Ataul Mujeeb Rashed, Missionary-in-Charge UK
Khilafat is the lifeline of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. Allah the Exalted has promised Muslims the blessing of khilafat in the Holy Quran:
“Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors from among those who were before them; and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear: They will worship Me, and they will not associate anything with Me. Then whoso is ungrateful after that, they will be the rebellious.” (Surah al-Nur, Ch.24: V.56)
In this verse, Allah the Exalted has made a definite promise of khilafat with Muslims with two conditions: faith and good deeds.
The purpose of the advent of prophets in the world is to establish tawhid – belief in the unity of God – and the basic and ultimate purpose of true khilafat is the establishment of tawhid and unity among mankind. Allah the Exalted says in the Holy Qur’an:
وَ اعۡتَصِمُوۡا بِحَبۡلِ اللّٰہِ جَمِیۡعًا وَّ لَا تَفَرَّقُوۡا
“And hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah, and be not divided…” (Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.104)
It is stated herein that, as the means for the guidance of the whole mankind and their unification, Allah the Exalted has sent down the hablullah (rope of Allah). Hablullah refers to the Islamic faith and the holy personage of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, as well as the Messiah who has been sent to the whole world in subordination to the Holy Prophetsa.
Moreover, it also purports to the institution of Khilafat in the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. A strong bond with that institution is the means to our progress, unity and salvation. It is our duty to hold this rope of Allah firmly and keep holding onto it.
Khilafat – Message of universal unity
The usage of words “universal unity” in the title is based on profound wisdom and truth. It is important to grasp its meaning. The concept of unity starts with Allah the Exalted, Who is the One and Only in His being and in His attributes. There is no one comparable to Him. He is the only Creator and Master of all the universe. His attribute of Rabb-ul-Alameen (Lord of all the worlds) points to His Exalted status. Moreover, the book of guidance – the Holy Quran – that He vouchsafed to the world provides guidance to all and sundry – Arabs and non-Arabs alike. He said it is a “guidance for mankind” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.186)
The Almighty Allah has granted our beloved master, the perfect guide, Hazrat Muhammad Mustafasa, the status of Khatam al-Nabiyyin, which encompasses in it perfection, excellence and universality. Allah directed him to announce:
قُلۡ یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ اِنِّیۡ رَسُوۡلُ اللّٰہِ اِلَیۡکُمۡ جَمِیۡعَۨا
“Say, ‘O mankind! Truly I am a Messenger to you all from Allah.” (Surah al-A‘raf, Ch.7: V.159)
This is a magnificent proclamation of universal prophethood that is unequalled by any other prophet. The scope of Khilafat-e-Rashida that was established with divine support after the Prophet’ssa demise was also worldwide. Every rightly guided Khalifa was referred to as Khalifatur-Rasul (Khalifa of the Messengersa).
The universal message continued to spread to all corners of the world as far as possible by means of this institution of Khilafat. And when Allah the Exalted sent the Promised Messiahas for completion of the propagation of Islam in the Latter Days, his sphere of activity covered the whole world, in the capacity of the ummati and zilli (as his follower and in his reflection) Prophet of the Holy Prophetsa. As such, he propagated the message of the true Islam throughout the whole world. He described the sphere of his mission in the following words:
“This, indeed, is the Will of Allah now to unify all the nations spread out in the world.” (Chashma-e-Ma‘rifat, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 23, p. 76)
He further added:
“God Almighty desires to draw all those who live in various habitations of the world, be it Europe or Asia and who have virtuous nature, to the Unity of God and unite His servants under one Faith. This indeed is the purpose of God for which I have been sent to the world.” (The Will, pp. 8-9)
He also explained that the progress of the Jamaat would continue after his demise as per the divine promise:
“He will promote and advance this Jamaat to the full. A part of it will happen at my hands, and some after me.” (The Will, pp. 4-5)
After his demise, in fulfilment of divine promises, the power of God manifested for the second time and the rightly guided Khilafat was established in the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. Thus, the progress of the true Islam commenced on a global scale. Globalisation depends on the means available and the communication industry of the age, which continues to advance all the time.
With the wide-sweeping development of social media and the means of mutual communication, nowadays the whole world has become a global village. We are observing the fulfilment of the Quranic prophecy:
وَ اِذَا النُّفُوۡسُ زُوِّجَتۡ
“And when the people are brought together”, the extent of which is increasing extraordinarily with the advancing age. (Surah al-Takwir, Ch.81: V.8)
The Promised Messiahas says:
“The means are now available to continue and promote the unification of different nations.” (Chashma-e-Ma‘rifat, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 23, p. 76)
The abundance and vastness with which the propagation of Islam is taking place throughout the world during the blessed period of the Fifth Khilafat is unparalleled and unique in every respect. The manifestation of unification on such a vast scale under the universal benevolence of Khilafat is unprecedented.
Worldwide campaign for peace and unity
Following the sunnah of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa has written efficacious letters to prominent political leaders and religious heads of the world individually, inviting them to unite and work together for peace and security. He has also toured most of the major countries of the world and delivered the same message in one-to-one meetings with heads of those countries.
During these travels, Huzooraa has also addressed most effectively the government chambers in countries including Great Britain, Germany, America, the EU, New Zealand and Canada several times. These speeches were widely reported in the press. An annual Peace Symposium is being held in London for the last 15 years, wherein Huzoor’saa magnificent lectures on universal unity are listened to most attentively.
A Peace Prize is also awarded every year to a person engaged in selfless services for the sake of world peace, along with pointing to pathways to peace, messages to unite for mutual love, respect and service to humanity. The Khalifa’s immense efforts to pave the path for establishing universal unity are great and effective examples.
Captivating hearts by international call for peace
The frequency with which Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa has propagated and proclaimed Islam’s message of peace and prosperity throughout the world has created a deep impression, so much so that in these countries, Huzooraa is remembered as the “ambassador of peace”. There is a strong consensus developing among world leaders that peace can only be established in the world by adopting the viewpoints presented by the real Islam, as being proclaimed by the head of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in Islam.
It is becoming increasingly clear to the heads of states and intellectuals of the world – and they declare it openly – that the true Islam is the one being presented by the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. Such acknowledgements by non-Muslim leaders are plentiful. I present just one example that bears clear testimony to the fact that the viewpoints expressed by the Khalifa keep winning the hearts of the world.
In 2012, Huzooraa addressed the European Parliament in Brussels. Bishop Dr Amen Howard from Geneva (Switzerland) was there to attend Huzoor’saa lecture. He was a representative of the inter-faith, international and founding president of the charity, Feed a Family. He said:
“This man is no magician, but his words work like magic. He speaks in a gentle tone, but the words uttered by him have an extraordinary power, grandeur and effect. I have never seen a man with such courage in my life. If this world had only three men like him, an astonishing peace revolution could be brought about within days, not months, and this world can become a cradle of peace and brotherhood. I did not have a good impression about Islam before, but Huzoor’s address has completely changed my view about Islam.” (Ahmadiyya Gazette, Canada, May 2018, p. 20)
This is just one out of hundreds of examples indicating that the institution of Khilafat in the Ahmadiyya Jamaat is bringing about an ideological revolution in the world by propagating true Islamic viewpoints. A unity and unanimity is developing in the hearts of the people with the blessing of Khilafat.
“Every nation will drink of this fountain”
About 131 years ago, from an obscure little hamlet called Qadian (of which it was rightly said that “no one knew as to where it was located”) a call was made, about which Allah the Almighty decreed, “I will cause they message to reach the corners of the earth”. That call was a small seed sown by divine command and it grew into a holy tree with worldwide dimensions and continues to expand at every moment. This holy tree of Ahmadiyyat has 213 countries under its canopy.
Ahmadiyyat is the name of a spiritual fountain, about which the Founder of the Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian declared under divine authority, “Every nation will drink of this fountain.” (Tajalliyat-e-Ilahiya, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 20, p. 409)
By the grace of Allah, this prophecy has been fulfilled. The beneficence of this spiritual fountain is increasing and spreading day by day. The holy tree of Ahmadiyyat had started bearing sweet fruit during the blessed life of the Promised Messiahas and pious people from various faiths responded positively to this divine call.
People from different nations and races from India and other countries joined the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, and after his demise when the institution of Khilafat commenced in the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, this trend became increasingly prevalent during every Khilafat. The Ahmadiyya heaven started being adorned with shining stars and this galaxy got brighter and brighter all over the world with the blessings of khilafat.
There is a long list of dedicated and devoted servants of Ahmadiyyat from different countries and nationalities who entered the fold of Ahmadiyyat through the true Islamic Khilafat in the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. Enlightened by Ahmadiyyat they presented a fascinating scene of a united ummah. The process is ongoing and progressive. How delightful it is when we see, on the one hand, pious people of Arabia like Syed Munir al-Husni, Taha al-Qazaq, Mustafa Thabit and Muhammad Hilmi al-Shafi and on the other, prominent devotees like Bashir Ahmad Orchard, Abdus Salam Madsen, Sven Hansen, Muhammad Abdul Hadi Chiussi, Nasir Ahmad Scrivener and Hadayatullah Hübsch from the Western world!
We have seen the likes of Ravil Bukharaev from Russia, Muhammad Osman Chao from China, Abdul Wahab bin Adam, Ismail BK Addo, Amri Abedi and Sir FM Sanghate, who rendered prominent services to their countries and their religion.
These are but a few examples of devotees, who have left indelible marks of worldwide unity as their legacy by rendering selfless services under the umbrella of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya.
Jalsa Salana – Example of worldwide unity
A beautiful example of worldwide unity is the international Jalsa Salana of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. It was started by the Promised Messiahas in Qadian in 1891. Starting with passionate entreaties, it has now grown into a holy tree of global proportions and these Jalsas are organised throughout the world. The central Jalsa Salana is convened in Britain, which is, undoubtedly, an incomparable spiritual gathering organised under the umbrella of Khilafat, to which the lovers of Islam flock from over one hundred countries.
The blessed participation by the Khalifa and his insightful speeches create such a spiritual atmosphere during these three days that it instils peace and spiritual bliss into the participants. One who attends the Jalsa once, leaves with the desire and resolve to come back again and again. Non-Ahmadi and non-Muslims from all over the world also attend the Jalsa and openly declare that participation in this spiritual gathering has opened their eyes.
Having witnessed the living picture of the peaceful Islam, especially listening to insightful speeches of Huzooraa and having an audience with him, has changed their lives altogether. People of different colours, races and nationalities come as strangers and leave with mutual love and brotherly and sisterly sentiments; they leave with tearful eyes and the intention to come back again.
Undoubtedly, this spiritual gathering is a unique example of global brotherhood and unity under the umbrella of Khilafat. That, indeed, was the purpose of this Jalsa as stated by the Promised Messiahas: “It is to unite spiritually all the brothers into one.” (Majmua-e-Ishtiharat, Vol. 1, p. 341)
I can say with utmost certainty that you cannot find the like of this atmosphere of love, mutual brotherhood and unity anywhere else in the world. Undoubtedly, the only force that can unify the scattered and broken-down humanity is Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. This is the only spiritual power that can blend the whole of mankind into one unit.
International Bai‘at – An inspiring example of global unity
The Ahmadiyya Jamaat is the flag-bearer of unity of mankind in the whole world under the umbrella of Khilafat. One such fascinating scene we observe every year at Jalsa Salana is in the form of the International Bai‘at. During this Bai’at, one representative from each of the seven continents of the world places his hand under the blessed hand of the spiritual head, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa, and all others establish a physical link with the Khalifa by putting their hands on the shoulder of the person in front and repeat the words of allegiance in Urdu and English.
Simultaneously, these words are repeated in many languages of the world. The whole proceeding echoes throughout the world. Hundreds of thousands of people of all colours and races from many countries enter the fold of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam simultaneously and thus present an inspiring scene of an unparalleled nature. Under the umbrella of khilafat this caravan of global unity marches on and on.
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.