The success of Jamaat Ahmadiyya lies in the fact that this Jamaat is Divinely guided. This Jamaat is led by a spiritual leader who is appointed by God Almighty Himself. Throughout the history of Ahmadiyyat, every small and big achievement and success of the Jamaat is a result of the Divinely appointed leader: the Khalifa of the time.
Jamaat Ahmadiyya Holland has also reaped the blessings this Divine leadership for almost a century now. In this short article, I will narrate only a few selected interactions of Khulafa-e-Ahmadiyyat with the Dutch nation.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra
Jamaat Ahmadiyya Holland was established with the arrival of the first official missionary, Hafiz Qudratullah Sahib, in 1947. (Missionaries of Jamaat UK did visit Holland for missionary work prior to the arrival of Hafiz Qudratullah Sahib, but Hafiz Sahib was the first missionary sent by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra to Holland to formally establish a mission.)
The interaction of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IIra with Holland, however, can be traced back even before this period. In 1924, a Dutch lady, Mrs Budd, accepted Islam Ahmadiyyat through written Bai‘at of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra. In one of her letters she mentions that she sent her first monthly report to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra and that she was waiting for further instructions of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra concerning the preaching of the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat in Holland. (Al Fazl, 11 December 1924) She was given the Islamic name Hidayat (guidance) by Huzoorra.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra once gave guidance to the mission in Holland that although there were more protestants in Holland, we should focus more on the Roman-Catholics because when they convert to Islam, they will prove to be very firm Muslims. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 12, p. 187)
These words have proven to be true in the history of Jamaat Holland. Even in the present time, Hibatunnoer Verhagen Sahib (Amir Jamaat Holland) and Abdul Hameed van der Velden Sahib (Naib Amir Jamaat), both from Roman-Catholic backgrounds, are living proof of this.
Under the auspices of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IIra, the Dutch translation of the Holy Quran was published in 1953 and the first mosque of Holland, the Mobarak Mosque, was constructed in The Hague in 1955. Both of these achievements require a separate article, but what can be said in short is that these favours of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIsa are a source of guidance for many people to this day.
Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra wrote a letter to the mission of Holland at the opening of the Mobarak Mosque. Huzoorra mentioned in his letter that kings would remember those services in the future. (Al Fazl, 23 June 1955)
These words came true on the occasion of the fifty-year jubilee of the Mobarak Mosque, when the Queen of Holland, Queen Beatrix, visited the mosque in 2006. In the history of the worldwide Jamaat, she became the first Queen in the Western world to have visited a Jamaat mosque.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh has blessed Holland on many occasions with his visit. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh even met with the Prime Minister of Holland in 1980, and the same year Huzoorrh visited the Dutch parliament for a press conference.
One particular incident that Huzoorrh himself mentioned more than once in his speeches was regarding an encounter with a Dutch journalist during a press conference. During a press conference when the answers of Huzoorrh had had a positive effect on the minds and hearts of the journalists, a young catholic journalist tried to remove the positive effect by asking Huzoorrh: How many converts have you seen to this date in Holland? His purpose was to show that there were only a few converts and that the Jamaat was small in number and therefore should not be given any importance. Journalists today still demonstrate this attitude towards the Jamaat.
Huzoorrh said that that was the very first time he had been asked such a question in public. Huzoorrh said that he replied, “According to your belief, the amount of converts Jesus Christas made during his entire life, we have made more converts in just a few years in this country alone.”
This unexpected and prompt responce of Huzoorrh silenced the journalist, and all other present journalists enjoyed this reply. Then Huzoorrh further went on to explain that in the initial stages of preaching the question of numbers was irrelevant and that the question should be related to whether a gradual reformation was taking place in people or not. Huzoorrh said that by the grace of Allah, such a reformation was taking place and so the figure would gradually grow. (Khutabat-e-Nasir, Vol. 6, pp. 497-498)
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh
Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih IVrh blessed Holland with his visit on numerous occasions. There are countless touching and faith inspiring incidents of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh in Holland, but keeping it brief, I will narrate only one.
Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadrh established a very special bond with not only the Ahmadis but even with the local native people. Huzoorrh would come and stay in Nunspeet where the national community centre Baitun-Noer is based. Baitun-Noer was purchased in 1985 and was, at the time, the second biggest property of the Jamaat after Islamabad in Tilford, UK.
Huzoorrh himself attended the inauguration of this centre, and the local Jamaat arranged a reception for this occasion. Many neighbours, members of the local council and the mayor were invited.
In Holland, Nunspeet is known to be part of the “Bible Belt” with many Christians living here. During the inaugural session, one member of the local council asked Huzoorrh in a somewhat irritated tone as to why the Jamaat had decided to come and settle in Nunspeet? “Why does Jamaat not go to the cities where a lot of Muslims reside?” Huzoor handled this situation with great wisdom and replied very kindly, “We are exactly at the right place where we should be. You love Jesus, and so do we love Jesus. You love God, and so do we love God, and we are in search of people who love God. So, we are exactly where we should be.” This wise response by Huzoorrh removed the anger of the questioner and comforted him. Not only did Huzoor’srh answer satisfy the questioner but also the audience. (Narrated by Faheem Dieffenthaler Sahib and Hamid Karim Mahmud Sahib, both present during the session.)
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa has blessed Holland also with his visits on many occasions. One particular visit that stands out to this date was the blessed visit of Huzooraa in October 2015. Among other activities Huzooraa also laid the foundation stone for Baitul-Afiyat Mosque in Almere and addressed the foreign office committee in the Dutch Parliament.
During this visit, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa also gave interviews to various media outlets. On one occasion, Huzooraa said to a journalist, after he had asked his questions: “I did not consider it to be an interview, rather it was like a friendly meeting.” (Diary of Abid Khan Sahib, Holland Tour 2015, Part 1, p. 27)
Every journalist was impressed by the extreme kindness and loving character of Huzooraa. One journalist was so impressed that she said, “I have never seen someone giving an interview while being so calm, relaxed and at peace. It was unbelievable.”
After Huzoor’saa address in the Dutch Parliament, Huzooraa had a meeting with some dignitaries. During this meeting, MP Harry van Bommel explained that Islamophobia was also present in Holland. The former Defence Minister of Holland, Mister van Eekelen said to Huzooraa that “If they (i.e. the Dutch nation) don’t hear something positive from time to time, it may get worse.” Huzooraa very beautifully replied, “So you give us time to speak on this issue from time to time, so people get to know what is the true teaching of Islam.”