The Muslim Harald
Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will, surely, make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors from among those who were before them; and that He will, surely, establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that after their state of fear He will grant them peace and security. They will worship Me, and they will not associate anything with Me. Then who disbelieve thereafter, they will be the rebellious ones. (24:56)
Prophecy of the Holy Prophet
Prophethood shall remain among you as long as God wills. He will bring about its end and follow it with Khilafat on the precepts of prophethood for as long as He wills and then bring about its end. Kingship shall then follow to remain as long as God wills and then come to an end. There shall then be tyranny which shall remain as long as God wills and come to an end upon His decree. There will then emerge Khilafat on the precepts of Prophethood (Musnad-i-Ahmad).
Teachings of the Promised Messiah
“Brethren, since it is the practice of God from ancient times that he shows two manifestations in order to frustrate two false exultations of His enemies, it is inconceivable that He should abandon this established practice. Therefore you must not be grieved at that which I have mentioned, nor should your hearts be afflicted, for it is necessary for you to witness the second manifestation whose appearance is better for you, for it is everlasting and unending till the Day of Judgment.” (Alwasiyyat, pp. 6-7).
“It is God’s design to gather around His Unity all those souls who possess innate faith and abide in different lands, be they in Europe or Asia, and to muster His people under one religion. This is the purpose of God for the accomplishment of which I have been commissioned. Therefore you should pursue this purpose with meekness through constant prayers, and you should work in unity after me until someone is raised amongst you with the Holy Spirit from God.” (Alwasiyyat, p.7)
“It is necessary for you to witness the Second Manifestation whose coming is better for you, for it is everlasting and unending till the Day of Judgment. The Second Manifestation cannot occur until I depart, and it is only when I depart that God shall send the Second Manifestation for you which shall abide with you forever. It is, therefore, necessary for you to see the day of my departure so that the day may follow which is the day of everlasting promise…. I have appeared from God as a glory and I am one of His glories duly personified, but there shall be other persons after me who shall bear the glory of His Second Manifestation.” (Alwasiyyat, p.6)
“Khalifa means successor, and a Messenger’s successor in real terms is he who possesses the Messenger’s virtues by way of reflection. The Holy Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not wish to apply the title of Khalifa to wayward monarchs because Khalifa is in fact a reflection of the Messenger. Since it is not possible for any man to live forever and God willed to keep alive until the Day of Judgment the reflection of Messengers, who are the noblest and highest among mankind. He therefore designed Khilafat so that the world may never remain devoid of the blessings of Messengership.” (Shahadtul Quran, pp. 57-58).
Admonitions of Khalifatul Masih I
“I have told you repeatedly and showed it from the Holy Quran that it is for God rather than man to appoint a Khalifa. Who made Adam a Khalifa? God said: I am going to appoint a Khalifa on earth. The angels objected but what did they reap as a result? You will find from the Quran that in the end they had to submit to Adam. Therefore, anyone who objects to my Khilafat, even though he might appear as an angel, I will have to tell him to submit himself to the Khilafat of Adam. If, out of pride and stubbornness, he chooses to become Iblis, then he must remember the consequences suffered by Iblis. I say it again that even though someone appeared as an angel and objected to my Khilafat, his righteous nature shall guide him to the submission of Adam.” (Badr, 4th July, 1912).
“I advise you and do so again and repeat my advice countless times with all the emphasis at my command to leave mutual acrimonies and jealousies and cast away the robe of advising me. The time you spent in admonishing me were better spent in prayers in search of God’s grace. Your counsel shall have no effect on me. Keep the protocol. Whatever I say is for your benefit rather than out of any pride in me. Just as a shopkeeper opens his shop early in the morning, so do I tend to do my business and look after my patients. I am very anxious to earn my own living lest you should fall into any trial. It is more dangerous for you to lack unity than your being rocked by a powerful explosion or an earthquake.” (Badr, 21st October, 1919)
“I am now your Khalifa. If anyone says that the Promised Messiah did not appoint me by name in Alwasiyyat, then I should tell him that so were Adam and Abu Bakr not mentioned by name in earlier prophecies. There is a great subtle point in the booklet of the Promised Messiah and I shall presently explain it to you. He left to God the choice of the person who was going to be the Khalifa, but told fourteen people amongst you to be the joint Khalifas of the Promised Messiah so that any matter decided by the fourteen shall be final and binding and acceptable to the Government too. Eventually all these fourteen persons performed the covenant of Bai’at at the hands of one man as Khalifa and thus you were welded into one bond. Thus not only the fourteen persons but the entire community agreed upon my Khilafat. Now whosoever goes against this unanimous decision of the community is guilty of an affront to God. God says in the Holy Quran: Anyone who follows a path different from that of the believers, We shall let him pursue the bent of his inclination and shall cast him into hell and an evil destination it is.
I have read Alwasiyyat thoroughly. In it indeed the fourteen persons named have been called Khalifas of the Promised Messiah and their majority decision has been given the seal of finality. Now witness that the same pious believers whom the Promised Messiah chose for succession unanimously agreed to appoint one person as a Khalifa and they advised the rest of the community to follow suit. Do you think that God will now wreck the entire boat? (Indeed he will help them to reach their destination – Ed.). Hearken ye, therefore, that should you commit a breach of the covenant you would make yourselves liable to the punishment decreed in the verse: He requited them with hypocrisy in their hearts. The reason why I have gone the length of explaining this to you is that some of you keep showing signs of vacillation in their faith.” (Badr, 21st October, 1909).
“I say it with all the emphasis at my command that I shall not discard the robe bestowed upon me by God. I could not care less if you became my opponents and the rest of the world joined you too. There is a promise from God’s Appointee, and we have witnessed its fulfillment that He shall not cast aside this community as worthless. Strange are His mighty ways and all-pervaling is His surveillance. You fulfill your part of the covenant and then witness the progress you make and the success you achieve.” (Badr, 21st October, 1909)
“When I die, someone whom God wills shall take my place ….. You have entered into a covenant at my hands. Do not, therefore, question my Khilafat. God has appointed me as Khalifa, and now I cannot abdicate at your bidding, nor has anyone the power to remove me from the office. If you press your antagonism too hard then you must bear in mind that I have such Khalid bin Walids at my disposal who will punish you.” (Badr, 4th July, 1912).
“Anyone who says that I have already appointed someone as a Khalifa after me is wrong. I have no knowledge of who shall be Khalifa after me or what will happen in future: whether he would be a better person than me, I do not know. I have not appointed anyone to be Khalifa after me, nor do I do so now, nor is it my duty. Only God appoints Khalifas and He alone will appoint someone after me to this office.” (Al Hakm, 28th February, 1914).
“To say that Khilafat has not reached the rightful heirs is a motion of sacrilege mongers. Therefore you should repent of this notion. God chose for the office the person whom He thought most deserving. Anyone who opposes this is a liar and a transgressor. Be like angels and submit yourselves in obedience and avoid the ways of Iblis.” (Badr, 4th July, 1912, p.7).
“If you wish to perform the covenant of Bai’at at my hands, then remember that Bai’at means selling yourself to another. Once the Promised Messiah hinted to me that I should forget about my home town. From then onwards I put my mind and honour at his disposal and never thought of my town again. Therefore Bai’at is a difficult covenant in consequence of which one has to abandon all one’s freedom and aspirations.” (Badr, 2nd June, 1908).
“Someone wrote to Khalifatul Masih I enquiring whether it was obligatory to enter into the covenant of Bai’at with him. He replied that whatever degree of obligation applied to the principal Bai’at was also applicable to the subsidiary Bai’at. The Companions of the Holy Prophet gave precedence to performing the Bai’at at the hands of the Khalifa before burying the Holy Prophet, may peace and blessings of God be upon him.” (Badr, 3rd March, 1910).
The pronouncements of Musleh-i-Maud, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II
“A prophet has two lives, personal and communal, and God starts both these lives with the act of revelation. His personal life begins at the age of about 30-40 years when it is revealed to him that he has been chosen by God…. His communal life also starts with an act of revelation inasmuch as when he dies a sudden revolution from God leads his followers to the new order… it is for this reason that the Promised Messiah has called this stage as the “Second Manifestation.” (Khilafat-i-Rashida, pp.61-62)
“By the Grace of God, the times of our community’s advancement are drawing closer. The days are not far when hordes upon hordes of people shall join the community. From different lands will come numbers of believes and an era will dawn when whole towns and villages shall accept Ahmadiyyat. I am a man and the one in whose times these glories shall occur and he who shall follow me will also be a man. He alone would not be able to teach Ahmadiyyat to all those new adherents. You will have to join in the process of educating them. Therefore you should try to learn now so that you may impart your learning to others. God has decreed that you shall be the professors of the faculty of faith, and therefore it is absolutely necessary for you to become well versed in it so that you may be able to teach others.” (Anwar-i-Khilafat).
“Brethren, it is my last advice to you that all blessings are enshrined in Khilafat. Prophethood is a seed after which Khilafat spreads its munificencies throughout the world. Therefore hold fast to Khilafat and shower the world with its blessings…. And keep reminding my descendants of their family’s convenants in this behalf.” (Alfazl, 20th May, 1959).
“Remember that your progress depends on Khilafat and the day you forget and forsake this stake shall be the day of your doom. On the other hand if you appreciate the significance of Khilafat and uphold the institution then even though the whole world may rise against you, you shall not perish…. A few individuals may lose their lives, obstacles may arise, difficulties may be encountered, but the community as a whole shall never die. Every day it shall see new horizons of progress. The death of an individual would be like that of the legendary giant whose death gave birth to thousands more like him.” (Darsul Quran, p.73).
“Faith means to obey the call of the representative of God… one might repeat a thousand times that one believes in the Promised Messiah and in the message of Ahmadiyyat, but this utterance would be of little value in the estimation of God unless one proceeds hand in hand with the person through whom God has decreed the spread of the message of Islam in this age. Until every member of the community devotes every moment of his life in absolute submission to this person he cannot expect any special favours from God.” (Alfazl, 15th November, 1946).
“I acknowledge the fact that the love which the community bears for its Imam is unique; nevertheless I do say that this is more of a subjective nature than of practical value. There are very few whose love forces them not to rest until they have followed every words of the Halifax.” (Report of Majlis Mushawarat, 1936).
“You can accomplish your task by consulting and seeking the guidance of him to whom God reveals His will, favours him with revelation and has made him the Khalifa and Imam of this community. The more you attach yourselves to him, the more blessed would be your actions: the more you keep away from him, the more wretched would be your deeds. Just as the only branch which bears fruit is the one which remains attached to the trunk, so too can only that person who remains attached to the Imam do any useful work for the community. A person who does not keep himself attached to the Imam cannot even achieve as much as a kid no matter however learned he might be.
Remember, only God appoints a Khalifa and false is the person who claims that human beings make this appointment. Khalifatul Masih I stressed this point continuously during the six years of his Khilafat. A study of the holy Quran also shows that nowhere in it has the appointment of a Khalifa been ascribed to human beings.” (Kaun Hai Jo Khuda Ke Kaam Rok Sake).
“Khilafat is an important Institution of Islam and the religion of Islam cannot progress without it. It is only through Khalifas that Islam has made any progress and the same will apply in future.” (Darsul Quran p.72, published November 1921).
“Khalifa is higher in status than a Mujadid (Reformer). His sole function is to institute the laws of Sharia and to establish the faith; therefore, it is not possible for a Reformer to appear at the same time. A Reformer appears only at a time when Faith has been disrupted.” (Alfazl, 8th April, 1947).
“O’ Believers and those who act righteously, I advise you that Khilafat is a great blessing of God and you should have due regard for it. As long as a majority among you keep faith and act righteously God will keep you blessed with His favour. But if a majority among you cease to have faith and righteousness then God may or may not continue this favour unto you. There is, therefore, no question of there being a bad Khalifa. Khilafat shall be taken away from you the moment you become corrupt. Therefore, do not be ungrateful nor look down upon God’s revelation. Just as the Promised Messiah has commanded, engage yourselves in prayers so that God may keep you blessed with an era of the Second Manifestation…. Keep praying so that the glory of the Second Manifestation may abide with you and Faith may be established on firm foundations and the devil may despair of interfering with it.” (Lecture entitled Khilafat-i-Rashida, p.1).
Exposition by Khalifatul Masih III
“Islam claims that the purpose of man’s creation was to set up a vicegerent of God capable of manifesting His attributes. In the Holy Quran we read: I am going to appoint a Khalifa in the earth. That is, before the creation of man, God informed His angels that He was going to create a being who would be His representative and a manifestation of His attributes. In another place the Quran says: He it is Who has made you Khalifas in the earth and whoso disbelieves shall suffer the consequences of his disbelief.
It is only God who has appointed man as His Vicegerent so that by making use of his appropriate faculties he can become a manifestation of God’s attributes. This is a great responsibility and anyone who does not pay due regard to it will naturally suffer the consequences of his default. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said: Adopt the attributes of God. The true purpose of man’s creation is to achieve the real purpose of all creation so that a complete manifestation of God’s attributes should appear at both ends of the scale. One aspect of God’s attributes is viewed through the physical form of the universe and the natural laws governing it. The other aspect appears through man and his ability to make use of the universe as a Vicegerent of God.
According to Islam, God is the Creator and the True Master of everything, but He entrusted this creation to man as His Vicegerent. Ownership therefore is of two types: Principal and Subsidiary. Principal ownership, of course, vests in God, but man has been given the right of ownership in a subsidiary way. Just as ownership is of two types, so too is the method of appointing vicegerents. One type of vicegerent is appointed by God Himself and is called a Prophet of God, and the other type comprises rulers elected by people themselves. Between these two types Islam has introduced a third type of vicegerent bearing the combined features of the two types and is denoted by the Islamic term Khalifa. On the one hand a Khalifa is a vicegerent appointed by God the True Master and on the other he is a ruler accepted by human beings the subsidiary masters. The Islamic view of Khilafat is therefore that although it is God who appoints a Khalifa, yet He processes the appointment through human beings consisting of believers who are steadfast in their faith and righteous in their conduct whose minds and deliberations are guided by the controlling hand of God to the appointment of His choice.
It is evident therefore that consequent upon the election of a Khalifa through the will of God and the act of believers, the right to remove him vests in God alone. If God feels the necessity of changing a Khalifa He causes him to die and appoints another of His choice through the act of believers. Khalifas therefore cannot be removed by people themselves and whoso thinks otherwise bears the seeds of hypocrisy and insolence, and that is why Khalifatul Masih I addressed some of the waverers as follows:
God has made me Khalifa and now I cannot resign this office at your behest nor is anyone of you empowered to remove me… if I am Khalifa it is because God has appointed me as such according to the best of His designs. No power can remove a Khalifa appointed by God and therefore none of you is empowered to do so… leave this matter to God, for you are not given the power of removal. I remind you that again it is clearly written in the Holy Quran that God alone appoints Khalifas. I declare it on oath that I too have been appointed to this office by God Himself just as He appointed Abu Bakr and Omar as Khalifas…. There is no Association which is responsible for my appointment, nor do I care about it or whether it abandaons me now. No one has the power to disrobe me of the mantle of Khilafat.” (Badr, 4th and 11th July, 1912).
“It is evident from the foregoing that since the removal of a true Khalifa is entirely and directly a prerogative of God and although in the appointment of a new Khalifa believers are made to participate to crystallize the will of God, it is un-Islamic, unholy and highly insolent to talk about a new Khalifa or to indulge in scheming and machinations for or against a popular or unpopular figure during the life of an existing Khalifa. True believers keep away from this type of hypocritical and odious talk. Indeed not even the slightest thought of this nature crosses their minds and they take to task anyone whom they see indulging in his type of sacrilege.
I cannot help mentioning that our leader, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II, was an extremely loving father, whose favours upon his children were countless. One of his greatest favours were the prayers he offered for his children and the loveliest among them was the one I quote below:
“Hypocrites allege that I am scheming to appoint the next Khalifa from amongst my children, whereas it is a preserve of God alone to do so. If any of my children shall entertain the type of thought he shall not escape the wrath of God. I therefore add that you may also pray that non of my children may ever entertain an iota of this thought and that their hearts may remain completely free from it, for whosoever tries to tread upon God’s preserves shall certainly bear the consequences.” (Alfazl, 1st November, 1956).”
“I call God to witness that this prayer of Khalifatul Masih II and the community was accepted, and God, out of His Grace, has certainly helped us keep away from this type of hypocritical and odious thinking and I pray that God the Almighty may keep us astride the path of His pleasure and may He keep closed the apertures of our hearts and minds to the Evil One and his protégés….” (Ansarullah, April 1964, written prior to this Khilafat).
“God shows the might of His power by choosing an aged and frail person. It was said of Khalifatul Masih I that he was an old man without intelligence, but God showed that despite his age he was in the care of God and under His supervision and, therefore, his opponents could not succeed against him. Sometimes God selects a young person and people think that because of his lack of maturity and wisdom the community might be doomed. However, God shows that although His choice fell upon a child, He Himself was not a child and was quite capable of showing His Second Manifestation through a person of tender age. Eventually the same child is able to frustrate his opponents. At other times God selects a middle-aged person whom the world regards incapable of leading the community, which task may indeed be beyond his capacity. But surely nothing is beyond God’s capacity. He makes a choice of this type of person and consumes his soul through the mighty manifestation of His glory so that the person so selected sometimes feels the urge to tell the world, in the ecstacy of God’s love and affection, that he needs no more of temporal support. God then makes use of him for the purposes and to the extent that He desires and grants him His support and succour to prove to the world that He indeed is the possessor of all powers and glories.” (Friday sermon, Alfazl 17th March, 1967).
“It is our belief that God alone appoints Khalifas. If this function had been left to human beings, even then they would have selected someone superior among them. But since God makes the choice, He makes no mistake. He might select an apparently weak person whom people generally look down upon. After selecting him, God shows His great and mighty glory through him which melts away the appointee’s former self and casts him into a new mould. He disappears from this world into the glory of God whereupon God takes him into His protection and warns his opponents to fight Him if they have the power to do so. He tells them that although His choice was a weak person lacking knowledge and vigour and, in their view, short of pity and righteousness, yet God has taken him into His care, and they will have to submit themselves to him. This happens because God wishes to show to the world that through Khilafat His will is fulfilled to the utter bewilderment of people’s reckoning.” (Alfazl, 17th March, 1967). (The Muslim Harald)