Connecting to Khilafat: A Guidance for Today’s Muslim Youth

Address by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba at the Concluding Session of the Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Ijtema UK 2015 in Islamabad, UK.
MKA is an international Muslim youth organisation united under the spiritual leadership of the Khalifah of the Promised Messiahas, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad.

© Makhzan-e-Tasaweer
© Makhzan-e-Tasaweer

After reciting Tashahhud, Ta’awwuz and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaba said:

“In the Holy Qur’an in Surah Al-Kahf Allah the Almighty has mentioned the Christian youths who lived during the first few centuries of Christianity. From those verses we learn how those early Christian youths sought to safeguard their faith and how they sincerely prayed to God Almighty to remain steadfast on their religion and faith. Both covertly and through other means they were able to protect their faith from the opposing forces of the worldly monarchs and powers of that era. Continually they prayed that Allah enable them to remain firm in their belief and their religion, because they knew that without His help this was not possible. As long as they maintained their union with God, their efforts proved successful and they did not allow the opposition and persecution they faced to weaken their faith or to concern them unduly. Their one and only priority at that time was their faith. However, when the kings and leaders of that era came to accept Christianity and Christians gained worldly power, it led to a gradual deterioration of their faith over time. Materialism took precedence in their lives and the strength of their faith continually weakened. In the name of freedom and prosperity they allowed their faith to wane. They let the attraction of the world and material values take precedence over their religion. Thereafter their faith remained only in name. It is true that Christianity continued to spread and develop. However, what they achieved thereafter was worldly success rather than spiritual enlightenment and progress. It is for this reason that very recently the former Archbishop of Canterbury has said that the decline and disinterest in Christianity has reached such a level that he fears that Christianity is just one generation away from extinction. He expressed his concern that other religions would supersede Christianity and in particular he spoke of his fear that Islam would come to dominate.

Saint Pierre Church in Antakya (Hatay) Turkey. This cave, which was used by by the very first disciples, is one of Christianity’s oldest churches. © Shutterstock | Prometheus72
Saint Pierre Church in Antakya (Hatay) Turkey. This cave, which was used by by the very first disciples, is one of Christianity’s oldest churches. © Shutterstock | Prometheus72

We should reflect upon this and realise that the decline and circumstances of other religions and other nations should be a warning sign and lesson for us. Unquestionably the decline of Christianity was bound to happen because following the advent of the Holy Prophetsa, Islam alone was that true religion which spread and its victory was decreed. At a time when non-Muslims are openly expressing their fears that Islam will prevail, both here and further afield, I would remind our Ahmadi youth and in fact all Ahmadis that they must seek to guide the people of these nations towards true Islam. This should be your foremost goal and ambition and it can only be achieved through prayers and heartfelt efforts. It is your duty to inform the world that the Holy Qur’an has given the world a timeless and complete teaching for all of mankind. As I have said, the decline of Christianity is certain and all other religions except Islam will also slowly lose their value. In fact all of the Prophets who came before the Holy Prophetsa prophesied that their religions would gradually deteriorate and ultimately reach their end. This is because Allah the Almighty has decreed that Islam is destined to prevail and will never end InshaAllah.

In the Holy Qur’an, Allah the Almighty has made many promises to the believers. For example he has stated that as He revealed the Qur’an, he would safeguard it and protect it Himself. And so today after a period of more than 1400 years we see that Allah has not let a single dot or comma of the Holy Qur’an be changed or amended in any way.

The original text stands as it always has and always will. Apart from the original text in the form of the book there are hundreds of thousands of people who have committed the entire Holy Qur’an to memory and have learnt it exactly as it was first revealed to the Holy Prophetsa.

Recently, an ancient copy of the Holy Qur’an was discovered and it was said to be from the 8th century. Certain historians sought to use this discovery to discredit Islam, by claiming that the Qur’an in its current form was first exhibited at that time and so they said that Muslims were wrong when they asserted that the Qur’an was revealed at the time of the Holy Prophetsa. However, upon further research and analysis it was proved that the Qur’an they discovered was from the 6th century and not as originally thought. Hence, while they sought to prove that the Qur’an, God forbid, had not existed in its current form from the outset, their own research later proved this to be entirely wrong. Therefore, the pronouncement of Allah that He would protect the Qur’an and never let it be changed or abrogated has been proved true in the most glorious fashion.

Old copy of The Holy Quran © Shutterstock | nuttakit
Old copy of The Holy Quran © Shutterstock | nuttakit

Another promise Allah has made in the Holy Qur’an is regarding the latter days whereby He vowed to send a person as a true devotee of the Holy Prophetsa to rejuvenate and revive the original teachings of Islam in the latter days. We Ahmadi Muslims are truly fortunate that we, or our ancestors, have seen the signs in favour of that person who was sent by Allah as the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi. And so we have been able to accept him. Thus we are being helpers and recipients of the blessings and rewards foretold by Allah in the Qur’an regarding the latter days and whose true interpretation was given to us by the Holy Prophetsa. Another promise made in the Holy Qur’an is that the institution of Khilafat will be established to lead and guide the Jama’at of the true believers. However alongside this promise of Khilafat, certain conditions were attached and those conditions would have to be met if this blessing and favour was to remain. One major condition is that the reward of Khilafat would be given to those who worship Allah the Almighty and accept no partners for Him. They must be regular in prayer and pay full attention to fulfilling the rights of worship. They must offer the Zakat and be fully obedient to the Holy Prophetsa of Islam. Thus according to these conditions believers must worship Allah alone and be fully obedient to His messenger. They must be devoted to prayer and be ready for financial sacrifice for the sake of their faith. Only then will they be deserving of this reward. Therefore how fortunate are we that today it is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community alone upon whom Allah has bestowed this great reward of Khilafat.

All of these matters should motivate Ahmadis to continually analyse and reflect upon their personal states to see if they are following the commands of Allah the Almighty.

It is the task of our youth and our next generations to set aside material desires and values and instead become devoted to their faith so that our future generations are also deserving of the rewards of Allah Almighty. I have already mentioned how the Christians of today are moving far away from the religion to the extent that their church leaders are becoming extremely anxious and concerned. They are openly considering the possibility that very few Christians will remain and even that the Church could eventually completely disband. This belief and worry is justified because the attempts to save the Church are purely based on their worldly and material efforts. They do not have divine protection supporting them and a promise from God to shield their religion. On the other hand, Allah the Almighty has promised that He will uphold and protect Islam. Allah has said in the Holy Qur’an that through its teachings, religion and the Shariah are now complete and will remain until the Day of Judgment. Muslims therefore do not need to be concerned that their religion will die away or will become extinct.

Richly decorated interior of Church in Europe. © Shutterstock | Petr Jilek
Richly decorated interior of Church in Europe. © Shutterstock | Petr Jilek

Yet certainly I am continually concerned and worried about the youth. I do not want even a single one of our youngsters to move far away from his or her faith because that would be a means of wasting their lives and being devoid of the blessings and rewards of Allah the Almighty. There is no doubt that our Jama’at is divinely supported and it is due to the help of Allah that each year hundreds of thousands of people are joining Ahmadiyyat and accepting it as the True Islam. Their spirit and their passion is an example for others, whereby they entered the Jama’at with a heartfelt pledge that they will forever serve Ahmadiyyat. Many people, in particular in Africa and Arab countries, have written down and documented how they came to accept Ahmadiyyat. They speak openly about how they were not compelled by any physical force rather they were spiritually guided towards Ahmadiyyat and its truth soon became clearly apparent to them.

Their sole motivation and prayer was to become the recipient of the blessings Allah as promised to believers in the Holy Qur’an. In this era there are people across the world who are coming to realise that it is only the Ahmadiyya Community that remain steadfast upon the true teachings of Islam. They acknowledge that it is our Jama’at which is spreading the true Islam and is offering a very great service to the true religion. To give one example a young person from a city in the Ivory Coast called Bassam, narrated that previously he was a non-Ahmadi Muslim and had always felt a keen interest in Islam. He used to go to non-Ahmadi mosques but became very disheartened when he saw that Muslims were often involved in personal disputes; this caused him a great deal of pain and regret. With the grace of Allah after some time he was introduced to the Ahmadiyya Community and so he used to offer his Salat in our mosque and would listen to the local Darsul Qur’an [Qur’anic lectures] and the local Ahmadis preached to him. Soon he realised the truth of Ahmadiyyat and did Bai’at (oath of allegiance). However upon accepting Ahmadiyyat he did not stop and think it was enough; rather, he diligently started watching MTA in the local mosque and became so motivated that he saved money over the course of the next few months and installed a satellite dish in his home. He said every programme he watched increased his faith in Ahmadiyyat.

Although he is a French speaker he even watched programmes that are not in French and memorised MTA’s exact schedule. He says that in particular he feels great contentment and is reassured whenever he watches my sermons or other similar programmes. Thus every Ahmadi Muslim should recognise the blessings that Allah has granted us and never take them for granted.

Gradually the world has passed through various eras, according to the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa, and now Islam has entered the era of the everlasting Khilafat that Allah has promised. Thus every Ahmadi youth should seek to develop their bond with Khilafat and to follow the example of that young man from the Ivory Coast – who says he has never ever missed a sermon or programme of Khalifatul Masih and that when he watches them, he always finds points that further increase his faith. All Ahmadi youth should therefore alter their priorities and be truly grateful for the gift Allah has bestowed upon us in the shape of MTA and become attached to it. With the Grace of Allah, many excellent programmes on different topics and issues are now being produced by MTA. You should watch them and learn Islam’s perspectives and viewpoints on different issues so that your knowledge of the religion increases and InshaAllah this will be a means of increasing your bond with Islam and the Jama’at.

As I said before there are many people who narrate their feelings or experiences. Another example is of a man from Mali who was interviewed by the Ahmadiyya radio station. He said that upon hearing the message of Ahmadiyyat on the radio he felt as though he had learnt of Islam for the very first time. He said that he now realised that all of what he heard about Islam in the past had no value or importance. He said he felt as if he had been born again through the teachings of Ahmadiyyat. Thus the youth of today must learn about their religion and seek to increase their faith rather than being consumed by worldly affairs.

As mentioned earlier, Allah has promised that He will always protect Islam and so there is no doubt that people will continue to join Ahmadiyyat and become true servants of their faith. However all of you, most of whom are born Ahmadis, must ensure that you are also amongst the fortunate people who are the inheritors of Allah’s bounties and rewards.

You must ensure that you gain true religious knowledge and insight so that you can personally serve Islam and be amongst those who stand at the forefront defending it. Do not wait or hesitate, but rather step forward today as true servants of the Promised Messiahas and be among those people who earn the spiritual rewards of today and the hereafter. Remember that we should become as the Promised Messiahas desired us to become. And that is the same as what Allah the Almighty and His messenger desired from us. In this era Allah sent the Promised Messiahas to establish a Community that would protect Islam and so to serve and protect Islam today, it is essential that we attach ourselves to the Promised Messiahas and act upon his teachings. With great urgency the Promised Messiahas said that if his Community had not been founded, then there is no doubt that Islam would have been destroyed, because of the wrong interpretation of Muslim clerics about Islam. However Allah’s grace and mercy manifested itself upon Islam at the time of its darkest hour and so He established the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in order to revive it. And with the mercy and help of Allah, the history of the Ahmadiyya Jama’at testifies to the fact that despite continued persecution and opposition, the message of the Promised Messiahas has reached every corner of the world. Indeed today the world’s educated and respected people openly acknowledge that only the Ahmadiyya Community is presenting the true picture of Islam. If we look at the current state of the world, we see that on the one hand brutal cruelties and injustices are being perpetrated in the name of Islam and in the name of ‘Khilafat.’ Young people are being misguided and radicalised. They are being completely misled about the concept of Jihad and martyrdom; this is leading to countless innocent people being murdered or being treated in the most inhumane way. The young people who are being radicalised are frustrated and restless individuals and initially at least, many have a genuine desire to serve Islam. But it is their ill-fortunate that they are being taken advantage of and are being sent to create disorder in the name of an entirely senseless and false Jihad. On the other hand the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, under the guidance and leadership of Khilafat is spreading a message of love, affection and peace throughout the world. We are doing this because the Promised Messiahas has proved this to be the true Islam. In Europe, North America, Africa, South America, Australia, Asia and all other parts of the world our Jama’at is united under the banner of peace. Our message remains the same no matter where we are.

In the last few years there has been increased media interest in our Jama’at in the West. Here in the UK, in the US and indeed elsewhere, the media is actively reporting upon our Jama’at. They acknowledge that the Ahmadiyya Community is spreading peace and goodwill and that Ahmadis claim to be motivated by Islam and Islam alone.

Every Ahmadi Muslim youth should therefore seek to spread the true message of Islam wherever they are. In the time of the Promised Messiahas, people were leaving Islam or were becoming trapped in the grip of extremist clerics. The Promised Messiahas warned that if this state of affairs was allowed to continue then it would lead to the destruction of Islam and today Islam continues to face the same struggles. Therefore it is our duty as followers of the Promised Messiahas to defend Islam from those who seek to destroy it. Certainly the opponents of Islam will never be successful InshaAllah because Allah has Himself promised to protect it. Nevertheless, our Ahmadi youth should be at the forefront of defending Islam’s true teachings. This weekend you have held your Ijtema here in Islamabad, and similarly the Khuddamul Ahmadiyya in the United States have held their national Ijtema and are listening to my address today directly through MTA. Thus today, all of you should make a firm pledge that you will be the people who will seek to protect Islam from all of the attacks it faces and you will be the people who seek to spread its peaceful teachings far and wide. We are truly fortunate that the Promised Messiahas left his Jama’at with so much beautiful and detailed guidance. Thus in order to defend Islam, you must keep in view what he required from his followers and what his expectations were. In one place he wrote that this is the era of a spiritual war and a war between good and satanic influences has started. He said that satanic influences would use everything at their disposal to attack and defeat Islam. And so that was why Allah established the Ahmadiyya Community to defeat his influence once and for all.

Thus when an Ahmadi youth takes the Bai’at (oath of allegiance) of the Promised Messiahas, with the intention of becoming a true Muslim, they must continually pay attention to their own personal state. Satanic influences are attacking Islam both from within and from outside. There is conflict within the Muslim world whilst the powerful opponents of Islam are happily stoking fires of hatred and creating unnecessary disorder in the Muslim world. It is the ill-fortune of the Muslims of today that they do not realise this and are letting the external forces divide them. Thus Ahmadi youth must pledge that they will be a shield protecting Islam and prove to the world that it is a religion of peace. They must be determined in this effort to highlight the true teachings of Islam and be ready for every effort and sacrifice in this noble cause. Furthermore, the Promised Messiahas has also said that the reason Allah established the Ahmadiyya Community was because of the increasing distance between mankind and God Almighty. The means of reaching God were becoming hidden and so the Promised Messiahas was sent by Allah to shine a light upon them. Thus our Ahmadi youth must seek to recognise their Creator and reform themselves. Only then will they be able to play their roles in illuminating the pathways reaching Allah the Almighty. Unless an Ahmadi strives for this there is no benefit for him taking the Bai’at and he will fail to discharge his duties to Islam.

© Makhzan-e-Tasaweer
© Makhzan-e-Tasaweer

If our Ahmadi youth fail in this mission then they will follow the path of those early Christians who despite being initially passionate about their faith, later moved further and further away from their teachings, to the extent that today the Church is concerned about its very existence. Young Ahmadis living in the West must never allow the materialism of the world and the luxuries or latest technologies to distract them from their religion. Rather, we should always seek to adopt those paths that lead only to Allah. To achieve this you must read the books of the Promised Messiahas because his words and teachings are our gateways to God Almighty. The Promised Messiahas has very clearly said that there is only one way for a person to gain a true bond with Allah and that is by attaching himself with full loyalty, obedience and sincerity to the Promised Messiahas and his Jama’at.

He said that every person of his Jama’at was to remove selfishness and personal ego and instead hold firm to the Oneness of God. In just a few days the blessed month of Ramadan is beginning and Ramadan is always a very good opportunity to reach Allah and acquire His nearness. Thus apart from fasting you should engage in the worship of Allah as much as possible and read the Holy Qur’an and seek its insight and knowledge. Do not ever think that to merely accept the Promised Messiahas and take his Bai’at, is enough; rather it is essential that every Ahmadi forms a bond with Allah and seeks true righteousness. This is why the Promised Messiahas has said that until his Jama’at adopts righteousness or Taqwah it cannot attain success and salvation. Thus you should always seek to improve yourselves and to be true Ahmadi Muslims. Every single one of the youth should seek to protect his or her faith and to always maintain a direct connection with Allah the Almighty.

Do not follow the example of those people who upon attaining worldly pleasure and power do not follow their faith. Do not follow the example of those people who over time forgot their Creator. Rather you should be those who truly fulfil the conditions of Bai’at, because to fulfil the pledge is essential. May Allah grant all of you the ability to act upon what I have said and may all of the Khuddam who are listening to me here in the UK, or United States or elsewhere, always remember that they must always give precedence to their faith over all worldly matters. May you be counted among those youth who fulfil their responsibilities of reforming their people and be at the forefront of helping their nations to progress. I pray that you are never amongst those youth who are a burden on their nation and a means of defaming it. Certainly such people are a cause of great harm to their religion.

Thus today I ask all of you to make this pledge that our Ijtemaat [gatherings] will lead to our spiritual enhancement. Pledge that you will be the ones who guide the world towards spirituality and towards God Almighty.

Today the world is looking in the direction of our Jama’at in order to see the true teachings of Islam. This is something I see myself during my various tours abroad. Hence, we must prove to the world that our words are not hollow; rather, we must prove we are living our lives as true ambassadors of peace and beacons of the true teachings of Islam. No Ahmadi Muslim ever needs to become victim to any form of inferiority complex, because we have reason, logic, evidence and above all the truth on our side. In conclusion, I say once again that you must all seek to build your personal relationship with Allah and always seek to attain His nearness. May Allah enable all of you to be successful and to follow what I have said today; may all of you prove to be shining examples of the truth of Islam InshaAllah.

Various asylum seekers migrated here in recent years, who although may understand English to a degree, have issues that directly affect them. Thus I would like to remind them that their true purpose of coming here was that they were deprived of the right in their countries to worship or practise their religion. Some were directly affected by this or some observing [the persecution] of others, were unable to bear it. They therefore decided to leave Pakistan and migrate to other countries. Thus you came here because of Ahmadiyyat; because of the true Islam that teaches to not create disorder in the world, but rather to spread peace, love and affection. As you left the country on this basis, you should always remember to keep this in mind that as you migrated here for the sake of God and because you did not enjoy religious freedom, thus it is your duty that you should always remember God and seek His pleasure. It is also necessary for you to fulfil the right of the worship of God. It should not be the case that you only pray in utmost humility as long as your asylum case is pending, and once it is accepted -you gain employment and your financial situation improves-then you forget God altogether. There are some like this, they forsake all their responsibilities and forget the favours of God. God’s favours on you are all because of the Jama’at that you experienced better circumstances after migrating here. The majority have been granted financial affluence since moving from Pakistan. So always remember that you should become grateful to God and gratitude to God entails following His commands and enhancing your relationship with the Nizaam [administrative system of the Community] and with Khilafat. Remember your duties and do not limit practising them to only the Ijtema days or a short time. Instead, constantly remind yourself of them and bring yourself to realise what they are; that we must display complete obedience with Khilafat and the Nizaam so we can properly serve Islam Ahmadiyyat. Similarly strive to establish your personal examples in every matter. Here, after your asylum case is accepted, some avail of benefits and other facilities. You should partake of these benefits only within the realms of the law and honesty. Do not try to receive benefits through falsehood and deception. If you resort to falsehood it would be giving falsehood equal status to God and God has declared falsehood as a form of Shirk (associating partners with God). And so save yourself from these false and superficial gods, and instead submit to the living God Who is everlasting and eternal. He alone will fulfil all your requirements InshaAllah. May Allah the Almighty grant everyone the ability to do this. Now please join me in silent prayers.”