In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.

Love for All, Hatred for None.

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A BOOK OF RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE


 

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Title
Table of Content
Foreword
Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6


 

SECTION 5

HISTORY OF AHMADIYYAT

THE REVIVAL OF ISLAM


WHAT IS AHMADIYYAT?

Ahmadiyyat is a sect of Islam and not a new religion. Ahmadiyyat is a movement, entirely within the fold of Islam, meant to revive its true spirit and philosophy, to cleanse Islam of all superstitious and unnecessary beliefs and customs which had crept in over the past fourteen centuries, and, finally, to preach the religion of Islam to non-Muslims with the enthusiasm and zeal of the early Muslims.

The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam was founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India, in 1889. The followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad believe that he is the same Messiah and Mahdi whose coming was foretold by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and was eagerly awaited by all Muslims. His followers call themselves Ahmadi Muslims, only to differentiate themselves from members of other Islamic sects, and strictly follow the orthodox religion of Islam.

As far as the fundamental beliefs or acts of worship are concerned, the Ahmadi Muslims have neither taken anything out nor added anything new to the religion of Islam. The Ahmadi Muslims make their declaration of faith by reciting the same Kalima which was recited by the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself; they say their Prayers and fast in the same manner as the Holy Prophet of Islam did; and their Qiblah, their Ka'ba, their Azan and their Quran are all exactly the same as that of the other Muslims.

DIFFERENCES WITH SUNNI MUSLIMS

There are basically three beliefs held by Ahmadi Muslims which separate them from the mainstream of Sunni Islam. These three beliefs concern:

o The finality of Muhammad's prophethood.

o Jesus Christ's ascension to heaven, and

o the identity of the Promised Messiah

These three areas of contention between Ahmadi and Sunni Muslims are briefly described below:

The Finality of Muhammad's Prophethood

In verse 41 of Surah al Ahzab, the Prophet Muhammad has been given the title of Khataman Nabiyyeen, the Seal of the Prophets. A majority of the Muslims interpret from this verse that the Holy Prophet Muhammad was chronologically the last Prophet and that no new Prophet can come after him. They also believe the phenomenon of prophetic revelation to be closed for ever.

According to the Ahmadi Muslims, the expression 'Seal of the Prophets' does not mean that the Holy Prophet is chronologically the last Prophet. A seal is a mark of distinction and, in this case, implies great perfection of prophethood. Ahmadis believe that the door to prophethood is always open. However, a new prophet after the Prophet Muhammad must be a follower of his and must be from within the fold of Islam. Ahmadi Muslims do believe that the Prophet Muhammad was the last law giving Prophet and that no new law giving prophet can come after him.

Jesus Christ's Ascension to Heaven

The Sunni Muslims believe that Jesus was not put on the cross and that his place was actually taken by someone who resembled him. Jesus, according to them, was physically raised to heaven.

Ahmadis believe that Jesus was indeed put on the cross, but only for a few hours. They believe that Jesus, after recovering from his wounds, traveled East to Kashmir where he died a natural death and remains buried in a tomb in Srinagar, in Mohallah Khanyar.

The Identity of the Promised Messiah

A majority of the Sunni Muslims believe that Jesus Christ himself will return one day as the latter day Messiah.

Ahmadi Muslims believe that since Jesus Christ has already died, it can only be someone else who can appear as the latter day Messiah. Ahmadis believe that this Promised Messiah has already come in the person of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad alaihisslam of Qadian.

These are the three important areas of contention between the Ahmadi and Sunni Muslims. In all other essential Islamic beliefs, the two groups hold more or less similar views.

WHAT IS MEANT BY THE "PROMISED" MESSIAH?

In the Hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, there are numerous references to the coming of a latter day Reformer who will cleanse the religion of Islam of all unnecessary customs and superstitions and restore to it the eminence and glory which it used to enjoy in the early days. This Reformer is referred to by various names and titles in the Hadith such as:

Mahdi
Messiah
Jesus son of Mary

The advent of this Reformer is so vividly described in the Hadith literature that Muslims of all sects and generations had been eagerly waiting for his appearance.

Since one of the names used for this Reformer in the Hadith is "Jesus son of Mary", many simple minded Muslims started believing that Jesus Christ himself will reappear in the latter days of Islam. When Mirza Ghulam Ahmad proclaimed in 1890 that he was the Messiah whose advent was promised in the Hadith of the Holy Prophet, a majority of the Muslims rejected his claim because they were looking forward to the second coming of Jesus Christ himself. In this respect these Muslims behaved like the Jews of two thousand years ago who had rejected Jesus' claim to prophethood because they, too, were waiting for the second coming of the Prophet Elijah.

After receiving many revelations to this effect, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad declared in 1890 that he was the same Messiah and Mahdi whose advent had been foretold by the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself. He declared that he was in communion with God and constantly received His revelations and signs.

SIMILARITIES WITH JESUS CHRIST

A question arises as to why the latter day reformer has been referred to by the name of "Isa ibne Maryam" (Jesus son of Mary), in the Hadith of the Holy Prophet. The reason is the great resemblance this latter day reformer bears to Jesus Christ in a number of ways. If we look at their time settings, their teachings and their objectives, we find such a remarkable resemblance between the two as if the history is repeating itself. Some of the important areas in which the two prophets resemble each other are discussed below:

Relationship to the Law Giving Prophet

Jesus Christ was not a law giving prophet and came some 1300 years after the Prophet Moses, the greatest law giving prophet of the Israelites.

Similarly, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was not a law giving prophet and he, too, came some 1300 years after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the greatest law giving prophet of all times.

Reason for Rejection by the People

Jews of the day rejected Jesus' claim to prophethood because they were mistakenly waiting for the second coming of the Prophet Elijah himself.

Similarly, Muslims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's time rejected his claim to Messiahship because they, too, were mistakenly waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ himself

Objectives

The intention of Jesus Christ was to reform Judaism and not to found a new religion. It is not possible to found a new religion without giving the people a new Law. Jesus did not abrogate the Mosaic Law and, in fact, maintained its continued applicability to his own followers.
Similarly, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad came to reform the Islam of his day and not to found any new religion.

Teachings

Jesus' teachings emphasized the gentler elements of the Jewish religion, such as meekness, humility, charity, forgiveness and repentance. Jesus de emphasized the harsher elements of the Mosaic Law which, with its restrictions and punishments, had come to be regarded more as a curse than as a blessing.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's teachings also emphasized the gentler elements of the religion of Islam such as patience, meekness, humility, forgiveness, charity and prayer. He, too, de emphasized some of the
harsher elements of Islamic history such as jihad with a sword.

 

THE INSTITUTION OF MUJADADIYYAT IN ISLAM

A Mujaddid is a person who renews or renovates the religion. According to a Hadith of the Holy Prophet, which has been recorded by Abu Da'ood, renovators will appear during every century of Islam:

"Verily, God shall raise for this community, at the beginning of every century, one who will renovate for it its religion".

A list of various "Renovators" who have appeared during the past fourteen hundred years is given below. These mujaddids were the most outstanding saints and scholars of their time and did much to reform the religion of Islam, of their day.

In this list, only one Mujaddid is given for each century. Many Muslims, however, recognize more than one Mujaddid for some centuries. For example, two Mujaddids are recognized for the Second century of Islam: Ahmad bin Hanbal and Imam Sha'fi. Similarly, Abu Ubaid Naishapuri is included with Abu Bakr Baqlani as the two Mujaddids of the Fourth century. For the Seventh century, Moeen-ud-Deen Chishtee is recognized along with Imam ibne Taymiyya, and for the Eighth century, Saleh bin Omar along with ibne Hajar Asqalani. Similarly, for the Ninth Century, Syed Muhammad Jaunpuri is recognized along with Jalal-ud-Deen Sayutee. But far the Fourteenth Century of Islam, which ended in the year 1980 A.D., no one other than Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian has ever been recognized as a Mujaddid.

LIST OF MUJADDIDS OF ISLAM

Century Name of Mujaddid Hijrah Christian
Dates Era
1st Omar bin Abdul Aziz 60 101 717 720
2nd Ahmad bin Hanbal 164 241 780 855
3rd Abul Hasan Ashari 260 324 873 935
4th Abu Bakr Baqlani 7 403 7 1013
5th Al Ghazali 450 505 1058 1111
6th Abdul Qadir Jilanee 470 561 1077 I 166
7th Ibne Taymiyya 661 728 1263 1328
8th Ibne Hajar Asqalani 773 852 1372 1449
9th Jalal-ud-Deen Sayutee ? ?
10th Muhammad Tahir Gujratee ? ?
11th Ahmad Sirhindi 971 1034 1564 1624
12th Shah Wali Ullah 1113 1175 1702 1762
13th Ahmad Brelwi 1201 1246 1786 1831
14th Mirza Ghulam Ahmad 1251 1326 1835 1908


BIRTH OF HAZRAT MIRZA GHULAM AHMAD

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was born at Qadian, India, on February 13, 1835. He was born immediately after a twin sister named Jannat Bibi, who died a few days later. Mohyuddin ibne al Arabi, a great Muslim mystic of Spain, had prophesied that the Promised Messiah would be born a twin. The name of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's father was Mirza Ghulam Murtaza and his mother's, Chiragh Bibi. He had an older brother by the name of Mirza Ghulam Qadir and a sister named Murad Bibi.

A distant ancestor of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, by the name of Mirza Hadi Baig, came to India from Samarqand in the latter part of the sixteenth century. This occurred soon after Babar, also from the Samarqand region, had established himself as the first Moghul Emperor in India. Mirza Hadi Baig settled with his companions near River Beas, about seventy miles east of Lahore, and founded a village by the name of Islampur. Later on this place came to be known as Islampur Qadi which, in the course of time, got shortened to Qadian. At the time of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's birth, Qadian was merely a small village without electricity, paved roads or railway line. The nearest connection with the outside world was through a place called Batala, eleven miles away.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the thirteenth descendent of Mirza Hadi Baig. During the Moghul rule in India, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's ancestors held responsible posts at the royal court and had control over a large area around Qadian. At the rise of the Sikh rule in Punjab, his family started to lose control of this territory, which was eventually confiscated in the nineteenth century by the British Government in India. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's father spent his entire life in litigation trying to regain possession of his ancestral estate. He spent a great deal of money and effort towards this end but did not gain much.

THE FAMILY TREE OF HAZRAT MIRZA GHULAM AHMAD

The three Khalifahs of the Promised Messiah, after Maulvi Noor-ud-Deen, are shown below by numbers

QADIAN AND SURROUNDINGS


EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad received all his education at home. His religious education started at an early age of six when a tutor, by the name of Fazl Ilahi, was retained to teach him the Holy Quran and the Persian language.

When he was ten years old, another teacher by the name of Fazl Ahmad taught him Arabic grammar. At age seventeen, he received instruction in more of Arabic grammar and something of logic, by another tutor named Gul Ali Shah. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's father, being an experienced physician, instructed him in the field of natural medicine.

Although Mirza Ghulam Ahmad could swim and tide, he was not really fond of games or sports. Right from very early age, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was given to studying the Holy Quran, the Hadith of the Holy Prophet, and other religious literature. Even at this young age his favourite pastime was praying and studying.

FIRST MARRIAGE

According to the custom of the time, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was married at an early age of sixteen, to his cousin named Hurmat Bibi. From this first marriage, two sons were born: Mirza Sultan Ahmad (1853 1931) and Mirza Fazl Ahmad (1855 1904). Neither of these sons performed the Bai'at during the lifetime of the Promised Messiah. Mirza Fazl Ahmad passed away four years before his father's death while Mirza Sultan Ahmad eventually performed the Bai'at at the hand of Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad, the Second Successor of the Promised Messiah.

Even after the marriage, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad continued to spend most of his time in seclusion, prayer and meditation. The first marriage of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was not a happy one and eventually resulted in permanent separation.

b

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's father wanted him to learn some worldly knowledge and obtain some lucrative post in line with ancestral tradition, but he had no such desire. His father eventually secured him a government post as a Reader in a court in Sialkot. In deference to his father's wishes, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad took up this position in 1864, at the age of 29. He worked at Sialkot for about four years but his heart was never in his job. He spent all his spare time in worship, in the study of religious books and in carrying out discussions and debates with the Christian missionaries in the area.

In 1868 he learned of his mother's serious illness back in Qadian. He immediately resigned from his job and returned to Qadian. His mother, however, passed away before his arrival.


START OF REVELATIONS

The spiritual experiences of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad began in his early youth when he started having true dreams and visions. In these dreams he met various saints and prophets including the Holy Prophet Muhammad. It was, however, in 1865 at the age of thirty, that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad received his first revelation which concerned his age:

"Eighty years or thereabouts, or a little more. And
you will see your distant progeny."

The above revelation was in the Arabic language. A few years later, in 1869, he received another important revelation in Urdu:

"I shall bestow blessing upon blessing on thee, so much so that kings will seek blessings from thy garments."

In the beginning, his revelations were short and infrequent, followed by long silent intervals. Gradually, the frequency as well as the length of his revelations increased. The written contents of some of his individual revelations run for many pages. In his lifetime, he received revelations mostly in Urdu and Arabic languages with some in Persian and a few even in English.

After the death of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a collection of all his dreams, visions and revelations was compiled from various publications into one volume called Tadhkirah. Many of his revelations were repetition of the Quranic verses. The purpose was to emphasize certain meanings and implications of these verses which applied to a particular set of circumstances. A great number of his revelations and visions contain prophecies regarding future events. Many of these prophecies were fulfilled during the lifetime of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad or soon afterwards. But some of his prophecies concern the future and still await fulfillment. A great many of his revelations contain statements of extreme love and endearment which God displayed for Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

FASTING AND DEVOTION

In the year 1875, at the age of forty, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad kept fasts over a period of eight or nine months. He gradually reduced his daily food to just half a piece of bread and intensified his prayers and devotions. As a result, God blessed him with great insight into the spiritual secrets and he met many prophets and saints in his visions.

DEATH OF FATHER

In the year 1876, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was in Lahore when he had a dream. From this dream he concluded that his father was about to pass away. He hastened back to Qadian and found that although his father was ill, it did not appear that his illness was very serious. The next day, at noon, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad received the following Quranic verse in a revelation:

"We call to witness the heaven and that which appears by night."(86:2)

With this revelation he was also given the understanding that it referred to the death of his father which was to occur that day after sunset. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was greatly troubled by this revelation and naturally wondered about the cessation of certain sources of income which were available only during his father's lifetime. Immediately, he received another revelation of the following Quranic verse:

"Is not God sufficient for His servant?" (39:37)

This revelation gave him great comfort and satisfaction. That day, after sunset, his father passed away in accordance with his revelation.

ADHERENCE TO TRUTH

An incident took place in 1878 which demonstrates how truthful and honest Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was in his everyday life. It so happened that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad once sent a manuscript to a printer by mail, at the rate prescribed for parcels. In it he also enclosed a letter, addressed to the printer, giving certain instructions for the printing of the manuscript. He was not aware that postal regulations forbade the inclusion of letters in any material sent at the parcel rate. The owner of the printing press was an opponent of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and made a complaint against him to the postal authorities.

A case was filed against Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and he was summoned to the court to answer the charges. The lawyer who was representing his case, advised him to deny that he had placed any letter in the parcel. But Mirza Ghulam Ahmad immediately rejected this advice telling his lawyer that he could not deviate from the truth and make a false statement for fear of punishment. His lawyer told him that in that case there would not be any hope for acquittal since he would be admitting to the breaking of the postal regulations.

Later in the court, when he was questioned by the magistrate, he admitted that he had placed the letter in the parcel but explained that he did not know that he was breaking a postal regulation and had no intention of defrauding the Post Office. The court was so impressed by his forthrightness and honesty that the case against him was dropped and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was acquitted.

WRITING OF `BRAHIN E AHMADIYYA'

Around the latter half of the nineteenth century, Islam in India was being ruthlessly attacked by the Christians and the Arya Samaj, a militant sect of the Hindus. Under the favourable climate of the British rule, the Christian missionaries were spreading their religion with great force and speed. The Muslims in India were completely heedless to this deteriorating situation and Islam in that country was indeed in a sorry state.

It was in such circumstances that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad took up his pen in defense of Islam and to prove its excellences. For this reason he started writing a great book called Braheen e-Ahmadiyya, meaning Proofs of Ahmadiyyat. The four volumes of this book were published between 1880 and 1884 while the fifth volume was published in 1905.

Aside from some articles he had been contributing to the local journals, Braheen e-Ahmadiyya was Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's first major writing. In this book he presented proofs of the truth of the Holy Quran and of the Prophethood of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. He also threw a challenge, accompanied by a prize of 10,000 rupees, to any non Muslim who could refute these arguments and could produce even one fifth as many proofs in favour of his own religion.

Overnight, the publication of Braheen e-Ahmadiyya brought great fame and respect to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and people began to look at him as a great champion of Islam. He went on to write more than eighty books over the next 28 years. All this voluminous literature was intended for the revival of Islam and presenting its excellence and superiority over all other religions. Most of his books were written in the Urdu language while some twenty books were written in Arabic.

APPOINTED AS A REFORMER

Although Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had been seeing visions and receiving revelations for some time, his real mission and status had not yet been made apparent to him. It was in March 1882, when he was 37 years old, that his true station began to be revealed to him.

"God bless thee, O Ahmad... The Gracious God has taught thee the Quran so that you should warn the people whose ancestors have not been warned... Proclaim: I have been commissioned and I am the first of the believers...

"He it is Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the true faith so that He should make it prevail over all faiths... We shall suffice thee against those who mock at thee... This is a mercy from thy Lord. He will perfect His bounty upon thee so that it should be a sign for the believers. You have appeared with clear vision from your Lord so give glad tidings to people ... Tell them: "If you love God, then follow me, God will then love you...`

"God praises thee from His Throne. We praise thee and call down blessings on thee... I am with thee and be thou with Me wherever thou may be... God will exalt thy name and perfect His bounty upon thee in this world and the hereafter... Give glad tidings to those who have believed that they have the station of righteousness before thy Lord. Recite to them whatever has been revealed to thee from thy Lord".

With this revelation of March 1882, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad realized that he was being appointed by God as the Mujaddid or Reformer of the fourteenth century of Islam. At this stage he did not make any specific public claim; his status as the Promised Messiah was yet to be revealed to him in another eight years. He, however, intensified his prayers and worship and devoted all his time towards his writings and preaching the truth and the excellence of Islam.

SECOND MARRIAGE

The rust marriage of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, which had taken place when he was sixteen years old, had ended in a permanent separation. Around the year 1881, when he was 46 years old, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad started to receive revelations regarding his second marriage:

"We give thee glad tidings of a noble son"

"Be grateful for My bounty that you have found My Khadijah"

"I have determined to arrange another wedding for you. I shall make all the arrangements and you will not be put to any trouble"

Under the Divine Will, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad married a second time on November 17, 1884. He was 49 years old at the time. His second wife, Nusrat Jehan Begum, came from a noble Sayyed family of Delhi. From this second wife ten children were born whose names are given below:

1. Ismat Bibi Apr. 15, 1886 1891
2. Basheer Ahmad Aug. 7, 1887 Nov. 4, 1888
3. Mirza Bashiruddin Jan. 12, 1889 Nov. 8, 1965
Mahmood Ahmad
4. Shaukat Bibi 1891 1892
5. Mirza Bashir Ahmad Apr. 20, 1893 Sept 2, 1963
6. Mirza Sharif Ahmad May 24, 1895 Dec. 26, 1961
7. Mubaraka Begum Mar 2, 1897 May 23, 1977
8. Mirza Mubarak Ahmad Jun 14, 1899 Sep 16, 1907
9. Amtul Naseer Jan 28, 1903 Dec 3, 1903
10. Amtul Hafeez Begum Jun 25, 1904 May 6, 1987

Five of the above ten children died in infancy or early childhood; the surviving five, three males and two females, lived to ripe old ages.

Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad, the oldest of the five surviving children, became the Second Khalifah of the Promised Messiah alaihisslam and served in this capacity for over fifty years.

Nusrat Jehan Begum, the second wife of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, died on April 20, 1952, in Rabwah, Pakistan. She was 86 years old at the time.

SOLITARY RETREAT IN HOSHIARPUR

In January 1886, at the age of 51, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad traveled to Hoshiarpur with the intention of spending some time in a solitary retreat. In a house on the outskirts of Hoshiarpur, he isolated himself for a period of forty days. During this time his food was placed outside his door and no visitors were allowed to see him. He spent all this time in intense meditation and worship and was in constant communion with God and received many revelations. He supplicated to his Lord to give him a sign for the truth of Islam. It was during this solitary retreat that he was given the glad tidings of a great son to be born to him who is known, in the history of Ahmadiyyat, as the "Promised Son" or the "Promised Reformer".

"I confer upon thee a sign of My mercy according to thy supplications. I have heard thy entreaties and have accepted thy prayers with My mercy and have blessed this thy journey.

"A sign of power, mercy, nearness to Me is bestowed on thee; a sign of grace and beneficence is awarded to thee and thou art granted the key of success and victory...

"Rejoice therefore that a handsome and pure boy will be bestowed upon thee; you will receive a bright 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 God. Blessed is he who comes from heaven.

"He will be accompanied by grace which shall arrive with him. He will be characterized with grandeur, greatness and wealth. He will come into the world and will heal many of their disorders through his Messianic qualities and through the blessings of the Holy Spirit. He is the Word of God for God's mercy and honour have equipped him with the Word of Majesty. He will be extremely intelligent and understanding and will be meek of heart and will be endowed with secular and spiritual knowledge...

"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 God has descended from heaven. His advent will be greatly blessed and will be a source of manifestation of Divine Majesty. Behold, a light comes; a light anointed by God with the perfume of His pleasure. We shall pour Our Spirit into him and he will be sheltered under the shadow of God. He will grow rapidly 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 nations will be blessed through him. Then he shall be raised to his spiritual station in heaven. This is a matter decreed"

In a second announcement, two days later, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad declared that this promised son will be born within a period of nine years.

Two months after the announcement regarding the birth of the promised son, a daughter named Ismat Bibi was born to Ghulam Ahmad. His enemies rejoiced at her birth and took this opportunity to ridicule and defame him. Many of his opponents started saying that the prophecy was falsified by the birth of the daughter.

Then, one and a half year after the famous announcement, a son was born to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and was named Bashir Ahmad. This son, too, died little over a year later and the enemies of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad again raised a commotion in order to discredit him. They all started saying that the boy who had died was the one who should have lived to become the Promised Reformer. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad responded to these accusations by saying that he had never claimed that this Bashir Ahmad was indeed the Promised Son and that all he had prophesied was that such a son will be born within a period of nine years.

In due course of time, the Promised Son was born to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad on January 12, 1889, within the specified period of nine years and was named Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad. He eventually became the Second Successor of the Promised Messiah and served in this capacity for a period of over fifty years. On receiving a revelation in 1944, Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad declared in a public address that he indeed was the Promised Son whose birth was prophesied by the Promised Messiah in 1886. We will read more about the Promised Son in the section on Promised Messiah's Successors.

COMMANDED TO ACCEPT THE BAI'AT

In 1888, some six years after being appointed as a Reformer, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was commanded by God to start accepting the Bai'at or the oath of allegiance of his followers. In an announcement printed on green paper and published on December 1, 1888, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said:

"I have been commanded that the seekers after truth should enter into covenant of Bai'at with me for the purpose of learning the way of true faith, true purity and the love of the Lord and of discarding an evil, slothful and disloyal life.

"Therefore, those who perceive such strength in themselves should come forward to me. I shall be the sharer of their sorrows and shall try to lighten their burdens. God will bless them through my prayers and my attention towards them provided they are wholeheartedly ready to comply with the conditions of the covenant which are divinely determined"

By taking the Bai'at or the oath of allegiance, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was laying the foundation of a movement which will be made up of people completely devoted to the cause of Islam in every respect. Before accepting any Bai'at, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad announced, on January 12, 1889, the ten conditions of initiation into the Movement. A newcomer to the Movement was asked to abide by the following conditions:

1. To abstain from shirk or setting up partners with God

2. To keep away from falsehood, adultery, cruelty, dishonesty, riot, rebellion and every kind of evil

3. To offer the five Daily Prayers and also the Tahajjud Prayer if able to do so

4. Not to harm God's creatures in general and Muslims in particular, by one's actions or by words

5. To stay faithful to God in sorrow or pleasure, prosperity or adversity, happiness or misfortune

6. Not to follow vulgar customs, to abstain from evil inclinations, to submit to the authority of the Holy Quran and to make the sayings of God and His Messenger the guiding principles of one's life

7. To completely discard pride and haughtiness and to pass one's days with humility, lowliness, courtesy and meekness

8. To consider the religion, the honour of religion and the well being of Islam dearer than one's life, wealth and children

9. To show sympathy to God's creatures and to use one's natural talents for their welfare

10. To establish a brotherhood with Mirza Ghulam Ahmad on condition of obeying him in everything good, till the day of one's death.

These were the ten conditions of the Bai'at which every one intending to enter the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam had to abide by.

THE FOUNDING OF AHMADIYYA MOVEMENT

After publishing the ten conditions of the Bai'at, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad traveled to Ludhiana in March 1889 and issued another leaflet. In this leaflet he said that be would stay in the town at a house near that of Munshi Ahmad Jan's, a disciple of his. Those who wished to become his followers were asked to come to the house for an oath of allegiance. He explained the meaning, the necessity and the importance of the Bai'at, in the following words:

"God wishes to found a community of the faithful to manifest His Glory and Power. He will make the community grow and prosper and will cause it to establish the love of God, righteousness, purity, peace and good will among men. This shall be a group of men devoted to God. He shall strengthen them with His own Spirit and bless them and purify them. He shall multiply them exceedingly ... He shall make the Community grow, so much so that its numbers and progress shall amaze the world. My true followers shall excel every other people. There shall always rise among them, till the Day of Judgment, persons who will be the chosen ones of God in every respect"

The formal ceremony of the Bai'at started on March 23, 1889. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sat in one corner of the room while his disciples were called in, one by one. The ceremony was extremely simple. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad would stretch out his right hand which was then held by the disciple who would repeat the following words in Urdu after him:

"I repent today at the hand of Ahmad, of all the sins and bad habits to which I was addicted; and most truthfully and solemnly do I promise that, to the last day of my life, I shall avoid, to the best of my ability, all manner of sin. I will hold my faith above all worldly considerations. I shall try, as far as I can, to observe the ten conditions of Bai'at laid down in the leaflet dated January 12, 1889. I seek forgiveness of God for my past sins".

After this, the disciple would repeat the following words in Arabic:

"I ask forgiveness of God, my Lord,

"I ask forgiveness of God, my Lord,

"I ask forgiveness of God, my Lord, for all my sins and turn to Him. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except God. He is One, without partners and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. My Lord, I have wronged my soul and I confess all my sins. Do thou forgive me my sins as there is none other who can forgive".

After taking this oath from the disciple, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad would lift up his hands in prayer and thus the ceremony of the Bai'at would be completed for each follower. The very first person who took the Bai'at at the hands of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was Maulvi Noor-ud-Deen who was his most devoted follower and eventually succeeded him as his First Successor.

On March 23, 1889, some forty persons performed the Bai'at and thus was laid the foundation of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. This Movement, which started with a handful of devours in the late I800s, has today grown into millions of adherents spread all over the world. The Movement has established missions and mosques in numerous countries of the world, built schools and hospitals in many African nations, translated the Holy Quran in many languages, and is zealously preaching the religion of Islam in every corner of the world. The unusual success of the Movement is a living proof of God's support for this otherwise humble and resource less community.

CLAIM TO MESSIAHSHIP

Early in 1890, God revealed to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad that Jesus Christ had died a natural death and that the belief that he was still alive in heaven was false. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad announced this fact openly to the world and declared that Jesus son of Mary could not possibly come back to life as the latter day Messiah. He told the world that the prophecy of the Holy Prophet regarding the coming of a Mahdi and a Messiah had been fulfilled in his own person. He further proclaimed that God had appointed him to bring about a reform in the world and to re establish the supremacy and glory of the religion of Islam.

As proof for his claim, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad presented many arguments. He explained that just as the Prophet Elijah did not come back to life himself and his second coming was in fact realized in the appearance of John the Baptist, similarly, Jesus Christ would not reappear himself and his second coming could only be realized in the appearance of someone else with the characteristics and qualities of Jesus. As further proof, he produced numerous references in the writings of early Muslim scholars and in the sacred books of other religions, all of which attested to the truthfulness of his claim.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's claim to Messiahship received a muted response from the public. Those who were honest and sincere could not find any fault with his claim and eventually entered his fold. But there were many other people who, for various reasons, did not accept his claim and denounced him as an unbeliever and a non Muslim. The Christian missionaries opposed him for he had proved that Jesus was a mortal being like the rest of us and could not possibly be the Son of God in the literal sense of the phrase. Muslim mullahs also opposed him since they saw in him a threat to their own dogmatic teachings and power.


ANNUAL GATHERING INSTITUTED

On December 27, 1891, a gathering of the Ahmadiyya Movement was held in Qadian, India, in which 75 persons participated. The conference was a great success and the Promised Messiah announced that such a gathering of the community should be held every year for three days during the Christmas holidays. Since then, this annual gathering has been held more or less without any break and the number of participants bas steadily grown. The last Annual Gathering held during the lifetime of the Promised Messiah, in 1907, was attended by some 2,000 followers. In the recent Annual Gathering held at Rabwah, Pakistan, the number of participants reached a quarter million people.

In these annual gatherings, the Ahmadiyya community reviews the work done in the previous year and listens to talks and speeches presented by teamed scholars and the Khalifah on topics covering Islam, Ahmadiyyat, comparative religions, and economic, social and political problems and their remedies. The Ahmadi Muslims participating in these gatherings come from all parts of the world. They take this opportunity not only to increase their religious knowledge and spiritual energy but also revive old friendships and establish new relations of love, affection and Islamic brotherhood. With many Ahmadis now living outside India and Pakistan, annual gatherings are also organized in various other countries.

PROPHECY REGARDING PANDIT LEKH RAM

Pundit Lekh Ram was a leader of Arya Samaj. Arya Samaj was a highly militant and dogmatic sect of Hinduism which fiercely attacked both Islam and Christianity because they were attracting too many converts, especially from the lower castes. Pundit Lekh Ram was a persistent enemy of Islam and always used the foulest language in attacking the character of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Many a times the Promised Messiah tried to correct him on this point but he would not listen. Finally, on February 20, 1893, the Promised Messiah made the following announcement concerning Pundit Lekh Ram:

"Within six years from today, this man will be overtaken by severe torment as a punishment for the disrespect which he has shown towards the Holy Prophet.

"Now by announcing the prophecy I am seeking to inform all Muslims, Christians and followers of other religions that if this person is not overtaken within the period of six years from today by a torment that should be distinguishable from ordinary sufferings and should bear an extraordinary character and should be in the nature of Divine punishment, then it might be concluded that I have not been sent from God"

In another revelation God informed the Promised Messiah that this reckoning will occur on the day next to the day of the Eid Festival.

Even after the announcement of the prophecy in his regard, Pundit Lekh Ram did not mend his ways and continued to make vile remarks in his writings about the Prophet Muhammad, the Holy Quran and Islam. He even made a prophecy of his own that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad will die of cholera within three years and that his children will not survive.

What Pundit Lekh Ram had prophesied did not, of course, come to pass. The Promised Messiah did not die within the specified period and his children did indeed survive. The Promised Messiah's prophecy, however, was fulfilled word for word. Pundit Lekh Ram met his fateful end on March 6, 1897, on the day following the festive day of Eid al Adha. He was fatally stabbed by an unknown person in his own house and the assailant could not be apprehended. The fulfillment of this prophecy was a great sign of the truth of the Promised Messiah.

SIGN OF THE ECLIPSES

In a Hadith of the Holy Prophet, one of the signs of the appearance of the Mahdi relates to the darkening of the sun and the moon during the month of Ramadhan. This Hadith was recorded by Dar Qutnee and goes as follows:

"For our Mahdi there are appointed two signs which have never been manifested for any other claimant since the creation of the heavens and the earth. One is the eclipse of the moon on the first of Ramadhan and the other is the eclipse of the sun in the middle of Ramadhan. These two signs have not appeared since the creation of the heavens and the earth"

An eclipse of the moon normally occurs on the 13th, 14th or 15th night of a lunar month near the time of the full moon. An eclipse of the sun takes place on the 27th, 28th or 29th day of the lunar month, near the time of the new moon. According to the Hadith of the Holy Prophet, the lunar eclipse was to occur on the 13th (the first of the appointed nights), and the solar eclipse was to occur on the 28th (the middle of the appointed days), of the month of Ramadhan.

This heavenly sign was fulfilled during the time of the Promised Messiah, in exactly the way described in the Hadith. The moon was eclipsed on the 13th of Ramadhan, 1311 Hijrah (corresponding to March 21, 1894), and the sun was eclipsed on the 28th of Ramadhan (April 6, 1894). It should be noted that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is the only person in history who has claimed this heavenly sign in support of his claim.

DISCOVERIES REGARDING BABA NANAK

Baba Nanak, born in India in the fifteenth century, is considered by the Sikhs as the founder of their religion. The Promised Messiah's research and investigations regarding the Sikh religion demonstrated that Baba Nanak in fact was a Muslim saint who observed all the rituals and commandments of Islam. He showed the world that Baba Nanak, though born in a Hindu family, had accepted Islam. Baba Nanak believed in the Unity of God, offered the Daily Prayers and carried out all other duties of Islam including the pilgrimage to Mecca. Although Baba Nanak always preached the religion of Islam to his followers, they, however, deviated from his true teachings because of their political conflict with the Muslim Moghuls of India.

Another piece of evidence which the Promised Messiah presented to the world concerns a cotton cloak of Baba Nanak considered a sacred relic by the Sikhs. In 1865, the Promised Messiah went to Dera Baba Nanak, a small village not too far from Qadian, where this cloak is kept. When the cloak was opened, it displayed the Kalima and other Quranic verses written on it.

The Promised Messiah explained all these findings regarding Baba Nanak and the Sikh religion in his book Sat Bachan, meaning the True Word, in the language of the Sikhs. This book was published in November 1895.

CONFERENCE OF WORLD RELIGIONS

At the end of 1896, a three day conference on religions took place in Lahore in which representatives of the various faiths were invited to present papers dealing with the following five basic themes:

1. The physical, moral and spiritual conditions of man.

2. The state of man after death.

3. The object of man's life and the means of its attainment.

4. The effect of human actions in this life and in the hereafter.

5. The means of achieving spiritual knowledge.

The purpose of this conference was to allow the public at large to see the relative merits of the various religions. The Promised Messiah, being one of the invitees, prepared an essay on Islam covering these basic themes. While he was still writing the essay, he received a revelation:

"The essay has come out best"

From this he concluded that his paper would excel all others at the conference. Before the start of the conference, the Promised Messiah fell ill and could not personally attend it. He, therefore, appointed one of his followers, Hazrat Maulvee Abdul Kareem, to read the paper on his behalf.

Many well known religious scholars participated in this conference which took on the aspect of a tournament of religions. When the Promised Messiah's essay was read on the second day of the conference, the audience applauded it warmly and the Indian press gave it an excellent review. Since the essay was more than 150 pages long, its reading could not be completed that day. At the request of the audience, the program of the conference was extended by one more day. During the two days, the reading of the Promised Messiah's essay took seven and a half hours.

This essay was later published under the title Islami Usool ki Philosophy, meaning The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam.

ACCUSATION OF MURDER BY DR. MARTIN CLARK

Some Christian missionaries in India saw that the Promised Messiah was slowly gaining ground against them. When they felt that their efforts to refute his arguments were futile, they resorted to cheap tactic. Dr. Henry Martin Clark was a Christian missionary working in Amritsar. In August 1897, Dr. Clark brought a charge against the Promised Messiah in the court of the District Magistrate. Dr. Clark accused Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of instigating a young man by the name of Abdul Humid to murder him.

The case eventually came up before the court of Captain M. W. Douglas, the Deputy Commissioner of Gurdaspur. Abdul Hameed was properly tutored by the opposition and told a pre-rehearsed story to the court. Captain Douglas, however, felt uneasy about the testimony of Abdul Humid and asked the District Superintendent of Police to question him.

On interrogation, the youth burst into tears and admitted that he had been lying throughout the case. He then made a full statement saying that he was pressured by other people to lie against Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. After this, Captain Douglas acquitted the Promised Messiah with due honour and the case against him was discharged.

It is interesting to note that while the enemies were leveling charges of murder against the Promised Messiah, his own behaviour towards them was that of a gentleman. During the trial Maulvi Muhammad Hussain of Batala, an enemy of the Promised Messiah appeared as a witness against him. While Maulvi Muhammad Hussain was in the witness box, the defense counsel retained by the Promised Messiah started to cross examine him. The defense counsel wanted to show the court that Maulvi Muhammad Hussain did not enjoy a good reputation in private life. For this purpose the defense counsel asked him a question which would have brought out a self humiliating answer. But, before the witness could answer, the Promised Messiah rose from his chair and at once stopped his own counsel from taking this liberty with the personal honour of the witness. Although the witness was one of his staunchest enemies, the Promised Messiah would not allow his weakness to be exposed in public. This is an excellent example of the true Islamic character of the Promised Messiah.

NEWSPAPERS OF THE AHMADIYYA MOVEMENT

The very first newspaper of the Ahmadiyya Movement was called AI Hakam and was published for the first time in October 1897. Sheikh Yaqoob Ali Irfani was its editor. The paper was initially published from Amritsar but later on was transferred to Qadian. Five years later, in 1902, another newspaper called AI Badr was started from Qadian. The first editor of Al Badr was Mufti Muhammad Sadiq and the paper continues to be published from Qadian to this very day.

Both these newspapers played a historical role in recording the speeches, revelations, addresses and conversations of the Promised Messiah and in preserving the early history of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam.

CHALLENGE TO JOHN ALEXANDER DOWIE OF USA

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, John Alexander Dowie had established himself in the United States of America as a healer, prophet, and the fore runner of Jesus Christ. He had founded his own Christian sect and had taken up the title of Elijah III.

Dowie was a bitter enemy of Islam and of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. He used to express his belief in this regard in the vilest possible language and used to advocate the total destruction of Muslims and the religion of Islam. When the Promised Messiah came to know of Dowie's claims, he confronted him with the following challenge in September 1902:

... There is no need for Mr. Dowie to subject the millions of Muslims to destruction. There is a very easy way to determine whether Dowie's god is true or our God. That is that Mr. Dowie should pray that of the two of us, the one who is false may die before the other. Dowie believes in Jesus as God and I consider him a humble creature and a prophet. The matter in issue is, which one of us two is in the right?

"The method I propose is that Mr. Dowie should come into the field against me with the permission of his false god ... If the false god of Mr. Dowie possesses any power he will certainly permit him to come forth against me"

This challenge of the Promised Messiah was given great publicity in the American press. Dowie, however, gave no reply to the challenge. A year later, in August 1903, the Promised Messiah published another statement addressed to Mr. Dowie:

"I do not say merely out of my own mouth that I am the Promised Messiah. God, Who has created the heavens and the earth, bears witness for me... I have thousands of His testimonies in my support which I cannot number. One testimony is that if Mr. Dowie will accept my challenge and will put himself in opposition to me expressly or by implication, he will depart this life with great sorrow and torment during my lifetime.

"Dowie has not so far replied to my challenge nor has he referred to it in his paper. I, therefore, grant him time for seven months from today, the 23rd of August 1903. If during this period he comes forth in opposition to me and makes an announcement in his paper that he accepts fully the plan that I have put forward, the world shall soon see the end of this contest.

"If Mr. Dowie runs away from this contest, I would call upon the people of America and Europe as witness that this would also be considered his defeat, and in such case it should be concluded that his claim of being Elijah is a mere boast and deceit.

"I close these brief remarks with the following prayer: O Powerful and Perfect God, Who has ever been revealing and will ever continue to reveal Thyself to Thy prophets, do Thou give Thy judgment and show to Thy people the imposture and falsehood of Dowie"

At last, in December 1903, Mr. Dowie made the following announcement:

"In India there is a Muhammadan Messiah who keeps writing to me that Jesus Christ lies buried in Kashmir. People ask me why do I not send him the necessary reply? Do you think that I should answer such gnats and flies? If I were to put my foot on them I would trample them to death. The fact is that I merely give them a chance to fly away and survive"

The challenge was finally acknowledged by Dowie. From that day on, Dowie suffered a gradual decline of all his affairs. His health began to deteriorate, his followers began to have doubts and questioned his claims, and he began to experience financial difficulties. In 1905, he suffered a severe stroke and was paralyzed, his wife and children deserted him and he was charged with many immoral practices. Finally, on March 9, 1907, Dowie died a miserable death and another prophecy of the Promised Messiah was thus fulfilled.

THE WILL

Towards the end of the year 1905, the Promised Messiah received repeated revelations intimating him of his own death:

"Only a little is left from the term appointed by your Lord"
"Only a few days are left. All will be saddened on that day"
"The end of thy appointed term is approaching and We shall not leave any cause of humiliation for thee"
"Thy time is near and We shall keep up for thee clear signs"

In December 1905, the Promised Messiah wrote a booklet called "Al-Wasiyyat" (The Will) in which he recorded his last testament to the Ahmadiyya Community. In it he urged the members of the Community to bring about a change for the better in their lives and to live up to the standard demanded by Islam. He also told them that on his departure from this world, God would send His Second Manifestation to the world. He instructed the Community to be sympathetic towards each other and to get rid of their low passions. He further said:

"Do not think that God will let you go waste. You are the seed that God has planted with his own hands. God says that this seed will grow and blossom and its branches will spread out to all directions and it will become a big tree. Blessed are those who believe in what God says and do not fear the trials that come in between"

In the Will, the Promised Messiah made a mention of a vision of his and said that he had been shown a site which was going to be his grave. In this vision he saw an angel who was measuring the land and after reaching a certain spot which was shining like silver, the angel said that this was his grave. He was also shown a piece of land which the angel said was the Bahishtee Maqbarah or a "graveyard of the dwellers of paradise". He was told that his sincere followers will be buried in this graveyard.

In the Will, the Promised Messiah alaihisslam laid down the conditions for burial in that graveyard. In addition to being a good follower of Islamic principles, one who wished to be buried in the Paradise Graveyard was required to make a will leaving one tenth to one third of one's estate in the name of the Ahmadiyya Movement. If a person had no property or income but otherwise merited burial in the graveyard, he was to be permitted to be buried therein.

In accordance with the wishes and instructions of the Promised Messiah, this special graveyard was established in Qadian.

JOURNEY TO LAHORE AND DEATH

In April 1908, the Promised Messiah traveled to Lahore accompanied by his family. During his stay there he made numerous speeches, met with a succession of visitors and wrote his last book entitled Paighame Suleh or Message of Reconciliation. This book was addressed to Hindus and Muslims to patch up their quarrels and sign a formal pact to tolerate one another and enjoy the benefits of unity and peace. He told the two groups that unwarranted attacks on the scriptures and prophets of other people cause only trouble and that more understanding should be used in religious matters. Even in the presence of differing viewpoints, he said, mutual respect could bring the people closer.

On May 20, 1908, the Promised Messiah received his last revelation in Arabic:

"It is the time of departure; yes, it is the time of departure and death is near"

Six days later, on May 26, 1908, the Promised Messiah passed away. He was a little over 73 years old at the time (equivalent to 75 years by lunar reckoning). His coffin was brought from Lahore to Batala by train and from there his companions carried it on their shoulders to Qadian, a distance of eleven miles. Next day he was buried in the Bahishtee Maqbarah.

A LIST OF THE PROMISED MESSIAH'S BOOKS

The writings of the Promised Messiah fall into three categories:

1. Books, magazines, and posters which he wrote for the purpose of publication.

2. Letters which he wrote to his relatives, friends or other people.

3. Addresses and speeches which he made in formal or informal gatherings.

The authenticity of Promised Messiah's various "writings" should be considered in the order given above. Below is given a list of the books of Promised Messiah, which belong to the first category. The books marked with an asterisk * are entirely or partly in Arabic.

Name of the Book Title in English Year Published.

1. Braheen e-Ahmadiyya Proofs of Ahmadiyyat, Vols. 1, 2 1880
Vol, 3 1882
Vol. 4 1884
2. Poranee Tahreerain Old Writings (1879) 1899
3. Surma Chashme Arya Collyrium for Aryas' Eyes 1886
4. Shahna e Haq Battalion of Truth 1887
5. Sabz Ishtihar Green Poster 1888
6. Fatah Islam Victory of Islam 1891
7.Tauzih e-Maram Explanation of Objectives 1891
8. lzala Auham Removal of Suspicions 1891
9. Mubahisa Ludhiana Ludhiana Debate 1891
10. Mubahisa Delhi Delhi Debate 1891
11. Asmani Faisla Divine Decision 1892
12. Nishan e-Asmani Heavenly Sign 1892
13. Aaina-e-Kamalate Islam* Mirror of Islam's Excellences 1893
14. Barakat ud-Dua The Blessings of Prayer 1893
15. Hujjatul Islam Convincing Proof of Islam 1893
16. Sachai ka Izhar The Expression of Truth 1893
17. Jang e-Muqaddas The Sacred Battle 1893
18. Shahadatul Quran Testimony of the Quran 1893
19. Tohfa e-Baghdad* A Present to Baghdad 1893
20. Karamat us-Sadiqeen* Miracles of the Truthful 1893
21. Hamamatul Bushra* Dove of Good News 1894
22. Nurul Haq* Light of the Truth 1894
23. Itmamul Hujja* The Convincing Proof 1894
24. Sirrul Khilafah* The Secret of Khilafat 1894
25. Anwarul Islam The Light of Islam 1894
26. Minan ur-Rahman* Bounties of the Gracious 1915
(written in 1895)
27 Zia-ul-Haq The Light of the Truth 1891
28. Nurul Quran The Light of the Quran 1895
29. Miyarul Mazahib The Standard of Religions 1895
30. Arya Dharm The Arya Religion 1895
31. Sat Bachan The True Word 1895
32. Islami Usool ki Philosophy Philosophy of Islamic Teaching 1897
33. Anjam e-Atham* The End of Atham 1896
34. Siraj e-Muneer The Bright Lamp 1897
35. AI Istifta The Query 1897
36. Hujjatullah* Convincing Proof from God 1897
37. Tohfa a Qaisariyya A Present to the Queen 1897
38. Sirajuddin Isai ke Char An Answer to Four Questions
Sawalon ka Jawab of Sirajuddin, a Christian 1897
39. Kitabul Bariyya The Book of Acquittal 1898
40. AI Balagh* The Conveyance of Message 1922
(written in 1897)
41. Zaruratul Imam The Need for Imam 1897
42. Najmul Huda* The Star of Guidance 1898
43. Raaz e Haqiqat The Secret of the Truth 1898
44. Kashful Ghita. The Opening of a Curtain 1898
45. Ayyam e Sulah Days of Reconciliation 1899
46. Haqiqatul Mahdi The True Nature of Mahdi 1899
47. Masih Hindustan Main Jesus in India (written in 1896) 1908
48. Sitara e Qaisarah The Star of the Queen 1899
49. Tiryaqul Qulub Elixir for the Hearts 1899
50. Tohfa e Ghaznaviyya A Present for the Ghaznavi 1902
(written in 1900)
51. Roodade Jalsa e-Dua Minutes of the Meeting for Prayer
52. Khutba e-Ilhamiyya* The Revealed Sermon 1902
(written in 1900)
53. Lujjatun Noor* The Sea of Light (written in 1900) 1910
54. Government Angrezi aur The British Government and
Jihad Jihad 1900
55. Tohfa e-Golarhviyya A Present for the Golarhvi 1902
56. Arba'een Forty (Brochures) 1900
57. Ijazul Maseeh* Miracle of the Messiah 1901
58. Aik Ghalatee ka Izala A Misunderstanding Removed 1901
59. Dafi-ul-Balaa The Remover of the Calamity 1902
60. Al Huda* The Guidance
61. Nazoolul Maseeh The Advent of Messiah 1909
(written in 1902)
62. Kashti e-Nuh The Ark of Noah 1902
63. Tohfatan Nadwah A Present to the Nadwah 1902
64. Ijaz e-Ahmadi The Miracle of Ahmad 1902
65. Review ber Mubahisa Review of the Batalwi and
Batalwi wa Chakralwi Chakralwi Debates
66. Mawahib ur-Rahman* Gifts of God 1903
67. Naseem e-Dawat The Breeze of Invitation
68. Sanatan Dharm Sanatan Dharm 1903
69. Tazkira tush-Shahadatain A Narration of two Martyrdoms 1903
70. Seera tul-Abdal* The Characteristics of godly
People
71. Lecture Lahore The Lahore Lecture 1904
72. Lecture Sialkot The Sialkot Lecture 1904
73. Lecture Ludhiana The Ludhiana Lecture 1905
74. Al Wasiyyat The Will 1905
75. Chashma e-Maseehi A Healing Fountain 1906
76. Tajelliyat e-Ilahiyya The Divine Manifestations 1922
(written in 1906)
77. Qadian ke Arya aur ham Aryas of Qadian and We 1907
78. Brahin e-Ahmadiyya Proofs of Ahmadiyyat 1905
(volume 5)
79. Haqiqat ul-Wahee* The Nature of Revelation 1907
(written in 1906)

80. Chashma e-Marifat The Fountain of God
Realization 1908
81. Paigham e-Sulah The Message of Reconciliation 1908


THE SYSTEM OF KHILAFAT AFTER
THE PROMISED MESSIAH

After the death of the Promised Messiah, a system of Khilafat was instituted in the Ahmadiyya Movement which is similar to the Pious Caliphate that followed the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

In this system of Khilafat, some select members of the community elect a Khalifah by majority vote. The Khalifah is the religious head of the community and directs all affairs of the community in complete accordance with Islamic principles. The Khalifah usually asks for a Bai'at from the community members to re affirm their allegiance to him and to the cause of Islam.

To date, four Khalifahs have led the Ahmadiyya community after the death of the Promised Messiah. The names of these Khalifahs and the periods of their Khilafat are given below:

1st Khalifah Maulana Noor-ud-Deen 1908 1914
2nd Khalifah Mirza Basheer-ud-Deen Mahmood Ahmad 1914 1965
3rd Khalifah Mirza Nasir Ahmad 1965 1982
4th Khalifah Mirza Tahir Ahmad 1982 present

First Khalifah:
HAZRAT MAULANA NOOR-UD-DEEN

At the death of the Promised Messiah, a score of the leading members of the Community got together and decided that Maulana Noor-ud-Deen should be requested to undertake the responsibility of leading the Community. This request was conveyed to Maulana Noor-ud-Deen in a written document signed by these people. After receiving the request, Maulana Noor-ud-Deen thought for a while and then said that he will give his reply after prayer.

After performing his Nafl Prayer, he suggested that the members of the Community gather in the garden where he would address them. In his address he told the fellow Ahmadi Muslims that he had never desired to be their leader. He even mentioned the names of seven other persons who, he said, were more deserving of this honour. Then he told the gathering that if they really insisted, he would be willing to carry this burden. He reminded them, however, that a person, who performed the Bai'at, gave up all his freedom in the cause of Islam. Finally, he urged the fellow community members to remain united.

His address was received with great acclamation and all those present performed the Bai'at at the hand of Maulana Noor-ud-Deen, who then became the First Successor to the Promised Messiah. Maulana Noor-ud-Deen was born in 1841, at Bhera, a small town in Sargodha District. He traced his ancestry to Omar bin Khattab, the second Caliph of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. He was extremely learned in the Holy Quran and was well known for his knowledge of natural medicine.

In 1865-66, at the age of 25, he traveled to the cities of Mecca and Medinah. He stayed there for nearly one and a half years to acquire religious knowledge.

On his return to Bhera, his home town, he started a religious school where he taught the Holy Quran and the Tradition of the Holy Prophet. Besides, he started practice in the natural medicine. In a short time he became well known for his healing powers and people traveled great distances to be treated at his clinic. His fame came to the notice of the Ruler of Kashmir, who appointed him his court physician in 1867.

Around 1871, at the age of 30, he married Fatima Bibi. This marriage lasted until 1905, when Fatima Bibi passed away. After her death, and on the insistence of the Promised Messiah, he married Sughra Begum.

In 1885, Maulana Noor-ud-Deen came across an announcement published by the Promised Messiah. He was so deeply impressed by it that he traveled to Qadian to meet the author. After meeting the Promised Messiah, Maulana Noor-ud-Deen was convinced of his truth and became a devout follower of his. When in 1889 the Promised Messiah started accepting the Bai'at, Maulana Noor-ud-Deen was the first person to be invited to perform it.

In 1892, the old Ruler of Kashmir died and the new Maharajah terminated his services. Maulana Noor-ud-Deen returned to Bhera and started the construction of a large clinic. In the following year he went to Qadian to visit the Promised Messiah. After staying there for a few days, he asked the Promised Messiah for permission to return to Bhera. The Promised Messiah asked him to stay a little longer. After a few days, the Promised Messiah asked him to have his wife come over and join him, which Maulana Noor-ud-Deen did. Then a little later, the Promised Messiah asked him to have his books shifted to Qadian. After some time, when Maulana Noor-ud-Deen again asked for permission to leave, the Promised Messiah replied:

"Maulvi sahib, forget about your home town now"

And this Maulana Noor-ud-Deen did. From that moment on, even the thought of ever returning to his home town never occurred to him again.

His life at Qadian was completely dedicated to the service of the Ahmadiyya Movement. He spent his time teaching, looking after the poor, treating the sick, proof reading the Promised Messiah's books and in prayer and devotions.

Some of the important contributions made by Khalifatul Masih I towards the success of the Ahmadiyya Movement include the founding of Madrassah Ahmadiyya (The Ahmadiyya School), the entrusting of the English translation of the Holy Quran to Maulvi Muhammad Ali and establishment of the first foreign mission in England under the supervision of Chauhdry Fateh Muhammad Siyal.

In January 1914, the health of Khalifatul Masih I started to decline and continued to do so for the next two months. In early March, he wrote out his will while he was confined to bed. At his instruction, his will was read out to those who were present. Nine days later, on March 13, 1914, Khalifatul Masih I passed away. At the time of his death he was 73 years old, the same age as the Promised Messiah. He was buried in the Bahishtee Maqbarah, by the side of the Promised Messiah.

Maulana Noor-ud-Deen was truly an unselfish, unassuming, godly person. His most important characteristic was his unshakeable faith in God and his complete reliance on Him for all his worldly needs. He was extremely learned and was endowed with great knowledge of the Holy Quran. Consequently, the Promised Messiah had great love and regard for him and expressed it in one of his Persian poems:

"How good would it be if every one of the community would become Noor-ud-Deen".

Second Khalifah:
HAZRAT MIRZA BASHEER-UD-DEEN MAHMOOD AHMAD

At the death of Khalifatul Masih I, Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad became the second successor of the Promised Messiah and continued to lead the Community for nearly 52 years.

Birth And Early Childhood

Mirza Bashiruddin was born in Qadian on January 12, 1889 and was the eldest of the five surviving children of the Promised Messiah. Throughout his childhood and early youth, Mirza Bashiruddin suffered from chronic bad health and always fared poorly in his school exams. He could never concentrate on his studies and eventually failed his high school exam. But he took a deep interest in the study of the Holy Quran and learned it from Maulvi Noor-ud-Deen who was a great scholar in this field. Later in his life, Mirza Bashiruddin not only studied the religious literature of Islam and other faiths, but also developed an unusual comprehension and mastery of many scientific, economic and political disciplines.

When the Promised Messiah died, Mirza Bashiruddin was only 19 years old. He stood by the body of his holy father and made a pledge in these words:

"If all others should leave you and I should be left alone, yet I will stand against the whole world and shall not heed any opposition or hostility"

Later events will show that both, his resolve in the face of difficulties and his commitment to the cause of Ahmadiyyat, were fulfilled to the most elegant manner.

In 1911, at the age of 22, Mirza Bashiruddin set up an association with the name of Majlis Ansarullah, under the auspices of Khalifatul Masih I. This Association of the Helpers of God carried out much useful work in the education of the Community and the upbringing of its youth.

In the year 1912, Mirza Bashiruddin performed the pilgrimage to Mecca. In 1913, he started the publication of a weekly paper called Al Fazl which, in the course of time, became a daily newspaper of the Ahmadiyya community.

Election As Khalifah

On March 13, 1914, the First Successor of the Promised Messiah, Maulvi Noor-ud-Deen, passed away and the newly born Ahmadiyya Movement was faced with a serious crisis. There was a small faction in the Community, led by Maulvi Muhammad Ali, who wanted to do away with the system of Khilafat. During the Khilafat of Maulvi Noor-ud-Deen, these dissenters could not freely give voice to their feelings. At his death, therefore, they openly opposed this system and wanted to defer indefinitely the election of the next Khalifah.

The day after the death of Khalifatul Masih I, his will was read out to some 2,000 Ahmadis who had gathered in the mosque. In this will, Maulvi Noor-ud-Deen had suggested that the Community elect a new successor. Maulvi Syed Muhammad Ahsan then stood up and formally proposed the name of Mirza Bashiruddin. After this, the entire congregation shouted, "We second it". Shortly afterwards, all present took the Bai'at or the oath of allegiance at the hand of Mirza Bashiruddin, now the Second Khalifah of the Promised Messiah.

Maulvi Muhammad Ali and other dissenters left the congregation without performing the Bai'at. In a few days they even left Qadian and moved to Lahore where they founded their own organization under the name of Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam. The followers of Maulvi Muhammad Ali are commonly referred to as Lahoree Ahmadis and differ with the Ahmadiyya Movement on two important points:

1. The Lahoree Ahmadis regard the Promised Messiah as only a Reformer and not a Prophet.
2. As a consequence of the above belief, they argue that the Successors of the Promised Messiah should not be called Khalifahs.

Today, the members of the Anjuman at Lahore are only a very small fraction of the Ahmadi Muslims living all over the world.

Main Achievements Of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II

The 52 year long period of Mirza Bashiruddin's Khilafat gave the Ahmadiyya Movement great stability and visionary direction. The Movement progressed in this period in leaps and bounds. Below, we will read about some of the achievements of the Second Khalifah.

(I) Missionary Work:

Immediately after taking over the office of Khilafat, Mirza Bashiruddin intensified the missionary work of the Ahmadiyya Movement both inside India and abroad. As a result of this effort, a number of new missions were opened in foreign countries, some of which are listed below:

In 1915, first missions were established in Ceylon and Mauritius.

In 1920, the first mission was opened in the United States of America.

In 1921, the first missionary was sent to the West African countries. Since then many missions, schools and hospitals have been established in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Ivory Coast, and Liberia.

In 1924, the foundation of the Fazl Mosque in London was laid by Khalifatul Masih II himself.

In 1925, the first mission was set up in Indonesia

In 1928, a mission was established in Haifa, Palestine. This place is now in Israel.

In 1934, the first mission in East Africa was opened.

In 1935, a mission was also established in Japan. This mission had to be closed at the outbreak of the second World War and was reestablished in 1969, during the period of Khalifatul Masih III.

In the period 1935 38, missions were opened in many East European countries such as Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Albania. At the outbreak of the Second World War these missions had to be closed. After the war, these countries came under Communist rule and the missions, therefore, could not be revived.

In 1938, a mission was established in Burma.

In 1945, a mission was opened in France but was closed down after a few years.

In 1946, a mission was opened in Aden.

In 1946, the first mission was opened in Spain.

In 1947, a mission was established in Holland and the first mosque was built in The Hague in 1955.

In 1948, the first mission in Switzerland was opened and the mosque at Zurich was built in 1963.

In 1949, a mission was established in Hamburg, West Germany and a mosque was built there in 1957. A second mosque was built in Frankfurt in 1959.

In 1956, the first mission was opened in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since then, missions have been opened in other Scandinavian countries namely, Sweden and Norway.

In 1960, the first South American mission was opened in Guyana.

In 1960, a mission was also established in the Fiji islands.

(ii) Tahreek e-Jadeed:

In November 1935, Khalifatul Masih II initiated the scheme of Tahrik-e-Jadeed. Under the nineteen demands of this scheme, the Ahmadiyya Community was urged to lead a simple life, to make sacrifices in the cause of Islam and to volunteer their lives for missionary work. The scheme was initially proposed for a period of three years but was made permanent very soon. Under this scheme of Tehrike Jadeed today, missionary programmes are being carried out all over the world.

(III) Waqf-e Jadeed:

In 1958, Khalifatul Masih II set up the organization of Waqf e Jadeed to carry out the missionary work inside Pakistan. Under this scheme, volunteers were asked to dedicate their lives to educate the rural population of the country and teach them the true religion of Islam.

(IV) Community Organized By Age Groups:

For the better functioning of the members of the Community, Khalifatul Masih II established various organizations for the different age groups. The male members of the Community were divided into three age groups:

Atfalul Ahmadiyya: for boys 7 to 15 years old
Khuddamul Ahmadiyya: for the youth 15 to 40 years old
Ansarullah: for men above the age of 40

Similarly, the female members of the Community were organized into:

Nasiratul Ahmadiyya: for girls 7 to 15 years of age
Lajna Imaillah: for ladies above the age of 15

These various organizations are very active in Pakistan and abroad. They carry out programmes not only relevant to their own class and age group, but also for the benefit of the community at large. This organization of the Ahmadiyya Community into various classes and age groups greatly helped in promoting affectionate ties of mutual brotherhood and sisterhood.

(v) Majlis-e Mushawarat:

In 1922, the Khalifatul Masih II set up a consultative body to advise the Khalifah on many important matters related to finance, budget, education, missionary projects and other affairs of the community. This advisory body formally meets at least once every year. The number of the delegates to this Majlis keeps growing in response to the growth of the community. Currently, the delegates number more than 500.

(vi) Public Awareness Of Islam:

In the early twentieth century in India, Islam was a much maligned religion and slanderous remarks were frequently made against the character of the Holy Prophet of Islam. To create public awareness of the true teachings of Islam and of the real character of the Prophet Muhammad, Khalifatul Masih II introduced public meetings in which representatives of other religions were invited to give speeches on the life and work of the Holy Prophet. These meetings were very successful in spreading the message of Islam and improving inter faith relations.

Claim To Be The Promised Son

By 1939, the Ahmadiyya Movement had completed 50 years of its existence and Khalifatul Masih II had completed 25 years of his Khilafat. The Movement had made remarkable advances during the Khilafat of Mirza Bashiruddin and the feeling was growing among the members of the Community that he, indeed, was the Promised Son regarding whom the Promised Messiah had made the famous prophecy. But Mirza Bashiruddin had refrained from making any public claim so far.

Finally, on January 28, 1944, Khalifatul Masih II related a dream of his in the Friday sermon. According to this dream it was made clear to him that he was indeed the Promised Son.

Later on, he called special meetings of the Community to re affirm this fact. These meetings were held in the following places:

Hoshiarpur: on February 20, 1944
Lahore: on March 12, 1944
Ludhiana: on March 23, 1944
Delhi: on April 16, 1944

In all these meetings he told the public that through various dreams, visions and revelations, God had made it clear to him that the prophecy regarding the Promised Son was fulfilled in his own person.

Migration To Pakistan

On the creation of Pakistan, in August 1947, many of the Muslims living in India moved to the new Islamic state. Khalifatul Masih II also decided to move the administrative centre of the Ahmadiyya Movement from Qadian to Pakistan. Some 313 Ahmadis stayed behind in Qadian to take care of the founding place of Ahmadiyyat, while the rest moved to the new country.

On September 20, 1948, about a year after moving from Qadian, Khalifatul Masih II laid the foundation of the new centre at Rabwah. At the time of its founding, Rabwah was a waste, desert land with no vegetation and frequent dust storms. Over the past forty years, Rabwah has grown into an exemplary Muslim community complete with schools, colleges, hospital, institutions of religious learning and offices of the Ahmadiyya Movement. Rabwah is also the official residence of the Khalifah.

Attempt On Life

In March 1954, an assassin attacked Khalifatul Masih II with a knife while he was leading the afternoon Prayers in the Mubarak Mosque in Rabwah. He received a deep wound in the neck, which could have been fatal had it gone a little deeper. Khalifatul Masih was 65 years old at the time.

Although the wound healed in due course, it shattered his nerves leading to a severe nervous fatigue a year later. After recovering somewhat, he traveled to Europe for medical treatment on the advice of his doctors. After staying there for about six months, he returned to Rabwah.

After his return from Europe, he undertook the writing of the Shorter Commentary of the Holy Quran, in the Urdu language. The strain from this work plus other demands of his office, led to strong nervous fatigue in 1958. From then on, his condition gradually worsened till, on November 8, 1965, Khalifatul Masih II passed away. He was 77 years old at the time of his death. Next day he was buried in the Bahishtee Maqbarah at Rabwah.

The Writings Of Khalifatul Masih II

Some of the important writings of Khalifatul Masih II are listed below:

Tafseer e-Kabeer The Larger Commentary of the Holy Quran
Tafseer e-Sagheer The Shorter Commentary of the Holy Quran
Dawatul Ameer Invitation to the Chief (published is English under the title of Invitation to Ahmadiyyat)
Tohfatul Malook A Present for the Kings
Haqiqatul Nabuwwat The Truth of Prophethood
Saire Roohanee The Spiritual Stroll
Inqilabe Haqeeqee The True Revolution
Hindustan ke Siyasi Mas'ala ka hal The Solution to the Political Problem of India
Paighame Ahmadiyyat The Message of Ahmadiyyat
Fazail al Quran The Excellences of the Holy Quran
Hasti Bari Taala The Existence of God
Malaikat Allah The Angels of God
Islam ka Iqtisadi Nizam The Economic System of Islam
Introduction to the Study of the Holy Quran

Third Khalifah:
HAZRAT HAFIZ MIRZA NASIR AHMAD

With the death of Khalifatul Masih II, the Ahmadiyya Community was once again faced with the task of electing the new Khalifah. The wounds of dissent, which the community had incurred after the death of the first Khalifah, had healed but their memory was still fresh. To safeguard against a similar dispute arising again, Khalifatul Masih 11 had established an Electoral College for the election of the Khalifah. The members of this college numbered about one hundred and fifty and included, among others, the Amirs of various circles in Pakistan, heads of the various central organizations and senior missionaries of the Movement.

At the death of Khalifatul Masih II, the Electoral College met in the Mubarak Mosque in Rabwah. When the votes were cast, Mirza Nasir Ahmad, the eldest son of the departed Khalifah, was elected by an overwhelming majority. Immediately, some five thousand Ahmadis waiting outside the mosque for the results, performed the Bai'at at the hand of Khalifatul Masih III. He was 56 years old at the time.

Birth And Early Life:

Mirza Nasir Ahmad was born on November 16, 1909 and, by the young age of 13, had committed the entire Holy Quran to memory. In 1934, at the age of 25, he graduated from Government College, Lahore, with honours in Arabic. The same year he got married and soon afterwards proceeded to Oxford University for higher education. After obtaining his degree from Oxford, he returned to Qadian in 1938. From that day till he became the Khalifah in 1965, Mirza Nasir Ahmad held a number of important positions in the Ahmadiyya organization:

1938 1939 Professor, Jamia Ahmadiyya, Qadian
1939 1944 Principal, Jamia Ahmadiyya, Qadian
1939 1949 Sadar, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya
1949 1954 Naib Sadar, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya
1944 1965 Principal, Talimul Islam College
1954 1965 Sadar, Majlis Ansarullah
1955 1965 President, Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya
1965 1982 Khalifatul Masih III.

Main Achievements Of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III

As Khalifatul Masih III, Mirza Nasir Ahmad led the Community for nearly 17 years and contributed a great deal towards the progress of the Movement in the missionary work at home and abroad. Some of the noteworthy achievements of Khalifatul Masih III are mentioned below:

(i) Fazle Omar Foundation

In 1965, Khalifatul Masih III established the Fazl e Omar Foundation in the memory of Khalifatul Masih II, who was named Fazl e Omar in one of the revelations of the Promised Messiah. The purpose of this foundation was to carry on all the works in which the departed Khalifah had taken particular interest. An appeal was made to the community to raise 2.5 million rupees as the capital of the foundation. The community participated in this venture overwhelmingly and the actual contributions far exceeded the initial target which was then raised to 5.2 million rupees. The main objectives of the foundation are:

o to assist in research work

o to assist in new missionary venture

o to assist in new educational effort

o to assist in economic welfare

(ii) Khilafat Library:

On October 3, 1971, the Khalifatul Masih III inaugurated the Khilafat Library in Rabwah. This library can accommodate 50,000 books and has ample space for readers, research scholars and administrative work.

(iii) Nusrat Jehan Scheme:

After touring the West African countries in 1970, Khalifatul Masih III announced a scheme to expand the activities of the Movement in West Africa through the establishment of a number of schools and hospitals.

The new scheme was named Nusrat Jehan Scheme and Khalifatul Masih Ill appealed to the Community to raise 100,000 pounds sterling over the next three years. Furthermore, he appealed to the Ahmadi teachers and doctors to volunteer themselves for service in these African countries.

The response of the community in making financial donations as well as volunteering their services was overwhelming. Very soon, schools and hospitals started to be established in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Gambia and Sierra Leone. The results of this scheme have been most gratifying. The effort of the Movement has not only provided educational and medical services in remote regions which were completely devoid of any such facility, but, more importantly, the close contact of Ahmadi doctors and other workers with the local population has forged strong bonds of international brotherhood.

(iv) Waqfe Aarzee:

Waqf Aarzee means the temporary donation of one's time. Khalifatul Masih III instituted this scheme early in his Khilafat, under which Ahmadi Muslims would spend at least two weeks of their time at a designated place in the country and teach the local community the Holy Quran and explain to them the true religion of Islam.

(v) Centenary Jubilee:

At the Annual Gathering held in Rabwah in December 1973, Khalifatul Masih III announced that the Ahmadiyya Movement will celebrate its 100th anniversary on March 23, 1989. The celebrations will start on March 23 and will continue throughout the year, finishing at the Annual Gathering of the same year.

The Centenary Jubilee will not only mark the 100 year existence of the Ahmadiyya Movement, but also the culmination of an intensive programme undertaken in the intervening years which would involve:

o the establishment of additional missions abroad

o the translation of the Holy Quran in French, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Yugoslavian languages

o the publication of Islamic literature in al least 100 languages of the world

o the installation of printing presses in Pakistan and abroad

o the establishment of a broadcasting system in a foreign country.

Khalifatul Masih III appealed to the Community to pledge 25 million rupees to finance the various projects envisaged under this centenary celebration scheme.

Persecution of Ahmadis In Pakistan

Like the Muslims of the early days of Islam, Ahmadis have had their share of discrimination and persecution. Although the opposition of the Ahmadiyya Movement by the mullahs and orthodox Islamic clergy dates back to the days of the Promised Messiah, organized discrimination and persecution has greatly intensified since the creation of Pakistan.

The fast major outbreak of severe violence against the Ahmadis occurred in 1953, during the Khilafat of Mirza Bashiruddin, Khalifatul Masih II. At that time, the government of Pakistan had to impose Martial Law within the country to curb the rioting and looting against the Ahmadis.

The second wave of such anti Ahmadiyya activities started in 1974 and was backed by the government of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. During this period, many Ahmadi homes were looted and burned, the community was boycotted, many Ahmadis in the higher echelons of the government and the armed forces were retired, and a number of the community members were put to death.

These outrages against the Ahmadiyya Movement culminated in a resolution of the National Assembly of Pakistan, on September 7, 1974, which declared the Ahmadis as non Muslims under the law and constitution of the country.

Throughout these extremely trying circumstances, the Ahmadiyya Community displayed a remarkable sense of restraint and self control and bore these outrages with great patience and forbearance.

Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who used to take great pride and credit for declaring the Ahmadis non Muslims, came to a sorry end. On July 5, 1977, less than three years after the resolution of the National Assembly, he was removed from office by the Martial Law regime of General Ziaul Haq. Bhutto was then imprisoned and charged for the abetment of the murder of a political opponent in 1974. He was convicted on March 18, 1978 and hanged on April 4, 1979, despite many pleas for clemency by many countries. Bhutto's age at the time was 51 years and 3 months. This incident marked the fulfillment of the Promised Messiah's revelation and prophecy:

"He is a dog and he will die on the numeric value of dog"

In this revelation the Promised Messiah was given the intimation that the value of the letters in the word "dog" points to the age of the person. The Arabic word used for dog in his revelation was "klb" which, under the letter valuing system, amounts to the number 52. In explanation of this revelation the Promised Messiah wrote in his book Azalah Auham:

"He is a dog and he will die on the numeric value of the letters in dog; which amount to fifty two. This means that his age will not exceed fifty two years and that he will die within the course of his fifty second year"

This prophecy of the Promised Messiah made in 1891, was fulfilled word for word, eighty eight years later.

Illness And Death

In June 1982, Khalifatul Masih III was taken ill while visiting Islamabad. The illness proved fatal and on June 9, 1982, Khalifatul Masih III passed away. His body was taken to Rabwah where, on the following day, he was buried in the Bahishtee Maqbarah.

Fourth Khalifah:
HAZRAT MIRZA TAHIR AHMAD

After the death of the Khalifatul Masih III, the Electoral College convened in the Mubarak Mosque in Rabwah to elect the new Khalifah. After the votes were cast, Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the son of Mirza Bashiruddin and the grandson of the Promised Messiah, was elected by as overwhelming majority as the Fourth Khalifah of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam.

Mirza Tahir Ahmad was born in Qadian on December 18, 1928. He obtained his high school education at Talimul Islam High School, Qadian, and his early college education at Government College, Lahore. In 1949, he enrolled in the Jamia Ahmadiyya missionary college at Rabwah and successfully completed his Shahid examination in 1953.

In 1955, he went to England where he undertook some higher studies and also performed missionary services. After staying in Europe for two and a half years, he returned to Rabwah.

Since 1958, Mirza Tahir Ahmad has held a number of important positions in the organization of the Movement, some of which are listed below:

1958 Nazim Irshad, Waqf e-Jadeed
1960.1966 Naib Sadar, Khuddamul Ahmadiyya
1961 Member, Iftaa Committee
1966 1969 Sadar, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya
1976 Director, Fazle Omar Foundation
1974 Member of the representative delegation to
the Pakistan National Assembly
1979 1982 Sadar, Majlis Ansarullah
1982 Elected Khalifatul Masih IV

The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam continued its rapid progress under the leadership and guidance of its fourth Khalifah. New missions and mosques were opened; members of the Community were urged to call people unto God and to make additional sacrifices of their time and their wealth. In the face of this new zeal that started to pervade the Community, the government and the Muslim clergy in Pakistan mounted another wave of opposition, restrictions and persecutions. This culminated in the formation of a Government ordinance which severely restricted the freedom of religious expression on the part of the Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan.

In view of the nature of these restrictions, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the Fourth Khalifah of the Promised Messiah, decided to leave Pakistan and came to London, England, in April 1984. He undertook this migration to safeguard the institution of Khilafat, which was increasingly coming under great danger in Pakistan, and to continue to lead the Community, an act which was being denied in the home country.

The Khilafat of Mirza Tahir Ahmad is facing a new level of national and international opposition and persecution. But, despite all these setbacks, the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam continues to make significant progress in the areas of missionary work, translations of the Holy Quran, publishing of Islamic literature and increasing spiritual fervour among its members.

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