Zahir Muhammad Mannan May 27, 2021
We can only pray, raise our words, and donate to help the back-breaking plight of innocent souls lost, orphaned, displaced, imprisoned or worse to war crimes, tyrannical conflicts over land, dividing sectarianism, debilitating boycotts, and shameful injustices in apartheid Palestine, Yemen, Kashmir, Rohingya, Xinjiang, Pakistan and Syria to name a few. It’s no secret that the oppressive weapons used in these torn countries are largely from the United States of America.
Is there then a compassionate, unifying leadership whose scope has no borders and whose principles rest on honesty, justice, reconciliation, bridging social disparities and peace rather than worldly gains at humanity’s cost? This is what Palestinian Muslims are chanting for from their rubbled streets seeking restoration. This is what the larger Muslim Ummah or people have been begging for since the departure of the rightly guided Rashideen Khalifahs after Prophet Muhammad, expanding the spiritual and secular dynasty, the building of empires, interfaith and interdisciplinary harmony, knowledge, enlightenment, cooperation, growth and economic development.
As an Ahmadi Muslim I point you towards the glad tiding of that selfless leadership you seek. It’s actually been here for 113 years and has been advising and warning the world and world leaders on how to govern with the Quranic ideals of “justice, kindness and kinship” or be responsible for the crippling natural and manmade responses that would erupt. This healing leadership is called Khilafat or Vicegerence as is promised in the Holy Qur’an: “Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely make them Successors (Caliphs) in the earth, as He made Successors from among those who were before them … and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear … Then whoever is ungrateful after that, they will be rebellious” (24:56).
So where is the true Caliph today? Firstly, there’s two types of Caliphate. One is that of God’s in the person of Prophets and Messengers from father Adam to King David to Jesus Christ to Prophet Muhammad and more recently Messiah Ahmad. Prophet Muhammad instructs Muslims to “take the oath of allegiance at the hand of the Imam Mahdi when he comes in the later days even if you have to crawl over icy mountains to reach him as he would be the Khalifah of Allah.” God chooses and appoints them directly from the unseen.
Two is the Successorship of Prophets and Messengers like Joshua was to Moses, James to Jesus, Hazrat Abu Bakr to Prophet Muhammad. This office is usually based on election by the people, and indirect Divine appointment.
In his book Al Wasiyyat “the Will,” Messiah Ahmad prophesied “a second and longer lasting Divine Manifestation of Allah’s power that would remain until Judgment Day”. This would fulfill the same Caliphate Prophet Muhammad foretold 14 centuries prior in the famous Hadith; “Prophethood shall remain among you as long as Allah wills. He will bring about its end and follow it with Khilafat on the precepts of prophethood for as long as He wills and then bring about its end. A tyrannical monarchy will then follow and will remain as long as Allah wills and then come to an end. Thereafter will follow monarchial despotism to last as long as Allah wills and come to an end upon His decree. There will then re-emerge Khilafat on the precepts of Prophethood.”
It is in this light that millions of Ahmadi Muslims like me who believe the Messiah and Mahdi has come in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad will celebrate 113 years of blessed Khilafat on May 27. After Messiah Ahmad’s peaceful passing at the age of 73 witnessing his distant progeny and amassing over 400,000 followers, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s electoral college chose Hazrat Maulvi Nooruddin, with whom Allah is pleased, as the the Messiah’s First Caliph. Since then the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has gained strength under four more Caliphs on the “precepts of prophethood” despite the cruelest state-sanctioned persecution in our apartheid mother country Pakistan. Our present Khalifah, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, hailed as the champion of peace by anyone that knows his services, himself patiently, prayerfully braved time in a Pakistani prison only because of his Ahmadi identity.
In an age of unprecedented division and unspeakable horrors faced by Muslims and our neighbors in the Middle East, Asia and even Western countries, it’s time our siblings recognize the peace-loving leadership destined to stay and give up the false expectation of a bloodthirsty Messiah and Caliphate that would reign violently with the sword. I invite you to study and pray with an open heart before you miss what the ungrateful ones of the old missed in the lifetime of the Prophets, Messengers, and Messiahs of the old. We know what was the end of those who exceeded the limits before us, let’s not force that destiny on those who’ll inherit the earth after us.
With God’s peace and blessings.Zahir Muhammad Mannan of Middletown is chaplain of the Connecticut State Police and Meriden Police Department and director of outreach at the Aman Mosque in Meriden.MOST