Hadhrat KhalifatuI Masih II(ra) had established during his lifetime, a selection committee or electoral college as well as defined rules for the election of a Khalifa with the Majlis Mushawarat (Advisory Committee) comprising of representatives of various Jama’ats.
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra), the Musleh Mau’ood, passed away, aged 77, after 52 years of Khilafat on the midnight of 7 and 8 November, 1965. Accordingly, on the demise of the Second Caliph at 7.30 p.m. after Isha prayers, on 8 November 1965 at Masjid Mubarak, Rabwah, a meeting of Majlis Intikhab (the Electoral College) was held under the chairmanship of Hadhrat Mirza Aziz Ahmad, Executive Director, Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya.
First, all the members of the Electoral College pledged their allegiance to the institution of Khilafat according to the pre-established rules. Then persons were proposed and seconded and votes were cast and Hadhrat Sahibzada Mirza Nasir Ahmad, eldest son of Hadhrat KhalifatuI Masih II(ra) was elected as the new Khalifa by an overwhelming majority vote. All the members of the committee entered afresh into covenant of allegiance on the blessed hand of Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih III. He made a brief address and then all those who were outside the Mubarak mosque (numbering well over 5000) took the oath of allegiance. He then led the funeral prayers of his father at 4.45pm on 9 November 1965.
The first address by Hadhrat Hafiz Mirza Nasir Ahmad Khalifatul Masih III(ru)
After the recitation of Kalima Shahada and Surah Fatiha, Hadhrat KhalifatuI Masih III(ru))recited the pledge and then said:
‘This is a pledge that I have repeated in front of you with solemn resolve and keeping Allah in view as if I am in His presence, with total conviction that He is the Knower of the unseen; with the conviction that cursed is the person who resorts to deception.
I will continue to try my utmost to call unto the way of Allah and I will treat all in a goodly manner.
As you have placed a very heavy responsibility upon me, I trust that you will continue to help me with your prayers and counsel so that Allah the Almighty grants this worthless and humble man, the capability necessary for the propagation of faith and establishment of the unity of God and out of His Grace and Mercy instills that heavenly light in my heart and teaches me the things which a human being cannot learn by himself.
I have little knowledge. I am incapable. I possess no strength, and have no knowledge. When my name was proposed my whole being shook and my mind questioned my worth. Then the thought struck me that in spite of being a recipient of countless blessings and bounties, our beloved Imam, the Promised Messiah(as), addressing Allah the Almighty, said about himself:
“Oh my Beloved! I am a worm lowly as dust, not the son of Adam”
When our beloved Imam addresses his God in these words ‘as lowly as dust’ I hold no comparison in rank before him. At the same time it crossed my mind that no doubt I am worthless and my state is no more than dust that holds no value, but if Allah the Almighty wills He can grant light to the worthless dust and He can instil that energy and power which no one can imagine; and He can grant such quality and such shine which is not possessed by gold and diamonds.
I do not have the words with which to express my weaknesses. So help me with your prayers. I will try my best to do good to each one of you. There can be differences amongst us brothers, but differences should not become a source of disunity or creating factions or unrest in the community.
When Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) passed away and even after that, every member of the family of the Promised Messiah(as) made the solemn pledge that they would not allow any discord to take place in the community . They would make whatever sacrifice is needed but would not allow personal interest to override the interests of the Jama’at in any way. The interests of the Jama’at will always remain paramount in all circumstances.
Sayyidna Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) was granted extraordinary success by Allah the Almighty and he fulfilled with excellence the task entrusted to him by the Almighty. Now it is our duty that we do not allow any weakness to set in.
In this regard yesterday a friend wanted to speak to me but I said to him that I assure you that no member of the family of the Promised Messiah(as) can ever sacrifice the interests of the Jama’at for personal gain. Every member of the family of the Promised Messiah(as) belongs to God, belongs to the Promised Messiah(as) and belongs to the Community. There will be no weakness or discord by us.
Therefore this responsibility that has been placed on my shoulders now by Allah the Almighty and for which you have elected me, I am too weak [to shoulder this responsibility] for it and therefore it is your duty that you help me with prayers that Allah the Almighty grants me the ability to discharge my responsibility fully and there are no hurdles in the path of service and the preaching and spread of faith; on the contrary with the Grace and Mercy of Allah the Almighty may our services continue to grow and flourish until Islam is victorious as the true faith over all false religions.
You will find me sympathetic and caring because that is how Hadhrat Musleh Mau’ood Khalifatul-Masih II(ra) has trained us. I was young and have now reached an age when we felt that it was his wish that his children become a source of good for mankind. No body should suffer any difficulty because of them. This desire is expressed in the verse
‘My Lord! Make it so that eyes only discern good (in them).’
Then, the mother I had, under whose supervision I was brought up i.e. Hadhrat Ama Jan, Nusrat Jahan Begum sahiba(ra) (wife of the Promised Messiah(as)) whose training was such that no expert psychologist could match her quality.
To cite an example, I remember that she had two orphans, a brother and sister whom she brought up. She washed them, dressed them and removed their head lice. I still remember that room where food was served. Hadhrat Amma Jan(ra) made the children sit next to herself. I do not know what overcame me but I did not sit with these children. The result was that Hadhrat Amma Jan(ra) did not offer me any food until the evening when I asked her personally and then ate.
There was a lesson that those whom the world calls orphans and helpless, the true servants of Allah understand that it is their duty that they safeguard them and become their carers.(1)’
So in 1965 at the age of 56 years, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III(ru) succeeded as the third Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
1. Daily Al-Fazl, 17 November, 1965.