Khilafat Muslim Television Ahmadiyya

An Obituary of Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad

We re g ret to announce the demise of our spiritual head, Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad at 9:30 am on the 19th of April, 2003. S u rely to Allah do we belong and to Him do we return. Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad had served as the fourth head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim community from June 1982. He was born on December 18th, 1928 in Qadian, India, the son of Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, the P romised Reformer, and sec- ond Successor to Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, as foretold by the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him). Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad’s early education was in Qadian, India, and then at Government College Lahore, and Rabwah, Pakistan. In 1955 he came to England to compete his studies at The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad served the community in various capacities, including P resident of the Central Auxiliary Organization for Youth, and President of the Central Auxiliary Association for the Elders of the Community. He was also an International Secretary on the Central Executive Board. He was elected as the fourth successor to Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, on 10 June 1982. Religious persecution forced him to leave Pakistan in April 1984, from which time he 2 The Review of Religions – April 2003 An Obituary of Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad By Rafiq Ahmed Hayat, National President Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK and former Editor of the Review of Religions 3 An Obituary of Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad The Review of Religions – April 2003 Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad Khalifatul Masih IV lived in Southfields, London, at the Fazl Mosque. This then became the centre of the Ahmadiyya Community’s activities from which all affairs worldwide were conducted and supervised by him. Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad’s leadership was characterised by a vibrancy and dynamism that became the hallmark of his 21 year tenure of office. He made himself accessible to members of the community through his extensive travels worldwide. His indefatigable e fforts on behalf of the community inspired its members to attain new heights resulting in a period of tremendous progress in many fields. Through his own noble example he renewed the spirit of commitment and service amongst all his followers. Foremost among his achieve- ments was the creation of an international satellite television station, called Muslim Television Ahmadiyya, International (MTA). This station broadcasts a variety of programs 24 hours a day in most of the world’s major languages, including his Friday Sermons telecast live from the Fazl Mosque. Since his immense and varied know- ledge enabled him to answer questions on a diverse range of subjects during the frequently televised “Question and Answer Sessions,” it also e n d e a red him to his many audiences globally. His activities proliferated with the rapid spread of the community throughout 174 countries of the world. The community expe- rienced a dynamic period of g rowth, increasing its mem- bership from 10 million to more than 200 million mem- bers. An internationally acclaimed t h i n k e r, and scholar of comparative religions, he had a profound understanding of the Holy Qur’an, the Bible, and other scriptures. Under his guidance, the Holy Qur’an was translated into most of the major languages. He himself personally translated the Holy Q u r’an into the Urd u language. He wrote exten- 4 An Obituary of Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad The Review of Religions – April 2003 sively, and among his scholarly works is his magnum opus, Revelation, Rationality, Know- ledge and Truth, published in 1998. A discerning student of world history and a keen observer of the international political scene, he urged peace and tolerance among all nations and all peoples. He care d deeply about global human rights, championed the cause of the persecuted and dis- possessed, and advocated Islam as the solution to all contemporary political, social, spiritual and economic prob- lems. In addition to his religious and spiritual duties, he was also a homeopathic physician, a prolific writer, and gifted poet and a keen sportsman. His beloved wife, Syeda Asifa Begum passed away in 1992. He is survived by four daughters and several grandchildren. The Community’s Electoral College convened in London on Tuesday, April 22 to elect the next Successor, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V who led the funeral prayer at Islamabad, Tilford, Surrey on Wednesday 23 April 2003. The service was held at 2:00pm. More than 40,000 people from around the world attended the service. _________________ This stop press issue of the Review of Religions focuses on the institution of Khilafat and the recent change in the Head of the world wide Ahmadiyya Jama’at. Ed. 5 An Obituary of Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad The Review of Religions – April 2003 In this journal, for the information of non-Muslim readers, ‘(sa)’ or ‘sa’ after the words, ‘Holy Prophet’, or the name ‘Muhammad’, are used. They stand for ‘Salallahu alaihi wassalam’ meaning ‘Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him’. Likewise, the letters ‘(as)’ or ‘as’ after the name of all other prophets is an abbreviation meaning ‘Peace be upon him’ derived from Alaihi salato wassalam’ for the respect a Muslim reader utters.