Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa has always emphasised on a red book to be maintained for Jalsa Salana, not only by the Jalsa Salana administration, but for all departments that are involved in any way. Huzooraa, on one occasion, said:
“Many a time, I have said to make a ‘red book’ and note down all the errors and shortcomings, and then try to eradicate them. This is how we can improve our system. It is the duty of Afsar Jalsa Salana to have a meeting with all the heads of departments at the end of Jalsa. He should ask them to bring the shortcomings of their department and discuss them to find solutions so as not to experience them in the future. Issues raised by the attendees must be accepted open-heartedly and complaints should be removed, and then a proper plan for the future should be made.” (Friday Sermon, 9 September 2016).
This tradition of having a red book for Jalsa Salana goes a very long way back. Going through the archives of Jalsa Salana Rabwah, we found red books dating back to the Jalsa Salana of 1954.
Items were recorded in minute detail; from the quantity of raw food-material purchased to how much food was produced by each Langar Khana (kitchen) on each day.
The record of red books starts (the earliest available so far is from 1954) with Hazrat Mirza Nasir Ahmadrh as Afsar Jalsa Salana. He would sign off every single page of all records that were being entered. At the end of each day, he would write to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra and report the stats to Huzoorra.
It is awe-inspiring to see a report written by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadrh also, who was then in charge of reception of guests. The report has details of how matters had improved from the previous year and what improvements were still required.
What is inspiring is how everyone was reporting their shortcomings with all honesty and integrity. It is this honesty that has always been and still is a hallmark of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. No wonder Jalsa Salana has seen tremendous success and progress, just like all other institutions of the Jamaat.
Red books are still maintained and consulted for future planning.
May Allah enable us to follow every word of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa as it is only through his guidance and obedience that we have seen prosperity and shall see even more. Insha-Allah!