Saturday, 23rd March 1889 will forever remain a unique and historic day in the history of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in particular and Islam in general. It was a remarkable day when Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah(Peace and blessings of Allah be on him) accepted the hands of 40 sincere and faithful servants in allegiance to the Ten Conditions of Baiats (Initiation) and established the community which he named “The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. This oath of allegiance was taken at the house of a spiritual preceptor Hazrat Sufi Ahmad Jan in the city of Ludhiana (Punjab India). Hazrat Maulvi Hakim Noor-ud-Din was the first person to have the honour of taking the first Baiat. This was a revolutionary yet a very modest beginning to a new chapter in the history of Islam.
130 years after this day, the Community is spread across over 200 countries in Africa, America, Asia, Australian and Europe. The membership of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Community is in the millions and is increasing every day. It is the most dynamic and positive religious force on the earth today. In the face of all adversity, the Community teaches the true Islam globally in all its purity.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the foremost Islamic organization with a central spiritual leader, known as the Khalifa of Islam. Over a century ago, the Promised Messiah(as) reminded his followers of God’s promise to safeguard the message of Islam through Khilafat (the spiritual institution of successorship to prophethood). The Community believes that only spiritual successorship of Khilafat can uphold the true values of Islam and unite humanity.
Five spiritual leaders have succeeded the Promised Messiah(as) since his demise in 1908. Its fifth and current spiritual head is His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(AS).
Under the leadership of Islamic Khilafat, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has now built over 16,000 Mosques, over 500 schools and over 30 hospitals. It has translated the Holy Quran into over 70 languages. It propagates the true teachings of Islam and message of peace and tolerance through 24 hour satellite television channel, Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (MTA), the internet – www.alislam.org and print media – Islam International Publications.
The Community has been at the forefront of worldwide disaster relief through an independent charitable organization, Humanity First International.
Annually, followers of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community mark 23rd of March as “The Promised Messiah(AS) Day. This year is not an exemption as the Jama’at clocks 130 years on Saturday, 23rd March 2019.
In his latest Friday sermon, the Amir (Head) Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Dr. Mashhud Adenrele Fashola said the anniversary was neither a birthday celebration nor jamboree. He stated that Masih Maoud Day remembrance has to do with the spiritual and moral uprightness of all members. He also said the importance of the day is to reflect on the teachings of Masih Maoud.
“In terms of knowledge, no one is closer to the Holy Prophet(SAW) than the Promised Messiah(as). If not for the advent of Prophet Muhammad(saw) we will not be existing today. It is good to celebrate the companions of Holy Prophet(saw). Their life styles are unparalleled, inconceivable and great. We cannot match them in attributes. We will be ungrateful if we don’t celebrate Hazrat Masih Maoud Day. Our existence would be like that of an animal if not for his emergence,” Amir opined.
Dr. Fashola affirmed that Prophet Muhammad(saw) was the greatest of all mankind due to his unflinching love for humanity showed through the sufferings and a lot of sacrifices he made, adding that it is incumbent on all Muslims to always invoke Darood (Praise) on him to receive abundant blessings from Almighty God.
He noted: “The love Imam Mahdi(as) has for the Holy Prophet is unquantifiable. It is a pity on those who neglected the advent of Imam Mahdi. They are practically neglecting the Holy Prophet of Islam. Imam Mahdi came to continue the good works of the Holy Prophet(saw).”
Highlighting the importance of the advent, the Amir said Imam Mahdi(as) came to teach complete obedience to the commandments of Almighty God. That he (Imam Mahdi) brought back the peaceful teachings of Islam. He further said the Promised Messiah brought back the spiritual and moral legacies of the Holy Prophet(saw). He said that the advent led to the establishment of Khilafat Ahmadiyya.
The Lagos State Branch of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria also marked the Masih Maoud Day at the Tahir Mosque, Ojokoro, Lagos.
Maulvi Afzaal Ahmad Rauf, the Missionary Incharge who was the special guest of honour at the programme stated that it is imperative for all members including the children to follow the footsteps of Imam Mahdi(as) who was regarded as a staunch follower of the Holy Prophet(saw).
He informed that the Promised Messiah(as) engaged in a lot of sacrifices and indeed observed fasting for a period of 60 days, all for the victory of Islam. He said the dedication and supplication of Imam Mahdi towards this achievement cannot be overemphasized.
“Imam Mahdi cherished Almighty Allah throughout his life. Let us all love God and sacrifice our money, time and children for the sake of Allah. The Promised Messiah was ever ready to sacrifice everything about him in the way of Allah. Let’s inculcate the love of Allah in ourselves and our generations as exemplified by Imam Mahdi(as),” the Missionary Incharge said.
The senior missionary sees the celebration as an opportunity for all members to renew their pledge and turn a new leaf. He further advised that members must give complete obedience to Imam Mahdi and all the instructions of the Khilafat.
Missionary Abdul Haadi Babarinde of the National Headquarters discussed on the topic: “Love and Obedience of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah(as) to the Holy Prophet(saw): An Excellent Model for Spiritual Upliftment. He said Imam Mahdi expressed his love for Prophet Muhammad through obedience. That he demonstrated the love in practices and way of life.
He advised all Muslims to develop true love for Prophet Muhammad and follow his excellent virtues. He said it is the best way of showing love for Almighty Allah.
Another lecture titled: “Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as): The Divinely Commissioned Chief of Pen” was delivered by Maulvi Abdus Samad Lawal. He reminded all members of the directives of Imam Mahdi(as) which states “It is incumbent on all my followers to read my books at least three (3) times in his lifetime. If this is not done, his belief in me is in doubt.’’
Also, the review of the book: “Ark of Noah” was handled by Missionary Muhammad Qasim Oyekola. He said the main aspect of the literature which was published in October 5, 1898, is “Our Teachings”. The subject matter of the literature showed the 43 rules laid down by Imam Mahdi to all members, the foremost being the belief in Allah alone.
At Jamiatul Mubashireen (the organization’s School of Theology) Ilaro Ogun State, the staff members and students also commemorated Masih Maoud Day at the school’s Conference Hall.
The National Tabligh (Preaching) Secretary Dr. Sa’eed Olurotimi Timehin who was a special guest at the event delivered a lecture on “Hazrat Masih Maoud (as) as Sultanul Qalam (King of Pen).’’ He stated that Imam Mahdi (as) used his pen to defend the honour of Islam and the Holy Prophet just as Hazrat Ali (ra) used his sword (Zhul Faqar) to dispel darkness.
The principal of the school Maulvi Abdul Azeem Ahmad opined that Almighty God miraculously directed the Promised Messiah while writing his books, that Imam Mahdi spent every moment of his life in the service of Islam.