Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya founded
In 1905, after the Promised Messiah learnt through some Divine revelations that his death was approaching, he wrote certain instructions entitled Al-Wasiyyat (‘The Will’) for his followers, as to the arrangements for the community after his death. This he published on 20 December 1905. In this he did not appoint any successor, but enjoined on the entire community to work together and make decisions by mutual consultation. However, to enable new members to be admitted to the community, he laid down that such elders of the community on whom forty faithful agree, may take the pledge from the entrants in the Promised Messiah’s name. He also proposed to establish a graveyard at Qadian for his community, which he named ‘Bahishti Maqbara’ (the graveyard of heavenly people).
On 6 January 1906, Hazrat Mirza sahib published an Appendix to his book Al-Wasiyyat, in which he gave in detail all the necessary instructions regarding his Will. For the administrative system after him he laid the foundations of an ‘Anjuman’ (organisation) and appointed that Anjuman as his successor. He framed some rules and regulations himself, and declared the main object of the Anjuman to be the propagation of Islam.
In Rule 13 he wrote:
“As the Anjuman is the successor to the Khalifa appointed by God, this Anjuman must remain absolutely free of any taint of worldliness. All its affairs must be completely above board, and based on fairness.”
He explained this in more detail as follows:
“All members of the Anjuman must belong to the Ahmadiyya Movement, and must be virtuous and honest. And if, in future, it is felt that someone is not virtuous, or that he is not honest, or that he is cunning and tainted with worldly motives, it shall be the duty of the Anjuman to expel him from its ranks forthwith and to appoint another in his place.” (Rule 10, Appendix, Al-Wasiyyat)
With the publication of Al-Wasiyyat and its Appendix, Hazrat Mirza sahib laid down the foundation of this Anjuman and named it Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Qadian, and proposed establishing its branches in other places where the community existed. He appointed fourteen members as trustees of this Anjuman, with Maulana Nur-ud-Din as President and Maulana Muhammad Ali as Secretary.
The following are the names of the fourteen members:
1. Maulana Nur-ud-Din — President 2. Maulana Muhammad Ali — Secretary 3. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din — Legal Advisor 4. Maulana Syed Muhammad Ahsan of Amroha 5. Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad 6. Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan of Malir Kotla 7. Seth Abdur Rahman of Madras 8. Maulana Ghulam Hasan Khan of Peshawar 9. Mir Hamid Shah of Sailkot 10. Shaikh Rahmatullah of Lahore 11. Dr. Mirza Yaqub Baig of Lahore 12. Dr. Syed Muhammad Husain Shah of Lahore 13. Dr. Khalifa Rashid-ud-Din 14. Dr. Mir Muhammad Ismail
For the remaining two and a half years of his life Hazrat Mirza sahib ran this Anjuman according to the system and rules laid down in Al-Wasiyyat. It so happened that in the winter of 1907, in connection with the extension of the Mubarak Mosque, Mir Nasir Nawab, father-in-law of the Promised Messiah, wanted to impose his own judgment as against that of the Anjuman. On a complaint about this made by the Anjuman, Hazrat Mirza sahib personally came to a meeting of the Anjuman and wrote a note, as reproduced below, which is preserved in Maulana Muhammad Ali’s papers. Its English translation is as follows:
My view is that when the Anjuman reaches a decision in any matter, doing so by majority of opinion, that must be considered as right, and as absolute and binding. I would, however, like to add that in certain religious matters, which are connected with the particular objects of my advent, I should be kept informed. I am sure that this Anjuman would never act against my wishes, but this is written only by way of precaution, in case there is a matter in which God the Most High has some special purpose. This proviso applies only during my life. After that, the decision of the Anjuman in any matter shall be final.
Was-salaam. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, 27 October 1907.
It was decided by this document that after Hazrat Mirza sahib’s death the Anjuman would have complete authority. There would be no individual ruling over the Anjuman, and all the administration would be in the hands of the Anjuman. This was a great achievement of his, that he eradicated both the system of putting absolute power in the hands of the religious leader and the tradition of having an inherited spiritual headship.