The grand plan that Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra, had for the propagation of Islam in the West has been discussed, very briefly though, in the previous issue of Al Hakam. The grandeur of the plan is such that we are reminded of it again and again.
This week, with the inauguration of Jalsa Salana Belgium in Brussels, we take our readers back into the annals of history to once again witness the Divinely inspired passion of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra, al-Musleh al-Maud, that he had for taking the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat to the corners of the earth.
With the mission established and settled in London, it was not merely seen as a goal achieved. Rather, the London Mission was given the task of exploring new avenues of establishing mission houses in other countries of the Western world. London mission turned into an academy where missionaries would stay, be trained in preaching the message of the One God to the western minds and then head off to some part of the West or other continents to establish the Ahmadiyya Muslim Missions.
By the time our missionaries arrived in London, the dust of World War I was just about settling. This war had had great impact on every aspect of the society; economics is always placed at the top of the list, and religion is often ignored. The obsessive compulsion of the war-torn West to re-establish their economies, the essence of human mind was forgotten and ignored. This left the collective Western-mind seeing individuals as instruments of a money-making machinery and nothing more.
The Western mind had already revolted against Christianity in its initial phase, and religion as a whole in the later phases. It was against this extremely challenging backdrop that the Ahmadiyya missionaries arrived in Europe.
Establishing a Muslim mission in a country like Belgium must have seemed like moving a mountain; Belgium had been the bedrock of movements that shifted the focus from religion to materialism. But the zealous Ahmadiyya missionaries, inspired by their Imam, would leave no stone unturned; especially the ones that seemed unmoveable.
Hence, Belgium was explored for such possibilities. The records held at the Tarikh Department (Shoba-e-Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat), Rabwah suggest that Malik Ataur Rahman Sahib visited Belgium in 1948 and assessed the situation for founding an Ahmadiyya mission.
It was in 1981 when Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIIrh, sent Saleh Muhammad Khan Sahib as the first missionary to Belgium who, after his arrival in February 1981, started preaching the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat to the Belgian nation. He purchased a building in Dilbeek, at the outskirts of Brussels in 1985. Chaudhry Hameedullah Sahib (Wakil-e-Ala, Tahrik-e-Jadid) and Hidayatullah Bangvi Sahib oversaw the planning and purchase. This building functions to this day as the mission house of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Belgium.
Syed Naseer Ahmad Sahib took charge of the Belgium mission from Saleh Muhammad Khan Sahib in 1987. Abdul Hakim Akmal Sahib and Hamid Karim Sahib from Holland would occasionally visit Belgium and advise on various matters regarding the missionary activity.
Abdul Ghany Jahangir Khan Sahib was appointed as missionary in-charge of Belgium in January 1989 and remained there in this capacity until February 1990. During this time, the dairy factory adjacent to the mission house (that was part of the building when purchased) was renovated and formally converted into a mosque. Abdul Ghany Jahangir Khan Sahib was replaced by Hafiz Ehsan Secunder Sahib as missionary to Belgium.
In November 1990, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh appointed Captain Shamim Khalid Sahib to take charge of the mission in Belgium. Under the guidance of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh, he energised the tabligh activities of the Jamaat and a great number of people converted and joined the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. By now, the media had started showing interest in the activities of the Jamaat and activities of the mission would be covered.
Captain Shamim Khalid Sahib passed the charge of the mission to Hamid Mahmud Shah Sahib in 1997 as Amir (national president) of Jamaat Belgium. He served in this capacity until 2013 when Dr Idris Ahmad Sahib was given the responsibility of Amir Jamaat Belgium.
The story of success, like all other missions of the Jamaat, goes on, Alhamdolillah.
Jalsa Salana, Belgium
The first Jalsa Salana of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Belgium was held on 15 November 1992 in Baitus Salam mission house in Dilbeek. Anwar Hussain Sahib was appointed Afsar Jalsa Salana and Captain Shamim Khalid Sahib served as Afsar Jalsa Gah. Abdul Hakim Akmal Sahib travelled from Holland to participate in this Jalsa.
The attendance in the first Jalsa Belgium was 110. It was a one-day event. In the years to follow, the Jalsa was held over two days until 1997 when Jalsa Belgium was held over three days (1-3 May). From then on, Jalsa Salana Belgium has been a three-day event as is customary in the Jamaat.
Jalsa Salana Belgium is fortunate to have been blessed with the august presence of Khulafa.
The 15th Jalsa Salana of Jamaat Belgium was held on 10, 11 and 12 September 2004. The special feature of this Jalsa was that for the first time, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa graced Jalsa Belgium with his presence and his addresses. Huzoor’s addresses were broadcast live on MTA International.
This august presence of Huzooraa was blessed by Allah to Jamaat Belgium in 2006 when Huzooraa addressed the concluding session of Jalsa Salana Belgium (4 June), en route to Germany.
By the grace of Allah, Huzooraa is presently in Belgium for their Jalsa Salana. Huzoor’saa Friday Sermon today will mark the commencement of Jalsa Salana Belgium 2018.