In 1991, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh made a historic journey to visit Qadian on the occasion of the 100th Jalsa Salana. While it was the 100th Jalsa Salana Qadian, it was also the first time the streets of Qadian welcomed a Khalifatul Masih since the migration of Khilafat to Pakistan during the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra in 1947. The streets that yearned for Hazrat Khalifatul Masih to once again tread on them – after 44 years – came to life once more.
Naseer Ahmad Qamar Sahib travelled along with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh on that tour as his private secretary. He shares some of those moments with us.
Naseer Ahmad Qamar
Additional Wakil-ul-Ishaat London
The significance of this journey has been spoken of by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV, may Allah have mercy on him, as to how the thought arose for this Jalsa and how the attention of Huzoorrh was drawn towards it.
I had the honour of serving as private secretary to Hazrat Khalifatul Masihrh at the time and it was in this capacity that I had the opportunity to travel with Huzoorrh to this Jalsa.
[When we arrived in India] we were going to Qadian from Delhi by train and Huzoorrh was in the front carriage with the other carriages being occupied by Ahmadis. It was during this journey that Huzoorrh wrote his poem “Apney des mein, apni basti mein” [in my country, in my town] after which he instructed me to write it out again neatly and train some individuals for its recitation.
Many people from various countries were travelling on this train and I had the opportunity to take interviews from them and enquire about their sentiments. At the time, we did not know that Huzoorrh was in the front carriage writing this poem, but Huzoorrh told me later that it was produced during that journey. It was given to me when we arrived in Qadian and I was told that it would be recited at Jalsa and we tested various individuals. Nasir Ali Usman Sahib was eventually selected to recite it.
Huzoorrh instructed me to listen to him [Nasir Ali Usman Sahib] and work with him on the tune of the poem. The private secretary usually has some idea as to what type of tune Huzoorrh likes. Moreover, a melody was finalised, Huzoorrh listened to it and it was approved. When it was recited at the Jalsa, it created an extraordinary atmosphere.
Around 25,000 people attended the Jalsa and many Ahmadis from far-off places in India participated. It was a large gathering with many people seeing Khalifatul Masih for the first time in their lives. There was a deep desire in everyone to somehow touch Huzoorrh and gain his blessings. When Huzoorrh would walk through the streets, he would have his arms extended and would continuously be saying “Assalamo Alaikum” and people would be all around him trying to shake his hand. I saw that Huzoor’srh fingers had literally become swollen due to constantly shaking hands with guests.
Allah the Almighty has blessed the Khulafa with such an extraordinary ability to meet so many people that the common man is incapable of it. Thousands of people were meeting Huzoorrh on a daily basis, not only on the streets, but in both personal and official mulaqats. Everyone in Qadian, not just the Ahmadis, but the Hindus and Sikhs too, were incredibly happy. Before this, the conditions in the Punjab were not stable and there was a lack of peace. As soon as the blessed feet of Huzoorrh touched the soil, the circumstances completely changed and an era of peace began, which they too attested to. There was no difference between day and night during those days. Huzoorrh also started various schemes for them, which in turn made them very happy and furthered the development of the Jamaat. In short, there was a visible difference in that place through the blessed visit of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih.
During the days of Jalsa, Huzoorrh attended to the usual affairs of his office such as mulaqats etc. Huzoor’srh residence was in Darul-Masih and the adjacent residences had been allocated to guests by himself. Huzoorrh had also invited many individuals to the Jalsa as his personal guests for which he made separate arrangements.
A team also came from Rabwah under the supervision of the private secretary, Aslam Mangla Sahib. When Huzoorrh arrived, there was a flood of Ahmadis, and upon reaching Batala he remained there for sometime. The train route from there onwards [till Qadian] had not been in use for a long time. The atmosphere was such that Huzoorrh would come and stand at the door of the train and greet people as the crowd took pictures.
The first prayer that was led by Huzoorrh upon arrival in Qadian was the Maghrib and Ishaa prayer. The atmosphere was electric at the time and hearts were overflowing with emotions.
The next day we began making office arrangements and the office of Nazir-e-Ala Sahib was where Huzoor’srh office was setup as it was next to Darul-Masih. The adjacent offices were setup for the secretariat and security.
The next day Huzoorrh called me and Mangla Sahib and asked about the programme. As Mangla Sahib had been in Qadian for a few days and had received instructions, he presented his programme. Huzoorrh then turned to me and asked me what the plan was. Having travelled alongside Huzoorrh myself I had yet to make arrangements. So, I said, “Huzoorrh, I have just arrived and I will make arrangements for the mulaqats.” I met with Nazir-e-Ala Sahib and discussed the plan for mulaqats, both personal and official, along with interviews with other officials. Moreover, there were so many letters that had been received, that by the evening, a large pile of letters had accumulated. Even opening those letters became a big task. So we assembled a team which worked from dawn to dusk. Thousands of letters would be sorted into categories by people who were unaccustomed to the undertaking of such a task. That was by far the largest crowd of people that I dealt with in my life, with around 25,000 people attending that Jalsa with every single individual wanting to meet Huzoorrh.
In 1988 I saw a dream. Of course, this is not due to a quality in me but it is Allah who shows a dream. I saw that Jalsa Salana Rabwah was taking place and it was the days preceding it when there were still some guests remaining. On the terrace of the offices of Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh was holding a meeting with various office bearers. The roof was open and Aslam Mangla Sahib was present there along with myself and we were both working in the capacity of private secretaries. It was a strange dream that I did not understand. I relayed this to other people but did not pass much attention to it. However, in those days many people were seeing such dreams and were writing to Huzoorrh stating that they had seen Huzoorrh travel to Pakistan. It was the blessings of Allah that Huzoorrh decided to take me with him and then, when we arrived, Mangla Sahib was there too and we both served as private secretaries.
At the close of the Qadian Jalsa, in a room adjacent to those offices, a meeting with all directors of Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya and other officials was held in which I was present along with Mangla Sahib. I did not recall that dream at the time. However, at the end of the trip Huzoorrh called me into his office and asked regarding the travel arrangements. Mangla Sahib was outside the office as he had requested for a mulaqat and I asked Huzoorrh if Mangla Sahib could meet him. Huzoorrh instructed for him to come in and told me to join as well. We both sat down and Mangla Sahib presented a wind-up report of the tasks allocated to him while I was asked about the travel arrangements. Mangla Sahib then said, “Huzoor, Naseer Qamar Sahib saw a very interesting dream.” This startled me. He then relayed to Huzoorrh the same dream I had seen which I had also told him about. After hearing the dream, Huzoorrh said that the dream had been fulfilled in an extraordinary manner.
Of course, as I stated before this is no quality of mine, but it is the grace of God upon this community that He showed such dreams to many people beforehand. Now Allah the Almighty has created such means that a massive Jalsa takes place there each year.
During that tour, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh held many Majlis-e-Irfan sessions with journalists and others and visited the graves of holy personages where he would distribute charity amongst the poor too. He would visit Bahishti Maqbara after Fajr every day during which people would stand around the sides waiting to meet or say “Assalamo Alaikum” to Huzoorrh. It was like a dream and it was so amazing that it cannot be fully expressed in words. It was also the first time that Huzoor’srh addresses were broadcast through satellite phones throughout the world.