How is Khalifatul Masih elected?
The Ahmadiyya Khilafat is the second manifestation and Allah has assured Ahmadi Muslims that this Khilafat will endure to the end of time. Khilafat provides unity, security and progress for the Jama’at-e-Ahmadiyya. No other sect in Islam has such a strong leadership, nor enjoys such unity and devotion among its followers.
Election of Khalifatul Masih
Islamic teaching regarding appointment and status of a Khalifa is that the office of Khilafat can under no circumstances be inherited. Rather, Khilafat is a holy trust which is entrusted to a pious member of the Jama’at through election. Islam further teaches that although the Khalifa is appointed through elections, in fact, God Almighty is guiding the members towards election of a righteous and able person as Khalifa. This is such a subtle and spiritual system of appointment of a Khalifa that it might be difficult for worldly people to understand. Once a person is elected as Khalifa, then according to Islamic teachings all members of the community are required to fully obey him. At the same time, it is required that the Khalifa carry out his duties as Khalifa through consultation and taking into consideration the views of the members. However, it is not incumbent upon him to always accept the views and recommendations of the members.
The Khalifatul Masih (successor to the Promised Messiah and Mahdi) is elected to the office by voting by the members of the Electoral College, which was established for this purpose by Hazrat Musleh Maud Khalifatul Masih II may Allah be pleased with him During the life of a Khalifa, the Electoral College works under the supervision of the Khalifa. However, after the demise of a Khalifa, the Electoral College becomes completely independent and elects the next Khalifa. During the election of the Khalifa, names are proposed and seconded by the members of the Electoral College, and then they vote for the proposed names by raising their hands.
Ahmadi Muslims firmly believe that it is Allah who selects the Khalifa as he did in the Khilafat-i-Rashida (Rightly Guided Khilafat); for whenever an election of the Khalifa occurs, the hearts and minds of the electors are all turned towards the same person. This belief further increases the sense of peace and security that the Khalifa provides for the Jama’at. When a Khalifa has been elected, every man, woman, and child of the community must render complete and utter obedience to him, and reaffirm their Bai’at (allegiance) to him.
Status of Khalifatul Masih
The Khalifatul Masih (successor to the Promised Messiah and Mahdi) is the worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The presence of the Khalifa is a great blessing from Allah for the Jama’at. He is the spiritual leader of every Ahmadi, the beacon of light towards which every member looks for guidance. Whenever, a Khalifa makes a scheme or plan for the community, he does so with Divine guidance and assistance. He is concerned for the welfare of every member of the community. Ahmadis very often write to the Khalifa for prayers, and immediately it seems that their burden becomes lighter.