HERE follows the English version of an address, delivered by the late Amirul-Mu’minin,1 Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, to the Ahmadiyya Annual Gathering on December 28, 1942.
A verbatim Urdu report of the original was issued in December, 1943, and again in April, 1944, and in March, 1945.
The English version is being issued to give wider publicity to the important subject matter of the address.
The address answers the question — ‘How does Ahmadiyyat, the True Islam, propose to deal with the problem of social inequality in the world?’ The Ahmadiyya solution is the solution of Islam shaped under divine guidance for present needs by the Holy Founder(as) of the Ahmadiyya Movement. It builds on Islamic teaching and emphasises the progressive nature of that teaching.
The social teaching of Islam2 was expounded by the Amirul-Mu’minin himself in 1924 in his Ahmadiyyat or the True Islam, and has since become wellknown. It consists of the statutory prohibition of interest, the tax of Zakat and the division of inheritances. It also includes general instructions regarding voluntary contributions by individuals which leaders of Islam from the earliest times have organised in different ways and devoted to the service of society.
The Holy Founder(as) of the Ahmadiyya Movement (d. 1908) instituted among his followers a system of voluntary consecration of properties by individual Ahmadis to the needs of Islam in the widest sense of the term. The institution was promulgated by him in his Al-Wasiyyat (The Will) in 1905, and since then willing away portions of properties and income to the Central Anjuman-e-Ahmadiyya at Qadian have become a common practice with Ahmadis.
The Amirul-Mu’minin announced in his address that the social order of Islam, built on the pillars of its economic teachings, would continue to grow. It would grow through Al-Wasiyyat, the institution of willing away properties and income; inaugurated by the Founder(as) of Ahmadiyyat in 1905. The institution of Al-Wasiyyat, therefore, answers the question which many Muslims and non-Muslims seem to be asking today: ‘Is Islam progressive?’ It also answers the wider question ‘Is religion progressive?’
The Ahmadiyya solution of the problem of inequality, it is as well to say, will, spread in the world at the rate at which Ahmadiyyat spreads. The pace cannot be forced, as Ahmadiyyat is obliged under Islamic teachings to use only one method for its propagation — the method of argument and honest conviction. Those, who accept the general principle of this solution but think its establishment throughout the world will take too long, can assist in the solution by applying its principles in their own way.
Until, however, the scheme of Al-Wasiyyat becomes reasonably effective, another scheme known as the Tahrik-e-Jadid (The New Scheme) will take its place. This scheme was announced by the Amirul-Mu’minin in a series of Friday sermons in 1934. Its nineteen clauses may be summarised as an organised effort for the promotion of discipline, simplicity and voluntary sacrifice by the members for the conservation of a Central Fund, devoted ultimately to strengthening and promoting the work which Ahmadiyyat is doing for the spread of Islam and its institutions.
The Tahrik-e-Jadid, therefore, is a forerunner of the New World Order of Islam and is intimately connected with it. This is why the address begins and ends by references to it.
for the Publisher.
1 The Leader or Imam of the faithful (publisher)
2 A lecture on The Economic Structure of Islamic Society, delivered by the Amirul-Mu’minin at Lahore, has already been published. It can be had from the Oriental Religious Publishing Corporation Ltd., Rabwah, Pakistan. (This lecture expounds in details Islamic economic system whereas the subject is only succinctly dealt in the Ahmadiyyat or the True Islam.) [Publisher of the present edition]