Who were the khalifas (caliphs) of the Ahmadiyya Khilafat (Caliphate)?
The first successor to the Promised Messiah(as) was Hazrat Maulvi Nooruddin(ra). He was elected the first khalifa after the demise of the Promised Messiah(as) He was a favorite companion of the Promise Messiah(as) and was the first to pledge allegiance to him (bai’at). He was known for his deep understanding of the Holy Qur’an. He remained khalifa for 6 years.
A prophecy had been revealed to the Promised Messiah(as) by God, that he would be given a son, through whom the message of Islam and Ahmadiyyat would be spread to the ends of the earth. This prophecy was fulfilled in the form of Hazrat Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad(ra), who became Khalifa II in 1914. He was known as Musleh Maud, the Promised Reformer. He remained Khalifa for 52 years and achieved numerous milestones for the community.
The third Khalifa was Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad(rh). He was the oldest son of the second successor. He launched two major projects, The Fazle Umar Foundation, and Nusrat Jahan scheme, in the spirit of continuing his father’s work. He also announced the popular Ahmadi motto, “Love for All, Hatred for None.”
Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(rh) was the fourth Khalifa. He was elected upon his brother’s death, in 1982. One of his greatest achievements was the development of a 24-hour satellite TV channel, MTA. In 1993, the first live international initiation ceremony was broadcast on that channel, where hundreds of thousands of persons entered the Ahmadiyya community at his hands.
The current Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad. Born in September 1950, he dedicated life for Islam at the age of 27. One of his greatest accomplishments while serving as the manager of the Ahmadiyya Agricultural Farm in Ghana, was the experiment of planting, growing and nurturing wheat as an economic crop in Ghana, despite a series of experiments revealing that wheat could not grow in Ghana. These accomplishments revolutionized the country’s economy and paved the way for self sufficiency. He currently resides in London, England.