Ahmadiyya Muslim Seniors Association The Companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) Women's Section

Achievements of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II

Prophecy I confer upon thee a sign of My mercy according to thy entreaties and have honoured thy prayers with acceptance through My mercy and have blessed this thy journey. A sign of power, mercy and nearness to Me is bestowed on thee, a Sign of grace and beneficence is awarded to thee, and thou art the key of success and victory. Peace on thee, O victorious one. Thus does God speak so that those who desire life may be rescued from the grip of death, and those who are buried in the graves may emerge therefrom, so that the superiority of Islam and the dignity of God’s Word may become manifest unto the people, and so that truth may arrive with all its blessings and falsehood may depart with all its ills; so that people may understand that I am the Lord of Power and do as I will and so that they may believe that I am with thee, and so that those who do not believe in God and deny and reject His religion and His Book and His Holy Messenger, Muhammad, the chosen one, on whom be peace, may be confronted with a clear Sign and the way of the guilty ones may become manifest. Rejoice, therefore, that a handsome and pure boy will be bestowed on thee. Thou wilt receive an intelligent 32 The Review of Religions – February 2003 Achievements of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II Khalifat-ul-Masih II(ra), (the Second Successor to the Promised Messiah(as), Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddeen Mahmood Ahmad(ra), was truly an outstanding personality. His birth was in fulfilment of a glorious prophecy vouchsafed unto the Promised Messiah(as). He had been in retreat for 40 days devoting himself entirely in solitude to Divine worship and supplication. Having completed this period of 40 days, he announced on 20th February 1886 that during the period of his retreat he had been honoured with the disclosure of many matters with regard to the unknown, one being the prophecy of the Promised Son. This article summarises the some of the achievements of Hadhrat Khalifat-ul-Masih II(ra). It shows why the place of Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddeen Mahmood Ahmad( r a ) is forever sealed in the history of Ahmadiyyat and of Islam. by Bockarie Tommy Kallon – UK youth who will be of thy seed and will be of thy progeny. A handsome and pure boy will come as your guest. His name is Emmanuel and Bashir. He has been invested with a holy spirit, and he will be free from all impurity. He is the light of Allah. Blessed is he who comes fro m heaven. He will be characterised by grandeur, greatness and wealth. He will come into the world and will heal many of their ills through his Messianic qualities and through the blessings of the Holy Spirit. He is the Word of Allah, for Allah’s mercy and honour have equipped him with the Word of Majesty. He will be e x t remely intelligent and understanding and will be meek of heart and will be filled with secular and spiritual knowledge. He will convert three into four. It is Monday, a blessed Monday. Son, delight of the heart, high ranking, noble; a manifestation of the First and the Last, a manifestation of the True and the High; as if Allah has descended f rom heaven his advent will be greatly blessed and will be a source of the manifestation of Divine Majesty. Behold a light cometh, a light anointed by God with the perfume of His pleasure. He will pour His spirit upon him and he will be sheltered under the shadow of God. He will grow rapidly in stature and will be the means of procuring the release of those held in bondage. His fame will spread to the ends of the earth and people will be blessed through him. He will then be raised to a spiritual station in heaven. This is a matter decreed. Introduction The life and accomplishments of Hadhrat, Khalifat-ul-Masih II(ra) during more than half a century of the period of his Khilafat constitute a fulfilment of this grand prophecy. Commentators w e re later to describe this p rophecy as t h e single most outstanding sign ever given to man with the exception of the events that occurred during the life of the Holy Prophet(as). The p rophecy is studded with innumerable contin-gencies the non-fulfilment of a single one of which would have demonstrated its falsehood, had it been an i m p o s t u re. But his astonishing record of high achievement in so many fields of human endeavour mark him out as a shining figure in the annals of the renaissance of Islam. Early Signs Even in the early stages of his life, the grand Divine design is re t rospectively perceptible that 33 Achievements of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II The Review of Religions – February 2003 he was singled out for a lofty spiritual station. At the youthful age of 17 he organised a literary association of his friends under the name Tashheez-ul-Azhan. He started a quarterly magazine under the same name devoted to the exposition of spiritual values. S i m i l a r l y, very early on, he developed a keen interest in the study of the Holy Qur’an and traditions of the Holy Prophet(sa). He had the inestimable privilege of having being instructed in these matters by Hadhrat Khalifat-ul-Masih I(ra) who, rather than impose, encouraged him to think for himself and to develop his God-given faculties in the most beneficent manner. Demise of the Promised Messiah(as) When he was only 19 years of age, tragedy struck and he lost his revered father, the Promised Messiah(as). Here again, Hadhrat Musleh Maud( r a ), the Pro m i s e d R e f o r m e r, as he was later designated, came into his own. He understood the true import of his father’s demise. So much had been accomplished during his lifetime, yet so much more had to be done. Standing by the blessed corpse of his father, he made that famous and moving pledge that even if the whole world deserted him, he would continue single- handed in this noble work. This was not just an emotional claim made in a moment of grief. History bears unanimous testimony to the sincerity of his pledge. Election as Khalifat-ul-Masih Let it not be forgotten that he was elected to the exalted office of Khalifat-ul-Masih at the tender age of 25. He was immediately c o n f ronted with a series of e x t remely difficult situations. The Community was still relatively small in number and its financial re s o u rces were bare . M o re o v e r, a dissident faction a rose who challenged his authority and chose to bre a k away from the Community t h reatening to take away the majority of members with them. In their eyes and in the eyes of the worldly, he was utterly unsuitable to discharge the enormous responsibility of that high office. But his re c o rd demonstrates how mistaken they w e re in their estimation. The quality of his leadership and the quality of character he imparted into the Community enabled it to 34 Achievements of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II The Review of Religions – February 2003 progress in leaps and bounds. The period of his leadership, charac-terised by landmarks and milestones, became a glorious period in the history of the Community. Administration The special insight granted to him by Allah allowed him to know exactly when to launch chal- lenging schemes or to re s t ru c t u re the Community’s vital activities in significant ways. One of the first things he did as Khalifat-ul- Masih was to establish the consultative body known as M a j l i s – e – S h u r a. This was to become a permanent institution within the Community that meets annually or as is necessary to deliberate and advice the Khalifa on important policy matters. Various departments were set up by him to streamline into an effective and practical mould, the administrative machinery of the Community known as the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya. The dynamism of his leadership and the dynamism of the C o m m u n i t y, which was con- tinuously stimulated under his fostering care, called for additional organs and insti- tutions to be established. Most notable among these is his decision to set up auxiliary o rganisations within the Community for the purpose of p roper training and advance- ment for the achievement of the noble aims and objectives of the Community. Auxiliary Organisations His unique genius is still evident t o d a y. Every section of the Community is organised into an association. Lajna Imaullah f o r ladies over 15 and N a s i r a t u l A h m a d i y y a for girls under 15. Majlis Ansarullah is composed of 35 Achievements of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II The Review of Religions – February 2003 Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II all male members over 40, K h u d d a m – u l – A h m a d i y y a comprising of young men between the ages of 15 and 40 and Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya for boys below 15. These bodies are now flourishing in thousands across the world and have continued to train and develop leaders for the various local chapters of the Community around the world. All members under the auspices of their particular association, bound together in aff e c t i o n a t e ties of bro t h e rhood and sisterhood, carry out programs designed to inculcate moral and spiritual values. Promotion of Literacy and Education F rom the beginning, Hadhrat Musleh Maud( r a ) was keen on promoting literacy and education in all sections of the Community. P a r t i c u l a r l y, he paid special attention to the education of women. As a result of the methods he adopted for the achievement of his purpose, the average standard of education is today considerably higher than that of sister communities in South Asia and Africa. The Madrissah Ahmadiyya which had been established for re l i g i o u s instruction was raised by him to the status of Jamiah Ahmadiyya, an elite institution designed to train scholars to serve as missionaries of Islam in different parts of the world. To facilitate the com- parative study of the history and p ro g ress of Islam, Hadhrat Musleh Maud(ra) introduced the Hijri Shamsi calendar, an Islamic solar calendar supplementing the current lunar calendar. Judicial System Hadhrat Musleh Maud( r a ) a l s o took the lead in matters which, though not at the centre of religion, were not outside its scope. His definition of religion c o m p rehended everything that bore immediately or ultimately on the welfare of society. In giving practical effect to that definition, he strove to find means that would protect the C o m m u n i t y, in every re s p e c t , from discord and disharmony. It was this yearning that led him to establish the Qadha Board , a judicial system, providing the Community with a very fair, economical and dignified way for its members to settle their internal disputes, in accordance with Islamic law and jurisprudence. 36 Achievements of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II The Review of Religions – February 2003 Visit to London In 1924, he was requested to attend and participate in the Wembley Conference of Religions as the re p resentative of Islam. His arrival in London was widely publicised in the pre s s . The English translation of his a d d ress, read out by Ch. Muhammad Zafrullah Khan( r a ), was listened to with rapt attention and when it was done, t h e re was a deep sigh as if the audience had been released fro m a spell. This address was later to be published as a book under the title, Ahmadiyyat: The True Islam. While in London, he laid the foundation stone of the Fazl Mosque which has become the beacon of light that illuminates the world. The address he d e l i v e red on this occasion, A Message from Heaven, re p ro d u c e d in the January 2003 edition of this magazine shows what a firm belief he had in the Divine origin of the Community and how g reat was his yearning to bring the world under the canopy of the Mercy of God through the acceptance of the Pro m i s e d M e s s i a h( a s ). The Kashmir Cause Hadhrat Musleh Maud(ra) though not a politician was granted a deep understanding and insight into political affairs. In 1930, the dispute over Kashmir was threatening to degenerate into a crisis. Hadhrat Musleh Maud(ra) became involved upon the repeated requests of the respectable Muslim leaders of India and to the delight of all, he was elected to lead the All-India Kashmir Committee as its first President. He worked arduously for the emancipation of the oppressed people of Kashmir. It was a struggle for humanity and justice, as well as for fellow Muslims. The first ever Kashmir Day was celebrated under his guidance. Propagation of Islam To facilitate the propagation of the message of Islam in countries outside the Indian Subcontinent, Hadhrat Musleh Maud ( r a ) launched the Tahrik Jadid Scheme which is still active today. Through the instrumentality of this scheme, there is hardly a country today where the Community is not established. Thousands of mosques, mission houses, clinics, hospitals, schools and colleges dedicated to the service of Islam have been 37 Achievements of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II The Review of Religions – February 2003 established around the globe. He followed this with the Waqf Jadid S c h e m e with emphasis on intensifying Islamic activities in the rural areas of the Indo- Pakistan subcontinent. The success of these two schemes was largely due to the way Hadhrat Musleh Maud( r a ) i n s p i red the Community towards the spirit of sacrifice. He urged the unem- ployed towards work even if for a small wage. He urged members to adopt simplicity, modesty and austerity in their manner of food, dress and housing. He invited those who had retired to render services to the Community. He was thereby able to maximise resources for the Community. Speeches and Writings Hadhrat Musleh Maud ( r a ) possessed a great versatility of mind and the range of his intellect was unmatched among his contemporaries. These qualities were strikingly illus- trated in his many speeches and writings. Together they con- stitute a most precious tre a s u r y re p resenting the multiple facets of Islam in scintillating and attractive colours. His speeches w e re intellectual banquets at which those present were regaled to their delight. In that guise, he stimulated their intellects, enlivened their faculties, incited them to climb moral and spiritual heights and sent them home greatly enriched and determined to carry out a spiritual revolution both inside themselves and in the world a round them. Everyone mar- velled at the skill that enabled him to put forth the pro f o u n d e s t moral and spiritual verities in a language and style which were easily comprehensible by the average listener. He did not strike a pose and took no flights into the intellectual stratosphere . His purpose was to stimulate rather than to overwhelm. His audience felt at home with him. No one experienced any fatigue and at the end the feeling was not relief but re g ret it could not go on longer. His books and pamphlets, which number more than 200, expose him as an eminent divine, a discerning mystic and an expert diagnostician of eternal verities. The vast expanse of his eru d i t i o n was tempered by a wide schol- arship that comprehended every type of literature from divine s c r i p t u res to secular masterpieces. 38 Achievements of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II The Review of Religions – February 2003 The existence of God and the n a t u re of His attributes, angels and their function, prayer and its e ff i c a c y, Divine decrees and their s p h e re, worship and its need, Divine law and its benefit, revelation and its importance, life after death and its certainty, heaven and hell and their reality – with re g a rd to every one of these, Hadhrat Musleh Maud( r a ) w a s able to analyse, discuss and explain in readily compre h e n s i b l e language. The Ta f s e e r – e – S a g h e e r, a brief commentary he wrote on the Holy Qur’an is interpre t a t i v e and free flowing. But the fathomless ocean of his knowledge is exposed in his magnum opus, the Tasfeer-e-Kabeer, an exhaustive commentary on the Holy Qur’an. In this astounding work, Hadhrat Musleh Maud(ra) uncovered his mastery on such widely varying fields as history, philosophy, psychology, geology, linguistics, medicine, astronomy, cosmology, Egyptology and many more. But above all, this ten thousand-page commentary contains a deep esoteric understanding and exposition of thousands of spiritual truths and hidden secrets, many of which had never been presented before. Migration and the Founding of Rabwah Hadhrat Musleh Maud ( r a ) showed an acute understanding of complex social issues, success- fully guiding the Community t h rough two fearsome world wars and a migration en masse t o Pakistan after the 1947 partition of the Indian subcontinent, at the same time preserving the morality and welfare of the Community and disseminating its message to faraway lands. This mass migration to Pakistan f rom where he started the whole city of Rabwah from absolute scratch in a most inhospitable land was nothing short of miraculous. The enormous p roblem of rehabilitation, re s e t – tlement and re o rganisation was a b a c k b reaking task in itself. But Hadhrat Musleh Maud ( r a ) a l s o s u ff e red great anxiety over the volunteers that stayed behind to p rotect the holy precincts of Qadian who were surro u n d e d by hostile forces while at the same time bereft, momentarily, of spiritual leadership. That, per- haps, was his greatest test as a 39 Achievements of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II The Review of Religions – February 2003 leader and one which he passed with flying colours. Other Achievements This was but a brief summary of the major achievements of Hadhrat Musleh Maud ( r a ). A detailed exposition would ru n into volumes and is beyond the scope of this article but just to give some indication, Hadhrat Musleh Maud(ra) is credited with the launch of the Al Fazl newspaper that has today become an official organ of the Community. He is credited with the completion of the Minarat-ul- Masih in Qadian. He is credited with the establishment of the Electoral College for the election of Khalifas to save the Community from further threat of crisis should that sacred office become vacant. Due to his wisdom and sagacity subsequent elections of Khulafa have ru n smoothly with little or no hindrance. He restarted the Talimul Islam College that had to be closed in 1905 due to limited resources of the Community. He launched the Wa q f Z i n d a g i scheme for dedicating one’s entire life to the services of Islam and in this regard he enjoyed the enviable position of having been blessed with 13 sons, all of whom devoted their lives to the service of Islam. He initiated the yearly Jalsa Seerat-un-Nabi which are public meetings convened to present to the world the life and character of the Holy Prophet(sa) in true colours. He instituted the annual observance of Religious Founders’ Days, a natural and necessary sequel to Jalsa Seerat- un-Nabi to celebrate the lives of the founders of all great religions. These have been instrumental in p romoting inter-faith under- standing and appreciation. Affinity to Hadhrat Umar(ra) One of his prophetic titles was Fazle Umar, indicating his spiritual affinity to Hadhrat Umar(ra), the Second Successor to the Holy Pro p h e t( s a ). His achievements in diverse spheres b o re close resemblance to the achievements of Hadhrat U m a r( r a ). During his tenure of o ffice, he was continually p reoccupied with problems of variety and volume calling for the exercise of the highest qualities of astonishing diversity, and on no occasion was he found wanting. His high and sterling qualities had been presaged in glowing terms by Allah Himself 40 Achievements of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II The Review of Religions – February 2003 in the prophecy of his revered father. He illustrated and fulfilled every one of these in the face of the most adverse circumstances. A Golden Era His Khilafat, spanning two and fifty years, truly re p resents a golden age in the history of Ahmadiyyat and of Islam. In spite of manifold duties and multifarious engagements, Hadhrat Musleh Maud( r a ) s t ro v e h a rd to maintain the Community at the highest level of activity, both in respect of self- i m p rovement and in respect of p ropagating the message of Islam. For this purpose, he called in aid all his great talents; he had recourse to continuous advice, exhortation and admonition; he set a high and shining personal example and spent a good part of his nights in earnest supplication to the Allah A l m i g h t y. To the members of the Community he was, at all times, a deeply loving father to whom they could look up to for guidance, advice and encou- ragement; to all intelligent and reasonable people of goodwill he p roved himself a wise friend and counsellor; towards his opponents he was forbearing and truly sympathetic over their lack of understanding and to the a fflicted he was, without discrimination, a ready source of comfort, consolation and re l i e f . Obituaries Little wonder then that the news of his demise in 1965 was received with intense and overwhelming grief. Tributes in superlative terms were paid to him from all quarters. The view taken by the Editor of The Light, a weekly publication of the dissident Lahori group, though not unique, is too striking to be omitted here. Under the caption, A Great Nation-Builder, he writes: ‘The death of Mirza Basheer-ud- Deen Mahmood Ahmad, Head of the Ahmadiyya Movement, rang the curtain down on a most eventful care e r, packed with a multitude of far-reaching enter- prises. A man of versatile genius and dynamic personality, there was hardly any sphere of contemporary thought and life during the past century, fro m religious scholarship to mis- sionary organisation, even political leadership, on which the 41 Achievements of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II The Review of Religions – February 2003 deceased did not leave a deep i m p r i n t . ’ Conclusion This was Hadhrat Musleh M a u d( r a ). In the role Divine wisdom imposed upon him, he acquitted himself with enviable distinction. May Allah join him in the company of his holy father, the Promised Messiah( a s ) and the Holy Pro p h e t( s a ), whose love filled his heart and coursed his veins. It would be remiss to conclude without pointing out the need to emulate Hadhrat Musleh M a u d( r a ). While, as Ahmadi Muslims, we take just pride in his achievements, this should not occasion any pomp or c i rcumstance. Instead, we should strive to follow in his footsteps so that we may benefit not only f rom his precept but also from his e x a m p l e . It is only fitting, there f o re, to close with the pertinent advice of one of the sons of Hadhrat Musleh M a u d( r a ), himself a distinguished servant of Islam. On the occasion of the centenary celebration of the announcement of this grand p ro p h e c y, this is what Hadhrat A m e e r-ul-Momineen, Khalifat- ul-Masih IV said: ‘So let us enter the new Century with the determination that we would respond to the call of Musleh Maud ( r a ), every moment of whose life saw the fulfilment of that pro p h e c y. If you respond to that call, you will live the age of Hadhrat Musleh Maud( r a ). If you live the age of Hadhrat Musleh M a u d( r a ), you will live the age of the Promised Messiah ( a s ), the g reatest lover of the Holy P ro p h e t( s a ), peace be upon him. And if you live the age of the P romised Messiah ( a s ), you are a s s u red by the Holy Qur’an that you will live the age of the Holy P ro p h e t( a s ).’ (Quoted from Ahmadiyya Bulletin UK, Centenary Edition, 1989) Bibliography Ahmadiyyat: The Renaissance of Islam – By Muhammad Zafrullah Khan Ahmadi Muslims: Historical Outline – By Nur-ud-Din Muneer Basics of Religious Knowledge –Sheikh Abdul Hadi 42 Achievements of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II The Review of Religions – February 2003