“Today on the completion of 100 years of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya, we make a solemn pledge, in the name of Allah the Exalted, that we shall continue to strive until the last moments of our lives for the propagation of Islam and Ahmadiyyat and shall convey the name of Muhammad(saw) to the ends of the world. For the accomplishment of this sacred obligation, we shall always keep our lives dedicated to God and His Messenger(saw), and by offering the greatest sacrifices, shall keep the flag of Islam aloft in every country of the world. We also pledge that for safeguarding of the system of Khilafat and for its consolidation, we shall continue to strive till our last breath, and exhort our children and their progenies, to always remain attached to Khilafat and benefit from its blessings, so that Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya continues safely till the end of time and the propagation of Islam continues till the Day of Judgement through the Ahmadiyya Movement and the flag of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) flies higher than all other flags of the world.”

The words from a pledge taken simultaneously via satellite TV by Ahmadi Muslims across the world at the hands of their leader, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V, on the occasion of the centenary of the Ahmadiyya Khilafat on 27th May 2008.

The blessed institution of Khilafat promised to the faithful by Allah Almighty in the Holy Qur’an and by His Messenger in the Traditions was revived upon the demise of the Promised Messiah(as) and, in accordance with a glorious prophecy of his that the institution would be re-established after him and would continue to the end of days, the passing of 100 years of Khilafat in Ahmadiyya was indeed a day of thanksgiving and celebration. It was not, however, a day for pomp and circumstance for that would be contrary to the spirit and teachings of Islam.

Quite fittingly, therefore, Ahmadi Muslims gathered in mosques and mission houses around the world in the small hours on the day to join in collective Tahajjud (predawn supererogatory) prayers proclaiming the glory of Allah, celebrating His praise, affirming His Unity, invoking His blessings upon His Noble Prophet(saw) and his disciple, the Promised Messiah(as). Thousands in the UK and millions across the world then gathered to listen to a keynote address by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V culminating in the pledge at his hands.

The need for Khilafat among mainstream Muslims is both recognised and advocated by mainstream Muslims themselves, albeit with absolute failure. If, upon his demise, the illustrious companions of the Holy Prophet(saw) – who were an embodiment of Islam in its pristine purity – needed a beacon of unity and guidance that is Khilafat, then how can present day Islam do without it?

Therefore, as we reflect upon a truly momentous day and the reaching of a landmark in the history of Islam and Ahmadiyyat, questions arise as to why the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam is the only sect blessed with the institution of Khilafat. What lends life to the Ahmadiyya Khilafat while all attempts to establish Khilafat among other Muslims lie dead in their wake?

The search for the answers to these questions provides an opportunity to re-examine the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s claim to Divine origin.

Of all the sects known to belong to Islam today, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only one whose founder claims to have been commissioned by Almighty Allah as the Promised Messiah of the latter days. The Community he founded and left behind has developed into the most dynamic missionary movement in the world of religion and has laid the basis for the unification of mankind. It is actively engaged in social, educational and humanitarian works across the globe under the fostering care of the Successors to the Promised Messiah(as). It does so, in the face of persecution, purely for the sake of Allah’s pleasure and without regard to caste, colour or creed.

In so doing, the Ahmadiyya Community epitomizes true Islam and bears inimitable resemblance to the companions of the of the Holy Prophet(saw). If the blessed companions were in need of Khilafat, they were also, on the basis of their devotion to the religion and God of the Holy Prophet(saw), deserving of it.

Khilafat is a spiritual dominion of Allah Almighty promised to believers who perform righteous deeds and an unbroken chain of Khilafat in Ahmadiyyat since the demise of the Promised Messiah(as) is testamentary of Divine favour and succour. Millions of Ahmadi Muslims around the globe today stand united as one Community under Khilafat and the phenomenal progress witnessed over the past one hundred years under the auspices of the Ahmadiyya Khilafat is testimony to its heavenly authorship.

It is high time Muslim orthodoxy recognised this Divine support of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the form of the blessed institution of Khilafat which, one hundred years on, continues to spearhead an Islamic renaissance, drawing strength from an unwavering belief in God, a relentless passion to serve humanity the world over and a noble objective of ensuring that “the flag of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) flies higher than all other flags of the world.”