On 20th February 1886, the Promised Messiahas, founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, was granted news of a grand prophecy regarding the birth of a son. The prophecy was to serve as a magnificent sign of the truthfulness of Islam and the Promised Messiahas. On 12thJanuary 1889, within the time period stated in the prophecy, the son was born and named Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra. Right from his childhood, the signs and characteristics mentioned in the prophecy were evident in his person and continued to be fulfilled in an extraordinary manner throughout his life. In 1944, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadraproclaimed that he indeed was Musleh Maud[The Promised Reformer] whose advent was foretold by the Promised Messiahas.
After the demise of the first Caliph (successor), Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadrawas elected as the Second Caliph and Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Becoming the Caliph at the young age of 25, he steered the growing community for more than 50 years with his incredible spiritual guidance, deep wisdom, powerful prayers and exceptional administrative acumen.
He was a renowned scholar with a remarkable depth of both religious and secular knowledge. His scholarly excellence has been preserved in a multi-volume set known as Anwarul’ Ulumamounting to over 200 books, lectures and essays expounding upon a vast array of subjects, including religion, politics, philosophy and contemporary issues.
Every year on 20thFebruary, Ahmadi Muslims across the world commemorate Yaum-e-Musleh Maud [Promised Reformer Day] in remembrance of the fulfilment of this grand prophecy of the Promised Messiahas.
The Review of Religions is pleased to present the English rendering of the very first address of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad(ra) after being bestowed the mantle of Khilafat.
The Blessed Words
(Hazrat Musleh Maud’sra first address after being elected as the Khalifah.)
اَشْھَدُ اَنْ لَّآ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللہُ وَحْدَہُ لَا شَرِیْکَ لَہُ وَ اَشْھَدُ اَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُہُ وَ رَسُوْلُہُ
My dear friends! It is my absolute conviction that God is One and has no partner.
My dear ones! Thereafter, I firmly believe that the Prophet Muhammad(sa) is the Messenger of Allah and Khatam-ul-Anbiya[the Seal of the Prophets]. I believe that no one can now appear after him who can abrogate or change even an iota from the Shariah [Islamic Law] he has given us.
My dear ones! The grandeur of my beloved Master, the Chief of the Prophets(sa), is so lofty that a person who shows complete obedience and devotion in his servitude to him can attain the rank of prophethood. It is the truth that the Holy Prophet(sa) alone has the stature and honour whereby a person can attain prophethood through perfect subservience to him. This is my faith, and I say it with complete certainty.
This is followed by my firm belief that the Holy Qur’an is that beautiful book which was revealed to the Holy Prophet(sa), and that it is the Khatam-ul-Kutub[the Seal of the Books] and contains the Khatam-ul-Shariah[the final and perfect Shariah].
I then firmly believe that the Promised Messiah(as) is that very prophet whose advent was foretold in [the tradition of Sahih] Muslim and he is the Imam who was prophesied in [Sahih] Bukhari. I say once again that not a single part of the Shariah of Islam can be abrogated.
Emulate the example of the noble companions(ra), may Allah be pleased with them all, for they were an embodiment of the Holy Prophet’s(sa) prayers and perfect training. The second Ijma’[unanimous agreement] of the companions(ra) after the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa) was in regards to Khilafat-e-Haqqa-Rashidah[the rightly guided caliphate]. Ponder carefully and study the history of Islam to see that the progress Islam made during the era of Khilafat-e-Rashidah declined when it became a mere [worldly] government, to the extent that you can witness the state of Islam and its followers today. After 1300 years, Allah the Almighty sent the Promised Messiah(as) on the same path of prophethood, in fulfilment of the prophecies of the Holy Prophet(sa) , and after his demise, God Almighty has once again established the institution of Khilafat-e-Rashida.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra), Maulana Maulvi Nooruddin Sahib, was the first Khalifah of this Community (may he be granted the highest rank in heaven and may Allah the Almighty bestow millions and millions of blessings upon him just as the love for the Holy Prophet(sa) and the Promised Messiah(as) was infused in his heart and permeated through every fibre of his being. May Allah the Almighty raise him among these pure souls in heaven). We pledged allegiance at his hands with this very belief. Thus, so long as this institution remains established, Islam will continue to progress, both materially and spiritually. Since you have proclaimedthat I should shoulder this burden and have expressed this through your pledge of allegiance, I have thus deemed it appropriate to present my beliefs before you.
I tell you truly that my heart is filled with fear and trepidation and I consider myself to be extremely weak. It has been recorded in a tradition of the Holy Prophet(sa) that one should not ask a servant to do something which the servant is incapable of doing. You have chosen to make me a servant, so do not ask me to do that which I cannot do. I am well-aware that I am weak and sinful; how then could I possibly claim to guide and reform the world and spread the truth? We are few in number, whilst the opponents of Islam are far greater in number, but we have immense trust in Allah the Almighty’s grace and blessings and compassion. Since you have placed this burden upon my shoulders, listen to what I say. Assist me in order to fulfil this responsibility and that is by seeking blessings and strength from God Almighty. Moreover, show obedience to me, whilst seeking the pleasure of Allah the Almighty and demonstrating your servitude to Him.
I am only a human being, a weak human being. I will have many weaknesses, but I ask you to overlook them. You also will err, but I swear by the Omniscient God that I will also overlook and ignore your errors. You and I share a common objective and that is to help this Community progress and to practically fulfil the fundamental purpose and goal of this Community. Thus, now that you have forged a bond with me, you must fulfil this relationship with the utmost loyalty. With the grace of God, I will overlook your faults and you will overlook mine. You must obey and follow me in every maruf decision. But if, God forbid, I say that God is not One, then by God, in Whose hands lie all of our lives, Who is One and has no partner and لَیۡسَ کَمِثۡلِہٖ شَیۡءٌ‘ There is nothing whatever like unto Him’, you absolutely must not obey me.
If, God forbid, I claim there is any defect in prophethood, do not believe me. If I state that there is any flaw in the Holy Qur’an, then by God, do not believe me. If I say anything against the divinely-revealed teachings of the Promised Messiah(as) which he received from God Almighty, then you absolutely must not obey me. But I say again, and I repeat, do not disobey me in matters concerning maruf decisions. If you show obedience and complete subservience and strengthen this bond with me then remember that the grace of Allah the Almighty shall support us.
Our Collective Prayers Will Succeed
I have an immense level of trust in my Benevolent Lord and I have absolute conviction that I will be granted divine succour. The day before yesterday, on Friday, I related a dream of mine in which I saw that I became ill and was experiencing pain in my thigh. I feared that perhaps I was about to contract the plague. I thus closed my door and began to worry about what was going to happen. I recalled the divine promise of God Almighty which He had vouchsafed to the Promised Messiah(as):
اِنِّیْٓ اُحَافِظُ کُلَّ مَنْ فِی الدَّارِ
‘I shall safeguard all those who dwell within the four walls of your house from plague’.
This promise was indeed fulfilled during his lifetime. [However, I thought that] perhaps this promise no longer stood since the Messiah(as) of God was no longer among us. I was still anxious when I saw – and this was not a dream; in fact, I was awake and could see the door and the walls of the room and even the things inside the room – it was in this very state that I saw God Almighty in the form of a white and extremely radiant spiritual light. It appeared from below and rose above; it had no beginning and no end. A hand then appeared from the light holding a white porcelain bowl of milk, which I was made to drink. Immediately after this my condition improved and I no longer felt any pain.
I had narrated the aforementioned vision up to this point but did not relate the remaining part, which I will present now. Upon being given this bowl of milk to drink, I immediately stated:
میری امت بھی کبھی گمراہ نہ ہو گی
‘My ummah also shall never go astray’
I, however, do not have an ummah, for you are my brothers, but these words were spoken in reference to the relationship between the Promised Messiah(as) has with the Holy Prophet(sa). The mission which the Promised Messiah(as) started in his lifetime has now been entrusted to me. Thus, keep praying, strengthen this relationship and try to visit Qadian regularly. I have heard the Promised Messiah(as) say again and again, that he fears there may be weaknesses in the faith of those who do not frequently visit Qadian. Our foremost objective is to propagate the faith of Islam and we must strive collectively to achieve this, so that God Almighty showers us with His grace and blessings. I say it again, and again, and yet again, that now that you have pledged allegiance to me after the Promised Messiah(as) and have thus established a bond with me, you should show the utmost obedience in this relationship. Remember me in your prayers and I will also certainly remember you in mine; in fact, I have always done so. There is not a single prayer of mine wherein I have not prayed for the members of this community. However now I shall pray for you all profusely even more. Even before, there had not been a single prayer of mine in which I had not prayed for the members of this community with heartfelt passion.
Listen once again! Do not do anything that those who violate the covenant of God Almighty would do. We should pray that we live as Muslims and die as Muslims. Ameen!
Words of the Pledge of Allegiance:
Just as it was the practise of the Promised Messiah(as) and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I(ra) to extend their hand and recite [the words of the Bai’at] and the devotees would repeat after them, I shall now also take the pledge of allegiance in the same manner:
(3 times) اَشْھَدُ اَنْ لَّآ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللہُ وَحْدَہُ لَا شَرِیْکَ لَہُ وَ اَشْھَدُ اَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُہُ وَ رَسُوْلُہُ
[I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah. He is one and has no partner. I bear witness that Muhammadsais His servant and messenger.]
This day I enter the fold of the Ahmadiyya Community, at the hands of Mahmud. I repent for all my sins which I was previously immersed in. I sincerely pledge that I will strive my utmost with all my strength and understanding – and with the help of God Almighty – to safeguard myself from sins in future as well. I will give precedence to my faith over all worldly pursuits. I will not commit shirk[associate partners with God]. I will strive to adhere to all the commandments of Islam. I profess my absolute belief in the Holy Prophet(as) as the Seal of the Prophets [Khatam-ul-Anbiya]. I firmly believe in all the claims of the Promised Messiah(as). I will demonstrate obedience in every virtuous act you guide us towards. I will strive to read, understand and act upon the Holy Qur’an and the hadith [oral traditions of the Holy Prophet(sa)]. I will make every effort to read, listen and understand the books of the Promised Messiahasand to always be mindful of its teachings and act upon them.
(3 times) اَسْتَغْفِرُ اللہَ رَبِّیْ مِنْ کُلِّ ذَنْبٍ وَ اَتُوْبُ اِلَیْہِ
‘I beg pardon from Allah, my Lord, for all my sins and turn to Him.’
رَبِّ اِنِّیْ ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِیْ ظُلْماً کَثِیْراً وَ اعْتَرَفْتُ بِذَنْبِیْ فَاغْفِرْلِیْ ذُنُوْبِیْ فَاِنَّہُ لَا یَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوْبَ اِلَّا اَنْتَ
‘O my Lord, my Allah, I have greatly wronged my soul and confess all my sins, pray forgive me and my sins for there is none else except Thee Who forgives.’
Everything that is in line with the commandments of the Holy Qur’an and the instruction of the Shariah.
The Holy Qur’an, 42:12
Tadhkirah, p. 576