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Life Sketch and Services of Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad – Khalifatul Masih V

51The Review of Religions – April 2003 Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib was born on 15 September 1950 in Rabwah, Pakistan, the Ahmadiyya Muslim community’s head- quarters. He is the son of Hadhrat Sahibzada Mirza Mansoor Ahmad Sahib and his mother’s name is Hadhrat Sahibzadi Nasira Begum Sahiba. Sahibzada Mirza Masroor Ahmad Sahib was also the great grandson of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim com- m u n i t y, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah(as), and the grandson of Hadhrat Mirza Sharif Ahmad Sahib(ra), the youngest son of the P romised Messiah( a s ). Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib is also the maternal grandson of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II( r a ). Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib did his primary education at Taleem-ul-Islam High School Rabwah, and obtained his BA from Taleem- ul-Islam (TI) College Rabwah, Pakistan. In 1976 he earned his Masters of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the Agriculture University Faisalabad, Pakistan. Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib got married on 31 January 1977 to Syeda Amtul Sabooh (Begum Sahiba), the daughter of the Late Begum Sahibzadi Amtul Hakeem and Mr Syed Daud M u z a ffar Shah. His walima Life Sketch and Services of Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad – Khalifatul Masih V We are pleased to introduce readers of the Review of Religions to the new Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V, who was elected by an electoral college at its session in the London Mosque on 22 April 2003. 52 Life Sketch and Services of Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad – KhalifatulMasih V The Review of Religions – April 2003 feast was held two days after his marriage. He is the father of a daughter, Mrs Amtul Waris Fateh who is married to Mr Fateh Ahmad Dahiri of Nawabshah and they have a young son and a daughter. Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib also has one son, Mr Mirza Waqas Ahmad, c u r rently studying accoun- tancy in England. At the young age of seventeen, Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib became a Moosi (that is to say that he signed up for Wasiyyat or a will, under the plan initiated by the P romised Messiah( a s ), thus committing a portion, not less than one-tenth, of his lifetime earnings and any property to the cause of Islam.) In 1977, he devoted his life (that is to say that he became a Wa q f – i – Zindagi) for Islam, and as d i rected by Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih III, Sahibzada Mirza M a s roor Ahmad Sahib, proceeded to Ghana under the Nusrat-Jahan Scheme. This social, educational and eco- nomic development scheme supports a large number of hospitals and schools in West Africa. Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib was the founding principal of the Ahmadiyya Secondary School Salaga, a school in the northern region of Ghana, where he served for two years. This school is progressing very well to this day. His success at this school made him the obvious choice for the principal of the Ahmadiyya Secondary School at Essarkyir where he served for a further four years. This school is in the central region of Ghana. Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib was appointed as the manager of the Ahmadiyya Agricultural Farm in Depali, in the northern region of Ghana, for 2 years. First experiments had revealed that wheat could not g row in Ghana. But Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r 53 Life Sketch and Services of Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad – KhalifatulMasih V The Review of Religions – April 2003 Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V Mirza Masroor Ahmad 54 Life Sketch and Services of Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad – KhalifatulMasih V The Review of Religions – April 2003 Ahmad Sahib continued relentlessly. Another Ahmadi Muslim, Mr Qasim Ahmad, joined him in this series of experiments. The efforts of this team of Ahmadi agriculturalists finally paid dividends. The first successful experiment of planting, growing and nurturing wheat as an economic crop in Ghana was exhibited at an international trade fair and the results were submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture of Ghana. It stands as a gre a t credit to his personal efforts in these experiments that successive presidents of Ghana have commended the Ahmadiyya Muslim com- munity for these highly successful experiments which revolutionised the country’s economy and paved the way for self sufficiency. In 1985, Sahibzada Mirza M a s roor Ahmad Sahib returned to Pakistan and on 17 March 1985, he was appointed as Wakilul Maal II, Department In-Charge of Financial Affairs II. On 18th June 1994 he was appointed as Nazir Ta’leem (Director of Education). On 10th December 1997, Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IV, appointed Sahibzada Mirza M a s roor Ahmad Sahib as Nazir A’la (chief executive d i rector) of Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Pakistan and local Amir. [Since readers of the Review of R e l i g i o n s may not be fully familiar with this admin- istrative body, we hope that the following note is helpful. Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya was established in Qadian (India) in 1906 by the Promised Messiah, peace be upon him. Its primary purpose was to create a body to administer the financial affairs of the community and to propagate the message of Islam to the whole world. The Anjuman worked under his d i rect supervision. After his death, the Anjuman has been 55 Life Sketch and Services of Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad – KhalifatulMasih V The Review of Religions – April 2003 working under the super- vision of his Khulafa (i.e. successors). Following the partition of India in 1947, the Ahmadiyya Muslim commu- nity shifted its headquarters to Pakistan and there f o re Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Pakistan was established under the directions of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II to continue this work. The Anjuman comprises a Board of Directors nominated by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih and the directors are answerable to him. They work under his directions and guidance. The President of this Anjuman is known as the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya. The Nazir A’la is the chief executive of Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya. The Anjuman has many departments known as Nazarats with sections known as S i g h a s and institutions known as Idaras. The head of a department is known as a Nazir]. Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib’s pre d e c e s s o r Nazir A’la was his father Sahibazada Mirza Mansoor Ahmad Sahib. Recalling what a simple and devoted and pious person Sahibzada Mirza Mansoor Ahmad Sahib was, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih IV stated with tears in his eyes that he had observed that when he met him he was e x t remely happy. When he enquired about the source of his happiness, Sahibzada Mirza Mansoor Ahmad Sahib said, ‘Why should I not be happy: today the Khalifa of the time is happy with my c h i l d ren and my family.’ In this sermon, he also paid warm tribute to Sahibzada Mirza Masroor Ahmad Sahib. Till his election as Khalifa, Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib remained the Nazir A’la and local Amir. In administrative matters and a disciplined approach to work, he has no parallel. He has the unique quality of getting down to the heart of the matter and dealing with it s q u a re l y. But these charac- 56 Life Sketch and Services of Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad – KhalifatulMasih V The Review of Religions – April 2003 teristics were not acquire d m e rely because of the fore – going but a thoro u g h upbringing as set out below. Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib served in many other capacities. As Nazir A’la, he was also serving as Nazir Dhiyafat (Hospitality) and Nazir Zira’at (Agriculture). In August 1988 he had been appointed as Sadr (President) Bahishti Maqbara and Majlis K a r p a rdaz Masalaih Qabristan (the executive committee man- aging the Bahishti Maqbarah and related matters). F rom 1994 to 1997, he was Chairman Nasir Foundation. At the same time, Sahibzada Mirza Masroor Ahmad Sahib was President of Ta z a e e n Rabwah Committee (commi- ttee for the beautification of Rabwah). He expanded the Gulshan-e-Ahmad Nursery and his personal efforts led to reforming Rabwah from its barren to its lush green image. Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib also served as a member of Qadha (Juris- p rudence) Board from 1988 to 1995. In Central Khuddam-ul- Ahmadiyya, an auxiliary body of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community comprising men between 15 and 40 years of age, Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib was the Muhtamim (Secretary) Sehat-e- Jismani (Physical Health) 1976- 77, Muhtamim Tajneed (census and membership re c o rds) 1984- 85, from 1985-86 to 1988-89 Muhtamim Majalis Bairo o n ( S e c retary External Chapters), and in 1989-90 Naib Sadr (Vi c e P resident) Khuddam-ul- Ahmadiyya Pakistan. In Majlis Ansarullah Pakistan, an auxiliary organisation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community comprising men over 40 years of age, Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib was the Qaid Zahanat (intellectual) and Sehat-e-Jismani (Physical Health) in 1995, and Qaid Ta l i m – u l – Q u r ’an (Quranic Education) from 1995 to 1997. 57 Life Sketch and Services of Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad – KhalifatulMasih V The Review of Religions – April 2003 In 1999, Sahibzada Mirza Masroor Ahmad Sahib had the additional honour of becoming a prisoner in the name of Allah, in Rabwah, Pakistan, when he, along with Col. Ayaz Mahmood, a general establishment officer, were arrested on a charge of blasphemy and maintenance of public order re s p e c t i v e l y under the growing wave of persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan. The son of Maulwi Manzoor Chinioti, a fanatic religious obscurantist in his own right, complained to the local police that the above two officials were responsible for defacing the verses of the Holy Qur’ a n . Maulvi M. Ilyas, the son of Maulwi Manzoor Chinioti, threatened the police with the un-Islamic demand that he would start a fast in protest if no action was taken. The police immediately registered cases against the two. The above named eminent members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan were arrested along with two others who went to the court to assist them in arranging ‘bail-before – a r re s t ’ . Maulvi M. Ilyas the son of Maulwi Manzoor Chinioti M PA hatched this vile and contemptible scheme. Maulwi Manzoor Chinioti MPA , himself, was the instigator and main driving force to change the name of Rabwah town. They are all members of the Majlis Tahafaze Khatme Nabuwwat, an organisation that has sworn to destro y Ahmadiyya Muslim commu- nity. Mr Rafiq Tarar, the then President of Pakistan and Raja Zafrul Haq the Minister for Religious Affairs, also belonged to the advisory council of this organisation. When the defendants arrived at the Court of Sessions in Chiniot District to have their bails validated (provisionally approved by the High Court), the Session Judge refused the bails and instead issued arrest warrants. As a result, all four were arrested and sent to jail, 58 Life Sketch and Services of Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad – KhalifatulMasih V The Review of Religions – April 2003 before any investigation was conducted as to the tru t h – fulness of the complaints. This fabricated case was registered under PPC-295B (defacing the verses of the Holy Qur’an), which could lead to life imprisonment. It is ominous that these arrests took place soon after the promulgation of the contro-versial Anti- Te r rorist Act (amendment) Ordinance 1999. Newspapers in Pakistan covered the story widely in their 1st May editions. Nawai Waqt Daily ( a p rominent newspaper in Lahore) wrote: ‘Acting Head of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan has been arrested along with his t h ree colleagues. They are accused of having defaced the name of Chanab Nagar (formerly Rabwah) which also contained Qur’anic verses. The Session Judge cancelled ‘bail- b e f o re – a r rest’ and issued warrants to arrest the accused. Mauvi Manzoor Chinioti, in his Friday Sermon, paid tribute to the prosecuting advocate and the Session Judge for performing their duties. He promised to send the Advocate on Umra (a religious visit to the sacre d places in Saudi Arabia) on his own expenses. (Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Government of Saudi Arabia has offered to invite all police and court officials to perform Umra as guests of the Royal House as a reward for their services to the cause of Islam.) Daily Jurrat (a mass c i rculation newspaper of Lahore) wrote: ‘Highest members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim leader- ship arrested on the charge of defacing the Qur’anic verses. On the complaint of Maulvi Ilyas Chinioti, four pro m i n e n t members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, were a r rested under PPC295-B when the Session Judge cancelled their ‘bail-before – a r rest’. The accused include Mirza Masroor Ahmad, acting 59 Life Sketch and Services of Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad – KhalifatulMasih V The Review of Religions – April 2003 Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan, Col. ( retd) Ayaz Mahmood, General President of R a b w a h branch, Mohammad Akbar and a school teacher by the name of Mohammad Hussain. They had already arranged their bail from the High Court, but the Session Judge cancelled that bail and issued arre s t warrants instead. This news s p read like a wild fire in the c i t y, but the Ahmadiyya leadership refused to comment on this development. G e n e r a l l y, the public thinks that this is a case without any foundation and a conspiracy to s p read sectarian hatre d . ” Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib who had been charged with blasphemy was duly imprisoned on 30th April but was released on 10th May 1999. On 22nd April, 2003 at 11:40pm London Ti m e , Sahibzada Mirza Masro o r Ahmad Sahib’s election as Khalifatul Masih V (Fifth Successor to the Pro m i s e d Messiah) was announced by Mr Ataul Mujeeb Rashed, S e c retary Majlis Shura, as follows: ‘It is announced for the information of all members of the world- wide Ahmadiyya Muslim community that following the Maghrib (dusk) and Isha (night) prayers, the Majlis Intikhab Khilafat (the Electoral College) estab-lished by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II, Musleh Maud (the Promised Reformer) (Allah be pleased with him) convened at the Fazl Mosque London today, Tuesday 22nd April 2003, under the chairmanship of Respected Chaudhry Hameed Ullah Sahib. Pursuant to the rules and regulations, each member took an oath of allegiance to Khilafat-i-Ahmadiyya. After this, they elected the most respected Sahibzada Mirza Masroor Ahmad, 60 Life Sketch and Services of Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad – KhalifatulMasih V The Review of Religions – April 2003 may his Lord keep him in peace and security, as Khalifatul Masih V. The members of the Majlis Intikhab Khilafat immedi- ately had the honour of taking the pledge of initiation at the blessed hand of Hadhrat Amirul Mominneen Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah assist him with His Mighty help and Allah grant him a long life, and have also had the honour of meeting Hadhrat Amirul Momineen. Alhamdolillah (All praise belongs to Allah). May Allah the Exalted in approval make this election most blessed. Amin. O ur Merciful and Gracious God! O our Noble and Loving Lord, we are grateful to You that You have bestowed us with Your Grace and the Second Manifestation and have once again changed our state of fear to that of peace. O our Possessor of Power and Authority and Self-Subsisting and All- Sustaining God, we bear witness that once again Your Messiah and Mahdi’s prophecy as stated in the journal A l – Wa s i y y a t h a s materialised with full glory and magnificence. All Praise belongs to Allah. Ataul Mujeeb Rashed, Secretary Majlis Shura 11.40 p.m. 22nd April 2003.’ F i n a l l y, we pray that Allah s t rengthen his hands and grant him a long, prosperous life leading the Community. And may Allah continue to shower this community with His Blessings and make it g row by leaps and bounds. Amin.