True Khilafat compatible with Democracy

Epigraph: Indeed, Allah commands you to make over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that, when you judge between men, you judge with justice. And surely excellent is that with which Allah admonishes you! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. (Al Quran 4:59)

Source: Abid Khan, Press Secretary AMJ International London

This Muslim Times’ post was originally made by Zubair Khan, from Germany

On 28 September 2013, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (Jamaat), His Holiness and Fifth Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad held an audience with more than twenty Indonesian guests representing various media, educational institutions and think-tanks at the Taha Mosque in Singapore.

During the 70 minute question and answer session, His Holiness explained the true teachings of Islam and clarified various misconceptions concerning the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.

Speaking about the fact that some non-Ahmadi clerics deemed Ahmadi Muslims to be non-Muslim, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

The Holy Prophet taught that no one has the right to call any person who utters the Kalima to be a non-Muslim. The truth is that no human being or power has the right to deny what is in the heart of another person.

Speaking about the progress of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

Immense goals and objectives cannot be achieved overnight. However we believe that if not in this generation, then in future generations, we will win the hearts of people across the world in vast numbers. It will be a long process but no doubt we will be successful.

Upon being asked whether there could be more than one Khilafat within Islam, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

There cannot be a Khilafat in each sect of Islam. If Muslims wish to progress then they have to unite upon the leadership of one person in accordance with the prophecy of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who said that the Institution of Khilafat will be established within the community of the Promised Messiah. Certainly, you will not find any other Islamic community that is united like the Ahmadiyya Community. Wherever our members are in the world they act in the same way and have the same beliefs.

In answer to a question about whether Khilafat and democracy are compatible, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

Khilafat has no relation to government or politics. When Ahmadiyyat spreads far and wide the Khilafat will play no role in government and will never interfere with matters of State. We have no political ambitions or desires. We believe entirely in a separation of religion and matters of State.

The Khalifa was also asked why Ahmadi Muslims were against violent Jihad. In response, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad explained that the circumstances in which the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was permitted to wage a defensive war in order to protect all religions. He said no such conditions existed in today’s world.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

Today religious wars are not being waged against Islam. Rather, Islam is being attacked in the media and in print. Thus, the Jihad of today is to publish literature and books in favour of true and peaceful Islam. That is what the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat is doing we are publishing literature in various languages explaining the true teachings of Islam.

Concluding by speaking of the transparent nature of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

All of our teachings and all of our beliefs are clear and open. They can be easily accessed in our literature and on our websites. Our missionaries are ready to answer any question at any time. We have never hidden any of our beliefs and we never will.

Additional Reading

Book: World Crisis and Pathway to Peace

Our Collection about Separation of Mosque-Church and State

Alislam-eGazette Publishes a Landmark Volume on Separation of Mosque-Church and State

23 replies

  1. Maa Shaa Allah. Well said the khalifat u Almasih alKhamis a.b.n.a. Very good replies.

    We will not yearn to establish our government. We Ahmadis may not accept a government even if offered on a plate. That is the true spiritual, non-political nature of Jama’at Ahmadiyah Muslimah, International.

    The promised Messiah a.s. said in a poetical way:

    Nah baayad behr e maa kursi, kih maamooraim khidmat raa.

    Trans: There is no need (no necessity) for any chair for us because we are commanded, exhorted to Serve the people.

  2. If I am not mistaken in his New World Order, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih draws the distinction between the two extremes democracy and communism and Islam being the middle course.

    While Islam is closer to democracy embracing some of its essential features specially the shoora – the consultation part-the Khalifa does reserve the right choose guys own alternatives from the ones suggestions/proposed or he may make his own independent judgment.

  3. Let me quote a few verses here and one can make a more detailed catalog and commentary on these and related verses and how they are closer to our present day understanding of secularism than theocracy:

    There should be no compulsion in religion. Surely, right has become distinct from wrong; so whosoever refuses to be led by those who transgress, and believes in Allah, has surely grasped a strong handle which knows no breaking. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Al Quran 2:257)

    O ye who believe! be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not a people’s enmity incite you to act otherwise than with justice. Be always just, that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is aware of what you do. (Al Quran 5:9)

    Indeed, Allah commands you to make over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that, when you judge between men, you judge with justice. And surely excellent is that with which Allah admonishes you! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. O ye who believe! obey Allah, and obey His Messenger and those who are in authority among you. And if you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger if you are believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is best and most commendable in the end. (Al Quran 4:59-60)

    Surely, the Believers, and the Jews, and the Christians and the Sabians — whichever party from among these truly believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good deeds — shall have their reward with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve. (Al Quran 2:63)

    We can certainly draw inspiration about our laws from the Holy Quran and should, but, judge them after assessing their utilitarian values, their benefit should out weigh the harm. We should implement our laws, as they are in the Western world, through rational and due civic process, not forcing it on unwilling populations.

    The Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, advised that we should acquire knowledge even if we have to go to China and a word of wisdom is lost property of a believer, so all the human knowledge in the field of political science, acquired by humanity in the last 1400 years cannot be put to waste, just because some Mullah has a strong unconscious desire to be the head of a theocracy.

    In the verse about wine, the Holy Quran has given us the guiding principle, how to judge things:

    They ask thee concerning wine and the game of hazard. Say: ‘In both there is great sin and also some advantages for men; but their sin is greater than their advantage.’

    If we judge by the standard of what General Zia ul Haq gave us in the name of Islam in Pakistan, the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Royal family in Saudi Arabia, any other form of government, regardless of the name, may be closer to the message of compassion and justice in Islam, than what they have offered with the label of Islam.

    I believe, we should submit to God, but, also realize that He wants us to use our God given intelligence also.

  4. This Q&A session was one of the most important I have ever heard. It crystalizes the fact that in Islam affairs of the religion and state are separate from each other. According to the answers given by Huzur, Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya will never interfere in the affairs of the state.
    I can see that most Muslims and many Ahmadies will be shocked by these statements. But I wish to draw their attention to the following two verses of the Holy Quran. Almost all commentators of the Quran are agreed that these two verses pertain to governance.
    1) Indeed, Allah commands you to make over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that, when you judge between men, you judge with justice. (4:59)
    According to this verse, the sole reason to give any responsibility of governance to someone is his or her ABILITY. Please note that there is no requirement of Taqwah, nor that person needs to be a Muslim nor any gender restrictions. So our government officials can be from any Faith. We should look at their ability, not their religion. They can be women too.
    2) Their affairs are decided by mutual consultation.
    Once again there is no religious test or requirement for running the affairs of the state. Consultation is required. (Some form of democracy)

    • This reminds me of Gen. Ayyub Khan consulting Sir Mohammad Zafrullah Khan whether it would be possible to allow a Christian to be Chief Justice of Pakistan. (I think it was Cornelius)(?). Sir Zafrullah Khan replied that Justice Cornelius does know the law and will judge correctly. He was appointed as Chief Justice of Pakistan (having ‘foresight’ of things to come he took his family to Australia later on as he did not see a future for his family in Pakistan (if I remember correctly…)

  5. the concept of separating religion from state has always been difficult for the Muslim mind since the first Khulafa of the Holy Prophet were both temporal and spiritual leaders combined in one.

  6. secularism in muslim countries suggests:

    some verses of the quran and ahadith r practically abrogated.

    some human developed laws outweigh some laws of Islam

    some teachings of islam r no longer important

  7. Every so often we are confronted with black and white thinking, like Ex President Bush manifested, “Either you are with us or with the terrorists.” It does not allow for a nuance position.

    The Khilafat Rashida lasted some thirty years and since then many a Muslims with concrete thinking are chasing utopia.

    In the mean while, they are OK with Iraqi killing Iranians in millions, during Iran Iraq war. They are OK with Muslims killing each other in Syria.

    They are OK with one family ruling Arabia and changing the name of the country of our beloved Prophet to Saudi Arabia and destroying the racial equality, which is fundamental in Islam.

    They are OK with Saudi financial system, which puts money in interest based bonds. Interest (usury), which according to the Holy Quran is a war against God.

    They are OK with Saudi Arabia and Gulf states buying fighter planes for billions of dollars, with the sole purpose to support the Western economies.

    They are OK with 13 centuries of despotic rule in the Muslim countries, based on blood lines and giving up of democratic principles, shown by the early Muslims.

    They are OK with lack of clear consensus about Sharia.

    They are OK with recent silliness of Taliban Government in Afghanistan.

    They are OK with General Zia Ul Haq selling Islam for his rule as a dictator.

    They are OK with complete lack of end game or clear vision, by those who want to enforce Sharia Law.

    They are OK with any corruption under the sun, but, they cannot hear the word secularism.

    This they cannot tolerate. If they hear this word they start climbing the walls and start calling foul.

    They cannot hear that Mullahs are not capable of ruling. Just like they cannot make a needle, a car, a plane, a space ship or an iPhone. The world has become far more sophisticated than their medieval thinking.

    Secularism does not mean atheism! It stands for religious freedom, justice, compassion and human equality, regardless of race, religion or gender. Need I write more?

  8. secularism is the belief that religion should not be involved in the organization of society, education, etc. [oxford dictionary]

    so it clearly contradicts hw the Prophet and the Caliphs governed the muslim ummah.

    so its important for muslim nations to follow the Islamic Shariah

  9. its contradiction to quote a verse of the quran
    “Indeed, Allah commands you to make over the trusts to those entitled to them, and that, when you judge between men, you judge with justice. And surely excellent is that with which Allah admonishes you! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. O ye who believe! obey Allah, and obey His Messenger and those who are in authority among you. And if you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger if you are believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is best and most commendable in the end.” (Al Quran 4:59-60)

    and then still claim that Islam teaches muslims to govern muslim nations through secularism.
    ofcourse Islamic shariah supports justice, religious freedom. But there r fixed laws that cannot be cancelled, but the shariah does allow political sciences, laws and counciling that does not contradict the quran nor sunnah.

  10. Rose called by any name smells just as sweet. But, if one is speaking English, one uses the word “Rose,” the word is different in Arabic and Urdu. Good governance and constitutional rights are called secularism in the West.

    Islam abolished slavery over time, it never has to be ‘all or none;’ or ‘now or never.’

    We can draw inspiration from our scripture, but, our interpretation or understanding, which will vary among individuals and sects, will have to go through the civic process. If it is denied by the usual political and civic processes, it will be a “no,” until the ground reality changes.

    By, doing this every Muslim gets to keep his or her Sharia and understanding of scripture and everyone, including moderate Muslims and non-Muslims keep their constitution and “secularism.”

    Secularism does not cancel any laws. It is not in conflict with Sharia. It only recognizes the current constitution and present set of laws. For example, a large majority in USA, can even change the constitution. New laws are legislated almost daily and then challenged in the courts on an ongoing basis.

    If this rational approach is followed, there remains no difference in Sharia or “secularism.”

    We do not have to force a conflict, if none exists or can be easily resolved.

    Rose called by any other name smells just as sweet!

  11. the leaders of ahmadiya community claim that jihad is abrogated. but at the same time say there is no abrogation in the Quran.

    so wht does the current leader of ahmadi say abt the killings of muslims in myanmar? there r people against Islam via bloodshed.

    i had an ahmadi colleague in uni and he said; the founder of ahmadism stated that america and europe r gog and magog.

    then y did Mirza Ghulam Ahmad criticize his own people when they were striving for independence against the British empire?

  12. Whenever Quran says, “obey the Messenger” this statement is qualified. The mission of the Prophet is 100% spiritual and he does not seek political power. So when Quran says, “Obey the messenger”, the context is spiritual. This is proven by a Hadith of Muslim where Prophet passed by some people who were grafting their trees. Since the Prophet did not know much about this practice, he commented there was no use doing it. Next year the harvest was poor and those people came to the Prophet. He said, obey me when I tell you something from God. But in your own matters you know best.
    Since the ministry of every Prophet is spiritual and has no political motives all teachings should be viewed in this context unless special exceptions are made by either God or the Prophet and no one else.
    Secular means that the legislative process is not driven by religious dogma, but it reflects the will of the people. And the state does not promote one religion over another, nor it prohibits worship by the followers of any religion. Both are Islamic values.

  13. Thank you for all the comments so far.

    This comment is independent and not related to any prior comment.

    All Quranic teachings need to be understood in the context of time. If we try to rigidly interpret the teachings, as they were in the 7th century, then I am afraid to say, we run the risk of getting stuck in the 7th century.

    Every Muslim, regardless of sect, can easily understand, one simple transition that the Muslim community had to go through, at the time of the death of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him. He was constantly receiving the literal word of God and had the ultimate authority to interpret it.

    With his death, the Muslims had the Quran and a lot more, but the constant highway of communication, with All Knowing God, was severed. The Khulafa were also guided by God, historically speaking, but, not like the Holy Prophet.

    So, there was a transition. There was no choice, but, to yield to that transition and depend more and more on human judgment and understanding, however polished, under the guidance of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him.

    Likewise, over the centuries, the Muslim community and the world at large has gone through several transitions and we cannot deny them and bury our heads in the proverbial sand.

    We have no choice, but, to interpret and understand the Holy Quran, in the present context, which is of a global village, which did not even exist just a few decades ago.


  14. yes well said

    ” there was a transition. There was no choice, but, to yield to that transition and depend more and more on human judgment and understanding, however polished, under the guidance of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him.”

    i’ll stop my argument.

    I as a muslim in UK have nothing preventing me to practice my religion Alhamdulillah.

    although i may not agree with some moral values or some laws in UK but i should stay as law abiding citizen since there is no system in UK where i will be deprived of religious freedom.

  15. @zia

    i agree with u regarding the injustice done in muslim nations. I as a muslim am against the blood shed that happened in iran and the corruption done in muslim nations.

    we need to advice the muslim rulers and governers to abide by justice.

    we need to learn from the prophetic warnings:
    “my umah will fall into the same traps as the previous nations.”

    hw true the hadith of our beloved prophet (saw).
    unfortunately that are some over zealous muslims that are oppressing other communities in the name of religion like what happened in the catholic rule of europe in the dark ages.

    we muslims need to unite upon justice. we shud accept transitions that dont clash with the principles of islam.

    zia shah i acknowledge your discussion

  16. @ Jaseem Pasha; Your reply to Rafiq Tschannen:

    1.) “… means no physical force or legal force can be applied …” Here “psychological force” is missing.

    2.) “…or remain arrogant and face the consequence in Hereafter”. Well, this might be an opinion, of course, but surely has nothing to do with Islam. On the contrary, this statement rather constitutes racism plain as the day, I am afraid to say. Also, accusations as “remaining arrogant”, with all it’s implications, do not seem to be appropriate language within a factual argument. Furthermore, I can’t seem to remember that it is given to man to judge any other man’s heart, which probably is another good reason never to phrase such wordings within such a context. Last but not least, truth doesn’t rest with Islam, solely, which means that also salvation cannot be monopolised by Islam or any other religion (ISLAMS RESPONSE TO CONTEMPORARY ISSUES, page 19 ff.). Also see Surah 6 Al-Anam 106-107 and others.

    3.) “Secularism translates respect for human dignity and human rights that were present inherently in Islamic spirit …”This definition is far beyond any of the great dictionaries in either German or English (whereat Oxford’s and Webster’s both some time ago introduced more political interpretations of the term “secularism” than providing proper explanations of it’s etymology and historical origins; German dictionaries fare much better in this respect). This is to say that discussion – nay, even understanding each other – is not possible, if the terminology has not been clarified. For this reason the above quote might be a valid philosophic thought, no doubt. But unless is has been settled in agreement what this term is about to express, the danger to simply follow imaginations is too great.

  17. AOA,
    IN Meesaq e Madina Hazrat Muhammad saw promulgated secular system encompassing all religions present there at that time. Even Jews were declared part of Umma. Only such a system based on equal rights for all can be successful in this world, and will bring peace.

  18. indeed as per the prophecy of the Holy Prophet (saw) we Ahmadis follow the true teachings of Islam. I take this time to urge my fellow humans that it is high time that we go back to the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet(saw) so that we understand the true Islam.
    May Allah enable us INSHA_ALLAH

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