Nusrat Jehan Scheme: Khilafat’s impetus for ‘Africa to Leap Forward’: A glimpse into the early years (1970-1982)

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Last Updated on 5th June 2022

Ata-ul-Haye Nasir, Al Hakam
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Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh upon arrival in Ghana

Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

وَاعۡبُدُوا اللّٰهَ وَلَا تُشۡرِكُوۡا بِهٖ شَيۡئًا وَّبِالۡوَالِدَيۡنِ اِحۡسَانًا وَّبِذِي الۡقُرۡبٰي وَالۡيَتٰمٰي وَالۡمَسٰكِيۡنِ وَالۡجَارِ ذِي الۡقُرۡبٰي وَالۡجَارِ الۡجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالۡجَنۡۢبِ وَابۡنِ السَّبِيۡلِ ۙ وَمَا مَلَكَتۡ اَيۡمَانُكُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَنۡ كَانَ مُخۡتَالًا فَخُوۡرَا

“And worship Allah and associate naught with Him, and show kindness to parents, and to kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and to the neighbour that is a kinsman and the neighbour that is a stranger, and the companion by your side, and the wayfarer, and those whom your right hands possess. Surely, Allah loves not the proud and the boastful.” (Surah al-Nisa, Ch.4: V.37)

The Holy Prophetsa once said:

إِنَّمَا‭ ‬يَرْحَمُ‭ ‬اللّٰه‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬عِبَادِهِ‭ ‬الرُّحَمَاءَ

“Allah is merciful only to those of His servants who are merciful (to others).” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Tawhid, Hadith 7448)

The Promised Messiahas stated:

“There are only two complete parts of faith. One is to love God and the other is to love mankind to such a degree that you consider the suffering and the trials and tribulations of others as your own and that you pray for them.” (Naseem-e-Da‘wat, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 19, p. 464)

Following this basic Islamic teaching, the Khulafa of Ahmadiyyat also made great efforts to serve humanity, and initiated many schemes. One such scheme was the Nusrat Jehan Scheme.

On 4 April 1970, Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIIrh embarked on a tour of West African countries. At the end of his visit, Huzoorrh arrived in London and during his Friday Sermon on 22 May 1970, he announced the heavenly scheme “Nusrat Jehan Reserve Fund”, and disclosed to members of the Jamaat that he had been directed by Allah the Almighty that Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya should arrange £100,000 for hospitals and schools in West Africa.

While addressing the local Ahmadis of Karachi on 7 June 1970, Huzoorrh said:

“When I was in the Gambia, Allah the Almighty inspired me that in addition to the scheme for a broadcasting station in West Africa, now is the time to spend at least £100,000 in these countries. […] I did not worry as to where £100,000 would come from. Without the grace of Allah the Almighty, a humble person like me cannot bring even a penny. But my heart had the belief that when Allah the Almighty commands us to spend at least £100,000 here, then we will certainly collect at least £100,000. Thus, there is no need to worry, and He will also provide such people as are needed for the fulfilment of this cause.” (Al Fazl, 9 October 1970, p. 3)

On 9 June 1970, during a majlis-e-irfan sitting, Huzoorrh narrated some details of this scheme.

While narrating incidents from his tour of six West African countries, during his Friday Sermon on 12 June 1970, Huzoorrh said:

“Upon reaching London, I informed members of the Jamaat that Allah the Almighty has indicated His will that we should spend at least £100,000 in these six African countries. […] In this regard, I need 200 sincere members from the jamaats of England, willing to donate £200 each and another 200 prepared to contribute £100 each and the rest willing to offer £36 (£12 at the beginning, at the rate of £1 per month). I told them that £10,000 should be collected in cash before my departure from England, which was 12 days away at the time. 

“I sat with the members for two hours – a one-hour sitting after Jumuah prayer, and another one-hour sitting on Sunday where we had some new participants as well – a total contribution of £28,000 was promised within those two hours, with £3,000 to £4,000 in ready cash. I arranged a new account under my supervision and named it the Nusrat Jehan Reserve Fund, which will remain there, and the money will be deposited in the same.” (Khutbat-e-Nasir, Vol. 3, pp. 124-125)     

Huzoorrh further said:

“I told them during the Friday Sermon that this is the will of Allah the Almighty that we should spend this amount and provide the required doctors and teachers for hospitals and schools. I told the members that I do not fear whether this amount would be raised or not, or if it would be raised, then from which means; I have a belief that it would surely be raised. And I also do not fear whether we would have people to serve this cause or not; we would certainly have, because God Almighty has commanded this task.” (Ibid, p. 125)

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Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh addressing members of the Jamaat, the Fazl Mosque, London

Huzoorrh then stated that when he had asked for an amount of £10,000 within the next 12 days, Bashir Ahmad Rafiq Sahib (then Imam of the Fazl Mosque) asked how such a large amount could be raised in such a short time, because when they were raising funds from the England Jamaat for the Fazl-e-Umar Foundation, an amount of £21,000 was raised in a period of three years.

Alluding to this, Huzoorrh continued by saying in his Friday Sermon:

“I addressed them for two hours, and within those two hours, promises and cash amounting £27,000 to £28,000 were received. This was from Allah the Almighty, not from myself, but He grants honour to the status on which He has stationed me. […] There are some [Ahmadi] doctors who are practising in England, I told them, ‘Look, I need doctors, you should say labbaik on my call with sincerity, love and sympathy. I will surely get some doctors, insha-Allah, but you should also present yourself voluntarily. If you do not, then I will have to command you and you will have to obey my command anyway, and only such a person will disobey [my command] who is ready to leave Ahmadiyyat; and whosoever leaves Ahmadiyyat, is neither needed by me nor my Allah.’ Therefore, they were very pleased and presented themselves [for this cause].” (Ibid, pp. 127-128)

Huzoorrh further said:

“I told the members in England, ‘I am not worried about where this money will come from because God Almighty has told me since the beginning of my Khilafat that:

تينوں‭ ‬اينا‭ ‬دياں‭ ‬گا‭ ‬كہ ‬تو‭ ‬رج‭ ‬جاويں‭ ‬گا

“[‘I will bless you so abundantly that it will be enough for you.’]

“Thus, you witnessed that 27 to 28 thousand pounds had been promised and that was without any effort. I wished that before my departure [from England], an amount of £10,000 was raised for this fund. The office-bearers were hopeless, but I was not even for a second. I knew that my God had commanded me to do this task. […]

“I have drafted a scheme for Pakistan as per Allah the Almighty’s will. […] I will appeal to you and you will offer sacrifice, insha-Allah, because the God Who commands us to offer sacrifices also grants potential. […] This is not the time to move slowly; rather, we must be swift and then we have to accomplish many tasks, for instance we need to publish books in Africa. […] 

“I need 200 such sincere members from Pakistan who will donate 5000 rupees each, from which everyone will have to pay 2,000 rupees at the beginning (meaning by the next November) […] and the remaining 3,000 [rupees] according to their capacity within the next three years. […] In addition to these 200 sincere members, I need 200 such sincere members who promise to donate 2,000 [rupees]; 1,000 at the beginning and the remaining 1,000 within the next three years according to their capacity. 

“Moreover, I need at least 1,000 such sincere members – may God exceed this number to 2,000 – who promise to donate 500 rupees to this fund; from which 200 rupees at the beginning and the remaining 300 as per their capacity within the next three years. Apart from these 1,400 sincere members, whoever wishes to donate less than 500 rupees, should directly pay cash into the treasury under this fund – instead of promising an amount – and take the receipt and inform me; I will pray for them to Allah the Almighty that may Allah the Almighty accept their sacrifice.” (Ibid, pp. 136-139)

After this, Huzoorrh elaborated on this scheme with some more details.

In response to Huzoor’s call, Ahmadis showed a great passion for sacrifice and by 17 June, the total promises of around 500,000 rupees and cash payments of more than 5,000 rupees were collected in Pakistan. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 26, p. 120)

Huzoorrh established a committee of Majlis Nusrat Jehan, and instructed the committee on 24 June 1970 in the following words:

“This committee has been established to carry out the [Nusrat Jehan] Leap Forward programme swiftly and diligently, which comprises six countries now. […] This committee will work directly under my supervision.” (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 26, p. 130)

In 1970, Majlis Nusrat Jehan published an account of Huzoor’srh tour of six African countries on the West Coast, titled Africa Speaks. While speaking about this booklet, during his address at Jalsa Salana Rabwah 1970, Huzoorrh said:

“Another magazine Africa Speaks has been published, which has been published through the Nusrat Jehan (Leap Forward) scheme. […] I have told you many times that there is a huge revolution in West Africa in favour of Islam and Ahmadiyyat; you will get to know about this in detail after reading this magazine.” (Khitabat-e-Nasir, Vol. 1, pp. 446-447)

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An African king with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh. Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa can be seen standing behind Huzoorrh

On 30 August 1970, while addressing Ahmadi doctors, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh narrated the details of the Nusrat Jehan (Leap Forward) programme, and encouraged them to offer their services in Africa under this scheme. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 26, pp. 197-208)

Under the Nusrat Jehan Scheme, the work for establishing schools and hospitals commenced and the scheme started bearing fruit. Under this scheme, the first Ahmadiyya Medical Centre was inaugurated on 1 November 1970, in Kumasi, Ghana. (Ibid, p. 230)

As per the statement of Secretary Nusrat Jehan Scheme, by 25 November 1970, the amount of promises reached 2.6 million rupees and around 700,000 rupees were received in the markaz. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 26, pp. 120-121)

On 28 December 1970, during his concluding address at Jalsa Salana Rabwah, Huzoorrh stated:

“By now, the jamaats of Pakistan have promised an amount of 2.636 million rupees, and the promises from the outside jamaats are 1.963 million rupees (if pounds are converted to rupees). The sum total becomes 4.6 million rupees. […] Within Pakistan, an amount of 930,000 rupees have been received in cash in a period of a few months, by the grace of Allah the Almighty and the blessings which He has showered upon the Jamaat. The total collection within and outside Pakistan is 1.602 million rupees. […] 

“According to the scheme, which I had formulated earlier, I had intended to send 16 doctors to six [African] countries, but through Allah the Almighty’s grace, the scheme now has 40 doctors. […] Initially, I had thought that during the first year, we would need only a few teachers, but in response to my call for teachers, around 150 members devoted their lives who had the degrees of MA, MSc, BA, and BSc. […] 

“Brigadier Dr Ghulam Ahmad Sahib who departed from here on 1 November [1970], has begun his work by establishing a health centre in Kokofu, Ghana. […] There is a town, Wa, in northern Ghana – where we have very big jamaats as well – a school has been established, namely ‘Nusrat Jehan Girls Academy Wa’. […] A boys’ school has also been established in Ghana under the Nusrat Jehan (Leap Forward) programme.” (Khitabat-e-Nasir, Vol. 1, pp. 508-513)

On 13 March 1971, a farewell ceremony was held for 13 doctors who were going to West Africa under the Nusrat Jehan Aagey barho (Leap Forward) programme. The ceremony was also graced by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 27, pp. 31-33)

In 1971, eight new hospitals were established in Ghana, Sierra Leone and the Gambia, whereas eight new schools were established in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and the Gambia. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 27, pp. 7-28)

A list of schools, clinics and hospitals established during the early years of this scheme can be found in Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, volume 26, pages 131-146.

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Top: Aerial view of Talim-ul-Islam School, Esarkyir, Ghana
Bottom: Aerial view of Talim-ul-Islam High School, Salaga, Ghana

During his Friday Sermon on 3 November 1972, Huzoorrh said:

“Under the Nusrat Jehan Aagey barho [Leap Forward] Scheme, many tasks are being achieved. Through this heavenly scheme, we continue to witness wonderful scenes of love and mercy of Allah the Almighty. And I believe that [members of the] Jamaat should be made aware of these manifestations so that they can also express their gratitude [to Allah the Almighty], recite alhamdulillah from the depth of their hearts and offer more sacrifices for the religious cause diligently.” (Khutbat-e-Nasir, Vol. 4, p. 473)

On 27 December 1972, during his address at the Jalsa Salana Rabwah 1972, Huzoorrh said:

“By the time, members [of the Jamaat] from Pakistan have promised an amount of 2,720,390 rupees in Nusrat Jehan Reserve Fund, whereas, the promised from outside of Pakistan have reached 3,120,800 rupees. […] Therefore, the total promises have exceeded 5.8 million [rupees]. […] 

“The number of participants from Pakistan is 3,282 and 2,011 from outside Pakistan. […] By 15 December 1972, the total collection in Pakistan is around 1.8 million (1,778,834) rupees. The collection outside Pakistan is 1.5 million rupees. The total amount collected within and outside Pakistan is 3,267,448 rupees.” (Khitabat-e-Nasir, Vol. 1, p. 562)

During his Friday Sermon on 5 October 1973, Huzoorrh urged members of the Jamaat to pay their chanda for the Nusrat Jehan Scheme which they had promised, as soon as possible, and stated that although the deadline was November 1973, he was extending it to 20 December 1973. He further said:

“As far as the blessings of this scheme are concerned, which Allah the Almighty has linked to it, they will continue to expand, insha-Allah. Allah the Almighty is the One Who always showers His mercy and love. […] The Holy Prophetsa had given the glad tiding to his ummah that until they fulfilled the conditions of faith, the world would remain in awe of them. Now Europe holds huge amounts of wealth, they are very rich. Our impact is not in the shape of currency; rather, it is in the form of mercy of Allah the Almighty. Our treasuries are filled with the mercy of Allah the Almighty, not with pounds, gold, silver or diamonds. The wealth of Allah’s mercy is immensely precious and more beneficial than any other asset, such as gold, silver, diamonds, and pearls, and it never shows disloyalty, but worldly wealth, ultimately, is disloyal.” (Khutbat-e-Nasir, Vol. 5, pp. 251-254)

During his Friday Sermon on 5 April 1974, Huzoorrh stated that by that time, around 5.3 million rupees had been received in the Nusrat Jehan Reserve Fund. He added that under this scheme, many schools and hospitals had been established, despite huge opposition and hurdles, but Allah the Almighty removed all hurdles at the end. He further said that there was a huge revolution in African countries, which was all due to the blessings of the Nusrat Jehan Scheme. (Ibid, pp. 472-475)

During his Friday Sermon on 21 November 1975, Huzoorrh said that one was astonished upon witnessing the impact of the Nusrat Jehan Scheme in West African countries, and one had to express their gratitude to Allah the Almighty for His blessings and mercy. 

Huzoorrh added that in some areas, the local people were insisting to the Jamaat to establish schools and hospitals in their area and save their children from the impact of Christianity. (Khutbat-e-Nasir, Vol. 6, p. 211)

Huzoorrh further said that by that time, an amount of 15 million rupees had been spent on projects under the Nusrat Jehan Scheme in West Africa. (Ibid, p. 536)

On 27 December 1975, during his address at the Jalsa Salana Rabwah 1975, Huzoorrh said:

“Allah the Almighty has enabled the Jamaat to donate an amount of 5.353 million rupees [in Nusrat Jehan Reserve Fund].” (Khitabat-e-Nasir, Vol. 2, p. 123)

On 11 December 1976, during his address at the Jalsa Salana Rabwah, Huzoorrh said:

“Under the Nusrat Jehan [scheme], since 1970, 16 higher secondary schools have been established. As a result of this, our 29 small colleges are currently functioning in West African countries, which are equivalent to intermediate colleges.” (Ibid, p. 194)

In 1977, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh sent Sahibzada Mirza Masroor Ahmad Sahibaa to Ghana, under the Nusrat Jehan Scheme. He served as the headmaster of the Ahmadiyya Secondary Schools in Salaga and Essarkyir. Moreover, in accordance with the instructions of Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IVrh, Sahibzada Mirza Masroor Ahmad Sahibaa successfully experimented the growth of wheat in Ghana, which was the first time that it was revealed that wheat could grow in Ghana. He also experimented the cultivation of soya bean, and it was then that the high nutritional value of soya bean was brought to the attention of the Ghanaian public. (www.reviewofreligions.org/1768/service-in-ghana/)

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Hazrat Sahibzada Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa holding his daughter while meeting Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh

During his Friday Sermon on 15 September 1978, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh said:

“[Members of the] Jamaat participate in financial sacrifices greatly, and then chandajat [donations] of the Nusrat Jehan [Scheme] also added up in 1970, and the duration of that financial sacrifice was limited to three years, and at least £100,000 were demanded to spend there [in West Africa]. Allah the Almighty showered His grace; instead of £100,000, an amount of £200,000 to £250,000 have been raised by the time, all over the world.” (Khutbat-e-Nasir, Vol. 7, p. 405)  

During the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh, the Nusrat Jehan Scheme was firmly established, and continued to flourish during the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh as well. 

Now, during the blessed era of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, this scheme has risen to new heights and we are witnessing unprecedented progress and blessings of this scheme. 

While mentioning the progress of the Nusrat Jehan Scheme, during his Second Day address at the Jalsa Salana UK 2021, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated that under this scheme, 37 hospitals and clinics are operating in 12 countries, where 49 central and 14 local doctors are serving. There are 593 schools in 11 countries, where 21 central teachers are serving. (Al Hakam, 13 August 2021, Issue 178, p. 17)

May Allah the Almighty grant this scheme more progress in the future as well. Amin.

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