Last Updated on 2nd March 2023
Ata-ul-Haye Nasir, Al Hakam
On 22 January 2023, during a virtual meeting of Nasirat-ul-Ahmadiyya Germany with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, a question was asked as to what the best way is to express one’s love for Khilafat. Huzooraa said:
“Pray to Allah the Almighty that He may grant you the opportunity to establish a relationship with Khilafat. Secondly, try to follow what the Khalifa of the time says. It should not be the case that one only follows the things that they like, and when something is said that they do not like, they say, ‘No, this should not be implemented like this, and instead, it should be implemented in such and such a manner.’ Nor should it be the case that one begins to offer their own interpretation or inferences of what was said. […] One ought to endeavour to act upon the words [of the Khalifa of the time] accordingly. This is what creates a connection and love.” (“This Week With Huzoor – 27 January 2023”, MTA News, youtube.com)
A similar kind of question was asked by a tifl from Germany, during a meeting with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, on 27 April 2019, to which Huzooraa replied:
“Pray for Khilafat, pray that ‘May Allah the Almighty make us obedient to the Khalifa of the time, make us true servants of Khilafat and make Khilafat everlasting.’ That is how Allah the Almighty will establish this love [for Khilafat] in our hearts. This love can only be developed in our hearts by Allah the Almighty.” (Rays of Wisdom for the Modern World – Part 19, www.reviewofreligions.org)
Allah the Almighty states that the Holy Quran is هُدًي لِّلۡمُتَّقِيۡن, meaning ‘[it is] a guidance for the righteous’ (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.3), and also states that اَنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَ الۡمُتَّقِيۡن, meaning that ‘Allah is with those who fear Him.’ (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V.195). However, one ought to ponder over the ways through which they can attain righteousness in order to benefit from this guidance and to become the recipient of Allah’s support.
The Promised Messiahas has said:
“It must be borne in mind that true righteousness can never be attained until one benefits from the company of the truthful and holy men of God, and until one annihilates themselves completely in obedience to the chosen ones of God.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 3, p. 39)
We, the Ahmadi Muslims, are fortunate to be blessed with the divine institution of Khilafat, which is carrying on the Promised Messiah’sas mission. It is our responsibility to show complete obedience to the guidance given to us by Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa. This is how we can attain success and progress, both spiritually and worldly.
Alluding to the need for and importance of obedience, the Promised Messiahas has said:
“There is a verse in the Holy Quran:
اَفَلَا يَنۡظُرُوۡنَ اِلَي الۡاِبِلِ كَيۡفَ خُلِقَتۡ
“‘Do they not then look at the camel, how it is created?’
“This verse is very helpful in expounding the philosophy of prophethood and spiritual leadership. There are about one thousand words in the Arabic language for ‘camel.’ What then is the secret in using the word ibil for camel in this instance? The words in this verse could have been ilal-jamal as well. The wisdom in this seems to be that the word jamal is used for ‘one camel’ whereas the word ibil is a collective noun. In this verse, it is the purpose of Allah Almighty to show the manner in which this animal socially coexists together in collective harmony. This deeper sense is not conveyed in the word jamal, which refers to one, individual camel. It is for this reason that Allah the Exalted preferred the word ibil in this context.
“Camels possess a nature whereby they follow and obey. Just observe how camels move in a long line, and how they walk in a particular manner and speed behind the camel that is in front. The camel that is at the very front of the line, as a leader and guide, is the most experienced and familiar with the route. Moreover, all the camels walk one behind the other at the same pace; none of them feels greed in their hearts to walk shoulder to shoulder with the one in front, as is the case with horses and other animals. That is to say, an established phenomenon that is observed in the nature of the camel is that it follows its leader. Allah the Exalted states:
اَفَلَا يَنۡظُرُوۡنَ اِلَي الۡاِبِلِ
“‘Do they not then look at the camel?’
“By stating these words, God Almighty alludes to the overall, collective state of camels when they are moving forward in the form of a line. Similarly, a leader is needed in order to safeguard humanity socially and maintain unity. Then, also bear in mind that camels arrange themselves in this line formation when they are on a journey. As such, on the journey of life, if there were no leader, man would deviate and be led astray to ruin. […] The word yanzuruna (they look) demonstrates that man is not instructed to look in the manner of children. In fact, by this example, we are meant to take a lesson in obedience. In this instance, the social cohesion and unity of camels has been shown — they possess strength on account of their following a leader. In the same manner, it is imperative for man to make it his practice to show obedience to their leader, because even camels, who are created to serve humans, possess this quality. Moreover, the words kayfa khuliqat (how it is created) make reference to the sum total of all those benefits that are reaped due to the collective unity present in the camel (ibil).” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 3, pp. 21-22)
Commenting on this excerpt during his Friday Sermon on 6 June 2014, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
“Therefore, in this era, Allah the Almighty has appointed the Promised Messiahas, in accordance with His promises and prophecies of the Holy Prophetsa, and we are fortunate that He enabled us to accept him and then blessed us with the institution of Khilafat after him. We are required to value this blessing, and to understand the spirit behind the system of Khilafat. […] Thus, this excerpt, which I have just mentioned, in which [the Promised Messiahas] has connected the prophethood and leadership with the attributes of ibil, clearly implies that after him, the spiritual life and progress of those who have taken his bai‘at, is dependent upon their connection with the established system of Khilafat.” (Khutbat-e-Masroor, Vol. 12, p. 344)
Commenting on verse 104 of Surah Aal-e-Imran, during his Friday Sermon on 26 August 2005, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
“It must be remembered that now the ‘rope of Allah’ is the personage of the Promised Messiahas and acting upon his teachings. Moreover, your connection with Khilafat would also keep strengthening you. Khilafat would be your unifying force and strength. Khilafat would be a means to connect you with Allah the Almighty through the Promised Messiahas and the Holy Prophetsa. Therefore, one should hold fast to this ‘rope’, otherwise, those who fail to do so, would become scattered. They would not only ruin themselves, but cause the ruin of their progeny as well. […] How could one hold fast to this ‘rope’? This would not be achieved by merely taking bai’at [pledge of allegiance] – accepting the Promised Messiahas – but rather, it is essential to act upon the Conditions of Bai‘at as prescribed by him.” (Khutbat-e-Masroor, Vol. 3, p. 516)
The past 115 years testify to the fact that the institution of Khilafat has always been granted Divine help. In this regard, during his Friday Sermon on 21 May 2004, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
“Always remember that He is the God Who fulfils His promises. He is still keeping His hand on this beautiful Jamaat of his beloved Messiah [Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas]. He will never leave us! He will never leave us! Surely, He will never leave us! He is still fulfilling the promises He made to His Messiah today, as He has been doing in the time of the previous Khulafa. Even today, He is bestowing His blessings and favours in the same way as He has been bestowing before, and will continue to bestow, insha-Allah. Therefore, if there is any need, it is for one to ensure they never stumble on their own by disobeying the commandments of Allah the Almighty, and hence ruin their fate. So, one is required to seek help from Him by praying and bowing down to Him, and asking for His grace, and holding fast by this strong rope [Khilafat]. Then no one can ever harm you. May Allah the Almighty enable everyone to do so. Amin.” (Khutbat-e-Masroor, Vol. 2, p. 354)
The Promised Messiahas has said:
“Obedience is a quality, which if practised wholeheartedly, bestows a spiritual radiance to the heart and illuminates the soul, granting it a pleasure. Spiritual exercises are not needed as much as obedience is required. The condition, however, is that this obedience ought to be sincere, and this is the challenge at hand. For obedience, one must slaughter their base desires. Without this, obedience is impossible.” (Malfuzat [English], Vol. 3, pp. 39-40)
Removing the misconception of some people as to whether Khilafat is equivalent to dictatorship, during his Friday Sermon on 6 June 2014, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
“Let me make it clear to every Ahmadi, every new convert, and all youngsters that there is a huge difference between the leadership of Khilafat and dictatorship. Khilafat has been established after accepting the Imam of the Age, according to the promises of Allah the Almighty. Moreover, every adherent makes a pledge to preserve the institution of Khilafat.
“There is no compulsion in religion. When a person willingly accepts the religion, then it is necessary for one to fulfil the pledge to establish the Faith, which an Ahmadi makes for the establishment of Khilafat, and that is essential for the community’s solidarity and unity. They are obliged to fulfil the pledge to obey Khilafat since they are required to make a united effort, under the leadership of an Imam, to inculcate the Kingdom of God Almighty in people’s hearts. The other Muslims are without an Imam, and the endeavours that are being made by Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya are due to their affiliation with Khilafat. The successful results of all these efforts which are being made by remaining connected to Khilafat are testifying that the only reason behind these results and success – through the true teachings of Islam – is the fact that we are united under Khilafat. […]
“Is there any dictator that has a personal relationship with the people of his country? The Khalifa of the time has a personal relationship with Ahmadis of every nation and ethnicity spread across the entire world. They write letters [to the Khalifa] containing their personal matters. If you were to consider just these daily letters, it seems like an impossible feat for worldly people. Only Khilafat is considerate of the pain of every single Ahmadi across the world and the Khalifa of the time prays for them. Which worldly leader prays for the sick? Which worldly leader is concerned for the marriages of the girls in their nation and prays for them? Which worldly leader is truly concerned for the education of children? Although governments may establish educational institutions, make education available and facilitate activities for personal health and well-being, today, it is only the Khalifa of the time who is truly concerned for the education of children around the world.
“The members of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya are the fortunate ones for whom the Khalifa of the time remains concerned that they may attain an education, and is concerned for their health and wellbeing. Then there are also marital issues. In short, there is no personal or Jamaat matter of any Ahmadi around the world that is not in view of the Khalifa of the time, and not only does he practically strive to resolve these matters, but he also bows down before Allah the Almighty and prays to Him. I, along with the Khulafa before me, have all done this. I have outlined the various responsibilities assigned to the Khalifa of the time by God Almighty, which he must fulfil. There is not a single country in the world that I do not visit in my imagination before going to sleep and for which I do not pray, whether it is while I am [going to] sleep or while I am awake. I do not say these things to express that I am doing some sort of favour; rather, this is my duty. I pray that Allah the Almighty may enable me to further fulfil my responsibilities. The point that I wish to emphasise is that Khilafat can never be compared with any worldly leadership.
“I also wish to remove the misconception that some people hold, though I have mentioned it in detail during my sermons on the conditions of bai‘at [in 2003], that every Ahmadi pledges to the Khalifa of the time that they will obey his ma‘ruf decisions. There are some who presume that they are the ones who will define ma‘ruf. Let it be clear to them that ma‘ruf has already been defined by Allah the Almighty and His Messengersa. Ma‘ruf decision is the one that is in accordance with the Quran and sunnah. Khilafat can never take any step contradictory or against the Quran and sunnah – the Khilafat which has been established on the precepts of prophethood as per the Holy Prohet’ssa prophecy, meaning it will follow the pathway set by the prophethood, and then it is everlasting according to the saying of the Promised Messiahas, and will continue his mission. This is the essence of ma‘ruf. This is what it means by ma‘ruf here. Thus, there is no other way than obedience.” (Khutbat-e-Masroor, Vol. 12, pp. 347-349)
Shedding light on the true essence of obedience, during his Friday Sermon on 2 November 2018, Huzooraa said:
“The Holy Quran has commanded us on several instances to obey Allah and His Messengersa, and also to show obedience to those who are in authority over you. Furthermore, the Promised Messiahas has also included obedience as one of the conditions of Bai‘at and that is for one to pledge that they will obey every ma‘ruf command, until their last breath. […] It is evident that showing obedience to ma‘ruf decisions is a vital instruction that we are bound by as they are instructions given to us by God Almighty and also the instructions by His Messengersa. Thus, as long as the true Khilafat is established according to the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa – and this is to continue, insha-Allah – this Khilafat can never issue a directive which is contrary to the teachings of Allah the Almighty and His Messengersa, and will only issue commands which are in line with the Quran and the sunnah of the Holy Prophetsa.
“As mentioned earlier, the words obeying ma‘ruf decisions have also been used in the Holy Quran for the Holy Prophetsa. The Promised Messiahas has also used these words in the conditions of bai‘at. Similarly, in relation to Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya, these words are repeated during every pledge [ceremony]. The meaning of these words is clear in that they mean to establish the commands of God Almighty and to advise the Jamaat to adhere to these instructions. Therefore, it is incumbent upon every individual who considers themselves to be part of this Jamaat to abide by this pledge and obey every instruction issued by the Khalifa of the time accordingly. […]
“Therefore, it is not the job of an individual to interpret what is a ma‘ruf decision. A ma‘ruf decision is one which is in line with the Quran, the sunnah of the Holy Prophetsa his sayings and also that which falls in line with the teachings of Hakam Adl of this era [the Promised Messiahas]. This is the way through which the unity of the Jamaat can be maintained. The Promised Messiahas was sent by God Almighty for this very purpose, namely to unite the people and establish a Jamaat of sincere and obedient followers. Otherwise, the Promised Messiahas has clearly stated that he had no desire to merely increase the number of followers with those who had no idea of what obedience entails.” (Al Hakam, 23 November 2018, Issue 36, p. 11)
Then, during his Friday Sermon on 24 May 2019, Huzooraa said:
“In order to attain true success and triumph, it is incumbent upon us to show complete obedience to God Almighty and His Messengersa. In order to attain the pleasure of God Almighty, it is incumbent upon one to follow His commandments with the fear that one may incur the displeasure of God due to some action of his. Likewise, it is incumbent upon us to uphold righteousness. Every good deed and excellent moral needs to be adopted as this is a commandment of God Almighty. When one fulfils these conditions, only then can one attain success and be granted the protection of God Almighty.
“Regarding those people who get entangled in the discussion about whether something is ma‘ruf or not, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira stated: ‘There is another mistake people make and that is in understanding the words “to show obedience in ma‘ruf matters.” Such people do not obey certain instructions that they consider not to be ma‘ruf.’ In other words, they decide for themselves as to what is ma‘ruf and what is not. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira further states, ‘The word ma‘ruf has also been used for the Holy Prophetsa as well: وَلَا يَعْصِيْنَكَ فِيْ مَعْرُوْفٍ,’ meaning ‘Nor disobey thee in what is right.’ (Surah al-Mumtahinah, Ch.60: V.13) Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira states: ‘Have such people prepared a list consisting of the Holy Prophet’ssa faults?’ Did they make some kind of list for his shortcomings and weaknesses, God forbid, whereby one could ascertain as to which of his decisions were ma‘ruf and which were not? Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira states, ‘Likewise, Hazrat Sahib’, i.e. the Promised Messiahas ‘has also included the obedience of all ma‘ruf decisions in the Conditions of Bai‘at. There is a deep underlying wisdom in doing so.’ [Haqaiq-ul-Furqan, Vol.4, pp. 75-76]
“This is because the prophets and the Khulafa instruct only according to the commandments given to them by God Almighty. On one occasion, whilst explaining the word ma‘ruf , the Promised Messiahas stated that a prophet commands that which is in line with reason and he forbids all that which goes against logic. He deems pure things lawful and all impurities unlawful. God Almighty has clearly stated all of these in the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophetsa has also explained all the commands and prohibitions, i.e. the acts we should carry out and those we should abstain from. Thus, those who follow Allah and His Messengersa and act upon all these commandments will attain salvation. Therefore, we must always remember that the instructions given by Khilafat are, and will continue to be so, in obedience to Allah the Almighty and His Messengersa – in accordance with the sharia and sunnah. Allah the Almighty has stated that if you obey, you shall be rightly guided and there is no other path besides this which leads to salvation. Allah the Almighty then states that He has promised those who obey Him and His Messengersa and do good deeds that Khilafat shall remain with them. […] Hence, if we wish to truly benefit from the promise of the blessings of Khilafat, we must not only safeguard our prayers and stay away from shirk, but it is also incumbent that we obey the Khalifa of the time in its true essence, otherwise we shall be counted among the disobedient, just as the Promised Messiahas stated that they will not truly be deemed among his adherents.” (Al Hakam, 21 June 2019, Issue 66, pp. 13-14)
The Promised Messiahas once said:
“The one who does not show complete obedience, in fact, brings the name of this community into disrepute.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 4, p. 74)
On 6 March 2022, during a virtual meeting of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya USA with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, a question was asked about those Ahmadis who, on social media, have not shown the best examples concerning obedience to Khilafat. Regarding such Ahmadis, Huzooraa said:
“There are some Ahmadis – yes, there are some few Ahmadis on social media [who do this]. The thing is that they are indifferent to religion. If you do some detailed research you will see that most of them do not offer five daily prayers even; not even Friday prayers. They do not discharge their duties they owe to Allah the Almighty. So those who are not discharging their duties towards Allah, how can they be obedient to the Khilafat? And there are some, few among them even who offer their prayers, but their understanding is not good with regard to religion and obedience. You always say in your pledge of Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya, even [in] the conditions of bai‘at, that you will obey the decisions of the Khalifa of the time; the ‘ma‘ruf’ decision – and they say it means the Khalifa of the time can also take the decisions which are not ma‘ruf. But they are wrong in this. Do they have any list of ma‘ruf and not ma‘ruf – that ‘this is right, and this is wrong’? […]
“Just in last Friday’s Sermon [4 March 2022] I mentioned that Hazrat Abu Bakrra said in his first sermon that ‘Whenever you see that I am deviating from the Quranic injunctions, the commandments, and the sunnah, then guide me and don’t obey me. But apart from that, you don’t have the right.’ That means the Khalifa of the time always guides you according to the teachings of the Holy Quran – commandments given in the Holy Quran – and the sunnah. And once he gives the directives or guidance to you according to the Quran and the sunnah then you don’t have any excuse to say, ‘we disobey’. Either you prove that ‘your commandment, your order, your guidance’ is against the teaching of the Holy Quran and the practice of the Holy Prophetsa – that is sunnah – or obey it. If you prove that it is not in the Holy Quran and has never been practised by the Holy Prophetsa then you will have to give the proof of it and for that you will write to the Khalifa of the time instead of just talking and giving loose comments on social media.
“So, this is the right way.”
“I remember, in my first or second sermon [on 25 April 2003] I said that, ‘Whenever you see something wrong in me, you ask me. And try to correct me. If I think that whatever I said was right, then I will give you the proof that I was right. If you are right, then I will correct myself. But you don’t have the right to talk here and there.’ That was my first or second sermon after Khilafat. So even I have said this thing.
“Ma‘ruf means anything that is according to the Quran.” (Al Hakam, 11 March 2022, Issue 208, p. 8)
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa then referred to a hadith that once a group of Companions was sent on an expedition and on the way, the commander told the Companions to jump into a fire that they were passing. Some of the Companions rejected this instruction, but there were some who said ‘we should jump’ as there was the commandment of obeying the leader. The commander saw they were getting serious, so he told them he was just joking. When the group came back to the Holy Prophetsa they informed him of the incident. The Holy Prophetsa said those who were ready to jump into the fire were wrong as this would be suicide and it was against the Holy Quran. He said this decision of the commander was not ma‘ruf, it was wrong and those who refused to do it took the right decision.
“Any decision that is against the teachings of the Quran and sunnah is not ma‘ruf and you have the right to disobey it. But the decision which is according to the Quran and sunnah, you have to obey it.” (Ibid.)
But, Huzooraa continued, one could not publicly start commenting on the decisions of the Khalifa of the time, rather they should write directly to the Khalifa of the time. In such a case, the person should give their proof over why they thought a decision was wrong. The Khalifa of the time would either give his proof of why it was right or if the person was correct, he would take the decision back. (Ibid.)
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa then said:
“But you have no right to spread and mislead the people on social media.” (Ibid.)
During his address to the office bearers of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Germany, on 25 October 2019, Huzooraa advised the Ahmadi youth:
“One of the most important objectives of Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya is to safeguard the institution of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya, and they affirm this in their pledge as well. However, safeguarding does not simply mean serving on duty as part of Umumi or Hifazat-e-Khaas [security], this is something that anyone can do. In fact, the true essence of safeguarding this institution is to spread the words of the Khalifa of the time, adhere to those words and also urge others to do the same and safeguard future generations. To claim that one will [physically] fight on all sides; on the right, on the left, at the front and from behind, is something that is no longer required. The battle that is required today and the Jihad of this day and age is to adhere to the words [of the Khalifa of the time], and this, in essence, is the true objective of Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya. […] Therefore, always be mindful of this fact that whatever you are told or whatever you hear in sermons and speeches, you must act upon it and advise others to do the same. […]
“God Almighty has destined a particular era for each of the Khulafa of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya – who will continue to come in the future as well – and He bestows guidance according to the needs of every era. Then, in light of this heavenly guidance, each Khalifa grants guidance according to the needs of his time. […] Hence, Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya and every office bearer should keep in mind that they are to pay heed to the words of the Khalifa of the time and strive to act upon them. […] Since the security of the institution of Khilafat has been entrusted to Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya, therefore, Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya in particular, should ensure this, which is by instilling this spirit within the youth and their children that they are to listen to the words of the Khalifa of the time, and to act upon them. And it is this very reality that will make one worthy of safeguarding the institution of Khilafat, otherwise, everything else is just a mere verbal claim.” (“Huzoor’s Address To MKA Germany”, MTA Online, youtube.com)
May Allah the Almighty enable us all to become His true servants by holding fast to the ‘rope’ that He has granted us, i.e., the blessed institution of Khilafat. Amin.