Flashback: The Rabwah Jalsas

Source: mta.tv/jalsaconnect

 

Present day Rabwah. A barren desert converted by Allah’s grace into an Oasis of spiritual riches. Can you believe this was once a barren patch of dirt?

Given that we don’t have massive Rabwah Jalsas anymore, I wondered how they would have been and what preparations would have been made for them. To find some answers, I asked my mother, Syeda Bushra Nizami Sahiba, to share her experience:

Travel: “I was very young when there were Jalsas. We would start our journey from Sindh, Hyderbad, by Chenab Express – a 24-hour travel. It would start at 11 p.m. For example, we would leave on the 24th, arrive at Rabwah on the 25th and the Jalsa would begin on 26th December. Excited, we would look outside the windows at each stop to see where we are and would see travellers scurrying with their luggage. I enjoyed watching Multan’s greenery from the window; it was breath-taking. At Chiniot’s Station we would become aware that our station is about to come.”

Jalsa attendees arrive at a then barren Rabwah. No golf buggies, taxis or trucks. Most people arriving for Jalsa simply packed everything in a bundle and carried it on their heads.

Living Arrangements: “Guests would either stay at someone’s house or there were arrangements made at the Jalsa Gah for them to stay . We used to stay at sahabi Mufti Muhammad Sadiq’s house. We used to take our own bedding with us and we also took a small stove and condensed milk for tea to cope in  the chilly weather. Once we stayed at a college and there was one huge bathroom with many taps for wudhu and separate shower stalls. As different families would stay with us we got to know many different people  and these Jalsas binded us.”

No big stage, green area or large MTA cranes. Jalsa in its humble old days. Hazrat Musleh Maud(ra) addresses Jalsa guests. His son, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad(rh) can be seen behind him sitting down.

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV (rh) addresses the 1983 Jalsa Salana; the last Jalsa to be held in Rabwah

The new Jalsa site awaits for the arrival of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih and his followers. Inshallah!

…continue reading at mta.tv/jalsaconnect

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