Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad (Second Successor of the Promised Messiah) was elected as the Spiritual Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in 1914 at the age of 25. He led the Community in this Divinely-appointed role for 52 years, serving it with great zeal and dedication. He also passionately spoke and wrote in the defence of Islam and established institutions to propagate it worldwide.
He was born in fulfilment of a grand prophecy of the Promised Messiah. He was gifted with both spiritual insights and secular knowledge, as was prophesied. This was evident from the prolific literature he produced throughout his lifetime in the form of books, lectures and articles. His 10-Volume commentary of the Holy Qur’an (Tafseer-e-Kabeer), gave clear and much needed guidance for understanding and adopting the beautiful teachings of Islam. From his early youth he resolved to continue the mission of his father - the Promised Messiah, which was the renaissance of the true Islam.
His understanding of the Islamic concept of Khilafat (as a Divinely-guided leader of Muslims) was based upon Quranic teachings. It was upon this understanding of Khilafat that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at was to be, and still uniquely is, the only Muslim Community with a “Khalifa” as a spiritual leader. It is a contributing factor to the continued growth and discipline of this dynamic Community.
Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad was to organise the infrastructure of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community; dividing the men, women and children into various auxiliary organisations and establishing the Majlis Shoora a permanent advisory body to the Khalifa. His entire life was also dedicated to the service of Mankind. He rendered these services through noble schemes such as Tahrik-e-Jadid.
Despite no political motivations, Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad still defended the oppressed. Consequently, he strove hard for the liberation of the Kashmiri people and was elected president of the All-India Kashmir Committee in 1931. Furthermore, he was to play a pivotal role in the establishment of an independent Pakistan for Muslims in 1947, by persuading M A Jinnah to continue campaigning for this important cause. He also constantly advised Muslims to put aside their sectarian differences for the sake of establishing a national identity.
Having led the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community successfully, in both spiritual and secular terms for more than half a century, Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad passed away in November 1965. He was buried in Rabwah (Chenab Nagr), Pakistan.