Jalsa Salana and its importance for the Jamaat

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Sahibzada Mirza Khalil Ahmad, (1924-1975)

آؤ‭ ‬لوگو‭ ‬كہ‭ ‬يہیں‭ ‬نورِ‭ ‬خدا‭ ‬پاؤ‭ ‬گے

لو‭ ‬تمہیں ‬طور‭ ‬تسلى‭ ‬كا‭ ‬بتایا ‬ہم‭ ‬نے

“Come, O people, for it is here you that will find the light of God; Now we have told you the path of finding satisfaction.”

Jalsa Salana serves as an important and beautiful memory that originates from the time of the Promised Messiah, peace be upon him. The foundation of this Jalsa was placed by the Promised Messiahas himself in 1891, when only 75 Companions participated. In 1892, Jalsa Salana was officially established, in which 327 people attended. 

From the objectives of this Jalsa – apart from the Jamaat’s education, preaching and organisation – another reason was for all those members of the Jamaat who were spread out across different areas to gather every year in their markaz, Qadian, and to meet and become acquainted with one another and as a result, refresh their faith. It was also for all Jamaat members to always keep in mind the unity of the Jamaat and the importance of national unity. 

Thus, following the commands of God Almighty, the Promised Messiahas announced this scheme – that members gather every year in Qadian for a Jalsa in which Islamic teachings and concepts would be taught and Quranic truths and their deeper meanings would be conveyed. This is because the human mind has been created in such a way that until a person is not constantly reminded of and taught something, it cannot be remembered in the long term. For this reason, the Jalsa was to be held every year. 

People started attending the Jalsa Salana in huge numbers and crowds increased year by year. In 1907 – one year before the demise of the Promised Messiahas – the Jalsa was attended by approximately 700 people; a number that is now seen on just the main stage or its surrounding areas in Jalsas held in these days [1940].

Seeing this number and while announcing the success of his mission, the Promised Messiahas said, “Maybe next year, it will be difficult for me to even go out on a walk [during Jalsa]”. 

In one way, these words of the Promised Messiahas became a prophecy; in other words, in 1908, Huzooras passed away.

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلهِ ‬وَ‭ ‬اِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْہِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.] 

However, even after the demise of Huzooras, the number of Jalsa attendees continued to increase every year. From 1,000, it turned to 2,000. From 2,000, it became 3,000 and from 3,000 to 4,000 – until in 1939, when 42,000 people attended Jalsa Salana. The world witnessed itself the prophecy of the Promised Messiahas being fulfilled, which he foretold when only three or four people would follow him, that:

يَاْتِيْكَ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬كُلِّ‭ ‬فَجٍّ‭ ‬عَمِيْقٍ

[His help will come to you from every distant track.]

And:

يَاْتُوْنَ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬كُلِّ‭ ‬فَجٍّ‭ ‬عَمِيْقٍ

[People will come to help you from every distant track.] (Tadhkirah [English], pp. 497-498)

Then God told him: 

وَبَشِّرِالَّذِيْنَ‭ ‬اٰمَنُوْا‭ ‬اَنَّ‭ ‬لَھُمْ‭ ‬قَدَمَ‭ ‬صِدْقٍ‭ ‬عِنْدَ‭ ‬رَبِّھِمْ۔‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬اتْلُ‭ ‬عَلَيْھِمْ‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬اُوْحِىَ‭ ‬اِلَيْكَ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬رَبِّكَ۔‭ ‬وَلَا‭ ‬تُصَعِّرْ‭ ‬لِخَلْقِ‭ ‬اللهِ‭ ‬وَلَاتَسْئَمْ‭ ‬مِنَ‭ ‬النَّاسِ۔‭ ‬اَصْحَابُ‭ ‬الصُّفَّۃِ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬اَدْرَاكَ‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬اَصْحَابُ‭ ‬الصُّفَّۃِ‭ ‬تَرَى‭ ‬اَعْيُنَھُمْ‭ ‬تَفِيْضُ‭ ‬مِنَ‭ ‬الدَّمْعِ۔‭ ‬يُصَلُّوْنَ‭ ‬عَلَيْكَ۔‭ ‬رَبَّنَا‭ ‬اِنَّنَا‭ ‬سَمِعْنَا‭ ‬مُنَادِيًا ‬يُنَادِىْ‭ ‬لِلْاِيْمَانِ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬دَاعِيًا ‬اِلَى‭ ‬اللهِ وَسِرَاجًا‭ ‬مُنِيْرًا۔‭ ‬اَمْلُوْا

Meaning:

“[…] And give glad tidings to those who have believed that they have the station of righteousness before your Lord. Recite to them the revelation that has been sent to you from your Lord. Remember that a time is coming when people will come to you in large numbers. It is incumbent upon you not to be arrogant towards them and you must not get tired of receiving them in large numbers. There will be people who will migrate from their homes to dwell in your quarters. They are the Ashab al-Suffah in the eyes of Allah. 

“Do you realise how magnificent in status the Ashab al-Suffah will be? They will be very strong of faith. You will see their eyes shedding tears; they will call down blessings on you. They will supplicate: ‘Our Lord we have heard a Caller, calling people to the faith [and a Summoner to Allah] and a refulgent lamp. So we have believed.’” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Part 3, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 1, pp. 267–268; Translation taken from Tadhkirah [English, 2009 edition], pp. 64-65)

In the above revelations of the Promised Messiahas, regarding the Ashab al-Suffah, Huzooras once wrote:

“God loves the Ashab al-Suffah among the Jamaat. The one who does not leave everything and comes to live here, or, at the very least, does not desire to do this – I fear for their condition. They remained deficient in establishing a relationship that purifies. 

“And this is a grand prophecy; it shows the greatness of those who God knew about – that they would leave their houses, areas and countries and to be in my proximity and would come and live in Qadian.”

At another place, the Promised Messiahas stated:

“God said to me: 

وَ‭ ‬وَسِّعْ‭ ‬مَكَانَكَ

“That is, ‘And enlarge your house.’ This prophecy says clearly that the day is coming when the number of visitors will multiply so much that it would be difficult for me to meet everyone. I was admonished not to express any annoyance or to feel tired of meeting the people. 

“Holy is Allah, how grand is this prophecy which was conveyed to me 17 years ago when only two or three people came to visit me, and that also infrequently. What a wonderful proof this is of God’s knowledge of that which is hidden.” (Siraj-e-Munir, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 12, p. 73; Translation taken from Tadhkirah [English, 2009 edition], p. 66)

Reading these words, every Ahmadi can gauge the importance of coming to Qadian and especially the grandeur of attending Jalsa Salana. 

However, how many are there amongst us who listen but never act? They desire to come but cannot turn this desire into action. They understand the importance and greatness, but due to not having a deep passion, this importance and greatness has no effect on them. 

One can truly understand the greatness of such an event when there is sincerity and love in their heart – they should have nothing but pure and absolute love.

Therefore, develop love for this divine scheme and believe that coming to Jalsa is compulsory. Become the one who fulfils the prophecy made by God that:

يَاْتِيْكَ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬كُلِ‭ ‬فَجٍّ‭ ‬عَمِيْقٍ‭ ‬

 [His help will come to you from every distant track.]

يَاْتُوْنَ‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬كُلِّ‭ ‬فَجٍّ‭ ‬عَمِيْقٍ

[People will come to help you from every distant track.]

Humbly yours, Mirza Khalil Ahmad

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu in Al Fazl, 17 December 1940)

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