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100 Years Ago... - Celebrating the Victory of WWI in Qadian

Al Fazl, 3 December 1918

 

On 27 November, under the organisation of Anjuman Ahmadiyya baray Imdad Jang [the Ahmadiyya committee for war aid] and according to the directives of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II [may Allah be pleased with him], in celebration of the extraordinary victory of Great Britain, a memorable festive event was held. 

Maulvi Sher Ali Sahib BA managed the entire event while Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad MA acted as president. On 26 November, the programme was distributed and placed on walls in the streets regarding the celebration. 

On 27 November, the programme commenced at 8am on the wide and beautiful field in Darul Ulum, Qadian. Aside from the students of Madrasa-e-Ahmadiyya and students from the high school, other respected people also took part, such as Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad MA, Sahibzada Mirza Sharif Ahmad, Abdullah Khan Sahib, Dr Khalifa Rashiduddin Sahib, Master Nawabuddin Sahib BA BT, Maulvi Abdul Ghani Sahib, Sheikh Abdur Rahman Sahib Misri, Shiekh Abdur Rahim Sahib, Chaudhry Ghulam Muhammad Sahib BA, Khuda-Dad Khan Sahib and Dr Hashmatullah Sahib of Patiala. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II also graced the occasion with his presence.

The first part of the programme – from 8am to 1pm – consisted of activities such as hockey, tennis, ping-pong, football and cricket. Thereafter, everyone proceeded for lunch and Zuhr prayer. 

Then, the second part of the programme, which carried onto 6pm, consisted of activities such as running, long jump, high jump, shotput, racing on camels, tent pegging and tug-of-war. Apart form the Ahmadi public, there were also people from nearby towns and villages who took part and enjoyed the event. 

The last activity of the day was tug-of-war between students of Madrasa-e-Ahmadiyya and the high school, which was very much enjoyed by everyone. The match was won by the high school students, after which both schools’ teachers and the gentlemen in attendance competed against each other in tug-of-war, in which the attendees took the victory. Then, the high school students competed against the gentlemen attending the event, which lasted for quite some time. The men in attendance were very close to winning as they kept pulling and tugging, but eventually the students won the match. Watching the students and attendees struggle and wrestle was a rejoiceful moment for everyone. This then concluded the day’s programme. 

After the Maghrib prayer, lights were lit up in Darul Ulum and the central qasba [town], which set a very beautiful and pleasant scene. On both sides of the bazaar in the central qasba, the buildings of Madrasa-e-Ahmadiyya and the boarding house of Madrasa-e-Ahmadiyya were lit up with many lights and candles. Minaratul Masih was lit up with halogen lighting and displayed a beautiful sight. The houses of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II and members of the Promised Messiah’s family were lit up with candles, as well as all Ahmadis who also lit up their homes. All this displayed great glow and freshness. The boarding house at Darul Ulum and the magnificent structure of the high school were elegantly beatified with candles. The other buildings were also shrouded with beautiful lighting. 

Hazrat Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan of Malirkotla lit up his beautiful and magnificent home with lights and candles. Suffice it to say that there was no house belonging to Ahmadis that was not shimmering with light. The sight was very beautiful and reflected the support for the British government. Many such people who were afflicted as a result of the drought and experienced a very tough time also took part in the celebrations by lighting up their homes. This candle-lighting went into the night. 

That very night, sweets were distributed at Madrasa-e-Ahmadiayya and high school students, and food was distributed to almost five hundred poor people. All this, collectively, made this a very joyous and memorable day. Every person was overjoyed with the victory of the British government. That very day, Sheikh Yaqub Ali Sahib, editor of Al Hakam [Urdu], published a special article on celebrating the victory of the British government, in which he expressed his happiness and delight that this victory is a sign from among the signs of the Promised Messiahas. The paper is good and worthy of praise… 

Talim-ul-Islam High School, Qadian

On 27 November, due to not being able to complete the programme, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II appointed 28 November for the remainder of the programme. The day started at 9am with a hockey match between the students of Madrasa-e-Ahmadiyya and the high school. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II again blessed the occasion with his presence. 

After hockey, there was a cricket match which was then followed by lunch and Zuhr prayer. Then, long jump, high jump and an obstacle course took place, in which they had to go through artificial quicksand, getting a thread through a sewing needle, sharpening a pencil, crawling under charpoys and then finally answering a maths equation. The students of Madrasa-e-Ahmadiyya and the high school competed in this. Then, after the Maghrib prayer was a target shooting competition with a revolver and pistol followed by a camel race.    

Despite the fact that the programme carried on to the next day, the proposed programme was not able to be completed, and thus, a third day had to be added for this. It was a Friday, and so [because of Jumu‘a prayers] it was not possible to start in the morning. Thus, in the afternoon, a one-mile run took place in the presence of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II. Banners were hung and a sitting area was arranged in Masjid Nur for the prize distribution, where prizes where distributed to those students who organised the event and others [who participated]. The event concluded with silent prayer.

The President of Anjuman Ahmadiyya baray Imdad Jang [the Ahmadiyya committee for war aid], Sahibzada Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib, and secretary, Maulvi Abdul Mughni Sahib, both served this event with great diligence. The organisation of the event was a means of comfort and worthy of praise. The workers also worked very hard for the success of the event. Thus, the celebrations were a means of great joy and pleasure for us all, however, the presence of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II [Allah be pleased with him] – despite poor health – was a means of immense delight and bliss. The delight and joy increased manifold as Huzoor also attended and this enabled us to see Huzoor with our own eyes. 

Thus, these three days passed by with such joy and happiness that will be remembered for a long period. The total expenditure incurred on this event by Anjuman Ahmadiyya baray Imdad Jang [the Ahmadiyya committee for war aid] was no less than 500-600 rupees.  

(Translated by Jalees Ahmad)

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