Saturday, April 16, 2011

Khalifa Sani on the Advent of Mujaddidin

The advent of a Mujaddid or a Divine reformer in the new century of Islam after the Promised Massih Hadhrat Ahmad (as) points to a serious spiritual obligation on the part of all Muslims, including the devout Ahmadis. For, the spiritual doctrine pertaining to the renewal of faith in every century of Islam approaches the issue as one of Divine Blessings for acceptance and also, a Divine Trial for rejection. It is incumbent upon all Ahmadis to recognize and accept and help such a Divine Reformer or a Mujaddid, whenever such servants of God make an appearance in the community of believers. 

In the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, with the appearance of Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius as the Divinely-raised Muhyi-ud-Din Khalifatullah- Renewer of Faith and the Khalifa of Allah- , Ahmadi Muslims are increasingly examining the books and other literary works left behind by the spiritual successors of the Promised Massih (as) in the past, to understand the real interpretation and true conception of the spiritual doctrine. Common Ahmadis often wonder about the true status of the institution of Khilafat as it exists in the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya. 

Many Ahmadis think that Qudrat-e-Saniya or the doctrine of second manifestation of Divine Power means the present Khilafat system in the Jamaat, whereby whenever there is a vacancy on the position of leadership, the community will come together and elect as the head a very sincere member of the Jamaat. By working together under his leadership, the Community can gain progress in all the works that the Jamaat is meant to do. This conception leaves no room for the acceptance of a Divinely raised soul outside of the electoral assembly devised for the purpose of selecting the Khalifa. While one can value and support the instition of man-made Khilafat so long as it retains its purity and limits of doctrinal framework, every one has the duty to be part of the arrangement.

But the moment Allah (twa) raises His Messenger in His Infinite Wisdom, it is the duty of all believers to humbly accept and recognize such a Divine servant. Every episode of the claim of beinga recipient of Divine revelations will necessarily involve a trial for the believers and as such, it shall be the duty of the leadership to show humility and careful deliberation to understand the Divine wisdom its complex setting, rather than seeking to ridicule the Divine Message being poured down through a humble servant of God. Viewed in this way, Ahmadis will be able to accommodate their system of elected leadership within the Divine framework   (Sunnat Allah) of sending His Elects among the people till the Day of Judgement.   

Hadhrat Mirza Basheeruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) (1889-1965), the Second Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, wrote a Five Volume Commentary on the Holy Qur’an, [UK: Islam Int’l Publications (1988)].  Though he was an elected Khalifa, Allah (swa) granted him truthfuldreams and visions and elevated him, with the fulfillment of the prophecy Musleh Maoud based on the glad tidings vouchsafed to the Promised Massih (as). No wonder, the Ahmadi Muslims wholeheartedly believe that angels came to inspire him in writing an interpretation and commentary of the Holy Qur’an.

In the interpretation of several verses of the Holy Qur’an, Khalifa Sani reflected on the status of Mujaddidin or Divinely inspired Teachers and Reformers and stated that they will appear till the end of times.

1. Hadhrat Musleh Maoud (ra) considered the Mujaddidin to be lamps that adorn the heaven of spiritual realm: 

“It is a Divine Law that when darkness spreads over the earth, a Heavenly Reformer is raised”. 

According to Hadhrat Musleh Maoud (ra), the Mujaddidin not only lit up a darkened spiritual realm, they also perform the role of a spiritual male for the procreation of a new world in a new Century.

Hadhrat  Khalifa Sani (ra)wrote, in explanation of Surah Al Lail, Verse 4, in the Commentary of the Holy Qur’an:

Procreation of man depends upon the coming together of two individuals of opposite sexes. The characteristic quality of the one the (male) is to give and of the other (the female) is to receive. Like the physical world, there are in the spiritual world, males- God’s great prophets and Divine Reformers- who teach and guide, and there are also spiritual females- their followers- who receive and benefit by the Divine Teaching. The verse embodies a hint that by coming together of the perfect Teacher- the Holy Prophet- and the ideal pupils- his Companions- a new world is about to be born”.   (HQ, 92: 2-4, pp. 2835)

2. Khalifa Sani believed that the Mujaddidin will come in the Latter Days as well.

In his Commentary of the Holy Qur'an, on the subtle, hidden implications of the verse 5, Surah Al Duha , Khalifa Sani (ra) wrote: 

The reference in the verse may also be to the Latter Days when the renaissance of Islam was to take place. The verse may also mean that Divine Reformers will continue to appear among Muslims during periods of decline to impart to the Faith a new life and a new vigour”. [HQ, 93: 5, Five Volume Commentary on the Holy Qur’an, pp. 2841].

3. Contrary to the prevailing doctrine in the Ahmadiyya Community, Khalifa Sani (ra) believed that Mujaddidin will continue to appear till the Day of Judgement. Based on his profound understanding of the hidden treasures of the Holy Qur’an, Khalifa Sani (ra) believed that Allah will raise Mujaddidin or Reformers “till the end of time”.

In the interpretation of Verse 4, Surah ‘Al Qalam’, Khalifa Sani (ra) states

It purports to say that the actions of a madman produce no useful result, but that the Holy Prophet will eminently succeed in fulfilling the object of his Divine mission and in bringing about a wonderful revolution in the lives of his degenerate people. And this revolution will not end with his death. On the contrary, whenever in future, his followers will deviate from the path of rectitude, God will raise among them Reformers who will regenerate them and will infuse in them a new life. And this process will continue till the end of time. This is the significance of the words, “and for you, most surely, there is an unending reward”. [HQ, 68: 3-5, Five Volume Commentary on the Holy Qur’an, pp. 2663].

4. Khalifa Sani (ra) further explained why the Mujaddidin will be send till the end of times. In his Commentary on Surah Al Naba , Khalifa Sani (ra) wrote: 


“Nations and communities, after undergoing heavy sacrifices are disposed to take rest. Consequently, there comes upon them a period of forgetfulness. This period is sometimes very long. Then a Divine Reformer appears and they are required again to make sacrifices for the cause of Truth. Thus the circle continues…in the period of spiritual darkness, before the advent of a Divine Reformer, good and bad people remain mixed up, and it is after a Reformer’s appearance that the good people are separated from the bad people”. [HQ, 78: 9-12, Five Volume Commentary on the Holy Qur’an, pp. 2747].

5. Based on his insight into the Holy Qur’an, Khalifa Sani (ra) astonishingly provided specific guidance about the appearance of Mujaddidin in the Muslim Ummah and the time frame as well as its impact upon the believers. In his Commentary on Surah Al Qadr , Khalifa Sani (ra) wrote: 

     (a) The time of the appearance of a great Divine Reformer is also called ‘Laila-tul- Qadr’ because at that time sin and vice hold widespread sway and the powers of darkness reign supreme”.

     (b)  Commenting on the verse, ‘Laila-tul- Qadr’ is better than a thousand months (97:4), Khalifa Sani opined that the verse “embodies an allusion to the appearance of Divine Reformers among the Muslims when they would stand in need of them. One thousand months roughly make one century and the Holy Prophet is reported to have said that God would continue to raise from among his followers, at the head of every century, a Reformer who would regenerate Islam and give it new life and new vigour (Maja). Thus, ‘Laila-tul- Qadr’ may signify the period of each one of these Divine Reformers”.  


© Regarding the inner peace enjoyed by believers in the time of a Mujaddid, Khalifa Sani wrote in explanation of verse 6, Surah Al Qadr: 

In the time of a Prophet or Divine Reformer a  peculiar kind of mental peace or equanimity descends upon the believers amidst hardships and privations. The heavenly happiness which inspires believers at that time transcends all material and sensuous joys”. [HQ, 97: 2-6, pp. 2858-60].        

6. Khalifa Sani also believed that rejecting a divine Reformer or Mujaddid is a punishable offence at the court of Allah. In the interpretation of Verse 7,  Surah ‘Al Mulk’, Khalifa Sani wrote:

“When Divine Reformers (Mujaddidin) appear in the world to remove distortions and interpolations that find their way into Heavenly Teachings, those who reject the Divine Reformers (Mujaddidin) deserve and get God’s Punishment. This is mentioned by implication also in the preceding verse” [HQ, 67: 6-7, Five Volume Commentary on the Holy Qur’an, pp. 2656-57].

7. Finally, the Holy Qur’an says: “We know best what they say; and you have not been appointed to compel them in any way. So admonish, by means of the Qur’an, him who fears My warning”. [HQ, 50: 46]   

For the second part, click here

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