This entry is taken from the Lahori-Ahmadi website: http://www.ahmadiyya.org/qadis/khil2.htm#sp1925
In March 1914, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad was successful in his long-standing plans to gain the headship of the movement upon the death of Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din. Immediately thereafter, having first ensured that no opposition could be voiced against him in Qadian, he had the following resolution of the Anjuman passed by his supporters:
“By Resolution 198 of the Majlis-i Mu‘timidin (Council of Trustees) held in April 1914 it was resolved that in Rule no. 18 of the rules of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Qadian, in place of the words ‘Promised Messiah’ the words ‘Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad the second Khalifa’ shall be entered. Therefore, Rule no. 18 shall now be as follows: In every matter, for the Majlis-i Mu‘timidin and its subordinate branches if any, and for the Sadr Anjuman and all its branches, the order of Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad the second Khalifa shall be absolute and final.”
— Review of Religions, Urdu edition, the issues for April 1914 and May 1914, inside of the front cover.
By this resolution, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad removed from the Anjuman its position of supreme authority given to it by the Promised Messiah, and raised himself to the Divinely-appointed status of the Promised Messiah by writing his own name in Rule no. 18, giving his orders supremacy over the Anjuman’s decisions. He thus destroyed the system created by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and replaced it by personal, autocratic rule by a khalifa, the concept of which is in complete violation of the principles of Islam as well as the teachings of the Promised Messiah.
It will be seen that when Maulana Nur-ud-Din became head, he did not substitute his name for that of the Promised Messiah in this Rule. On the contrary, he followed the regulations laid down by the Promised Messiah regarding the powers of the Anjuman.
Therefore, the sense in which M. Mahmud Ahmad made himself khalifa was entirely different from, and quite opposed to, the sense in which Maulana Nur-ud-Din was khalifa. This is one of the main reasons why those, like Maulana Muhammad Ali, who accepted Maulana Nur-ud-Din as khalifa could not accept M. Mahmud Ahmad as khalifa.
By means of the change in the rules referred to above, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad arrogated himself to the position of an absolute leader whose orders had to be obeyed unquestioningly by everyone in the movement. Despite this amendment and despite the fact that the Anjuman now consisted entirely of his own supporters, he still felt insecure that the Anjuman might seek to regain its authority some time in the future.
In a speech in October 1925, therefore, he laid down a new system of administration, reducing the Council of Trustees to an entirely subservient body. In this speech, published under the title Jama‘at Ahmadiyya ka jadid nizam ‘amal (‘A new system of working for the Ahmadiyya Movement’), at the very outset he attacked the principles upon which the Anjuman was founded, and declared:
“As I have said again and again, the name Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya and its method of working were devised by others and not by the Promised Messiah. But since the approval of the Promised Messiah had been given in respect of it, I have decided that all those names which were established during the time of the Promised Messiah should be retained.”
— Al-Fazl, 31 October 1925, p. 3, col. 1. (See original text.)
He then announced his decision that the names Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya and Majlis-i Mu‘timidin (Council of Trustees) would be transferred to certain other bodies, so that their names would be retained but the institutions themselves would cease to exist!
Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s statement given above is self-contradictory and indeed plainly absurd. Firstly, he admits that the Promised Messiah had given his approval of the name and the rules of the Anjuman, but he says that these were “devised by others” and then attacks the rules. This amounts to alleging that the Promised Messiah approved these rules merely at the behest of “others”, without himself knowing or caring that these would be harmful to the Movement, and now Mirza Mahmud Ahmad was going to rectify the Promised Messiah’s error!
Secondly, since in his view the names as well as the rules were “devised by others” and merely approved by the Promised Messiah, it is entirely illogical for him to retain the names because of their association with the Promised Messiah’s time but destroy the rules. The rules were also from the Promised Messiah’s time. Therefore, the names and the rules should both be eliminated or both be retained!
M. Mahmud Ahmad’s admissions in his speech
There are several very interesting and revealing admissions made by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad in this speech. He said:
“The founding principle of the Council of Trustees (Majlis-i Mu‘timidin) did not include the existence of the khalifa of the time, which is the very fundamental issue in Islam. A resolution has been passed during the second khilafat to the effect that the Council must accept whatever the khalifa says. But this is not a matter of principle. What it means is that a body of members says that it would do so. However, the body which is entitled to say this, can also say that it shall not do so. For, the Anjuman which can pass the resolution that it shall obey the khalifa in everything, if ten years later it says that it shall not obey him, it is entitled to do so according to the rules of the Anjuman. Or if the Anjuman says that it will obey this khalifa in everything but will not obey another one, it has the right to do so according to its rules, as happened in the time of the first khalifa.”
— Al-Fazl, 3 November 1925, p. 3, col. 1. (See original text.)
Here Mirza Mahmud Ahmad has made the following two admissions:
- There is no mention of the concept or the institution of a personal khilafat in the basic principles of the Anjuman, upon which it was created by the Promised Messiah.
- It is within the Anjuman’s powers to revoke at any time its resolution, which he got it to pass in 1914, to follow the khalifa’s orders. This shows that the Anjuman was not originally created to be subservient to any individual leader, but was the supreme and sovereign executive of the Movement. He is, in fact, expressing his fear that the Anjuman may at some time in future decide to re-assert its original authority and cease to be subservient to an individual khalifa.
“For the sake of the khilafat we had to make an unparalleled sacrifice. And that was that we sacrificed for its sake the old followers of the Promised Messiah, those who were called his friends, those who had a very close relationship with him. If this religious difference had not arisen between them and ourselves, they would be dearer to us than our own children because they included those who knew the Promised Messiah and those who were his companions, and had worked with him. … But because a difference arose regarding a teaching which was from God, and which had to be accepted for the sake of our faith and the Jama‘at, we sacrificed those who were dearer to us than our children. So, over this question, we have made such a magnificent sacrifice that no other sacrifice can equal it. This is far greater than sacrificing one’s life because in that case a man sacrifices only himself. But here we had to sacrifice a part of our Movement.
“If even after so much sacrifice the movement still remains insecure, that is, it is at the mercy of a few men who can, if they so wish, allow the system of khilafat to continue in existence, and if they do not so wish, it cannot remain in existence, this cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. Because the institution of khilafat was not included in the basic principles of the Jama‘at, the movement lives in the constant danger which can turn pledged members into non-pledged members, and by the stroke of the pen of ten or eleven men Qadian can at once become Lahore.“Therefore, the works of the Jama‘at relating to propagation and training cannot be entrusted to such an Anjuman, even though that Anjuman may consist of pledged members, and even though they may be men of the highest sincerity.”
— Al-Fazl, 3 November 1925, p. 3, cols. 1–2. (See original text.)
(Translator’s Note: The word translated as “pledged members” is muba‘een, referring to “those who have taken the bai‘at” of the Qadiani khalifa.)
Here Mirza Mahmud Ahmad has made the following interesting admissions:
- He and his supporters forced the “old followers, friends and companions of the Promised Messiah” out of the Ahmadiyya Movement, which he describes as “an unparalleled sacrifice” made by the Qadianis, in order to establish an autocratic khilafat. This clearly disproves the allegation made commonly by the present-day Qadianis that the separation in the Movement in 1914 came about because Maulana Muhammad Ali was trying to become the head, and having failed in that attempt he left and formed his own separate group. Mirza Mahmud Ahmad says here, on the contrary, that “we had to sacrifice a part of our Movement” for the sake of the system of khilafat. In other words, Maulana Muhammad Ali and his associates were opposing the system of khilafat which Mirza Mahmud Ahmad was striving to introduce, and this opposition was thus purged, or “sacrificed”, out of the Movement.
- Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s words that “by the stroke of the pen of ten or eleven men Qadian can at once become Lahore” are highly note-worthy. He is admitting that what makes Lahore different from Qadian is that the Lahore Ahmadis hold the Anjuman to be supreme, and if this supremacy was again accepted in Qadian then Qadian would become Lahore. Since that is the difference, as admitted here, then it is false to allege that the Lahore Ahmadis separated from Qadian because Maulana Muhammad Ali failed to become the khalifa there. If that had been the reason for the split, then the only way Qadian could become Lahore would be by accepting the Maulana as their leader!
Mirza Mahmud Ahmad makes Anjuman totally powerless
Mirza Mahmud Ahmad then went on to announce in this speech that in his new system the term Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya would refer to “the khalifa and his advisors”, the advisors would advise and the khalifa would decide, and this would be known as the decision of the Sadr Anjuman. The Majlis-i Mu‘timidin (Council of Trustees) would merely carry out the decision without question.
It can be seen that these institutions, which had been created by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, were demolished by Mirza Mahmud Ahmad in order to create a system of absolute, autocratic, personal rule, and establish a family succession.