Progress of Islam is Dependant Upon Khilafat

Allah has promised those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors from among those who were before them; and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear: They will worship Me, and they will not associate anything with Me. Then whoso is ungrateful after that, they will be the rebellious. (Surah Al-Nur 24:56) 1,500 years ago from today the heavens saw an astonishing sight to which no similitude can be found in the history of the world. No sooner had the sun of prophethood risen on the horizon of the world that the earth that was steeped in dense darkness dazzled instantly with light. From the blessed appearance of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) for whom this universe was created, humanity that was once lost in the abyss of deviation, found the way to prosperity. In the shape of the religion of Islam the spring of Divine Beneficence gushed forth that saturated the earth parched for centuries and barren lands bloomed with the evergreen fields of spirituality. A magnificent revolution was brought about in the entire universe by a mortal com- 7Review of Religions – June 2002 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Based on a speech by Imam Ata ul Mujeeb Rashed, Imam of the London Mosque given at the Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community) Germany 1989. [Translated into English by Mrs Shermeen Butt] pletely absorbed in God and by the prayers he made in the darkest of nights. Those dead of soul for centuries became spiritually alive and those astray for generations were tinted in the Divine colour. The blind became clear sighted and the mute spoke words of Divine knowledge. At that time such a revolution came about in this world that no eye had seen before and no ear had heard of. This beautiful splendour of Allah the Almighty’s most excellent manifestation in the shape of a most perfect human was at its climax when our beloved master the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) time to pass away came. How melancholy must have the sincere Companions felt at his demise; it is not that straight- forward to conjecture the extent of their sadness! How accurately it has been said: ‘With the arrival, that had inherent happiness, of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) Medina illuminated like the moon, and today with his passing away our eyes have not seen a place as dark as this’. The poet of Islam, Hadhrat Hassaan bin Thabit (may Allah be pleased with him) had lost his sight for quite sometime. However this was the day when he first realised that he had indeed lost the light of his eyes! How much grief and sorrow is veiled in the verses that he uttered then: ‘O Muhammad (peace and blessings be on him), you were [like] the pupil of my eye that I am blinded of today. Whosoever may die now, I feared your death alone.’ This anguished condition was not just Hassaan’s (may Allah be pleased with him) rather all the Companions were insane with grief. Their one grief was that of losing a beloved being whose love was greater than mother’s love and the other anguish confounding them was: who was going to be the defender of their beloved’s 8 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 sacred trust, what was to become of the sapling of Islam? Who was to irrigate it? It was only in the stage of sowing, who was going to nurture it with blood and life? And who indeed was going to conclude this mission? The anxiety of defending, propagating and promoting Islam was breaking up their souls; how would the Divine promise of the universal triumph, victory and advance- ment of Islam be fulfilled? At this critical juncture in the history of Islam, completely vanquished by these anxieties the revered Companions were enduring extreme distress when True to His promise God supported His beloved’s people and His benevolent hand held the wounded hearts through the medium of Khilafat. This tranquil hand of Allah the Almighty came forth in the form of Khilafat and filled the tremulous and fearful hearts with calm and serenity. The pallid hearts were revived that the Living, Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining God had placed the coronet of Khilafat on the head of a bereft and dying ummah [people], granted them a leader who was a successor of their beloved master and through that affinity was declared their beloved master. The Companions faces beamed with happiness. The body had found a head; the convoy had found a leader who wore the garland of Divine victory. This was the appearance of the Second Manifestation; the reward of the Rightly Guided Khilafat and it was the completion of that Divine promise that God had made to the believers regarding the exaltation and victory of Islam. Listen to the details of this Divine promise and its grand manifestation from the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace), who says: ‘It has always been the way of God, a way which He has demonstrated since the day He created mankind, that He comes to the aid of His Apostles and Messengers and grants them predom-inance. He has stated in the Holy Qur’an: 9 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 Allah has decreed: ‘Most surely I will prevail, I and my Messengers.’ (Surah Al-Mujadilah. Ch. 58: V.22). ‘ Prevalence’ or ‘predom- inance’ in this context can be explained as follows: It is the fervent desire of all Prophets that arguments in favour of God become firmly established on the Earth in such a manner that none should be able to refute them. So with mighty signs, God makes manifest their truth and at their hands He sows the seed of the righteousness which they wish to spread. However, He does not complete this mission at their hands. Instead He causes them to die in such circumstances and at such a time when it would seen as if they had failed in their mission. This gives the opponents the opportunity to heap ridicule on them. But once these people have had their laugh, He shows another mani- festation of His power and creates a set of circum- stances that eventually lead to the fulfilment of those partially achieved aims. In short, His power is manifested twice: During the lifetime of His Apostles and through their works He shows the power of His Hand. After the demise of His apostles when their followers are subjected to various hardships. The enemy gains force and begins to think that the mission of the Prophet has been fatally injured. They even begin to believe that the community of his followers will be destroyed. Even members of the Movement fall prey to doubt (as if their backs had been broken). Some unfortunate ones take to the path of apostasy. Then, once again, God shows His Power and His Might and He saves the faltering community. So he who is steadfast to the last witnesses the miracle of God Almighty. This is similar to what 10 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 happened at the time of Hadhrat Abu Bakr ( r a ). The death of the Holy Prophet(sa) was considered untimely and many ignorant Bedouins turned apostate. The companions of the Holy Pr o p h e t( s a ) were consumed with grief. At that critical hour Allah made Hadhrat Abu B a k r(ra) stand firm and through him He once again showed a manifestation of His Power. Islam was thus saved from annihilation and His following promise was fulfilled, which said: And that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear. Surah Al-Nur (Ch. 24: V.56) (A l – Waseeyat – Roohani Khiza’een, Vol. 20 pp.304-305 This tremendous Power of Allah the Exalted, the Second Manifestation, is that spiri- tually blessed system of Khilafat, after prophethood, on which depends Islam’s advancement, and its victory is reliant on it as well. This blessed system, is a represen- tative of prophet hood and is the definite guarantee of advancements of all kinds. This indeed is the Promised Divine system of guidance that has been promised to the believers in Ayah Istikhlaaf (Al-Nur V.56). Hadhrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (may Allah be pleased with him) has given a most splendid elucidation on the significance of Khilafat. He says: It is inferred from the study of the Holy Qur’an and the history of prophethood that when Allah the Exalted sends a prophet or a messenger in the world, the motive is not for one individual 11 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 …WHEN ALLAH THE EXALTED SENDS A PROPHET OR A MESSENGER IN THE WORLD, THE MOTIVE IS NOT FOR ONE INDIVIDUAL TO COME IN THIS WORLD, TO GIVE OUT A CALL AND THEN RETURN. RATHER AT THE TIME OF EACH PROPHET AND MESSENGER, IT IS THE DESIGN OF ALLAH THE EXALTED TO BRING ABOUT A CHANGE AND A REVOLUTION. to come in this world, to give out a call and then return. Rather at the time of each prophet and messenger, it is the design of Allah the Exalted to bring about a change and a revolution. Subject to the apparent means and motives of this, an extensive system and continuous endeavour is needed. As man’s age is nevertheless limited, he is only employed to do the ‘sowing’. To take this process of sowing to its conclusion, after the death of a prophet, He makes worthy people from among his community his continuous successors and thus finalises his work. In Islamic idiom, these successors are called Khalifa. Monthly Khalid, Rabwah May 1960. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) writes about the greatness of the system of Khilafat, its wisdom and blessing, in his book Shahadatul Qur’an: ‘A khalifa is in actual fact a p r o p h e t ’s shadow. As no human has eternal life, therefore Allah the Exalted willed to everlastingly establish the prophet’s beings, which are more eminent and superior to all beings in the world, till the Day of Judgment in a shadow-like manner. Hence for this motive Allah the Exalted planned Khilafat so that the world may never, in any age be deprived of the blessings of prophet hood’. (Shahadatul Qur’ a n – Roohani Khiza’een Vol. 6, p.353). A study of the Ayah Istikhlaaf of the Holy Qur’an tells us that the system of Khilafat, which is granted to the believers as a reward is a most blessed and magnificent system of lead- ership. Allah the Exalted Himself establishes this system in that community of believers that is adorned with faith and good deeds. Khilafat is an appendix of prophethood and is the perfect shadow of that light alone. In this respect the complete image of the blessings and the light of prophet hood can be seen in this reflection of prophet hood. 12 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 This is a system that changes each fear of the Muslim ummah in peace. It establishes the worship of the One and Only God with such splendour that it becomes the death knell for the idolatrous way of life. It is indeed Khilafat that becomes a testimonial of the faith and the good deeds of the community of believers thus gives them a lesson in unity and harmony. Khilafat is that cord of Allah that threads the entire ummah in the link of unison and love, transforming it into a firm, solid base. The most magnificent grace of the blessings of Khilafat that Allah the Most Holy the Exalted mentions first of all in Ayah Istikhlaaf is the stability of Islam and the honour of the faith. The noble verse reads: And that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them (Ch.24:v.56) That is to say that Allah the Al- Mighty and Incomparable, promises and makes a definite announcement that Islam shall be granted strength and honour through the system of Khilafat and the Divine destiny of the global victory of Islam shall be manifested with full splendour and glory through Khilafat. The warning that in isolation from the system of Khilafat, the possibility of any blessing, any advancement and any success cannot be envisaged is included in this challenging and perfectly clear declaration. Success and prosperity will curtsy to those who will be within the sphere of Khilafat and those who will turn away from this grace will always be lost in the void of failure and misfortune. The 1,400-year-old history of Islam bears witness that up till the time when the correct system of Khilafat, that is, the Rightly Guided Khilafat was established, Islam had advancement and victory. The sun of their successes and prosperity declined when the Muslims, as a requital of their bad deeds were deprived of this Divine reward. At the 13 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 passing away of our guide and master the Holy Pr o p h e t Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) when Allah the Exalted granted the Muslims with Khilafat according to His promise, then during the blessed era of the Rightly Guided Khilafat, which only encompassed 30 years, Islam’s glory was established not only in Arabia but the length and breath of this world. Allah the Exalted had promised the community of the believers that ‘You shall certainly have the upper hand if you are believers’ (Ch.3: V.140). In accordance with this promise the Muslims were granted success and victory in each field and each direction. While the situation at the time of the death of the Holy Pr o p h e t( s a ) of Islam was very critical for Islam, soon after the system of Khilafat was established, the Islamic flag flew in the East in Afghanistan up to the borders of China, up to Tripoli and the verges of North Africa in the West, in the North up to the Caspian sea and up to Ethiopia in the South. This victory and advancement of the Rightly Guided Khilafat stuns the world even today. This was that age of the advancement and climax of Islam that even the colossal opponents were powerless to contend with. Such was the state of the grandeur of Islam and the awe of the Muslims that the great empires of kings and emperors would tremble at their name and would bow down to them. The truth is that during this golden era of the 14 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 ….SOON AFTER THE SYSTEM OF KHILAFAT WAS ESTABLISHED, THE ISLAMIC FLAG FLEW IN THE EAST IN AFGHANISTAN UP TO THE BORDERS OF CHINA, UP TO TRIPOLI AND THE VERGES OF NORTH AFRICA IN THE WEST, IN THE NORTH UP TO THE CASPIAN SEA AND UP TO ETHIOPIA IN THE SOUTH. THIS VICTORY AND ADVANCEMENT OF THE RIGHTLY GUIDED KHILAFAT STUNS THE WORLD EVEN TODAY. Rightly Guided Khilafat Islam attained such glory and eminence that even today when an impartial historian casts his eyes on this era he is wonder personified. He fails to understand as to how the inhabitants of the desert of Arabia became the conquerors of the world. He does not realise that it was all the fruits of the Rightly Guided Khilafat. That Rightly Guided Khilafat with which the destiny of the triumph of Islam is linked. This brief mention of the advancement and eminence of Islam in the blessed period of the Rightly Guided Khilafat cannot be complete without a little account of the problems and seditions that arose one after the other, in particular during the beginning of the Rightly Guided Khilafat and were vanquished by the greatness of the Khilafat. The tumult of apostasy arose, protestors of Zakat raised a revolt, the hypocrites tried to stop the organization of the Muslim ummah, false claimants to prophet hood tried to scale the walls of the palace of Islam. It seemed as if these headstrong seditions would ruin the greatness of Islam. However the God Who had granted the Muslims with the reward of Khilafat according to His promise and Who had made this promise: And that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them. (Ch.24: v.56) The God of these true promises granted the Khalifa of the time, Hadhrat Abu Bakr Sadeeq (may Allah be pleased with him) with such resolve, courage and iron nerve to take measures that before their very eyes all these revolts were subjugated and the harvest of Islam was completely safe and secure from these whirlwinds. I shall only relate one incident to establish the facts: Before his demise the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had directed to send an army of Muslims in the leadership of Hadhrat Usama bin Zaid (may Allah be pleased 15 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 with him) towards Syria. The army had not yet left that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) passed away. This instantly altered the circumstances. In the changed circumstances it seemed expedient by all accounts to apparently stop this a r m y. Hadhrat Umer Farooq (may Allah be pleased with him) whose political insight and courage is widely acknow- ledged, presented himself in the court of the Khilafat and submitted, ‘O Khalifa of the Prophet! The circumstances demand that some changes are made regarding this army. In consideration of the defense of the Centre this army should be halted.’ Reflect on the blessing and the greatness of Khilafat, that the one who was considered kind- hearted and thus weak, the very same Abu Bakr, who was now granted with the status of Khilafat by Allah the Exalted answered, ‘Stopping the army aside, by God! Even if birds start scavenging my flesh I shall not commence my Khilafat by stopping something that was commanded by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in his lifetime. What the prophet of God has said is final and absolute. This army shall leave and shall definitely leave and there is no way that this army should be stopped’. The Companions submitted respectfully to at least delay the departure of the army a little. Hadhrat Abu Bakr Sadeeq (may Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘this is also impossible. I swear by the Being save Who there is none worthy of worship, even if the dead bodies of the women of Medina are ravaged by dogs and cats in the streets of Medina, I would still never ever stop this army that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) had prepared himself. This army shall leave and shall leave immediately.’ The Companions tried once again and most respectfully submitted their advice that if nothing else was possible, then another experienced person should replace the young and 16 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 in-experienced Usama as the leader of the army. Hadhrat Abu Bakr replied ‘certainly not, Ibn Abi Fahaqa would not dare change whoever has been appointed by the Prophet of God. This army will leave in the leadership of Usama and will certainly leave’. Therefore the world saw that despite extremely unfavourable circumstances the Khalifa of the Prophet, Hadhrat Abu Bakr Sadeeq (may Allah be pleased with him) fulfilled word for word what the Prophet of God(sa) had uttered from his blessed lips. How faith arousing was the sight when Hadhrat Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) went outside Medina to bid farewell to the army. He asked Hadhrat Usama (may Allah be pleased with him) to mount the horse and walked along side. Hadhrat Usama (may Allah be pleased with him) repeatedly requested that ‘O Khalifa of the Prophet of God, either mount yourself or allow me to dismount. The reply was ‘ No, none of this will be, neither I shall mount nor you shall walk on foot’. Therefore Hadhrat Usama’s (may Allah be pleased with him) army departed Medina with glory. The circumstances that followed proved that the decision of the Khalifa of the time was most blessed and it became the source of Islam’s eminence. The enemy was so browbeaten that they did not dare to attack Medina and this a r m y, having achieved their objective, returned victorious. This magnificent episode in the very beginning of the Khilafat established its greatness and it was evident to all that Islam’s honour, the triumph of the true faith and its stability is dependent on Khilafat. After this magnificent era of the Rightly Guided Khilafat, due to the ingratitude of the Muslims the reward of Khilafat could not maintain its original form. Monarchy and sover- eignty became the norm in place of Khilafat and along with this, the curtain came down on all the blessings that are associated with Khilafat. During this era of tyranny and sovereignty the advancement and triumph that was gained in 17 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 the corners of the world through Khilafat began to wane. The prominence of the Muslims bid farewell to them. Their magnificence turned away and left them. Dissension and discord grew to such an extent among the ranks of the Muslims that they completely disregarded unity and accord and started fighting amongst themselves. As a result the nation that had been illuminated by the sun of prophet hood and the moon of Khilafat and had trodden the pinnacles of advancement and exaltation fell into the ignominious abyss of decline and degradation. Each day and each night of this period bore witness to the fact that the Muslims had achieved all that they had accomplished only by means of Khilafat. Once they abandoned that Khilafat their fortune ran out. After being deprived of the Rightly Guided Khilafat, the lengthy night of abjectness for the Muslims lasted more or less a thousand years. In exact accordance to the prophecy of the embodiment of truth, Muhammad (peace and blessings be on him) in this period of dense darkness the state of Islam became unspeak- able. Faith had reached the Pleiades and the condition was such that: Neither faith nor Islam remains Just the name of Islam remains (Maulana Hali) At long last the God of true promises, according to His promise laid the foundation of the revival of Islam in the time of the Latter-Days through a divine reformer. Allah the Exalted sent Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (on whom be peace) as the Second Manifestation of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and granted him the high station of the Imam Mahdi and the Pr o m i s e d Messiah. The objective of his advent was described as the revival of Islam, and estab- lishment of the Shariah and to take the work of the completion of the propagation of Islam to such an extent that ultimately results in Islam’s triumph. Without exception all 18 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 commentators of the Holy Q u r’an agree regarding the following noble verse: He it is Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He may make it prevail over every other religion, even though the idolaters may dislike it. (Ch.9:v.33) that the triumph of Islam over the false religions that is being prophesized will be manifested in all its glory and splendour during the time of Imam Mahdi (on whom be peace). Hadhrat Syed Muhammad Ismaeel Shaheed (may Allah have mercy on him) writes in his book Munsab e Imamat: ‘The manifestation of faith commenced in the time of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and it will be concluded with the hands of the Hadhrat Imam Mahdi (on whom be peace).’ (Munsab e Imamat. p 76) The Promised Messiah(as) h a s himself written: ‘It is God’s wish that all people of pious nature living in various parts of the world-regardless of whether they belong to Europe or Asia-be brought together under the banner of Tawheeed (The Unity of God). It is His intention that al His servants be gathered into one religion and it is for the fulfilment of that goal that I have been sent into this world.’ (A l – Wassiyyat Roohani K h a z a ’ i n , Vol. 20, p.306- 307). We are witnesses to this that the foundation of this global triumph was laid with the sacred hands of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and that he sacrificed each moment of his pure life for this objective. May thousands upon thousands of Allah the Exalted’s blessings and grace be on this most beloved spiritual son of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who rendered the dues of service to faith. This is not the occasion for a detailed mention of his services to the 19 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 faith. However, I must say that this champion of Allah the Exalted rendered such magnif- icent services in Islam’s defence and for its exaltation and advancement that even the most extreme opponents openly acknowledged this fact. He was declared as the victorious general of Islam and it was affirmed that he had strengthened extremely solid foundations for the global triumph of Islam. Eventually that day arrived in his life that comes in the life of each mortal. However, before his demise he gave the glad tiding that the Mighty and Powerful God would never abandon the mission that had started through him and that the divine operation of the triumph of Islam will blossom and will continue to thrive in the shelter of Khilafat. He said: ‘Most definitely consider it a sapling planted by God’s hands, God will never let it dissipate. He will not be pleased until it has been taken to an excellent stage. He will irrigate it and shall encompass it and will give it astonishing advancements.’ (Anjaam Aatham, Roohani Khaza’in’. Vol. 11, p.64) 27th May 1908 was the historic day when Allah the Exalted bestowed the Ahmadiyya community – established by the blessed hands of the Pr o m i s e d Messiah (on whom be peace) – with the reward of Khilafat and bestowed them with that means of victory and success with which the advancement and triumph of Islam is associated. Today this divine reward completes its 90 years. God is our witness that, whilst prostrating before Him with utter gratitude, we acknow- ledge that every single day of these 90 years bears testimony that through the bona fide Islamic Khilafat Ahmadiyya, Allah the Exalted has granted the Islamic faith with such glory and dignity and such global advancement that it has the authority of a continuous, living, luminous miracle. By means of the Ahmadiyya Khilafat, the tale of the triumph of Islam, alongside being heart- 20 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 warming and faith arousing is so splendid and glorious that the pen falters chronicling it and words fail me as I endeavour to bring the ever-increasing global advancements of Islam through the Ahmadiyya Khilafat to the tip of my pen. The truth is that the seed of service and propagation of Islam that the sacred hands of the Pr o m i s e d Messiah (on whom be peace) had planted has today developed into a magnificent tree growing in the shelter of the Khilafat Ahmadiyya. Like the holy K a l i m a the roots of this tree are firmly established in the corners of this world and its branches have filled the breadth of atmosphere. The establishment of missions outside of India started in the era of Khilafat Ahmadiyya and now with the Grace of Allah the Exalted, the Ahmadiyya community is established in more than 170 countries. The convoy that started with forty devotees has now reached in access of 40 million and is ever- increasing. The voice that rose in the obscure town of Qadian is now echoing in the corners of this world. Allah the Exalted has granted this voice so much acceptance and greatness that, in light of its significance and usefulness the intellectuals of around the farthest corners of the world listen to it with care and acknowledge its truth. The truth is that in the auspices of Khilafat, the Ahmadiyya Movement has attained such a global persona that today no area of this world is deprived of its blessings and it can be said in the literal sense of the word and without any fear of repudiation that 21 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 THE TRUTH IS THAT IN THE AUSPICES OF KHILAFAT, THE AHMADIYYA MOVEMENT HAS ATTAINED SUCH A GLOBAL PERSONA THAT TODAY NO AREA OF THIS WORLD IS DEPRIVED OF ITS BLESSINGS AND IT CAN BE SAID IN THE LITERAL SENSE OF THE WORD AND WITHOUT ANY FEAR OF REPUDIATION THAT THE SUN NEVER SETS ON THE WORLD OF AHMADIYYAT. the sun never sets on the world of Ahmadiyyat. Rather it should be articulated that at each moment and in each place Allah that Exalted lets the sun of His support and triumph continuously shine on the world of Ahmadiyyat and in the shelter of Divine successes this promised morning of the global victory of Islam is getting brighter by the moment. Along with spreading a network of centers to propagate Islam worldwide, under the auspices of Khilafat Ahmadiyya the publication of Islamic liter- ature in numerous languages of this world is a feat on its own. In the area of literature the most significant are the translations of the Holy Qur’an. Is it not short of a miracle that during the last few years of the fourth Khilafat Ahmadiyya, the Ahmadiyya community has had the privilege to present Qur’anic translations in twice as many world languages than the translations of the Holy Q u r’an done in various languages by the Muslims worldwide in the last 1,300 years! Selected verses of the Holy Qur’an, Ahadith and excerpts from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) have been published in more than a hundred different languages. Islamic literature is being published and distributed with extraordinary profusion. An extensive scheme of ‘book exhibitions’ is playing an important role in the propa- gation of Islam. The Ahmadiyya community holds a distinction in building mosques around the corners of the world. The credit of building mosques in the thousands goes to the community. Application of the Islamic teachings in the shape of establishment of educa- tional and health institutions in East and West Africa and the consequential unconditional service of humanity is winning the hearts of the people of these areas towards Islam. In this age of plunder and loot, in rendering selfless service to orphans and widows the Ahmadiyya community has had the privilege of presenting them with living accommo- 22 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 dations under the housing project of ‘Baiyoot Al-Hamd’. The Ahmadiyya Community has always played a leading and exemplary role in the defence of the honour and reputation of Islam. As far as sacrifices and indeed continuous sacrifices for the glory and advancement of Islam are concerned, each era of the history of the Ahmadiyya community is abound with faith-inspiring incidents. This indeed is the community that makes sacrifices of life, time and honour for the propagation of Islam and with these sacrifices has refreshed the memory of the Companions of the earlier times. Who does not love life? To devote this very dear life for the cause of beloved Islam, to present the life of one’s unborn children for devotion to Islam, to migrate from one’s country in order to propagate Islam and eventually give one’s life for Islam and be buried in those strange lands, to be beaten for the sake of the glory of the Kalima Ta y y a b a, to wear shackles and kiss them lovingly, to be imprisoned for the crime of the love of Islam and spend years upon years of one’s life in darkened cells, to bear pain and to give away one’s life in time of need and thus write the tale of devotion with one’s sacred blood – these are all manifestations of the same devotion. In short there is no turn on the road to the advancement of Islam where the Ahmadiyya community is not engaged in various operations. There is no high station along this road where the footprints of the zealous Ahmadis who hold Islam dearer than life cannot be found. The truth is that Allah the Exalted has bestowed 23 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 TH I S I N D E E D I S T H E C O M M U N I T Y T H AT M A K E S SACRIFICES OF LIFE, TIME AND H O N O U R F O R T H E P R O PA- GATION OF ISLAM AND WITH T H E S E S A C R I F I C E S H A S REFRESHED THE MEMORY OF T H E C O M PA N I O N S O F T H E EARLIER TIMES. this exclusive honour and privilege on the Ahmadis for the reason that this day on the face of the earth theirs is the only community that truly validates and presents a very strong foundation under the auspices of a venerable Imam who is accorded full obedience. This is the only community that is facilitated with the blessing of Khilafat; who knows to rise at the voice of a spiritual leader and to be seated at his signal. Yes indeed, this is the very same community whose Imam’s love for the people of the community is greater than m o t h e r’s love and all the people of the community adore their Imam. The blessing of Khilafat, having assembled them under one hand, has granted them this miracle that these 40 million Ahmadi devotees have performed such prominent actions in the service and propagation of Islam that those who call themselves Muslims and number well in access of one hundred million, have not had the power to do. The reason behind this honour and good fortune is nothing else but the fact that Allah the Exalted has granted the Ahmadiyya community with the great blessing of Khilafat with which the advancement of Islam is linked. In fact the truth of the matter is that to be granted the opportunity to strive and sacrifice in the cause of Islam is also associated with Khilafat. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) says: ‘Look, we are propagating Islam all over the world but have you ever reflected as to how this propagation is taking place? There is a center under which all those who have the love of Islam in their hearts are assembling and are jointly endeavouring for the triumph and revival of Islam. Apparently these are just a few people, however they have developed such strength that they can perform enormous, signif- icant tasks. Just as water comes down from the sky in drops and these drops turn 24 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 into a trickle and this very trickle takes the shape of a flowing river, similarly we keep on getting greater strength and dignity. The reason for this is simply because Allah the Exalted has granted you with the blessing of Khilafat.’ (Daily Al-Fazl, Rabwah 25th March 1951) He also said: ‘Islam cannot prosper unless there is Khilafat. Islam has always prospered through the Khalifas and in future will also advance through this means.’ (Dars ul Qur’an by Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him). Published November 1921) The century old history of the Ahmadiyya community, the standard bearer for the dignity of Islam, is a history of hardships, difficulties and Divine Graces. During this period there have been raging storms of opposition, the opponents have ‘tried all the arrows in their case’, colossal personalities have collided with Ahmadiyyat but according to the Divine promise the truth has always prevailed and falsity disgraced. At the passing away of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) suspicion and doubt about Khilafat raised its head, this was crushed by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih the 1st (may Allah be pleased with him) with the resolve and dignity of the kind that Hadhrat Abu Bakr Sadeeq (may Allah be pleased with him) had. At the beginning of the 2nd Khilafat the rejecters of Khilafat once again raised a huge upheaval and having separated themselves, took to Lahore. Despite his relative youth at the time of this revolt, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih the 2nd (may Allah be pleased with him) led the community so supremely that all the tricks of the hypocrites were unsuc- c e s s f u l . During the second Khilafat the disturbance of Misri arose, Mistaris’ raised a tumult. The Ahrar started a country-wide movement to obliterate the 25 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 community. The tremor of the partition of the country took place that forced the community to move away from its permanent center and make a new center. The community had barely found its feet when in 1953 a national uproar against the community arose. The Haqiqat Pasand Party took advantage of the situation and tried to internally disperse and mislead the community. These commotions raised their heads one after the other, however, each time a revolt collided with the great rock that Khilafat is, it was crushed to smithereens! The Ahrar were staggered and the defiled plans of the hypocrites bit the dust. The Powerful hand of God granted advancement and triumph to Islam through Khilafat. In the era of the 3rd Khilafat, during the uproar of 1974 the opponents once again tried their utmost to blot out the community, but as always they were unsuccessful and disgraced. Many fortunate Ahmadis gave their lives away, their properties were plun- dered, their houses were burnt down but no one could take away their resolve and the smile from their countenances. At the commencement of the 4th Khilafat, the opponents were stunned by the swift- footed charismatic personality of the Khalifa of the time and took their opposing attempts to the highest point when in 1984 an all-time infamous ordinance was issued and they tried their level best to obstruct the advancement of Ahmadiyyat. There is no doubt that as a result of this a few virtuous people gave their lives and were martyrs and numerous captives in the way of Allah are still illuminating dark and dingy prison cells, but God be our witness that the progressive sun that rose on the horizon of Ahmadiyyat, each day seals the attempts of the opponents with failure. The Mighty Po w e r f u l God blew those who were impudent in the presumption to blot out Ahmadiyyat to bits. Where is that tyrant who said that his power was very strong and that he would ensure that the Ahmadis ended up with a b e g g a r’s bowl? Where is that 26 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 tyrant, who in the footsteps of the Pharaoh, had declared that he would erase the cancer of Ahmadiyyat? Observe, our God has obliterated these enemies of Islam from the face of the earth. The prayers of the champions of truth, the Ahmadiyya Khalifas crushed tyrannous arrogance. One was seen on the hangman’s scaffold and the others’ body was blown to dust and dispersed in the desert. Such has always been the fate of the opponents of Ahmadiyyat in each era and their future destiny is not much different either. One after another triumph is awaiting the Ahmadiyya community under the blessing and auspices of Khilafat and our opponents are destined to face failure after f a i l u r e . Listen to the one who speaks with the support of God, the one who has God’s shelter above him, the one who is appointed by God as the defender of the vessel of Islam and leader of the believers in this age. Listen and pay heed to what he says! Our beloved Imam Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV s a y s : ‘There will be definite opposition in the future, there is no denying it because it is in the destiny of the community that it will go through many difficulties and then enter stage upon stage of advancement. It is these difficulties that equip the community for life. After this opposition the next extensive opposition that I can see is not a tale of one or two governments. Many powerful governments will get together and conspire to blot out the community. The bigger the conspiracy, 27 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 SUCH GOOD FORTUNE AND PRIVILEGE IS OURS THAT TODAY IT IS ONLY AHMADIYYAT ON THE SURFACE OF THIS EARTH THAT HAS BEEN GRANTED THE BLESSED SYSTEM OF KHILAFAT. VARIOUS TYPES OF LEADERSHIP SYSTEMS CAN BE SEEN BUT THERE IS NO LEADER APPOINTED BY GOD. the bigger the failure will be their fate. The Khalifas before me gave courage to the future Khalifas and told them to put their trust in God and not to fear any opponent. I swear upon God and say to the future Khalifas to have courage and exhibit patience and determination like I have done and not to fear any power of this world. The God who has blotted out lowly opposi- tions before shall also shatter greater and stronger powers and shall obliterate them from the face of this earth. The Ahmadiyya community is, in any case, going to enter stage upon stage of triumph. No worldly power can change this destiny in any way.’ (Speech by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih 1V delivered on 29th July 1984 at the European Ijtema of Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya) Such good fortune and privilege is ours that today it is only Ahmadiyyat on the surface of this earth that has been granted the blessed system of Khilafat. Various types of leadership systems can be seen but there is no leader appointed by God. There is no manager who has God’s shelter over him; there is no one who has been granted the knowledge of Divine help and victory. There is but no one in whose feet triumphs are laid out with Divine consent. It is a further favour and Grace of God, who is the Source of all Beneficence, that we have had the honour to be servants of this Khilafat. Allah the Exalted has made us the trustees of a great trust and has bestowed a magnificent reward on us. However, be mindful that this privilege brings great respon- sibilities with it. This reward invites us to obedience. An obedience in which nothing remains one’s own and each motion and quietude is ever ready to be forfeited at the gesture of the master. This reward summons us to the fields of sacrifice and uprightness – the fields where the tales of the sacrifices of 28 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002 the earlier times and the companions of this era of Latter-Days are recorded. It is our obligation to revive those tales today. Today, it is our obligation to replicate Hadhrat Bilal’s (may Allah be pleased with him) resounding sound of Ahad Ahad that echoed in the valleys of Mecca. Watch and listen, the spirits of the martyrs of Ahad are calling out that just as they valiantly presented the homage of their lives and did not dare let the torch of prophet hood f l i c k e r, we too should be fearlessly reverential towards Khilafat and if the time and need arise everyone of us should be ready to offer the greatest sacrifice. Finally, I would like to conclude by presenting a very beautiful and comprehensive quotation from the writings of Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) that summarizes the whole subject very nicely. He says: ‘Friends! My last counsel is that all these are indeed the blessings of Khilafat. Prophet hood sows a seed; later Khilafat spreads its effect in the world. Hold on firmly to the bona-fide Khilafat and warn the world about its blessings so that God has mercy on you and raises you high in this world and raises you high in the other world as well. Keep fulfilling your promises till death over takes you and keep reminding my progeny and also the progeny of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) about the promises of their family. May the missionaries of Ahmadiyyat prove to be true soldiers of Islam and may they become workers of the Holy God in this world.’ (Daily Al-Fazl, Rabwah 20th May 1950) 29 Progress of Islam is Dependant on Khilafat Review of Religions – June 2002