Election of the Caliph
Hazrat Ahmad’s sacred remains were taken by rail to Batala. As there was no railroad beyond Batala, the faithful carried the casket on their shoulders to Qadian, a distance of 18km. On May 27th, 1908, before the funeral prayers, Hazrat Hakim Noor al-Din, may God be pleased with him, was elected unanimously the first Caliph of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at.
By taking the pledge of allegiance on his hand the Community was once again united firmly, thus fulfilling the glad tiding given by the Promised Messiah(as) in al-Wasiyyat regarding the establishment of the Caliphate.
There were some that thought this Community would disintegrate after his death. They were proven dead wrong. Although a Caliph is elected by members of the Jama’at, it is our unflinching faith that God Almighty appoints a Caliph by inclining the hearts of the believers towards such a person. This is how Hazrat Maulvi Noor al-Din(ra), one of the earliest disciple and a trusted companion of the Promised Messiah(as), was chosen Caliph by God Almighty. It was God Almighty who united the Community on his blessed hand.
After the election, Hazrat Khalifat al-Masih the First led the funeral prayers. Throngs of believers who had converged upon Qadian paid their last respects to their holy master. He was laid to rest in Bahishti Maqbara at 6pm on May 27th, 1908. Thus departed an extraordinary human being from the world whose advent did the Holy Prophet of Islam(saw) foretell, and through whom progress of Islamic faith is destined in this age. He was the greatest champion of Islam in more than a millennium.