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Hear the Voice from The Heavens!

Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (MTA) – The fulfillment of great prophecies and a blessing of Almighty Allah

(Part 1)

by Imtiaz Ahmed Rajayki. Translated by Wajeeh Bajwa and Anisa Bushra Salam Bajwa

An innocent and handsome child, around nine or ten years old, was listening to a Friday sermon in the Aqsa Mosque in Qadian. The words of the Imam were likely still beyond his comprehension; however, he was utterly mesmerized by a device in front of his respected father into which he was speaking that day, and which was broadcasting his voice most clearly, far and wide.

More than half a century has passed since this incident. No one ever imagined that the same young child himself would have the honor, ages afterwards, to announce to the world the fulfillment of predictions [given in the speech by his father] in these words:

“A loudspeaker was used for the very first time in Qadian on January 7, 1938. In his Friday sermon, Hazrat Musleh Mau‘ud(ra) stated: ‘Now that day is not far when an individual sitting in a remote place will be able to deliver a sermon and guidance to the entire world. At this time, our resources do not permit us to do so, we do not have the means and there are practical challenges in our way; however, one day all these impediments will be removed. Looking at the manner and the speed with which Almighty Allah is enabling us to make progress, we are assured that all these difficulties will be removed in the near future by the Grace and Mercy of Almighty Allah.’”

My heart is replete with praise for and gratitude to Almighty Allah while writing about this historical chapter that at times looked impossible to achieve and how all these difficulties and impediments were indeed removed through the extraordinary help of Almighty Allah.

The Decree and Magnificence of Allah

This was a decree of Almighty Allah:

وَ اِذَا النُّفُوۡسُ زُوِّجَتۡ

And when people are brought together (The Holy Quran, 8:81)

This means when all humanity will be brought close to each other and such conditions will be created that will provide the means for the spread of the message of the Unity of Almighty Allah over the entire world. This was to happen through the true servant of the Holy Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), Hazrat Masih Mau‘ud (may peace be upon him).

A voice arose from a remote and unknown part of enslaved India to fulfill this Decree of Almighty Allah. This voice took on the mantle to glorify the Unity of God Almighty and to raise and protect the honor of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). At that time, the tide of the idol worshipers and followers of the Trinity were devouring the light of the truth, and darkness was spreading across the land. However, the voice of a lone brave soul, as a Prophet of God and Stalwart Champion wearing the garments of all the Prophets, stood like a mountain in front of this onslaught [for the honor of Islam]. Almighty Allah not only provided the means for success and spread of truth to this soul, He also protected him from all sorts of attacks on him by his enemies. Almighty Allah was thus providing the proof that He is the “Best of Planners” by ensuring that all plans and efforts by the enemies [of the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him)] failed miserably.

Time of the spread of  knowledge and plans by the “Best of  Planners”

The time of Hazrat Masih Mau‘ud (may peace be upon him) was, in reality, an era of the spread of knowledge and new inventions along with the industrial revolution in Europe. Scientifically and technically, this time, along with the development of electricity, mechanical and chemical inventions, the start of the printing press, photography, radio, wireless devices, tape recorder, typewriter, and various other inventions came into use by everyday people. At the same time, the movement and transport of people was enhanced by the invention of trains, cars, and airplanes.

This period of unprecedented revolution was not limited to these inventions. Apart from these technological advancements and new inventions, new conflicting theories and ideas also came forward in the field of social, moral, and economic matters. Whether it was opposing theories about economics by Adam Smith and Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud’s theory of human desire, or Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, all were in direct contradiction with the real purpose of human creation:

وَ مَا خَلَقۡتُ الۡجِنَّ وَ الۡاِنۡسَ اِلَّا لِیَعۡبُدُوۡنِ

And I have not created the Jinn and the men but that they may worship Me. (The Holy Quran, 51:57)

The glitter of these inventions was also instrumental in taking Muslims away from religion. Many educated and influential Muslims fell victim to the thoughts of their developers and masters. Due to their inferiority complex, many of them either adopted believing in the Trinity, or became atheists.

In the Shield of the Righteous Leader

At a time when Islam was facing difficulties and opposition, the only one person in the field was fighting like a victorious General. This person [Hazrat Masih Mau’ud(as)] was made “Imam” and granted the title of “Mediator” and “Justice” by Almighty Allah. As a true representation of the righteous leadership he was acting as a shield that absorbed and stopped attacks in every battle and provided guidance and leadership. He also used all available means in the field of knowledge and writing with wisdom and mastery. Therefore, he used his knowledge and every available resource to dispel the edicts issued by so-called Muslim leaders and clerics and clarified that no creation of Almighty Allah is meaningless and useless. He illuminated this realty that use of these inventions for good or bad purposes depends on one’s intentions. Therefore, based on these guiding principles, he gave the glad tiding of:

وَ اَشۡرَقَتِ الۡاَرۡضُ بِنُوۡرِ رَبِّہَا

And the earth will shine with the light of her Lord. (The Holy Quran, 39:70)

He provided the correct meaning and practical example for which Almighty Allah had said:

وَ اِذَا الصُّحُفُ نُشِرَتۡ

And when books are spread abroad. (The Holy Quran, 81:11)

And

وَ اِذَا السَّمَآءُ کُشِطَتۡ

And when the heaven is laid bare. (The Holy Quran, 81:12)

He clarified that the prophecies in the Holy Qur’an foretold about the time when these resources would be made available to defend and spread Islam.

A caller from heaven

Along with the availability and timely use of new inventions and resources, the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him) announced the revelation that gave the glad tiding:

یُنَادِی مُنَادٍ مِنَ السَّمَاۤءِ

An Announcer will call from heaven. (Al-Badr,  December 19, 1902)

Also, in the light of a revelation of the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him) of 1897:

اَلْاَرْضُ وَ السَّمَاۤءُ مَعَکَ کَمَا ھُوَ مَعِیَ

The earth and heaven are with you as it is with me. (Ruhani Khazain, Siraj-e-Munir, Vol: 12, Page 83)

Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul-Masih IV (may Allah have Mercy on him), explained this revelation from Almighty Allah, which is pointing towards new inventions, and His help in these words:

“The Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him) has provided such a translation that comprises a commentary in itself. i.e., ‘the Earth and Heavens are with you.’ This means that heavenly powers and Almighty Allah’s angels will help you. You make every effort on this earth, and ‘favorable winds will blow from heavens that will help you.

‘Heavens will be with you’ also points towards Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (MTA). It is a fact that MTA has produced witnesses in the entire world. So many individuals have accepted the Unity [of Allah] that when we read the revelation of 1897 in 1997, that ‘Earth and Heaven are with you’ – at this time it means that ‘those powers which are unknown at this time and are with Me, will also be with you.’ Therefore, when we read this revelation that ‘Heavens will be with you’ it means that Heavenly forces and radio waves that we did not know about are now fully revealed in favor of the Jama’at Ahmadiyya. Because of this advancement, God Willing, there will be a great revolution in this world which will be a greater [revolution] than one before this.” (Friday Sermon, July 25, 1997, Published in Al-Fazal Intl., London, September 12, 1997)

Dream About Floating in the Air

One of the dreams of the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him) is narrated to be about floating in the air. Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad, Khalifatul-Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him), gave the essence of this dream in these words:

“A dream of the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him) from December 8, 1902, is: ‘It seems that I am floating in the air. There is a big ditch, like a large circle, which extends from here to the house of Nawab Sahib (from Masjid Mubarak to the house of Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan Sahib(ra)). I am floating from here to there and then back. Syed Muhammad Ahsan Sahib was standing at the edge [of the ditch]. I said to him that Hazrat Isa (may peace be upon him) used to walk on water, and I can float in the air. Hamid Ali is with me, and we have circled this ditch several times and have not moved our hands or feet and are floating around with ease.’” (Al-Badr, December 12, 1902)

Khalifatul-Masih II (may Allah be pleased with him) interpreted this dream in this way:

“The Bible talks about Jesus (may peace be upon him) walking on water, which in reality was Jesus’s (may peace be upon him) dream. This alluded to rule over water and to the power of naval forces. Christians did not understand this message, they turned his dream into a real event, and added other embellishments for no reason. The dream of the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him) points towards aerial powers and the importance of airplanes.”

It is not a far-fetched idea that a big circular ditch may be interpreted as a satellite dish, which receives a signal without making much effort. Hamid Ali was a servant of the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him). In this dream Hamid Ali may be a similitude of Hazrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) who was the fourth Khalifa of the Holy Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). This could indicate the fourth Khalifa of the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him) who was always ready to serve the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him), and ‘Hamid’ may mean he [the fourth Khalifa] praises Allah abundantly and floats with the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him).

With praise to Almighty Allah, Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) has stated the following about floating in the air:

“Keep moving forward to the success of Islam. Those who were walking yesterday are running today. Those who are running have been able to float in the air too. I know that Hazrat Masih Mau‘ud (may peace be upon him) has said: ‘Now that the decision has been made for the Messiah of Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) the skies will be conquered and all levels that deal with travel in the skies, the followers of Hazrat Masih Mau‘ud (may peace be upon him) will surpass all nations and humans.

Thus, this is the beginning of travel in the skies. These waves of MTA that now descend from the sky are just the beginning. There is a lot more to come. What is going to come in future centuries, you cannot even imagine, but the foundation of such great events has been laid. Therefore, move forward, offering gratitude to Almighty Allah for His favors and bounties!” (Al-Fazl International, Jun 4, 1997)

Without the Advice of the Judicious

The Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him) presents an interesting state of spiritual revolution in his book “The Revealed Sermon” in these words:

“A lot of things will come down without the advice of the judicious. As if the Messiah will descend from the heavens like rain that comes down holding the hands of angels. There will be no human effort involved in this process. His message will spread very quickly to all corners of the earth like lightening. This situation will be repeated at this time. Thus, those who have been given two ears- listen! A trumpet will be blown to announce the arrival of this light, and peace-loving pure souls will invite towards righteous guidance. At this time, various tribes (sects) from the East, West, South, and North will be gathered by the command of God.” (Ruhani Khazian, Vol: 16, Pages: 286-289)

It is worth noting that in this prophecy are mentioned rain, angels, and all corners of the earth. All these signs are common with the signs that the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him) has presented in favor of his second manifestation.

The voice is coming from a phonograph

It is significant that the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him) actively used all available resources to spread the word of Allah. One of world’s greatest inventors, Thomas Edison, and Alexander Graham Bell, another American inventor, scientist, and engineer who is credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone, were contemporaries of the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him). Thomas Edison invented the phonograph to record sound in 1877; it was registered with the “Gramophone” trademark in 1887. The technology of this recording device was greatly enhanced in the Volta Laboratory of Graham Bell.

In those days, the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him) learned that Hazrat Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan (may Allah be pleased with him) owned this recording device. At the instructions of the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him) Hazrat Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan (may Allah be pleased with him) brought the phonograph to Qadian. On November 20, 1901, the recording ceremony took place. The Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him) specially wrote a poem for this occasion:

“This voice is coming from the phonograph

Find God with your heart, not with futile talk and gossip.”

Hazrat Maulvi Abdul Kareem Sialkoti (may Allah be pleased with him) recorded the recitation of the Holy Qur’an and a Persian poem (“Ajab Nooraest Dar Jan-e-Muhammad – Ajab La’alaest Dar Kan-e-Muhammad”) written in praise of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) by the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him). Later, a brief commentary of Surah al-Asr by Hazrat Hakeem Nurruddin, Khalifatul-Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him), was also recorded. (Ashab-e-Ahmad, Volume 2, Pages 474 to 476)

However, due to Almighty Allah’s judgement and plan these recordings were not preserved. Nevertheless, the great wisdom and the message in the poem written by the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him) have been preserved forever. This poem admonished his followers not to forget Almighty Allah at the time of ease and luxury. He reminded his followers that “Our real pleasure is with God.”

This event was just the beginning of the means of communication. From 1950 onwards, the voice of Hazrat Musleh Mau‘ud (may Allah be pleased with him) started to be recorded. On December 27, 1952, his speech on the topic of “Connection with God” and in December 1953, a famous speech “Spiritual Journey” were recorded. Later, from 1960 to 1965, numerous recorded messages and addresses were played at various meetings and conventions, especially in the Women’s Annual Convention.

The use of loudspeakers started in 1936, and more than twenty-five thousand participants of the Annual Convention benefitted from this facility. At this occasion, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II(ra) said:

“I believe this is also a proof of the truthfulness of Hazrat Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him); as the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) foretold that the Promised Messiah would bring the victory of Islam through the means of communication and publication. And the Holy Qur’an also indicates that his time would be an era of vast publication. In order to fulfil these prophecies, Allah Almighty has caused to invent many new devices such as Printing Press, Loudspeaker and Wireless System. And if Allah Almighty wills so, it is quite possible that one day a Friday Sermon is being delivered in Qadian and people all the world would be able to listen trough radio and follow their prayers afterwards.” (Daily Al-Fazl Qadian, December 29, 1936)

During the Annual Convention of 1937, Hazrat Musleh Mau‘ud’s (may Allah be pleased with him) address from the men’s area was transmitted to the women’s area. On January 7, 1938, a loudspeaker was used for the first time during the Friday Sermon at the Aqsa Mosque, Qadian. On February 19, 1940, a speech by Hazrat Musleh Mau‘ud (may Allah be pleased with him) was broadcasted on a radio station in Bombay (Mumbai, India). On May 25, 1941, commentary on the situation in Iraq by Hazrat Musleh Mau‘ud (may Allah be pleased with him) was relayed from Lahore radio station. This commentary was later transmitted from Delhi and Lucknow radio stations as well.

Khulafa following the Footsteps of the Promised Messiah(as)

Following in the footsteps of the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him) his Khulafa continued the mission to spread the message of Islam and the Word of Allah based upon the guidance and teachings provided by the Holy Prophet (may peace and blessings be on him) and the Promised Messiah (may peace be upon him). The expectations and guidance provided by Hazrat Musleh Mau‘ud (may Allah be pleased with him) have already been mentioned. In the time of Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, Khalifatul-Masih III (may Allah have mercy on him), this journey continued with extraordinary zeal.

Television broadcasting started in the early years of the third Khilafat. The use and spread of this technology started to raise serious apprehension in certain circles in the Jama’at. There was concern that this source of vulgarity and nudity would occupy every house. Therefore, a proposal was put forward to ban these devices in Ahmadi Muslim homes. However, the wisdom and far-sightedness of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih III (may Allah have mercy on him) determined that there would also be many opportunities to use this technology to spread the message of Islam and Ahmadiyyat. Therefore, with the placement of proper measures and safeguards, use of this technology continued.

Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih III (may Allah have mercy on him) formed new committees and departments to address the needs of programs associated with the initiation of the Ahmadiyya Centenary Fund.

In those days, the Jama’at’s resources were very limited, and in Pakistan, it was a crime to have a small wireless radio transmitter without a license. The Government of Pakistan controlled all means of communication. There was no concept of having a private radio or television station. Therefore, efforts were made for a long time to have functional radio stations in Africa or in America so the members of the community could hear the voice of the Khalifa of the time.

Over time, recording technology improved, and large gramophones along with big discs “[Vinyl] records” (called “Tawa” in Punjabi) became available. Eventually, with further technological advances, small cassette tapes became available which would fit in a shirt pocket. This was the beginning of the use of modern technology, and the sermons of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih III (may Allah have mercy on him) were distributed on these tapes to members in a very organized manner.

Earlier History of Muslim Television Ahmadiyya

It is appropriate to mention that along with the establishment of Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (MTA), a parallel effort was also made on the Internet, and the official website of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community “alislam.org” was created as well.

Chronological order of the developments are as follows

As given in the Al-Fazl International:

  1. December 1980: Arrangement for translation for foreign guests and delegates was made during the Annual Convention [in Rabwah].
  2. 1984: Audio cassettes of Friday sermons of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) were distributed throughout the world. This process continued until the initiation of MTA.
  3. January 1, 1985: The state radio station of Norway started broadcasting the Jama’at’s programs regularly.
  4. April 3, 1987: In Rabwah, members of the 68th Majlis Shura listened to a recorded address (from the UK) by Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him).
  5. March 24, 1989: The first Friday sermon of the second centenary of Ahmadiyyat was broadcasted live to Mauritius and Germany via phone. Before this, a message recorded for the occasion of the celebration of 100-years of Ahmadiyyat was distributed to Jama’ats all over the world.
  6. January 18, 1991: The live Friday sermon of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) was transmitted to the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Mauritius, the United States of America, and Denmark.
  7. June 23, 1991: The ‘Idul Adha sermon delivered by Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) was broadcasted to 24 countries.
  8. July 1991: Addresses of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) at the UK Annual Convention were relayed live via satellite in 11 countries with a simultaneous translation in seven languages.
  9. July 1992: Proceedings of the Annual Convention were shown live on MTA.
  10. August 21, 1992: Friday sermons of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IV (may Allah have mercy on him) were started transmitting live via satellite to Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. This initiated the MTA Transmissions for four continents.
  11. January 7, 1994: Regular programs started to broadcast on MTA to Europe (three hours a day) and Africa and Asia (12 hours a day).
  12. April 1, 1996: Started twenty-four (24) hour transmission of MTA [As of October 2019, this service continues an even wider scale].

Note by the author: Material for this article is taken from the sayings of the Promised Messiah(as) and Khulafa, as well as from various interviews, MTA Programs, and articles published in the Jama’at’s magazines and newspapers.