After the death of the Promised Messiah, a system of Khilafat was instituted in the Ahmadiyya Movement which is similar to the Pious Caliphate that followed the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
In this system of Khilafat, some select members of the community elect a Khalifah by majority vote. The Khalifah is the religious head of the community and directs all affairs of the community in complete accordance with Islamic principles. The Khalifah usually asks for a Bai’at from the community members to re affirm their allegiance to him and to the cause of Islam.
To date, five Khalifahs have led the Ahmadiyya community after the death of the Promised Messiah. The names of these Khalifahs and the periods of their Khilafat are given below:
1st Khalifah Maulana Noor-ud-Deen 1908 – 1914
2nd Khalifah Mirza Basheer-ud-Deen Mahmood Ahmad 1914 – 1965
3rd Khalifah Mirza Nasir Ahmad 1965 – 1982
4th Khalifah Mirza Tahir Ahmad 1982 – 2003
5th Khalifa Mirza Masroor Ahmad 2003 – present
First Khalifah: HAZRAT MAULANA NOOR-UD-DEEN
At the death of the Promised Messiah, a score of the leading members of the Community got together and decided that Maulana Noor-ud-Deen should be requested to undertake the responsibility of leading the Community. This request was conveyed to Maulana Noor-ud-Deen in a written document signed by these people. After receiving the request, Maulana Noor-ud-Deen thought for a while and then said that he will give his reply after prayer.
After performing his Nafl Prayer, he suggested that the members of the Community gather in the garden where he would address them. In his address he told the fellow Ahmadi Muslims that he had never desired to be their leader. He even mentioned the names of seven other persons who, he said, were more deserving of this honour. Then he told the gathering that if they really insisted, he would be willing to carry this burden. He reminded them, however, that a person, who performed the Bai’at, gave up all his freedom in the cause of Islam. Finally, he urged the fellow community members to remain united.
His address was received with great acclamation and all those present performed the Bai’at at the hand of Maulana Noor-ud-Deen, who then became the First Successor to the Promised Messiah. Maulana Noor-ud-Deen was born in 1841, at Bhera, a small town in Sargodha District. He traced his ancestry to Omar bin Khattab, the second Caliph of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. He was extremely learned in the Holy Quran and was well known for his knowledge of natural medicine.
In 1865-66, at the age of 25, he traveled to the cities of Mecca and Medinah. He stayed there for nearly one and a half years to acquire religious knowledge.
On his return to Bhera, his home town, he started a religious school where he taught the Holy Quran and the Tradition of the Holy Prophet. Besides, he started practice in the natural medicine. In a short time he became well known for his healing powers and people traveled great distances to be treated at his clinic. His fame came to the notice of the Ruler of Kashmir, who appointed him his court physician in 1867.
Around 1871, at the age of 30, he married Fatima Bibi. This marriage lasted until 1905, when Fatima Bibi passed away. After her death, and on the insistence of the Promised Messiah, he married Sughra Begum.
In 1885, Maulana Noor-ud-Deen came across an announcement published by the Promised Messiah. He was so deeply impressed by it that he traveled to Qadian to meet the author. After meeting the Promised Messiah, Maulana Noor-ud-Deen was convinced of his truth and became a devout follower of his. When in 1889 the Promised Messiah started accepting the Bai’at, Maulana Noor-ud-Deen was the first person to be invited to perform it.
In 1892, the old Ruler of Kashmir died and the new Maharajah terminated his services. Maulana Noor-ud-Deen returned to Bhera and started the construction of a large clinic. In the following year he went to Qadian to visit the Promised Messiah. After staying there for a few days, he asked the Promised Messiah for permission to return to Bhera. The Promised Messiah asked him to stay a little longer. After a few days, the Promised Messiah asked him to have his wife come over and join him, which Maulana Noor-ud-Deen did. Then a little later, the Promised Messiah asked him to have his books shifted to Qadian. After some time, when Maulana Noor-ud-Deen again asked for permission to leave, the Promised Messiah replied:
“Maulvi sahib, forget about your home town now”
And this Maulana Noor-ud-Deen did. From that moment on, even the thought of ever returning to his home town never occurred to him again.
His life at Qadian was completely dedicated to the service of the Ahmadiyya Movement. He spent his time teaching, looking after the poor, treating the sick, proof reading the Promised Messiah’s books and in prayer and devotions.
Some of the important contributions made by Khalifatul Masih I towards the success of the Ahmadiyya Movement include the founding of Madrassah Ahmadiyya (The Ahmadiyya School), the entrusting of the English translation of the Holy Quran to Maulvi Muhammad Ali and establishment of the first foreign mission in England under the supervision of Chauhdry Fateh Muhammad Siyal.
In January 1914, the health of Khalifatul Masih I started to decline and continued to do so for the next two months. In early March, he wrote out his will while he was confined to bed. At his instruction, his will was read out to those who were present. Nine days later, on March 13, 1914, Khalifatul Masih I passed away. At the time of his death he was 73 years old, the same age as the Promised Messiah. He was buried in the Bahishtee Maqbarah, by the side of the Promised Messiah.
Maulana Noor-ud-Deen was truly an unselfish, unassuming, godly person. His most important characteristic was his unshakeable faith in God and his complete reliance on Him for all his worldly needs. He was extremely learned and was endowed with great knowledge of the Holy Quran. Consequently, the Promised Messiah had great love and regard for him and expressed it in one of his Persian poems:
“How good would it be if every one of the community would become Noor-ud-Deen”.
Second Khalifah: HAZRAT MIRZA BASHIRUDDIN MAHMUD AHMAD
At the death of Khalifatul Masih I, Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad became the second successor of the Promised Messiah and continued to lead the Community for nearly 52 years.
Birth And Early Childhood
Mirza Bashiruddin was born in Qadian on January 12, 1889 and was the eldest of the five surviving children of the Promised Messiah. Throughout his childhood and early youth, Mirza Bashiruddin suffered from chronic bad health and always fared poorly in his school exams. He could never concentrate on his studies and eventually failed his high school exam. But he took a deep interest in the study of the Holy Quran and learned it from Maulvi Noor-ud-Deen who was a great scholar in this field. Later in his life, Mirza Bashiruddin not only studied the religious literature of Islam and other faiths, but also developed an unusual comprehension and mastery of many scientific, economic and political disciplines.
When the Promised Messiah died, Mirza Bashiruddin was only 19 years old. He stood by the body of his holy father and made a pledge in these words:
“If all others should leave you and I should be left alone, yet I will stand against the whole world and shall not heed any opposition or hostility”
Later events will show that both, his resolve in the face of difficulties and his commitment to the cause of Ahmadiyyat, were fulfilled to the most elegant manner.
In 1911, at the age of 22, Mirza Bashiruddin set up an association with the name of Majlis Ansarullah, under the auspices of Khalifatul Masih I. This Association of the Helpers of God carried out much useful work in the education of the Community and the upbringing of its youth.
In the year 1912, Mirza Bashiruddin performed the pilgrimage to Mecca. In 1913, he started the publication of a weekly paper called Al Fazl which, in the course of time, became a daily newspaper of the Ahmadiyya community.
Election As Khalifah
On March 13, 1914, the First Successor of the Promised Messiah, Maulvi Noor-ud-Deen, passed away and the newly born Ahmadiyya Movement was faced with a serious crisis. There was a small faction in the Community, led by Maulvi Muhammad Ali, who wanted to do away with the system of Khilafat. During the Khilafat of Maulvi Noor-ud-Deen, these dissenters could not freely give voice to their feelings. At his death, therefore, they openly opposed this system and wanted to defer indefinitely the election of the next Khalifah.
The day after the death of Khalifatul Masih I, his will was read out to some 2,000 Ahmadis who had gathered in the mosque. In this will, Maulvi Noor-ud-Deen had suggested that the Community elect a new successor. Maulvi Syed Muhammad Ahsan then stood up and formally proposed the name of Mirza Bashiruddin. After this, the entire congregation shouted, “We second it”. Shortly afterwards, all present took the Bai’at or the oath of allegiance at the hand of Mirza Bashiruddin, now the Second Khalifah of the Promised Messiah.
Maulvi Muhammad Ali and other dissenters left the congregation without performing the Bai’at. In a few days they even left Qadian and moved to Lahore where they founded their own organization under the name of Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at Islam. The followers of Maulvi Muhammad Ali are commonly referred to as Lahoree Ahmadis and differ with the Ahmadiyya Movement on two important points:
1. The Lahoree Ahmadis regard the Promised Messiah as only a Reformer and not a Prophet.
2. As a consequence of the above belief, they argue that the Successors of the Promised Messiah should not be called Khalifahs.
Today, the members of the Anjuman at Lahore are only a very small fraction of the Ahmadi Muslims living all over the world.
Main Achievements Of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II
The 52 year long period of Mirza Bashiruddin’s Khilafat gave the Ahmadiyya Movement great stability and visionary direction. The Movement progressed in this period in leaps and bounds. Below, we will read about some of the achievements of the Second Khalifah.
(i) Missionary Work:
Immediately after taking over the office of Khilafat, Mirza Bashiruddin intensified the missionary work of the Ahmadiyya Movement both inside India and abroad. As a result of this effort, a number of new missions were opened in foreign countries, some of which are listed below:
In 1915, first missions were established in Ceylon and Mauritius.
In 1920, the first mission was opened in the United States of America.
In 1921, the first missionary was sent to the West African countries. Since then many missions, schools and hospitals have been established in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Ivory Coast, and Liberia.
In 1924, the foundation of the Fazl Mosque in London was laid by Khalifatul Masih II himself.
In 1925, the first mission was set up in Indonesia
In 1928, a mission was established in Haifa, Palestine. This place is now in Israel.
In 1934, the first mission in East Africa was opened.
In 1935, a mission was also established in Japan. This mission had to be closed at the outbreak of the second World War and was reestablished in 1969, during the period of Khalifatul Masih III.
In the period 1935 38, missions were opened in many East European countries such as Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Albania. At the outbreak of the Second World War these missions had to be closed. After the war, these countries came under Communist rule and the missions, therefore, could not be revived.
In 1938, a mission was established in Burma.
In 1945, a mission was opened in France but was closed down after a few years.
In 1946, a mission was opened in Aden.
In 1946, the first mission was opened in Spain.
In 1947, a mission was established in Holland and the first mosque was built in The Hague in 1955.
In 1948, the first mission in Switzerland was opened and the mosque at Zurich was built in 1963.
In 1949, a mission was established in Hamburg, West Germany and a mosque was built there in 1957. A second mosque was built in Frankfurt in 1959.
In 1956, the first mission was opened in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since then, missions have been opened in other Scandinavian countries namely, Sweden and Norway.
In 1960, the first South American mission was opened in Guyana.
In 1960, a mission was also established in the Fiji islands.
(ii) Tahreek e-Jadeed:
In November 1935, Khalifatul Masih II initiated the scheme of Tahrik-e-Jadeed. Under the nineteen demands of this scheme, the Ahmadiyya Community was urged to lead a simple life, to make sacrifices in the cause of Islam and to volunteer their lives for missionary work. The scheme was initially proposed for a period of three years but was made permanent very soon. Under this scheme of Tehrike Jadeed today, missionary programmes are being carried out all over the world.
(iii) Waqf-e Jadeed:
In 1958, Khalifatul Masih II set up the organization of Waqf e Jadeed to carry out the missionary work inside Pakistan. Under this scheme, volunteers were asked to dedicate their lives to educate the rural population of the country and teach them the true religion of Islam.
(iv) Community Organized by Age Groups:
For the better functioning of the members of the Community, Khalifatul Masih II established various organizations for the different age groups. The male members of the Community were divided into three age groups:
Atfalul Ahmadiyya: for boys 7 to 15 years old
Khuddamul Ahmadiyya: for the youth 15 to 40 years old
Ansarullah: for men above the age of 40
Similarly, the female members of the Community were organized into:
Nasiratul Ahmadiyya: for girls 7 to 15 years of age
Lajna Imaillah: for ladies above the age of 15
These various organizations are very active in Pakistan and abroad. They carry out programmes not only relevant to their own class and age group, but also for the benefit of the community at large. This organization of the Ahmadiyya Community into various classes and age groups greatly helped in promoting affectionate ties of mutual brotherhood and sisterhood.
(v) Majlis-e Mushawarat:
In 1922, the Khalifatul Masih II set up a consultative body to advise the Khalifah on many important matters related to finance, budget, education, missionary projects and other affairs of the community. This advisory body formally meets at least once every year. The number of the delegates to this Majlis keeps growing in response to the growth of the community. Currently, the delegates number more than 500.
(vi) Public Awareness of Islam:
In the early twentieth century in India, Islam was a much maligned religion and slanderous remarks were frequently made against the character of the Holy Prophet of Islam. To create public awareness of the true teachings of Islam and of the real character of the Prophet Muhammad, Khalifatul Masih II introduced public meetings in which representatives of other religions were invited to give speeches on the life and work of the Holy Prophet. These meetings were very successful in spreading the message of Islam and improving inter faith relations.
Claim to be the Promised Son
By 1939, the Ahmadiyya Movement had completed 50 years of its existence and Khalifatul Masih II had completed 25 years of his Khilafat. The Movement had made remarkable advances during the Khilafat of Mirza Bashiruddin and the feeling was growing among the members of the Community that he, indeed, was the Promised Son regarding whom the Promised Messiah had made the famous prophecy. But Mirza Bashiruddin had refrained from making any public claim so far.
Finally, on January 28, 1944, Khalifatul Masih II related a dream of his in the Friday sermon. According to this dream it was made clear to him that he was indeed the Promised Son.
Later on, he called special meetings of the Community to re affirm this fact. These meetings were held in the following places:
Hoshiarpur: on February 20, 1944
Lahore: on March 12, 1944
Ludhiana: on March 23, 1944
Delhi: on April 16, 1944
In all these meetings he told the public that through various dreams, visions and revelations, God had made it clear to him that the prophecy regarding the Promised Son was fulfilled in his own person.
Migration To Pakistan
On the creation of Pakistan, in August 1947, many of the Muslims living in India moved to the new Islamic state. Khalifatul Masih II also decided to move the administrative centre of the Ahmadiyya Movement from Qadian to Pakistan. Some 313 Ahmadis stayed behind in Qadian to take care of the founding place of Ahmadiyyat, while the rest moved to the new country.
On September 20, 1948, about a year after moving from Qadian, Khalifatul Masih II laid the foundation of the new centre at Rabwah. At the time of its founding, Rabwah was a waste, desert land with no vegetation and frequent dust storms. Over the past forty years, Rabwah has grown into an exemplary Muslim community complete with schools, colleges, hospital, institutions of religious learning and offices of the Ahmadiyya Movement. Rabwah is also the official residence of the Khalifah.
Attempt On Life
In March 1954, an assassin attacked Khalifatul Masih II with a knife while he was leading the afternoon Prayers in the Mubarak Mosque in Rabwah. He received a deep wound in the neck, which could have been fatal had it gone a little deeper. Khalifatul Masih was 65 years old at the time.
Although the wound healed in due course, it shattered his nerves leading to a severe nervous fatigue a year later. After recovering somewhat, he traveled to Europe for medical treatment on the advice of his doctors. After staying there for about six months, he returned to Rabwah.
After his return from Europe, he undertook the writing of the Shorter Commentary of the Holy Quran, in the Urdu language. The strain from this work plus other demands of his office, led to strong nervous fatigue in 1958. From then on, his condition gradually worsened till, on November 8, 1965, Khalifatul Masih II passed away. He was 77 years old at the time of his death. Next day he was buried in the Bahishtee Maqbarah at Rabwah.
The Writings Of Khalifatul Masih II
Some of the important writings of Khalifatul Masih II are listed below:
Tafseer e-Kabeer: The Larger Commentary of the Holy Quran
Tafseer e-Sagheer: The Shorter Commentary of the Holy Quran
Dawatul Ameer: Invitation to the Chief (published is English under the title of Invitation to Ahmadiyyat)
Tohfatul Malook: A Present for the Kings
Haqiqatul Nabuwwat: The Truth of Prophethood
Saire Roohanee: The Spiritual Stroll
Inqilabe Haqeeqee: The True Revolution
Hindustan ke Siyasi Mas’ala ka hal: The Solution to the Political Problem of India
Paighame Ahmadiyyat: The Message of Ahmadiyyat
Fazail al Quran: The Excellences of the Holy Quran
Hasti Bari Taala: The Existence of God
Malaikat Allah: The Angels of God
Islam ka Iqtisadi Nizam: The Economic System of Islam
Introduction to the Study of the Holy Quran
Third Khalifah: HAZRAT HAFIZ MIRZA NASIR AHMAD
With the death of Khalifatul Masih II, the Ahmadiyya Community was once again faced with the task of electing the new Khalifah. The wounds of dissent, which the community had incurred after the death of the first Khalifah, had healed but their memory was still fresh. To safeguard against a similar dispute arising again, Khalifatul Masih 11 had established an Electoral College for the election of the Khalifah. The members of this college numbered about one hundred and fifty and included, among others, the Amirs of various circles in Pakistan, heads of the various central organizations and senior missionaries of the Movement.
At the death of Khalifatul Masih II, the Electoral College met in the Mubarak Mosque in Rabwah. When the votes were cast, Mirza Nasir Ahmad, the eldest son of the departed Khalifah, was elected by an overwhelming majority. Immediately, some five thousand Ahmadis waiting outside the mosque for the results, performed the Bai’at at the hand of Khalifatul Masih III. He was 56 years old at the time.
Birth And Early Life:
Mirza Nasir Ahmad was born on November 16, 1909 and, by the young age of 13, had committed the entire Holy Quran to memory. In 1934, at the age of 25, he graduated from Government College, Lahore, with honours in Arabic. The same year he got married and soon afterwards proceeded to Oxford University for higher education. After obtaining his degree from Oxford, he returned to Qadian in 1938. From that day till he became the Khalifah in 1965, Mirza Nasir Ahmad held a number of important positions in the Ahmadiyya organization:
1938 – 1939 Professor, Jamia Ahmadiyya, Qadian
1939 – 1944 Principal, Jamia Ahmadiyya, Qadian
1939 – 1949 Sadar, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya
1949 – 1954 Naib Sadar, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya
1944 – 1965 Principal, Talimul Islam College
1954 – 1965 Sadar, Majlis Ansarullah
1955 – 1965 President, Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya
1965 – 1982 Khalifatul Masih III.
Main Achievements of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih III
As Khalifatul Masih III, Mirza Nasir Ahmad led the Community for nearly 17 years and contributed a great deal towards the progress of the Movement in the missionary work at home and abroad. Some of the noteworthy achievements of Khalifatul Masih III are mentioned below:
(i) Fazle Omar Foundation
In 1965, Khalifatul Masih III established the Fazl e Omar Foundation in the memory of Khalifatul Masih II, who was named Fazl e Omar in one of the revelations of the Promised Messiah. The purpose of this foundation was to carry on all the works in which the departed Khalifah had taken particular interest. An appeal was made to the community to raise 2.5 million rupees as the capital of the foundation. The community participated in this venture overwhelmingly and the actual contributions far exceeded the initial target which was then raised to 5.2 million rupees. The main objectives of the foundation are:
- to assist in research work
- to assist in new missionary venture
- to assist in new educational effort
- to assist in economic welfare
(ii) Khilafat Library:
On October 3, 1971, the Khalifatul Masih III inaugurated the Khilafat Library in Rabwah. This library can accommodate 50,000 books and has ample space for readers, research scholars and administrative work.
(iii) Nusrat Jehan Scheme:
After touring the West African countries in 1970, Khalifatul Masih III announced a scheme to expand the activities of the Movement in West Africa through the establishment of a number of schools and hospitals.
The new scheme was named Nusrat Jehan Scheme and Khalifatul Masih Ill appealed to the Community to raise 100,000 pounds sterling over the next three years. Furthermore, he appealed to the Ahmadi teachers and doctors to volunteer themselves for service in these African countries.
The response of the community in making financial donations as well as volunteering their services was overwhelming. Very soon, schools and hospitals started to be established in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Gambia and Sierra Leone. The results of this scheme have been most gratifying. The effort of the Movement has not only provided educational and medical services in remote regions which were completely devoid of any such facility, but, more importantly, the close contact of Ahmadi doctors and other workers with the local population has forged strong bonds of international brotherhood.
(iv) Waqfe Aarzee:
Waqf Aarzee means the temporary donation of one’s time. Khalifatul Masih III instituted this scheme early in his Khilafat, under which Ahmadi Muslims would spend at least two weeks of their time at a designated place in the country and teach the local community the Holy Quran and explain to them the true religion of Islam.
(v) Centenary Jubilee:
At the Annual Gathering held in Rabwah in December 1973, Khalifatul Masih III announced that the Ahmadiyya Movement will celebrate its 100th anniversary on March 23, 1989. The celebrations will start on March 23 and will continue throughout the year, finishing at the Annual Gathering of the same year.
The Centenary Jubilee will not only mark the 100 year existence of the Ahmadiyya Movement, but also the culmination of an intensive programme undertaken in the intervening years which would involve:
- the establishment of additional missions abroad
- the translation of the Holy Quran in French, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Yugoslavian languages
- the publication of Islamic literature in al least 100 languages of the world
- the installation of printing presses in Pakistan and abroad
- the establishment of a broadcasting system in a foreign country.
Khalifatul Masih III appealed to the Community to pledge 25 million rupees to finance the various projects envisaged under this centenary celebration scheme.
Persecution of Ahmadis In Pakistan
Like the Muslims of the early days of Islam, Ahmadis have had their share of discrimination and persecution. Although the opposition of the Ahmadiyya Movement by the mullahs and orthodox Islamic clergy dates back to the days of the Promised Messiah, organized discrimination and persecution has greatly intensified since the creation of Pakistan.
The fast major outbreak of severe violence against the Ahmadis occurred in 1953, during the Khilafat of Mirza Bashiruddin, Khalifatul Masih II. At that time, the government of Pakistan had to impose Martial Law within the country to curb the rioting and looting against the Ahmadis.
The second wave of such anti Ahmadiyya activities started in 1974 and was backed by the government of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. During this period, many Ahmadi homes were looted and burned, the community was boycotted, many Ahmadis in the higher echelons of the government and the armed forces were retired, and a number of the community members were put to death.
These outrages against the Ahmadiyya Movement culminated in a resolution of the National Assembly of Pakistan, on September 7, 1974, which declared the Ahmadis as non Muslims under the law and constitution of the country.
Throughout these extremely trying circumstances, the Ahmadiyya Community displayed a remarkable sense of restraint and self control and bore these outrages with great patience and forbearance.
Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who used to take great pride and credit for declaring the Ahmadis non Muslims, came to a sorry end. On July 5, 1977, less than three years after the resolution of the National Assembly, he was removed from office by the Martial Law regime of General Ziaul Haq. Bhutto was then imprisoned and charged for the abetment of the murder of a political opponent in 1974. He was convicted on March 18, 1978 and hanged on April 4, 1979, despite many pleas for clemency by many countries. Bhutto’s age at the time was 51 years and 3 months. This incident marked the fulfillment of the Promised Messiah’s revelation and prophecy:
“He is a dog and he will die on the numeric value of dog”
In this revelation the Promised Messiah was given the intimation that the value of the letters in the word “dog” points to the age of the person. The Arabic word used for dog in his revelation was “klb” which, under the letter valuing system, amounts to the number 52. In explanation of this revelation the Promised Messiah wrote in his book Azalah Auham:
“He is a dog and he will die on the numeric value of the letters in dog; which amount to fifty two. This means that his age will not exceed fifty two years and that he will die within the course of his fifty second year”
This prophecy of the Promised Messiah made in 1891, was fulfilled word for word, eighty eight years later.
Illness And Death
In June 1982, Khalifatul Masih III was taken ill while visiting Islamabad. The illness proved fatal and on June 9, 1982, Khalifatul Masih III passed away. His body was taken to Rabwah where, on the following day, he was buried in the Bahishtee Maqbarah.
Fourth Khalifah: HAZRAT MIRZA TAHIR AHMAD
After the death of the Khalifatul Masih III, the Electoral College convened in the Mubarak Mosque in Rabwah to elect the new Khalifah. After the votes were cast, Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the son of Mirza Bashiruddin and the grandson of the Promised Messiah, was elected by as overwhelming majority as the Fourth Khalifah of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam.
Mirza Tahir Ahmad was born in Qadian on December 18, 1928. He obtained his high school education at Talimul Islam High School, Qadian, and his early college education at Government College, Lahore. In 1949, he enrolled in the Jamia Ahmadiyya missionary college at Rabwah and successfully completed his Shahid examination in 1953.
In 1955, he went to England where he undertook some higher studies and also performed missionary services. After staying in Europe for two and a half years, he returned to Rabwah.
Since 1958, Mirza Tahir Ahmad has held a number of important positions in the organization of the Movement, some of which are listed below:
1958 Nazim Irshad, Waqf e-Jadeed
1960-1966 Naib Sadar, Khuddamul Ahmadiyya
1961 Member, Iftaa Committee
1966-1969 Sadar, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya
1976 Director, Fazle Omar Foundation
1974 Member of the representative delegation to the Pakistan National Assembly
1979-1982 Sadar, Majlis Ansarullah
1982-2003 Khalifatul Masih IV
The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam continued its rapid progress under the leadership and guidance of its fourth Khalifah. New missions and mosques were opened; members of the Community were urged to call people unto God and to make additional sacrifices of their time and their wealth. In the face of this new zeal that started to pervade the Community, the government and the Muslim clergy in Pakistan mounted another wave of opposition, restrictions and persecutions. This culminated in the formation of a Government ordinance which severely restricted the freedom of religious expression on the part of the Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan.
In view of the nature of these restrictions, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the Fourth Khalifah of the Promised Messiah, decided to leave Pakistan and came to London, England, in April 1984. He undertook this migration to safeguard the institution of Khilafat, which was increasingly coming under great danger in Pakistan, and to continue to lead the Community, an act which was being denied in the home country.
The Khilafat of Mirza Tahir Ahmad faced a new level of national and international opposition and persecution. But, despite all these setbacks, the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam continued to make significant progress in the areas of missionary work, translations of the Holy Quran, publishing of Islamic literature and increasing spiritual fervour among its members.
Fifth Khalifah: HAZRAT MIRZA MASROOR AHMAD
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