100 Years Ago… – Annual Ahmadiyya gathering at Qadian, 1920

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Last Updated on 1st January 2021

The Review of Religions [English], January 1921

Members of the Ahmadiyya community assembled at Qadian as usual during the last week of December and we are glad to note that they not only assembled in increased numbers but with increased enthusiasm, increased sincerity, and increased devotion to their holy leader, and I believe they left Qadian with increased faith.

Jalsa Salana 1920, as it was being addressed by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra on 27 December [1920]. This picture is reffered to in The Review of Religions’ article

The pandal [marquee] was greatly extended this year in order to make room for about 2,000 more men, yet even the extended pandal was found barely sufficient to accommodate the huge gathering. The whole assembly, as it was being addressed by His Holiness, the Khalifatul Masih, on 27 December [1920], was photographed and we hope to be able to reproduce the photo in our next issue. [The photo is given above.]

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ahmadiyya community from all parts of India. Among the representatives of the Ahmadiyya community in foreign countries were the Ceylonese gentlemen studying at Qadian, three gentlemen from Mauritius and a learned gentleman of Bukhara named Muhy-ud-din who intends to stay at Qadian for some time to study Ahmadiyya literature and then to return to the land of his fathers as a missionary of the Ahmadiyya movement.

The meeting continued to hold its sittings for four days, viz., from 26 to 29 December [1920]. On the first day, after the usual recitation from the Holy Quran, it was addressed by Maulvi Rahim Bakhsh Sahib MA, BT, who compared the Islamic way of divine worship with those of other religions; by Hakim Khalil Ahmad Sahib who dwelt on the manifold blessings of the Promised Messiah[as]; and by Maulavi Hafiz Roshan Ali Sahib who discussed the truth of the Promised Messiah’s[as] claims. In the evening, Khalifa Rashid-ud-Din Sahib, General Secretary, Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Qadian, delivered a lecture in English on the Medinite life of the Holy Prophet, may peace and the blessings of God be upon him.

On the second day, Maulavi Shaikh Abdur Rahman Sahib, Headmaster, Ahmadiyya Madrassa, Qadian (late student of Azhar University and a convert from Hinduism), delivered himself a learned discourse on a comparison of Islam with other religions.

In the afternoon, the assembly had the privilege of listening to a soul-elevating speech from His Holiness, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih II[ra], which lasted for about 5 hours.

On the third day, 28 December [1920], the general secretary to Anjuman Ahmadiyya and the different secretaries to His Holiness, the Khalifatul Masih II[ra] read the annual reports of their respective departments and in the afternoon, His Holiness delivered a highly instructive speech on angels, which though occupying about 5 hours remained unfinished and was continued the following day, taking about 7 hours in all.

We intend to publish a translation or a substance of the speech in the pages of The Review [of Religions].

On the fourth day, His Holiness was followed by Maulavi Ghulam Rasul of Rajeke Sahib, who discussed the nabuwwat (prophethood) of the Promised Messiah[as] and then the meeting came to a close with prayers to the Almighty Allah.

As usual Ahmadi ladies also came in very large numbers from different parts of India. They held their separate meetings in Masjid-i-Aqsa and were addressed by His Holiness, the Khalifat-ul-Masih, and a number of other speakers. It is highly gratifying to see that the Ahmadi ladies are taking a lively interest in the movement.

This year an arrangement was made for ladies in the pandal also where they could listen to lectures, with due observance of purdah, but as space was very limited, only literate ladies were admitted, on production of admission tickets, which were issued for that purpose.

Our missionaries in England and America sent messages to their brethren assembled in their annual meeting at Qadian. Our brethren are taking a keen interest in the work of the foreign missions.

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