100 Years Ago… – It was a curious sight, seeing the rich and poor all sleep on the floor: Jalsa Salana Qadian

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Last Updated on 25th March 2022

The Review of Religions [English], March, April & May, 1922

Qadian, the abode of peace
Hazrat Chaudhry Ali Mohammadra BA BT (1892-1979)

The annual gathering of the Ahmadiyya Community came off in the last week of December 1921. The guests began to pour in as early as 15 December [1921]. This year the number of guests received was estimated to be more than 7000. It is gratifying to note that the number increases every year by leaps and bounds. The site for lectures was specially prepared this year with a view to afford more accommodation, but as usual, it proved again insufficient for the increased numbers. Not a small fraction of the number of the esteemed guests enjoyed high social standing, but it was really a very curious sight to see high and low, rich and poor, all sleep on the floors of the school and the hostel rooms which were only cushioned with straw. It was not the physical comfort which mattered and weighed so much with these guests, rather they felt an appetite for spiritual food which was so profusely served this year by the blessed leader of the Ahmadiyya Community. 

Several lectures were delivered on topics of vital importance, but the lecture which far surpassed others as regards knowledge imparted and benefit derived was that of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] who spoke for about 5 hours on the first day, for 4 and half hours on the 2nd day and for 6 and half hours on the 3rd day, that is, for 16 hours on the same subject. The introductory remarks by the worthy speaker himself are as follows:

“The lectures that have been delivered up to this time were all branches, while the main trunk is the one I am going to speak on; all others have been deduced from it, but this has been deduced from none. My predecessors spoke on this subject just as I now do; I spoke briefly on it in 1914 and shall say more so long I am alive. Others too will discourse upon it but will never be able to exhaust it. I do not exaggerate when I say that every other subject has sprung from it.”

Quite surprisingly my readers would ask what the lecture was about. I may tell them it was on “God,” exaggeration there cannot be. The Master-Prophet Mohammad, peace and the blessings of God be on him, instructed men in the heavenly ways and taught the people everything about God. In modern times, the Promised Messiah, God be pleased with him, wrote hundreds of pages upon the divine attributes. With the exception of these two grand personages whether any other man spoke so much or taught so much is only doubtful. He rediscovered God to the public gaze. God was a hidden treasure which was brought to light by this illustrious son of the second Adam who had received a revelation from God as far back as 1884 which runs as follows: 

“I was a hidden treasure; I willed that I be known to my people; so I brought Adam into being.” This Adam was no other than the Promised Messiah[as] whose worthy son spoke so recently for 16 hours on the existence, attributes and ways of God. The lecture will be published in the near future in a book form. A brief summary of the headings of the lecture may, with advantage, be given as below: 

1. The notion of God was traced from among the primitive nations of the earth. 

2. The existence of God was proved in more than one way and the objections of the atheists were refuted. 

3. The fact that God speaks to His chosen ones and answers to their prayers and solicitations was proved with copious illustrations. 

4. The efficacy of prayer was proved to be a reality and the objections thereto were refuted. 

5. God’s attributes were illustrated with examples. Besides the famous 99 attributes mentioned in the Holy Quran, several others were described. 

6. Man manifests some of the divine qualities when his character is formed in light of the Divine attributes. 

7. The commentary on the four fundamental attributes of God mentioned in the opening chapter of the Al-Quran challenges all others. These four attributes become transitionally limited in scope and application when the Almighty God condescends to show Himself to those persons who seek after him, for is not their power of comprehension limited? 

I. Creator and Developer of the worlds

II. The Beneficent

III. The Merciful

IV. Master of the Day of Retribution

Man practices the four attributes to build up his character. 

The four fundamental attributes of God: 

I. Master of the Day of Retribution 

II. The Merciful. 

III. The Beneficent

IV. Creator and Developer of the worlds 

The above illustration shows the four fundamental attributes of God in their transitional form till they become comprehensible by human intellect. But a man must proceed practising these attributes in the reverse order, that is from the bottom to the top so that he may become God-like and a model for his fellow-beings. 

Ali Mohd. BA

(Transcribed by Al Hakam from the original in The Review of Religions, March, April & May, 1922)

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