Sunday, April 13, 2014

Khalifa Sani and the limits of Social Boycott

In a previous article in the Blog we have noted some of the outstanding allegations against Hadhrat Khalifa Sani (ra) (click here) from his critics– including the imposition of social boycott against rebels in Qadian and even a murder case involving  an Ahmadi alleged to have been “ordered” by the second Khalifa. From our examination of some of the public records and court judgements, what is apparent is that there was a religious, social and political context in which the unfortunate events have occurred in the 1930’s in Qadian under Hadhrat Khalifa Sani (ra).

As we have shown in the article, while the towering Majlis-i-Ahrar leader Maulana Ataullah Shah Bukhari was prosecuted and punished by the Lahore High Court for his hate speech and incitement to violence against the Ahmadis in a single public sermon in Qadian, the same High Court in the same period absolved the second Khalifa of the allegation of incitement to murder his “Muslim” enemies/ Ahmadi rebels, even after examining several of his speeches printed and published in the Ahmadi Press, including the “AL FAZL” of the 1930’s. The Hon’ble High Court had before it those very sermons and it reached its conclusions after forensically analysing the contents thereof and that too in the context of a murder case which took place in Qadian itself.

Flawed Perception of a Complex Legacy

Let truth be told. It is not just the Lahori-fellow travellers who are guilty of a flawed perception of a complex legacy of the past. Put differently, members of both the mainstream Jamaats- Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Qadian and the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement are wrong in their ‘blames’ and ‘accusations’ against Hadhrat Khalifa Sani (ra). If there is visceral hatred on the part of the enemies of Hadhrat Khalifa Sani (ra) to implicate and consider that he “ordered” murders and violence against his opponents, the people who claim they are his followers in the “mainstream” Jamaat are equally guilty of the sin of deification, unexamined adulation and uncritical implementation of his policies even for a new age.

As a thoughtful Ahmadi brother from the mainstream Jamaat wrote to us from Kerala recently, a conspiracy of silence pervades in the Jamaat on the controversial episodes. As a consequence, the Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya in the present times had been prone to error. Almost half a century after the death of Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad (ra), the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya continues to carry the imprint of the Second Khalifa and his administrative and ideological positions, including on the question of the election process for the Khalifa and the question of Mujaddidiyat.

There had been no serious attempt within the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya establishment to understand and locate some of the official positions the Second Khalifa had taken or the cryptic responses he had made in their true and proper context. Without thinking and providing true leadership in a new age, the Khulafatul Massih after him put a shadow of permanent doubt over the continuing validity of the policies he designed for his times. As a consequence, the measures and policies he prescribed had been frozen in time, leading to the commission of costly mistakes and serious blunders by the succeeding Khulafa in the Jamaat, who preferred continuity of the system over the need for embracing change in a new milieu in the life and times of the Jamaat.

Social Boycott on a Divine Servant

Today, the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya applies social boycott on a Divine servant amongst us, Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius and his Divine Mission is officially treated as a rebellion against the present system of Khilafat. Instead of seeing the measures of social boycott as a policy in an extremely difficult religio-political situation in an exceptional and emergency situation pervading in the then Qadian, the present administration has abused the policy even in an entirely different social context. Any devout Ahmadi who retains his sense of spirituality might wonder: can we look down upon the blessings of revelations and true visions? While the world may in its stupidity reject these spiritual phenomena, how come the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya apply boycott on a recipient of Divine revelations amongst us? The people of the lost generations were condemned in the Qur’an for persecuting the Prophets and oppressing the righteous. Are we becoming like the others before us?

For, the cheaper breed of Mullahs, being factory-produced in the Jamiahs these days; they sit in judgement over the Divine revelations and speak about things they have no real knowledge about. They contemptuously dismiss the Divine Message of our times and arrogantly justify the blatant violation of the fundamental Islamic teachings at stake in the matter. If a generation before them embraced Ahmadiyyat with true humility and fervent curiosity and an inner quest for the true Divine, these have disgraced their true legacy and adopted a flawed perception induced by the veils over their mundane vision.

Age of Blunders in the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya

Ahmadis today break their ties of blood and boycott their relatives for accepting a Divine Messenger. And they proclaim that they are only following policies and teachings of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya, as originally devised or instituted by the second Khalifa. Consider the revolting irony here:  as we have noted before, the bitter critics and vocal opponents of the second Khalifa (ra) used to allege about practices of social boycott and criminal intimidation in Qadian and the controversies and cases surrounding his administration of the Jamaat in Qadian.

It is, thus, astonishing to note that for all that is wrong on the part of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya establishment today; they virtually blame the Second Khalifa for it, although couched in the language of appreciation and continuation of policies from those times, and their own personal commitment to the Khilafat. What induces people to ‘outsource’ their minds? Can they hope to blame their leaders on the Day of Judgement, when Allah (twa) shall question each one of their faculties? Can the present day Ahmadis blame the second Khalifa (ra) for the polies of social boycott in the Jamaat?

Most certainly, the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Qadian cannot trace the roots of its present policies of social boycott of Imam Muhyi-ud-Din (atba) of Mauritius to the doorstep of Hadhrat Khalifa Sani (ra), for the times and context and circumstances of his policies have absolutely no resonance for the present situation. The fault lies in the flawed perception of the ageing Fourth Khalifa who based himself on the wrong advice of his paid workers. Hence, the present Khalifa and the chiefs cannot equate the policies and seek religious legitimacy for the continued policy of boycotting a Divine Reformer who has been raised precisely to point to the cracks and gaping holes in the Nizam-e-Jamaat.       

By justifying their present criminality of refusal to recognize a Divine servant of our times and worse still, equating the application of social boycott on him in terms of the measures taken by the second Khalifa in the 1930s, Ahmadi scholars only parade their non-application of mind and critical faculties in appreciating the complex social context in which the Jamaat was called to defend itself in the 1930’s. With characteristic thoughtlessness and intellectual laziness, they take an embarrassing position very much detrimental to their own cause and the just reputation of Hadhrat Khalifa Sani (ra). 

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