Faran Rabbani, USA Correspondent
The morning of 2 October 2022 was the day for Huzoor’s departure from Zion to Dallas following the grand opening and reception of Fath-e-Azeem mosque.
Huzooraa came out of his residence at around 11 am – outside, hundreds of Jamaat members were waiting to bid farewell to their Imam. The local Jamaat amila of Zion had the blessed honour of having a group photo with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa and also various departmental nazimeen, followed by the Ziafat (hospitality) department volunteers.
After the group photos, Huzooraa went around the Fath-e-Azeem mosque complex to see and greet everyone before leading all present in silent prayers. Huzoor’s entourage left Zion for the airport. This brought the first leg of Hazrat Amirul Momineen’s tour to a successful end. During Huzoor’s stay in Zion, he met 1032 members of the Jamaat during mulaqats.
At the airport, just before boarding the flight, the entire entourage had the honour of having their group picture taken with Huzooraa in front of the plane. There were around 70 members of Huzoor’s entourage that travelled on the “Khilafat Flight” (KF2022) with American Airlines from Chicago to Dallas.
After landing, the local Sadr of Dallas Jamaat, Hamid Sheikh Sahib, along with the local missionary, Zaheer Bajwa Sahib, welcomed Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa. After exiting the airport, the entourage was quickly escorted by the police and was on its way to the newly built Bait-ul-Ikram mosque, where about 1,000 had gathered to welcome Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa. Once again, the members had come from different places to see and welcome their beloved Khalifa.
The weather on this day in Dallas had been pleasantly warm, in contrast to the weather in Zion, where it was chilly throughout the tour. Jamaat members gathered there for Huzoor’s arrival and had been waiting for several hours for their beloved Imam’s arrival.
Later, after Huzooraa led Asr prayers, he stopped at the langar khana (kitchen) to inspect the arrangements there. Huzooraa gave certain guidelines to the person in charge of the langar khana, Tahir Chaudhary Sahib, and then proceeded to the residence.
As the evening drew near, the mosque started to fill with worshippers. Huzooraa came to the mosque and led everyone in Maghrib and Isha prayers and then retired to his residence for the night.
3 October 2022
On 3 October, several Jamaat members had the blessed fortune of meeting Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa for the very first time in their lives. To say that this was a life-changing moment for these blessed souls would be an understatement.
After the mulaqats, Huzooraa came to the front of the mosque to unveil the official mosque plaque, followed by a silent prayer in which everyone joined. Afterwards, Huzooraa went to the prayer hall and led Zuhr and Asr prayers. Huzooraa returned to his office to resume the mulaqats that went all the way up to 8:10 pm. On 3 October, 248 members from 63 Ahmadi families had the honour of having a private audience with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa.
To mark this momentous occasion of the mosque inauguration, the local Dallas Jamaat prepared a special BBQ dinner and Huzooraa graciously blessed the food marquee with his presence just before the Maghrib and Isha prayers and tried some of the food as well.
After exiting the langar marquee while making his way to the mosque, Huzooraa noticed Anwer Mahmood Khan Sahib, the person responsible for the Zion Fath-e-Azeem Mosque exhibition, and stopped to converse with him.
A volunteer for Al Hakam, Zaryab Mahmood Gondal Sahib spoke to Anwer Mahmood Khan Sahib after and asked about what Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said.
He told us that Huzooraa enquired about the exhibition set up in Zion. Huzooraa asked how many people had seen the exhibition, to which Anwer Sahib said about 200-250 non-Ahmadi guests and about 1100 people in total. Anwer Sahib’s son, Amjad Khan Sahib said it was actually 1500.
Addressing Amjad Khan Sahib – who was also present there – Huzooraa asked about the remarks of the Mayor of Zion City regarding Huzoor’s speech. Amjad Sahib said, “Huzooraa, he was speechless. A few days ago, he was not sure if he wanted to even consider handing over the key and all of a sudden, Allah changed his mind.” Amjad also informed Huzooraa that the picture of the Promised Messiahas was also displayed on ABC News, a major news channel in the US, and hence it is going viral on social media.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa instructed Anwer Sahib that an hour-long documentary of the whole exhibition in Zion should be made and played on MTA International. Answer Sahib said to Huzooraa that MTA had already made a documentary on the prayer duel and Zion, to which Huzooraa said that “this new documentary should be on the exhibition only”. Anwer Sahib said that Huzooraa said this was such a big sign that it had to be advertised accordingly to capture the true grandeur of the Grand Victory given to the Promised Messiahas.
Anwer Khan Sahib also told us that while researching for the exhibition, he was able to recover not only Dowie’s audio recordings but some video clips of Dowie as well.
Speaking about the background of the exhibition in Zion, Anwer Khan sahib said that in 1967, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh came to Chicago and said to the Jamaat members that the Promised Messiahas had referred to 32 news clippings (of the Promised Messiah’s challenge to Dowie) in his book Haqeeqatul Wahi and asked the Jamaat if they had tried to find or had retrieved those original clippings? The Jamaat representative said they tried but couldn’t find them. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh said that he was very disappointed as the Promised Messiahas could find them 100 years ago and yet the Jamaat members living in this day and age could not find them.
Mirza Muzaffar Ahmad Sahib then became the Amir and Anwer Khan Sahib was serving as National Secretary Tabligh. Mirza Muzaffar Sahib asked Anwer Sahib to find those clippings and so he worked on it for one or two years and managed to find only 24 out of the original 32. Anwer Sahib said that the Promised Messiahas also wrote that he had received 32 news clippings and also said it appeared there could be hundreds of these news clippings. Anwer Sahib set out to find them and by Allah’s grace, they were able to find more than 160 news clippings about the Promised Messiah’s prayer duel and his subsequent success against Alexander Dowie.
Anwer Sahib said he showed Huzooraa, in the Zion exhibition, the news clippings on the electronic display that are also searchable. The Jamaat now has all the clippings translated into Spanish as well.
5 October 2022
On 5 October, the Waqifeen-e-Nau and Waqifaat-e-Nau from across Texas and neighbouring states started to arrive for classes with Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa.
The two groups started to have their practice runs for their respective classes that were going to be held in the evening. At around 6 pm, Huzooraa arrived at the mosque to hold the Waqifaat-e-Nau class, which went on for one hour. At the end of the class, the waqifaat-e-nau left the prayer hall and the Waqifeen-e-Nau boys walked in and took their spots. The class began shortly thereafter. The Waqf-e-Nau class was also one hour long. Both the boys and the girls not only presented before Huzooraa but also had the blessed opportunity to ask several questions and receive answers from Huzooraa. A detailed report of these two classes will be shared later.
On 7 October Huzooraa delivered his Friday Sermon from the Bait-ul-Ikram Mosque.