience to sacrifice for Khilafat, it seemed as if the whole of the Ahmadiyya world had contracted into the hand of Huzooraa.
During his visit to Ghana, while Huzooraa was raising the flag of Ahmadiyyat, the president of Ghana was raising the flag of his country. Similarly, at the inauguration of the largest mosque in Canada, Huzooraa hoisted the flag of Ahmadiyyat and the prime minister of Canada hoisted his country’s flag.
There was a time when as missionaries of the Jamaat entered a country for preaching, they would be imprisoned. Times have changed since; now, when the Khalifa goes on a tour, he is officially welcomed in several countries. The government officials feel honoured as they offer the keys of their cities to the Khalifa. Various heads of states have an audience with Huzooraa, seek his guidance on state matters and request for his prayers.
By the grace of Allah, a new chapter of Divine help and support keeps opening every day. The frequency with which we are witnessing the inspiring scenes of this acclaim, honour, popularity and global unity is a bounty from the Glorious God, Who is the fountainhead of all honour and greatness.
In the eyes of the world, the Khalifa has no crown, nor throne, nor sovereignty, but lo! With the blessing of Divine support, he rules the hearts of friends and strangers the world over, being a living sign of global unity. Is it not a miracle of divine power that an apparently uncrowned, but spiritual king has become the beloved of millions today?
ذالک فضل اللہ یوتیہ من یشاء
Absolute unity under the umbrella of Khilafat
Currently, the Muslim Ummah has unfortunately fallen into a state of disarray and division, intellectually and ideologically. Against this dreadful backdrop, the Ahmadiyya Jamaat is the only group united and organised under its leader – a leader who has been commissioned as Khalifa by Allah the Exalted. It is He who helps him and guides him. With the blessing of khilafat, we see absolute unity in the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in every respect.
I present a few examples briefly. The Ahmadiyya Jamaat works under the leadership and guidance of the Khalifa. It is a blessing of Khilafat that along with ideological uniformity, there is also uniformity in practical terms within the Jamaat. Whichever way the Khalifa turns his attention or hints at something, all Ahmadis turn their faces towards that. In this uniformity lies the secret of the greatness and progress of the Jamaat.
To establish ideological unity, there is a comprehensive system in place. There are 13 Jamias established throughout the world for religious teaching and training; they all have the same curriculum, which leads to worldwide unity. For guidance in religious matters, there is a department of ifta (Islamic rulings) that works under the supervision and guidance of the Khalifa and maintains ideological unity.
The system of auxiliary organisations in the Jamaat also works under the guidance of the Khalifa that prevents any discord. A system of consultative bodies is established in every country under the umbrella of Khilafat, which also promotes unity and ideological uniformity in the Jamaat. It has become a routine for Muslims to differ in matters of Ramadan and Eid days. However, there is no controversy in the Ahmadiyya Jamaat as it is guided by the Khalifa. In different countries, due to difference of skylines, the dates may vary, but the decision (about the visibility of moon) is based on agreed principles.
The Friday sermon by the Khalifa is a means of uniformity and timely guidance for the whole Jamaat, which creates an ideological unity in the whole Jamaat. No community other than the Ahmadiyya Jamaat is blessed like that. The Khalifa is the central axis around whom the whole system of the Jamaat works and follows his instructions; the whole Jamaat moves in one direction like one soul. This conformity and unity leads to extraordinary strength and grandeur.
The rules and regulations of the Jamaat in the whole world are uniform. That is why we see uniformity of practice everywhere, which is the hallmark of unity.
In short, we observe absolute unity under the umbrella of Khilafat.
The Fifth Khilafat
The following statement by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa about the period of the Fifth Khilafat is worth noting carefully:
“This era … is an era of progress and victories for Ahmadiyyat, insha-Allah. I assure you that such avenues of divine support have opened and are opening, that are drawing near the days of victory of the Jamaat all the time. I feel embarrassed when I reflect on myself. I am a humble, worthless, incompetent and sinful person. I do not know the divine wisdom behind His commissioning me to this station. However, I say this with utmost conviction that Allah the Almighty will bless this period with His infinite support and help; He will continue to grant success along the path of progress, insha-Allah. No one can hinder the progress of the Jamaat during this period, nor will this progress ever stop in the future. The succession of Khulafa will continue and Ahmadiyyat will march on and on, insha-Allah.” (Address on 27 May 2008; Al Fazl International, 25 July 2008, p. 11)
Looking at the unity of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and its ever-increasing progress throughout the world, the adversaries are trembling with fear. Aflame with jealousy, storms of opposition and persecution are being raised in different countries. We have full conviction in divine promises. Allah the Exalted has promised to our beloved Imam:
اِنِّي مَعَكَ يَا مَسْرُور
“I am with you, O Masroor.”
Thus, Divine help is with us and success is predestined for us. All we need to do is put into practice all the promises that we make each time we renew our oaths of loyalty, acting as unique models of obedience and uniformity. Each one of us says every time, and has been saying it hundreds of times, “O my master, I will lay down my life at every command, every gesture and every wish of yours. I will deem it obligatory to obey you in everything good. I will give preference to faith over worldly affairs. I will show the world that I live according to each and every word of my oath of allegiance.”
It is time that we fulfil our covenants. Let us relive the traditions of unity and sacrifice by our ancestors to show that we are no less than them in our proclamations of obedience and loyalty. Look how lovingly our beloved master, the Khalifa of the Promised Messiahas, the great chief of the true Islam in this age and presently the most beloved servant of Allah the Exalted, on whose blessed hands we have pledged to sacrifice everything, is calling for our action.
In the name of loyalty to Khilafat, I say that we should resolve that for the security and stability of the Ahmadiyya Khilafat, we will become an iron-clad wall. Being his right hands and humble servants, we will always respond wholeheartedly to all his calls and will be all ears to our master.
O our beloved Master, we will frantically sacrifice our life, wealth, time and honour for any good cause to which you may call us. We will live and die in total submission to the institution of Khilafat. And with God as our Witness, each and every one of us resolves to take your blessed words to our hearts and put them into practice. We will respond to your directions so ardently that even the embodiments of obedience – the angels – will envy us.
O God! Enable us to fulfil our humble resolve and comply with our promise faithfully till our last breath. Amin.