Friday, March 11, 2011

Promised Massih (as) on Islamic Khilafat

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”.---(Chapter 24; Verse 56).

Reflecting on this Qur’anic promise, the Promised Massih Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian states:

If a person reflects upon these verses, he will realize that God Almighty has clearly promised the Muslims a permanent Khilafat. If this Khilafat were not permanent there would have been no sense in describing it as resembling the Khilafat of the Mosaic dispensation…

He who limits it to thirty years, foolishly overlooks the true purpose of Khilafat, and does not realize that God Almighty did not design that the blessings of Khilafat be limited to thirty years after the death of the Holy Prophet (sa) and that thereafter, the world may go to ruin…

There are many other verses in the Holy Qur’an, which give glad tidings of a permanent Khilafat among the Muslims, and there are also several Ahadith to the same effect…” [Shahadathul Qur’an, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 6, pp.339-352]

The noble prophecy of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) in this regard is clear and unmistakable“God will continue to raise among these people, in the beginning of each century a man who would teach them the spirit of Islam and thus, in a manner renew the days of the Prophet”. It was to preserve the spirit of the Holy Book that the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa) was given the glad tiding of a wonderful arrangement of Elects of Allah being raised in every century.

Hadhrat Ahmad (as) fully believed in the authenticity of this Hadith and projected it in support of his famous claim as the Mujaddid of the Fourteenth Century. Even in his testamentary declarartion,  Al Wassiyyat, he wrote:

Had the world opened its eyes it would have seen that I appeared at the beginning of a century. Nearly one fourth of the fourteenth century has elapsed…(p.7).  He truly believed that for the development of high qualities among believers and the achievement of salvation for everyone, the Beneficent Lord has made “the arrangement in every century so that His creatures should not fail in any age to attain the stage of absolute certainty”.

According to Hadhrat Ahmad (as), “[t]he principal quality of Islam is that its blessings always accompany it. It does not speak only of the past but offers present blessings as well. The world is always in need of blessings and heavenly signs. It is not as if it needed them in the past and does not need them now...

A weak and helpless human being who is born like a blind is in need of knowing something of the heavenly kingdom and needs to see some sign of the existence and power of God in Whom he believes. The signs of a past age cannot suffice for a subsequent age, for hearing is not the same as seeing and, by the passage of time, past events become like stories. Every new century, in a manner of speaking, starts a new world. Therefore, the God of Islam, Who is the True God, manifests new signs for the new world.

At the beginning of each century, especially at the beginning of a century which has strayed far away from faith and integrity and is enveloped in many darknesses, He raises a substitute Prophet in the mirror of whose nature is exhibited the form of a Prophet. Such a one demonstrates to the world the excellences of the Prophet whose follower he is and convicts all opponents through the truth and the display of reality and the frustration of falsehood”. (A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khazain, Vol.5, pp.245-247)

Hadhrat Ahmad (as) thus had a broad understanding of religious history and a profound sense of spiritual experience. He did not reduce the concept of Islamic Khilafat solely to the category of leaders being elected by the assembly of people. For the Promised Massih (as), the Islamic Khilafat consisted of not only the four righteous Khalifas who were elected by people to preside over the Muslim community at a time when no divinely ordained Mujaddid was around. For him, Islamic Khilafat also included the divinely ordained Mujaddidin who were raised at the turn of every century. 

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