Allah has promised to those of you who believe,
and do good, that He will surely make them khalifas in
the earth as He made those before them to be khalifas
By those before them are meant the Israelites.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad said in explanation:
The Israelites used to be led by prophets; whenever
a prophet died, another came after him. After me there is no
prophet, but there will be khalifas and there will
be many. (Bukhari, book 60, ch. 50)
The khalifas of the Holy Prophet include not
only his successors who possessed worldly rule, such as Hazrat Abu
Bakr and Umar, but also his spiritual successors who came to revive
the true teachings of Islam in every age. The spiritual khalifas
are also mentioned in another hadith of the Holy Prophet in the following
Surely Allah will raise up for the Muslims,
at the head of every century, one who will revive their religion.
Such a person is known as a mujaddid (reviver
or reformer). In accordance with all these prophecies, several renowned
figures in the history of Islam have been recognised by the Muslims
generally as being mujaddids of their centuries and spiritual
khalifas of the Holy Prophet. Among them were: Umar
ibn Abdul Aziz (1st century Hijra), Imam Ghazali
(5th century), and Shah Wali-ullah of India (12th
century). In fact, Shaikh Ahmad of Sirhind (India),
the mujaddid of the 11th century Hijra, is commonly known
as Mujaddid Alif Sani (the mujaddid appearing
at the start of the second millennium). For claims of some other Mujaddids, see this article.
In accordance with this tradition, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam
Ahmad claimed to be the Mujaddid of the 14th century Hijra
(18831979) and a spiritual khalifa of the Holy
Prophet Muhammad. By believing him to be Mujaddid, we
are not adding any new belief to Islam, but only following
Islamic practice as recognised by the Ahl as-Sunna.