After reciting Tashahhud, Ta`awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness(aba) said that in this era, according to the promise of God, the Promised Messiah(as) was sent as the Hakam and Adl [Judge and Just Arbiter], who, through the teachings of the Holy Prophet(sa) was to unite the Muslim Ummah. Those who have seen the discord among the various sects within Islam and employed the use of knowledge, understanding and prayer have come under the banner of the Promised Messiah(as).
His Holiness(aba) explained that the purpose of this community is not to merely create another sect or division. Rather, the establishment of this community is solely according to the prophecy made by the Holy Prophet(sa). Thus, God Almighty commissioned Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) as the Promised Messiah for this task. It is by the grace of Allah Almighty that for the past 130 years since the establishment of this community and 112 years since the establishment of Khilafat that we have been carrying out this task, Not only have we been teaching non-Ahmadi Muslims the meanings of the Holy Qur’an according to the divinely enlightened understanding of the Promised Messiah(as), but we have also been spreading this message of the Holy Qur’an to non-Muslims as well. No matter the trials, tribulations and obstacles we face, we have and will continue to progress in this matter. Divine communities are always opposed, but in the end, by the grace of Allah Almighty, they always prevail.
His Holiness(aba) said to those who wish to end disorder, discord, and turmoil; those who possess understanding, that they must ponder over this matter.
His Holiness(aba) said that we are currently passing through the Islamic month of Muharram. Usually, upon the New Year according to the Gregorian calendar, people greet each other with congratulations for the New Year. However it is unfortunate, that although Islam promotes peace and love, the Islamic New Year is marked by bloodshed in Muslim countries around the world due to these divisions within Islam. Rather than this, we should be focused on how we can unite and truly follow the example of the Holy Prophet(sa).
His Holiness(aba) said that we must ponder over the fact that the Holy Prophet(sa) prophesied that after a time of darkness following the initial success of Islam, Khilafat upon the precepts of prophethood will again be established. Thus, the same incidents which took place [in Muharram] and have become the cause for such discord today will in fact prove to be a means of distinguishing the true establishment of Khilafat upon the precepts of prophethood. That incident in fact, was one which should unite the Muslim Ummah rather than divide it.
His Holiness(aba) said that we must ponder, according to the prophecies of the Holy Prophet(sa), who is it that has manifested and been commissioned for the revival of Islam, who is to turn fighting and discord into peace. We believe that this person was Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as). Thus, this month should not merely be one of mourning, and expressing our anger, but should make it one of love and peace. We must ponder during this month and tread the path of the true teachings of Islam. We must tread the path of that Hakam and Adl who was manifested for the revival of Islam.
His Holiness(aba) presented a quote of the Promised Messiah(as) in which he explained that he was commissioned by God Almighty for the revival of Islam, and to unite the Muslim Ummah. He said that until those who are divided in Islam do not accept him, they cannot be saved and they cannot be united. Thus he said he wishes for people to come and join him, so that the cloak of falsehood which has begun to shade and cover the true teachings of Islam may be lifted. His Holiness(aba) commented that this can only be done when people remove all malice from their hearts and turn towards God.
His Holiness(aba) then presented quotes of the Promised Messiah(as) in which he praised the Khulafa-e-Rashideen [Rightly-guided Caliphs of the Holy Prophet(sa)], especially the first three who are often denounced by some Shi'a Muslims. The Promised Messiah(as) said, that in order to be a true Muslim and true follower of the Holy Prophet(sa), one must believe and accept all four of the Caliphs. His Holiness(aba) commented that this was the teaching of the Promised Messiah(as), and if this was to be implemented, then what room would be left for any sort of division amongst the Muslims?
His Holiness(aba) presented a quote of the Promised Messiah(as) regarding Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), and the various hardships he endured in the cause of Islam. He was in the shadow of the Holy Prophet(sa) at every step of the way. The Promised Messiah(as) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was like a ‘second Adam.’ He said that had Abu Bakr(ra) not been present after the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa), then Islam may not have been able to live on, as he was instrumental in establishing and maintaining the teachings and practices of the Holy Prophet(sa).
His Holiness(aba) then presented a quote of the Promised Messiah(as) in which he praised Hazrat Umar(ra), by presenting narrations, such as one in which the Holy Prophet(sa) said that Satan runs from the shadow of Hazrat Umar(ra). He presented another narration in which the Holy Prophet(sa) said that were there to be a prophet after him, it would have been Hazrat Umar(ra).
His Holiness(aba) presented another quote of the Promised Messiah(as) in which he praised the first three Caliphs, including Hazrat Uthman(ra). He explained the hardships they endured for the sake of Islam. They left their families and their homes for the service of Islam. Their examples were such that their light continues to radiate.
His Holiness(aba) then presented a quote of the Promised Messiah(as) in which he praised Hazrat Ali(ra). He wrote that Hazrat Ali(ra) was among those dearest to God Almighty. He was a lion of God, generous and brave. He would never leave his station in battle, even if an entire army stood against him. He would remove the pains and griefs of others, and would help the poor and orphaned. He was also very eloquent in speech; he would utter words which reached the hearts. He was a master in speech to the extent that none could refute his proficiency.
In another instance, the Promised Messiah(as) said that Hazrat Ali(ra) was undoubtedly a great example in many respects, however there were many who rebelled against him during his Caliphate. The Promised Messiah(as) emphatically said that whosoever opposed and rebelled against Hazrat Ali(ra) during his Caliphate committed a grave transgression.
Regarding all four Caliphs, the Promised Messiah(as) wrote that they were true aides of the Holy Prophet(sa) and presented astonishing sacrifices in the way of Islam. Yet they did not do any of this for any sort of rewards, but did it for the love of Islam. How then, can some label them as deviants and thieves?
His Holiness(aba) said that is the understanding we obtain through the knowledge bestowed upon the Promised Messiah(as). Thus, if we desire to truly serve Islam, we must attach ourselves to the Promised Messiah(as).
His Holiness(aba) said that the 10th of Muharram is approaching, which marks the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain(ra). On this day, those especially belonging to the Shi`a sect of Islam express their sorrow and grief through various apparent means. His Holiness(aba) said that the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain(ra) was indeed a grave travesty, however simply due to the fact that we do not express our grief and sorrow in similar and apparent ways, some level the allegation against our community that we do not honour the family of the Holy Prophet(sa).
His Holiness(aba) said that from the quotes of the Promised Messiah(as) he presented, it is clear that he honoured Hazrat Ali(ra), just as he honoured the three Caliphs before him, for they were all true and rightly appointed Caliphs. His Holiness(aba) then presented various quotes of the Promised Messiah(as) which show his respect and veneration for the family of the Holy Prophet(sa).
The Promised Messiah(as) saw a vision in which the daughter of the Holy Prophet(sa), Hazrat Fatimah(ra) treated him with the love of a mother. He saw that she placed his head in her lap, just as a loving mother does with her child. His Holiness(aba) commented that some non-Ahmadi clerics raise an allegation against this as well, saying that saying this is a form of disrespect to Hazrat Fatimah(ra), however, His Holiness(aba) said that this is merely their deluded thinking, for which we can do nothing. It is a pity that the general Muslim population listens to them in such matters. In any case, the Promised Messiah(as) saw that Hazrat Fatimah(ra) was worried for him, on account of the hardships he would have to face, just as a mother is worried for her child. He then saw Hazrat Hassan(ra) and Hazrat Hussain(ra) with whom he had a brotherly bond and a great deal of love. Thus, the Promised Messiah(as) said that he had a very strong connection with Hazrat Ali(ra) and his family.
The Promised Messiah(as) said that he wrote a Qaseeda [poem] in praise of Hazrat Hussain(ra) which was divinely inspired to him.
His Holiness(aba) said that an expression of love which is done when no one else is around is a true expression of the heart. Thus, His Holiness(aba) related the following incident narrated by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad(ra), the son of the Promised Messiah(as):
‘Once, during the month of Muharram, the Promised Messiah(as) was resting on a bed in his garden when he called upon our sister Mubaraka Begum and our brother Mubarak Ahmad, the youngest among his children and said, ‘Let me tell you the story of Muharram.’ Then in a tone of great pain, he related the incidents connected with the martyrdom of Imam Hussain(ra); and all the time tears were flowing from his eyes, which he would wipe away with the tips of his fingers from time to time. At the end of the story he said in a great anguish:
‘This was the heartless injustice which the despicable Yazid had perpetrated against the grandson of the Holy Prophet(sa). But soon after, God seized these callous people with His punishment.’
During the narration of these events the Promised Messiah(as) was in the grip of very strong and tender emotions and the thought of the tortures inflicted upon the grandson of his beloved master was causing him intense anguish. All this powerfully reflects the intensity of the love he had for the Holy Prophet(sa).’ (Seerat-Tayyiba p.31)
His Holiness(aba) said that in light of such incidents, how can it be said that we do not honour the family of the Holy Prophet(sa). His Holiness(aba) presented another quote of the Promised Messiah(as) in which he strongly condemned anyone who spoke against the family of the Holy Prophet(sa).
His Holiness(aba) said that through the writings of the Promised Messiah(as), the erroneous beliefs of the various sects in Islam have been rectified, which was the duty of the Hakam and Adl. Yet, despite trying to bring the Muslim Ummah together, it is our community which is the target of persecution and denounciation. However, our community will continue to tread forth. His Holiness(aba) said that the sacrifices made by this Community will never go to waste. His Holiness(aba) said that the Promised Messiah(as) stated that this Community will truly prevail not only in spirit as Hazrat Imam Hussain(ra) but will prevail apparently as well.
His Holiness(aba) said that this month especially should be spent in prayers, and prayed that Muslims may be afforded understanding and do not use this time as an excuse to harm one another, and may they understand that true success and true victory lies solely in attaching oneself with the Promised Messiah(as).
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions.
In accordance with His promise, Allah the Almighty sent in this era the Imam of the Age, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, in subservience to the Holy Prophet (sa) as the Hakam [judge] and ‘Adl [just arbiter]. The Hakam and ‘Adl was to gather all Muslims as one Ummah [nation] in light of the true teachings of Islam. He was to eliminate the erroneous interpretations and subsidiary disputes of the various groups and sects, thereby uniting the Muslims under one Ummah.
Today, we see that Muslims from every sect, who have carefully pondered and felt the pain owing to the disputes between various sects within Islam, have used their knowledge, wisdom and prayer and joined the community of the Promised Messiah (as). Each year, hundreds of thousands continue to join the fold. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has not been established on the basis of differences that exist between various sects and groups, or owing to their differences of opinion, nor the difference in their interpretations and commentaries. Rather, this community has been established in the latter days by the true servant of the Holy Prophet (sa) in accordance with the prophecy made by the Holy Prophet (sa) and the promise of Allah Almighty. After pledging allegiance to the Promised Messiah (as), it is this community which will bring an end to the disputes between the Shi’as and the Sunnis, or between any other group or sect for that matter; and thus enable them to become united under one Ummah. We are to establish a single Ummah by informing the Muslim of the true teachings of Islam.
The Promised Messiah (as) was commissioned for this purpose and established this community, in accordance with the commandment of Allah the Almighty. In order to fulfil this task, Allah the Almighty revealed to the Promised Messiah (as) that he should, “gather to together all Muslims who are on the earth on one religion.”
(Tadhkirah, p. 763 – English Edition (2009))
After the Promised Messiah (as), this task is now the responsibility of the community he established and this is to be carried out by pledging allegiance to the institution of Khilafat. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, this is exactly what we have been doing for the past 130 years. Or, if we consider it from the inception of Khilafat, then we have been fulfilling this task for the past 112 years whereas prior to this, the Promised Messiah (as) was carrying out this duty. Not only are we conveying the teachings of the Holy Qur’an, Sunnah [practice] of the Holy Prophet (sa) and the authentic Ahadith [sayings of the Holy Prophet (sa)] in light of the profound explanations of the Imam, Hakam, and ‘Adl of this age to Muslims, but we are also conveying the beautiful teachings of Islam to non-Muslims and thus bringing them into the fold of Islam.
Thus, the community of the Promised Messiah (as) – the Hakam and ‘Adl – has been established to eliminate the differences [between Muslims]; and despite facing opposition, lawsuits, hardships and verbal abuse, we continue to spread the message of peace, harmony and extend our prayer for everyone. Indeed, we will never stop from spreading the true message and speaking the truth, and for this we continue to offer sacrifices as well. We have never retorted to violence or used foul language, nor will we ever do so. Divine communities face opposition and have to endure injustices as well, but ultimately, Allah the Almighty grants them victory. As I mentioned, we will continue to pray and strive to spread the message of the Imam of the Age to the people of every religion in every country. At the same time, I say to all Muslims; those who possess an earnest disposition; those who are in search of the truth; those who possess knowledge and wisdom and desire to bring an end to all conflict and discord, that they ought ponder over this matter.
Aside from the initial few decades, Muslims have been embroiled in discord for centuries, as a result of which their unity and oneness has weakened. Currently, we are passing through the month of Muharram, which is the first month of the Islamic calendar. We congratulate one another at the beginning of the New Year according to the Gregorian calendar; however it is unfortunate that on the occasion of the Islamic New Year, it is marred with violence and bloodshed owing to the sectarian divisions in Muslim countries. Why do the adherents of a faith which presents the most exemplary teachings of peace and harmony begin the New Year with conflict, disorder, violence and bloodshed? We must reflect upon this and bring about a change in our actions; we must think about how we can bring Muslims together as a single Ummah and eliminate such acts of disorder and extremism.
We must ponder over the fact that while our master, the Seal of Prophets, Muhammad (sa), the Chosen One, foretold that after the initial era of Islam’s progress, it would be followed by a period of spiritual darkness [Faij-e-A’waj], at the same time, he also gave glad tidings regarding the establishment of Khilafat upon the precepts of prophethood in the latter days. Hence, the very matter that previously caused discord amongst the Muslims [i.e. the dispute over Khilafat], will in the latter days prove to be the very factor that unites the Muslims as one Ummah, which is the establishment of Khilafat on the precepts of prophethood. This will manifest as a sign for the success and unity of Muslims. Thus, when the conditions [of the world] are demonstrating to us that the signs mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith are being fulfilled, or have already been fulfilled, then should we not search for the Hakam and ‘Adl and the true servant of the Holy Prophet (sa), who will unite us all and bring an end to the disagreements between the Shi’as, Sunnis and all other sects and groups?
Do not follow these spiritually blind, so-called Muslim clerics [Ulema], who are not only drowning themselves but are also dragging a large number of Muslims along with them.
When the signs mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith have been fulfilled, then it is our duty to search for the one who has been commissioned by Allah the Almighty for the revival of Islam. Indeed, someone should have been appointed for this task. As Ahmadis, we believe that this person is the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian, who was entrusted with this duty and through whom Allah the Almighty is reviving Islam and will continue to do so. He is to remove these conflicts and disorders and establish peace and harmony. Thus, if we possess true understanding, then we must not regard Muharram as a month for merely expressing sorrow or venting our anger, malice and rancour, nor should we make it a mere means of expressing our emotions. Instead, we should make this a month of expressing love and affection for one another. We must follow the one who has been appointed as the Hakam and ‘Adl in this present age by the Allah the Almighty for our guidance. It is only then that we can be regarded as true Muslims and lead the world. Whilst explaining to a scholar, the Promised Messiah (as) on one occasion stated:
“My status is not that of a mere Maulvi [cleric], rather my status is that of a prophet. Accept me as one who has been divinely commissioned and all of these disputes and hostilities found amongst Muslims can be resolved once and for all. The meanings of the Holy Qur’an as understood by the one who has been sent by God as the Hakam and ‘Adl will be the true meanings. Likewise, the authentic Hadith will be those which he deems to be authentic. Ponder over the fact that whether the disputes and hostilities between the Shi’as and the Sunnis ever come close to being resolved? (in fact, they remain unresolved to this day). If Shi’as practise Tabarrah (meaning they speak ill of the first three Caliphs and use harsh language against them), on the other hand, there others who say the following regarding Hazrat Ali (ra), may Allah bestow him with honour:
بَر خلافت دِلَشْ بَسِے ماَئل
لِیکْ بُوبکر شُدْ دَرْمِیَاں حائل
(That is to say ‘his heart was well and truly set upon Khilafat, but the Khilafat of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) impeded him,’ i.e. it was the desire of Hazrat Ali (ra) [to attain Khilafat]).
However, I say that they can only attain the truth if they abandon this way of theirs and affiliate themselves with me. If this does not convince them, then at least let it be known that everyone shall eventually die and death can never purify the filth [of this life]. (In other words, one can never rid themselves of the filth they carry into the hereafter). If foul language and abuse are loathsome even in the sight of a noble individual, then how can one stand before God, the Holy, for worship?”
If a person commits wrongful acts and injustices, his worship to God Almighty cannot be deemed true worship. The Promised Messiah (as) further states:
“This is why I say that you should come and listen to me so that you may see the truth for yourselves. My desire is to completely remove the cloak [of erroneous beliefs and harmful innovations]. Become a true believer by repenting with utmost sincerity.”
One must remove the cloak of erroneous beliefs and harmful innovations. One can only become a believer through true repentance.
“Let it be known that I am the Imam you eagerly await. Hence, seeks its proofs from me.”
(Malfuzat, Vol. 2, pp. 140-141)
Thus, to develop a true understanding of faith, one must put an end to mutual conflicts and destroy their egos and turn to Allah the Almighty, whilst supplicating to Him and seeking His repentance. However, this can only happen when one cleanses their heart of all impurities and prostrates before Allah the Almighty. It is only then that Allah the Almighty will bestow His guidance. Whilst explaining the lofty rank and honour of the Khulafa-e-Rashideen [Rightly-guided Caliphs], the Promised Messiah (as) states:
“I know for certain that no one can be deemed a true believer nor a Muslim until they instil within themselves the qualities of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), Hazrat Umar (ra), Hazrat Uthman (ra) and Hazrat Ali (ra), may Allah be pleased with them all. Their hearts were pure from the love of this world, instead they devoted their lives in the way of God Almighty.”
(Malfuzat, Vol. 8, pp. 260-261)
Thus, according to the Promised Messiah (as) such was their lofty status that for one to become a true believer and a Muslim, they must take all four Caliphs as their example.
In such an instance, there will no longer remain any dispute between the sects and nor will there remain any difference of beliefs. Thus, according to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s belief, all four Caliphs are an example for us. And when this is the belief held by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, then will this not be the community which puts an end to the differences between the other Muslims and establishes unity among them? All four Rightly-guided Caliphs possess a special rank and status and the Promised Messiah (as) has described each of their ranks in great detail on different occasions. I shall present some extracts of his in order for us to recognise their respective ranks, and so that the new Ahmadis and the youth may also understand what are our beliefs and doctrines. The Promised Messiah (as) states:
Even in that era (i.e. in the very early days during the Khilafat of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)), Musaylimah had gathered the people on teachings of freedom from divine law (i.e. by presenting false interpretations, he made lawful that which was wrong, merely to gather the people with himself). It was in such a time that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) became the Caliph and so anyone can imagine the number of difficulties that would have arisen at such a juncture. If Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) had not been strong-hearted and if his faith was not similar in nature to the faith of the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, he would have grown apprehensive and this could have spelled catastrophe. However, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) was similar in hue to the Prophet (sa) (i.e. he was always in the shade of the Holy Prophet’s (sa) influence). Moreover, the morals of the Holy Prophet (sa) had left an impress on his character, and his heart was replete with the light of certainty; this is why he exhibited an example of bravery and perseverance, which is unparalleled after the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Abu Bakr (ra) brought a death upon himself for the life of Islam. This is an issue which does not require a lengthy discussion. Simply study the events of that era and then weigh the service that Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, rendered for Islam. I truthfully say that Abu Bakr (ra) was a second Adam for Islam. I am convinced that after the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, if the person of Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) had not existed, there would be no Islam.”
That is to say that God Almighty appointed Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) to protect Islam from the attacks of the enemy and to safeguard the Shariah. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) revived Islam by means of the special training and extraordinary connection he had with the Holy Prophet (sa) and he rendered the assaults of the enemy futile. The Promised Messiah (as) further states,
“Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) has rendered an incredible service for us, for he established Islam again. Through the strength of his faith, he brought all of the rebels to account and established peace. God Almighty had stated and promised that he would bring peace at the hand of the true Caliph and this prophecy was fulfilled in the Caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra). Heaven and earth bore witness to this practically as well. Hence, this is the definition of a Truthful One (Siddiq); such a person must possess within themselves such level of truth and sincerity (sidq).”
(Malfuzat, Vol. 2, pp. 94-95, (English Edition))
Then, whilst describing the qualities and status of Hazrat Umar (ra), the Promised Messiah (as) stated on one occasion:
“Are you aware of the lofty rank of Hazrat Umar (ra) amongst the Companions? It was to the extent that at times the Holy Qur’an would be revealed and it would be in accordance to the opinion he held. Furthermore, there is a Hadith in praise of him that Satan would flee from the shadow of Umar (ra). Likewise, there is another Hadith that if there were to be a prophet after the Holy Prophet (sa), it would be Hazrat Umar (ra). Thirdly, there is the Hadith, ‘Muhaddithin [recipient of divine revelations] have appeared amongst the people before you. If there was such a person among my people, it is Umar (ra).’”
(Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 3, p. 219)
In another instance, whilst mentioning Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), Hazrat Umar (ra) and Hazrat Uthman (ra) collectively, the Promised Messiah (as) states:
“My Lord has revealed to me that Siddiq [Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)], Farooq [Hazrat Umar (ra)] and Uthman (ra), may Allah be pleased with them all, were pious believers, who were among the chosen ones of Allah the Almighty and were favoured with the special bounties of the Gracious God. Furthermore, the many of the wise have borne witness to their virtues. They left their lands for the pleasure of the Honourable and Glorious God, they entered the furnace of every battle, and they cared not for the scorching midday heat of every summer, nor the cold of the night of every winter. Rather, they marched forward upon the paths of their faith like youthful young men, inclining neither to their own people, nor to others and they bade farewell to everything, all for the sake of the Lord of all the Worlds. Their actions were imbued with a sweet fragrance and their deeds with an aroma. All of this points to the gardens of their rank and the orchards of their good deeds. Likewise, the aromatic breezes of their zephyr [soft, sweet-smelling wind] reveals their intricate qualities, and their light becomes manifest to us with all its radiance.”
(Sirrul Khilafah, Vol. 8, p. 326, Urdu Translation, pp. 25-26)
Many of these extracts I am quoting are from the Arabic book Sirrul Khilafah. The Arabic translators may not be able to translate it live to a high level, but when the repeat of this sermon is broadcast, they can use the original references from this book for the translation.
Whilst mentioning the attributes and the rank of Hazrat Ali (ra), the Promised Messiah (as) states:
“Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, was righteous and pious. He was a beloved of Allah, the Gracious God. He was the elect of Allah and the chief of his era. He was the victorious lion of Allah, the Benevolent, a pure-hearted and generous youth who belonged to God. He was peerless and his bravery was such that he would remain resolute in the battlefield, even if an army from among the enemy stood in front of him.
He lived his life with great humility, reaching the highest peak of piety that a mortal can attain. He would sacrifice his money and wealth and was the foremost in consoling and helping the destitute, orphans and neighbours. On the battlefield, he demonstrated extraordinary feats of bravery and displayed a miraculous skill in handling the sword and spear.
At the same time, he was soft-spoken and an eloquent orator. His words would penetrate the hearts of the listeners and remove the corrosion of their minds. His countenance shone bright with the light of truth. He was an outstanding orator; whosoever competed with him in this field would themselves step down, overpowered and defeated [by his eloquence]. His every attribute was outstanding, and he was flawless in his speech and eloquence. He who denies his perfection adopts the way of the shameless.”
(Sirrul Khilafah, Vol. 8, p. 358, Urdu Translation, pp. 108-110)
With regards to Hazrat Ali’s (ra) rank and his Khilafat, the Promised Messiah (as) says:
“There is no doubt that Hazrat Ali (ra) was a hope for the seekers of the truth and an unparalleled model of generosity. He was divine proof for the people and the best example of his time. He was the light of Allah that was to illuminate the world. But the era of his Caliphate was not a time of peace and safety, but a time of intense conflict and discord. People differed between his Caliphate and the Caliphate of Ibn Abi Sufyan and would look to them in a state of utter perplexity. Some people considered them to be like two bright Furqad [two bright stars of Ursa Minor] stars and considered them equal in stature. The fact of the matter is that the truth was on the side of [Ali] Al-Murtaza. Those who fought against him were rebellious and transgressors.”
(Sirrul Khilafah, Vol. 8, (Urdu Translation, pp. 95-96))
Then with regards to the services of the four Khulafa-e-Rashideen rendered for Islam and safeguarding the Holy Qur’an and how they discharged this trust bestowed upon them, the Promised Messiah (as) says:
“It is vital to believe that Siddiq-e-Akbar (ra) [Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra)], Hazrat Farooq-e-Umar (ra) [Hazrat Umar Farooq (ra)], Hazrat Dhun-Nurain (ra) (i.e. Hazrat Uthman (ra)) and Hazrat Ali Murtaza (ra) were all the custodians of the faith. For Islam, Abu Bakr (ra) was the second coming of Adam, similarly, if Hazrat Umar Farooq (ra) and Hazrat Uthman (ra) did not show sincerity in the trust bestowed upon them, then it would be impossible for us to consider even one verse of the Qur’an to be from Allah the Almighty.”
(Maktubaat-e-Ahmad, Vol. 2, p. 151, Maktub No. 2, addressed to Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan Sahib)
With regards to the four Caliphs, the Promised Messiah (as) states:
“By Allah! They were such men who, in support of the Best of Creation [i.e. the Holy Prophet (sa)] would remain steadfast in the battlefields, staring death in the face. For the sake of Allah, they gave up their fathers and their sons, and severed them into pieces with their sharpened swords. They entered battle against their loved ones and cut off their heads. They surrendered their desires, wealth and even their lives for the sake of Allah. Despite these tremendous sacrifices, they wept and expressed regret that their deeds were not enough. (They did not show any pride over their virtuous deeds).
They never once experienced deep and restful sleep, but instead would sleep very little which was merely the rest their body necessitated. They never desired the luxuries of this life. How then, is it possible to assert that they were guilty of oppression, usurping from others and committing injustices? The fact of the matter is that they had completely abandoned all worldly desires and had resigned themselves to the threshold of God. They were the ones who completely devoted themselves in the way of Allah.”
(Sirrul Khilafah, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 8, p. 328, (Urdu Translation, p. 32))
Thus, this is the true understanding of the rank and station of the four Caliphs as explained to us by the Promised Messiah (as). A Muslim will only be deemed a true Muslim when one recognises the rank and honour of these noble men and it is by removing their mutual differences [with other Muslims] that they can become part of one Ummah. Otherwise, conflict and internal disputes can be of no benefit to Islam. The enemy however, will use this to their advantage and indeed they are doing so as we are witnessing in this day and age. Thus, today, if one wishes to serve Islam and has the desire to safeguard it, then this can only be achieved by attaching oneself to the Champion of Allah, whom Allah the Almighty sent for this very purpose in this present era.
As I mentioned earlier, currently we are passing through the month of Muharram. Tomorrow or the day after is 10th Muharram, and on this day Shi’as express their sentiments with reference to the martyrdom of Hazrat Husain (ra). Undoubtedly, the manner in which Hazrat Husain (ra) was martyred was truly barbaric. During these days when the Shi’as express their sentiments for Hazrat Husain (ra) and Hazrat Ali (ra), or any other time for that matter, they also hold the view that the Promised Messiah (as) and his Community do not understand the true status of the family of the Holy Prophet (sa). The Ahmadiyya Community has always dispelled this misconception. From the extracts of the Promised Messiah (as), some of which I mentioned today, one can clearly understand what Hazrat Ali’s (ra) rank and honour was in the eyes of the Promised Messiah (as). At the same time we also consider the other three Caliphs to be truthful. In any case, with reference to the writings and sayings of the Promised Messiah (as), I will now mention the lofty rank and honour of the family of the Holy Prophet (sa), as explained by the Promised Messiah (as) and the advice he imparted to his community.
In his book, Sirrul Khilafah, the Promised Messiah (as) writes regarding Hazrat Ali (ra) and his family:
“He would encourage others to remove the difficulties of the helpless. He would command to feed the poor and needy. He was among those who were honoured with the nearness of God, and the foremost people who drank from the fountain of the Qur’an’s wisdom and was gifted with a deep understanding and insight of the intricacies of the Qur’an.”
The Promised Messiah (as) further states:
“I have seen him (i.e. Hazrat Ali (ra)), but not in a dream, rather in a state of wakefulness. I met him in a vision [Kashf] and whilst in this state; Hazrat Ali (ra) bestowed upon me the commentary of the Book of Allah, the Knower of the Unseen, and said:
‘This is my commentary; and now it is bestowed upon you; rejoice over that which has been bestowed upon you.’
Thus, I stretched forth my hand and took the commentary and thanked Allah, the Mighty and Bestower of All Things. I found Hazrat Ali (ra) to be of proportionate build, possessing moral excellence, humble, strong, and had a radiant countenance.
I affirm, on oath, that Hazrat Ali (ra) met me with great love and affection. It was conveyed to me that he knew me and was aware of my beliefs and he was also aware that my views and beliefs were opposed to the beliefs held by the Shi’as. But, he never expressed any sort of displeasure or disapproval at this, nor did he turn away from me. Instead he met like one’s beloved and showed me great affection just like a true and sincere friend would do so.
He was accompanied by both Hasan (ra) and Husain (ra) and by the Chief of the Messengers, the Seal of the Prophets (sa). Also in their company was a very beautiful, righteous young woman of high status; she was blessed, pure, dignified and worthy of honour: her inner and outer qualities were infused with spiritual light. I found her to be in a state of grief, which she was trying to suppress. It was conveyed to me that she was Fatimah az-Zahra.
I was lying down as she approached me and sat down next to me. She placed my head upon her thigh and was most kind to me. I noticed that she was sorrowful and anxious on account of my troubles, as mothers are anxious on account of the tribulations of their children.”
The Maulvis [clerics] who have polluted minds, raise allegations against this extract where the Promised Messiah (as) has written that Hazrat Fatimah (ra) placed his head on her thigh. The Promised Messiah (as) is saying this in the context of how a mother shows affection to her child, however, how can one explain this to those people whose minds are polluted? When ordinary Muslims hear their statements they think that Hazrat Fatimah (ra) has been dishonoured, God forbid. The Promised Messiah (as) clarifies it further on by saying she expressed her affectionate just like that of a mother [to her child].
Nonetheless, the Promised Messiah (as) further states:
“It was then conveyed to me that my relationship with her (i.e. with Hazrat Fatimah (ra)) was like that of a spiritual son. It passed through my mind that her sorrow was an indication of the persecution that I was to undergo at the hands of my people, countrymen and enemies. Then Hasan (ra) and Husain (ra) approached me and expressed their affection towards me like that of brothers and met me like kind well-wishers. This vision was one of those that I experienced while I was awake, and this took place many years ago. I have a unique relationship with Hazrat Ali (ra) and Hazrat Husain (ra), of which only God, the Lord of East and West, knows its true reality. In fact, I have deep love for Hazrat Ali (ra) and his sons. I am an enemy of the one who is an enemy of them. However, I am not unjust nor am I from among the oppressors. It is not possible for me to turn away from what Allah the Almighty has revealed to me, and I am not of the transgressors.”
(Sirrul Khilafah, (Urdu translation, pp. 110-112))
On another occasion, the Promised Messiah (as) states,
“In this poem [Qaseedah] which I have written in relation to Hazrat Imam Husain (ra) and Prophet Jesus (as) is not the work of any human effort (rather this was revealed to the Promised Messiah (as) by Allah the Almighty Himself). Most despicable is that individual who speaks ill against such perfect and righteous individuals. I have complete conviction that not a single person can remain alive for even one night having spoken ill against such righteous individuals like Husain (ra) and Prophet Jesus (as). Such a person will quickly be seized by the warning [of the Holy Prophet (sa)]
مَنْ عَادَ وَلِیًّا لِیْ
‘Whoever bears enmity with my Wali [friend]…’
Thus, blessed is the one who comprehends the heavenly affairs and ponders over the works of God.”
(I’jaz-e-Ahmadi, appendix Nuzul-ul-Masih, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 19, p. 149)
The Hadith which the Promised Messiah (as) has referred to is as follows:
مَنْ عَادَ لِیْ وَلِیًّا فَقَدْ اٰذَنْتُهُ بِالْحَرْبِ
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Riqaq, Bab At-Tawadi’, Hadith no. 6502)
i.e., “one who bears enmity with my Wali [friend], I will declare war against him.”
When one expresses their love and affection in a private gathering when no one else is present, it is indeed from the depths of one’s heart. Although, one with such pious disposition, who Allah the Almighty has granted a lofty status, every word of his emanates from within the heart, but for those who raise allegations it is worth knowing that what were the sentiments of the Promised Messiah (as) in his home [with regards to the family of the Holy Prophet (sa)]. These were not just expressed in his writings, sayings or in public gatherings, and neither did the Promised Messiah (as) speak about Hazrat Imam Husain (ra) and his love for the members of the Holy Prophet’s (sa) family only in front of others. In fact, he expressed his sentiments even in his private setting, whilst sat at home with his children.
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib (ra) relates:
“Owing to his great love for the Holy Prophet (sa), the Promised Messiah (as) also had boundless love for the Holy Prophet’s (sa) family and his companions (ra). Once during the month of Muharram, the Promised Messiah (as) was in his garden, resting on a charpoy [a traditional woven bed used in the Indian subcontinent]. The Promised Messiah (as) called upon our sister, Mubarka Begum (ra) and our late brother, Mubarak Ahmad – who was the youngest of our siblings – and stated, ‘Come, let me narrate to you the accounts of Muharram.’ The Promised Messiah (as) then recounted the events of Hazrat Imam Husain’s (ra) martyrdom in a very heartfelt manner. As the Promised Messiah (as) would narrate these events, tears would continuously flow from his eyes and he would wipe the tears away with the tips of his fingers. After the Promised Messiah (as) finished narrating this very painful story, he stated in great anguish, ‘This grave injustice against the grandson of the Holy Prophet (sa) was carried out by the impure Yazid. However, God Almighty swiftly seized these callous people with His wrath.’ At the time, the Promised Messiah (as) was deeply moved and the thought of the merciless martyrdom of this beloved [grandson] of his Master (sa) had left him in a state of deep anguish. This was all owing to his intense love for the Holy Prophet (sa).”
(Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib (ra), Seerat Tayyibah, pp. 36-37)
Hazrat Nawab Mubarka Begum Sahiba (ra) has also narrated this account as she personally witnessed it. She states:
“The Promised Messiah (as) was resting on the Charpoy in the garden. Me and Mubarak brought a turtle to show the Promised Messiah (as). The Promised Messiah (as) overlooked this and stated, ‘Come, let me relate to you the accounts of Muharram.’ And so, we both sat beside him. We were still passing through the first ten days of Muharram. The Promised Messiah (as) then began to relate the events of Hazrat Imam Husain’s (ra) martyrdom. The Promised Messiah (as) stated, ‘the grandson of the Holy Prophet (sa) was deprived of food and water and then martyred in the fields of Karbala by the hypocrites and cruel individuals.’ The Promised Messiah (as) then stated, ‘on that day, the sky turned red and within a period of forty days, the wrath of God Almighty seized the cruel murderers. They perished with all kinds of inflictions, some died of leprosy and some suffered in other ways.’ Whenever the Promised Messiah (as) would mention Yazid, he would refer to him as ‘Yazid, the impure’. The Promised Messiah (as) narrated very lengthy accounts and his own condition was such that he was extremely emotional. Tears would flow from his eyes which he would wipe away with his index finger.”
(Hazrat Syeda Nawwab Mubarka Begum Sahiba (ra), Tehreerat-e-Mubarka, p. 222)
When a person hears about the events of this great cruelty, their hair stands on end. It is narrated that when the enemy overpowered them, Hazrat Imam Husain (ra) tried to head in the direction of the Euphrates River, however his path was blocked and someone shot an arrow which struck him just above the chin leaving a deep wound. The perpetrators then launched a ferocious attack until Hazrat Imam Husain (ra) was martyred. The narrator states that prior to his martyrdom, he heard Hazrat Imam Husain (ra) say:
“By God, after me, you will not kill anyone whose death would incur the displeasure of God more than my death.”
Thereafter, Hazrat Imam Husain (ra) stated:
“By God, I am of the hope that God will humiliate you and grant me His mercy. And will then avenge my death on you in such a manner that you will be left astounded.”
After Hazrat Imam Husain (ra) was martyred, the perpetrators of this barbaric act then moved towards the camp of Hazrat Imam Husain (ra) where the members of his family were and began looting and even removed the veils from the heads of the women inside. After Hazrat Imam Husain (ra) was martyred and his body was lying [in the battlefield], the commander of the enemy called his men and asked, “Who will trample over his body with their horses?” Ten horsemen came forward and trampled over the body of Hazrat Imam Husain (ra) to the extent that the bones of his ribs and back were completely crushed. According to one narration, Hazrat Imam Husain (ra) had 33 wounds to his body caused by spear and 43 wounds by the sword in addition to the wounds caused by the arrows. Not only that but his head was cut off and sent to the governor, who ordered for it to be displayed in Kufa.
(Tarikh al-Tabari (translation), Vol. 4, pp. 253-257, p. 260, Dar-ul-Isha’at, Karachi, 2003), (Tarikh-e-Islam, Vol. 2, Akbar Shah Najibabadi, p. 76, Nafees Academy, Urdu Bazar, Karachi, 1998)
This was an act of extreme cruelty and even the most deplorable of enemies would not commit such a heinous act. I have just briefly narrated some of the events, however when the Promised Messiah (as) was narrating these accounts, tears were continuously flowing from his eyes owing to his intense grief.
Thus, how can one even claim that, God-forbid, the Promised Messiah (as) did not have any love for the family of the Holy Prophet (sa) or lacked true understanding of it. In fact, on one occasion, when the Promised Messiah (as) learnt that someone had spoken ill against Hazrat Imam Husain (ra), he strictly admonished his Community. The Promised Messiah (as) stated:
“Let it be known that I have been informed through a postal card that certain ignorant people, who associate themselves with my Community, have claimed that Imam Husain (ra) was amongst those who rebelled owing to his refusal of performing the Bai’at to the Khalifah of the time, i.e. Yazid and that Yazid was on the side of the truth, God-forbid.”
The Promised Messiah (as) further stated,
لَعْنَتُ اللَّهِ عَلَی الْکَاذِبِیْنَ
“Curse be upon the liars! I do not believe that such despicable words could be uttered by a righteous person of my Community. However, the thought also crossed my mind that since many of the Shi’a have also made me a target in their gatherings in which they speak ill of other Muslims, therefore it is possible that some ignorant and uncivilised individual may have given a foolish reply in response to their foolish statements. Just like those ignorant Muslims, who use harsh language against Prophet Jesus (as) in response to those Christians who speak ill against the noble status of the Holy Prophet (sa). In any case, through this pronouncement I wish to inform my Community that it is our belief that Yazid was of an impure disposition, a vermin and an extremely barbaric individual. He was completely devoid of all those traits by virtue of which one is considered a believer. To become a believer is not a simple matter. Regarding such people, Allah the Almighty states,
قَالَتِ الۡاَعۡرَابُ اٰمَنَّا ؕ قُلۡ لَّمۡ تُؤۡمِنُوۡا وَلٰکِنۡ قُوۡلُوۡۤا اَسۡلَمۡنَا
[The Arabs of the desert say, ‘We believe.’ Say, “You have not believed yet; but rather say, ‘We have accepted Islam…”(49:15)]
A believer is one whose actions testify their belief. Their belief is ingrained in their hearts and they give precedence to God and His pleasure over everything. They tread on the narrow and fine paths of Taqwa [righteousness] for the sake of God Almighty and become completely immersed in His love. They completely distance themselves from that which appears like an idol and becomes an obstacle in reaching God; whether it is a moral condition, a sinful act or any act of indolence or negligence. However, the ill-fated Yazid was devoid of all these qualities. In fact, he was blinded by his love for the world. On the other hand, Husain (ra) was a pious man and surely was from among the noble people whom God Almighty Himself purifies and fills them with His love and is from among the leaders of heaven. And to harbour even an iota of malice against him is detrimental to one’s faith. His righteousness, love for God, patience, steadfastness, piety and worship is a perfect model for us and we are the followers of that guidance which was granted to that innocent one. Such a heart is completely destroyed that bears enmity towards him but one that displays love for him through his actions and perfectly reflects every trace of his faith, morals, bravery, righteousness, patience and love for God will surely succeed, Just like a clean mirror reflects the features of a beautiful person’s countenance. Such people are hidden from the eyes of the world; no one is aware of their true rank except for those who are from among them. The eyes of the world cannot perceive them for they are very far from this world. This was the very reason for Husain’s (ra) martyrdom, for his true status was not recognised. Has the world ever loved the holy and noble ones during their lifetime that we would expect them to show love for Husain (ra)? The fact of the matter is that it is an extremely disgraceful and faithless act for one to dishonour Husain (ra). Anyone who dishonours Husain (ra) or those noble men from among the pure and righteous Imams or utters anything disrespectful against them, they ruin their faith because Allah, the Glorious One Himself becomes the enemy of one who bears enmity against His holy and beloved servants.”
(Majmu’ah Ishtiharat, Vol. 2, p. 653-654, Ishtihar no. 270, Tabligh-ul-Haqq, Rabwah)
Thus, after hearing all of this, how can one possibly say that the Promised Messiah (as) did not have any love for the family of the Holy Prophet (sa)? In fact, no one else had such true comprehension of this love as compared to the Promised Messiah (as) and Promised Messiah (as) has mentioned this himself as well. And where the Shi’as have exaggerated [in their narrations], the Promised Messiah (as) explained the true reality of the matters and similarly where the Sunnis erred, the Promised Messiah (as) pointed it out to them in order to reform their ways. This indeed was the duty of the Hakam [judge] and ‘Adl [just arbiter] and it was for the propagation and spread of the true teachings of Islam that Allah the Almighty sent the Promised Messiah (as). But despite this, both of these major sects oppose the Ahmadis and make us a target of their injustices. However, we must patiently and steadfastly continue to fulfil this mission that we have been entrusted with and for which we have pledged allegiance to the Promised Messiah (as) that we will spread the true message of Islam to the entire world. We must always keep in mind the example demonstrated by Hazrat Imam Husain (ra). In one of his couplets, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states:
وہ تم کو حسین بناتے ہیں اور آپ یزیدی بنتے ہیں
یہ کیا ہی سستا سودا ہے دشمن کو تیر چلانے دو
[They make you like Husain (ra) and become like Yazid themselves.
What a favourable deal this is, thus let them fire their arrows.]
(Kalam-e-Mahmud, p. 154)
God-willing, our present sacrifices will not go to waste. The Promised Messiah (as) has stated that although he has been likened to Husain (ra), however this time the outcome would be completely different because Allah the Almighty has destined for him to succeed. This time around the victory will manifest in apparent means as well and will be for those who possess the attributes of Husain (ra) and the enemy will be defeated and their efforts will go in vain.
(Al-Fazl International, December 31, 2010, p. 8 (Friday Sermon delivered on December 10, 2010)), (Khutbaat-e-Masroor, Vol. 8, pp. 635-636, (Friday Sermon delivered on December 10, 2010)).
Thus, in times like this when the opposition against us is at its peak, especially in Pakistan, we must particularly pray in this month but generally as well we should always remain engaged in prayers. We should invoke salutations upon the Holy Prophet (sa) [Durood] as much as possible. The more we prostrate before Allah the Almighty, the sooner He will grant us victory and success. During these days, especially pray for the other Muslims as well because the Muslim sects are bent on shedding the blood of one another. And particularly on the 10th Muharram, as is evident from past history, the Imambargah [Shi’a congregational halls] or other gatherings of Shi’a mourning are attacked and many are martyred for their faith as a result. Thus, may Allah the Almighty grant them the wisdom and this year may we not hear of any news from any country whereby Muslims have attacked other Muslims. And may these Muslims quickly understand this reality that the victory of Islam which Allah the Almighty has destined is only possible through the Promised Messiah (as). May they realise that all their success lies in entering the Bai’at of the Imam of the Age, Promised Messiah (as). May Allah the Almighty grant them the ability to understand this.
Original Urdu Transcript published in Al-Fazl International, September 18th, 2020, pp. 5-9. Translated by The Review of Religions