His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) is a beaming beacon of Divine guidance and support. His Holiness (aba) represents the highest level of a connection with God in today’s world and thus he is the spiritual leader for tens of millions across the world, and champions the message of fulfilling the rights owed to God, and fulfilling the duties we each owe to our fellow human beings. Over the course of his Friday Sermons, addresses on various occasions, meetings with different organizations and children’s classes, His Holiness (aba) imparts invaluable knowledge and insight on a remarkably vast array of topics.
The Review of Religions is honoured to present some of these ‘Rays of Wisdom’ from His Holiness (aba) taken from various sources, for the benefit of its readers.
How Can We Increase Our Love for Khilafat?
Khilafat [Caliphate] is a system of successorship which follows after the demise of a prophet. Its purpose is to further the mission of that prophet and spread the Unity of God. According to a prophecy of the Holy Prophet (sa), a system of Caliphate upon the precepts of prophethood would be established in the latter days. After the advent of the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi, this Caliphate has been established in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. It serves to spread the message of the Unity of God, and the true teachings of Islam. For Ahmadis, the relationship with a Caliph is extremely precious, and faith-inspiring, as the Caliph is the chosen man of God. Once, someone asked His Holiness (aba) how one can increase in their love for Khilafat.
His Holiness replied:
‘Pray for Khilafat, pray that “may Allah the Almighty make us obedient to the Caliph of the time, make us true servants of Khilafat and make Khilafat everlasting.” That is how Allah the Almighty will establish this love [for Khilafat] in our hearts. This love can only be developed in our hearts by Allah the Almighty.’
Obeying the Caliph in ‘Every Good’
The Caliphate established after the Promised Messiah (as) continues today, in the person of the Fifth Caliph, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba). Ahmadi Muslims all around the world pledge allegiance to His Holiness (aba), who strives to further the mission of the Promised Messiah (as), which was to revive the true teachings of Islam and the Holy Prophet (sa). A part of that pledge made by every Ahmadi is: ‘I will always remain loyal to the institution of Khilafat in Ahmadiyyat and will obey you as Khalifatul-Masih [Caliph of the Messiah] in every good (ma’roof) that you may require of me’. The Arabic term ma’roof means good or right. With regards to those who try to impart their own interpretations of ma’roof, His Holiness (aba) once explained:
‘Regarding those who dispute and debate what is, and isn’t ma’roof, the First Caliph (ra) once said:
“Another mistake that some people make is in understanding the meaning of obedience in matters that are ma’roof [good or right]. Some decide not to obey commandments which they personally feel are not ma’roof.” Certain people make decisions of their own accord, whereby they refuse to obey that which they do not deem to be ma’roof. The First Caliph (ra) continues, “This same word [ma’roof] has been used in the context of the Holy Prophet (sa) as well. It is stated
وَ لَا یَعۡصِیۡنَکَ فِیۡ مَعۡرُوۡفٍ
‘they will not disobey thee in what is right [ma’roof]’ (60:13)
The First Caliph further states, “Have such people made a list of mistakes made by the Holy Prophet (sa)?” Have they, God forbid, made a list of the mistakes and weaknesses of the Holy Prophet (sa), that discerns which of his commandments were ma’roof or were not ma’roof? – God forbid. He continues, “Similarly, the Promised Messiah (as) has included obedience in matters that are ma’roof as part of the condition of bai’at [allegiance]. There is a hidden wisdom behind this.”
The hidden wisdom is that prophets and caliphs give instructions based on the commandments of Allah the Almighty. Once, the Promised Messiah (as) explained this term [ma’roof] and stated that this prophet [the Holy Prophet (sa)] commands that which does not contradict reason, and forbids that which reason also forbids. He deems pure things to be lawful [Halal] and deems impure things to be unlawful [Haram]. All of these things have been explained to us by Allah the Almighty in the Holy Qur’an and by the Holy Prophet (sa); all commandments and prohibitions, do’s and don’ts have been clearly outlined. Those who obey Allah the Almighty and His Messenger (sa) will attain salvation; those who abide by these commandments will attain salvation. Thus, it should always be borne in mind that Khilafat – in complete subservience to God and His Messenger (sa) – gives instructions according to the Shari’ah [Islamic law] and Sunnah [practice of the Holy Prophet (sa)] and will continue to do so. Allah the Almighty says that it is only through obedience that one can be rightly guided. Otherwise, there is no path to salvation besides this.’
The Difference Between a Caliph and Worldly Leaders
The Caliph is a leader of millions around the world. People turn to him for all sorts of matters, whether personal, administrative, societal and even international affairs. Not only does the Caliph advise on an array of matters according to Islamic teachings and the practice of the Holy Prophet (sa), but he leads by example, by embodying the very essence of Islam and what it means ot be a true Muslim. Sometimes, people ask what makes the Caliph different from any other worldly leader. His Holiness (aba) beautifully addressed this topic on one occasion when he said:
‘There is a huge difference between the leadership of Khilafat [Caliphate] and dictatorship. Khilafat was established after accepting the Imam of the Age [the Promised Messiah (as)] and in fulfillment of the promise of Allah the Almighty. Every adherent pledges to preserve the institution of Khilafat…
…Is there any dictator that has a personal relationship with the people of his country? The Caliph of the time has a personal relationship with Ahmadis of every nation and ethnicity spread across the entire world. They write letters to the Caliph containing their personal matters. If you were to consider just these daily letters, [going through them] seems like an impossible feat to worldly people. Only Khilafat is considerate of the pain of every single Ahmadi across the world and the Caliph of the time prays for them.
Which worldly leader prays for the sick? Which worldly leader is concerned for the marriages of the girls in their nation and prays for them? Which worldly leader is truly concerned for the education of children? Although governments may establish educational institutions, make education available and facilitate activities for personal health and wellbeing, but today, it is only the Caliph of the time who is truly concerned for the education of children around the world. Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are fortunate, because the Caliph of the time remains concerned about them attaining an education, and is concerned for their health and wellbeing. Then there are also marital issues [within the community]; in essence, there is no personal or Jama’at [community] matter of any Ahmadi around the world which is not in view of the Caliph of the time, and not only does he practically strive to resolve these matters, but he also bows down before Allah the Almighty and prays to Him. I, along with the Caliphs before me, have all done this.
I have outlined the various responsibilities assigned to the Caliph of the time by God Almighty which he must fulfil. There is not a single nation in the world which I do not visit in my imagination before going to sleep and for which I do not pray, whether it is while I am sleeping or while I am awake. I do not say these things to express that I am doing some sort of favour, rather, this is my duty. I pray that Allah the Almighty enable me to further fulfil my responsibilities. The essence of what I am saying is that Khilafat cannot be compared with any worldly leadership.’
Meeting with Atfal from Germany – 27 April 2019
Haqaiul Furqan Vol 4 pp. 75-76
Friday Sermon – 24 May 2019
Friday Sermon – 6 June 2014