As indicated before, the First Caliph passed away on March 13th, 1914. That was a defining moment in the history of the Jamaat. On the one hand members were struck with grief by the death of the First Caliph, on the other they were faced with deadly intrigues from opponents of the institution of the Caliphate.
This grave situation made every member of the Jamaat deeply concerned. The tense situation compelled one and all to pray earnestly for the safety of the Jamaat. After the Salat al-Asr (afternoon liturgical worship) the Second Caliph made an impassioned speech in the course of which he urged every member to implore Allah to lend forth His succor at this critical moment.
In a last ditch effort Hudhoor offered the concession that should the dissenters acknowledge the authority of the institution of Caliphate and give their word that should the majority of members elect one of them as the next Caliph, then that person would be accepted by all.
Maulvi Muhammad Ali sahib had prepared a flyer during the lifetime of the First Caliph that was widely distributed right after the latter’s death. The dissenters had hoped that because of the misinformation they had disseminated, a good majority would agree with their stance in the dispute. They stuck to their guns. Finally, on March 14th, all the Ahmadis who had come from near and far gathered at the Noor Mosque after the Asr Prayer service. There were at least two thousand members.
Hazrat Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan, raziallah anho, read out the Will of the First Caliph. It contained detailed counsel & instructions for the selection of his successor. As soon as the reading of the Will was over, everyone in the crowed abruptly shouted:
Hazrat Mian Sahib, Hazrat Mian Sahib
(Meaning Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad)
Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Ahsan Amrohi, one of the oldest and trusted companions of the Promised Messiah(as) stood up and delivered a speech. After clarifying the need for the Caliphate, he stated that in his opinion Hazrat Mirza Bashir al-Din Mahmud Ahmad was fully qualified to become the next Caliph of the Promised Messiah (AS). And therefore we should all take the covenant of allegiance at his hand. Shouts of confirmation came from all directions with members vying for the acceptance of their pledge of allegiance.
Maulvi Muhammad Ali, leader of the dissident group wanted to express his views but did not succeed when members told him that as he had renounced the institution of Caliphate, they were not obliged to listen to him.
Members were surging forward from all directions. It seemed like Allah’s angels were rounding up these ardent followers to take the covenant of allegiance. Hazrat Mirza Bashir al-Din Mahmud Ahmad seemed a bit reluctant at first, but relented when members repeatedly urged him to take the Baiat. Those members who could not get close to Hudhoor, spread out their turbans and placed their hands on the back of brothers ahead of them while repeating the words of Baiat.
Afterwards there was a very long and emotionally charged entreaty, followed by a passionate address by Hudhoor. He stated in his address that he considered himself a humble person, but Almighty Allah in His infinite wisdom has placed onerous responsibility on his shoulders. Reposing his trust in Allah, he vowed to discharge his responsibilities in a befitting way. He made an impassioned plea to the members to unite and to assist him in upholding the banner of Ahmadiyyat aloft.
His speech brought instant calm in the hearts of the believers. Realizing that no one would listen to them, Maulvi Muhammad Ali and his associates grudgingly left the gathering. A few days later they departed for Lahore where they established their new organization. They spread the rumors that only a handful of people supported the new Caliph, but gradually conceded their failure. Finally they realized that a huge majority of the Jamaat had gathered under the banner of the Caliphate, that their strategy did not produce anticipated results. Praise the Lord.