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Ahmadiyyat Today (I)

FEBRUARY 1985 AHMADIYYAT TODAY 17 AHMADIYYAT TODAY By Ataul Mujeeb Rashed, Imam of the London Mosque The Ahmadiyya Movement represents the most dynamic organiza- tion within the vast body of Islam. Standing firm on the principle that Islam is the only perfect guidance for mankind and its Book, the Holy Quran, is the only remedy for all human ills, it aims at establishing the Unity of God and in uniting the whole world into one bond of brotherhood under the banner of the greatest benefac- tor of humanity, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Pro- phets, the best exemplar and the paragon of truth. It was foretold by the Phophet of Islam that in the Latter Days when moral and spiritual values would be in decline among the Muslims, the promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi would appear to revive Islam in its prestine purity. He would re-establish the superiority of Islam over all other faiths by dint of heavenly signs. ORIGIN This great prophecy about the advent of a world reformer has, by the grace of Allah, already been fulfilled in the person of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908), the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. The claim of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (upon whom be peace) is that God has raised him for the guidance and direction of mankind; that he is the Messiah foretold in the Traditions of our Holy Prohpet and the Mahdi promised in his say- ings; that the prophecies contained in the different religious books about the advent of a Divine Messenger in the Latter Days have also been fulfilled in his person; that God has raised him for the advocacy and promulgation of Islam in our time; that God has granted him insight into the Holy Quran, and revealed to him its innermost meaning and truth; that He has revealed to him the secrets of vir- tuous life. By his work, his message, and his example, he has glorified the Holy Prophet and demonstrated the superiority of Islam over other religions. The purpose of his advent was that God’s love and concern for Islam should become manifest. The prophecies in the books of other religions which foretold the coming of a teacher, all met their fulfilment in him. He was the Messiah for 18 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS FEBRUARY 1985 Christians and Jews and Krishna for the Hindus. His coming in fulfillment of prophecies contained in the ancient books is evidence of his truth. As he himself is a witness of the religion of Islam, his coming is an invitation to the followers of other religions to come and enter the universal brotherhood of Islam. BRIEF HISTORY It was in 1889 that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian claim- ed that he was the reformer of the 14th Century and was the Madhi and the Promised Messiah. In March 1889, he laid the foundation of the Ahmadiyya Movement. He passed away in 1908, and was suc- ceeded by Hazrat Maulvi Nooruddin as his first Caliph. After his death, in 1914, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad was elected as the second Caliph. On his demise in November 1965, Hazrat Hafez Mirza Nasir Ahmad was chosen the third Caliph. When he departed from this world in June 1982, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad was elected as the fourth Caliph who is the present Supreme Head of the Movement. The Movement which was founded 95 years ago, has its branches all over the world and enjoys the allegiance of more than ten million people drawn from all regions of the earth comprising all races and colors. THE PRESENT ORGANIZATION The Supreme Head of the Movement is known as Khlaifatul Masih (the successor of the Messiah). He is the spiritual guide as well as the executive Head of this Movement. He supervises and guides the various organizations within the Community. The central organization of the Commnity is represented by the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya. It is now composed of a Sadr (Presi- dent), a Nazir-i-A’la (Chief Secretary), and several other Nazirs (Secretaries) who are in charge of various departments. The principal Nazirs are (1) Nazir Baitul Mai (Secreatary of the Treasury), (2) Nazir Umoor-i-Amma (Secretary of the General Affairs;dealing with miscellaneous matters relaing to the organization and discipline of the Community), (3) Nazir Umoor-i-Kharijah (Secretary dealing with matters relating to other communities and the Government), (4) Nazir Talim-o-Tarbiyat (Secretary in charge of education and train- ing), (5) Nazir Islah-o-Irshad (Secretary for missionary work), (6) Nazir Ishaat (Secretary for publications), (7) Nazir Dhiafat (Secretary for hospitality), (8) 2Nazir Talimul Quran (Secretary for Quranic education). FEBRUARY 1985 AHMADIYYAT TODAY 19 Control over the members of the community outside Rabwah is exercised through Amirs apointed by the Khalifa and through branch Anjumans affiliated to the Sadr Anjuman. Wherever there are a few Ahmadies they are required to set up a chapter and the usual office holders are appointed. Every Amir endeavors to organize the local members and to regulate the affairs of the Com- munity along the same lines as are followed at the Center as far as it may be practicable, having regard to the number of members and other local circumstances. Every section of the Community is organized in an Association for the purpose of proper training in the exercise of moral and spiritual values and marching forward towards the achievement of the pur- poses of the Movement. The Majlis Ansarullah (Association of the Helpers in the service of God), is composed of all male members of the Movement over the age of 40 years. The Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya (Association fo the Servants of Ahmadiyyat), is composed of all male members of the Movement between the ages of 15 and 40 years. Atfalul Ahmadiyya (Children of Ahmadiyyat) is composed of male children between the ages of 7 and 15 years. Lajnah Ima Allah (Association of the Handmaidens of God) includes all female rSembers of the Movement above the age of 15 years, while Nasiratul Ahmadiyya is an association of young girls between the ages of 7 and 15. Each of these associations has its own ofice bearers and is con- stantly active in promoting the moral and spiritual values inculcated by Islam. One feature of the training of all sections of the Communi- ty, which is thus bound together in affectionate ties of brotherhood and sisterhood, is that all members under the auspices of their par- ticular associations carry out without discrimination, programs of manual labor, designed to uphold the dignity ‘of labor. The female sections also carry out programs designed to stimulate their artistic faculties and to train them in the various branches of domestic science and household duties. In 1922 the Advisory Consultative Council of the Movement was instituted. It is normally convened once a year to submit its advice to the Khalifa on such matters as might be committed to it for advice. It is composed of elected representatives of every branch of the Movement in Pakistan. Practical considerations have imposed the limitation of representation in the Council to branches of the Move- ment in Pakistan but it is visualized that on the needed facilities 20 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS FEBRUARY 1985 becoming available, representaion would be extended to branches of the Movement outside Pakistan also. The Khalifatul Masih himself presides over the deliberations of the Council, except on the rare occasion when any matter involving a personal interest of the Khalifa is the subject of consideration. The Council also discusses the Annual Budget of the Movement and submits its recommendations on it. After the session of the Council is opened with an address by the Khalifatul Masih, commit- tees are set up for the detailed consideration of the items on the agenda of the Council, and submit their reports to the Council for discussion and the formulation of its recommendations. In the course of these discussions, points constantly arise bearing upon the true appreciation of moral and spiritual values. At the conclusion of the discussion of each item the Khalifatul Masih sums up the points that arise in the course of the discussion and pronounces upon them, furnishing the needed guidance on every point. On the advice tendered by the Council and the recommendations submitted by it the Kahlifatul Masih normally annouces his decision at the end of his observations, but sometimes reserves the matter for further reflec- tion. He generally accepts the advice tendered or the recommenda- tions made by a majority of the Council, but if he is of the view that the advice or recommendation ignores or runs counter to some prin- ciple, the upholding of which is an obligation. He sets forth an ex- postion of the principle involved and rejects the advice or recom- mendation or announces his acceptance in a modified form which rectifies the objection on principle. Every session of the Council proves a most exhilarating experience for the participants on account of the opportunities of moral and spiritual training that it affords for evey participant. The discussions in the Council are of a high level and compare favorably with the proceedings and discusions of similar bodies of a comparable character outside the Movement. The Qadha or the Islamic Judicial system was instituted in 1925. Under this system original jurisdiction is exercised by individual Qadhis (Judges or Magistrates). There is an appeal to a Board of Qadhis and a second appeal from the board to the Khalifa. If the Khalifa himself should happen to be a party in the case, the decision of the Board of Appeal is final. The Qadha deals with only civil disputes of such matters of a disciplinary nature as are not required by the laws of the country to be dealt with by the ordinary courts. FEBRUARY 1985 AHMADiYYAT TODAY 21 No member of the Community may commence or prosecute a pro- ceeding of a civil nature against another member save in the Qadha. If for some reason it is found necessary to have recourse to the or- dinary civil courts, this may only be done with permissin obtained from the appropriate department of the Community. One special feature of the judicial system established in the Community is that wh’ile the Judges occupy themselves with the decision of cases, machinery for execution of decrees is not attached to the Qadha, but is a part of the department of the Nazir Umoor-i-Amma. The whole system of course, works on a vc4untary basis and the only ultimate sanction behind its successful and efficient working is the moral and spiritual value that every member attaches to his membership of the Community. Apart from the moral and spiritual gain, the actual working of the department saves the Community the heavy expenses of litigation which are so sad a feature of the administration of justice in the ordinary courts. No court fees are levied by the Qadha. The rules of procedure and evidence followed are simple and free from many of the technicalities that often operate to defeat justice under more formal systems. They are designed to ascertain the truth rather than to satisfy the academic notions of the lawyers. ADMISSION TO MEMBERSHIP Anyone wishing to become a member must first of all fully understand the aims and objects for which the Ahmadiyya Com- munity has been initiated. He is then required to forward his initia- tion (Ba’iat) form to the Head of the Movement, giving his par- ticulars. There are ten conditions of Ba’iat as laid down by the Founder of the Movement, as follows: Firstly, that up to the day of his death he shall abstain from worhsipping any other dieties but Allah. Secondly, that he shall keep away from falsehood, adultery, look- ing at women other than near relatives, cruelty, dishonesty, riot, rebellion and, in short, any kind of evil. He shall not allow himself to be carried away by his passions, however strong they may be. Thirdly, that he shall observe the five daily prayers without fail, according to the command of God and His Prophet; and to the best of his ability, he shall try to offer Tahajjud (night) prayers to invoke the blessings of Allah upon the Holy Prophet, to ask forgiveness for his own sins and pray for Allah’s help; and that remembering 22 – – ” . THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS , – . ‘ ‘ ” . FEBRUARY1985 Fourthly,: Tags