Taraqi-e-Islam to Tahrik-e-Jadid: A single tree to a global orchard

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For the past few weeks, our readers will have come across the term “Tahrik-e-Jadid” repeatedly; mostly through local secretaries calling or texting to remind them of their promises and to pay them off as soon as possible.

Such constant reminders can sometimes keep us too focused on the very terms used (Tahrik-e-Jadid, promises, payments, arrears etc.) and thus, there is a chance that we lose touch with the philosophy behind them.

So let us go back 106 years in history and see where it all started. As it got delivered through their letterboxes, Ahmadis living all over the Indian subcontinent picked up the Al Fazl issue of 2 May 1914 from their doormats to see a special supplement attached.

It was only the start of the Khilafat of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra – two months on to be precise – and every Ahmadi wanted to read every word of their beloved Imam that they could get their hands on. The whole of this supplement was a special message and hence, it got special attention.

The central idea was that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra had initiated a scheme called “Anjuman-e-Taraqi-e-Islam” – Council for the Propagation of Islam. Below is a cutting from the long and detailed message of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihra:

“… With this, I wish to invite the Jamaat’s attention to another matter with the hope that you will most definitely respond in the best possible way; the way a thirsty person runs towards a fountain of water.

“No nation ever progresses until and unless it invests all its powers and focus on its propagation; the Quran has declared this very clearly by stating اُولٰٓئِکَ ھُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوْنَ, meaning that it is only in tabligh that the key to success lies for Muslims.

“A cursory glance at history can gather how Muslims lost all glory, prosperity and wealth when they became complacent in their duty of tabligh. I remind you not to follow suit lest we fall in the same pit.

“I expressed before the delegates of Jalsa on 12 April that my passion for tabligh is such that I cannot put it into words. I also told them that this is the foremost task set by Allah the Almighty for his prophets and khalifas. He has similarly commanded every believer to be constantly indulged in this Jihad. I did not get this announcement published yet because I was praying in this regard; I wanted to do istikhara before I could call upon you in this regard.

“So, today, I present to you the message that Allah’s men have always called believers to, and that is:

مَنْ اَنْصَارِیْ اِلَی اللّٰہ

“‘Who is it that can come forward as my helper in propagation of Allah’s message?’

“Remember that whosoever comes forward to respond to this call will deserve special rewards from the Almighty Lord; this is not my call, but one directly from Him. Give a penny in his way and gain incalculable returns.

“Islam is under perilous attacks internally and externally. Those claiming to be Muslims have also harboured doubts in their hearts.

“… Allah will Himself rid Islam of this state of agony. For this to happen, Allah has inspired me to especially strive for the cause of propagating Islam and Ahmadiyyat. My estimate is that we require 12,000 rupees per annum.”

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra formed a committee and made it responsible for the acquisition of funds and to spend it solely for the propagation of Islam and Ahmadiyyat under his direct instructions. This body was named Anjuman-e-Taraqi-e-Islam – the council for the advancement and progression of Islam.

He appointed Hazrat Maulvi Sher Alira as the secretary of the committee. All tabligh ventures were undertaken by this Anjuman Taraqi-e-Islam for many decades that followed. Foreign missions were initiated, missionaries sent abroad, literature published and circulated worldwide and much more.

It was this initiative that later evolved in to Tahrik-e-Jadid in 1934 by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra, once again through divine inspiration. This scheme took upon itself the tasks of Anjuman Taraqi-e-Islam but was developed on a much broader canvas; global expansion of the Jamaat required an international outlook and that is what Tahrik-e-Jadid was based on. Various departments – autonomous in their functionality – were developed and designated with the tasks of fi nance, publications, foreign missions, education etc.

It is through this grand scheme, namely Tahrik-e-Jadid, that the Jamaat carries out the sacred mission of propagation of Islam throughout the world. A humble demand of 12,000 rupees (which equates to less than 120 British pounds today) by the Imam was so wholeheartedly received by the Jamaat that contributions exceeded thousands of times the actual demand. 12,000 rupees, if seen in pounds or dollars, is merely what an Ahmadi child contributes today towards this scheme of the Jamaat.

Every year, around this time of the year, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa announces the close of a year of Tahrik-e-Jadid and inaugurates a new year. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa closed the 85th year of Tahrik-e-Jadid with the following words:

“By the grace of Allah, on 31 October [2019], the 85th year of Tahrik-e-Jadid came to a close and the 86th year has begun. In this [previous] year, £13.6 million was offered in way of the Tahrik-e-Jadid scheme and by the grace of Allah, this amount is an increase of £802,000 from the previous year.”

What was seen as a task that required a meagre amount of 12,000 rupees saw Allah’s gracious blessings and expanded manifold; so did the funds required to fulfil it. As we stand at the close of the 86th year of Tahrik-e-Jadid, let us reflect on how a humble scheme has evolved into a global phenomenon and how it has served Islam on an unprecedented scale.

Let us also ensure that we have fulfilled our pledges towards this ostentatious mission of the Promised Messiahas. As we stand at the dawn of the 87th year of Tahrik-e-Jadid, let us pray for Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, under whose guidance the global mission of propagating Islam is thriving.

We all eagerly await Huzoor’saa Friday Sermon where Huzooraa will, inshaAllah, inaugurate the new year of Tahrik-e-Jadid.

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