As you may be aware, the task which has been assigned to me by God the Exalted (i.e., to train the Ahmadiyya Community, manage its needs and plan for its progress), in its nature, encompasses many aspects. Hence, for the purpose of its administration, it is absolutely imperative for me to possess knowledge of the historical subjects which specifically relate to the era of Khilafat. For this reason, despite having little time to spare, I am compelled to keep the history of that era under study. Although our primary task is to investigate and deeply contemplate upon religion, but along with this study, by the grace of God, such hidden aspects of the history of early Islam have been disclosed to me which most people of the current age are unaware of. Due to this unfamiliarity, some Muslims are even becoming averse to their own religion. They see their past as being so dreadful that in its presence, they cannot hope for a glorious future. However, their despair is ill-founded and such views are false, and are merely due a lack of knowledge in true Islamic history. For Islam’s past is so magnificent and spotless and all those trained in the company of the Holy Prophet(sa) were people of such high moral excellence that their likes cannot be found in any nation of the world, even if such people had lived in the company of a prophet. It is only those who enjoyed the company of the Holy Prophet(sa) about whom it can be said that by following the footsteps of their teacher and master, they developed such spirituality, that despite susceptible to the dangerous maze of politics they did not let virtue and honesty slip their hands. Even under the burden of [holding positions] in sovereignty, their backs remained as firm as they were at the time when they once required the basic means of sustenance and their floor was the bare earth of Masjid-e-Nabawi;1 their own hands served as pillows, their occupation was listening to the blessed words of the Holy Prophet(sa) and their leisure was the worship of the One God.
You have probably gathered that on this occasion, I intend to speak about the Khilafat of Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) and Hazrat ‘Ali(ra). Both of these noble men are among the first devotees of Islam. Their companions are also from among the best fruits of Islam. For a charge to be levelled against their honesty and virtue is, in reality, a disgrace upon Islam. Any Muslim who sincerely ponders over this fact will definitely reach the conclusion that in actuality, these people are above and beyond all kinds of partiality. This statement is not without foundation; rather, the pages of history are a testimony to this very fact for anyone who examines them with open eyes.
1 The Prophet’s Mosque [Publishers]