Khalifat ul-Masih

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Khalifat ul-Masih ( Urdu خلیفۃ المسیح Chalifat-ul-Massih , German 'Caliph of the Messiah' ) is the title of the spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat (AMJ), elected for life . The members of this religious community understand this caliphacy as a God-led successor to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad .

Mahmud Hall opposite the Fazl Mosque - the Khalif's residence since 1984

The caliphate

The AMJ is convinced that God has promised in the Qur'an in Surat al-Nur to (re) awaken the caliphate among the people. This is said to have come true with the election of Nuur ud-Din as successor to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad on May 27, 1908 in Qadian . A wave of persecution in Pakistan led Mirza Tahir Ahmad in 1984 to move the seat of the Caliphate from Rabwah to London .

Although the AMJ asserts that the office of caliph is not inheritable, all but the first caliph have so far belonged to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's family. Since April 22, 2003, Mirza Masrur Ahmad , a great-grandson of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, has been the spiritual head of the AMJ as Khalifat ul-Masih V.


The members of the community believe that, according to a saying of the Prophet Mohammed, the Ahmadiyya Caliphate is a continuation of the " Rightly Guided Caliphs ".

The reason given for the caliphacy is the fear among the supporters that after Ghulam Ahmad's death his strength of faith and his teachings could also disappear. Accordingly, the Caliphate ul-Masih has to continue the mission of the deceased founder. It follows that he had to carry out the same tasks as the prophets of old.


Ahmadi Muslims derive the tasks of a caliph from Surat al-Jumʿa (verse 3). The caliph is supposed to consolidate the religion of Islam through the formation of spiritual unity and to transform the fear that is said to have arisen after the death of the founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad into peace.

The Caliphate ul-Masih has the ultimate authority over all religious and organizational affairs of the community. According to their self-image, it is not necessary that the caliph is a head of state, rather the spiritual and religious significance is emphasized.

Anniversary logo

Electoral process

The Caliphate ul-Masih is elected for life by an election committee. An incumbent caliph can neither inherit his title nor in any other way influence the choice of his successor. The rules for the formation of the electoral committee were first laid down in writing by the Caliphate ul-Masih II. As the AMJ spread outside India and Pakistan, the Caliphate ul-Masih IV made changes. The “Khilafat Committee” ( electoral body ) has 600 to 700 members, including emirs (presidents of the national sections), missionaries and chairmen of the “Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya”. The election takes place one to three days after the death of a caliph, whereby the election of the new caliph must take place before the funeral of the deceased head. Whoever is elected by the body is the “most godly and pious”. The elected candidate must accept the election, affirming that they will carry out the office with the best of will. The Ahmadi Muslims thereupon take the vow of loyalty ( baiat ) on the new caliph.

100 year anniversary

The 100th anniversary of the caliphate was accompanied in 2008 by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat with ceremonies and information events around the world.

List of Caliphate ul-Masih

Surname image Life Beginning of the Caliphate Years of office comment
Caliphate ul-Masih I.
Nuur ud-Din
Hakeem Noor-ud-Din.jpg
1841-1914 May 27, 1908 6th Well-known doctor and author. The first to take the vow of loyalty to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. After his death there was a split
Khalifat ul-Masih II.
Mirza Bashir ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad
Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad.jpg
1889-1965 March 14, 1914 51.5 Both the youngest elected caliph (25 years) and the caliph with the longest term in office. He is responsible for the organizational structure in the community and the establishment of Rabwah .
Caliphate ul-Masih III.
Mirza Nasir Ahmad
Mirza Nasir Ahmad.jpg
1909-1982 November 8, 1965 16.5 Accompanied the Jamaat through the National Assembly of Pakistan. The Ahmadiyya motto "love for all, hate for none" goes back to him.
Caliphate ul-Masih IV.
Mirza Tahir Ahmad
Mirza Tahir Ahmad.jpg
1928-2003 June 10, 1982 21st Led the community through the wave of persecution in 1984, moved the seat of the Caliphate to London and initiated the Muslim Television Ahmadiyya .
Caliphate ul-Masih V.
Mirza Masrur Ahmad
Mirza Masroor Ahmad.jpg
1950 April 22, 2003 in office Current spiritual leader of the AMJ. He has visited many African countries since his tenure and opened new hospitals, mosques and schools there.


Web links

Commons : Ahmadiyya Caliphate  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Dietrich Reetz (ed.): Islam in Europe: Religious life today. A portrait of selected Islamic groups and institutions . Waxmann, Münster 2010, p. 93 .
  2. Simon Ross Valentine: Islam and the Ahmadiyya Jama'at: History, Belief, Practice . Columbia University Press, 2008, p. 81
  3. ^ Yohanan Friedmann: Prophecy Continuous: Aspects of Ahmadi Religious Thought and Its Medieval Background . 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press India, 2003, p. 21
  4. Simon Ross Valentine: Islam and the Ahmadiyya Jama'at: History, Belief, Practice . Columbia University Press, 2008, p. 82
  5. 100 Years of Ahmadiyya Caliphate  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Wittlich on January 13, 2008; Ahmadiyya Muslim community. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the caliphate. , Qantara@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /