“He who dies without [recognizing] the Imam dies the death of ignorance”.
This is one of the authentic Hadiths recorded and reported by several distinguished Hadith scholars, including Musnad Ahmad, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn-e-Khuzaimah and Ibn-e- Habban.
According to the Promised Massih (as): “This Hadith is enough to make the heart of a righteous man seek after the Imam of the age, for to die in ignorance is such a great misfortune that no evil or ill- luck lies outside its scope. Therefore, in keeping with this testament of the Holy Prophet (sa), it becomes incumbent upon every seeker after truth to persist in his quest for the true Imam”. [Darurat-ul-Imam, p. 2, Qadian: Nazarat Nashro Isha’at, (2007)]
In the same book, the Promised Massih (as) clearly identified the distinguishing qualities of the Imam and pointed out that Prophets, Messengers, Muhaddithin and Mujaddidin- all of whom invariably enjoyed divine converse- are the Imam of the Age in their times (p.39). By way of more clarity, the Promised Massih (as) further added: “But those who are not appointed by God to educate and guide God’s creatures, nor have they been vouchsafed such excellences, regardless of their being saints or seers, cannot be called the Imam of the Age” (p. 39). This is the express guidance left behind by the Promised Massih (as) through his eloquent commentary on the importance of accepting the Imam of the Age.
Yet, today Ahmadis have fallen into ignorant ways. None other than the Fifth Khalifa Mirza Masroor Ahmad Sahib presides over this Age of Ignorance in the annals of Ahmadiyya Islam. Misguided ideas have come to be their theological doctrines and they virtually follow their fancies, instead of the teachings of the Promised Massih (as)
Look at this example. Today, Ahmadis offer an interesting excuse to reject an authentic Hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) and the guidance of the Promised Massih (as) regarding the raising of an Imam in every Age. In his blinkered spin, the Khalifa himself is suggesting that he is the Mujaddid of the Age without ever claiming that he is a recipient of divine revelations or that Allah has appointed him to this position. He also feels that every righteous person helping the work of the “Jamaat” is a “Mujaddid” in his own right!
Imagine, if every believer is Imam of the Age, as the Fifth Khalifa is saying, what is so special about following in the footsteps of the Imam? What should we do with the guidance offered by the Promised Massih (as) in the book Darurat-ul-Imam? The minimum quality of the Imam of the Age is that he should be a frequent recipient of divine revelations and must enjoy communion with Allah. How can we elevate the present Ahmadiyya Khalifa to this august spiritual position and status when he himself refuses to claim for himself any of these basic qualities?
According to the Promised Massih (as), “[t]he term Khalifa means the successor who renews the faith. After the time of Prophets when (again) darkness prevails; those who advent to remove it are called Khalifa”. (Malfoozat, Volume 2, Page 666)
“Allah the Exalted has made people in need of this thing that among them there be a Messenger; Appointee, Mujaddid. Instead they want that every one of them is a Messenger and they consider themselves self-sufficient and not in need of it. This is a severe Sin.” (Malfoozat, Volume 5, Page 244)
Thus, a Khalifa or a Mujaddid or an Imam of the Age appears to remove spiritual darkness and not to spread a “severe Sin”- “every one of them is a Messenger and they consider themselves self-sufficient and not in need of it”. Now that the Fifth Khalifa makes the Jamaat to think that they are self sufficient and are not in need of divine guidance, where is he leading them all?
The Holy Qur’an testifies that previous generations have made the mistake of blindly following their leaders and scholars even when they deviated from the path of Allah and such people, invariably found themselves in the fire because of their sin. “And we made them Imams who called people unto the Fire; and on the Day of Resurrection they will not be helped” (28:42).
Thus, in the age of ignorance, believers have to be careful against the misleading and misguiding pronouncements from their religious divines. As a consequence of their non-recognition of the Imam of the Age, these “Imams” (28:42) will make embarrassing mistakes in the explanation of spiritual doctrines, for their eyes and ears operate under a spiritual veil.