Farhat Mahmood, UK
It was 2003, an April day, when we heard about the sad demise of our beloved Fourth Khalifa [Caliph] Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (rh). At that time I lived in the United States of America. We, like many Ahmadis devastated by the loss of our beloved Imam, flocked to London to pay our respects.
Those days are vividly etched into my memory. Ahmadis from around the world, filled the Fazl Mosque (London) complex, along with the surrounding streets and homes. It was as if there was a magnetic force keeping everyone in place, and there was no sense of time; whether day or night, people continued to gather. Ahmadis were there bidding farewell to their beloved Khalifa, and awaiting the fulfillment of God’s promise with the election of the next Khalifa.
The sentiments felt by Ahmadis during those days are best described in a documentary aired on MTA (Muslim Television Ahmadiyya) called Four Days Without a Shepard produced by the late Syed Taalay Ahmad Shaheed. Those were truly sorrowful days for the Jama’at[Community]; we were a flock of sheep without our shepherd. But the following incident truly showed me how God guides his people to instantly accept, and follow behind His chosen Khalifa.
Huzoor [His Holiness], Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih V (aba) [the Fifth Caliph] was elected as the next Khalifa, and then on the following day, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IV (rh) [the Fourth Caliph] was laid to rest in Islamabad, Tilford.
On that day, shortly after the burial, Huzoor met with the Jama’at members in Islamabad, Tilford. We met Huzoor in a long hall that served perhaps as a prayer hall at the time. In order to accommodate the number of individuals that would meet their newly elected Khalifa for the first time, we queued up at the entrance of the hall and would walk to Huzoor and offer our Salam [Islamic greeting of peace] and then exit the building on the other side. I too, like many others gathered there, was awaiting anxiously and with much excitement for my chance to say Salam to Huzoor.
I remember that as I entered the building, I was mostly looking down. As I approached Huzoor, I looked up, and to my astonishment, in my view, Huzoor seemed to be very tall – almost supernaturally tall. A very bright light was shining behind him with rays going in all directions. It was as if the sun was shining right behind him, and almost from him. I remember looking up and being stunned by what I was seeing. Huzoor was smiling and offered his Salam. I said Salam and moved along. As soon as I left the building, I immediately asked the ladies around me, slightly catching my breath, if they had just seen what I had seen. What I had just experienced was so real, I was convinced that everyone had seen Huzoor in the same way. Just as the words came out, I realised that this was a vision shown to me by God.
To this day, I have wondered why I was shown this. I have come to understand that sometimes, God wants to immediately instill the love for His Khalifa in the heart of a person. Maybe this was the way God was instilling that love in me. It also solidified my belief that every successor is chosen by God, and immediately helped by God. It was a blessing for me and maybe my future life would always benefit from this vision I had seen.
Many years later, I came to London and have had the honour and privilege of living near Huzoor. There have been many times when I thought to write about this vision to Huzoor, but somehow I didn’t. Now I felt that I needed to share this story. My experience is not unique, as many Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis alike see the rays of light emanating from Huzoor’s personage. It is God’s grace and mercy that such experiences imprint the love and truthfulness of the Khalifa on the hearts of his followers. May our hearts and our allegiance always remain behind our Khalifa. Ameen.
‘Surely, I am with you, O Masroor’(a revelation from Allah to the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) – Tadhkirah (English Translation) p. 1016)
About the Author: Farhat Mahmood holds a bachelors in Economics with Honors from the University of Maryland. She has worked in the finance sector and IT web development field for 20 years. She currently serves in The Review of Religions as Assistant Manager, responsible for website development and online content.