Hold on to Allah and unite: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’s guidance to Muslim nations on overcoming reliance on the West

Ayesha Naseem, UK
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra)

“He is the light of Allah […]. He will be extremely intelligent and understanding and will be meek of heart and will be filled with secular and spiritual knowledge.” (Tadhkirah [English], pp. 176-177)

These words of Allah the Almighty’s revelation to the Promised Messiahas regarding the birth of the Promised Reformer (Musleh-e-Maud) were to be fulfilled with such magnificence that even over 138 years later, his words, his efforts, his guidance, and his warnings resonate with the world. And, insha-Allah, will continue to do so until the end of time.

Beyond the internal matters and dealings of the Jamaat, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’sra Khilafat was witness to several unprecedented developments and crises in the wider world. The First World War, the rise and fall of fascism in Europe, the creation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Second World War, the Holocaust, the creation of the state of Israel followed by the Nakba of 1948 and the Partition of British India were only some of the key moments that occurred during the first three decades of his Khilafat.

As overwhelming as the list may sound, he was a Khalifatul Masih and the Promised Reformer. Nothing was overwhelming for this appointed one. With his knowledge and foresightedness, as was prophesied about him, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra showed the utmost zeal and courage in leading and guiding his Jamaat and also the world with his wisdom through troubling times. His efforts for peace in the world, specifically with regard to the protection and freedom of Muslims from oppression and injustices, are countless and, indeed, so many and so vast in detail that no number of words can ever be enough for them.

In light of the current deteriorating situation in the Middle East and upon the blessed commemoration of Musleh-Maud Day this year, there is no better time to revisit the guidance and efforts and lessons of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra towards establishing peace between Muslim nation-states.

In 1946, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra saw in a vision that he was foretold by Allah the Almighty about a fragile and delicate time facing Islam and that Muslims needed to unite to overcome it. In an article, titled Al-Inzaar (The Warning), Huzoorra mentioned his dream in detail and, while advising Muslims, stated:

“This divine vision has called our attention to the fact that a very delicate time is coming for Islam and Muslims are required to unite in worldly and political matters. Moreover, each person ought to prioritise unity above all other matters because the salvation of Muslims lies in this [unity]. This is a very difficult thing [to achieve], not an easy one.” (“The Ahmadiyya Khilafat’s call for Muslim unity: The solution to Israel-Palestine issue”, www.alhakam.org)

Here, it is important to briefly turn back to the words “He will be filled with secular and spiritual knowledge” of the prophecy about Musleh-e-Maud.

Regarding this, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa said on one occasion:

“What must be mentioned is that Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’sra formal education was next to none. He hardly made it to matriculation when, owing to ill health, he had to discontinue. His were not the days when the Internet could provide information from all around the world easily and readily, nor were libraries and bookshops of secular knowledge easily accessible in cities, not to speak of a small town like Qadian. But yet, having knowledge of world affairs and their in-depth understanding, then analysing these affairs and presenting his analyses with great confidence to the world through publications – not only to the general public but to heads of states and dignitaries – is not something ordinary.

He kept a close eye on the political, economic, and social affairs of the world. He would know where such a state of affairs was leading the world; what could happen if matters continued in the same direction and if the approach was to be changed in such and such a manner, it could bring about so and so results. And affairs would unfold in the manner as he had foreseen.” (“Huzoor’s guidance for youth to learn more about Musleh-e-Maud”, www.alhakam.org)

The Middle East: A region bridled by Western imperialism

A study of history would very clearly show the ways in which empires in the past were built, then expanded, and then also became a cause of the subjugation of nations that were colonised in the process.

Imperialism is different, however. It can indeed facilitate the creation of an empire, but it does not necessarily mean an apparent empire in existence on paper and on a map. That’s because, by definition, imperialism means advocating for or, in practice, extending power over other nations through a dedicated state policy. It can certainly include the use of force to implement it. However, an imperial power does not always have to colonise or seize a territory to control it.

An imperial power can also use culture, politics, and, most importantly, its economy to control and dominate other nations. Essentially, imperialism can be abstract – more like the way we see it in the world today and have been seeing it since the end of the British Empire.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’sra concern for the Arab World

It was indeed his extraordinary knowledge and awareness of the world that Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra had great concern for the Arab nations that were increasingly getting influenced and dominated by Western powers despite being in a transitional phase where they were achieving “independence” from colonial empires.

The very autonomy that the Arab states were seeking to attain from colonial powers was at the same time disappearing from their reach as the Arab rulers of the time signed pacts of financial aid from the British in exchange for supporting British expeditions in the Middle East and staying uninvolved in their military operations against the Muslim nations of the region.

This concerned Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, who then wrote to Lord Chelmsford, the Viceroy of India at the time, regarding these grants and expressed his fear that Muslims would dislike this intervention from the British that negates the autonomy of Arab states and makes them dependent on outside powers – in this case, the British. (“Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’s services to the Muslim cause: Guidance for Turkey, peace in the Arab world and the Kashmir Movement”, www.alhakam.org)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra recalled this and said:

“As the uproar increased, the British-Indian government denied such claims, saying they were not providing any aid to the Arab rulers […]. Muslims felt reassured, but when I investigated, I found that although the Indian government was not providing such aid, the British government in London was definitely doing so. Ibn Saud was paid 60,000 pounds, while Sharif Husein was also paid a certain amount. I wrote to Lord Chelmsford, saying that although he was seemingly right, the facts were otherwise because the British government pays such and such amounts to Ibn Saud and Sharif Husein. Muslims will undoubtedly never tolerate the suzerainty of the British government on Arab lands.

“As Lord Chelmsford was a noble person, he replied, saying that ‘although what you say is true, what good can we get out of making this public and rousing their sentiments! However, I can reassure you that the government has no such intentions.’”  (“Huzoor’s guidance for youth to learn more about Musleh-e-Maud”, www.alhakam.org)

Then came the oil fields of the Middle East, which the West considered to be of value for their economy and trade. Again, several contracts and pacts were signed between Arab leaders and oil excavation companies. These contracts would see grand drilling operations in Arabia and the extracted oil would then be exported to Britain and sold to other countries, while a fixed amount was to be paid to Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra commented on this and stated:

“A contract has been signed by Abdul Aziz ibn Saud and a Western company. Although Sultan Abdul Aziz is a wise king, due to his unfamiliarity with European history, he is not well-versed in European terminology […]. I sent him a message through a common acquaintance that he ought to observe extreme care when signing the contract because Europeans use very soft terms that have very strong meanings […]. I have read the contract and I feel that some mistakes have been made. The clauses make the Arab land prone to encroachment by outside governments.

“Only God knows how much I am hurt to read the contract. Although we cooperate with the British and are quite open about this […] whether it is the British or any other government, we cannot show tolerance when it comes to the Arab world.

“Such precautionary measures could have been taken in signing this contract that could guard the Arab world against the potential dangers […]. Contracts should never be signed on the basis of trust; rather, they should be worded with great care and thought.” (Ibid.)

It was all these developments at the time that made Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra increasingly concerned that if Arab nations didn’t mend their ways and show care with the sort of agreements they were making with the Western powers, they would eventually become economic slaves of the West and would find it very hard to free themselves.

This foresightedness and concern were not void; the current situation of the Arab world and the economic and political dependency they have on Western powers couldn’t be more obvious.

A brief look at the history of US-Saudi relations

For the question of imperialism and the ways in which it can make one or more nations dependent on other supposedly powerful nations, despite having their own strength and might, one very interesting relationship between two states presents itself as a case study; that is of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America.

What’s termed a “special relationship” between the two countries based on their educational, technical, cultural, and political exchange, the most significant one that keeps them very closely reliant on each other is economy, security, and defence.

When Israel retaliated to the October 7th attacks by Hamas with a brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip from air, ground and sea, Western support and overall backing for it were expected. However, what raised more questions was the response of the Muslim countries in the Middle East; particularly the oil-affluent nations like Saudi Arabia. Many questioned why Saudi Arabia could not halt oil trade with Western nations over their support for Israel’s aggression in Gaza against innocent Palestinian civilians.

In 1973, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia did just that, in response to ‘President Nixon’s military support for Israel in the October War against Egypt and Syria’, but it impacted the situation at home more than it was anticipated to impact the United States. The price of oil on the world market multiplied by nearly five times. (Robert Lacey, Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia, 2009, p. 23)

The embargo was lifted in 1974. This ease of tension did not come because the United States was dependent on the Kingdom for their oil and had realised that their policy towards Israel was damaging trade relationship with Saudi Arabia, but because in exchange for the embargo suspension, Saudi Arabia would get weapons that were denied to them beforehand. (Robert Lacey, The Kingdom, (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981), pp. 420-421.)

The presence of the United States so closely beside Saudi Arabia was not much of a concern for the Kingdom’s leadership. America was ‘very far away’ and that the ‘Americans […] would simply be after the money’ which ‘as born traders’, Arabs appreciated and approved. This idea that the United States was ‘a generous and detached power that was somehow more moral than the rest of the world’ was an optimistic and naïve perception in the eyes of the Saudis, soon to prove wrong in the years that came after. (Lacey, Inside the Kingdom, p. 80)

Even during the 1973 embargo on oil sales to the US, an action that was meant to demonstrate Saudi protest and outrage at the United States’ unconditional support and assistance to Israel, the internal relationship with the Kingdom was different. Saudi Arabia’s petroleum refineries company, Aramco, was ‘America’s largest single private overseas investment anywhere in the world’ and throughout the embargo, military missions of the United States stayed posted in the Kingdom training with the Saudi military. (Ibid., p. 81)

During his meeting with President Kennedy in 1962, King Faisal went as far as to say that ‘After Allah […] we trust the United States.’ In public, to those who would find such sentiments and statements offensive, Saudi Arabia kept an upright and balanced tone and avoided giving the impression that this friendship was advantageous to both powers economically. (Ibid.)

This brief insight into the history of this “special relationship” does not appear foreign or unexpectedly surprising. Saudi and US relations are the same to this day, perhaps even more intensely linked than they were previously. Saudi Arabia is now more than just a trade and economic partner. It is also a proxy partner of the United States and has waged wars using its weapons and money.

The Yemen war, which started in 2015, is a prime example of this. After years of an intense and destructive war in Yemen, peace negotiations were underway recently to try and put an end to it. However, the situation in Palestine and the Houthi response to it have inevitably led to direct US involvement in Yemen. By allowing the United States and the United Kingdom to use their airspace to launch airstrikes against Houthi targets in Yemen in response to Houthi attacks in the Red Sea against boats heading towards Israel, Saudi Arabia again placed its economic relationship above the peace of the Muslims and the wider region.

It is fair to make the case that a relationship and friendship that started on an even footing with money and resources exchanged between both sides, has now turned into a case of open American imperialism. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is so heavily dependent on the United States that any attempt to reverse this reliance won’t be straightforward and would certainly not come without further escalations.


The perceptive insight that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra had back in the twentieth century out of his concern for the Arab world and its increasing dependency on the West and the guidance he had set out on numerous occasions was testament to his love for Arab Muslims and was a proof of his passion for their struggle for true freedom.

Even when things were only deteriorating, as they are now, Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya was the hope. With optimism that was full of belief and conviction, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra stated:

“I believe that even now, if the Muslims gather for unity, instead of emphasising the differences, then the future of Islam will not remain dark.” (“The Ahmadiyya Khilafat’s call for Muslim unity: The solution to Israel-Palestine issue”, www.alhakam.org)

As the Muslim world lives through another severely worrying and fragile period, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa has also repeatedly emphasised the importance of Muslim unity and urged for prayers.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:

“In these circumstances, the Muslims should at least realise their responsibility and should pay heed. They must set aside their differences and must establish their unity […]. If the Muslims unite and are one, they will have a strong and impactful voice. Otherwise, the Muslim governments would be responsible for the deaths of innocent Muslims […]. May Allah guide the Muslim powers so that they may unite in order to establish true justice. Ameen” (“Global Muslim Leader Calls for De-Escalation of Palestine-Israel War”, www.pressahmadiyya.com)

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