What is the meaning of ‘Khilafah ‘ala minhaj an-nubuwwah’?


A non-Ahmadi lady wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, and requested Huzoor-e-Anwaraa to answer some of her questions about the Jamaat.

Huzoor-e-Anwaraa, in his letter dated 22 August 2021, gave the following reply to her:

“[…] ‘Khilafah ‘ala Minhaj an-Nubuwwah’ refers to the dispensation of the caliphate which is established on the precepts of prophethood to carry forward its works. In the Holy Quran, Allah the Exalted has promised this caliphate to the believers in the following words:

وَعَدَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مِنۡكُمۡ وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ لَيَسۡتَخۡلِفَنَّهُمۡ فِي الۡاَرۡضِ كَمَا اسۡتَخۡلَفَ الَّذِيۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِهِمۡ ۪ وَ لَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمۡ دِيۡنَهُمُ الَّذِي ارۡتَضٰي لَهُمۡ وَ لَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِ خَوۡفِهِمۡ اَمۡنًا ؕ يَعۡبُدُوۡنَنِيۡ لَا يُشۡرِكُوۡنَ بِيۡ شَيۡئًا ؕ وَ مَنۡ كَفَرَ بَعۡدَ ذٰلِكَ فَاُولٰٓئِكَ هُمُ الۡفٰسِقُوۡنَ

“‘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 an-Nur, 24:56)

“Furthermore, it is also stated in a hadith of the Holy Prophetsa that: 

مَاكَانَتْ‭ ‬نُبُوَّةٌ‭ ‬قَطُّ‭ ‬اِلَّا‭ ‬تَبِعَتْهَا‭ ‬خِلَافَةٌ

“‘There has never been a Prophethood which was not succeeded by Khilafat.’ (Al-Jami‘ as-Saghir by Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, al-Juz’ II, Egypt: 1306 AH, p. 126)

“In accordance with these divine promises, this dispensation of Caliphate on the precepts of Prophethood [Khilafah ‘ala Minhaj an-Nubuwwah] was first established among the believers immediately after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa in the form of the Rightly-Guided Caliphate. Then, after the advent of the Messiahas of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa and his most ardent devotee, during the renaissance of Islam, this dispensation was re-established as per the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa. Our Lord and Master, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the Chosen One, peace be upon him, describes this glad tiding in one of his sayings as follows:

“Hazrat Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamanra narrates that the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Prophethood shall remain among you for as long as Allah decides for it to remain and then Allah shall lift it when He decides to lift it. After prophethood, there shall be Khilafah ‘ala Minhaj an-Nubuwwah and it shall exist for as long as Allah decides for it to exist. Then He will take away (this blessing) when He decides to take it away. Then, (as per His decree), there will be a mordacious monarchy (under which people will feel dejected and oppressed) […] (Once that period has come to an end, as per His other decree), there will be an even more severe form of tyrannical despotism, until (the mercy of Allah will be moved and) He will bring an end to that period (of oppression and persecution) […] Then Khilafah ‘ala Minhaj an-Nubuwwah shall be established once again.’ Thereafter, he remained silent. (Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vol. 6, Musnad Nu‘man ibn Bashir, Hadith 18596, Beirut: ‘Alam Al Kotob, 1998, p. 285)

“In the above-mentioned Quranic promise and the sayings of the Holy Prophetsa, there were prophecies that when Allah the Exalted would establish Khilafah ‘ala Minhaj an-Nubuwwah in the ummah of Prophet Muhammadsa, there would also be established many worldly kingdoms and ‘caliphates’ among the Muslims. However, a sign of the Khilafah ‘ala Minhaj an-Nubuwwah would be that it would not be established by responding to extremists with extreme attitudes. It would also not be achieved by shooting and killing etc. among any two groups of the Muslim ummah. Rather, that Khilafah was to be a caliphate established by invoking the mercy of Allah the Exalted. And that Khilafah which was to be established as a result of the mercy of Allah the Exalted and His grace, was not only to be a means of love, of exchanging fears with peace and security, of guaranteeing the consolidation of the Faith, of establishing the Unity of Allah the Exalted in the world for its followers, rather that caliphate was also to be a guarantor of peace for the whole world and it was to draw the attention of governments towards justice and honesty, and it was to draw the attention of people towards fulfilling their duties with honesty and due diligence. 

“Hence, just as the Rightly-Guided Caliphate that was established after the Holy Prophetsa did this work, the Ahmadiyya Caliphate that was established as a result of the advent of the Holy Prophet’ssa spiritual son, the Promised Messiahas, continues to do the same work in this era by the grace of Allah the Exalted. […]”

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