Ever since Mirza Masroor Ahmad said in that famous leaked audio that bait is like selling yourself, Ahmadi’s have been frantically looking for references to attach to the utterance of their Khalifa (See the ROR of May-1942, Malfuzat is the sub ref). About 9 months ago, they presented a reference from the 1960’s via Malfuzat, we have posted it in the below. We have also posted quotes from 1919 wherein the 2nd Khalifa talks about bait. See also the ROR of Sep-1942 (page 354).

The Quote
Malfuzat, Vol. 7, pp. 29-30

“To take bai‘at means handing over your life to the Almighty Allah. It means, ‘Today we have sold our lives to the Almighty Allah.’ It is wrong to say that by treading the path of Allah, anybody can ultimately suffer a loss.”
The article in Al-Hakam

Last Updated on 20th March 2021

Jalees Ahmad, Al Hakam

As 23 March approaches, we are reminded of those blessed souls who were guided by Allah and took bai‘at at the hands of the Messiah, making it a lot easier for us today to accept the truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas.

This simple act was in accordance with the Holy Prophet’ssa command who emphasised that at the advent of the Messiah, one should go to him and pledge his allegiance, “even if you have to crawl over snow, for he is the Khalifa of Allah, the Mahdi.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab-ul-Fitan, Chapter Khuruj al-Mahdi, Hadith 4084)

The Holy Prophetsa, describing the Latter Days and the decline of Islam, stated that the “scholars” of that time would be the worst people and strife would issue from, and avert to, them. If we truly wish to be among those who are rightly guided, then it is essential to recognise the Imam of the age and pledge allegiance to him as outlined by the Prophetsa.

The history of bai‘at is not something exclusive to the Ahmadiyya Jamaat alone. This is a repeated theme throughout the time of the Holy Prophetsa and early Islam.

Meaning of bai‘at

Bai‘at literally means to sell yourself or to make a pledge of allegiance.

The Promised Messiahas explains:

“To take bai‘at means handing over your life to the Almighty Allah. It means, ‘Today we have sold our lives to the Almighty Allah.’ It is wrong to say that by treading the path of Allah, anybody can ultimately suffer a loss.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 7, pp. 29-30)

At another place, he says:

“Bai‘at truly means to sell oneself; its blessings and impact are based on that condition. Just as a seed is sown into the ground, its original condition is that the hand of the farmer has sown it, but it is not known what will happen to it. If the seed is of good quality and possesses the capacity to grow, then with the grace of Allah and as a consequence of the work done by the farmer, it grows until one grain turns into a thousand grains.

“Similarly, the person taking bai‘at has to first adopt lowliness and humility and has to distance himself from his ego and selfishness. Then, that person becomes fit for growth. But he who continues to hold on to his ego, along with taking bai‘at, will never receive any grace.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 6, p. 173)

Bai‘at in early Islam

The earliest and most prominent incident of bai‘at in the history of Islam was when the Holy Prophetsa, in 12 Nabawi, journeyed to Aqabah where he met with a group of 12 men from Yathrib (later Medina), among whom five had met and accepted him a year prior. This group took the bai‘at and pledged their allegiance at his hand.

After the bai‘at, the Holy Prophetsa said:

“If you remain true to this pledge in honesty and steadfastness, then you shall gain Paradise. But if you show weakness, then your matter is with Allah the Exalted, for He shall do what He wills.” (The Life & Character of the Seal of Prophets, Vol. 1, p. 304)

When these blessed souls from Yathrib departed, they requested the Holy Prophetsa to send a person who may continue to teach them about Islam. Accepting this request, he sent Hazrat Mus‘abra bin Umair. This, in history, is known as the First Aqabah Pledge (bai‘at).

The following year, around 70 people travelled to meet with the Holy Prophetsa. After arriving, it was decided a private meeting would be held. As the degree of persecution continued to grow in Mecca, the Holy Prophetsa ordered them to come in pairs during the night.

In the meeting, the Holy Prophetsa recited a few verses of the Holy Quran and proceeded to explain the teachings of Islam. Upon completing his address, they all swore allegiance to the Holy Prophetsa.

Among them was Hazrat Abdullahra bin Kaab, who later narrated:

وَلَقَدْ شَهِدْتُ مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَيْلَةَ الْعَقَبَةِ حِينَ تَوَاثَقْنَا عَلَى الْإِسْلَامِ

“I witnessed the Al-Aqabah pledge of allegiance at night with the Prophetsa when we jointly agreed to support Islam with all our efforts.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Munaqib al-Ansar, Hadith 3889)

The Holy Prophet’ssa method of taking bai‘at

The Holy Prophetsa would extend and stretch out his hand and the Companionsra would take hold of it and pledge their allegiance.

The Holy Quran has already shed light on this. In Surah al-Fath, Allah states:

اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ يُبَايِعُوۡنَكَ اِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُوۡنَ اللّٰهَ ؕ يَدُ اللّٰهِ فَوۡقَ اَيۡدِيۡهِمۡ

“Verily, those who swear allegiance to thee indeed swear allegiance to Allah. The hand of Allah is over their hands.” (Surah al-Fath, Ch.48: V.11)

This verse alludes to the incident of the treaty of Hudaybiyya and the oath taken by the believers at the hand of the Holy Prophetsa under a tree. This oath was taken when a rumour reached the Holy Prophetsa that Hazrat Uthmanra had been killed. The believers took the oath that they would stand by the Holy Prophetsa till very the end.

In relation to this incident, we find a hadith recorded in Sunan al-Nasai:

عَنْ يَزِيدَ بْنِ أَبِي عُبَيْدٍ، قَالَ قُلْتُ لِسَلَمَةَ بْنِ الأَكْوَعِ عَلَى أَىِّ شَىْءٍ بَايَعْتُمُ النَّبِيَّ صلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَوْمَ الْحُدَيْبِيَةِ قَالَ عَلَى الْمَوْتِ

“Yazid bin Abi Ubaid narrated, ‘I said to Salamah bin Al-Akwa, “What pledge did you make to the Prophet on the Day of Al-Hudaibiyyah?” He replied, “For death.”’” (Sunan al-Nasai, Kitab al-Baiat, Hadith 4159)

When a person would come to do bai‘at, the Holy Prophetsa would take his hand into his own. The believer would then swear allegiance and promise to abide and obey every decision made by the Holy Prophetsa. Whilst taking bai‘at from women, the Holy Prophetsa would take a verbal oath of allegiance.

In this regard, Hazrat Aishara narrates:

“The Holy Prophetsa used to take the pledge from the women only verbally after reciting this verse [of Surah al-Mumtahinah, Ch.60: V.13]  لَّا‭ ‬يُشۡرِكۡنَ‭ ‬بِاللّٰهِ‭ ‬شَيۡئًا ‘[…] they will not associate anything in worship with Allah.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Ahkam, Hadith 7214)

What the Companionsra pledged

Through various narrations and ahadith, we find that the Companionsra pledged that they would not worship anything save Allah; they would refrain from stealing, regularly perform Salat, along with various other Islamic injunctions.

Hazrat Ubadara bin Al-Samit narrates:

بَايَعْنَاهُ عَلَى أَنْ لاَ نُشْرِكَ بِاللّٰهِ شَيْئًا، وَلاَ نَسْرِقَ، وَلَا نَزْنِيَ

“We gave the pledge of allegiance to him that we would not worship anything other than Allah, would not steal, would not commit adultery.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Munaqib al-Ansar, Hadith 3893)

Then, in another hadith, he narrates:

قَالَ بَايَعْنَا رَسُولَ اللّٰهِ صلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَلَى السَّمْعِ وَالطَّاعَةِ فِي الْيُسْرِ وَالْعُسْرِ

“We pledged to the Messengersa of Allah to hear and obey, both in times of ease and hardship. (Sunan al-Nasai, Kitab al- Bai‘at, Hadith 4149)

Hazrat Ibn Umarra narrates:

عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ كُنَّا نُبَايِعُ رَسُولَ اللّٰهِ صلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَلَى السَّمْعِ وَالطَّاعَةِ ‏

“We used to pledge to the Messengersa of Allah to hear and obey.” (Sunan al-Nasai, Kitab al-Bai‘at, Hadith 4187)

Hazrat Jarirra narrates:

عَنْ جَرِيرٍ، قَالَ بَايَعْتُ رَسُولَ اللّٰهِ صلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَلَى إِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ وَالنُّصْحِ لِكُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ وَعَلَى فِرَاقِ الْمُشْرِكِ ‏

“I pledged to the Messengersa of Allah to perform Salat, pay the Zakat, be sincere towards every Muslim and forsake the idolaters. (Sunan al-Nasai, Kitab al-Bai‘at, Hadith 4175)

Later, the Holy Prophetsa made an addition to the words of the bai‘at when the injunction of Jihad by the sword was revealed.

Bai‘at in Islam Ahmadiyyat

It is common practice for prophets of God to not assert or say anything from themselves; rather, they wait for Allah to reveal certain matters.

Some pious and noble Muslims, such as Hazrat Sufi Ahmad Jan, whilst observing the deteriorating conditions of morality and spirituality among Muslims, desired and requested Hazrat Ahmadas to take their bai‘at as they firmly believed that Islam needed to be revived to save Muslims from drowning in this ever-growing materialistic world. However, Hazrat Ahmadas would reply by saying:

لَسْتُ‭ ‬بِمَاْمُوْرٍ

“I have not been commissioned.”

The Promised Messiahas would add, “Since the Almighty Allah has not conveyed anything to me in the matter of bai‘at, it is not proper that I should do so on my own initiative.” (Hayat-e-Ahmad, Vol. 2, p. 150)

This incident encapsulates the noble example of the Promised Messiahas.

There are those who raise allegations against Hazrat Ahmadas that he only desired to take people’s bai‘at and start a movement so that he could progress in worldly matters and gain recognition. Thus, this incident and narration sheds light and proves this allegation to be baseless and only highlights their own moral compass.

Hazrat Ahmadas was not concerned about gaining fame as it did not matter to him if people agreed with him or not. His main focus was reviving the true message and teachings of Islam. His entire life was dedicated to this cause.

When Hazrat Ahmadas was divinely instructed to take bai‘at and start a jamaat, he published an announcement on 1 December 1888, saying:

“Another message that I wish to convey to the people at large, and to my Muslim brothers in particular, is that I have been commanded to take an oath of allegiance [bai‘at] from seekers of truth who wish to acquire true faith and purity; who yearn to find the path to Allah’s love; who want to give up their foul, slothful and false existence.

Hazrat Sufi Ahmad Jan’s home in Ludhiana, where the first bai‘at took place in 1889

“Whosoever finds in themselves the willingness to do this must come to me. I will be their comforter and will do my best to ease their burden. God will bless them through my prayers and my attention, provided they are ready with heart and soul to abide by His conditions. This is a divine command which I have hereby conveyed. The actual words of the revelation in Arabic are as follows:

إِذَا‭ ‬عَزَمْتَ‭ ‬فَتَوَكَّلْ‭ ‬عَلَى‭ ‬اللّٰهِ۔‭ ‬وَاصْنَعِ‭ ‬الْفُلْكَ‭ ‬بِأَعْيُنِنَا‭ ‬وَوَحْيِنَا۔‭ ‬إِنَّ‭ ‬الَّذِيْنَ‭ ‬يُبَايِعُوْنَكَ‭ ‬إِنَّمَا‭ ‬يُبَايِعُوْنَ‭ ‬اللّٰهَ‭ ‬يَدُ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ‭ ‬فَوْقَ‭ ‬أَيْدِيْهِمْ

[“When you have made up your mind, you must have trust in God. Make an ark under Our eyes and under Our command. Those who will take bai‘at at your hands will really be giving their hands into the hand of God. The hand of God is over their hands.”]

“Peace be on him who follows the guidance.

“Ghulam Ahmad. 1 December 1888”. (Majmua-e-Ishtiharat, Vol. 1, p. 205)

The Promised Messiahas put forward the 10 conditions of bai‘at on 12 January 1889. He announced that those who desired to do bai‘atshould come to Ludhiana after 20 March 1889. (See page 48 of this issue for the full English text of the 10 conditions) The bai‘at was taken on 23 March 1889 in Hazrat Sufi Ahmad Jan Sahib’s house in Ludhiana, who had passed away earlier. This blessed house is now known as Dar-ul-Bai‘at.

The bai‘at ceremony was very simple. Hazrat Ahmadas, seated on the floor, extended his right hand and held the right hand of his disciple who then repeated the words:

“I repent today, at the hand of Ahmadas, of all the sins and bad habits to which I was addicted; and most truthfully and solemnly do I promise that to the last day of my life, I shall eschew, to the best of my ability, all manner of sin. I will hold my faith above all worldly considerations. I shall try, as far as I can to observe the 10 conditions of bai‘at laid down in the leaflet dated 12 January 1889. I seek forgiveness of God for my past sins.” (Life of Ahmad, AR Dard, p. 206)

Register of the first Bai’at at the hand of the Promised Messiahas with names including Hazrat Maulvi Nuruddinra, Hazrat Hafiz Hamid Alira and Hazrat Munshi Rustam Alira

For more details about the Bai‘at Register, please see:

Some people term doing bai‘at and abiding by the 10 conditions as bidah (an unwarranted innovation in Islam). First and foremost, let it be clear that bai‘at is a repetitive theme in Islam, as already mentioned earlier. Many Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa are reported to have mentioned their incidents of bai‘at and the Holy Quran even makes mention of bai‘at that was taken during the treaty of Hudaybiyya. Thus, anyone who has studied Islamic history will know that bai‘at itself is not new to Islam.

Those who do bai‘at and accept Islam Ahmadiyyat are in fact following the commandment of the Holy Prophetsa because he instructed Muslims:

فَإِذَا‭ ‬رَأَيْتُمُوهُ‭ ‬فَبَايِعُوهُ‭ ‬وَلَوْ‭ ‬حَبْوًا‭ ‬عَلَى‭ ‬الثَّلْجِ‭ ‬فَإِنَّهُ‭ ‬خَلِيْفَةُ‭ ‬اللّٰهِ‭ ‬الْمَهْدِيُّ‭ ‬‏‏

“When you see him [the Messiah], then pledge your allegiance to him even if you have to crawl over snow, for he is the Khalifa of Allah, the Mahdi.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab-ul-Fitan, Chapter Khuruj al-Mahdi, Hadith 4084)

من‭ ‬أدركه‭ ‬منكم‭ ‬فليقرأ‭ ‬عليه‭ ‬السلام

“Anyone who gets the honour of meeting him [the Messiah], he must convey my salaam to him.” (Dur al-Manthur fi al-Tafsir bil Ma’thur Vol. 5, p. 113)

On another occasion, whilst describing the decline of Islam, the Holy Prophetsa, said that in order to save oneself, one must “attach firmly to the jamaat [group] of Muslims and their imam.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Fitan, Hadith 7084)

With regard to the objection of the 10 conditions of bai‘at being an innovation in Islam, let it be clear that not even a single condition negates an iota of the Holy Quran. In brief, the 10 conditions are to:

(i) Abstain from shirk

(ii) Keep away from falsehood

(iii) Regularly offer the five daily prayers

(iv) Cause no harm to the creatures of God

(v) Remain faithful to God

(vi) Refrain from following un-Islamic customs

(vii) Give up pride and vanity

(viii) Hold faith and the honour of Islam dear to one

(ix) Remain occupied in the service of God’s creatures

(x) Enter into a bond of brotherhood with Hazrat Ahmadas, pledging obedience to him in everything good for the sake of God. (See page 48 of this issue for the full text of the 10 conditions.)

Explaining the establishment of bai‘at, the Promised Messiahas states:

“This system of bai‘at has been established solely to gather together a group of the righteous people in a Jamaat so that a weighty group of the righteous people should make a holy impact on the world. The unity of these righteous people should be a source of blessings, grandeur and positive results for Islam. The blessings of being united on one creed may enable them to perform noble and righteous services for the sake of Islam.” (Majmua-e-Ishtiharat, Vol. 1, p. 196)

This objection holds no ground as the conditions of bai‘at are to ensure one abides by the true teachings of Islam.

Do Ahmadi Muslims prostrate to the Khalifa?

Non-Ahmadi Muslims object to the method of bai‘at adopted by Ahmadis and allege that all Ahmadis fall prostrate before the Khalifa – God forbid – and in this way, succumb to shirk.

This objection is completely false. One only needs to read the 10 conditions of bai‘at to realise the reality of this. The very first condition is to solemnly promise that one shall abstain from shirk. Thus, simply shedding light on the conditions of bai‘at and common sense, this allegation is evidently negated. One simply cannot entertain this belief.

In actuality, after the bai‘at ceremony, Ahmadi Muslims fall in prostration before Allah, which is known as sajdah-e-shukr – a prostration before Allah in order to show one’s gratitude to Him for guiding us on the right path and enabling us to recognise the Imam of the age and fulfilling the instruction of the Holy Prophetsa. We find a narration where Hazrat Abu Bakrra said:

وَعَنْ أَبِي بَكْرَةَ ‏رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَنْهُ ‏أَنَّ اَلنَّبِيَّ صلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ‏ كَانَ إِذَا جَاءَهُ أَمْرٌ يَسُرُّهُ خَرَّ سَاجِدًا لِلّٰهِ رَوَاهُ الْخَمْسَةُ إِلَّا النَّسَائِيَّ

“Whenever the Holy Prophetsa received a matter which pleased him, he used to prostrate to Allah [out of gratitude].” (Bulugh al-Maram, Kitab al-Salat, Hadith 249)

We find another hadith narrated by Hazrat Anas bin Malik:

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ  صلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ  بُشِّرَ بِحَاجَةٍ  فَخَرَّ سَاجِدًا

“It was narrated from Anas bin Malik that the Holy Prophetsa was given glad tidings that a need of his had been met, and he fell down prostrate.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Iqamat al-Salat wa al-sunnah fiha, Hadith 590)

Thus, with a study of these two ahadith, we see that sajdah-e-shukr is performed immediately and upon showing gratitude. There is no obligation mentioned to perform sajdah in a state of ablution or to face the qibla as these are spontaneous acts of devotion and love.

In a hadith, we read:

مَنْ‭ ‬بَايَعَ‭ ‬إِمَامًا‭ ‬فَأَعْطَاهُ‭ ‬صَفْقَةَ‭ ‬يَدِهِ‭ ‬وَثَمَرَةَ‭ ‬قَلْبِهِ

“He who swears allegiance to an imam should give him the pledge of his hand and the sincerity of his heart.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Imarah, Hadith 1844)

This hadith clearly shows that bai‘at is closely linked to one’s words and heart and thus, after being guided and overcome with such emotion, it is only right that one submits before his lord to express his appreciation.

It is astonishing to see Muslims object against Ahmadi Muslims, as raising similar allegations was the practice of the enemies of Islam who fabricated stories against the Holy Prophetsa.

A similar accusation is levelled against the Holy Prophetsa and his Companionsra that they prostrated before the idols Lat, Uzza and Manaat.

However, with a cursory glance at history and the life of the Holy Prophetsa, this can be proven a mere tale and holds no significance.

As bai‘at literally means to sell yourself, does it mean Muslims are blind followers?

Some people, being engulfed in the materialistic world, suggest that religious people, mainly those belonging to an organised religion, follow faith blindly.

Islam is the biggest problem for many people today who oppose organised religion. Bring into the equation the system of bai‘at, which literally means to sell yourself and eschew everything, and pledging allegiance to a religious figurehead, it appears to them a means of bringing to san end any scientific progress.

Atheists today believe that religion and science are not compatible with one another and they suggest that faith demands belief without any evidence at all.

Many have grappled with this idea for a long period. Traces of this allegation can be found with Galileo Galilei and his conflict with the Catholic Church. Galileo was deemed a heretic by the Catholic Church for holding the belief that the Earth revolved around the Sun.

With time, this notion progressed further, that faith and religion worked as a way of stopping science.

The fact of the matter is that Islam does not encourage blind faith. In fact, the Holy Quran, on multiple occasions, reminds Muslims to continuously think and to ponder over matters of faith, the universe and God’s creation. The Holy Quran even states that by doing so, one can find signs of the truthfulness and existence of God.

The words أَفَلَا‭ ‬تَعْقِلُونَ and‭ ‬أَفَلَا‭ ‬تَتَفَكَّرُونَ‭ ‬and phrases that encourage one to contemplate and reflect are often repeated in the Holy Quran and serves as a reminder to all Muslims to continue to reflect and contemplate.

In the Holy Quran, Allah states:

“In the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation of the night and the day there are indeed Signs for men of understanding”. (Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.191)

Of course, for anyone who has studied a bit of Islamic history, it is clear how Muslim scientists, doctors, academics and philosophers provided the pillars of modern advancements in science, innovation and research across a plethora of disciplines.

Muslims, first and foremost, present the revolutionary teachings of the Holy Quran that span across countless subjects – morals, ethics, society, economy, international peace, science, research, discovery, the role of religion, atheism, the soul, the Hereafter etc. By following such teachings, humanity can – as proven throughout the history of Islam – steer its ship towards huge advancements spiritually and physically. Couple these teachings with the practise of the Holy Prophetsa and you have a force of good that the world had never seen.

Islam is the religion that encourages continuous learning and understanding. Thus, blind faith or following an ideology irrationally is not considered a part of Islam.

The key misunderstanding simply arises from not comprehending the true teachings of Islam, for if those who raise this objection ponder over the commandments of the Holy Quran, they would realise that this allegation is baseless.

As we enter the 132nd year since the establishment of this blessed Jamaat, we must always remember God’s blessings for enabling us to recognise the Messiah of the age who rejuvenated and revived Islam, as prophesied by the Holy Prophetsa:

لَوْ‭ ‬كَانَ‭ ‬الْإِيمَانُ‭ ‬عِنْدَ‭ ‬الثُّرَيَّا‭ ‬لَنَا‭ ‬لَهُ‭ ‬رِجَالٌ۔‭ ‬أَوْ‭ ‬رَجُلٌ۔‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬هَؤُلَاءِ

“Even if faith ascended to the Pleiades [completely disappearing from the earth], there would be some from his people [in another version, “one man” is mentioned instead of “some people”] who would restore faith back to earth.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Tafsir, Hadith 4897)

The Promised Messiahas guided people who then brought about a magnificent spiritual and moral change within themselves. And through the revival of Islam, many are witnessing God and are accepting Islam Ahmadiyya on a daily basis, holding true to the verse:

كَتَبَ‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬لَاَغۡلِبَنَّ‭ ‬اَنَا‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬رُسُلِيۡ

“Allah has decreed: ‘Most surely I will prevail, I and My Messengers.’” (Surah al-Mujadalah, Ch.58: V.22)

The Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdias states:

“I came only to sow the seed, which has been planted by my hand. It shall now grow and flourish and there is none who can impede its growth.” (Tadhkiratush-Shahadatain, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 20, p. 67)

Obey Allah and His chosen one with complete submission: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’s advice to the Jamaat

Obey Allah and His chosen one with complete submission: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’s advice to the Jamaat


Last Updated on 6th January 2023

Ata-ul-Haye Nasir, Al Hakam
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra delivering a speech

During his Friday Sermon on 10 October 1919, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud, Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra shed light on the true essence of bai‘at [pledge of allegiance] and the importance of obedience.

Huzoorra said that once a person pledged allegiance to God’s chosen one, it became incumbent upon them to follow his directions without making any excuses since his directions were in accordance with the commandments of Allah the Almighty.

Huzoorra further said that one should never consider the commandments of Allah to be a “request” to His servants, but rather, they were in the form of an “order”, since He was the Creator and Master of this universe, and thus mankind was required to show obedience and submission to Him.

Huzoorra continued by saying that God Almighty “is not a man-made king, but rather He has been the King since the time even before you or your forefathers existed. He has been the King even before the creation of Adam[as], the progenitor of mankind. He has been the King even before the creation of the earth and the creation of the smallest particles, which helped in the formation of the earth. His rule is neither due to being elected by us, nor does He govern as our subordinate, but rather whatever we have gained, belongs to Him. For this reason, His commandments are orders, [so as to say] ‘I have given you this command, now it is your duty to obey it.’ […]

“As far as worldly governments are concerned, it is commonly believed that they belong to the public. […] Whatever authorities a government holds, are obtained from the lower level [public], whether with their consent of heart or just in a contrived way. […] If the whole public denies [to follow] a certain ruler, they can never be retained under the rule. No government could ever rule over such people.

“However, the Kingdom of God is not of such a kind. Even if all of the people refused to accept His Divinity, He would never withdraw from it, but rather He would say, ‘You are denying it today, but will have to accept it one day’. The world denied Him, however, He said, ‘You will have to accept me one day’.

“He chooses a person from among the people to glorify His Kingdom, and proclaims, ‘I will make you accept My Kingdom through this person’. In regards to that [chosen] person, the people say, ‘He is inferior to us and holds a lower status, he neither possesses any wealth nor any big following and government’. [However,] God says, ‘Well, I will make you accept [My Divinity] through that very person’.

“At last, the world begins to obey him [God’s chosen one], since he is granted the [spiritual] kingdom by the King, who is Qadeem [ever-existing], Qadeer [All-Powerful], Khaliq [Creator], and Malik [Master]. Since he serves as His vicegerent, one should not say ‘no’ to his directions either.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 6, pp. 313-314)

Huzoorra further said:

“Therefore, the one who has taken the bai‘at, should not say, that ‘I cannot do such and such thing’, since they have surrendered their freedom themselves [at the hands of God’s chosen one]. If one says, that ‘I cannot do this’, then what is the meaning of doing bai’at at the hands of God and His subordinate? In reality, they do whatever their nafs [heart] desires, and upon finding anything against their nafs, they say, that ‘I cannot do this.’” (Ibid, p. 316)

Huzoorra continued by saying that if one pledged allegiance at the hands of God’s subordinate, but still did not follow the pathway taught by him, it indicated that they were being controlled by the desires of their nafs:

“Until one fulfils the desires of God and follows the pathway taught by Him, the claim of bai’at is worthless. […] It is the duty of a believer to fulfil the responsibility given to them, and they are not expected to say that they have no interest in that specific task or are not eligible for it. Supposedly, even if they are not eligible but intend to fulfil the responsibility for the sake of God, then, seeing their pious intention, God Almighty will grant them the ability to do so. God will grant them courage, and His succour will come in their support.” (Ibid, p. 317)

In the end, Huzoorra prayed:

“May Allah the Almighty enable you to understand this, and instil in you such obedience as He desires to create within His servants. Amin.” (Ibid, p. 318)

Hazrat Musleh e Maud 3
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra delivering a speech

During his Friday Sermon on 17 October 1919, Huzoorra said:

“A believer should always strive to protect themselves from the tricks of Satan, and to occupy themselves in prayers to God with humility, so that they may not be engrossed by arrogance and ego at any point in time and be ruined. The example of the one seeking God, is just like the person swimming in a fast-flowing river; continuing with courage will guarantee their safety, however, the slightest of negligence would cause them to stumble and water would engulf them.” (Ibid, pp. 325-326)

During his Friday Sermon on 31 October 1919, speaking about giving precedence to one’s faith over the world, Huzoorra said:

“The beauty and attractions of the world seem very endearing to one’s eyes, however, one has to sacrifice them for the sake of their faith. It is a huge trial, but one cannot enter into the fold of God’s loved ones, until one passes through it. […] Islam does not teach us to abandon the world completely, rather, it commands us to earn the world and work hard, but whenever one comes across choosing between the faith and the world, they should give precedence to their faith without caring about the world. […]

“The reformer, ma’mur [God’s appointed one] and Imam of this age has included this in the conditions of bai’at, that one should give precedence to their faith over the world. […] No one can purify themselves until they sacrifice the world for the sake of faith in accordance with the teachings of their religion.

“Until members of the Jamaat inculcate this mindset and spirit, true success cannot be achieved. Therefore, the world should never halt one’s religious obligations.

“Hence, I advise members of the Jamaat that if they desire to attain the nearness of God and wish to reap the fruits of Ahmadiyyat, they are required to give precedence to their faith over the world, and let the world serve the religion. If they do not do so, then their claims about Islam and Ahmadiyyat would be worthless.

“Thus, until one truly honours Islam and Ahmadiyyat, it would be meaningless to think that ‘we are Ahmadis’, since one can never succeed without practical efforts.” (Ibid, pp. 333-336)

During his Friday Sermon on 14 November 1919, Huzoorra said that one should never become arrogant for their knowledge and status:

“Remember, one’s knowledge, worldly and religious status, lineage — in short, none of these characteristics are of any avail before God. Anyone who shows arrogance about such things, is in the wrong. One is required to be humble in front of Allah, and to strive and pray for safeguarding their faith.” (Ibid, p. 342)

During his Friday Sermon on 19 December 1919, Huzoorra said:

Islam “has made it incumbent upon the Muslims to utilise their sagacity but within the moral and religious limits, and to freely assess a certain religion, but upon witnessing the truth they should submit to it. It is stated:

اَطِيۡعُوا‭ ‬اللّٰهَ‭ ‬وَاَطِيۡعُوا‭ ‬الرَّسُوۡلَ

“[Obey Allah, and obey His Messenger. (Surah an-Nisa, Ch. 4, V. 60)]

“Everyone has the right to express their points of view, however, once they come to know that a certain commandment is from God and His messenger, and from their successors, they are required to show complete obedience. […] Whatever commandments Islam has presented are necessary and inevitable for spiritual progress.” (Ibid, pp. 360-361)

During his Friday Sermon on 30 July 1920, Huzoorra said:

“Obedience is essential not only for religious progress, but for worldly progress as well. […] A common reason behind a person’s disobedience is arrogance on their part, and arrogance was the first sin that took place in the world. […] In addition to religion, even if we look from a worldly perspective, a nation that desires progress has no other way than obedience. If people had gone through the history of Islam, the way I have read it, they would have known that the reason behind the regress, humiliation, and deterioration of the Muslims was their abandonment of the spirit of obedience. When there is no obedience, discipline cannot be maintained, and when discipline breaks away, no nation can ever retain its prestige. […]

“In terms of material progress, Europe is far superior to us, and they also have good discipline and obedience. We desire to make Europe our follower, and this can only happen when we inculcate in ourselves the spirit of obedience and discipline more than they have. Do not merely say that ‘God has promised us that we will succeed.’ No doubt, God has made a promise to us, but we also hold some responsibilities.

“[In terms of worldly means], we are weak and have no status in front of Europe, therefore, if Europe is to become our follower – which will surely happen – it will be with the sheer grace of God, not through any human plans. However, it does not mean that we become negligent in our obligations. […]

“Therefore, I advise you all, and those who are outside [of Qadian] through the newspaper, that they should learn to show obedience, so that our Jamaat may succeed as soon as possible.” (Ibid, pp. 493-495)

Hazrat Musleh e Maud
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra

During his Friday Sermon on 19 August 1921, Huzoorra said:

“The core teaching of Islam is for one to submit to Allah the Almighty, for this reason, we have been given the title of ‘Muslims’. […] The only method for attaining progress is for one to become a Muslim in its true essence. One cannot attain salvation by only following a specific commandment, but rather, by acting upon all of the commandments. If one disobeys or shuns even a single commandment of the sharia, they cannot be termed a [true] Muslim. […]

“Therefore, if one desires to attain success and progress, they are required to never disrespect any commandment of God. Until one is ready to leave aside their habits and customs for the sake of God, their prayers, fasting, and other deeds cannot make them a [true] Muslim.

“The true essence of Islam is for one to exhibit true submission even when their nafs is denying to do so. If one’s submission is not of such a level, and instead they give precedence to their habits and customs, then it is not considered the true essence of Islam. […]

“A Muslim, in its true essence, is the one who continues to be obedient. The one who, in addition to disobeying [the commandments], disrespects the religious teachings, can neither be called a [true] Muslim, nor become the recipient of any blessings or acceptance of prayers.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 7, pp. 84-86)

In one of his couplets, while advising the Ahmadi youth, Huzoorra stated:

عقل‭ ‬كو‭ ‬دين‭ ‬پہ ‬حاكم‭ ‬نہ ‬بناؤ‭ ‬ہرگز

يہ ‬تو‭ ‬خود‭ ‬اندھی ‬ہے‭ ‬گر‭ ‬نيّرِ‭ ‬الہام‭ ‬نہ ‬ہو

“Do not make the intellect rule over the religion, it is blind in itself if there is no light of revelation.”

Commenting on this, Huzoorra said:

“Everyone is obliged to believe in a religion after considering it to be true. […] However, once a person believes in the teachings [of a religion] after much certainty, they do not hold the right to argue its details if they do not align with their personal ‘intellect’. The spiritual system has been established by God Almighty, hence, there is no comparison between rationality and religion. In fact, if one puts rationality as a judge over the religion, it would mean to raise a question – God forbid – as to whether our rationality is better or God Almighty’s Knowledge. Though it is also essential to determine whether the matters attributed to the religion are actually a part of it or not.” (Lauh-ul-HudaAnwar-ul-‘Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 193)

In another couplet, Huzoorra said:

تم‭ ‬مدبّر‭ ‬ہو‭ ‬كہ جرنيل‭ ‬ہو‭ ‬يا‭ ‬عالِم‭ ‬ہو

ہم‭ ‬نہ ‬خوش‭ ‬ہوں‭ ‬گے‭ ‬كبھی ‬تم‭ ‬ميں‭ ‬گر‭ ‬اسلام‭ ‬نہ ‬ہو

“Whether you are a statesman, a general or a scholar, we will never be pleased if you do not possess Islam.”

Commenting on this, Huzoorra said:

“We will never be pleased if worldly progress is not accompanied by [firm] faith. Since if this were the true objective, then what was the need for us to accept Islam? In such a case, why should one not accept Christianity, which possesses all kinds of material means.” (Ibid)

At another instance, commenting on the verse 64 of Surah an-Nur:

لَا تَجۡعَلُوۡا دُعَآءَ الرَّسُوۡلِ بَیۡنَکُمۡ کَدُعَآءِ بَعۡضِکُمۡ بَعۡضًا ؕ قَدۡ یَعۡلَمُ اللّٰہُ الَّذِیۡنَ یَتَسَلَّلُوۡنَ مِنۡکُمۡ لِوَاذًا ۚ فَلۡیَحۡذَرِ الَّذِیۡنَ یُخَالِفُوۡنَ عَنۡ اَمۡرِہٖۤ اَنۡ تُصِیۡبَہُمۡ فِتۡنَۃٌ اَوۡ یُصِیۡبَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ

“Treat not the calling of the Messenger among you like the calling of one of you to another. Allah does know those of you who steal away covertly. So let those who go against His command beware lest a trial afflict them or a grievous punishment overtake them.”

Huzoorra said:

“[Allah] states that the opinion of individuals does not hold any weight in front of the call of the Imam [of the time]. Whenever the call of the God Almighty’s messenger reaches you, it is your duty to say labbaik [‘Here I am, at your command!’] and to strive for its fulfilment, since herein lies the secret to your progress. […]

“Anyhow, it is essential to say labbaik in response to the prophet’s call, in fact, this is one of the biggest signs of the [true] faith. Due to the fact that the subject of Khilafat-e-Islamiyyah is being mentioned in the previous verses, and all commandments have been given in relation to the strengthening of the Islamic system, therefore, that subject continues in this verse as well.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, pp. 408-409)

Further, Huzoorra mentioned the battle of Uhud, and stated that the Holy Prophetsa had instructed a group of companions to secure a specific hill slope and to not leave it at any cost, even if the Muslims had achieved victory. However, after the victory, the companions asked their officer-in-charge to allow them to leave, and said that there was no need to stay since the victory had been achieved. When the officer-in-charge reminded them about the Holy Prophet’ssa instruction, they responded that “‘the Holy Prophet’ssa purpose was to merely advise us, now that we have achieved victory, we have nothing to do here.’ Therefore, giving precedence to their personal opinion over the command of God’s Messengersa, they left that hill slope, except their officer and a few soldiers.” (Ibid, pp. 410-412)

Huzoorra said that, sensing the opportunity, the opponents’ army attacked through the same hill slope, and consequently, the Muslims had to face a huge setback:

“In this verse, Allah the Almighty calls the attention of the Muslims towards the fact that those who do not show complete obedience to the commandments of Muhammad, the Messengersa of Allah, and give precedence to their personal interpretations over his commandments, should have some fear, lest as a result of this a trial afflict them or a grievous punishment overtake them. In other words, it has been said that if you desire to be successful, it is your duty to stand and sit in response to the movement of the hand [of the Imam of the time]. As long as this spirit remains within the Muslims, they will [spiritually] flourish.” (Ibid, pp. 411-412)

May Allah the Almighty enable all of us to act upon these golden principles. Amin.

Links and Related Essay’s

Leaked audio phone call of Mirza Masroor Ahmad discussing the raping of Mirza Tahir Ahmad’s grand-daughter, Nida

Does Bai’at in Ahmadiyya Theology Means Selling Yourself to the Khalifa?
by u/doubtingahmadiyya in islam_ahmadiyya

Obey Allah and His chosen one with complete submission: Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’s advice to the Jamaat


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