It is very important that one incident should be set down here. In the days of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I, whispers started in some circles that there were people trying to lower the power and position of the Khalifa, and to give to the Anjuman
a position of higher authority. At this stage Mir Mohammad Ishaq drew up a number of questions, which he placed before Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I, with a request that he be pleased to throw proper light on the question of Khilafat, and the position of a Khalifa. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I directed that the questions should be sent to the Ahmadiyya Communities in various places. When answers came in, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih fixed a date for a meeting in Qadian, to be attended by representatives of the Jama'ats where the questions had been sent. On this occasion some people held a meeting at the residence of Kh. Kamaluddin, in Lahore, where prominent Ahmadis from Lahore were especially invited, on the plea that this was a moment of crisis, which called for serious thought, since the consequences of a wrong step would be extremely harmful, and far reaching. The central idea in these circles was that the real Successor of the Promised Messiah was the Anjuman. If anything was done which disturbed this view, the Movement would run into danger of being wrecked. Signatures of various people were obtained on this thesis. Since the Ahmadis of Lahore had been generally given to understand that these were the thoughts of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih as well, many put their signatures, who otherwise, would not have wanted to associate themselves with this drift. But Quraishi Mohammad Husain, a well known Ahmadi from Lahore declined to sign. His idea was that efforts to obtain signatures on questions of this kind were inadvisable. Members of the Movement were under a pledge of loyalty and obedience to a man who was a great scholar of Islam, in all its aspects. He was also more sincere to the Movement, and to Islam, than anyone else. So the best thing was to wait for his verdict, and to accept it when it came to be given. Following the example set by Quraishi Mohammad Hussain, some others also witheld their signatures.
On the date fixed for the meeting people assembled in Qadian, and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih rose to address them. He said:
"By what you have been doing, you have given me so much pain that I have stood up to address you, not in the portion of this mosque constructed under your supervision, but in a part built by the Promised Messiah himself."
When people heard his views on the questions circulated, they readily perceived the error involved in the view taken by Kh. Kamaluddin and his friends; and many who had been influenced by this view to some extent repented. Cries of distress of the mind began to rise in the audience, and very soon tears were trickling down from the eyes of all. Some were actually rolling on the ground where they sat, as if mortally hurt. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih went on:
"It is being said that the work, the function, the purpose, and the duty of the Khalifa is only to lead prayers in the mosque. This is something which even an ordinary mulla
can do. For doing this no Khalifa is needed; and this is a kind of Khilafat on which I would not even care to spit. The real bai'at
is one where it is accompanied by immediate and implicit obedience, without the slightest infringement, anywhere."
The address lit up the minds even of those, in some measure, who had partially accepted the views held and propagated by a particular group. After the address, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih asked Maulvi Mohammad Ali and Kh. Kamaluddin to tender, anew, their pledge of bai'at. Similarly he expressed disapproval of the action taken by some people to counter the plans of the Lahore group of the friends of Maulvi Mohammad Ali and Kh. Kamaluddin. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih said there was no need for these people to make any move on their own, in respect of which the Khalifa himself was sized of the question. He said he had not appointed them to counter the underground movement against the office he held, at a time and in circumstances, where he himself was strong enough to crush the move, at any stage he thought fit. Sh. Yaqub Ali had been the most prominent man on this side, and he as well, was directed to tender a fresh pledge of bai'at. He did so gladly, from the bottom of his heart.
But this could not be said in regard to the frame of mind in which Maulvi Mohammad Ali and Kh. Kamaluddin renewed their bai'at. When the meeting was over, and the people were dispersing, going down the steps, Maulvi Mohammad Ali said he had been deeply insulted, and he could not now continue to live in Qadian. As chance would have it, Khalifa Rashiduddin came to know of it. In his anxiety, he went before the Khalifatul Masih without loss of time, and apprised him of the situation which threatened to develop. But Hazrat Khalifatul Masih took it very calmly, firm like a rock. "Tell Maulvi Mohammad Ali from me," he said, "that instead of leaving Qadian tomorrow, he would be much more welcome to leave today." This reply, however, only increased the uneasiness in the mind of the deeply sincere and simple Hazrat Khalifa Rashiduddin. He submitted that a pretty awkward situation might very well ensue. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih, however, remained entirely unmoved. "What I wanted to say, I have said", he added, "If some untoward situation arose, it would be for me to cope with it. Why are you worrying so much about it? If he really desires to go away from Qadian, I would be happy to see him leave tonight. Please tell him that."
Subequently, however, Maulvi Mohnmmad Ali came to be more and more influenced by Kh. Kamaluddin, and gradually points emerged which gave rise to ideas which soon crystallised as deep seated differences in religious doctrine, such as the Nabuwwat
of the Promised Messiah, and the question of the kufr, or Islam, of those who did not accept the Promised Messiah. Originally, in 1908, and in 1909, the question of differences centred only on Khilafat; the doctrines of the Nabuwwat
of the Promised Messiah, and the kufr, or Islam, of those who did not accept him, or opposed him tooth and nail, had not cropped up. Now the idea was born in the mind of these people, and it continued to get more and more hold on their mind, that they made a serious blunder when they accepted a man in a position of such supreme authority as Khalifatul Masih in the extraordinarily firm tradition of the Khilafat-i-Rashida. They found that they could not succeed in getting the Movement entirely under their own control, without cleaning the mess they had made over the question; and they bent all their endeavour in the direction that this position of strength of the Khalifa
should melt away, and they should ensure that they did not repeat the mistake they had made once, already. So at the time of the election of the second Khalifa, they ignored the directions given by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I, in his last will and testament, and flatly denied the need for the Institution of Khilafat.