Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Misguiding 'Sathyadoothan' !

Sathyadoothan’ [in Malayalam, it means “True Messenger”] is the Malayalam organ of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Kerala. This venerable journal, established in the early part of the last Century by very distinguished Ahmadi elders, has had an enviable record of enlightening the people of Kerala on the mission and message of the Promised Massih (as) through its elegant articles. Of late, however, unfortunately, the journal is repeatedly drifting away from its high standards, even making blatant errors in the interpretation and understanding of the views of the Promised Massih (as). It is now virtually misleading and misguiding Ahmadis on the most important spiritual issue of the day: the future of Divine Guidance.

In its quest for elevating the status of the current Khilafat arrangement in the Community among its common members, the monthly journal is on a campaign mode:  that Allah cannot and will not raise a Mujaddid in the new century because the current and Fifth Khalifa is Divinely- appointed and guided. It argues that the status of the Khalifa is even above that of Mujaddidin who appeared in every century of Islam. And the institution of Mujaddidiyat is inexplicably dismissed as a mere “temporary phenomenon” that happened to last through the entire Islamic Era. Astonishingly, it put the Khilafat of early Islam (that lasted only 30 years after the death of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) and in spite of its perceived absence for over a millennium from among the Muslims) as the “enduring phenomenon” which made a reappearance after the death of Hadhrat Ahmad (as) with the institutionalization of Khilafat in the Community in 1908.

While dismissing the very need for Mujaddidin in the presence of the “permanent” Ahmadiyya Khilafat, the Journal is cautious enough to acknowledge that prophets can come even in future as the Holy Qur’an keeps the door open for revelation and prophethood through its several verses. It begets a pertinent question: Will the coming Messenger of Allah not be the Mujaddid of his era? Why only the Khulafa elected by men can be raised to these Divine offices as Elects of Allah when the Holy Qur’an offers this possibility of spiritual elevation for ALL righteous believers? 

Even while describing Hadhrat Ahmad (as) as the Mujaddid of the Millennium, the current Khalifa of the Community is on record stating that an Ahmadiyya Khalifa can declare himself as the Mujaddid if and when Allah so informs him through revelation [Friday Sermon of June 10, 2011]. In other words, even the Khalifa does not believe that a Mujaddid will not be raised in future. This is in spite of what his own disciples and scholars of the Jamaat are expressly holding forth in their articles in the Sathyadoothan.   

Today, Ahmadi scholars are projecting a distinction between Khilafat and Mujaddidiyat. In the July 2011 issue of the Sathyadoothan, in an article entitled “Nubuwwat and Khilafat” [p.30-33], Muhammad Farooq Sahib quotes a Hadith in support of the view that ‘Khilafat’ in Islam was to end in 30 years after the death of the Holy Prophet (sa).

About this very Hadith, Hadhrat Ahmad (as) says:

“To argue that it is said in the Hadith that khilafat shall be for thirty years is strange logic. When the Holy Quran says: "A multitude from among the earlier ones, and a multitude from among the later ones", what kind of sense is it to adduce a hadith against it and take its meaning as contradicting the Qur’an?” [Shahadatoul Qur’an, p.41]

It is amazing that even after consulting and quoting from the same book of the Promised Massih (as)- Shahadatoul Qur’an- in his article, the writer chose to over rule the perspective of the Imam of the Age. The simple fact is that Hadhrat Ahmad (as) has nothing to do with this creative doctrine designed to put the current Khilafat on a pedestal and thereby, thwart any attempt by Allah to raise a common Muslim with a divine mission. In fact, the new doctrine fundamentally undermines and subverts the structural framework of divine guidance in Islam as explained by the Promised Massih (as).

In countless places, the Promised Massih (as) wrote that the Ayat Isthikhlaf (24:56) refers to perpetual Khilafat among Muslims and that the promise regarding Khilafat was fulfilled through the coming of Mujaddidin in every century of Islam and that Mujaddidiyat is the “permanent institution” till the Day of Judgement. He adduces several reasons to show the perpetual character of the Khilafat offered by Islam:

...Then the following point should also be considered. Given that God had explained by use of an analogy that He would raise caliphs among the Muslim people in the same manner as He raised successors after Moses, one should see what course did God follow after the death of Moses: did He send successors for only thirty years, or did He extend this series for fourteen hundred years?

Then again, as the grace of God upon our Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, was far greater than that which was upon Moses, as He Himself said, "The grace of God upon thee is very great" (4:113), and He also said regarding this nation, "You are the best nation raised for mankind" (3:109), how could it be that the series of successors of Moses should be continued for fourteen hundred years, but here the Khilafat terminate after a mere thirty years? If the Muslim people are devoid forever of the spiritual lights of Khilafat, let anyone explain the meaning of the verse: "You are the best nation raised for mankind".

If it is desired to keep this nation blind forever, and if the object is to keep this faith dead, what is the meaning of saying that it is the best and that it has been raised for the welfare and guidance of mankind? Can the blind lead the blind?

So, O people who are called Muslims, ponder for God's sake: this verse means just that spiritual life and inner vision shall remain in you always, till the Day of Judgment, and followers of other religions shall receive light from you. And this spiritual life and inner vision which has the capability to invite people of other faiths towards the truth -- this is just the thing which in other words is known as Khilafat. How can you then assert that the Khilafat, after having continued for only thirty years, vanished into nothing? Fear God, fear God, and fear God!

Now it should be remembered that although there are many verses of this kind in the Holy Quran, giving the glad tidings of a perpetual Khilafat among the Muslim people, and Hadith is full of reports about this as well, for the moment this much will suffice for those who accept proven facts like a great treasure. There could be no worse misgiving about Islam than to consider it to be a dead religion and to believe its blessings to be limited to only the first generation. Does the Book which opens the door to perpetual blessings teach the disheartening less on that there is no blessing or Khilafat to look forward to, but that all has been left behind?...

It is lamentable that our critics do not give the least thought to the point that in such a case Islam proves to be very inferior as regards its spirituality, and the Master-Prophet, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him, is shown to be no great prophet, God forbid, and the Quran does not prove to be a book whose light is very effective. It would then turn out to be an absurd, meaning less and base less claim to say that this nation is the best of nations and is to give spiritual benefit to other nations for all time, that the Quran is the most perfect and complete of all Divine books in its accomplishments and effect, and that this Apostle is the most excellent of all the messengers of God in his power of purification and of perfecting the moral character of others.

It would also give rise to the great trouble that that part of the teachings of the Quran which aims to make man resemble prophets in terms of spiritual light and attainments, will be considered to be abrogated forever, because if this people do not possess the capability to produce the spiritual accomplishments of Khilafat within themselves, then any teaching which enjoins the attainment of this status would be just use less . In fact, even asking the question, Is Islam now a dead religion forever in which there do not arise persons whose Divine signs and inspiration are substitutes for the miracles and revelation of the prophets, makes one tremble, let alone that some Muslims should entertain such a belief, God forbid. May God guide those people who are prisoners to such heretic ideas.”
[“ Shahadatoul Quran” English Translation by Dr Zahid Aziz   p56-61 ]

In order to elevate the position of the Ahmadiyya Khulafa who were to succeed him, the Promised Massih (as) did not dismiss Mujaddidiyat as a temporary phenomenon. He did not view Mujaddidiyat as an institution without a Qur’anic basis which anyway got established among Muslims out of the blue sky to replace the permanent ‘Khilafat’ which was suspended under a Divine prophecy after a single generation ! No one can accuse the Promised Massih (as) that he reserved  the great blessing of being a recipient of divine revelations and the spiritual status it may entail as promised under Holy Qur’an [40:16; 4:70] to the Ahmadi Khulafa alone after his departure as is currently being projected. 


Yes, that is the term preferred by the Promised Massih (as) to describe the kind of viewpoint being shared by the official/ mainstream Ahmadiyya Jamaat and propagated by its scholars today. 

To those who believe that the Khilafat, after having continued for only thirty years, vanished into nothing, the Promised Massih (as) said:  

“Fear God, fear God, and fear God!”

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