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ALHAJI ABDULAZEEZ ALATOYE APPOINTED AS NEW AMIR, AHMADIYYA MUSLIM JAMA’AT NIGERIA (UPDATED)

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The Supreme Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at worldwide Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (May Almighty Allah be His helper) has appointed Alhaji (Barr.) AbdulAzeez Alatoye as the new Amir (National Head) of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria.

This was contained in a release signed by the General Secretary of the Muslim Organization, Alhaji Abbas Iromini and made available to our correspondent. Alhaji Alatoye was hitherto the Naib Amir (Deputy National Head) South West region. He succeeds Dr. Mashhud Adenrele Fashola who has been serving in that capacity for the past 15 years.

It will be recalled that the organization held its annual national forum (Majlis Shoora) last month at Tahir Mosque Ojokoro Lagos where representatives across the country participated in the National Executive Officers’ elections.

Alhaji Alatoye, alongside with the newly approved members of the National Executive Committee will resume office on July 1, 2019.

Brief Profile of the New Amir
Born on the 13th of February, 1963, Alhaji AbdulAzeez Folorunso Alatoye had his tertiary education at the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin where he bagged Unique Distinction in Accountancy in 1991. He obtained a Diploma in Law from the Executive Business School, Ikeja Lagos in 2011 and Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Bradford, the United Kingdom in 2012.

Professionally, he is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK); a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN); Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and a Member of Nigeria Taxation Standard Board and Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Management.

He is the Founder and Senior Partner of Ascension Consulting Services.

His Journey in the Jama’at
Alhaji Alatoye joined the Ahmadiyya Community through the maternal grandfather biat in 1975. In 1981, he personally signed the biat. Since then, he has been holding sensitive posts within the Jamaat. For instance, he was the Tabligh Secretary between 1982 and 1985 and Financial Secretary between 1985 and 1989 of Inisa Jamaat Osun State. At the auxiliary level, he held the post of an Internal Auditor of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Nigeria (Youth Wing) between 1988 and 1990.

At the National Level, Alhaji Alatoye was appointed as the Naib Jalsa Officer II (Deputy Conference Officer II) between 2009 and 2019; Naib Amir South West region (2013-2019); Treasurer (2010-2019); Vice Chairman Humanity First Nigeria (2011-2019); Chairman Sad Sala Jubilee Committee (2016-2019); Chairman South West Mosque Building Trust Fund Committee (2016-2019); Chairman Economic Empowerment and Development Committee (2014-2019), among others.

His areas of interest include Tabligh (Preaching), Holy Qur’an and Mosque Building. He is an advocate of honest service to Almighty Allah and Humanity.


NAMES AND PORTFOLIOS OF THE NEWLY APPROVED NATIONAL EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

S/N. NAME POST
Alhaji AbdulAzeez Alatoye National Amir (Head)
Alhaji Abbas O. Iromini General Secretary
Barr. Muhammad Bashir Badr Secretary Tabligh (Preaching)
Alhaj. M.M. Shittu Secretary Tarbiyat (Religious & Moral Training)
Mr. Tajudeen Oladoja Secretary Ta’lim (Education)
Alhaji Mudathir Dada Secretary Isha’at (Publication)
Engr. Imran Adeyemi Secretary Sami’ wa Basari (Audio-Video)
Alhaji Hassan Sunmonu Secretary Umur Kharijiyyah (External Affairs)
Alhaji Muslihu Ali Secretary Umur Amma (General Affairs)
Mr. Abdul Rahman Adetunji Secretary Dhiyyafat (Hospitality)
Mr. Mudathir Adefarati Secretary Mal (Finance)
Alhaji Dauda Kehinde Sokunbi Add. Secretary Mal (Finance)
Mr. Shakirudeen Abdus Salam Secretary Wasaya (Wills)
Mr. Abdul-Hakeem Akintobi Secretary Ta’limul-Quran & Waqf-Ardhi
Mr.Nafiu Taiwo Ajimoti Secretary Tahrik-Jadid
Mr. Abdul Ganiy Babalola Secretary Waqf-Jadid
Mr. Muhammad Tirmiziy Ajibike Addl. Secretary Waqf-Jadid & Nau Muba’in (For New Converts)
Builder Bashirudeen Asimiyu Towolawi Secretary Jaidad (Properties)
Alhaji Muslihudeen Ademoye Secretary Waqf-Nau
Prof. Abdur Rahman Abdullah Secretary Zira’at (Agriculture)
Mr. B.O. Ghazal Secretary Sanat-o-Tijarat (Industry and Trade)
Mr. Issa A. Shokunbi Muhassib (Accountant)
Alhaji Muheeb Lanre Idris Amin [Treasurer]
Mr. Hussein King Internal Auditor

AHMADIYYA OPENS ULTRA-MODERN MOSQUE IN BADAGRY

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Condemns Owo Massacre in Strong Terms

It was a huge landmark and historic day on Sunday, 19th June 2022 as the National Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria, Barr. Alatoye Folorunso AbdulAzeez commissioned an Ultra-Modern Central Mosque at Ajagamibo Avenue, Aradagun Badagry in Lagos State.
The worship centre was built with state-of-the-art facilities, tiled both within and outside, embedded with good-looking minarets, and surrounded by attractive flowers in a serene and spacious environment.

Ahmadiyya Mosque Baitul-Fatah, at Ajagamibo Avenue, Iworo/Ajido Road, Aradagun, Badagry, Lagos State
Baitul-Fatah Mosque
Baitul-Fatah Mosque

Named ‘Baitul-Fatah Mosque’, the place of worship can easily accommodate over 600 worshippers at once. The foundation of the Mosque was first laid in October 1980 by the then head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Nigeria, His Eminence Ajmal Shaheed Ahmad. The foundation stone was re-laid on Saturday 19th February 2022 by the Badagry Branch President of the Muslim Organization, Pa. M.B Okubena. Hence the mosque project was completed in a record four-month.

The Mosque was built and donated by one of the blessed families of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – the Popoola family in honor of their late father Alhaj Abdul Fatah Atanda Popoola who was a staunch and devoted member till his demise in 1982.

L-R: Sadr Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Nigeria, Bro. Addur Roqib Akinyemi; Circuit President Badagry, Pa Okubena M.B; Alhaji Adegbola Ismail; Bro Ojo Abdul Waheed,; Alhaji Lakunle Bello and others welcome Amir Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria, Alhaji (Barr) Alatoye Folorunso AbdulAzeez at the commissioning of Baitul-Fatah Mosque at Aradagun, Badagry.
Picture 1: Amir Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria, Alhaji (Barr) Alatoye Folorunso AbdulAzeez planting a tree, at the commissioning of Baitul-Fatah Mosque Aradagun, Badagry, Lagos State. Picture 2&3: Amir, Alhaji (Barr) Alatoye Folorunso AbdulAzeez led the prayer, with him, Naib Amir Finance&Admin. Alhaji Mufadhil Bankole; Sadr Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Nigeria, Bro. Addur Roqib Akinyemi; Circuit President Badagry, Pa Okubena M.B and others.
Amir Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria, Alhaji (Barr) Alatoye Folorunso AbdulAzeez (5th left) led prayer, with him, Naib Amir Finance&Admin. Alhaji Mufadhil Bankole; Sadr Majlis Ansarullah Nigeria, Alhaji Adeoye Abdul Waheed; Former Naib Amir Special Duties, Alhaji Ahmed Al-Hassan; Circuit President Badagry, Pa Okubena M.B; Guest lecturer, Missionary Olowonmi; Pa Popoola and others.

In his address, the National Head of the Muslim organization lauded the initiatives of the Popoola family, stressing the importance of Mosque building and its aftermath rewards in the hereafter. He added that all places of worship must be sacred centres void of evil acts.

Alhaji Alatoye further admonished worshippers to always have pure and sincere minds when observing prayers in Mosques as this is pleased with Almighty God.

Amir Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria, Alhaji (Barr) Alatoye Folorunso AbdulAzeez welcome Oba Abdurrahman Ogabi Aradagun Ibeke at the commissioning of Baitul-Fatah Mosque Aradagun, Badagry, Lagos State.
Amir Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria, Alhaji (Barr) Alatoye Folorunso AbdulAzeez welcome Oloye Falola, Bale Aradagun, at the commissioning of Baitul-Fatah Mosque Aradagun, Badagry, Lagos State.

“The rewards for building Mosques in honor of our late loved ones are in multitudes. 

It is a life-time reward.  The initiative of the Popoola family is hereby commendable”.

“We must worship in the Mosque with our hearts filled with love, kindness, and piety.  Everything we do in the Mosque must be Godly.  May Allah accepts our sincere prayers,” he prayed.

Guest lecturer, Missionary Olowonmi Abdul-Qahhar; Amir Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria, Alhaji (Barr) Alatoye Folorunso AbdulAzeez; Naib Amir Finance/Admin. Alhaji Mufadhil Bankole; Oloye Falola, Bale Aradagun and others.

Owo Massacre highly condemnable

Alhaji Alatoye also used the opportunity to, once again, condemn in strong terms, the brutal attack on worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo in Ondo State.

He stated: “It is difficult to believe any group of individuals could have the audacity to attack a place of worship filled with human beings who were gathered to worship God, the Almighty.

This is the peak of an affront against God and man that will never go unpunished.  There is no absolutely no justification whatsoever for any group of people to engage themselves in such a callous and dastard act.”

“Even in the face of a defensive response to an act of war, the Holy Quran expressly forbids believers from attacking places of worship, children, women, and priests.”

The Amir further informed that the youths of the organization joined others in donating blood to the surviving victims of the barbaric attacks.

He thus urged the police force to fish out all the perpetrators and their masterminds and made them to face the full wrath of the law for their devilish acts.

HUMANITY FIRST PARTNERS LAJNA IMAILLAH NIGERIA TO RESTORE EYE SIGHT AS IT JOINS GLOBAL CENTENARY ANNIVERSARY.

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Humanity First Nigeria, with funding support from Humanity First Canada, joined the Women Servants of Allah in Lajnah Immaillah Nigeria to conduct thirty free cataract eye surgeries in Abeokuta.

Humanity First International manages the global gift of sight campaign through the organization of eye surgery outreaches worldwide.

The recent expedition was held at the State Hospital Abeokuta Ogun State on the 24th and 31st of May 2022. Six eyeglasses were also given to indigent patients whose eyesight disorder did not warrant surgical interventions.

The selection process for the beneficiaries was conducted using Google forms data submission, screening, and selection of the best-suited candidates for surgery from 70 applications.

The beneficiaries included 20 females(amongst which was a 12-year-old girl), and 10 Adult males ranging from ages 17 to 86.

The free eye cataract operations was highly appreciated by the beneficiaries. It was part of activities commemorating the Centenary celebrations of Lajnah Immaillah worldwide.

Gift of Sight Photo Gallery

Humanity First Nigeria (HFN) Disaster Management and Relief Team Clothes Bank Project

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Reports on the Activities of Clothes Bank Project for the Months of April and May 2022

A. April 2022

  1. The official Inauguration Ceremony for the commencement of the project was held on April 1st, 2022. During the event, clothes were collected at three operational centers in 3 Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt.
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1KCTlP3xgAc6mp5IZXpxZKq8YEyMxyAQ5?usp=sharing
  2. Distribution of clothes at 4 villages in Oyo State https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1iMzlvuKXNoqNm8FKRUYyNfygI5lRl86J?usp=sharing
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1bf1YKqkQBsxky4g9qmnbPUC7a13Aa2hF?usp=sharing
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1hica4T-9ZjpeRrEO_gWI1ArWMnfFz2Vu?usp=sharing
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1RnNxrWO-TSEfiohgMeOywx-TWJ5l1rju?usp=sharing
  3. Distribution of clothes in Ibadan
  4. Distribution of clothes in Port Harcourt, Rivers State https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Jyfmr3ya51O8bFhQNWiGMBzNbRueBhHC?usp=sharing
    5. Initiation of Eid Clothes DriveB. May 2022
    1. Clothes collection in Ibadan, Oyo State: Over 250 units of clothes received
    2. Clothes distribution in Shogunro Community in Lagos State: Over 400 families received clothes https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1sHvi8dHX2X0BuWTjNpN9RAlDHBVNL-Qu?usp=sharing
    3. Over 20 pairs of shoes, 5 female bags, and Ties received
    4. Renovation works in Port Harcourt and Abuja Centres commenced; Abuja is 90% completed while Port Harcourt is still work in progress at 30%.
  5. Advocacy visit to the Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Nigeria (MKAN) at its National Secretariat in Lagos; where we solicited support during the National Executive Committee meeting. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1tz8HJSacbm1H8JGYHglQmW07dEW5j4sm?usp=sharingC. Summary of Our Outreach
    1. Total Clothes donated 3000 plus
    2. Total Shoes donated 20
    3. Total Families who benefitted 700 plus

A. Processing of Received items
We had over 40 volunteers who worked on:
1. Collection of clothes
2. Sorting of clothes
3. Distribution of clothes
Using over 45 hours of work
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1zValDIlguyMOSQjqKkm80hVOIFD0Be28?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-X293iZiYIH_U0P4YnhtlVrhU50nqPYh?usp=sharing

B. Results
1. Over 6000 units of clothes generated in 4 locations
2. Over 3000 units of clothes distributed to over 700 families in 6 locations
3. 90% of work done on renovation of the Abuja Clothes Bank
4. Conversion of a Car Park in the Ahmadiyya Mosque, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to Clothes Bank ongoing.
5. Generated over One hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira (N120,000) in donations
6. Space has been allocated to the Clothes Bank in Akinyele and Omi Adio Circuits, both in Ibadan, Oyo State.

C. Publicity
With the support of the HFN media team, we have been able to:
1. The activities of the Clothes Bank on the Facebook page have attracted more followers to the HFN official Facebook page.
2. Make posts on Facebook that have generated over 200 likes on the official Facebook page of HFN.
3. Made tweets on twitter that have been picked up and re-twitted by the Humanity First International (HFI) media team.
4. With the help of MTA Nigeria, the Clothes bank inauguration was featured on the MTA Global News. It can be accessed through this link:

D. Our Challenges
The following have been identified as our immediate challenges:
1. Lack of adequate storage spaces in Lagos operation center; the center which has generated over 60% of the clothes received.
2. We are also having challenges of storage space in Ibadan. Nevertheless, we are making efforts in getting a space.
3. Lack of funds for publicity and administrative works

E. Our Hopes
We intend to:
1. Commence aggressive drives for clothes donations for less privileged people which they can use in celebrating Eid-ul Adha festival.
2. Look for new opportunities to distribute the clothes and other items.
3. Explore all opportunities available to us in raising funds as donations.
F. Breakdown of Clothes donated per outing
1. Okooko Village, Oyo State: April 17, 2022
i. 250 families benefitted
ii. Over 700 units of clothing distributed to over 250 families in four communities
iii. Estimate demography
iv. Children 80 plus
v. Women 100 plus
vi. Men 70 plus
2. Ogbakiri Village, Portharcourt Rivers State: April 22, 2022
i. Adult Clothes Donated: 5 Male / 5 Female
ii. Children Clothes Donated: 20 Male / 30 Female
iii. Total Clothes Donated: 60
iv. Non-Clothes Item Donated: 14 pair of shoes / sandals
v. Fifty (50) families benefitted
3. Shogunro, Lagos State: May 25, 2022
A. Donations
i. Adult clothes: Male 150 Female 400
ii. Children Clothes: Male 200 Female 450
iii. Total Donated items 1, 150 Clothes
B. Beneficiaries
i. Adults: Male 50 Female 130
ii. Children: Male 70 Female 140
iii. Total Beneficiaries 450

ABDUL-QADIR, ABDUL-RAFI ALHAJI POPOOLA ISHAQ
TEAM LEAD SECRCRETARY

HUMANITY FIRST NIGERIA COMMISSIONS NEW BOREHOLE

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In line with the commitment of Humanity First to ensure access to quality water under her program ‘water for life’, Humanity First Nigeria (HFN) has recently commissioned another borehole in Agbede Community, Kogi state North Central Region of Nigeria

The Borehole which will by the Grace of God help ameliorate the acute water shortage being experienced by the inhabitants of the area was commissioned by the Chairman Board of Trustees of HFN, Dr. Habeeb.

While speaking at the Commissioning the Chairman expressed his gratitude to God for making it possible for HFN to contribute positively to the efforts of the Government to bring social amenities to the inhabitants of the Agbede community.
He thanked the sponsors of the project Mirza Baig And Noir Begum Walton of Lahore, Pakistan.
He further stressed the need for the community to ensure that they protect and take care of the infrastructure and all other infrastructures that are constructed for the use of the people of the community.

https://web.facebook.com/humanityfirstng/videos/585268592810869/

The Commissioning was witnessed by important dignitaries in the community including heads of religious organizations and political office holders among them was Mukarram Hafiz Yunus Omotayo, of the Ahmadiyya Community Agbede who in his speech tanked HFN and prayed that more projects will be done in the community to bring more succour to the inhabitants of the community

https://web.facebook.com/humanityfirstng/videos/704515197469470/

 

Global Khilafat: The Need to Hold Fast by the Rope of Allah

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We are currently passing through a challenging time where humanity is stuck in precarious and tribulations-laden situations. Where, from Washington to Moscow, and from London to Beijing, the global world is rife with crisis of balance of power or power tussle among the domineering world leaderships and powers, pushing the world to the brink of a world war.
True, we are living in a disturbing time where inhumanity is trumping over humanity and materialism over spirituality. Where the forces of atheism, humanism and trans-humanism are seeking to ban the presence of God from the world He, Himself, created. And, ultimately, where the deepening global socio-economic and geo-political crises are deepening the experience of instabilities and deprivations and lack of peace and security across the world, from Palestine to Ukraine, to Mali, Nigeria, Yemen and Afghanistan, among others.
More particularly, it is such a difficult time where Al Ummah Al Muslimah (the Muslim world) – declared by the Quran as “the best community raised for the good of mankind” (3:13) – is, currently divided against itself, with each of its constituents at loggerhead with other. It is presently wallowing in the whirlpool of moral, spiritual, intellectual, social, economic and political crises. It is locked in devastating intra-religious ideological skirmishes, inter-state and inter-community feuds and wars and inter-sect rivalries and hostilities.
The curiosity over the cause of this abysmal scenario strikes the mind of this writer with the thought of the following Arabic proverb that illustrates thus:
قال الحائط للوتد: لم تشقني؟ فقال الوتد: سل من يدقني!
“The wall queried the peg, saying: “why are you piercing me?”
Retorting, the peg submitted: “Ask me not. Rather, ask the human being who is hitting me against you!”
Relating the above cause-finding proverb to the context of our discussion, one may curiously ask: why is our world, particularly the Muslim world, in disarray? And the answer, in the view of this writer, is not far-fetched: it’s, frankly, as a result of the absence of an Islamically established global leadership system.
No doubt, in a demanding time like ours, there is no gainsaying the fact of the relevance of having conversations on an important injunction of Islam: the need to hold fast by the rope of Allah. This is an absolutely apt and compelling desideratum whose imperativeness, in turn, serves to justify the rationale and relevance of this write-up.
Rope, in the language of the Holy Qur’an, translates to habl. And habl, according to authoritative Arabic lexicons, means a rope or cord or anything with which a thing is tied or made fast; a bond or cause of union or link of connection, such as a bond of love or friendship; mutual connection by such a bond; a covenant or compact; an obligation by which one becomes responsible for the safety of a person or thing; a promise or assurance of security or safety; an artery, vein or verve (Arabic-English Lexicon by E.W. Lane). It also means alliance and protection (Aqrab al-Mawarid by Sa’īd al-Khauri al-Shartūti).
In order to safeguard and protect the Muslim world against the type of the current abysmal state of its affairs, in the Holy Quran, Allāh enjoins the Muslims thus:
“And hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allāh and be not divided; and remember the favour of Allāh which He bestowed upon you when you were enemies and He united your hearts in love so that by His grace you became as brothers; and you were on the brink of a pit of fire and He saved you from it. Thus dies Allāh explain to you His commandments that you may be guided” (Quran, 3:104).
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) is reported to have said that, “The Book of Allah (i.e. the Quran) is the strong rope of Allah which has been extended from the heavens to the earth” (Tafseer Ibn Jarir, vol. 4, p.30).
“Broadly speaking,” says Hazrat Mirza Bashirudeen Mahmūd Ahmad (ra), the Second Khalifah and Supreme Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, in his exegesis of the above Quranic verse, “there are three things which may be taken to have been here meant by the rope of God, by holding fast to which Muslims may remain united and be safe against disunion and disruption: (1) the Quran; (2) the Messenger of God; (3) the Successors to the Messenger of God” (The Holy Quran, English Translation and Commentary, 2002, Islam International Publications Ltd, UK, vol. 2, p. 433).
Of course, while the Holy Quran and the Sunnah (the practice) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) would continue to remain preserved till the end of life on earth, the continuity of the physical presence of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) was not guaranteed by the law of death. Alternatively, however, through the wisdom and grace of Allāh, the Muslim world was destined to continue to feel the presence of the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) through the chosen Successors (the Khulafa) that would be appointed through the divinely established institution of Khilafat to lead an ideal Muslim temporal and spiritual hegemony which will be rife with peace, security and development, as long as the Muslims collectively fulfill the conditions set for its establishment. In this context, Allāh declares:
“Allāh has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors from among those who were before them; and that He will surely established for them their religion which He has chosen for them; and that He will surely give them in exchange security and peace after their fear. They will worship Me, and they will not associate anything with Me. Then whoso is ungrateful after that, they will be the rebellious” (Quran, 24:56).
Furtherance to this promise of Allāh, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) predicted the following:
“Prophethood shall remain among you fir as long as Allāh will. He will then cause it to end. Then a Khilafat (Caliphate) will be established in the footsteps of prophethood which will last for as long as Allāh wills. He will then cause it to end. Kinghood will follow which will inflict great pain and misery on its subjects. Its rule will last for as long as Allāh wills. He will then cause it to end. After this, tyrannical monarchies will follow. Their rule will last for as long as Allāh wills. Then He will cause it to end. The Khilafat will be re-established in the footsteps of prophethood. Thereafter, the Holy Prophet (saw) became silent” (Musnad Ahmad, Vol. 5, No.17939).
It is thought-provoking to note that, based on the foregoing Quranic and Prophetic prophecies, in the wake of the event of the death of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the ensuing atmosphere of heart-rending fear and grief that gripped the Companions (ra), coupled with the heavy cloud of anarchy and uncertainties that had overshadowed the sudden headless state of the Muslim world of the time, the Companions (ra) did not let the day pass before electing a Khalifah Rasūl Allāh (Successor of the Messenger of Allāh).
The institution of Khilafat was, thus, established to succeed and sustain the blessings of the Prophethood of Muhammad (saw). Notably, beginning with the period of Abu Bakr (ra) and through those of Umar bn Khattab (ra), Uthman bn ‘Affan (ra) and Ali bn Abi Talib (ra), the affairs of the Muslim world were steered by a single world Khalifa who safeguarded their moral and spiritual tenacity, administered justice, settled internal disputes and conflicts, maintained law and order, interfaced in their international relations with other worlds and spread the Islamic religion across the then known world. The Muslim world lived in happiness, peace and security and gloried in prosperity, stability, development and progress.
It is indisputable that the above-noted historical fact, among other implications, clearly demonstrates a powerful point that underscores the necessity of Khilafat as a rope of Allāh to which the entire members of the Muslim world must always cling. This is because, not only does it serve to connect humanity with the divine, but it also facilitates the binding of the Muslim world in unity, solidarity and brotherhood under a divinely established leadership.
Sadly, the generations of Muslims that proceeded the golden epoch of the Rightly Guided Khilafat showed ungratefulness to and rebellion against the pristine Khilafat system earlier established. Consequently, the Khilafat on the footsteps of prophethood was replaced by the despotic kinghood, and decades later, by tyrannical monarchies which extended for centuries, in different nomenclatures (Khilafat, Imamate, Sultanate), forms, scopes and regions, until 1924 when the Turkish Uthmaniyya (Ottoman) Caliphate was abolished by Mustafa Kamal Ata Turk. Ninety-eight years since then, today, the mainstream Muslim world has continued to fail in their various efforts aimed at establishing Khilafat to bring back the ideal Islamic leadership system for the temporal and spiritual hegemony of Islam and for their unity, solidarity, brotherhood, prosperity, peace, security and development in the world.
At this juncture, it is instructive to note that, by the first decade of the 20th century – precisely on May 27, 1908 – when the sun of the ultimate collapse of the Turkish Caliphate was beginning to set on the horizon of its beleaguered empire, Allāh the Almighty caused the dawn of the re-establishment of the Khilafat on the footsteps of prophethood as earlier prophesized by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw). However, this time around, the fulfillment was divinely materialized within the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – an Islamic revival and Missionary movement established in 1889 by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) in whose person the Quranic and prophetic prophecies of the advent of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi were fulfilled.
Ever since then, the world has continued to witness unbroken peaceful successions of five eras of the divinely chosen Khulafa (Caliphs), beginning with Hazrat Hafiz Hakim Nurudeen (ra) [1908-1914], followed by Hazrat Mirza Bashirudeen Mahmud Ahmad (ra) [1914-1965], then Hazrat Hafiz Mirza Nasir Ahmad (rh) [1965-1982], Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (rh) [1982-2003], and presently we are in the blessed era of the Fifth Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba).
Importantly, within the past 114 years of the institution of this Khilafat, it has established Islam in all corners of the world with the establishment of Missions and Mosques across 220 countries and territories. It has translated the Holy Quran into, and published it in, over 75 world languages. In addition, thousands of Islamic literatures have been published in various languages.
In 1992, this Khilafat established the first Islamic satellite TV (MTA) in the world and, thereafter, an Islamic website (www.alislam.org) for the propagation of the pristine, peaceful teachings of Islam. It has built over 30 hospitals and clinics and over 500 schools across many countries. Its international humanitarian NGO – the Humanity First International – is recognized by the United Nations and has been rendering humanitarian services globally, irrespective of the religious, racial, ethnic, and political backgrounds of the recipients.
This Khilafat has continued to make its presence, influence and impacts felt across the world by constantly providing leadership direction to world governments, leaders and their citizens; proffering viable Islamic guidance aimed at solving contemporary issues; and establishing initiatives and schemes for world educational, religious, social, economic, political, communal, and environmental development, peace, security and progress. Above all, it has been striving vibrantly, and impactfully too, to re-instate the moral and spiritual values and reunite humanity with the divine, their Creator.
In light of this re-institution of Khilafat on the footsteps of prophethood for the contemporary Muslim world, and the positive impacts it is perpetually making within and outside the Muslim world, it is imperative that members of the mainstream Muslim world should earnestly hold fast by this rope of Allah in our time in response to the divine commandment that Muslims should cling to the rope of Allah and be not divided.
This imperativeness further becomes binding when considered in light of the following exposition and commandment of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw):
Hudhaifah bn Yaman [ra] narrated that: “The people used to ask the Messenger of Allah [saw] about good, but I used to ask him about evil lest it might overtake me. Once I said: “O Messenger of Allah! We were in ignorance and in evil and Allah bestowed upon us the present good [through you]; will there be any evil after this good?” He said: “Yes.” I asked: “Will there be good after that evil?” He said: “Yes, but it would be tainted with smoke [little evil].” I asked: “What will its smoke be?” He said: “There will be some people who will follow a method other than my tradition. You will see their actions and disapprove of them.” I said: “Will there be any evil after that good?” He said: “Yes, there will be advocates to the doors of Hell, and whoever accepts their invitation to it will be thrown in it [by them].” I said: “O Messenger of Allah! Describe those people to us.” He said: “They belong to us and speak our language.” I asked: “What do you order me to do if such a thing should take place in my life.” He said: “Adhere to the group [Jamaat] of Muslims and their leader [Imaam].” [talzim jama’ata al-muslimeena wa imaamahum] I asked: “If there is neither a group [of Muslims] nor a leader [what shall I do]?” He said: “Keep away from all those different sects, even if you had to bite [i.e eat] the root of a tree, till you meet Allah while you are still in that state.”[10] In another version of this Hadith, we have: If in these times any Khalifah of Allah is to be found, then you should obey him even if he were to cause you injury or appropriate your wealth.” [fa in kaana lillaahi ‘azza wa jalla yauma’idhin khalifatun daraba zhahraka wa akhadha maalaka fasma’ wa ‘ati’..] Mustadrak Imam Hakim, Kitab al-fitan wa al-malahim, vol. 4, p. 432-433)
It is instructive to note that, while prescribing the course of action for the Muslims, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) did not say Muslims should cling to the Book of Allah during such a turbulent time. Rather, he recommended holding fast by the Khilafat. This is because all of the leaders of the Muslim groups and sects existing at such a time would all be claiming that their rather misguided and misleading teachings, corrupted interpretations and un-Islamic actions are based on the Holy Quran.
Hence, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) very initiatively directed the Muslim public to follow the existing single Khalifa of the time, who will stand out pristinely orthodox and authoritative in his interpretations and preaching of the message and teachings of Islam.
Conclusively, from the foregoing, the contemporary Muslim world is fortunate enough to have the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim community being headed by a single global Imam or Khalifah and nothing should, therefore, be an impediment to their holding fast by this rope of Allah as enjoined by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw).
Al-Hafiz Yunus Omotayo is a Missionary and Journalist of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria and National Chairman of the Muslim Writers Guild of Nigeria. He can be reached through: al-hafiz@thetruth.ng

The “Redlines” Conversation and the Side of Truth

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‘There are three sides to an argument: your side, the side of your opponent, and the side of truth,’ declares the famous Chinese wise-saying, eliciting for humanity a viable principle of conflict resolution that worth its salt.
In this write-up, we shall leverage on this conflict-resolving principle to delineate the line that marks out the side of truth amidst the pros and cons sides of the argument on the ongoing, critical and burning issue of blasphemy that has continued to rock across Nigeria since last week from Sokoto in the north-west, to the north-eastern States of Borno and Bauchi, and to Osun State in the south-western part of the country.
Out of the plethora of mixed reactions that have trailed the May 12 gruesome killing and burning of Deborah Samuel by a mob of Muslim students of Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto State of Nigeria for an alleged crime of blasphemy, the “redlines” conversation has emerged.
Perhaps the earliest report of the emergence of the “redlines” conversation which appeared barely twenty-four hours after the infamous gory incident was contained in a Twitter statement (that later went viral) made by Professor Ibrahim Maqari, the Imam of the National Mosque, Abuja. In the statement, the Imam declared:
“It should be known to everyone that we the Muslims have some redlines beyond which must not be crossed. The dignity of the Prophet (PBUH) is at the forefront of the redlines. If our grievances are not properly addressed, then we should not be criticized for addressing them ourselves.” (www.twitter.com/profmaqari)
Observably, this statement has been digested by many as not only contrasting the array of condemnatory statements that have been issued by various leaders, including His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar 111, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, but as also implicitly justifying and supporting the brutal murder, with a potential to incite more of such jungle justice from the Muslim public.
Notably, however, the strongest of such criticisms seems to be the latest condemnation issued by the Nobel Laurette, Prof. Wole Soyinka in an address entitled, In Time Of Crisis: Civilian And Soldier, delivered at an Abuja event on Saturday, May 21, 2022. In the address, Prof. Soyinka lamented that, “A glorified cleric, no less than the Grand Vizier of the iconic Mosque of the nation’s capital, Abuja, has inserted a dissenting voice. The young woman, Deborah, he declared, deserved her death. This mullah, allegedly a man of learning, since his name is professorially captioned, says that there is a line, a red line that none of us must cross, no matter who we are, what we think, profess or value.”
Furthermore, while demanding that, “The Grand Seer of Abuja mosque should be hounded from office. He should be tried under any existing laws that approximate hate rhetoric, incitement to murder and abuse of office,” he submitted that, “The nation is confronted with just two propositions: One, that the Sultan of Sokoto is right…The alternative position is that Professor Ibrahim Maqari is the acknowledged Oracle of Islamic Ethics. Between the two, a choice must be made, a choice that is both moral and constitutional. Both the Sultan and Professor Maqafi cannot be right. And that choice does not belong to any esoteric domain. It is not grounded in privileged, hermetic caucuses of religious doctrine and interior revelations. It is not subject to spiritual pietism. It is straightforward: either murder is criminal and abhorrent, or it is a legitimate pastime, to be indulged at whim and by any.” (https://www.premiumtimesng.com/…/531481-deborah-samuel…)
It should be noted that, in the wake of Prof. Maqari’s controversial tweet, a flurry of write-ups that spelt out the details of the redlines in Islam have since been going viral, concomitantly. The stated redlines – which when crossed, or to be explicit, when blasphemed, could or would result into either judicial or extrajudicial killing of the blasphemer – include blasphemy against paramount sacred symbols of Islam, namely, Allah, the Holy Qur’an, and the Holy Prophet, among other symbolic categories.
In short, the pros and cons arguments on the redlines of Islam have continued to trend ever since across all academic and media circles, and in the offline conversations at homes and on the streets, even as tensions have continued to heighten against the backdrop of the increasing report of further cases of blasphemy by Christian extremists and hardliners in a number of States.
Observably, those among Muslim intelligentsia and the common public who are on the side of death penalty for any blasphemer who crosses any or every of these designated redlines are further split into two groups. One tries to pose as law-abiding citizens through their advocacy that those guilty of crossing the redlines are to be reported to the constituted authority responsible for the prosecution of the blasphemer through due judicial process. The other group, however, poses extremely with the stance that, since the constituted authorities at various levels have often failed to ensure proper administration of justice, it is, therefore, justifiable or justified to apply jungle justice to anyone who crosses the redlines of Islam.
In the light of the Chinese proverb with which we opened this write-up, the justification or otherwise of the side of those advocating death penalty for blasphemers (whether judicially or extra judicially) can be exposed through determining the extent of its alignment to the side of substantial truth of Islamic teaching on blasphemy. And this will be done just through answering the following two questions: one, does Islam actually delineate redlines of blasphemy that should not be crossed? This writer can authoritatively answer with a hundred percent affirmative response that Islam, indeed, categorically and unreservedly condemns and prohibits every act of blasphemy not only against every or any of its sacred religious symbols, but even against those of other religions as well (Qur’an, 9:65-66; 6:109; 22:31, 33).
Of course, the rationale behind the condemnation and prohibition of blasphemy should ever be justified and appreciated by every civilized human being imbued with sound human rationality, reason and logic. This is because blasphemy is a sheer misuse or abuse of the freedom of expression which often hurts the sensibilities and sensitivities of those whose sacred symbols have been blasphemed, triggering avoidable havocs in the society. This is why, with the growing phenomena of pluralism and multiculturalism, every member of our global human family must imbibe the core values of mutual understanding, respect and tolerance.
Now, to the second question: does Islam legislate corporal punishment to be meted out (whether judicially by the constituted authority or extra judicially by Muslim mob) against anyone who crosses any line of blasphemy? Here, the writer can absolutely state with a hundred percent negative answer that, as a religion of peace, humanity and civility, beyond condemnation and prohibition, orthodox Islamic law does not prescribe any physical punishment for blasphemy, let alone arrogate the right of meting out the punishment for blasphemy to any Muslim constituted authority or mob. Unambiguously, orthodox Islamic law very categorically stipulates two levels of measures against anyone found guilty of blasphemy: one, human earthly response; the other, divine punishment.
Regarding human earthly response, the Holy Quran teaches that blasphemers should be treated by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his followers with either boycott (6:69; 4:141) and decent avoidance (73:11) or superior intellectual engagement (63:9), or demonstration of higher moral virtues, like patience, forbearance, clemency and forgiveness etc. (73:11; 52:30-32; 3:187; 41:44) which would stimulate introspection within the blasphemers, leading to their self-realization of fault, inner feeling of shame, repentance and possible conversion to the superior religious path of Islam.
Authentic Islamic history bears witness to the fact that, on numerous occasions, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) translated the foregoing Quranic teachings to affirmative action that resulted in, at least silencing of some blasphemers, or at best, in their repentance and even conversion, ultimately. And, in this, is an imperative lesson for the Muslims of our contemporary time to emulate with the required affirmative action.
However, in the case of unrepentant blasphemers, the divine measure becomes inevitable. And this has been unambiguously pronounced in the Quranic verdict thus: “Allah and His Angels send blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! You also should invoke blessings on him and salute him with the salutation of peace. Verily, those who malign Allah and His Messenger – Allah has cursed them in this world and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them an abasing punishment.” (33:57-58).
Having clearly made the side of truth known through the foregoing exposition, this write-up would have been given a full stop mark here, but, alas! That is not made possible by some fanatical elements who have delved further in their desperate effort at sourcing for possible justifying evidences for their advocacy of death penalty for blasphemers who cross the redlines of the Islamic law – a position that is not only jurisprudentially unorthodox to Islam, but also orthopraxically anti-Islam, anti-human and anti-God!
It is important to note that those Muslim holding the rather extremist position in the death penalty for blasphemy have resorted to some Ahadith (Traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad [saw]) to weave justification for their indefensible position. They say, agreed that there is no evidence from the Holy Quran, but there are few instances reported in the books of Hadith where the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) had ordered the execution of some blasphemers or had them executed by some of his companions on his behalf.
Summarily, it is imperative to state that, of course, there are hundreds of traditions bearing hundreds of cases of Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) treatment of his blasphemers with forbearance and forgiveness of his blasphemers throughout the period that spanned his 23-year prophetic career.
Sadly, however, some Muslim holders of extreme view on the subject of punishment for blasphemy from among the contemporary Islamic jurists and scholars and who are modern students of some of the medieval Islamic scholars, like Imam Qadi Ayyad al-Yahsubi and Imam Ibn Taimiyya Taqi Ad-Din, have chosen to construct their law of blasphemy (death penalty) on rather extremely few and isolated reports which, majorly, have been proven by eminent Islamic scholars of Hadith as either fabricated (i.e. hadith of the murder of Asmā bint Marwān for blasphemy) or weak (i.e. hadith reported via Uthman Al- Shuhham about a blind man who murdered his concubine for blasphemy) or most of the individuals (i.e. Ka’b bn Ashraf etc) reported to have been executed for their blasphemies have, actually, been found guilty of graver crimes of murder, brigandage, treason and culpable felonies that had warranted and justified their execution.
However, due to the constraint of space, this writer would like to implore esteemed readers to watch out for another upcoming write-up that focuses on a detailed exposition on this particular aspect of the subject, deconstructing every of the weak Hadith evidences that have been advanced by the proponents of death penalty for blasphemers.
Importantly, justice cannot not be said to have been properly done to this write-up without briefly noting that, in joining the bandwagon of the redlines conversation, the Christians, too, are saying they, equally, have their redlines which should not be crossed.
Particularly, they’re saying that when Muslims refer to Jesus as merely a Prophet and not a son of God or as a part of the Godhead of the Trinitarian theology, they’re, in fact, blaspheming the Christian God, and by that, hurting Christians’ religious sensitivities and sensibilities, too. And, notably, in a holier-than-thou sense, such Christians are saying, “however, we peacefully restrain from revenging with killing on behalf of our God, as we are peaceful and believe God is most powerful to fight for Himself!”
With all sense of honesty and objectivity, it should be stated that Muslims cannot be adjudged as guilty of blasphemy, inasmuch as, in Luke 24:19 of the Bible’s New Testament, Jesus’ disciples on their road to Emmaus were reported to have referred to Jesus (as) as a Prophet. More so, it is important to state that there are many places in both the Old and New Testaments where death has been prescribed as punishment for blasphemy. (Leviticus 24:10-16; First King 21:10-13, Second Book of Samuel 16:5-13. More so, In the New Testament, we have in Matthew 12:32 and Luke 19:27, among others, where blasphemers against God, Holy Spirit and divine Prophets and Kings have been dealt with.
Finally, we care to remind our Christian brethren not to forget in a hurry the gory history of Christianity where hundreds of alleged blasphemers were reported to have been brutally and gruesomely murdered, lynched and burnt on the orders of various Christian leaders, ranging from the Papacy in Rome to the Inquisitions in France and that of Queen Isabela of Spain, among others. (http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/…/596-scientists…)
Al-Hafiz Yunus Omotayo is a Missionary and Journalist of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria and the current National Chairman of the Muslim Writers Guild of Nigeria. Email: al-hafiz@thetruth.ng

Orthodox Islamic Law Condemns Blasphemy without Prescribing Physical Punishment

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Since Thursday, May 12, 2022, humanity has been rendered aghast by the brutal murder and lynching of Deborah Emmanuel, a Christian and student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Nigeria, by Muslim students for blaspheming the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).

In a viral audio record alleged to have been posted by Debora on a students’ WhatsApp platform, she could be heard making a statement (in Hausa) that:

“Holy Ghost fire, nothing will happen to us. The group is not created for sending nonsense things. It is created to send past questions, if there is test, or if we are given assignments not all these nonsense things. Which kind prophet, nonsense prophet”

Expectedly, the incident has continued to spark mixed reactions and heated controversy over the issue of Sharia and blasphemy by both Muslims and non-Muslims amidst academic and media circles across the world. What is the true attitude of the orthodox Islamic law towards blasphemy? Do the primary sources of the Sharia Law prescribe any physical punishment for blasphemy? This article seeks to expose the true position of Islam on blasphemy.

Foremost, it is important to state that Islam unreservedly condemns in strongest terms every blasphemous expression against God the Al-Mighty and divine Scriptures and Prophets or Holy Founders of revealed religions (Quran, At-Taubah 9:65-66; Al-Ahzab, 33:58). It is not debatable that committal of blasphemy against sacred personalities and scriptures is a gross abuse of freedom of speech, because not only does it evidences a transgressional act against such sacred personalities, but it also hurts the religious sensitivities and sensibilities of billions of humanity who revere such sacred personalities and scriptures.

In this light, since any blasphemy against one of the divine prophets or scriptures is a blasphemy against all of the divine prophets and scriptures, and by extension, against all religions and entire humanity in general, and God in particular, it is most appropriate that all adherents of all religions, all well-meaning, peace-loving and civilized world citizens and all civil societies, human rights organizations and governments at all levels should always condemn and discourage every act of blasphemy as totally anti-prophethood, anti-religion, anti-social, anti-human and anti-God.

Be the foregoing as it may, turning to the flip side, it is, however, compelling to state, that “while blasphemy is condemned on moral and ethical grounds by the Qur’an, however, no physical punishment is prescribed for blasphemy in Islam despite the commonly held view in the contemporary world. Having studied the Holy Quran extensively and repeatedly with deep concentration, I have failed to find a single verse which declares blasphemy to be a crime punishable by man. Although the Holy Quran very strongly discourages indecent behavior and indecent talk, or the hurting of the sensitivity of others, with or without rhyme or reason, Islam does not advocate the punishment of blasphemy in this world nor vests such authority in anyone.” (1)

In this light, it becomes compelling to condemn and denounce every instance of jungle justice by overzealous and radical Muslims as well as the capital punishment for blasphemy codified in the Sharia penal laws of various Muslim countries and states as not only jurisprudentially un-Islamic, but also fundamentally anti-Islam and anti-Sharia in its implications. This is because such jungle justice and legal judgement are not based on the orthodox Islamic law as entrenched in the Quran and the practice of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).

From every available evidence, it is incontrovertible that such jungle justice and penal code against blasphemy are merely based on or derived from the juristic consensus of the medieval Muslim scholars and jurists, like the Maliki jurist, Qadi ‘Iyad al-Yahsubi [d.544/1149] in his Al-Shifa and also Imam Ibn Taymiyya [d. 728/1328] in his Al-Sarim Al-Maslul ala Shatim Al-Rasul; all of which have been merely ratified and adopted by the modern Muslim states, scholars and jurists.

As Sirajul Haqq Khan noted, they strongly believed and adduced painstaking evidences from their preceding and contemporary scholars to prove that the punishment for blasphemy is death.(2) For example, Qadi ‘Iyad stated under a sub-chapter titled Ruling on the Blasphemer and Insulter of the Prophet, that, “Anyone who maligns the Prophet or discredit him or attribute degradation to him in his personality or his lineage or his religion or any among his traits or demonstrate with him or exemplified him with anything in a way of insult to him or underrating him or belittling his affairs or disregard him or attribute blemish to him, he is an insulter to him and hence, the ruling for him is the ruling of an insulter and hence he shall be killed.” (3)

Similarly, Ibn Taymiyya also stated in the opening paragraph of the first chapter of his above-mentioned book that, “It is legally binding to kill whoever blasphemes the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), whether a Muslim or an unbeliever. This is the school of the preponderance of the scholars.” (4)
It is important to note that, as well-articulated as these legal provisions may appear, they are, however, not based on any Quranic or Prophetic source. Rather, as any scholar of Muslim history would agree, the legal ruling only reflects and was influenced by the turbulent political situations and judicial exigencies that characterized the medieval period of the Muslim era. More so, they are only modelled after the Biblical legal sources where, as evident in Leviticus 24 verse 16, it is particularly stated that, “And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.”

Notwithstanding, for Muslims and entire humanity, it is imperative to appreciate that such a Biblical law – which has limited application in terms of time and clime – is one of those laws which Islam – being the summit of religious evolution– had actually abrogated and replaced with teachings which are far better, more civilized, and of universal and eternal application, as declared in the verse 107th of the Chapter al-Baqara of the Qur’an, and as will be mentioned in the following lines.

It is undisputed that the Quran – being the first primary source of the Islamic legal system – has very authoritatively and exhaustively dealt with the issue of blasphemy as evident in its numerous pronouncements on the subject. Notwithstanding, never was capital punishment for blasphemy stipulated in its entire 114 chapters, 6,236 verses (Kufic reckoning) and 330,000 letters. Similarly, the Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah (Practice), which stands as the second primary source of the Sharia, also does not present any instance of proven and conclusive traditional evidences that the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) – in his capacity as head of the Islamic state and religion – ever practically ordered any of the scores of his blasphemers to be executed.

As this writer’s study of both the Qur’an and historical events in the Prophetic era shows, there were both non-Muslims and hypocrite Muslims who habitually committed blasphemy against Allah, the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Yet, none of those was sentenced to death on the pronouncement of the Quran or by the order of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). Even when some hypocrite Muslims, particularly as mentioned in the chapter 9th of the Quran, were clearly adjudged disbelievers for their mockery of Allah, His Signs and His Noble Messenger, yet, we found that none was sentenced to death. Rather, while some of them were promised forgiveness, others were threatened with divine punishment (Quran, at-Taubah, chapter 9 verses 65-66).

The cases of Ka’b bin Zuhayr and Ibn Zaba’ra are good examples. Both of them were gifted poets who composed satires against the Holy Prophet. (5) Similarly, the case of blasphemy committed by Abdullah bin Ubayy has been mentioned in the 9th verse of Chapter Al-Munafiqun of the Qur’an. In all the above cases, however, no physical punishment have been recorded against them, rather, they were all forgiven by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). In fact, history recorded that the Holy Prophet (saw) even led the funeral prayer of Abdullah bin Ubayy. (6) It is recorded in Sahih Bukhari (one of the canonical books of Ahaadith – Prophet’s Traditions) that whenever people sought his permission to kill the blasphemers, he would object, saying, “Leave them, lest people after me should remark that even Muhammad used to kill his companions.” (7)

This writer strongly contends that if truly death was the prescribed punishment in Islam, the Prophet would have applied the law, without fear or favour. This is corroborated by his popular saying that, “By Allah, if Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, were to commit theft, I would have her hand cut off,” (8) according to the law, without fear or favour!

Instead of killing blasphemers, the Holy Prophet and his faithful companions practised the true and orthodox Islamic teachings and commandments on blasphemy as enjoined by the Qur’an. And what are those teachings and commandments? For example, Quran commands that, “Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! You also should invoke blessings on him and salute him with the salutation of peace eternally. Verily, those who malign Allah and His Messenger – Allah has cursed them in this world and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them an abasing punishment. (Quran, Al-Ahzab, 33:57-58) Thus, Allah has, in this verse, reserved the prerogative right to punish the blasphemers neither to the Prophet nor to the Muslim government and public, but to Himself exclusively.

Quran therefore enjoins on the Prophet to bear with patience all the blasphemies of the blasphemers and part with them in a decent manner (Quran, al-Muzzammir, 73:11). This is because, as it declares, nothing is said to him but what was said to the previous Messengers before him (Quran, Fussilat, 41:44). At another place, Qur’an commands the Prophet (peace be on him) and Muslims to adopt boycott as a protest against any blasphemer or a gathering of persons where blasphemy is being committed, including the blasphemous contents or messages (Quran, An-Nisaa, 4:141; Al-An’am, 6:69).

Again, Allah instructs Muslims never to blaspheme the idols of the idolaters, lest they would, out of spite, blaspheme Allah in their ignorance. He says that, in such manner He has caused every people’s doing to seem fair to them. But He will surely inform them about the consequences of all what they used to do (Quran, Al-An’am, 6:109).

Thus, Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) exemplified all the commandments by bearing all their insults with patience or with superior moral values that eventually even compelled some of the blasphemers (i.e. Ka’b bn Zuhair, etc.) to repent and become adorers of Muhammad (peace be on him). Sometimes when their insults became too much, he would allow his celebrated poet, Hassan bin Thabit, to compose eulogy in reply to the blasphemers. (9)

In the light of the foregoing, it is clear that the issue of the legal ruling on blasphemy does not come under what Muslim jurists would need to use their human legal reasoning (Ijtihād) to promulgate or hide under the permission of Ta’zir (discretionary punishment by a judge) to punish blasphemers. This is so, because, the commandments on them have already been appropriately given, as evidenced by the various Qur’anic pronouncements on blasphemy and Prophetic practical attitude toward the blasphemers. Therefore, Muslims are to go by what the Qur’an has enjoined upon them to do. They are to exemplify the Prophet’s Practice (Sunnah) in response to the blasphemers.

So, today’s Muslim states and public should learn to react like the Prophet (peace be on him). They should not behave like a person whose cloth a madman has removed while in the bathroom naked, and he ran out pursuing the madman nakedly. The world would see both of them as mad. Unfortunately, that has been how the world has often been seeing Muslims and Islam each time blasphemers are being subjected to jungle justice or sentenced to death. Rather, Muslims have been enjoined to engage the blasphemers in academic or intellectual discussions and prove to them where they are wrong; and use every civil and humane approach to show the world how uncouth and insane the blasphemers are.

Conclusively, this writer solemnly appeals to the entire world Muslim states, jurists, scholars, and public to consider as imperative the reform or repeal of the extant blasphemy laws in their respective countries and states.

The rationale of this appeal is informed by the fact that, as Sirajul Haqq Khan aptly maintains, “Notwithstanding all the ills of blasphemy, modern day blasphemy does not in any way threaten the existence, continuity and dynamism of Islam as a great religion, legal system and civilisation. Thus, although it should not pass without protest from the Muslims, the protests must be academic, philosophical, dialectical and must be grounded in the common and shared values of dignity and respect for humanity,” (10) as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be and blessings of Allah be upon him.)

References

1. Ahmad, Mirza Tahir, Islam’s Response to Contemporary Issues, Islam International Publication Ltd, UK, 2007, p. 38
2. Sirajul Haqq Khan, Freedom of Expression and Islamic Ideals, p. 9
3. Al-Yahsubi, ‘Ayad bn Musa, Ash-Shifa Bita’rif Huquq al-Mustafa, Maktab ar-Rida Lid-da’wah wa al-Il’an, Egypt, 2008, vol. 2, p. 225
4. Ahmad ibn Abdul-Haleem, al-Sarim al-Maslul ala Shatim al-Rasul, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Lebanon, p. 3
5. Saheed O. Timehin, In Search of Peace, [2010], p.62
6. Bukhari, Kitabul Jana’iz, Babul Kafanni fil Qamis alladhi Yukaffu ‘au laa Yukaffu
7. Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 4,905, narrated by Jabir bn Abdullah
8. Reported by Bukhari and Muslim from Aisha
9. Hassan bn Thabit, Maddah an-Nabi wa Sha’ir al-Islam, https://al-ain.com/amp/article/islam-hassan-thabet-prophet-ramadan Accessed 25th August, 2020
10. Sirajul Haqq Khan, Freedom of Expression and Islamic Ideals, p. 10

Al-Hafiz Yunus Omotayo is a Missionary and Journalist of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria, and the National Chairman of the Muslim Writers Guild of Nigeria. Email: al-hafiz@thetruth.ng

“And Thy Lord Will Soon Give Thee And Thou Wilt Be Well Pleased” – An Astonishing Real-life Story

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The above title – which, actually, is verse 6 of Chapter 93 of the Holy Qur’an – conveys a divinely vouchsafed motivational, hope-inspiring and promising message to every trial-stricken and breakthrough-seeking faithful. Inasmuch as, in the immediate two verses preceding it, He has assured that, “Thy Lord has not forsaken thee, nor is He displeased with thee; surely, every hour that follows is better for thee than the one that precedes.”
Across ages and climes, God has always fulfilled this powerful promise and, whenever and wherever such transcendent fulfillments have manifested, they’ve always revealed the transcendent powers of God, giving faith to the faithless, hope to the hopeless and opening divine doors to those against whom the doors to success have been closed.
The real-life story you’re going to read in this write-up is a confirmative narrative of one of the most astonishing fulfillments of this divine message of hope.
About half a century ago, Mr. Yahaya Obadara began his sojourn on earth. He was born a Muslim with a mixed sanguine that gushed from his Yoruba father and Bassa mother – two prominent Nigerian ethnic groups.
Growing up, he had a good fortune to be enrolled in an Arabic Center where he learnt some rudiments of Arabic language and Islamic religion. After, he went on to pursue his secular studies. Today, he is a civil servant under Kogi State of Nigeria.
While a child, life moved on pleasantly for Mr. Yahaya and, as he advanced to his late twenties and early thirties, so did the natural urge to marry begin to get hold of him — as it’s, normally, the case with any other youth.
At this stage, he began his ultimate search for a damsel with whom he would share marital destiny. And, in the long walk, he was able to hook, ultimately, a woman who would become his better half, much as each looked forward to becoming a delight of the eye to the other.
The marriage was solemnized, laying a new phase in his life. The marital experience began smoothly and advanced cordially, too, as they mutually consort with each other with love, affection and mercy. In fact, it was soon becoming a matrimony rife with joy, peace and tranquility, even as they began to see it fulfilling their mutual vision of an ideal marital experience, with much promising future for their marital destiny.
Sadly, however, whilst their marital relationship seemed advancing in a glorious marital experience on the one hand, the duo were to quickly realize that their matrimony was beginning to lack a vital reality, on the other hand. And, what could that be? Well, the answer is nothing but negative: several months had gone well into the marriage, but Mr. Yahaya and his wife were yet to be blessed with any child – the fruit of marriage!
At the initial stage, they had taken solace in praying privately with faith and hope that conception would soon beacon at them. But it didn’t. Moved by the turn of things, they began to go from one place of prayer to another, and as well as from one hospital to another where they both had several medical consultations, check-ups and treatments. However, whilst they were assured all was okay with them, nonetheless, the medical assurance and hope received from each of such outings would only alley their anxiety temporarily before it would be dashed swiftly by the wife’s menstrual flow.
As the situation continued from months to years without conception, so were their anxiety and distress grew deeper, their hope dimmer and faith shaken. As usual, but more disturbingly, now, the in-laws of both sides, too, were not only feeling deeply concerned and disturbed about this plight, but the mounting pressure from them was equally disturbing, too.
At this juncture where ten years had gone already into the barren marriage with no light seemed in sight at the end of the tunnel, and as the going gets tough and the tough gets going, it became obvious to them that the situation they were facing was nothing but a marriage-murderous challenge!
There had never been a single instance of conception, not even a miscarriage! Now, the thought of an eventual separation must have not only begun to fluctuate in their minds, but also in the whisperings coming from families and friends. But they could sum up the courage to manage to keep on pushing still. True, cancelling a contract of a life relationship that had begun on a good note and rife with strong mutual love and compassion cannot easily come about. But, for how long would they get the strength to hold on tenaciously?
Sadly, the span of ten years seemed to be the limit decreed for their marital destiny. And, as no any sun of a son has risen to cast its radiation on the tree of their marital union to entail their continued photosynthetic process of sustenance and growth, the leaves of the tree gradually withered away while the branches soon dried up. And, in the same 10th year, the marital tree was eventually cut asunder, and Mr. Yahaya and wife went their separate ways! A tragic end, indeed!
Of course, the intent of their separation was for each of them to try another marriage contract respectively. Pursuant to this, therefore, Mr. Yahaya was able to remarry in a not-too-long a time after. And with this second marriage, begins another chapter of our astonishing true-life story.
Will the apotheosis of Mr. Yahaya’s marital destiny change from the tragedy that had characterized his first episodic marital experience to a climatic comical ending in the second marital journey? For now, this writer can’t forecast this. All that yours sincerely can tell, tentatively, is that what is in the offing for us is much more intriguing and mind-blowing than what has preceded. So, let’s patiently walk on along with Mr. Yahaya through the slippery and tempestuous terrain of his matrimonial odyssey.
No doubt, while the new wife was just getting her first ever entry into a marital encounter, one can guess right that Mr. Yahaya’s escapade at this second marital shot must have been filled with deep anxiety and high hope carried over from the previous marriage. This is understandable, anyway.
However, the question is: will this new marriage easily offer Mr. Yahaya’s much-sought-after fruit of marriage like a bed of rose? Only the following storyline can reveal the answer to this.
It’s rather intriguing that Mr. Yahaya’s new marriage began on the note of more tragic experiences!
It all began when, within few time after their marriage, the new wife was blessed with a pregnancy. To the couple and their respective in-laws, this must have been one pregnancy, too many! Deep joy and rejoice must have permeated everyone and everywhere, from all the recesses of their hearts to the surrounding atmosphere beyond. Sadly, however, just as the conception had come within few time after marriage, the same way it had given way so quickly to a miscarriage that blew up their hearts and shattered their hope! That’s deeply tragic! Isn’t it?
However, as common to every human life, life-struggle must continue; as some would say, it’s not finished until it’s finished! In this light, Mr. Yahaya and wife continued their quest for the fruit of their marriage with more prayer and medical approach.
Soon after, Mr. Yahaya did it again. And again, the wife conceived, the second time, beaming rays of renewed happiness to the couple and families.
Notably, however, the atmosphere was that of a mixture of joy and fear. And it was not any fear of the unknown; it was the fear that the history of the first experience should not repeat it. And with this concern, the couple were full of prayer, earnestly entreating God to make their joy everlasting. But, sadly again, just sooner after the conception, another miscarriage stroke, even before the fetus could span the first three months, throwing the couple into a mourning mood, yet again!
To cut the tragic story short, it’s pathetic to note that within the first five years of their marriage, Mr. Yahaya and wife had experienced a total of five miscarriages! Notably, the same pregnancy his first wife could not conceive for the ten years of Mr. Yahaya’s first marital experience, his second wife had conceived it five times within five years of his second marriage. Tragically, however, all of them have been miscarried within the same five years. And, so, for the fifteen years of the two marriages so far, Mr. Yahaya has continued to remain childless!
As believers, it seemed that while God must have heard their prayers – as He hears all prayers always – one may plausibly concede that He has, out of His wisdom, perhaps, decreed the couple should go through a school of life where lessons of life trials are taught and experienced; albeit, for the manifestation of God’s will and decree, and also for the particular individual’s ultimate victory over trials and his/her promotion, progress, peace and, ultimately, realization of the Divine Being and the human self.
And it is from this stage that our interesting real-life story will take U-turn from Mr. Yahaya’s and wife’s negative/tragic adventures to their positive/comical experiences.
Events in Mr. Yahaya and wife’s quest for the fruit of marriage began to take a positive turn from the mid-year 2019. This was when a Muslim youth, Mr. Abdulwahhab, who is Mr. Yahaya’s colleague at work, came to meet yours sincerely in my office at Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Mosque, Otokiti, Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria, where he briefly narrated to me the plight of Mr. Yahaya and requested for special prayer for him.
Mr. Abdulwahhab had come to me because, about three years earlier, precisely in 2016, the same quest for children had brought Mr. Abdulwahhab and his wife to me, having been childless for some few years after marriage. Then, however, just three months after the commencement of our supplication before God, the wife conceived, and subsequently, today, both of them are parents to two male children.
With the above experience, Mr. Abdulwahhab said he felt resolutely that bringing Mr. Yahaya to the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at could be a sure way to getting God’s blessings, for the same God that had done his own, would still do Mr. Yahaya’s by His grace.
Having listened to him, I told him to ask Mr. Yahaya to come in person, importantly too, to enable me listen to his story in details and to explain to him the details of the particular prayer which we would do collectively.
Mr. Yahaya came, and we talked. After, I recommended the relevant prayer to him and his wife, while I, myself, undertook to join in a daily prayer that was to consecutively extend beyond a month.
They departed with hope. And, so was the prayer commenced with hope and faith in God’s positive response soonest.
To my amazement, after few weeks, he informed me that the wife has conceived. However, since the earlier five pregnancies didn’t reach or go beyond the first three months, both of them were having fears and concerns over this present. I cheered them up with words of hope and faith.
Gradually, the pregnancy continued to grow, while the prayers, too, continued concurrently. He would often call to update me at intervals. And so, three months passed, later five, then nine, and the pregnancy continued to grow and grow to the surprise of all.
It’s noteworthy that, during this period, my wife, had been pregnant, too, and had just delivered my third child, on 27th of February, 2020.
Now, it was a day to the naming of the baby (whom I was intending to name Yunus), and while I was planning to drive out to purchase some things preparatory to the naming, there came a call from Mr. Yahaya, and after the initial greetings and informing me that he is in the Federal Medical Center, Lokoja, he went on to let the cat out of the bag, as he exclaimed:
“Yaa Imam, I’m pleased to inform you that my wife has delivered safely. And it is a twin!”
“Twin! What a great news!” I, too, exclaimed.
At such an auspicious moment, the utmost way to express joy is to render words of praise to the God of creation and command. I did so.
But, Mr. Yahaya was not done yet. He continued,
“Imam, please, ever since the pregnancy, I had vowed that you will be the one I would request to pronounce the Adhan and Iqamah (words announcing the time and start of the prescribed Islamic prayer) to the ears of the babies.”
Initially, in view of my schedule for that moment, I humbly apologized for my inability to come. However, with a protest from members of my family, I had to call him that I was already on my way to help him fulfill his vow.
It was the 5th of March, 2020. With his special invitation, I joyfully joined the naming of the twin to felicitate with the family in an occasion that celebrated the grace and blessings of God upon Mr. Yahaya and wife and their victory over life-long trials and the break-through to success and joy.
In a hearty expression of gratitude, Mr. Yahaya busted emotionally, “Yaa Imam, I can never forget you and will forever be appreciative to you in my life, God willing!”
I responded that all were by the grace of Allah and I have only been instrumental through the blessings of the Khilafat (Caliphate) of Ahmadiyya.
Through this long journey of life-trials, Mr. Yahaya and family have realized they’ve been taught the ways of God and divine realization, and are now resolute to devote to the praise and glorification of God, by His grace.

Do you feel you’ve been inspired in any way by this astonishing real-life story? If yes, then, rest assured that, like Mr. Yahaya’s experience: “Your Lord will soon give you and you will be well pleased.” You have the right to claim this prayer.

Al-Hafiz Yunus Omotayo is a Missionary and Journalist of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria and the current National Chairman of the Muslim Writers Guild of Nigeria. Email: al-hafiz@thetruth.ng

Obedience to Constituted Authority in Islam

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The rationale and relevance of the discourse on the subject of obedience to constituted authority in Islam may be informed, understood and appreciated in light of the following declaration by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community:
“A community cannot be a community and cannot have the spirit of nationhood and concord unless it adopts the principles of obedience. If difference of opinion and discord is prevalent, then consider these as signs of misfortune and decline. Along with various other reasons, mutual disagreements and internal conflicts are also behind the weak state and decline of Muslims. If difference of opinion is abandoned and only one person is obeyed, whose obedience is commanded by Allah the Exalted, success is achieved in everything. The hand of Allah the Exalted is on the community; therein lies the secret.” (Vide: Friday Sermon, Essence of Obedience and Submission, December 5th, 2014)
Furthermore, the current Supreme worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) also emphatically maintained that, “Obedience is the pre-condition of Khilafat; obedience is the lifeline of the moral and spiritual existence of the believers and striving to excel in the standard of obedience is extremely important for a believer”. (Friday Sermon, Khilafat and Obedience, May 24th, 2019)
In the light of the above, it is the thrust of this article to demystify the meaning, the essence, significance, scope and merits of obedience to constituted authority in Islam.
Islam and Obedience
If Islam means submission to the will and command of Allah – as it really denotes; and, if to obey is to submit to the will and order of a superior authority; then, Islam is obedience, and obedience is Islam. Hence, the significance of obedience, its standards, benefits as well as the harms in disobedience all occupy prominent place in the teachings of Islam.
In the celestial kingdom of Allah, the Quran represents absolute obedience as the standard principle which the angels accord to every divine will and command: “they disobey not Allah in what He commands them and do as they are commanded,” (Quran, 66:7). “And remember the time when We said to the angels: ‘Submit to Adam,’ and they all submitted,” (Quran, 2:35). Thus, absolute obedience to Divine Authority is the order that governs the heavenly relationship between the Transcendent Authority and the subordinate angelic entities.
Coming down to the terrestrial terrain, a look into the teachings of Islam also reveals that, in order for the faithful to establish, maintain and sustain strong divine-human relationship and moral and spiritual development, and to achieve concord, orderliness, cohesion, success and progress in all ramifications of human social, religious and political organization and community, Allah’s will also emphasizes the primacy of obedience to the following hierarchical order of authorities: the Divine and Prophetic authorities, the Caliphate (Khilafat) authority and the rest forms of constituted authorities.
Going by the above perspective, let us dissect our subject of obedience in the following contexts.
Obedience to Divine and Prophetic Authorities
The Holy Quran enjoins upon Muslims unconditional obedience to Allah and His Messenger, Muhammad (saw), declaring that Messengers are sent to be obeyed (Quran, 4:65), and that obedience of Messenger is obedience of Allah (Quran, 4:60).
The Quran often mentions the reward or benefits of obedience along with the commandment of obedience to Allah and His Messenger. For example: Allah enjoins on Muslims obedience to Him and His Messenger so as to be shown mercy (Quran, 3:133, 173); obedience of Allah and His Messenger leads to prosperity, success and guidance (Quran, 24:52, 53); it leads to highest spiritual upliftment and ranks (4:70); safeguards efforts and works from going in vain (Quran, 47:34). Obedience is better than sacrifice (24:54) and is an evidence of true faith (8:2).
Instructively, when Iblees disobeyed Allah through refusal to bow in obeisance to Adam, he was condemned to eternal curse and perdition (Quran, 15:32-36; 38:75-79). Similarly, though his error was absolved as not borne out of conscious resolve but sheer forgetfulness (Quran, 20:116), Quran yet admits that Adam disobeyed his Lord (Quran, 20:122), and was, consequently, sent out of the garden (Quran, 20:124); only to be forgiven, elected and guided afterward, following his repentance (Quran, 20:123).
While describing the highest level of obedience which the noble Companions demonstrated towards the Holy Prophet (saw), Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) quoted the Promised Messiah (as) as saying that, “How blessed were the Companions (ra) that they were a community wholly devoted in their obedience of the Holy Prophet (saw)…….Allah the Exalted likes oneness, and unity cannot be established unless obedience is practiced.”
“In the time of the Holy Prophet (saw) the Companions were learned and had the ability to make judgments. God had thus created them that they were also well-versed in politics. The competence and excellence with which Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), Hazrat Umer (ra) and others Companions handled power when they became Khalifa demonstrates very well how capable they were at being learned with the ability to make judgments.”
“However, in the presence of the Holy Prophet (saw) they considered naught all their opinions and discernment. Whatever the Holy Prophet (saw) said they deemed it worthy of practice. So devoted were they in his obedience that they sought blessing in the leftover water of his ablution and considered his blessed mouth venerable. If they did not have this spirit of obedience and compliance and everyone considered his opinion the best there would have been discord among them and they would not have attained high status.”(Friday Sermon, Essence of Obedience and Submission, December 5th, 2014)
Obedience to Constituted Authority
Allah says: “O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey His Messenger and those who are in authority among you. And if you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger if you are believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is best and most commendable in the end.” (Q. 4:60)
In his classic Quranic exegesis, Imam Qurtubi, as quoted by Dr. Khalid Ahmad al-Shantut, reviewed the various views of the classical commentators and rationalized that the Quranic term “Ulul-Amr, translated above as ‘those who are in authority’, refers to both the rulers and the scholars of the Quranic sciences and knowledge. (Khalid Ahmad al-Shantut, man hum ulul amr? www.dr-khalid.net )
In the same light, Hadhrat Mirza Bashirudeen Mahmud Ahmad, making reference to the duo Arabic lexica, Taaj al-Aroos and Aqrab al-Mawarid, defined the term as implying “(1) those who possess or hold authority, command or rule; and (2) the learned men who, as it were, possess authority in knowledge.” (The Holy Quran with English Translation and Commentary, vol. 2, p. 532)
Obedience to Caliphate (Khilafat) Authority
Interestingly, the Promised Messiah (as) posited that, “In worldly terms, ‘ulul amr’ [who are in authority], means the king, and in spiritual terms, it means the Imam of the age.’ (The Need for The Imam, p. 37)
As divinely established successorship in the pattern of the Prophethood, Muslims understand the Khulafaa (Successors) as occupying the highest position in the hierarchy of the Ulul-Amr or the possessors of authority. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) declared that: “The obedience of the Khalifa of the time is much more important than obedience of a general Ameer.” (Firday Sermon, Khilafat and Obedience, May 24th, 2019)
Addressing this issue, the famous historian, Hazrat Ibn Khaldun(rh), quite magnificently explains that:
“it is not the Khalifah who should qualify his position because it has already been certified by Almighty Allah through the mechanism of divine appointment; rather, it is, in fact, the members of the Ummah who must qualify their status and worthiness to be led by a Khalifah…The obligation to recognize and obey the Khalifah is a ‘legal obligation’ and not rational necessity.” (Adam Walker, Obedience to the Institution of Khilafat, http://www.alislam.org/…/obedience-to-institution-of…)
Furthermore, Ibn Khaldun defined the pledge of allegiance (Bay’ah) which is to be offered by the Muslims to the Rightly Guided Khalifah: ‘’It should be known that the bay’ah is a contract to render obedience. It is as though the person who renders the oath of allegiance made a contract with his amir, to the effect that he surrenders supervision of his own affairs and those of the Muslims to him and that he will not contest his authority in any of (those affairs) and that he will obey him by (executing) all the duties with which he might be charged, whether agreeable or disagreeable.’’ (ibid)
Similarly, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih 11 (ra) writes that the concluding words of the verse of Istikhlaf, ‘Whosoever is ungrateful after that, they will be rebellious’ (Quran, 24:56) signifies, ‘’…that Khilafah 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 un-stinted support and obedience to their Khalifas they will forfeit this Divine boon and in addition will draw the displeasure of God upon themselves’’ (The Holy Quran with English Translation and Commentary, vol. 4, p.1870)
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) also impressed that, “Within the framework of worldly system of government a spiritual system can and does function. Fortunate are we to be part of this spiritual system. Khilafat endeavours to establish kingdom of God and His Messenger in hearts and minds and in situations of discord the Khalifa reaches judgement according to the commandment of God and His Messenger.”
“It is a favour of God that we have the system of Khilafat among us otherwise different sects and different jurists have different views about matters. And rather than resolve issues, they can further entangle them. Similarly, different views can create different issues with the government as well. Thus interpretation of Islamic law over issues can only be achieved under Khilafat. Ahmadis could not be grateful enough for this and this gratefulness can be expressed by showing complete obedience to Khilafat.” (Friday Sermon, Essence of Obedience and Submission, December 5th, 2014)
More so, he (aba) “addresses Jama’at office-holders and said that if they wish to assist in the progress of the Jama’at then they need to understand the concept of obedience more than anyone else! If all office-holders on all levels understood the concept of obedience, the members of the Jama’at would inevitably understand it. Everyone would appear as the straight line of travelling camels.”
“Amirs, Sadrs and other office-holders should self-reflect over their standards of obedience and ponder how they respond to any instruction of the Khalifa of the time. Do they obey instantly or do they construe their own meanings of what is instructed? Some office-holders act upon instructions received from the Khalifa of the time but with some hesitation. This does not signify obedience. Obedience is when something is followed instantly. Indeed, it is fine to have your own opinion; however when the Khalifa of the time decides upon something, then one must overlook one’s opinion. (Friday Sermon, Unconditional Obedience to Khilafat, June 6th, 2014)
“What is needed is to understand the essence of what Khilafat is. And this can only happen with perfect obedience. No matter how academic or authoritative one thinks one may be, there is no room in Jama’at Ahmadiyya for one who is not obedient and such knowledge and wisdom cannot spiritually benefit the world either….. Intellect and wisdom is fruitful with obedience of the Khalifa of the time and cessation of one’s own interpretation of matters. …..Office-holders cannot rightfully be ‘authority over’ people unless they too completely obey Khilafat and do not desist from making their own interpretation; rather they consider each word of the Khalifa of the time as worthy of being obeyed. (Friday Sermon, Unconditional Obedience to Khilafat, June 6th, 2014)
Obedience to Other Forms of Constituted Authority
As noted above, the term Ulul-Amr has general application that incorporates all types or aspects of leadership i.e. political, organizational and cooperate leaderships etc., and Islam enjoins obedience to every possessor of such authority.
Again, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) quoted the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) as saying that; ‘After me you will see injustice, rights suppressed and others given preference over you. You will see matters that you will disapprove of’. When asked what was the commandment in such circumstances, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) replied, ‘pay their [leaders] rights to them and ask God for your rights.’
The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) also said: ‘Whoever disapproves of something done by his ruler should be patient, for whoever disobeys the ruler even as little as the span of a hand will die a death of ignorance.’
A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and complained that he had appointed so and so as a ruler and had not appointed him, to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) replied: ‘After me you will see others given preference over you but you should be patient till the Day of Judgment.’
Once the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was asked how people should react if unjust rulers are imposed on them. He declined to answer, he was asked again, and again he declined. When he was asked the third time, he replied that even in such a situation the ruler should be obeyed. He would be accountable for the responsibility given to him while the subjects would be accountable for the responsibility laid on them.
Once the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) took Bai’at, after which he said once someone is made a ruler he should not be quarreled with unless he does Kufr (disbelief) publically and for this they [they people] have a proof from God. (Friday Sermon, Obedience to the State, 01/04/2011)
Conclusion
The incident of disobedience by a few Muslims which turned their victory to defeat at the battle of Uhud (H.M.B. M. Ahmad, Life of Muhammad, p.101-114) should remain an eternal lesson for Muslims to always demonstrate obedience to constituted authority.
Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) noted that the Holy Prophet (saw) said that whoever obeyed his amir, obeyed him; and whoever disobeyed his amir, disobeyed him. The Holy Qur’an also commands obedience in several places and it is indeed the secret for communal success and is a point that members of the Jama’at need to understand a great deal. (Friday Sermon, Unconditional Obedience to Khilafat, June 6th, 2014)
“If each member of the Jama’at is obedient we will head towards spiritual heights and our faith will be as strong as mountains and as a result message of Islam will spread in all directions in the world.” (Friday Sermon, Unconditional Obedience to Khilafat, June 6th, 2014)

[This article first appeared in the February, 2020 edition of An-Nasr magazine, Volume 18, No.1]

Al-Hafiz Yunus Omotayo is a Missionary and Journalist of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria and Chairman of the Muslim Writers Guild of Nigeria. Email: al-hafiz@thetruth.ng

BREAKING! Eid Al-Fitr 2022: Al-Hafiz Yunus Shares Smiles To Communicate Love, Peace And Happiness To The World

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Jabir reported God’s Messenger (saw) as saying:
“Every act of kindness is a charity, and kindness includes meeting your brother with a cheerful face and pouring water from your bucket into your brother’s vessel.”
: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «كُلُّ مَعْرُوفٍ صَدَقَةٌ وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْمَعْرُوفِ أَنْ تَلْقَى أَخَاكَ بِوَجْهٍ طَلْقٍ وَأَنْ تُفْرِغَ مِنْ دَلْوِكَ فِي إِنَاءِ أَخِيكَ» . رَوَاهُ أَحْمد وَالتِّرْمِذِيّ
(Ahmad and Tirmidhi transmitted it.)
May Divine love, peace, and happiness illuminate our hearts, souls, lives, homes, countries, and the globe. Āmīn!