Furhan Ahmad Humza Qureshi & Tariq Mahmood, Canada
In a small hamlet 131 years ago, a group of 75 came together to discuss how they would change the world. The convention (known as Jalsa Salana) was the first of its kind, and sought to show the path to God.
They had among them a man who claimed that God listened to him, and showed His extraordinary signs.
These were not coincidences; for his sake, the proverbial ‘mountains’ were moved, and times of distress turned to proof of God’s existence.
Many were anxious to see if there was a way to prove God exists, so they flocked to Qadian to see Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi (as), often spending a large sum of money to attend this convention.
He emphatically declared ‘You must not rank this convention in the same league as other, ordinary, human assemblies. This is a phenomenon that is based purely on Divine Help, for the propagation of Islam.’
Their lives began to change as they saw the prayers of the Promised Messiah (as) bring down the mercy of God from the Heavens.
Hazrat Munshi Zafar (ra) was one such person.
During the days of Jalsa Salana, funds diminished in the Ahmadiyya Community. The Promised Messiah (as) asked his wife to sell some jewelry to feed the guests, which she did out of hospitality. After some days the funds ran out once more.
At this time, the Promised Messiah (as) said ‘In obedience [to God] we have exhausted all possible worldly means. Now we need not worry, the One whose guests these are will Himself take care of them‘.
Morning arrived the next day, and with it the postman. Munshi Zafar (ra) was called, and was shocked upon arrival. He saw 10-15 envelopes, full of money. Ahmadis had written that they couldn’t attend themselves but wished to give what they could.
And so, when all means were exhausted, the Promised Messiah (as) waited on his Lord to deliver His promise. With divine help, the guests were fed once more.
The Promised Messiah (as) took great care to facilitate his guests, especially during the days of Jalsa Salana. He was ever-concerned for their well-being and happiness. This was one of many divine colours he displayed.
So when hunger came upon Hazrat Dr Hashmatullah Khan during the Jalsa Salana of 1907, he postponed his starvation, and waited to attend an important meeting after Maghrib prayer (prayer at sundown).
He intended to eat after the meeting but it ended at 11:45 p.m., and afterwards he found the kitchen closed.
With no strength left to look for food (he had not eaten since the morning), he went to his residence and laid down. Just then, a knock came at the door, followed by a voice asking all those who were hungry to come eat.
He was elated. He happily obliged the unusual knock, and went to eat in the middle of the night.
The next morning, the Promised Messiah (as) stood on the doorstep of the mosque and regarding the previous night, he said ‘The cry of some hungry one reached the Throne of Allah the Almighty, and I received the revelation:
O Prophet, feed the hungry and the distressed.‘
Upon receiving this revelation, the Promised Messiah (as) sent cooks to prepare food and offer it to anyone who was hungry.
Hazrat Dr Hashmatullah Khan arrived at the Jalsa Salana to serve Islam and love Allah, and at the very same Jalsa, Allah arranged for the service of the young man, demonstrating His own love for His servants. A miracle manifested once more at Jalsa Salana.
These miracles were not reserved for those beloved to the Promised Messiah (as). The Jalsa provided a means for bitter opponents to turn into sincere well-wishers.
A firm opponent in 1892, Mir Nasir Nawab came to Jalsa Salana out of sheer persistence of the Promised Messiah (as) who kept writing letters filled with love to Mir Nasir Nawab.
So, Mir Nasir Nawab departed for Qadian and met the man he deemed a liar. He was taken aback. The Promised Messiah (as) knew that Mir Nasir Nawab thought him to be a liar, but still met him with love and respect!
The three days of Jalsa transformed him. The first day, he explained that his eyes were opened to the truth due to the kindness and eloquence of the Promised Messiah (as).
The second day, he heard the interesting life-story of a lawyer who dipped his foot in every religion. This lawyer went to the Sunnis, the Shias, and the Sufis, and departed in disappointment. He tried his luck with the Brahmu Samaj and Arya Samaj Hindus, but did not feel the satisfaction he longed for.
He then told Mir Nasir Nawab that he felt the love of God in the presence of the Promised Messiah (as), and was now a devoted Ahmadi Muslim.
That night, the Promised Messiah (as) sat with the attendees of Jalsa, and narrated signs of his acceptance of prayer, with witnesses to testify.
And so, at Jalsa the heart of Hazrat Mir Nasir Nawab (ra) was convinced.
A former bitter opponent became a part of the family, and he now loved his former enemy with all his heart.
The second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad (ra) aptly states regarding Jalsa Salana:
‘Jalsa Salana is a grand sign, which asks us every year to look at how this sincere community rises and succeeds, and how its opponents experience failure and disappointment.
…This annual gathering reeps many benefits, which shows that whosoever stands up for God’s sake, God will never allow him to be wasted.‘
These are not stories of the past. Even now, God continues to guide people to Islam Ahmadiyyat year after year, through Jalsa Salana.
Under the leadership of His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (a.a), people witness God’s existence today.
Let us travel to West Africa. In Guinea Conakry, a son of a mayor was invited to watch the live proceedings of Jalsa Salana UK. As Monsoon season raged on, electricity was frequently lost for hours. And so, with this important guest’s arrival, the electricity went out.
The missionary prayed ‘O Allah the Almighty, for the truthfulness of the Jama’at, show us a miracle today, restore the electricity.‘
Suddenly, power was restored just as His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (a.a) began delivering the address. As soon as the address ended, the power went out once more. The mayor’s son was witness to both the miracle and the beautiful teachings of Ahmadiyyat. He declared that the misinformation perpetuated by the opponents of Ahmadiyyat was completely false.
The signs of God manifested once more, this time for a family from France. They had converted to Ahmadiyyat except their father and mother who remained skeptical. When the father arrived at the Jalsa he was awestruck. He realized that this event was one he had seen in a dream many years ago in his youth!
God had planned for the guidance of this man, and God’s plan was set in motion decades prior to Jalsa.Once more, the existence of God was proven.
In Benin, a housekeeper named Lateefa fell ill for two or three weeks, and returned right when Jalsa Salana UK was to begin. She narrated that while sick, she prayed to God to forgive her and guide to the right path before death arrived at her doorstep.
Within a few days she had a profound dream. A holy man entered a room and filled it with light. He was wearing a white turban, and beckoned her to him.
Some days later, the same man appeared once more in a dream, this time entering a large white house and reciting something while holding the hands of people from all races. The holy man then stood and delivered a speech on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa).
And so, when Jalsa came around, she too was asked to watch. She witnessed the fifth Caliph of the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) enter a large white marquee. She began to see her dream unfurl.
Now in deep thought, she departed with the promise that she would sincerely think of joining the community. It is important to mention here that there was no coercion to convert, but rather the opposite. Her parents, upon finding out that she considered joining Ahmadiyyat, became infuriated.
She came crying to the mosque once more. She had seen Beloved Huzoor (a.a) in a dream for a third time, telling her about the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a). She could ignore the clear signs no longer.
She did bai’at (pledge of conviction to Ahmadiyyat) and joined the community.
These are not the fables of the ancients. They are real people who witnessed the existence of God at the gathering of Jalsa Salana in the 21st century.
Just as the full moon brings with it stronger tides, the days of Jalsa Salana bring with it a more powerful demonstration of God’s existence. This convention began through divine command, and people around the world witness the special Grace and Mercy of Allah with unequivocal vigour to this day.
Whether it is the deserts of Benin or the streets of Paris, whether the person is sincere or filled with hatred, the days of Jalsa Salana prove one incontrovertible fact: God exists, if only we walk the path that leads to Him..
- Ishtihar 7 Dec. 1892, Majmoo`ah Ishtiharat Vol. I, Page 341
- Ashab e Ahmad, vol. 8, pp. 91-92, taken fromTadhkirah (3rd ed.) p. 1019
- Hayat e Nasir, pp. 56-58
- Khutbaat e Mahmood, vol. 4, p. 540
- Friday Sermon, August 13 2021, https://www.alislam.org/friday-sermon/2021-08-13.html
- Friday Sermon, August 28, 2015, https://www.alislam.org/friday-sermon/2015-08-28.html
- Friday Sermon, July 8, 2011, https://www.alislam.org/friday-sermon/2011-07-08.html
About the Authors:
Furhan Qureshi is an Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and graduate from the Ahmadiyya Institute of Languages and Theology in Canada. He currently serves is a Professor at Ahmadiyya Institute of Languages and Theology Canada, Assistant Editor for the Canadian Ahmadiyya Gazette, and appears on various programmes of MTA (Muslim Television Ahmadiyya). He is also a member of the Existence Project Team.
Tariq Mahmood is a graduate of the Ahmadiyya Institute of Languages and Theology in Canada and serves as Secretary of The Existence Project Team for The Review of Religions.
Ishtihar 7 Dec. 1892, Majmoo`ah Ishtiharat Vol. I, Page 341
Ashab e Ahmad, vol. 8, pp. 91-92, taken fromTadhkirah (3rd ed.) p. 1019
Hayat e Nasir, pp. 56-58
Khutbaat e Mahmood, vol. 4, p. 540
Friday Sermon, August 8 2021
Friday Sermon August 28, 2015
Friday Sermon, July 8, 2011