A glimpse into Jalsa Salana Qadian 1923


The annual Jalsa of the Ahmadiyya Community took place at Qadian on 26, 27 and 28 December 1923. Ever since the foundations of this annual Jalsa were laid by Prophet Ahmad[as], the Promised Messiah and the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Jalsa has regularly been held every year in the last week of December. It was only twice that the dates had to be changed on account of certain unavoidable causes.

The first Jalsa took place in December 1892 and thus the last Jalsa was the 32nd of its kind. The figures about the first Jalsa have been fortunately preserved, and from them, we learn that the number of Ahmadis who took part in it was 300 including the local Ahmadis of Qadian. With the expansion of the Ahmadiyya Movement, however, the Jalsa has also been gradually expanding, so much so that this year the number of visitors to Qadian during the Jalsa days was over 10,000.

Qadian, it will be noted, is a very small town with a population of about 4,500. Thus, the number of visitors was twice as large as the number of local residents.

These visitors came not only from all parts of the province but also from other parts of India, e.g., the UP, Behar, Bengal, Sindh, Bombay [now Mumbai], Hyderabad Deccan, Malabar, Kashmir, etc. For the entertainment of the guests, suitable arrangements were made by the local Ahmadiyya Community of Qadian. Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad[ra] MA, the second son of the Holy Founder of the Movement, was in charge of the whole management and under him was placed a party of about 500 honourary workers.


The work of management was divided into the following heads:

Reception at the Batala Railway Station as well as at Qadian. The officer in charge of this work was also made responsible for arranging transport. Pickets of volunteers were placed at important places on the road.

Accommodation, i.e., arrangements for the housing of the guests and the supply of furniture, etc.

Preparation of food for the guests.

Supply of water.

Supply of light.

Distribution of food.

Attendance upon the guests.

Medical arrangements.

Sanitary arrangements.

Maintenance of stores of supply.

Management of the bazaar.

Management of the stage and the pandal [marquee].

Enquiry office, to which was attached the office of making announcements of lost property.


Watch arrangements, especially for nights and the Jalsa of the ladies.

General supervision.

These different offices were placed in charge of different men, who were assisted by a suitable number of assistants and volunteers. The Private Secretary of His Holiness, the Khalifat-ul-Masih II[ra] was helped by an extra staff member in the work of arranging interviews between the Khalifat-ul-Masih and the parties of guests.

Jalsa Gah

The Jalsa took place in the Noor Mosque near the High School buildings, where a large number of temporary galleries were set up for the convenience of the visitors.

Arrival of guests

The guests began to arrive on 20 December. But the greatest rush of visitors was on 25 and 26, with the largest number of guests entertained on the night of 27, when their number rose to ten thousand and eight hundred.

The programme of the Jalsa was as follows:

26 December 1923

9:30-10:30am: Refutation of Objections against Prophecies of Ahmad[as] concerning Ahmad Beg and Lekhram by Mir Qasim Ali Sahib

10:30-11:30am: Prophecies of the Promised Messiah[as] by Maulvi Syed Sarwar Shah Sahib

11:30-12pm: Annual report of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Qadian by the Secretary

12-1pm: The Truth of the Promised Messiah’s[as] Claims by Hafiz Roshan Ali Sahib

2-3pm: Refutation of the Objections of Muhammad Ali Mongheri by Hakim Khalil Ahmad Sahib

3-4pm: Annual Report of the Nazarat (The Secretariat) by the Chief Secretary

4-4:30pm: Sacrifice Essential for National Progress by Hazrat Mirza Sharif Ahmad Sahib

4:30-5pm: The Malkana Rajputs and Bhajans concerning them by Master Muhammad Shafi Aslam Sahib

27 December 1923

9:30-10:30am: The Apostasy Movement and Our Responsibility by Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad Sayal MA

10:30-10:45am: Financial Report of the Year (1923) by Financial Secretary

10:45-11am: Our Missionary Work in Foreign Countries by Dr Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahib

Afternoon: Lecture of His Holiness, Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih II[ra]

28 December 1923

9:30-10:30am: The Antiquity of Matter and Soul by Mir Muhammad Ishaq Sahib

10:30-11:30am: Prophecies of the Bible concerning the Holy Prophet[sa] by Maulvi Rahim Bakhsh Sahib MA

11:30-12:30pm: The Attack of Ahmadis upon Christianity and its Effect by Chaudhry Zafrulla Khan Sahib (Bar-at-Law)

Afternoon: Lecture of His Holiness, Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih II[ra]

Speeches and lectures

The speeches were generally very well delivered and were listened to with attention.

His Holiness, Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih II[ra] gave two lectures, i.e., one in the afternoon of 27 and the other in the afternoon of 28. At the time of his speech, the pandal was packed to the brim, and the audience listened to his lecture with rapt attention.

The first lecture of His Holiness related to the general review of the activities of the Ahmadiyya Community during the past year, at the end of which he gave some very fine pieces of advice to the audience.

The second lecture His Holiness was on Salvation. I may note here that last year too, His Holiness spoke on this very subject, but as he could not finish it, he decided to take up the same subject this year. This lecture lasted for about 5 hours, and if we add to it the 8 hours of the last year, it makes 13 full hours in which the learned lecturer could finish his lecture on Salvation. After explaining the importance of the subject, His Holiness explained at some length the views held by the followers of different religions about Salvation. Then he proceeded to explain the teachings of Islam about this important subject, and with cogent reasons and powerful arguments, he proved the superiority of Islam over all other religions in this respect. He explored all the possible avenues of the subject, and his lecture was one solid mass of scientific research and heavenly knowledge. Towards the end, he explained the different aspects and stages of salvation and described how they could be achieved in Islam.

The Jalsa ended with prayers.

Lajna Imaillah

Our female visitors this year were no less than 1000, and for them, a separate Jalsa was arranged. His Holiness, Hazrat Khalifat-ul-Masih II[ra] also gave one lecture.

New converts

Among the visitors, male and female, there was a large number of non-Ahmadis, most of whom entered into bai‘at before leaving. The number of those who joined the Ahmadiyya Movement in the Jalsa days was over 500.

Mazhabi Sikhs

It will not be out of place here to mention that for the last few months, our missionary department has been paying special attention to missionary work among the Mazhabi Sikhs. Sardar Khazan Singh, the well-known leader of the party, was approached, the beauties of Islam were explained to him, and he was invited to enter the fold of Islam, which alone could raise the status of the depressed classes; and thank God, the efforts of our workers have been crowned with success, for in the Jalsa days, Sardar Khazan Singh, with a large party of his followers, declared his Islam and became a Muslim. His conversion has created a great stir in the Community of Mazhabi Sikhs in the province, and it is hoped that before long most of them will turn to Islam.

(Transcribed and edited by Al Hakam from the original, published in The Review of Religions [English], February 1924)

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