Furhan Hamza Qureshi, English editor of the Ahmadiyya Gazette, Canada
By the grace of Allah the Almighty, and through the prayers and guidance of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya, the Ahmadiyya Gazette Canada celebrated its 50th anniversary in June 2022. This milestone was marked by a series of events and activities that were organised throughout the last year and eventually culminated in a special dinner on 2 February 2023.
The Ahmadiyya Gazette Canada is the official organ of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada. Its first issue was published in June 1972, under the name The Ahmadiyya News Bulletin. At that time, it was more in the form of a newsletter and was in both Urdu and English. In April 1975, this bulletin was renamed “The Muslim Outlook”, and then, in July 1975, it was finally named Ahmadiyya Gazette Canada. Its first editor was the late Mubarak Ahmad Khan Sahib, and currently, Hadi Ali Chaudhary Sahib is serving as chief editor, since 2010.
In preparation for its 50th anniversary, with the approval of Amir Sahib Jamaat Canada, a series of events were planned throughout the year by the editorial board. A lot of planning, logistics and preparation was done behind the scenes, and the team met on a regular basis to ensure all arrangements were made efficiently.
The details of the jubilee events are given below.
The 50th-anniversary thanksgiving celebration began with the publication of a special anniversary issue, in June 2022. This was published exactly 50 years after the first issue, in June 1972.
Hadi Ali Chaudhary Sahib, editor-in-chief, designed a beautiful logo in commemoration of this jubilee, which was highlighted on the cover page of this anniversary issue.
The highlight of this issue was the special message of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, in which he laid out an action plan for the future of the Gazette, instructing that it should now target a younger readership, and fulfil the needs of the youth.
The 100-page issue consisted of articles on the history and evolution of the Gazette. Its pages were decorated with historic images of former and current Gazette team members, as well as cover images from the archives.
In commemoration of the 50 years of the Gazette, a special musha‘irah, or poetic symposium, was organised on 9 September 2022 in Aiwan-e-Tahir, Peace Village, Canada. Such poets, whose poems have been published in the Ahmadiyya Gazette, were invited to present their poetry in praise of Allah the Almighty, the Holy Prophetsa and love for Khilafat. A total of 13 poets presented their work, after which a dinner was served to all the guests.
An essay competition on the theme of “Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya” was also organised by the Gazette. Participants were divided into two groups and assigned essay topics accordingly.
The main event in the Gazette’s 50th-anniversary celebration was the jubilee reception held on 2 February 2023. This premier event was attended by roughly 250 guests, including both women and men. It was a matter of great honour for the Gazette that Sahibzadi Amatul Jameel Begum, daughter of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, was also present at the event.
The event began at 7pm with a formal session that was presided over by Lal Khan Malik Sahib, Amir Jamaat Canada. The session commenced with the recitation of the Holy Quran with its English translation. Following this, the Gazette’s chief editor, Hadi Ali Chaudhary Sahib, presented a brief history of this periodical. In his speech, he mentioned the notable services of the early editors and volunteers throughout the decades.
Afterwards, some guest speakers were invited to share their thoughts and sentiments regarding the Gazette, including Zakaria Virk Sahib, one of the early editors, and Abdul Hameed Warraich Sahib, Sadr Majlis Ansarullah Canada. A message from Amatus Salam Malik Sahiba, Sadr Lajna Imaillah Canada, was read out by Hafiz Mujeeb Ahmad Sahib, assistant editor of the Gazette. It is worthy of note that the Respected Abdul Hameed Warraich presented a commemorative plaque on this occasion on behalf of Majlis Ansarullah Canada.
After the guest speakers, my humble self read out a brief report of the essay competition and announced the winners. Amir Sahib Jamaat Canada gave prizes to the male winners in attendance, while Sadr Lajna Imaillah Canada gave the prize to the female winner in attendance.
Secretary Isha‘at Jamaat Canada, Sheikh Abdul Wadood Sahib, then delivered a speech on the importance of the Ahmadiyya Gazette Canada.
Then, an address was presented by Amir Sahib Jamaat Canada. His address centred around some proposed future avenues that the Gazette could undertake to increase readership.
Before the silent prayer, Mubashir Khalid Sahib, manager of the Gazette, gave a vote of thanks in which he also briefly mentioned some of the publications’s future projects. Amir Sahib then led the silent prayer, after which dinner was presented to all the guests.
It should be mentioned here that a special souvenir brochure commemorating the 50 years of the Gazette was designed and printed for this event. This souvenir included a timeline highlighting the Gazette’s evolution over the last 50 years, through the lens of its covers.
A beautiful, commemorative pin was also designed to mark the occasion. All the guests were given this pin as a souvenir.
Readers are requested to pray for the continued success and advancement of the Ahmadiyya Gazette Canada, according to the guidance and expectations of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa. May it serve as a source of knowledge, enlightenment and wisdom for all its readers. Amin.