Khilafat Muslim Television Ahmadiyya Prophets

THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT

28 The Review of Religions – September 2007 (Based on a speech delivered at Jalsa Salana, Mauritius, on 17 September 2006.) Allah has promised 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. (Ch.24:V.56) From the beginning of the known history of mankind, God has bestowed upon humanity the blessings of Khilafat. The institution of Khilafat is that heavenly system of leadership which Allah the Almighty grants to the body of believers for their spiritual prosperity and progress. The institution of Khilafat is that cohesive factor, that binding aspect, which brings together people of all races, nations and backgrounds, under the unity of One Creator. This is a great bounty of Allah Almighty which is conditional upon the faith and righteous deeds of the believers. This heavenly lifeline is, in fact, the rope of Allah. To hold on to this Divine rope is a verifying feature for the Community of the believers and is a guarantee of their peace, sanctity and spiritual prosperity. The truth is that the progress and glory of Islam is linked with Khilafat. The verse quoted above from Surah Al-Nur (Chapter 24) The Significance and Blessings of Khilafat By Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad Ayaz, OBE Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 28 29The Review of Religions – September 2007 THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT mentions the wisdom of the Divine system of succession. It is a unanimous consensus of all commentators that this verse pertains to the Islamic Khilafat. Allah has promised to appoint Khulafa; He will transform situations of fear into peaceful ones. But Allah expects the believers to promulgate the Unity of God on earth and strive to refute any religions that associate partners with Allah. This is a conditional promise; if the Muslims fulfil the conditions laid by Allah, and as long as they continue to fulfil them, Khilafat will remain amongst them. Belief in the Unity of God necessitates unity among the Muslims. This unity can only be maintained as long as there is only one Imam (leader) for the entire Muslim nation. Khilafat provides us with a system to have one Imam for the entire Ummah (Muslim nation). It is therefore implied in the verse that was recited that whenever the Muslims cease to have only one Imam among them, Khilafat will be taken away from them. In this connection, the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) said: ‘O Muslims! This prophet- hood will remain with you as long as Allah wishes it to remain. Then it would come to an end, to be replaced with Khilafat which would be on the pattern of prophethood, and would remain as long as Allah wills. Then this Khilafat would also come to an end. Then there will be the rule of the oppressors and that period too will come to an end. After that, Khilafat on the pattern of prophethood, would re- emerge.’ (Musnad Ahmad: Vol.5, P.404) After saying this, the Holy Prophet(saw) did not add any further comments, inferring that it would continue till the Day of Judgement. At the time of the demise of the Holy Prophet(saw), the Companions were overwhelmed with insur- mountable grief and Allah the Almighty blessed them with the institution of Khilafat. During this Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 29 30 The Review of Religions – September 2007 THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT golden era, Islam spread far and wide with full glory. The Holy Prophet(saw) had already spoken of this when he had said: ‘O Muslims! It is essential for you to follow my Sunnah, that is, my practice, and the practice of my Khulafa, because they will be granted guidance from Allah the Almighty.’ Within a span of just thirty years, during Khilafat-e-Rashida (rightly-guided Khilafat), Islam gloriously spread not only all over Arabia, but as far and wide as Afghanistan and the borders of China, Cyprus and Northern Africa; the banner of Islam was fluttering all over with the blessings of Khilafat. Then after a long spell of tragic events for Islam, the Mercy of Allah surged once again and in accordance with His promises, Allah Almighty raised the Reformer of the Latter Days – the Leader, the Imam, the Saviour, the Guided One, raised to the status of the Promised Messiah. The purpose of his coming was: [to] Revive the faith and establish the Law. That is, the revival of Islam and enforcement of its teachings, its law, its rules and regulations, to ensure the spiritual and moral prosperity of Muslims. All the commentators of the Holy Qur’an agree that the verse, He it is Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the Religion of truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religions… (Ch.61:V.10) prophesises the supremacy of Islam over other faiths and its victory is to be fulfilled with all its grandeur during the time of the Imam Mahdi(as). Hadhrat Syed Muhammad Ismail Shaheed(ra) writes in his book, ‘Status of the Imam’ that: “The advent of faith was initiated by the Holy Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 30 31The Review of Religions – September 2007 THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT Prophet(saw) and its final victory will be at the hand of Hadhrat Mahdi(as).” (Mansab- i-Imamat, P.76) Today we witness that that Imam Mahdi and the Promised Messiah is none other than Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) of Qadian who, as the most loyal and devoted spiritual son of the Holy Prophet(saw), with his immeasurable love for the Holy Prophet(saw), dedicated each moment and breath of his life to the revival and consolidation of the mission of the Holy Prophet(saw). And as a single soul, totally unknown to the world, he raised a voice from a remote and isolated corner of India, which was blessed by Allah, and the Jama’at of the Righteous which he founded, soon grew to over a hundred thousand within his lifetime. The Promised Messiah(as) says: ‘This is the reason Allah the Almighty has sent me, so that those who have righteous souls may be drawn towards the Unity of God. The fact is that it is not possible for any human being to have eternal life, therefore, Allah Almighty devised the system of Khilafat so that at no time would mankind be deprived of the blessings of Khilafat.’ ‘Nabuwwat’, that is, prophethood, differs from Khilafat because prophethood comes when there is absolute spiritual darkness. But Khilafat comes when that initial darkness has been eradicated by the prophet and there is a body of righteous followers established by the prophet. That Community of the righteous people then elects a leader with the guidance of Allah. It is abundantly clear that it is God Who makes a Khalifa. The words in the Holy Qur’an, ‘He will surely make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors from among those who were before them’, clearly point to the fact that it is indeed God Almighty Who makes the Khalifa. A person cannot become a Khalifa by being a candidate for the job or by canvassing of any kind. Even when apparently a Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 31 32 The Review of Religions – September 2007 THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT majority of the people are choosing a Khalifa, it is God Who puts in their minds whom to choose. In his book, Al Wasiyyat [The Will], in which the Promised Messiah(as) informed of his nearing departure from this world, he explained this point further by saying: ‘When this has always been the way how the Will of Allah works, showing two manifestations of His Power, you should not therefore grieve over what I have told you, nor should you let yourselves be heartbroken, for you are destined to see the second manifestation of God’s powers as well. And the coming of that manifestation would be better for you, for it would be everlasting, of which the chain shall not break until the Day of Judgement.’ Accordingly, Allah’s decree was fulfilled and after the unbearable grief of the demise of the Promised Messiah(as) and the fears associated with it, Allah the Exalted once again, by the power of His second manifestation, reassured the believers. Once again in the heavily overcast skies of Islam, the blazing sun of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya rose on the 27th of May 1908, effusing the light of peace and calm in every heart with the election of Hadhrat Maulana Nur-ud-din(ra) as the first Khalifa. He spoke in glorious terms about the institution of Khilafat. He said: “After 1,300 years this bounty has been granted and we should be grateful for that. This shall not be given to anyone again until the Day of Judgement, so be grateful for it, because those who are grateful, for them the bounty is always increased.” We, who have the honour to be within the fold of this Khilafat, witness and experience its blessings day in, day out, and we have absolute faith in the second part of this prophecy that the Divine institution of Khilafat will continue to the Day of Judgement. Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 32 33The Review of Religions – September 2007 THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (may Allah prolong his life) has explained this in a beautiful manner. He has said: “The second manifestation of Khilafat that we are witnessing today is an immense gift from Allah Almighty, with an objective to unite mankind and protect it from discord. It is that string in which the Community is threaded like pearls. If pearls are scattered about, they are neither safe nor do they appear beautiful. Indeed, pearls threaded in a string alone are secure and at their loveliest. Thus, true faith cannot advance without this second mani- festation. Therefore, keep a link of love, sincerity and devotion with it; make your zeal for obedience to Khilafat ever- lasting. Develop the fervour of your love for it to such an extent that all other rela- tionships appear trivial compared to it. All blessings are in loyalty to the Khalifa and this alone is a shield for you against all trouble and strife.” Likewise, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) stated: “Just as only that branch is fruit-bearing that is attached to a tree and a severed branch that is cut off from a tree cannot bear fruit, similarly only that person can serve the Community beneficially who is devoted to the Khalifa. One who does not keep a bond with the Khalifa, the Imam of the righteous, despite having all the knowledge of the world, cannot be of any service to Islam, and neither will he achieve real success in life.” (Reprinted in Al-Fazl, Rabwah, May 2003) He further said: “Listen carefully, and remem- ber that Khilafat is the rope of Allah and it is such a rope that you can make progress only if you are holding on to this rope. The one who will not hold this rope will be destroyed.” (Dars-ul-Qur’an, March 1921) Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 33 34 The Review of Religions – September 2007 “Accordingly, submission to Khilafat is not only obedience to the commandments of Allah and His Messenger; it is vital for peace, security and prosperity in this world. The Khalifa is the ladder to achieve increasing closeness with Allah.” (Al-Fazl, September 1947) It must be well understood that in the verse quoted earlier, the word ‘Yastakhlifannahum’ demonstrates that the Khalifa who is chosen is the Successor of the Prophet of Allah, and not the Successor of the previous Khalifa. That is why in Khilafat- e-Ahmadiyya, every Khalifa is called Khalifatul Masih, that is, Khalifa of the Messiah. He is the vicegerent of God Almighty on the surface of this earth and the most beloved person in the sight of Allah. Being a representative of the Master of the Universe, successes and victories are laid before him. With the guidance and succour of Allah the Exalted, he is blessed with victory. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) said: “No one can create any hurdle or barrier in the way of the one who is appointed Khalifa by Allah. He is given a power and a Divine status and the accomplishment of success and victory is inherent in his nature.” (Al Fazl, Qadian, March 1941) The fact is that the system of Khilafat which is gifted to the believers is a very blessed and magnificent system of leadership. Khilafat is instituted by Allah Himself in the Jama’at of the righteous, laced with the ornaments of pious deeds. Khilafat is appended to prophet- hood and is a perfect shadow of the light of prophethood. Khilafat is like the shining moon of prophethood; it beautifully reflects the blessings and the blazing light of prophethood. Khilafat is a Divine provision to convert each and every fear of the believers into calm. It propounds the worship of One and only One THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 34 35The Review of Religions – September 2007 God with such brilliance that the concept of worshipping any other entity is hard to sustain. It is Khilafat that testifies the faith and good deeds of the believers and unites the entire nation in love and turns them into a beautiful rosary of beads, connecting and protecting each other. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV(ru) strongly urged us by saying: “Tie yourselves up inextri- cably to Khilafat till the Day of Judgement. Surely if you will remain with Khilafat, Khilafat will definitely remain with you. That is the nature of the relationship between the two which will result in sustaining the Unity of God.” Today, we are witnessing the fifth chapter of the blessed institution of Khilafat. The great glory working in favour of Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (may Allah prolong his life) is clearly evident. The prophecy revealed to the Promised Messiah(as), Inni ma’aka yaa Masroor” (I am with you, O Masroor!), is being fulfilled with great glory. Today, the Ahmadiyya Community is a unique body which has earned itself a unique honour and a global identity because of its service to humanity. Its blessings have encompassed the entire world. We who have faithfully submitted to Khilafat very well know the fountain of blessings gushing for mankind to benefit. The services provided in the fields of education, preaching and publication have raised the Jama’at to an unmatchable posi- tion. In this turbulent, tumultuous world, the Ahmadiyya Jama’at today is an island of unity, peace and cohesion under the shade of Allah’s mercy. Today, by the grace of Allah, this Jama’at is established in about 190 countries of the world and the number of Ahmadis runs into many millions. It is with the blessings of Khilafat that the Jama’at has been turned into a solid body and all the blessings that were promised to the body of believers in Surah Al Nur by THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 35 36 The Review of Religions – September 2007 Allah the Almighty have been given to Jama’at Ahmadiyya. Wherever enemies attempt to create fear, the help of Allah descends immediately upon His Jama’at and He dispels all fears and grants us help and victory with His grace. Truly, a great blessing of Khilafat is the unity, discipline and solidarity it has provided to Jama’at Ahmadiyya. The essence of this blessing is the obedience to Allah and His Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw). It is that complete obedience which every Ahmadi – wherever he is and whoever he is – feels honoured to have wholeheartedly to the Khalifa and to those appointed by him to run the affairs of the Jama’at. The world can observe that by Allah’s grace, every moment, everywhere, the world of Ahmadiyyat is witnessing the glowing light of Allah’s succour and guidance and, under the Divine blessings of Khilafat, the Jama’at is moving on towards ensuring the ultimate victory of Islam. Along with a strong network of Jama’ats well established in over 190 countries of the world, the Jama’at is continually producing literature in local languages to introduce the pristine teachings of Islam and in this respect the most significant achievement is the translation and publication of the Holy Qur’an in over a hundred principal lan-guages. In fact, within a few decades, the Ahmadiyya Jama’at has pro- duced several times more translations of the Holy Qur’an than were produced during the previous 1400 years of Islam because of the Divine blessings showered upon it through Khilafat. This work is continuing at enormous speed by Allah’s grace. Similarly, through the blessings of Khilafat, the Jama’at has built thousands of mosques in almost every country of the world and that number is growing rapidly. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III(ru) established the Nusrat Jehan Scheme to serve humanity in all regions of the world in order to THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 36 37The Review of Religions – September 2007 appease suffering by opening hospitals, schools and centres of human welfare. He coined the slogan ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’. And under another charity organisation, Humanity First, established by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV(ru), there are so many schemes to provide clean water and alternative, affordable sources of energy to the poor in Africa and elsewhere. A unique blessing accorded to the adherents of Khilafat is the capacity for financial sacrifices. The Jama’at is totally self-reliant and accepts no assistance or support from anyone outside the Jama’at. It is the sheer blessings of Khilafat that the Jama’at is able to afford services like the twenty-four hour International Satellite Television Station, Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (MTA). In fact, every Ahmadi has vowed, for the sake of the propagation of Islam, to sacrifice his life, wealth, time and honour. This is the only Jama’at today that spectacularly demonstrates the scenario of the sacrifices of the pioneers, the Companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw). Today, the world is waiting for us to step forward and call mankind towards the Word of God. Today, there are billions of hearts devoid of the love of the Holy Prophet(saw). It is up to us to win over those hearts with the love of Islam and the love of the Holy Prophet(saw). That is the way to honour the priceless gift of Khilafat from Allah. Another great blessing for us is the prayers of the Khalifa. The Khalifa’s prayers are rewarded most by Allah. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) says: “When Allah raises someone to the status of Khilafat, He also blesses his prayers with assured acceptance. In fact, the supplications of the Khalifa are more powerful than the prayer of any other individual.” (Mansab-i-Khilafat, p.32) There is hardly any Ahmadi who THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 37 38 The Review of Religions – September 2007 has not experienced the miracles of the acceptance of the Khalifa’s prayers. Not only that, but there is also a large number of non- Ahmadis who have unshakeable faith in the prayers of the Khalifa. I will mention here just one event related to the great politician of India, Sir Feroz Khan Noon. It was an unforgettable favour of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) on Sir Noon. He had been married for six years with no child. It was in 1925 that one morning his wife travelled from Lahore to Qadian to see Huzur(ra). She arrived as Huzur(ra) was preparing to go for Zuhr prayer. She emotionally related her plight to Huzur(ra) and said that she feared that her husband would marry a second woman. Huzur(ra), along with other members of his family, prayed for her and by Allah’s grace a son was born one year later. The Noons had more children later on but this son, Noor Hayat, who was the fruit of the Khalifa’s prayers grew up to be a God-loving person and a very successful politician and member of the National Assembly. (Al Fazl International, 15 February 2002) Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) said: “There is one for you who has affection and compassion for you. He has love for you at heart. He considers your affliction as his own and your suffering as his own suffering. He fervently supplicates for you before Allah. But there is no such person for those outside the panel of Khilafat. When one person is sick in a family, the whole family becomes worried and restless. Just imagine the condition of the Khalifa who has not one, but hundreds and thousands of such people to pray for.” The Holy Prophet(saw) said, ‘Your best leaders are those whom you love, whom you pray for and who pray for you.’ Our present Khalifa (may Allah prolong his life), in his discourses, and in his sermons, has repeatedly drawn our attention towards the importance THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 38 39The Review of Religions – September 2007 of prayer. Huzur has said that the blessings of Khilafat are conditional for those who do good works and are regular in prayer and observe Allah’s com- mandments with passion. It is therefore the responsibility of every Ahmadi to look into his or her own life and see to what extent it is in accordance with the teachings of Islam. It is not merely an observation, nor a custom to say that you have love for the Khalifa. You have to have the real sentiment and you have to then follow it with perfect obedience and act upon it in order to be blessed with the special favours of Khilafat by Allah. The Companions of the Holy Prophet(saw) demonstrated through- out their lives a most heart- rendering and awe-inspiring example of devotion and sacrifice and absolute obedience to the Prophet of Allah(saw). They said to the Holy Prophet(saw) that, ‘We will fight on your right and we will fight on your left and the enemy cannot reach you until they go over our dead bodies.’ This was clearly evident from the example of one such Companion who fought in battle at every side of the Holy Prophet(saw) to defend Islam that his body was chopped into seventy pieces and only through one part of his little finger did his sister recognise his body. Such was the obedience of the Companions of the Holy Prophet(saw). Similarly, once ano- ther Companion, Abdullah bin Masood(ra), was in the street when he heard the Holy Prophet(saw) saying “Sit down.” Abdullah bin Masood(ra) sat down in the middle of the street immediately and did not wait even for a moment in order to obey the Prophet of Allah(saw). The same was the obedience that was shown by the Companions of the Promised Messiah(as). We can see how Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra) was obedient to the Promised Messiah(as) as wherever he would be, as soon as he received a message from the Promised Messiah(as) to come, he would stop all that he was doing and set out to be with the Promised Messiah(as). When the THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 39 40 The Review of Religions – September 2007 Promised Messiah(as) once said to him ‘You should not go to Bhera’ (his home town), that obedient servant never even thought once of returning to his homeland. The Promised Messiah(as) used to say, ‘Nur-ud-din follows me like the veins follow the beating of the heart.’ There is also the example of Hafiz Roshan Ali(ra) who had only one dress. Hafiz Roshan Ali(ra) would wash his clothes every Thursday night and then wear the same again on Friday morning. One night, it was freezing cold and his dress was hanging on the washing line outside. He received a message from the Promised Messiah(as) that said, ‘I need you, please come.’ Hafiz Roshan Ali(ra) got up straight away and put on his cold wet clothes and wrapped himself in his quilt and presented himself to the Promised Messiah(as). The examples of such heart- rending devotion and dedication are so many. These incidents are not mere tales; they are not there simply to be related and then forgotten. The point to remember is that whenever we refer to them we must also reaffirm our own pledge of allegiance to Khilafat. Every moment we should be saying, ‘O our beloved Khalifa, we are going to sacrifice everything we have for your service – our life, our time, our honour – everything is a sacrifice for you, whatever you order us to do, we shall oblige.’ Today, the time has come for us to truly demonstrate the fulfilment of those pledges that we have made. Our claims of loyalty to Khilafat will only be proven right when we live out our assertions during our daily lives, bringing about a pure transformation in our conduct and acting upon all commands and decisions of the Khalifa. We need to form a close bond with the Khalifa in order to benefit from the blessings of Khilafat. Every Ahmadi has the facility to request a meeting with Huzur. Huzur’s tours to various countries enable the people of those countries to partake of those blessings. Every Ahmadi should make it a habit of frequently writing to Huzur and seeking his prayers and guidance THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 40 at every step in life. We are indeed highly fortunate to have been honoured with this Divine institution and we should make it our obligation to serve this institution in every possible manner, so that we can become the deserving recipients of Allah’s favours. Huzur has said that each Ahmadi should try to pray all the time for the strength of the Khilafat. We should make changes in our lives so that we can serve the Khalifa and thereby speed up the march towards the victory of Islam. Even if every particle of our bodies and souls turned in appreciation towards Allah, we still cannot fulfil the demands of gratitude. We must develop this sentiment in our hearts that we need to be grateful to Allah the Almighty so that He grants us the ability to fulfil this responsibility and we may continue to benefit from the spiritual light that is bestowed upon us through this noble institution. A fundamental and important responsibility of the righteous with regard to Khilafat is that they should respect, love and honour it from the depth of their hearts. Their attachment to it should be absolutely solid always, saving it from the slightest scratch. This can only happen when it is matched with the spirit of total obedience to the Khalifa. When we believe with conviction that Allah chooses the Khalifa and the Khalifa is the vicegerent of Allah on this earth and he is also the most beloved of Allah in this world, then it is incumbent upon us that we love him with our heart and soul. We should be prepared to sacrifice everything in his way. There should be no lack of enthusiasm in the obedience of the Khalifa. It should be taken just as obedience to the Holy Prophet(saw). Obedience means that each and every word coming from the Khalifa should be passionately complied. To forget or neglect an edict of the Khalifa is unbecoming of a true Ahmadi. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra) said: 41 THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT The Review of Religions – September 2007 Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 41 “Bai’at, that is the pledge of initiation into Ahmadiyyat, is in reality total submission to the obedience of the Khalifa and never to ignore even the slightest of his commands.” (Al-Furqan, June 1967) Regarding the relationships and the responsibilities of the righteous towards the Khalifa, we should bear in mind that the Holy Prophet(saw) said: “If you witness the presence of the Khalifa on this earth, submit to him, even if your body is tattered into fine fibre and all your wealth is plundered.” (Masnad Ahmad bin Hambal, Hadith No. 22353) The love that the Khalifa holds for the people of the Community is something that we witness daily in our lives. What we need to focus on is the extent of our love for the Khalifa. We receive his prayers at every moment and we should also pray for him truly. Every Ahmadi must also make it his duty to listen to the sermons of the Khalifa and encourage our youngsters to do so also. This is an absolute necessity. The meaning of obedience is that we oblige to every call that comes from the Khalifa. It is not the dignity of an Ahmadi that he or she overlooks that instruction or bypasses it. Our present Beloved Huzur further says: “If you aim to progress and be triumphant over the world, then my advice to you and my message for you is to maintain a bond with Khilafat and to firmly hold onto this cord of Allah. All our advancements are inherently dependant upon a bond with Khilafat.” The greatest blessing promised through Khilafat is the protection, the stability, the spiritual strength and progress of Islam and the gift of peace and calm from within, accorded to the believers. That is expressed in the part of the verse of the Holy Qur’ans: 42 THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT The Review of Religions – September 2007 Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 42 …and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them… (Ch.24:V.56) It is an irrevocable declaration and promise of the Master of the Universe that through Khilafat He will provide that strength, harmony and unity to Muslims that will enable them to fulfil the heavenly decree of Islam’s victory. Implicit in this assurance is also the fact that those outside the panel of Khilafat will be totally deprived of such blessings and success and progress will be showered upon those within the fold of Khilafat. The world today is a witness that this great Divine promise is being beautifully fulfilled in the astonishing accomplishments and achievements of Jama’at Ahmadiyya and the plight of those who are still wondering what to do. Let everyone who believes in Allah and His Holy Prophet(saw) and the Holy Qur’an know full well that the only sanctuary of peace and protection from the evils of this world is submission and total obedience of the heavenly appointed Khalifa. If we really have a heart for Islam, if our heart cries for what we see happening against Islam in the world today, then we should not hesitate even for a moment to shed all our doubts for the sake of Allah’s blessings and move forward to pledge our devotion and faithfulness to the Khalifa of the day. The present times, with all their anxieties and concerns, demand that every fair-minded person should assess and appreciate for himself how Allah the Exalted has honoured Jama’at Ahmadiyya with the gift of Khilafat. Truly, in the eyes of Allah, this is the only Jama’at in the whole world which, through its word and deeds, has fulfilled the Divine conditions to deserve Khilafat. Accordingly, the claim of the Ahmadis that they are, in the world of today, the true models of the pure teachings of Islam and they are the ones who are moving on the path of righteousness and 43 THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT The Review of Religions – September 2007 Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 43 the fast track towards the final victory of Islam has become an absolute fact. Today, no one can ever find lasting peace, harmony and prosperity anywhere besides under the wings of Khilafat-e- Ahmadiyya. Let those out there come out of the darkness of ignorance, prejudice and negligence and see for themselves the blazing sun of Khilafat and radiate their souls with its light. Let us not be destroyed by our ego and false image. The Muslim world, with great concern and anxiety, has attempted to establish Khilafat to unite the Ummah. But all such attempts have met with frustration and some of those who dreamt of becoming ‘Amir-ul-Momineen’ (Commander of the Faithful) have met a horrifying tragic end. Let everyone know that the only God- gifted Khilafat is Khilafat-e- Ahmadiyya that will last till the Day of Judgement and there can be no other Khilafat or Khalifa or Amir-ul-Momineen besides the one the seeds of which were sown by the Mahdi and Messiah of the Latter Days, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian(as). So O ye claiming to be the loyal and loving servants of the Holy Prophet(saw)! Come forward, shed all your doubts and hesitations and move into the sanctuary of Ahmadiyyat to enjoy the decreed fruits of Divine Khilafat. There are so many Muslim scholars lamenting the depri- vation of Khilafat. A well known non-Ahmadi scholar of Pakistan by the name of Rahmat Ali writes: “The whole nation is guilty of destroying the institution of Khilafat. Muslims all over the world today are being disgraced and humiliated because they have ignored the righteous faith. There is only one solution and that is the entire Muslim nation, by reviving the institution of Khilafat, should gather under one banner.” (Roze Nama Din, 21 May 2002) It is through the blessings of 44 THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT The Review of Religions – September 2007 Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 44 Khilafat that the progress of Ahmadiyyat has been really spectacular especially since Pakistan declared Ahmadis to be non-Muslims. It is a demons- tration that God is behind this Community and behind the Khalifatul Masih. Efforts to annihilate Ahmadiyyat have not succeeded. On the contrary, Ahmadiyyat is on the march with ever increasing vigour. How great is Allah! How Merciful and Compassionate is He! He is with Ahmadiyyat. He is with Khalifatul Masih always and we are marching forward with ever increasing speed under the able leadership of Khalifatul Masih V. Inclusive in obedience to the Khalifa are all those providing services to the Jama’at on behalf of the Khalifa. We are blessed with a wonderful and unique system of organisation and management (Nizaam) which caters for the spiritual and moral needs of all members of the Jama’at according to their age and gender. The spirit of obedience in Islam flows down from Allah to the Amir and down to all the office bearers. The Holy Prophet(saw) said that when you are unified at one hand and you have an Amir and someone tries to break your unity and divide you, you should completely disas- sociate with such a person and refuse to accept what he says. (Muslim Kitab, Al-Amaarah) Our beloved present Khalifatul Masih has instructed that the Jama’at office bearers must work diligently and honestly to fulfil their duties. They have to be just and fair and serve people with utmost humility. He said: “Remember, if you have made the claim that you love Khilafat because of Allah, then the administration of the Jama’at is part of the Khilafat and you have to be obedient to it. You have to be faithful to the administration of the Jama’at.” Every Ahmadi must remember that the Promised Messiah(as) likened his followers to the green branches stemming from his own self and he has said that it is only 45 THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT The Review of Religions – September 2007 Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 45 by becoming established with this system of Khilafat that you will become the green branches, otherwise the one who severs this link will see the severed branches dry up. So remember the plight of anyone who tries to break this unity. In less than two years from now Insha’Allah (God-Willing), Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya will be completing its first 100 years. As we are stepping into the second century of this Divine era, Huzur has drawn our attention to observing a fast every month, offering two Nawafil (voluntary prayers) everyday and reciting special prayers to seek Allah’s forgiveness and mercy and to remain under His protection always. Huzur has also instructed us to join the institution of Wasiyyat and be prepared to offer greater sacrifices for the victory of Islam. We should make sure that the institution of Khilafat continues to grow stronger and stronger with time so that our progeny, generation after gener- ation, continues to enrich itself with the blessings of Khilafat bestowed upon us by Allah during our lives. It is also a blessing of Khilafat that we have the Waqf-e- Nau Scheme for preparing our children to shoulder, with excellence, the future responsibilities of the Jama’at. The youngsters of today will be the leaders and ambassadors of the Jama’at tomorrow. To create love for the institution of Khilafat in their hearts and to bind them with this blessed system is a vital duty of the parents. It is a sign of the living and progressing nations that the future generations are brought up to keep the flag fluttering for which their ancestors sacrificed their lives. In view of the significance of this great responsibility, Hadhrat Khalifatul Maish II(ra) had taken a pledge from the Jama’at, the words of which are just as important and relevant today as they were then. The pledge was: “We will continue to strive till the last breath for the stability and the safeguard of the institution of Khilafat and we will ensure that our progeny, 46 THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT The Review of Religions – September 2007 Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 46 generation after generation, remain solidly attached to Khilafat and benefit from it so that Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya continues till the Day of Judgement and the work of the propagation of Islam con- tinues through the Ahmadiyya Movement and the flag of Hadhrat Muhammad(saw) rises above all other flags. O our Gracious God, enable us to fulfil this pledge!” Today, we must leave this gathering with the pledge that we will become the right hand of our beloved Khalifa; that we are going to prove every word of our pledge to be true and follow our beloved master to whichever path of righteousness he will call us. We will run to that call and will sacrifice everything that we hold dear; our life and our death will be at his feet. Let each one of us hold Allah as a witness that we are going to hold the precious words of our Khalifa within our hearts and we are going to mould all his directions into true actions in such a way that even the angels who are made of the substance of obedience, will envy us. O Our God! Grant us the ability so that we can fulfil this promise, for all excellence and all praise belongs to you, the Benefactor of all. May He grant us the ability to fulfil all our pledges. So O ye the kindling lights of Khilafat on this beautiful island of Mauritius! Rise up to the demands of the time and fulfil your covenant to our beloved Khalifa to transform yourselves into the pristine models of the teachings of Islam, so that by the charisma of your spiritual powers and the magnetic force of your conduct, you become the cause of guidance for all on this island and beyond. Our beloved Khalifa has been here and is proud of you. So strive on and keep the flag of Ahmadiyyat flying high. May you all enjoy everlasting unity, peace, harmony and prosperity through the blessings of Khilafat. Allah be with you always! 47 THE SIGNIFICANCE AND BLESSINGS OF KHILAFAT The Review of Religions – September 2007 Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 47 48 The Review of Religions – September 2007 COMPETITION Khilafat Centenary Article The Review of Religions is running a competition for articles on Khilafat to be published during 2007-s2008. The winning entry will receive a copy of The Review of Religions in which the best article is published and it will be personally signed by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V! Articles must be unpublished and original and between 4,000 words and 7,000 words on one of the following topics: 1. The blessings of Khilafat in Islam 2. The institution of Khilafat 3. The impact of Khilafat-e-Rashida or Khilafat-i-Ahmadiyya 4. The concept of Khilafat in religious thought All entries will be judged by the Editorial Board and the Board’s decision will be final. To qualify for this unique opportunity entries must be fully annotated with cross-references relevant extracts of which should be supplied with the article for verification and submitted in English in MS Word to reach The Review of Religions office in London by 30 November 2007. You must include your full contact details including name, address, telephone number and email address. Late entries will not be entertained. Unless prepaid postage is enclosed, unpublished articles will not be returned. Sept 2007.qxd 10/10/07 22:11 Page 48