Sunday, March 13, 2011

'Khalifa': Different Types and Ranks

According to the Holy Qur’an, only a person appointed by Allah Himself and enjoys His converse on a sustained basis and receiving revelations from the Holy Throne can be considered a Khalifatullah or the Caliph of Allah. With regard to Hadhrat Adam (as), the Holy Book states: I am going to place My Khalifah in the earth”. [2:31]. 

Like wise, with regard to Hadhrat David (as), the Holy Book states: O David, We have made you a Khalifah in the earth’ [38:27]. And in both cases, it is patently obvious that the servants of God being addressed invariably enjoyed Divine converse and were appointed by Allah Himself as His Messengers or Khulafa.

Apart from the two Messengers of Allah who were described as the Khalifah of Allah, the Holy Qur’an also speaks about another type of Khalifas. It refers to the subordinate Prophets who are Khalifas of another and a greater prophet such as the Israelite Prophets who all were the Khalifas of Moses. 

The Holy Qur’an states: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 exchange security and peace after their fear; They will worship Me, and they will not associate anything with Me. Then whoso disbelieves after that, they will be the rebellious”. (24:56).

According to Hadhrat Ahmad (as), the phrase as He made Successors from among those who were before them’ is a clear reference to the Khalifas of Moses who were all Prophets.

The Holy Qur’an further states in another verse: 

Surely, We sent down the Torah wherein was guidance and light. By it did the Prophets, who were obedient to Us, judge for the Jews, as did the godly people and those learned in the Law; for they were required to preserve the Book of Allah, and because they were guardians over it. Therefore fear not men but fear Me; and barter not My Signs for a paltry price. And whoso judges not by that which Allah has sent down, these it is who are the disbelievers”.  (5:45)  

According to  the Musleh Maoud Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad (ra), this verse indicates a third kind of Khalifas in the spiritual order.  According to him, it can be deducted from this verse of thee Holy Qur’an that the Non-Prophet Khalifas of a Prophet, with or without temporal powers, such as “godly people and those learned in Law” are also a rank of Khilafat. Their mission is to protect and preserve the Law from being tampered with.  

The term used in the Holy Book is Rabbani” (godly people) and ‘Ahbar’ (those learned in law). 

According to Abdullah Yusuf Ali,Rabbani may, I think, be rightly translated by the Jewish title of Rabbi for their learned men, Jewish learning is identified with Rabbinical literature. Ahbar is the plural of ‘hibr’ or ‘habr’, by which we may understand Jewish Doctors of Law. Later, the term was applied to those of other religions”. [A.Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation and Commentary, New Delhi: Kitab Bhawan, p.256, fn. 751]. 

The term “godly people and those learned in the Law” essentially denote the religious divines and legal scholars elected or selected by the spiritual community to lead it at a time when an Elect of Allah is not present among them. In the entire text of the Holy Qur'an, we cannot read about a single Khalifah elected by people being divinely appointed. However, it does not mean that the “godly people and those learned in the Law” who are raised to the position of apostle of a Prophet  shall not be capable of handling the burden of this task till the arrival of an Elect of Allah. This view is in consonance with the larger message of the Holy Qur’an, the traditions of the Holy Prophet (sa) and the understanding of Hadhrat Ahmad (as) himself.  

The Promised Massih (as) specifically asked the community of his followers to remain united under a single spiritual leadership till the arrival of an Elect of Allah.  Hadhrat Ahmad (as) stated:

Let the righteous persons of the Jama‘at who have pure souls accept Bai‘at in my name. God Almighty desires to draw all those who live in various habitations of the world, be it Europe or Asia, and who have virtuous nature, to the Unity of God and unite His servants under one Faith. This indeed is the purpose of God for which I have been sent to the world. You, too, therefore should pursue this end, but with kindness, moral probity and fervent prayers. And till that time when someone inspired by God with the Holy Spirit is raised by Him, all of you should work in harmony with one another.(Al Wassiyyat, p.9)

It is pertinent to note that the aforesaid Qur’anic verse (5:45), which is considered as the basis of Ahmadiyya Khilafat, contains a declaration pregnant with profound spiritual meaning: “Therefore fear not men but fear Me; and barter not My Signs for a paltry price. And whoso judges not by that which Allah has sent down, these it is who are the disbelievers” (5:45).

Any one who dispassionately and objectively reflects on the verse cannot evade what it forebodes. The indication is possibly that in course of time, people will start fearing these “godly people and those learned in the Law”, rather than fearing Allah and accepting His Messengers when they arrive. Indeed Allah described these kinds of people in the Qur’an: “They have taken their godly people and those learned in the Law for lords besides Allah (9: 31)

In this age, most common Ahmadi brothers are ignorant of the theological nuances and interpretative understandings that sustain the edifice of Ahmadiyya Khilafat. Many of them blindly follow their assembly-elected Khalifa and imagine that he is Divinely-appointed, like the Prophets and Mujaddidin of the past and they wrongly consider that Allah (swt) will not raise Divine Servant in this age and all teachings and blessings are bestowed and confined to this man-elected Khilafat system the Community has invented for themselves. In short, the leadership and the Ulema within are committing and inciting people to commit, without thinking, knowing and realizing, the crime of elevating fallible men to be "lords besides Allah" 

In this age, Allah (swt) has raised His Messenger Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius as the Muhyi-ud-Din/ Mujaddid/ Khalifatullah, and has sent to us with the Divine Revelations, to reform the conduct of all people, including Ahmadi Muslims. 
The Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, its Khilafat and Nizam system and its priestly coolies are in denial. They seek to confuse and deviate people from recognizing the majesty of Divine Scheme for our times through all types of strategies and pretenses possible.  Is the leadership of the Ahmadiyya Community and its Ulema mindful of the Qur’anic injunction: “fear not men but fear Me and barter not My Signs for a paltry price”?