Translation by Bilal Raja
Title: Yadien jalsa salana ki (The Memories of the Jalsa Salana)
Khalid: Dec 2010
Initiation of Jalsa Salana
The Promised Massiah started the Jalsa Salana in 1891 for the following purposes: For the participant’s advancement in spirituality, knowledge and intellectuality; to get to know the newly converted Ahmadies; and above all, to see and meet our beloved Imam of the Age and to listen to his strengthening and precious words, and to clean oneself spiritually by the honor of touching his holy hands. At first, this Jalsa was held in Qadian, India. But after the partition, it started to take place in Rabwah, Pakistan as well, which was the new headquarter of the Jamat. And now the Jalsa is being held in many countries all over the world. The Jalsas held in Rabwah warmed the souls of the participants even in the cold month of December. Let me narrate a few memories of these Jalsas for our young readers.
We used to live in the district of Raheem Yaar Khan. My grandfather used to come to the Jalsa every year with some of his friends, and they collected jewels and gems of spirituality at the Jalsa. And when he came back home, he shared his beautiful experiences with us. When our grandfather told us about Rabwah and its ambience and about the blessings of the Jalsa, me, my siblings and our friends, although very young in age, always dreamt of going to Rabwah, too. We wanted to see the pictures our grandfather described to us with our own eyes.
In 1971, we went to Rabwah. At that time, I was in fourth grade. From then on, till 1983, by the grace of Allah, I got the opportunity to attend the Jalsa in Rabwah regularly.
Before the Jalsa
Before the Jalsa, the Third Khalifa asked all to decorate Rabwah and to show the best of hospitality to the guests. He used to emphasize the following directives, which I am going to sum up, in particular:
You, the inhabitants of Rabwah, are supposed to greet the guests with friendly smiles. You should clean Rabwah and hang bannerettes and decorate the town like a bride. The words which come out from your mouths should be nice and you should be smiling constantly. The volunteers are supposed to work in a faster pace. You are supposed to give your homes to the Jamat as far as possible. Do prepare temporary barracks for the guests. Unsmooth grounds should be made smooth before the Jalsa Salana.
So everybody, from young to old, started to decorate the streets, the bazaar and the homes of Rabwah. Volunteer work started. At that time, in Rabwah there use to be lot of thorny bushes(Pahari Kikar) and path was cleared after cutting them down. Now there is lot more people with roads all around but at that time there was nothing like this at that time. Dirt tracks with lot of dirt was everywhere-water was used to spary on that to reduce the dirt, people use to do white-eash in homes, new bathrooms and rest rooms were made, welcoming centers wre organised and buses from all over Pakistan use to bring guests to Rabwah.
Translation by Sheharyar Ahmad
Title: Yadien jalsa salana ki (The Memories of the Jalsa Salana, continue)
Khalid: Dec 2011
Arrival of the guests:
There was too many guest and small children help them in collaboration with their hosts. Despite the cold weather, and lack warm cloths; they perform their duties gladly. They used to get up at three, pick up buckets, take a walk to the langer Khana bring Rotis (bread) and break fast feed the guests. Special meal was being provided to sick people, which was available in another office near Jalsa salana office.
Despite the fact that some times the actual attendance used to be way more than the estimate but neither there were any chaos nor any mismanagement. But wach job was done miraculously. The more they help, the more they become happy that they have been blessed assisting the guest of the Promised Missiah. Some times it rains or breezes but even in those worst conditioning weather, the hearts of those children, young and old people were warm that they left their comfortable bed for the hospitality of the guests of the Promised Messiah. I remember that once Hadhrat Khalifatul Messiah III (RA) said that our young and old people do such a huge amount of work in these days that if they do the same amount of work in ordinary days, they might not be able to live.
Khuddam had duty on railway station who help guest in picking up their luggage and take it to their perspective stay areas. The buildings of Jamia Ahmadiyya, High school, Taleem Ul Islam College becomes temporary motels then. Guests were also stays in Daruziafat. In addition to that some more tents were also used in the open area opposite to Daruziafat. In the same way the grounds of Jamia were also used.
Instructions to volunteers:
Volunteers were used to call in in the Jalsa office some days before the jalsa for instructions where officer Jalsa salana give the instructions and Khalifatul Massieh also pay visit. People get to meet with their dear leader and they also get to listen to the life giving words of Khalifa tul Messiah. Hadhrat Khalifa Tul Messiah IV visited in 1983, honor us with the shake hand, my and hazoor’s picture remembers me of those days. When the groom of Rabwah bless the rabwah with his presence. For me, this picture is the reason for living.
Therelatives use to stay in homes, in addition to that the department of hospatality use to survey the ability of any vacant rooms in houses and most of the houses use to welcome guests in their house. I still remember that our house use to have two rooms, both of them use to be filled up with guests , even the kitchen was filled with beds and sleeping bags.. Than when we has three rooms we started having guests in all three rooms and the kitchen. The beds use to be removed from the rooms and dry soft leaves “Purali” use to be all over the floors with sleeping bags over them
Translation by Naveed Ahmad Malik
Title: Yadien jalsa salana ki(The Memories of the Jalsa Salana, continue)
Khalid: Dec 2011
Behavior of Guests
I remember that one of our rooms was not up to standard, some times we had to put a guest in to that one too but none of the guests ever complained or critisized or asked for this and that because they were there only for the sake Allah and to attend the spritual convention to attain the spritual food. They were way over any wordly desires and Promised Messiah’s(as) this prayer was their encouragement,
“ May God be with all those who travel for this (Lilahi)Jalsa and bless them, have mercy on them and ease their hardships and struggles ,eliminate their sorrows and remove their each and every agony and approve their prayers and keep them with those people on the day of judgement on whom you had mercy and blessings and after the end be their khalifa.” Al-Ishtiaar 1, Pg 342
They use to be over the requirement of comfort,meals etc and use to try to reach the “Jalsa Gah” even before the Hosts specially when the speech of Khalifatul Masih would be about to start. These lovers would compete with others to be there first even before the Talawat. In the wintery mornings when due was makling the jalsa gah wet-nobody even bothered to wait till it dried and use to listen the speeches as if there are birds sitting on their heads and if they move they would fly away. The speech of Khalifatul Waqt use to warm the hearts and the sprituality levell use to raise , the slogans of takbeer sue to erupt frequently. After the Inagural speech there use to be long prayer and than Hazur would leave and other scholors use to do speeches, the homes would be locked, markets empty and jalsa Gah cramping for space. It use to be a facinating scene some thing like magic. Zohar and Aasr prayers use to be done in jalsa Gah and after that second session use to start and people listened intently.
Normally when you get two/three guests in a house the whole process of cleanliness gets disturbed but the spirit of an Ahmady is that they always remember the saying of Prophet Mohammad(saw) that cleanliness is part of faith thats why cleanliness was a big priority. After the guests were done eating all the utensils were gathered at one place, water was warmed and and young kids use to wash them and organise them with their little hands.
The spirit of Service
In 1977 the “Naan-bai” ie the people making roti’s went on strike and did not made roti’s, hazur instructed that we would all eat one “roti” even in the houses where “roti” was made they should eat one and send rest to the “langer-khanaa”. Jamaat showed such grace and blessings of Allah that who ever was thinking that because of the strike there will be problems in the jalsa were left surprised and their plans were not fullfilled. Probabaly its the same jalsa when I was on duty and other students from jamia were there as well when one night around 1:30 or so our incharge woke us up that the people who use to make meals at the jalsa have striked so gather at Langer khana number 1 as soon as possible. All the workers got up and gathered there, nobody made any excuses that they are tired from all day work or anything or I am sleepy they all were fresh and ready to work. My duty was on making “Paira’s” some of my friends were making “roti’s”. I remember that Childeren from the family of Promissed Messiah(as) were cutting onions and had watery eyes but they were not stopping. At the end the people who striked realised that their plan is nort working as these spirits are not going to be dampened by our plans they will keep going and will not be defeated, so they ended their strike and came back to work.
Inshort The days of jalsa Salana were amazing. It felt like angels of Allah desended upon the town where the prince of sprituality use to live. may Allah bring those days back when we can see our imama again(aameen)