At a time in history when there is a visible lack of central leadership among Muslims and most Muslim countries are in chaos faced with war, political unrest and chaos, I feel blessed and proud to be part of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that is unified under guidance of one individual or Khalifa.
The Khalifa (Caliph) of Islam, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, has been on a tour of United States for the past few days. I am pretty certain that most Americans are unaware of his existence or the fact that he has tens of millions of followers in around 200 countries. Our community bears the motto, “Love for all, Hatred for None” and our leader urges us to serve mankind in whatever way possible, live in peace and never take law into our own hands even when faced with persecution in many parts of the world.
Only recently he sent letters to the Prime Ministers of Israel, Iran and President Obama so that they could resolve conflict and avoid third World War at all cost.
‘Khilafat’ is nothing new to Islam. The word ‘Khilafat’ means succession and we believe that the Khalifa is a successor of a Prophet of God whose goal is to carry to completion the tasks of reformation and moral training seeded by the Prophet of Islam.
Historically speaking, there have been four successors/’Khulfa’ after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). This institution was re-established after the death of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community whom we believe to be the promised Messiah of the latter days.
His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad is the fifth Khalifa of our community and has been serving the community since 2003. He resides in United Kingdom with his family, which serves as the community’s International headquarter.
This is his second visit to the U.S with the main objective being the meeting with community members spread in 71 Chapters all over the country and also to convey the message of peace to the people and government of United States. At an event in Washington D.C on June 27th, he is scheduled to deliver a keynote address “The Path to Peace: Just Relations Between Nations.” Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Republican Congressman Frank Wolf, Congressman Keith Ellison and Senator John Kerry will attend the event along with other dignitaries.
The governor of Illinois welcomed His Holiness with a welcome letter on his arrival in Chicago from London. He then went to Zion because of its historic nature for our community. This town was established by John Alexander Dowie, to whom the Promised Messiah issued a challenge of a prayer duel in 1902 upon his repeated insults and false allegations about the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Dowie never responded but died a sad and lonely death as prophesied by our community founder. This led to the memorable headline in the ‘Sunday Herald of Boston’ on 23 June 1907:
“Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is Great – The Messiah foretold pathetic end of Dowie.”
After visiting the first Ahmadi Mosque in Chicago, as of June 22, His holiness has arrived at Bait-ur-Rahman mosque in Maryland where about 2000 community members greeted him.
This mosque serves as our community’s National Headquarter in the U.S.
In the next few days he will be meeting more community members and leaders in addition to attending our annual convention in Harrisburg, Pa., from June 29 to July 1, which is expected to draw more than 10,000 followers from all over the U.S and the world.
Usually community members travel to U.K to see him in person, so his US visit brings a great opportunity for us to catch a glimpse and to be in his presence.
That is why many families, including my own, from our Georgia chapter are traveling to Harrisburg to attend the convention.