The Regional Jalsa Salana of Lombok (including Bali and surrounding islands) took place from Friday 26th April to Sunday 28th April 2019. Slightly over 600 persons attended the event. Maulana Abdul Basit, Amir Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Indonesia, presided over the function. As Indonesia is a large country consisting of 17’000 islands regional Jalsas are being held, as it would be difficult for all members of the Jama’at to come to one location.
Your Assistant Chief Editor was able to address the gathering briefly. The topic of his address was ‘my personal relationship and meetings with the Khalifas’ (may Allah be pleased with them all).
A young girl recited a beautiful poem to the audience.
A brief summary of Haji Rafiq A. Tschannen’s address:
Dear brothers and sisters, Assalamo Alaikum wa rahmat ullah wa barakatohu.
Generally speaking getting older is not much fun. Bones start to ache here and there. However, there is one reason that I am glad that I am a bit ‘aged’ and that is that I was able to meet Hadhrat Khalifa-tul-Masih II, may Allah be pleased with him.
I reached Pakistan in December 1964 a few days before the Annual Gathering in December. Shortly after my arrival I was able to have Mulakat (audience) with Hadhrat Khalifa-tul-Masih II. (ra), Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad. Before I entered the room the Secretary told me that Hazoor was old and ill. When I would enter the room he will be on the bed and probably face the wall. We will just wait until he turns around.
And, yes, when I entered the room Hazoor’s face was turned to the wall. He was told that ‘Rafiq Tschannen from Switzerland has arrived’. As I was told that Hazoor was old and sick I expected the face of an old and sick man, when he would turn to our side. How I was surprised ! The face that turned was smiling, was without any wrinkles and full of Light (Noor!).
Hazoor smiled because the name ‘Tschannen’ in the Punjabi language sounds like the Punjabi word for ‘Moon Light’. Therefore his first words to me were ‘Moon Light has come to my room’.
Hazoor died in September 1965. May Allah grant him the best place in Paradise!
My experience with his successor, Hadhrat Khalifa-tul-Masih III, Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, (may Allah be pleased with him) was very nice and personal too. Hazoor (ra) was kind enough to arrange my marriage with his cousin, daughter of his mother’s brother. Hazoor (ra) read the Nikah and also came to the bride’s house when I collected her from there. It was a very simple kind of tea party only.
I was working in Pakistan at the time and therefore was able to visit Rabwah, the Headquarter of the Jama’at, from time to time. Consequently I also met there Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (may Allah be pleased with him) who later became Hadhrat Khalifa-tul-Masih IV. I sometimes had dinner in his house Later on when I moved to Kabul, Afghanistan, he came to visit me with his family and stayed in my house for a few days.
Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (ra) had planned to stay in my house during a trip to Europe before he was elected Khalifa. Before he reached to Europe he was elected Khalifa and now, out of duty to the Community, apologised saying that he had to stay in the Mosque now instead of my house. He graced our house coming to lunch, the only place he managed to find time to visit outside of the Mosque.
During one of his visits to Switzerland he was invited for a barbecue by the Imam of the Zurich Mosque, with his entourage. I was also going along. It was raining and the Imam said to me: ‘Rafiq, you find a picnic spot’. How!!! In the rain ??? Well, the Imam urged me on so I just drove out of town praying that the rain might stop or I might find a big tree under which we could take shelter.
We passed a farm. I noticed a beautiful new wooden building. I thought ‘this might be a possibility’. I stopped the car and went to meet the farmer. I explained to him my problem of having an important guest and needing shelter for a barbecue. He did not hesitate and said ‘give me 5 minutes, I will drive the farm machinery out and you will have place’.
To our great surprise, when we entered the building there were tables and benches and even a grill all ready! I showed my surprise that ‘how come you seem to be just expecting us’? The farmer explained that as he had a new farm shed he had invited his neighbours for a party last Sunday and he will invite his family next Sunday and that why all seems to be ready. Well, I cannot help but think that Allah saved me from great embarrassment (of not finding a picnic spot). Alhamdolillah – All praise is due to Allah.
Now, during the time of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, may Allah strengthen his hand, the Community has grown so much that the officials leave little spare and private time for His Holiness, Hazoor. Still, I was able to meet him during a picnic in Switzerland also and from time to time at audiences (Mulakat) during the Annual Gatherings.
One thing is clear: The Light (Door) that impressed me on the face of Khalifatul-Masih II has been visible on the faces of all Khalifas. In fact it is so impressive that every one can notice. If you compare the face expression of our Khalifas with the face expressions of his enemies you do not really even need to listen to the arguments / lectures. You can immediately see who is blessed by Allah with this NOOR (LIGHT).