Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Interpreting the Prophecy on Khilafat

Ahmadi scholars usually quote a prophecy of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) regarding Khilafat in support of the permanent nature of the elected Khilafat in the Ahmadiyya Community.


"Prophethood shall remain among you as long as Allah shall will. He will bring about its end and follow it with Khilafat on the precepts of prophethood for as long as He shall will and then bring about its end. A tyrannical monarchy will then follow and will remain as long as Allah shall will and then come to an end. There will follow thereafter monarchial despotism to last as long as Allah shall will and come to an end upon His decree. There will then emerge Khilafat on precept of Prophethood. The Holy Prophet said no more”. (Mishkat).



The argument is that “Khilafat on precept of Prophethood” shall remain continued after the advent of Imam Mahdi till the Last Days.  They point out that “the Holy Prophet said no more” is an indication that Khilafat on precept of Prophethood” shall remain uninterrupted. In other words, the silence of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) has profound meaning: there is nothing more to be said on the subject. One can only admire the spirituality of those who value not only the express words of the Holy Master (sa), but also the profound meaning of his silences at times. But the important question here is this: Can his silence be interpreted against his express words in other times or even against the context in which he remained silent?



The Fourth Khalifa Hadhrat Mirza Thahir Ahmad Sahib is on record stating that in this tradition, Mujaddidin are included in the Khilafat that existed before the advent of Imam Mahdi. But, he also claimed that no Mujaddidin are mentioned afterwards in this noble tradition. As it happens, the Prophetic tradition uses the same phraseKhilafat on precept of Prophethood” (khilafathun ala minhajunnubuvva) both before and after the advent of Imam Mahdi. So, the argument that Khilafat in the past included Mujaddidin but cannot include them after the advent of Imam Mahdi do not hold water when examined against the express words of this noble tradition.


It is ironical that the silence of the Holy Prophet (sa) in the tradition is being sought to be misinterpreted only to denigrate his other prophecy regarding the coming of Mujaddidin in every century. These arguments will only be rubbished for what it is by those who fear Allah alone: a desperate attempt to perpetuate an elected,  family Khilafat system within the Community even at the cost of denying God’s Messengers.

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