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Khilafat Day

27th May of Every Year

Khilafat Day

Commemoration of the establishment of Divine System of Successor-ship of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Khilafat Day (Urdu: Yaum-e-Khilafat):

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) passed away on 26 May 1908, and after that Allah the Almighty sent the second manifestation in the form of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. On 27 May 1908, Hazrat Hakim Maulvi Nuruddin (ra) was elected as the Khalifatul Masih I. The very first time that Khilafat Day was celebrated by the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat was on 27 May 1957. This was in accord with the instruction of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), Khalifatul Masih II, that he had given on the Ijtema of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya in Rabwah in October 1956.

The purpose to celebrate this day is to make the Jamaat realise the blessings, status and importance of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya, and also to show gratitude to Allah the Almighty for this great blessing.

About Khilafat

The Divine System of Successor-ship in Islam

 

After Prophethood, Khilafat is the most important institution in Islam. Khulafa are ultimately appointed by God through His Divine guidance. Though Khilafat had disappeared, it has been re-established as prophecied by The Holy Prophet, Muhammad sa.

 

The word Khilafat means succession, and the Khalifa is a successor to a Prophet of Allah whose goal is to carry to completion the tasks of reformation and moral training that were seeded by the Prophet. The community of followers of a Prophet of Allah continues to nurture its faith and practices under the blessing of the institution of Khilafat for as long as Allah wishes. Allah says in the Holy Quran:

Allah had promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors from among those who were before them; and that He will surely establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear: They will worship Me, and they will not associate anything with Me. Then whoso is ungrateful after that, they will be the rebellious. (Surah Al-Nur, Verse 56).

Hadrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad ra writes:

God Almighty does everything through wisdom and foresight, and there is always a good reason and logic behind it. According to nature’s physical laws, man has only a limited life span, but the task of reformation and training of society requires a much longer time. So, Allah has established the system of Khilafat after the system of Prophethood. The Khalifah continues and carries on the task of the Prophet. The seed sown by the Prophet is protected and nurtured by the Khalifah till it becomes a strong and sturdy tree. It shows that in fact Khilafat is an offshoot or branch of the system of Prophethood, that is why the Holy Prophet sa says that after every Prophet, the system of Khilafat is established. (taken from Welcome to Ahmadiyyat).

Just as Allah appoints a Prophet, it is He who appoints a Khalifa as well. He chooses the person who is most eligible to become a Khalifa, and guides a group of pious believers into manifesting His Will through a process of selection of the Khalifa. Thus, it may apparently seem that the Khalifa is chosen by a group of pious people, but it is in fact the Will of Allah that guides their faculties into choosing the Khalifa of His Choice. Once a Khalifa is selected, he remains a Khalifa for the rest of his life as a living testament to Divine Will.

Khilafat establishes the authority of Allah on earth, and the Khalifa strives to uphold that authority within the community of followers. For the believers, Khilafat is an embodiment of Allah’s Unity, as they choose to take divine authority through the person of the Khalifa. The believers partake of the blessings of Khilafat by holding firm to their faith and practices, united under him.

Background of Khilafat Day

Most of us have been celebrating Khilafat Day on 27 May all our lives, which makes it one of those aspects of life that we rarely stop to think when and why it might have started.

Khilafat Day was not always there, rather it was commemorated for the very first time on 27 May 1957. Al-Musleh al-Maud, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra, went to every possible extent to make the Jamaat realise the blessings, status and importance of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. He passed through very turbulent phases during his life when opponents of the Jamaat seemed determined in annihilating Khilafat, as they saw it as the only means to bring down the ever-rising edifice of Ahmadiyyat.

Right from the very onset of the Khilafat of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra in 1914 all the way up to 1956, various types of attacks were hurled at the institution of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. Allah the Almighty always kept this blessed institution, founded by His own will and decree, under His special protection and no malicious schemes could ever cause any harm.

However, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra felt that not only more awareness should be raised among the members of the Jamaat about this unique blessing, but they should also be grateful to Allah the Almighty for bestowing this grand blessing upon them.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra

It was in 1956 when the Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya were holding their National Ijtema in Rabwah that they were graced with the attendance of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra. Addressing the Ahmadi youth, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra said:

“Always remember the blessings of Khilafat. To remember something, nations have historically allocated a day to commemorate it. For instance, the Shiites march in processions once a year so that the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Husseinra is not forgotten. Similarly, I advise the Khuddam to dedicate a day and celebrate it as Khilafat Day wherein they should offer their gratitude to Allah the Almighty and revive history. It might be hard to find old newspapers, but Al Fazl has recently retold the whole history; Hazrat Khalifatul Masih I’sra arguments in support of Khilafat and also the abuse hurled at him in return by the Paighamis [the Ahmadiyya Anjuman-i-Ishaat-i-Islam Lahore, who deviated from the system of Khilafat].

“Such passages should be read out from these newspapers. If Khilafat Day is celebrated once a year, the younger generation will listen to them every year and eventually know them by heart. Continue holding these Jalsas until the end of time, so that the Jamaat never forgets the blessings and importance of Khilafat. The Khilafat of Jesusas has been around for around 1900 years. May the Khilafat of the Promised Messiahas – who is higher in rank than Jesusas – remain for 10,000 years. This is only possible if you dedicate a day of the year for this purpose.

“I would also like to instruct the Markaz that, like Sirat-un-Nabi Day, a day should be celebrated as Khilafat Day. The Markaz should advise [the organisers of these Jalsas] as to what topics should be covered in speeches, what parts of Al Fazl to be read out to the youth to make them aware of how Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira upheld the institution of Khilafat and how the Paighamis wrote in opposition. Those dreams and visions should be mentioned that Allah the Almighty vouchsafed to me well ahead of time and how He fulfilled each one of those to show that His blessings are still with Khilafat.”

In light of these instructions by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra, Nazarat Islah-o-Irshad, in consultation with the members of the Jamaat, proposed that 27 May be dedicated as Khilafat Day and will be commemorated by all Jamaats. This announcement appeared in the Al Fazl of 9 November 1956.

Ever since, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, commemorates the blessings of Khilafat on this day, celebrating by offering prayers, recalling the blessings of Allah on the Jamaat through this blessed institution and looking back to see how every passing year brought – and brings – prosperity to the Jamaat under this Divinely guided leadership.

First Khilafat Day

The very first time that Khilafat Day was celebrated by the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat was on 27 May 1957. This was in accord with the instruction of Hazrat Musleh Maud, Khalifatul Masih II that he had given on the Ijtema of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya in Rabwah in October 1956 (details in editorial).

The venue of this august convention in Rabwah was Masjid Mubarak and was presided over by Hazrat Maulana Abul Ata [then Principal, Jamia Ahmadiyya Rabwah]. The proceedings, that started at 7am and lasted till 11am, comprised of addresses delivered by scholars of the Jamaat on a variety of aspects of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. Speeches covered the Quranic aspect of the institution of Khilafat, how it is to be understood from the Ahadith, how the Promised Messiahas gave a clear indication about it in Al Wassiyat (The Will) and how Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira had not only a firm belief in Khilafat but also made his belief known on many occasions when he saw a group of people drifting away from it.

The attention of those in attendance was also drawn to the great blessings Allah the Almighty had showered upon the Jamaat that had opted to stay with Khilafat as compared to those who had not; the latter reducing in number and dwindling away while the former were progressing rapidly on the path of success. Through inspirational speeches delivered on this first Khilafat Day, the audience realised more strongly the fact that Allah the Almighty had always been on the side of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra by granting him and his Jamaat the prosperity which the non-Muba‘in (those who had opted for Anjuman and not Khilafat) thought would only occur by abandoning the institution of Khilafat.

This Khilafat Day Jalsa worked wonders as it left the thousands in attendance much firmer in their faith, and this strength of belief was expressed in the pledge that the whole congregation took to stay loyal to the institution of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya.

It would be appropriate to mention here that the proponents of Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib and Khawaja Kamaluddin Sahib, who chose not to follow Khilafat are now only a few hundred. The mission of the Promised Messiahas has been taken to the corners of the earth through Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya and continues to be so with every passing day.

There was a time when people could have been in doubt, but now, 104 years on, both groups’ trajectories of success tell very faith inspiring stories; Khilafat and its followers making it to 210 countries, in millions and broadcasting the message of the Promised Messiahas while the other group confined to only a few hundred with no significant contribution towards the mission of the Promised Messiahas. The Khalifatul Masih is known as a prominent Muslim leader promoting the true teachings of Islam in every part of the world while the leadership of the non-Khilafat group is not even known. The Khalifatul Masih and his Jamaat are known worldwide for demystifying the misconceptions of Islam and making its true teachings known, while the other group is nowhere on the scene. Would one still ask who was right and who was wrong? It isn’t very hard to decide.

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