Khilafat Prophecies Prophets

Ahmadiyat

The name Ahmadiyyat indicates the renaissance of the religion of the Holy Qur’an and is a r e-statement presented under Divine guidance by the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement. The names Ahmadi and Ahmadiyyat are meant only to distinguish Ahmadi Muslims from other Muslims who still await the Promised Mahdi and Messiah. Ahmadi Muslims believe the Founder of their Community to be the Promised Messiah(as). Today, the followers of all the great religions of the world are awaiting the second coming of their founders. Will the message and function of every one of them be identical? Or, will each of them have his own message, different to and in conflict with the messages of the other great teachers in their Second Advent? If the messages of all of them are to be identical, then not more than one would be needed to convey that message and to set an example in conformity with it. If the messages were to be conflicting, the advent of so many teachers, instead of promoting unity, peace, accord and spiritual fulfillment, would only foster hostility, discord, enmity and chaos. The Holy Qur’an, like the Holy Books of other faiths, contains grand prophecies of the appear- ance of a universal teacher and reformer in these latter days, who will revive and rejuvenate belief in God and bring about u n i t y, peace and spiritual fulfillment. The Muslims, like the Christians, were looking forward to the return of the Messiah and also the advent of the Mahdi. The Buddhists were expecting Buddha and the Hindus were expecting the return of Krishna. All these prophecies were to find their fulfillment in the advent of one person. For God is One, truth is indivisible and guidance for mankind and the remedy for the ills of the age must be uniform, comprehensive and consistent. In 1835, in the village of Qadian, in the Punjab area of India, was born a boy named Ghulam 24 Review of Religions – March 2002 Ahmadiyyat By Bilal Atkinson – UK A h m a d( a s ), who in later life was hailed as the Reformer of the age by many Muslim scholars. The child was no ordinary child. His parents were Muslim and he grew up to be no ordinary Muslim. From early life, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad( a s ) had been deeply interested in the study and service of Islam. Often he met Christians, Hindus and Sikhs in public debate and spoke and wrote about them. This made all religious communities inter- ested in him and he became well known to the leaders of the c o m m u n i t i e s . All of them, Sikh, Hindu Christian and Muslim, agreed that he had always led a blameless life, had shown the utmost kindness and consideration to others and had been consistently truthful and honest in all his dealings. He was universally trusted. In short, those who knew him knew him as the most honourable and trustworthy person, one who would never compromise with truth and justice. Though Christians, Hindus and Sikhs strongly disagreed with him on religious matters, they testified to the purity of his personal life and character. Even great Islamic scholars looked upon him as the Champion of Islam. Hadhrat Ahmad ( a s ) began to receive revelation from God Almighty at an early age and as time passed his experience of revelation multiplied progres- s i v e l y. Every one of his reve- lations was clearly fulfilled according to its due time, some relating to future events, still await fulfillment. His announce- ment of being the Mahdi and Messiah in late 1890 was published throughout the world and his claim was received, as has always been the case of the Divine Reformers such as Jesus and Muhammad, peace be upon them, with widespread oppo- sition. Prior to his announcement of being the Promised Messiah(as), God Almighty assured him with the revelation: ‘I shall carry thy message to the ends of the Earth’ This revelation set forth assur- ances of Divine support and the progressive spread of the Movement initiated by him within the body of Islam. In obedience to God’s command, Hadhrat A h m a d(as) claimed to be the Messiah for the Christians, the Mahdi for the Muslims, and Krishna for the Hindus etc. In short, he was the Pr o m i s e d 25 Ahmadiyyat Review of Religions – March 2002 Prophet of every nation and was appointed to unite all mankind under the banner of one faith. Muhammad(sa), the Holy Prophet of Islam ( s a ) was a universal prophet with a universal teaching and this man Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) who claimed to be the Promised Messiah, also claimed to be subordinate to and a reflection of Muhammad, the Seal of all the Prophets. Describing the object of his advent the Promised Messiah(as) said: ‘The task for which God has appointed me, is that I should, by removing the obstacles which have been set up between man and his M a k e r, re-establish in the hearts of men, love and devotion to God and by making manifest the truth, should put an end to all religious wars and strife, and thus lay the foundation of abiding peace and should acquaint mankind with the spiritual truths which it had forgotten and should demon- strate to the world the true spiritual life which had been displaced by material desires and should, in my own life, manifest those divine powers with which man has been endowed, but which can be manifest only through prayer and devotion and above all, that I should permanently re-establish the bright pure Unity of God, purified from all polytheistic ideas which had entirely disappeared from the hearts of men.’ (Lecture on Islam, p.34) 26 Ahmadiyyat Review of Religions – March 2002 The Promised Messiah(as) The Promised Messiah(as) stressed the cultivation of moral and spiritual qualities and conforming to them strictly in every sphere of life. The result was that he succeeded in building up a community whose members, under his instructions and following his example, illustrate in their daily lives the beneficence of Islamic teachings according to their faculties and capacities. The patterns and traditions established by him have become like the natural texture of their lives, so that it might be said that the Community founded by him is today the only one that illus- trates in the lives of the greater part of its members, the true purpose of human life and the manner of its achievement. After the death of the Pr o m i s e d M e s s i a h( a s ) in 1908, Ahmadi Muslims have elected his Successors or Khalifas. Khilafat is a great Divine blessing, which follows a prophet and brings about s o l i d a r i t y, cohesion and unity among the believers. The Khalifa is the spiritual and administrative Head of the Ahmadiyya, Movement in Islam. The present Supreme Head of the Wo r l d – w i d e Ahmadiyya Community, Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, is based in London and was elected as the fourth Khalifa of the Pr o m i s e d M e s s i a h( a s ) in 1982. He is spiritually gifted and divinely guided, full of knowledge, wisdom and humility. His knowledge of history and the Muslim world spring from a lifelong study of Islam. He is a widely travelled man and a keen observer of other cultures and societies. He has delivered countless lectures on religious topics and has answered many thousands of questions on key issues of the contemporary age. With the guidance of the Khalifa, the community has always remained at the forefront of the service and welfare of humanity. It has established many schools, hospitals and clinics in many countries. In these hospitals the poor and less well off are treated free of charge. At times of natural disasters and calamities throughout the world, the community has always worked on a voluntarily basis and helped the affected, both financially and physically, irrespective of their faith colour or creed and will, God willing, continue to do so. The Community has also estab- lished its own global satellite television station, MTA Inter- 27 Ahmadiyyat Review of Religions – March 2002 national, and broadcasts twenty- four hours per day in several languages. This service is provided free of charge to any viewer. In whichever country they reside, Ahmadi Muslims obey the laws of that land and are faithful to that land and to the people of the land. This world, which has seen so much tragedy during the last century and is facing further tragedies at the moment, is on the brink of a catastrophe, which is sure to take place, due to greed, selfishness, prejudice and most importantly because of lack of true and absolute justice. The Promised Messiah( a s ) h a s guided the people of these latter days, on how we should conduct ourselves within our worldwide communities in order to attain peace and harmony. The Promised Messiah(as) has said: ‘My advice to you is that you should become a model of every virtue. You should neither be negligent in doing your duty to God nor you should be negligent in doing your duty to your fellow beings.’ (Malfoozat Vol. II, p.298) The Promised Messiah (as) was told that his message would reach all corners of the earth. From such a remote area, Ahmadiyyat has, by the Grace of God, spread to more than 170 countries of the world and its population is ever expanding; so much so that 80 million people entered the fold of Ahmadiyyat last year. I myself accepted Ahmadiyyat more than 14 years ago and I have never regretted it for one moment; indeed, I thank God every day for leading me to the universal teaching that is Islam. I was not attracted to it by force, because you cannot force a heart to love. I was attracted by the beautiful teachings of Islam and the people who put those teachings into practice and who call themselves Ahmadi Muslims. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes it is an embodiment of the true Islam. It seeks to unite mankind with its Creator and to establish peace at both individual and collective levels. I commend it to those who seek the true meaning of life. 28 Ahmadiyyat Review of Religions – March 2002