An Eyewitness Account of the Address at Capitol Hill: A Grand Manifestation of the Prophecy: “You Have Been Helped With Prestige”No Comments | September 2012
Translated from the Urdu by
Nakasha Ahmad, Ohio, USA
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Although the United States achieved independence on July 4, 1776, its spiritual birth took place on June 27, 2012, when for the first time, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba), Khalifatul Masih V(aba), Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, came to the chambers of the United States Congress (Capitol Hill) and introduced its members to the unfaltering relationship between justice and the establishment of world peace in the light of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an, and concluded his session with a collective silent prayer. The event drew some 140 special dignitaries, including 30 members of United States Congress, ambassadors, senior government officials and thought leaders. I had the distinct honour to be among those in attendance at this event, and this article seeks to capture some of my impressions of the various linkages between the event and an important revelation given to both Prophet Muhammad(saw) and the Promised Messiah(as): “You have been helped with prestige.” It is worth beginning with some vital background on the subject revelation. Hadhrat Abu Huraira(ra) states that once the Prophet Muhammad(saw) explained that he had been given six distinctions over and above all the other prophets. The second distinction among these was:
“You have been helped with prestige”1
“Prestige” in this revelation refers to an aura of support or majesty bestowed by Allah. This second distinction of Prophet Muhammad(saw) was apparent in many instances throughout his life. The distinction of the Prophet Muhammad(saw) that he would be helped with prestige was also specially granted to his servant and true and ardent devotee, the Promised Messiah(as). The Promised Messiah(as) twice received precisely the same revelation—with some variations in the wording—once in 1883 and once in 1906. In 1883, he received the following variation:
“You have been helped with prestige and have been brought to life with truth, O truthful one. You have been helped and your opponents said: ‘No way of escape is left.’”2
In 1906, he received the following variation:
“You have been helped with prestige and they said: ‘There is no way of escape left.’”3
The above revelations have been manifested several times during the life of the Promised Messiah(as), be it during his public debates, court appearance or writing experiences—as well as during the lives of the Promised Messiah(as)’s Successors in Ahmadiyyat (the Khalifas). Indeed, many Ahmadi Muslims have witnessed and written about these manifestations. But a truly unique and unprecedented manifestation of the prophecy took place on June 27, 2012, when Khalifatul Masih V(aba), Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, visited Capitol Hill, headquarters of the United States Congress, and for the first time, met with United States lawmakers to present to them Qur’anic teachings on justice and the establishment of world peace. I narrate some examples that demonstrate how Allah, with His Majesty, bestowed prestige on His Holiness, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba), the 5th Successor the Promised Messiah(as) (Khalifatul Masih V(aba)).
When Khalifatul Masih V(aba), accompanied by some 40 members of the Community, first arrived at the Rayburn Building, and having passed through security, entered the corridor, we witnessed the first manifestation of Allah’s help, when visitors and staffers, busy with their own affairs and there for their own reasons, caught sight of Khalifatul Masih V(aba) lined up on either side of him as if they had been waiting especially to welcome him. Every camera was turned towards him and captured his magnetic personality, though none of the passersby knew who he was or why he had come. Another glimpse of Allah’s help became manifest when Khalifatul Masih V(aba) first entered the Rayburn Gold Room—a prestigious venue in the United States House of Representative building—where approximately 140 special dignitaries, including 30 members of U.S. Congress, ambassadors, senior government officials and thought leaders, stood up and welcomed Khalifatul Masih V(aba) with a resounding applause.
United States Congressman Brad Sherman, one of the members of the United States Congress who had received and met Khalifatul Masih V(aba) before the event, took the podium and presented Khalifatul Masih V(aba) with a special United States flag that once had flown over the United States Capitol building. He presented the historic relic to Khalifatul Masih V(aba), along with a certificate of its authenticity. United States Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, another member of United States Congress in attendance, took the podium and presented Khalifatul Masih V(aba) with a rare special bi-partisan United States Congressional resolution, introduced on that very day and signed by 22 members of the United States Congress, recognising Khalifatul Masih V(aba) for his leadership, courage and various contributions in advancing human rights and welfare for all people throughout the world. In a spontaneous moment to begin her prepared remarks about the worldwide persecution of Ahmadi Muslims, Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, Chairperson of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom—a vital non-partisan government commission—observed:
“I have to say that there is a particular sense of blessing that seems to rest on this brimming room today, and I am sure that it is due in part to the wonderful spirit of goodwill, the warm hearts and a sense of optimism and love of the participants, but Your Holiness, it is undoubtedly a reflection of the blessing that you bring to the capital, and so we are so honoured and so grateful for you being here today.”
United States Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, the keynote speaker from the United States Congress, commended Khalifatul Masih V(aba) thus:
“It is an honour to be in the same room with you…Though a man of humble beginnings, your leadership has made you a figure of global prominence. You started as a teacher and now you’re a guide for millions of Muslims worldwide. You worked to help farmers in Ghana and now you are a force across borders and an asset to the developing world. You were persecuted for your beliefs, jailed for your faith, exiled from your homeland but refused to turn to bitterness and vengeance. You’re a leader with wisdom and compassion and a champion of non-violence and respect among faiths.”
After the various remarks by several other members of United States Congress, when Khalifatul Masih V(aba) stood up to deliver his address, the entire audience stood on their feet out of respect—yet another manifestation of the special prestige given to him on this special day. During his address, Khalifatul Masih V(aba) stressed the importance of justice in establishing world peace and presented Islam’s teachings and insight from the Holy Qur’an, outlining the steps that the Holy Qur’an has clearly explained for the path to peace. Members of the audience listened carefully and attentively, and many took notes during the address. United States Democratic Leader Pelosi stepped off the stage and took a seat in the front row of the audience to have a better listen and view of Khalifatul Masih V(aba). Of significant note, most of the 30 members of United States Congress stayed for the entire duration of the event and Khalifatul Masih V(aba)’s address, despite the fact that United States Congress was in session during the very hour of the event. Many seasoned public officials in the audience would later comment that in all their years attending events in Washington D.C., they had never seen more than 10 members of United States Congress ever come to such an event, let alone stay for its entire duration. Yet again, this was but another example of the prestige given to Khalifatul Masih V(aba).
After Khalifatul Masih V(aba) concluded his address, he led the entire audience in a special collective silent prayer. Then the audience stood up for a third time, bursting with applause. These are the very same lawmakers who rarely, if ever, give standing ovations to even the President of the United States. Clearly, Allah’s decree had possessed their hearts as well. Indeed, there appeared to be an electric current running through the room—undoubtedly spurred by a heavenly prestige that was consistently and inevitably manifesting itself throughout the morning. I later described the scene through a line of poetry that I penned after the event: “How can I express the details of this awe-inspiring scene? / My pen is incapable and my sentiments are overwhelmed with splendor.”
After the formal session, Khalifatul Masih V(aba) received a guided tour of the United States Capitol, ending with a visit to the gallery of the United States House of Representatives, where a live Congressional session was in progress. While Khalifatul Masih V(aba) sat in the gallery, United States Congressman Sherman took to the main floor of the United States House of Representatives and formally introduced Khalifatul Masih V(aba) to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, drawing attention to his presence in the gallery and officially noting his welcome and the special U.S. Congressional resolution for the official recorded proceedings of United States Congress.
After Khalifatul Masih V(aba)’s address, I was descending the staircase when one of the special dignitaries in attendance told me that he found Khalifatul Masih V(aba)’s address to be “pure gospel.” When I heard these words, I immediately reflected on the historic event of 1896, when the Promised Messiah(as)’s seminal essay, The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, was read at the Conference of World Religions. After that event, an American publication, Spiritual Journal (Boston), had characterized the lecture as “pure gospel” in its review. When I began to reflect upon this similarity further, I realised that both Khalifatul Masih V(aba)’s address and the Promised Messiah(as)’s essay shared one common feature: they stressed Islam’s true teachings without ever mentioning or criticising any other faith tradition. Here then was yet another striking example of heavenly prestige.
Another special dignitary commented to me: “Congress desperately needed this lecture [by Khalifatul Masih].” Another United States Congressman in attendance, Andre Carson, who is the second Muslim to hold Congressional office, was overheard saying: “I have never seen another Muslim leader who is both so humble and yet so masterful in speech.” The deluge of excitement and goodwill in the room on this blessed day was certainly a fulfilment of Khalifatul Masih II’s prayer:
“At every step, a large host of angels may accompany you / In every country, may
Allah protect and safeguard you.”
Those special dignitaries present in the room who possessed judgement and discernment felt their hearts affected by the occasion and by the extraordinary reverence engendered by Khalifatul Masih V(aba)’s blessed presence, which compelled them to express their welcome and their praise of him in every possible manner. In fact, at this time, we witnessed and observed two living signs from Allah:
“O Masroor, I am with you”
“You have been helped with prestige”
Independent of my impressions of the event and the link to the prophecy “You have been helped with prestige”, Khalifatul Masih V(aba) himself commented to me a few days after the event that when he was busy preparing to go to United States Capitol Hill, Allah drew his attention to this revelation on that very morning, and he prayed that Allah fulfill the revelation in his favour. Indeed, Allah fulfilled Khalifatul Masih V(aba)’s prayer in a most grand and profound manner. Through the power of Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (MTA – www.mta.tv), now the entire world—and not just those present in the Rayburn Gold Room on June 27, 2012—witnessed this transformative event and were able to testify to the truth of the revelation: “You have been helped with prestige”. Alhumdholillah suma alhumdholillah. All praise belongs to Allah alone.
*An Urdu version of this article first appeared in the weekly newspaper, Al Fazl International, August 3, 2012
Anwer Mahmood Khan is a frequent lecturer on comparative religions and is National Director of Finance for Foreign Missions for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA.
- Sahih Muslim, Kitab-al-Masajid
- Tadhkirah, 2009, p. 83
- Tadhkirah, 2009, p. 882