Ahmadiyyat Khilafat

The life of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III(ru) – Before Khilafat

Early life

On the death of the King Messiah, his kingdom would pass, according to the Talmud, to his son and then after him, to his grandson. In his book Haqiqatul Wahi,(1) the Promised Messiah(as), thanks God for granting him four sons and the promise of the birth of a grandson at a future date. The words of the prophecy speak of “Yahya” and the Promised Messiah(as) thought that he would be bestowed a long life. Yahya(as) was taught the word of God at an early age. The much awaited prophecy was fulfilled when Hadhrat  Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad(ra) the son of the Promised Messiah(as) and the Second Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was granted a son on 16 November, 1909. He was named Mirza Nasir Ahmad.

Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, later elected as Khalifatul Masih II(ra) wrote to his friend on 26 September 1909 that God had informed him that He would give him a son who would strengthen the fabric of Islam.

‘God has also told me that He shall bestow a son unto me who will be a Nasir (Helper) of the faith and devoted to the service of Islam’(2)

Mirza Nasir Ahmad’s early education was both religious and secular. By 17 April, 1922, under the directions of his revered father, this grandson of the Promised Messiah(as) had  committed to memory all 114 chapters of the Holy Qur’an from beginning to end, thus becoming a Hafiz at the very early age of only 13. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) placed great emphasis on the acquisition of religious education. In pursuance of that goal, Mirza Nasir Ahmad was enrolled at the Madrasa Ahmadiyya, Qadian, from where he qualified as Maulawi Fadhil (theological and oriental studies at the level of High Proficiency) in July 1929. After this, he went through formal English education and by 1934 he obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Government College, Lahore.

On 5 August, 1934, his marriage took place with Hadhrat Sayyidah Mansoora Begum Sahiba, a grand-daughter of the Promised Messiah(as) and the eldest daughter of Hadhrat Nawab Mubaraka Begum Sahiba and Nawab Muhammad ‘Ali Khan Sahib of Malerkotla. She was about two years younger than Mirza Nasir Ahmad. On 6 September, 1934, a month after marriage, he proceeded for postgraduate studies to England where he remained till November 1938.

In England, he obtained his Honours (Oxon) degree of the University of Oxford at Balliol College, Oxford, and later became Master of Arts of the University of Oxford.

‘He impressed his college professors as a very well-behaved and deep-thinking student. During his subsequent visit to this country he called at one of these professors’ residence and was warmly welcomed by him. The professor told other mem­bers of the community that he had [Mirza Nasir Ahmad] seen signs of leadership in this young student and was certain that he would be a leader amongst his people one day. Little did he realise how right he was. He kept regularly in touch with his parents and kept them informed about his educational progress’(3)

In November 1938, he returned to the town of his birth, Qadian (India), where he was appointed a professor at the Jamia Ahmadiyya, the missionary theosophic training college of the Ahmadiyya Movement. In 1939, he took over as the Principal of this college. From May 1944 to November 1965, he was the Principal of the Ta‘lim-ul-Islam College, more popularly known as T.I. College, first at Qadian, then at Rabwah.

‘His students remember him as a tough disciplinarian, gracious, generous and benign at times and a source of encouragement and inspiration to others. A  master of Arabic, theology, arts, science, etc., he commanded sincere respect among the  college professors and  the  students who went through the classrooms, corridors and playing fields of the college year after year.’(4)

For a number of years he also served as a member of the governing body of the Punjab University.

Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad served as Sadr (President) of the Central Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya from February 1939 to October 1949, and from October 1949 to November 1954, while Hadhrat  KhalifatuI Masih II(ra) was the Sadr, he served as the Naib Sadr of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya.

On 16 November, 1947, following the partition of lndia and Pakistan, he moved along with other family members from Qadian to Pakistan to settle in Rabwah, the Ahmadiyya Community’s new headquarters established in 1948

From June 1948 to June 1950, Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad served  as a member of the committee of the Furqan Battalion composed of young Ahmadis dedicated to the security of Kashmir.

In 1953, the Ahrar movement unleashed a plot of civil unrest and riots in bitter opposition to the Ahmadiyya Movement. Mirza Nasir Ahmad was imprisoned briefly and on 28 May 1953, his release was obtained.

In a Friday sermon delivered in 1973, he referred to the disturbance saying:

‘The disorders of 1953 brought about such humiliation upon these people that if they had any sense at all, they would never mention 1953 again. The Ahmadiyya community saw great signs of the support and help of God during those disturbances, and in consequence of all that happened then, Allah the Exalted, through His Grace and Mercy, greatly fostered the Community. For us, therefore, 1953 proved a blessed period which put the Community on a course of very rapid progress during which it scaled many heights both from the point of view of discipline and propaganda and of numbers.’(5)

In 1954, he was elected as Sadr Majlis Ansarullah, an organisation established by Hadhrat  Khalifatul Masih II(ra)for the education and social support of male members of the community over the age of 40 years.

In May 1955, Hadhrat KhalifatuI Masih II(ra) appointed him as Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya of Pakistan (the central administrative body that handles all matters relating to Pakistan, including at that time what is presently called Bangladesh) and up to his election as KhalifatuI Masih, he remained at that post.


1. Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol.22.

2: Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II, Tarikh Ahmadiyyat, Vol. IV, p.320.

3. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III.  A brief history of his life before his 161⁄2 year Khalifat, Muslim Herald. July 1982.

4: Ibid.

5: Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III(ru) Summary of Address (Friday 4 May, 1973).