Importance of the Obedience to the Khalifa
At every UK Jalsa we have the blessed opportunity to do the Bai’at with our Beloved Khalifa. We all should have renewed our Bai’at with him. When we take the Bai’at at the hand of the Khalifa, in fact we are doing it with the Promised Messiah may peace be upon him – to whom the Khalifa is representing.
In fact we are doing it with the Holy Prophet may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – to whom the Promised Messiah may peace be upon him is representing.
In fact we are doing it with Allah – to whom the Holy Prophet may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him is representing.
Therefore, when we do the Bai’at we are actually taking it with Allah.
The Holy Qur’an relates in 3:82
And remember the time when Allah took a covenant from the people through the Prophets, saying,
‘Whatever I give you of the Book and Wisdom and then there comes to you a Messenger, fulfilling that which is with you, you shall believe in him and help him.’
And He said,
‘Do you agree, and do you accept the responsibility which I lay upon you in this matter?’
They said, ‘We agree.’
He said, ‘Then bear witness and I am with you among the witnesses.’
As this verse relates ‘Allah takes His covenant from the people through the Prophets’. We are then agreeing to accept Allah’s representative on earth and agree to ‘believe in him and help him’. This is the responsibility that we have accepted and we will be answerable for that. The Bai’at that we are accepting has 10 conditions which we should try our utmost to abide by. By accepting these conditions, we are agreeing to be a humble, obedient servant.
The Promised Messiah may peace be upon him has said
To take Bai’at means handing over your life to Almighty Allah. It means today we have sold our life to Almighty Allah.’ It is wrong to say that by treading in the path of Allah anybody would ultimately suffer a loss. The truthful can never be in a state of loss. Only he who is false – i.e. who, for worldly gain, breaks the pledge that He has made with Almighty Allah – suffers loss.
One who commits such an action because of the fear of the world should remember that at the time of his death no ruler or king of this world would come to procure his release. He has to present himself to the Judge of all the judges, Who will enquire of him, ‘Why did you not honour Me?’ Therefore, it is essential for all the believers to believe in Allah, Who is the King of the heavens and earth and to make a true repentance.
Malfoozat Vol 7, p29-30
The 10th condition of the Bai’at is:-
That he/she shall enter into a bond of brotherhood with this humble servant of God, pledging obedience to me in everything good for the sake of God, and remain faithful to it until the day of his/her death.
Our beloved Khalifa explained further about this condition of obeying the Khalifa, he has said in the Friday Sermon on 19th September 2003:-
When you have taken the Bai’at and have entered the organisation of the Jama’at of the Promised Messiah, you have given everything of yours to the Promised Messiah. You have to obey his decisions; you have to act upon his teachings. Since the system of Khilafat exists after him, you have to follow the decisions and the instructions of the Khalifah of the time.
Here you should not think that the servant or the subordinate has to obey because he is helpless and is obligated to serve. Servants sometimes grumble too. Always keep in mind that although your condition is that of a servant, it is really much higher because it is a bond of brotherhood and acknowledgment of obedience for the sake of Allah that comes with the pledge of sacrifice.
The reward for sacrifice is received only if the sacrifice is offered with pleasure. This condition is such that the more one thinks about it, the deeper one submerges oneself in the love of the Promised Messiah and the more one will find oneself bound by the organisation of the Jama’at.
This nicely shows how through obedience we can develop a close loving relationship with Allah, which after all, is most important and the whole purpose of following a religion. Allah has explained this very clearly to us 3:32-33
Say, ‘If you love Allah, follow me; then will Allah love you and forgive you your sins.
And Allah is Most Forgiving and Merciful.’
Say, ‘Obey Allah and His Messenger;’ but if they turn away, then remember that Allah loves not the disbelievers.
Throughout the Holy Qur’an Allah has emphasised to us that to develop our love for Allah we have to follow His Messenger and obey him. This is the key to our success.
This obedience has also been explained by the Holy Prophet may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him:-
Ibn Umar may Allah be pleased with him relates that the Holy Prophet may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said
A Muslim is obligated to hear and obey whether he likes it or not, except when he is required to do something that is sinful, in which case there is no obligation to hear or obey
Bukhari & Muslim – Riyadh As-Salihin (English – Gardens of the Righteous, Chapter 80 No. 666)
This has been nicely explained in another Hadith:-
Abu Sa’id Khudri may Allah be pleased with him relates that
The Holy Prophet sent Hazrat Alqamah Bin Mujazziz may Allah be pleased with him on a battle. When he reached there or was on the way, a contingent of his army asked for permission to proceed separately. He gave them permission and appointed Hazrat Abdullah Bin Hudhafah Bin Qais al-Sahmi may Allah be pleased with him as their leader. I was among those who went with him.
While they were in journey, they set up a fire for keeping warm or for cooking. Abdullah Bin Hudhafah may Allah be pleased with him (who had a humorous nature) said, ‘Is it not obligatory on you to obey what I say?’ They said, ‘Why not?’ Upon this Abdullah Bin Hudhafah may Allah be pleased with him said, ‘Will you obey any command I give you?’ They said, ‘Yes we will obey it,’
Abdullah Bin Hudhafah said,’I do tell you to jump into this fire’. On this, some of the people stood up and started preparing to jump into the fire. When Abdullah Bin Hudhafah saw that they were actually going to jump into the fire, he asked them to stop themselves from doing so.
Upon our return, the Companions reported it to the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet said, ‘if any one of your leaders tells you to disobey Allah, the Almighty, you should not obey him’
Ibn Majah, Vol 4 Chapter 24, No. 2863
The Holy Prophet may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him has said:
He who obeys me, obeys Allah and he who disobeys me, disobeys Allah, and he who obeys my appointee, obeys me and he who disobeys my appointee, disobeys me
Bukhari & Muslim – Riyadh As-Salihin (English – Gardens of the Righteous, Chapter 80 No. 674
That same obedience must be also shown to his Khalifa, who is his representative. Obviously, we know that the Holy Prophet may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him never gave any bad commands, that is why we are told to obey him. The question of ‘in everything good’ does not have to be said, as a Prophet that is appointed by Allah cannot give a command which is not good. Likewise, a Khalifa that is appointed by Allah will never knowingly give a command which is not good. Alhamdulillah, we are now once again in the period of Khalifah Rasheed – Rightly Guided Khalifahs therefore we should not even think that these Khalifahs will give us bad commands.
The 1st Khalifa Hazrat Maulvi Nooruddin may Allah be pleased with him removed any doubt from our minds that a Rightly Guided Khalifa could make a wrong decision, he said:
There is one more error and that is in understanding of the ‘obedience in good things’ that we will not obey in those matters that we think are not ‘good’. This word has also come with reference to the Holy Prophet may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him ‘Nor disobey thee in what is right’.
Have these people made a list of faults of the Holy Prophet also? Similarly, Hazrat Sahib has written ‘obedience in good things’ in his conditions of Bai’at. There is wisdom in it. I do not doubt anyone of you at all. I have explained these things lest anyone of you be deceived subtly.
Khutabat-e-Nur, pg 420-421
So just as a Prophet of Allah does not make any unIslamic decisions, so also a Khalifa of Allah will not. If at any time, the Khalifah of the time made a decision because of a mistake or misunderstanding, then it is our understanding that Allah T’ala being As-Sattar (the one who covers) will cover up that mistake and prevent any bad consequences, so we should have no fear and instead put our full trust in Allah and obey His Khalifa.
This is the main difference between a Khalifa of Allah and our worldly leaders. The Khalifa is answerable to Allah alone, and so he will guide his community in the best way with Taqwa – Righteous and he can count of the support of Allah to help him achieve his goals. This is also why the Muslims can’t just elect anyone to be a Khalifa. History has shown the results of that and it was due to the decline in standards that Allah sent us the Promised Messiahmay peace be upon him to bring back the glory of Islam.
So obedience to the Khalifa is vital if we are to achieve the Promised Victory of Islam.
We have all witnessed the support of Allah and His blessings being showered upon us which is due to the obedience that we give to Allah and the obedience we give to the Khalifa!
When we look around at the Muslim World, we see the effects of lack of pious leadership. Islam is about Unity, Allah is One – Muslims should be One brotherhood. Sadly, that unity is missing. Muslims are constantly at each other’s throats calling each other Kafirs, abusing and even killing one another. They turn to a common enemy in a bid for Unity and feel that hatred and terrorism is the way forward.
But Alhamdulillah, as we have a Khalifa from Allah, our outlook is completely different. It was our 3rd Khalifa who coined the phrase ‘Love for All, Hatred for none’ which emphasises the direction that we are moving toward, Peace and love. If we did not have a Khalifa from Allah, where would be our driving force? We would pass through life with an attachment to Allah, but also a very strong attachment to this world. But Alhamdulillah, Allah sent us the Promised Messiahmay peace be upon him to revitalise His religion and guide us to strive to seek His pleasure. And then the Promised Messiah’s Khalifahs have continued to encourage us to develop that strong love of Allah and strive in His way. It is due to our obedience to them that we are able to achieve what we strive for.
Hazrat Maulvi Nooruddin gave this advice when he was elected the 1st Khalifa:-
The 10 conditions of the pledge laid down by the Promised Messiahmay peace be upon him shall continue in force. I shall include among them and would emphasise the teachings of the Holy Qur’an, the collection of Zaka’at, the training of preachers and such other projects as Allah may be pleased to inspire me with. Religious instruction and the course of study in the theological seminary will require my approval. I undertake this responsibility solely for the sake of Allah, Who has ordained: ‘Let there be from among you a body of persons who enjoin good and forbid evil’ (Holy Qur’an 3:105). Remember, all good proceeds from accord. A leaderless people is dead.
Hadrat Maulawi Nur-ud-Dinmay peace be upon him – Khalifatul Masih 1 by Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan pg 155-156
We see that right from the beginning, the Khalifa of the time emphasised on Tarbiyyat, Financial Sacrifices and Tabligh, a theme which has been constant through every Khalifah. It is because of this stress on these issues, that the Jama’at has gone from strength to strength. But it could only be achieved through obedience to the Khalifa. For example, the 1st Khalifa sent Ch. Fateh Muhammad Sayal, the first Missionary to the UK, in 1913. That began the Jama’at in the UK and if it was not for this initiative, then there may not have been an organised Jama’at in UK today.
Likewise, the 2nd Khalifa launched the Tahrik-e-Jadid scheme in 1934 and asked all the Ahmadis to practice a very simple life, eat only one dish, wear cheap clothes and volunteer for missionary and community services. It was through these sacrifices of these Ahmadis, the hardships they faced, that the Jama’at was able to embark on many projects, which everyone of us are now benefiting from. Why should they have responded to such appeals? It was due to the total obedience to the Khalifa. You are now by the grace of Allah, enjoying the fruits of those sacrifices. Many of you have settled in the West, obtained a good job, your children are benefiting from the education and amenities of that Country. But it was all really down to the obedience that those Ahmadis showed to the 2nd Khalifa and their readiness to obey whatever he asked from them. So the progress that this Jama’at is doing worldwide, the blessings that we are receiving is down to the obedience that we show to the Khalifa of the time.
The 2nd Khalifa commentating on Holy Qur’an, Chapter 24, verse 56 said:-
Khilafat is a great Divine blessing. Without it there can be no solidarity, cohesion and unity among Muslims and therefore they can make no real progress without it. If Muslims do not show proper appreciation of Khilafat by giving unstinted support and obedience to their Khalifas they will forfeit this great Divine boon and in addition will draw the displeasure of God upon themselves.
The Holy Qur’an with English Translation and Commentary, Vol. 4, pp. 1869-1870.
There have been many incidents highlighting the obedience that the members of this community have shown to the Khalifa of the time. Of course we all were amazed at the response of the members when the 4th Khalifah made a call for Tabligh. He wanted to double the number of Bai’ats every year and we all were thinking that this will not be possible. But we witnessed the blessings of Allah when we were obedient to the call of His Khalifa and we saw 10 million converts in one year, then 20 million, then 40 million and finally it reached 80 million converts in one year! The same thing happened when Huzoor announced that we wanted 15,000 new Moosis and Alhamdulillah the Jama’at responded with over 16,000 new Moosian during the year.
This is the obedience which we have all been trained for. Whenever there is any appeal of the Khalifah of the time, the members respond obediently with labak! (at your service)
And make whatever sacrifices are needed and then put their full trust in Allah.
It is this kind of obedience that has made this Jama’at strong and made each one of us an active submissive Muslim.
One more incident of the obedience that the members give to Khalifa of the time happened during the election of the present Fifth Khalifa in 2003. When the new Khalifa was elected, some people were allowed into the London Mosque to witness this unique occasion. The Mosque was packed with everyone straining to see who had been chosen. Suddenly, the new Khalifa told everyone in the Mosque to ‘sit’. Imam Sahib, who had a microphone in his hand, repeated this and said ‘The Khalifa has told everyone to sit’. But as he was holding the microphone, so his message was also relayed outside and suddenly the thousands of people who had gathered for the election and were standing outside of the London Mosque, heard the command of the Khalifa and even though it was meant for only those inside the Mosque, everyone outside also sat down! In the middle of the road, everywhere, wherever they were standing, immediately everyone sat down in total obedience to the command of the Khalifa.
That was a wonderful demonstration of obedience to the Khalifa, Alhamdulillah. If you are obedient to your Khalifa then you will always be successful.