In a Hadith recorded in Sahih Al Bukhari, the Holy Prophet of Islam (sa) ruminates about the decline of scholarship and eclipse of spiritual knowledge and right understanding. And in another tradition, the Holy Prophet (sa) spoke about the emergence within the Ummah of misguided (and misguiding) leaders who will deviate people from the Straight Path through their ignorant pronouncements. The traditions are as follows:
"God Almighty does not take away the knowledge of Islamic Law and Faith by removing its books from His servants, but He takes it away through the death of scholars. When all scholars pass away, the public will make ignorant people their leaders; when they are asked about something, they answer without knowledge; they are misguided and they misguide others."
According to the Promised Massih (as), the traditions of the Holy Prophet (sa) are actually the profound commentary of the verses of the Holy Qur’an. These Ahadith could arguably be linked to what Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: “And among men is he who disputes concerning Allah without knowledge and without guidance and without an illuminating book.”(22:9)
In his book “The Victory of Islam”, Hadhrat Ahmad (as) confirms that within a century after the departure of a Divinely-raised Reformer, the community drifts away from the straight path of Sahih Al Islam. Through their grand theological discourses over satellite television and Internet, these leaders misguide the people when they seek guidance on spiritual matters. That is because they speak without knowledge and without divine guidance.
Truth be told, none has exceeded Mirza Masroor Ahmad Sahib, the Fifth Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Community, in paying a greater tribute to the wisdom and truthfulness of these prescient prophecies about the state of spirituality in Islam over time! Through his ignorant pronouncements on Islamic Khilafat and the future of Mujaddidiyat in recent months (May 27 and June 10, 2011), Masroor Sahib is guilty of trampling upon the teachings of the Promised Massih (as) and worse, casting aspersions on the profound Divine Scheme of permanent Khilafat for Muslims.
In order to perpetuate the mythical grandeur of the Ahmadiyya Khilafat and to preempt any doubts about its aura in the spiritual realm, the Fifth Khalifa has fed a very appealing story to the faithful: That Islamic Khilafat ended in 30 years, Islam was without its divinely-raised Khulafa for 1400 years and that the Khilafat was reestablished after the death of the Promised Massih (as). A common Ahmadi hearing this story would be forced to bend before the Khalifa as the poor man (and woman) was told that the Divine system has come out of the world after a period of 14 centuries and all blessings originate from there!
Ahmadis need to awake from their bliss of ignorance if they want to know the true conception of Khilafat and the real teachings of the Promised Massih (as) in this regard. The Promised Massih (as) literally frowned upon the idea of 30-year Khilafat in Islam, pointing out that Islam offers permanent Khilafat for all times.
In his book “Shahadatoul Qur’an ” Hadhrat Ahmad (as) says:
…It is a pity that those who hold this view do not reflect upon the word caliph which is related to istikhlaf, for caliph is applied to a successor, and only such people can be a successor to the Prophet in the true sense who possesses within them the Apostle's qualities by way of being a reflection. For this reason, the Holy Prophet did not want the word caliph to be applied to tyrannical monarchs, because the caliph is in reality the image of the Apostle. And since no human being lives forever, God willed that the prophets, who are the best and most superior of all the beings of the world, should continue to exist permanently, by way of reflection, till the Day of Judgment. So for this purpose God instituted the khilafat in order that the world should not be deprived of the blessings of apostleship in any age whatever.
The Promised Massih (as) further states:
Therefore, the person who accepts the caliphate of only thirty years ignores its real purpose through his folly. He does not know that it was most certainly not Allah's purpose that it is only essential to continue the blessings of apostleship after the Holy Prophet's death through the caliphs for a mere thirty years, and after that He would not care a whit even if the world was facing destruction. In fact, in the early days the caliphs were needed for not much more than spreading the power of Islam, because the lights and blessings of prophethood were still being disseminated newly and freshly, and thousands of miracles had just then poured down like rain.
Had God so willed, it was not beyond His law to extend the life of the Holy Prophet by thirty years, instead of having four caliphs. At the end of this thirty year period the Holy Prophet would have reached 93 years of age, and this is not much more than the ages attained in those times, nor is it in excess of the law of nature regarding human life span which we observe before us.
Can sound sense propose the despicable idea about the Merciful, Kind God, that He cared about this Muslim people for only thirty years and then left them wandering permanently, and the light which from ancient days He had been showing within the followers of previous prophets in the mirror of khilafat, He did not approve of showing for this people? Most certainly not..."
By embracing the myopic vision of Islamic Khilafat, the Fifth Khalifa may have been seeking to put his office on a pedestal. However, the razor- sharp arguments of the Promised Massih (as) have cut the present Khalifa to his real place and shape. This episode raises troubling questions for the Ahmadis and their Khalifa:
(a) Since Ahmadis believe that their Khalifa is God- appointed, how come the current Khalifa entertains ideas that tarnish the reputation of Islam as a living religion for all times?
(b) If Islam offers permanent blessings and such men were always present throughout history as the Promised Massih (as) points out, what is so special about the current Ahmadiyya Khilafat?
(c) If the Khalifa has such twisted understanding about an issue on which the Promised Massih (as) wrote so very clearly, comprehensively and eloquently, is he really capable of guiding the Community?
(d) When the man-elected Khalifa seeks to eclipse the spiritual verities, is it surprising that a Divinely- raised Khalifa (Khalifatullah) has come to revive the lost teachings of the Promised Massih (as)?