Among the noble names mentioned during this year’s Jalsa Salana Qadian was Hazrat Sayyeda Amatul Quddus Begum Sahiba, lovingly referred to as Aapa Jaan. Here we share heartfelt reflections from Lajna members on her remarkable character.
DECEMBER 31, 2023
Mentioning the benefits of Jalsa Salana, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah, highlighted that during this annual spiritual convention, members of the Community who had passed away in the preceding year would be remembered, and prayers for their absolution would be offered.
As part of fulfilling this objective, today, during the concluding session of Jalsa Salana Qadian, the names of many noble souls were read out. Among these names was Hazrat Sayyeda Amatul Quddus Begum Sahiba, the wife of Late Hazrat Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib, who passed away on 24 August 2023.
Affectionately known as Aapa Jaan, she was a significant figure in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in India. A prominent personality in the history of the Ahmadi Muslim women’s auxiliary, Lajna Imaillah, Aapa Jaan played a pivotal role in the moral, spiritual, and educational upliftment of Ahmadi Muslim women in the country.
Here, we share heartfelt reflections and tributes from various Lajna members whose lives were touched by Aapa Jaan, offering a collective testimony to the lasting impact of her remarkable character on the members of the Community.
Dr Mansoora Alladin, National President Lajna Imaillah, India
Our beloved Aapa Jaan was someone who possessed infinite values. I am very much taken by her quality of humility and always found this precedent over every other quality in her. She would always meet each and every one of us with immense love and warmth. To this day, it surprises me how she would continue to meet people even when her health was not at the best.
She was such a person who would take care of the emotions of each and every person. It is through her actions, she taught others.
The standard of her worship was of high standard. One would always find her doing her prayers with great certainty. It is beyond words to explain the beauty of her prayers. She was also mindful about the prayers of her maids or servants at home.
Bushra Pasha, Former National President, Lajna Imaillah, India
Hazrat Sayyeda Amtul Quddoos Begum Sahiba was a compassionate and loving soul. Everyone lovingly called her Aapa Jaan. In Qadian, her presence at every event and gathering of Lajna Imaillah often brought a special kind of grace and happiness.
In the year 2005, when Hazrat Khalifathul Masih Vaba visited Qadian, a meeting with the National Amila of Lajna Imaillah was organised. As an ezazi member of Lajna Imaillah, Hazrat Aapa Jaan also got to attend this meeting with beloved Huzoor, which lasted an hour. As the meeting ended, Hazrat Aapa Jaan came towards me and began to thank me. She said: “Today, you let me attend this meeting and gave me the blessed opportunity to sit in beloved Huzoor’s presence for so much time”. Hearing this, I replied to her, “Today, if we are standing at this position, it’s all because of you”. This was an example of her love and humility with regards to Khalifa of the time.
Amaturahman Khadim, Muawina Sadr Lajna Imaillah India
Hazrat Aapa Jaan used to organise Quran classes for the tarbiyyat (moral and spiritual training) of women and girls in Qadian. These classes continued for a very long time.
After the metric examination, the girls in Nusrat Girls School used to get a leave of around four or five months before entering colleges or continuing further studies. Hazrat Aapa Jaan would call all such students to her home and would teach them the Quran. She would make them finish learning the Quran with translation. When they finish reading the Quran, she would also take them along for a picnic, for their happiness. This cycle used to repeat year after year.
My humble self also had the blessed opportunity to learn the Holy Quran from her.
Maryam Azeem, President Lajna Imaillah, Hyderabad
I was blessed to serve as an office secretary for ten years with Hazrat Aapa Jaan . I have not known a better Sadr (branch leader or president) than her. The way she used to perform her responsibilities as a Sadr was exemplary. She used to train us in a loving manner.
Hazrat Aapa Jaan was a great mother to each and every daughter of Dervishes in Qadian. Her emotions and feelings towards each one of them was that of a mother. She would take part in the grief and happiness of every one. Though she held the status of being from the family of the Promised Messiahas, she would come and visit each and every house in Qadian and would mingle with each other so much like a wife of a Darwesh herself.
She held immense love for Khilafat. Whenever there is an instruction from the Khalifa, she would act accordingly immediately and would also ask others to do the same.
With her departure, it feels as if we have lost the love and compassion of a great soul.
Roozi Waseem, Secretary Tarbiyyat, Lajna Imaillah, Secunderabad.
Hazrat Aapa Jaan used to do one particular advice to girls that, whenever they attend any program in a mosque, whether it be a meeting or convention or any other event, they should always bring a diary and pen with them and note down the important points that you hear.
With the immense grace of Allah, today, even after fifty long years, we still comply with her advice and this has become a habit for us to keep a diary and pen while attending any program.
Tayyiba Siddeeqa Malik, Former President Lajna Imaillah, Qadian
I have got to learn a lot from her. In her works of Lajna Imaillah, she was quite passionate and hardworking. Her sincerity was of high standard.
She had a farsighted vision regarding everything. She would train and assign works of Lajna Imaillah to those members who were of young age and regarded as of having limited knowledge. She would trust them so much and build confidence in them. Indeed, it is the result of her motivation and trust, that many are getting the opportunity to serve their faith till today.
Hazrat Aapa Jaan accepted the invitation of each and every one; regardless of status or family. She would greet and meet each one of us with immense happiness. And when someone visits her house, she would serve them happily and would invite them often. She was such a person who would look after the well-being of every one of us.
Bushra Tayyiba, Ezazi member, Lajna Imaillah India
The love shown by Hazrat Aapa Jaan towards us, the people of Qadian, cannot be expressed in words. Whether it be a matter of happiness or grief, someone’s wedding, or the birth of a baby, she would certainly come and grace us with her love.
She used to visit the houses of dervishes. During those initial times, the houses of dervishes were not well-furnished; many didn’t have tables or a proper arrangement for sitting. Yet, Hazrat Aapa Jaan would sit on the carpets or whatever was available. She would also eat whatever was presented to her and never once expressed that she wouldn’t eat it. In our house as well, we did not have new glasses or plates for the visitors. Yet, she never hesitated to eat or drink from the old and used plates.
She showered her love upon everyone. Hazrat Aapa Jaan and Hazrat Mian Sahib (as Hazrat Mirza Waseem Ahmad Sahib was affectionately called), both were like gushing fountains of love.
Naseera Sultana, District President Lajna Imaillah, Delhi-Agra
During Jalsa Salana duties, Aapa Jaan would take utmost care of performing the congregatory prayers. She would also remind us that you need to perform your prayers on time. During those days, she would specially arrange loudspeakers in the room where we stay, so that we could perform Tahajjud and other prayers in congregation.
Mubaraka Shameem, Qadian
Hazrat Aapa Jaan took care of the tarbiyyat of the Ahmadi Girls in Qadian as if they were her daughters. She shared a bond of love with every single person. When she left for Pakistan, it felt as if the light and happiness had departed from Qadian. While going to Bait-u-Dua, a glance at her home would fill me with a strange kind of sadness.
Raashida Rehman, President Lajna Imaillah, Noida
Hazrat Aapa Jaan used to do tarbiyyat in such a loving manner, that each word uttered from her mouth would be a guide for us.
When Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV, announced an initiative to memorise the Qaseeda, Hazrat Aapa Jaan called us, the secretaries of Nasiratul Ahmadiyya, and told us that she desired that every one of us commit the Qaseeda to memory before Ijtema. At that time, the Ijtema was only a few months away. Seeing our surprised faces, she told us with much love and trust, “this is not a difficult task, start to memorise one couplet every day after the Fajr prayer. This way, one line would be memorised within that night”.
Every one of us followed this instruction and, Alhamdulillah, we all memorised the Qaseeda soon.
Saajida Tanveer, President Lajna Imaillah Qadian
Hazrat Aapa Jaan was quite punctual in everything. She used to begin every good deed with prayers and alms. And had always advised us to do so. She possessed excellent skills in organising and management.
She was an embodiment of patience and perseverance. She had been ill many times and had also gone through many intense surgeries. But, she faced each disease with patience. During her illness, the office work of Lajna Imaillah never stopped. Her own home became an office.
The relationship between Hazrat Aapa Jaan and Hazrat Mian Sahib was quite beautiful and unique. One could witness the love they shared. They took care of the emotions and needs of each other. At the demise of Hazrat Mian Sahib, we witnessed the exemplary standard of patience from Hazrat Aapa Jaan. Only her heart knows the grief and difficulties she endured. Before everyone else, she remained composed and showed an example to us.
Every member of Qadian would have scores of tales to tell about their relationship with Hazrat Aapa Jaan. And in every such story, one would find her happy in their happiness and mournful in their grief. She was the grace and light of every gathering.
We have always reflected upon the great women and female companions from the early history of Islam. But, every single one who has known Hazrat Aapa Jaan can witness that she was a living portrait of female companions and great women from the early days of Islam. She was among those great ones, on seeing whom, one remembers God.
Shalini Nasira Tahir, Qadian
As a newcomer to this Community, my introduction to Aapa Jaan was marked by a fleeting encounter at the Jalsa Salana Qadian in 2017. It was my second Jalsa, and amidst the hustle and bustle of the event, I recall the moment when the then Sadr Lajna Delhi introduced me to Hazrat Aapa Jaan during a break. Our exchange was brief but filled with the warmth of salam and dua.
Little did I know that this fleeting moment would become a cherished memory. As time has passed, and I have become a resident of Qadian, the presence of Aapa Jaan lingers in the conversations, stories, and shared recollections of the sisters living here. It was with her passing that I came to understand the profound impact she had on every Lajna member in Qadian. To those who knew her intimately and to those who merely glimpsed her extraordinary character, Aapa Jaan was synonymous with virtues that transcend time and age. Her life was a testimony to her unwavering commitment to the Ahmadiyya Community, a life marked by selfless sacrifices, boundless compassion, and an innate nurturing spirit.
As I reflect on my own indistinct memory of Aapa Jaan, I am humbled by the depth of her influence on those who had the privilege of knowing her well.