Reflecting on the journey of Lajna Imaillah, the Ahmadi Muslim women’s auxiliary, members from across the country share their stories of empowerment and progress.
DECEMBER 15, 2023
Around a century ago, the world was hesitant to grant women the recognition they deserved. Women were regarded as inferior and were often denied access to universities and did not enjoy the right to vote in many parts of the world. At that time, in a remote part of the world, in the Indian village of Qadian, an organisation was established with the groundbreaking belief that women possessed potential far beyond society’s preconceptions. This marked the birth of Lajna Imaillah in 1922, an organisation dedicated to empowering women and championing their inherent rights.
Recognising the crucial role women played within the formative years of Islam and inspired by his second wife Sahibzadi Amatul Hayyra, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra, the Second Caliph of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community founded Lajna Imaillah. This organisation, exclusively run by women for women, was founded on the principle that “it is necessary for women to come together, increase their knowledge, and then impart that knowledge to others”, as Hazrat Mirza Mahmud Ahmadra emphasised during the organisation’s inception.
Today, as the organisation has grown into a global platform with members from various countries united under the banner of spirituality and sisterhood, we asked sisters from across India to share their Lajna story—the narratives of their empowerment, spiritual progress, and much more.
Shalini Nasira Thahir, Former Journalist, Qadian
Being part of Lajna Imaillah is a profound and immeasurable blessing for me. It fills me with immense gratitude to be part of this auxiliary that not only embraces diversity but also empowers women in the most inspiring ways. The inclusivity and respect for diverse backgrounds within Lajna Imaillah have helped me embrace my identity as a Muslim woman.
Within this auxiliary, I have found not only empowerment but also a profound sense of safety and purpose in life. It’s as though I have been granted a sanctuary where I can thrive and contribute positively to society. This is a gift from God Almighty, one that I cherish deeply. The sisterhood within Lajna Imaillah is exceptionally strong, as we share a common bond under the umbrella of Khilafat. It is heartwarming to witness the unwavering support, love, and camaraderie that prevails among the sisters, making me feel both blessed and proud to be part of this remarkable auxiliary. It’s a journey that has transformed me and continues to do so, for which I am eternally grateful.
Arfa Qamar, MSc (Hons) Economics, Qadian
Lajna events have always provided a boost to my spirituality and personal confidence. The gatherings under Lajna Imaillah have enhanced my skills and shaped my values. The sisterhood within this organisation has guided me on the righteous path, fostering gratitude for my faith and enriching me as an individual.
Being a Muslim woman, I always desired to be away from worldly glamours. Hence, when I left my hometown, Qadian, the spiritual birthplace of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, for my higher studies and came into contact with the materialistic world, Lajna Imaillah acted as a shield for me.
The only thought that resonated with me while being away from Qadian was, ‘I am an Ahmadi Muslim, and I am a Lajna’.
Naseera Arif, Hyderabad
Being a member of Lajna Imaillah grants me an identity and a sense of accomplishment. As a mother and homemaker, this platform has been empowering for me, along with thousands of sisters united in faith, as it provides us with the authority to independently organise events and undertake various tasks. This experience has helped me in my spiritual growth and motivates me to pursue the aim and purpose of my life.
In fact, Lajna Imaillah dispels the prejudice surrounding Muslim women and serves as an eye-opener to truth seekers.
Juvairiya Gouhar, Teacher, District President Lajna Imaillah Kannur-Kasargod, Kerala
I am truly proud to be a member of Lajna Imaillah. Since my childhood, I have been fortunate to be a part of this organisation which upholds the slogan, ‘No nation can progress without educating their women’. As a teacher, the experience in this organisation has not only benefited my career but has also helped me excel in various public activities.
Amatul Shakoor, Forest Officer, Cuttack
It has been a blessing for me to be a member of Lajna Imaillah. It brings me great joy and a sense of satisfaction that we have the chance to thrive, gain confidence, and uphold high standards and values through the continuous activities of Lajna Imaillah.
A group thrives when its members show love and support towards each other; our community is a role model for this. We blossom together and our sisterhood gets stronger with each passing day. As a working woman and serving as the finance secretary of my local Lajna branch, I have felt this kinship at every step of my journey. I have witnessed Lajna members cultivating a healthy environment where everyone’s progress is encouraged. The continuous support, unconditional love, and blessings I get from everyone are beyond imagination.
Shahina Mubarak, Teacher, Nusrat Girls High School, Qadian
Since childhood, I have been blessed to be part of the programs organised by Lajna Imaillah. This platform has made me courageous, bold and self-determined.
I believe that through this organisation, a progressive and prosperous environment is crafted for women so that they can become empowered and contribute more to society and the world at large.
Ayesha Maqsood, Bangalore
Lajna Imaillah holds a place of profound importance in my daily life, serving as the very heart and soul of my existence. I consider myself fortunate to be a part of this organisation. The constant presence of Lajna’s sisterhood has been a source of immense comfort throughout my life. In the challenging moments of my life, I have witnessed the caring hands of my Lajna sisters reaching out to me. At other times, I find myself among those same helping hands, extending assistance to others. For every Lajna member, this sisterhood is akin to an extended family.
As a mother to a daughter, I often feel a strong protective instinct, wishing my child to grow up in the same environment where I once stood firm as a member of Lajna. Today, it is fulfilling to see my daughter observing and learning from my own experience as a dedicated member.
Maryam Nawaz, MSc Zoology, Puri
I am blessed to be born an Ahmadi Muslim, and I consider myself very fortunate to be a member of Lajna Imaillah. Through this platform, I connect with many fellow Lajna members and embark on a journey of friendship, cultivating a sense of togetherness and camaraderie.
Being part of Lajna Imaillah as a local branch leader whilst juggling work and studies can be both rewarding and challenging. It requires effective time management, dedication, and a passion for the cause you are supporting.
This organisation has been instrumental in my personal growth, encouraging pursuits like exercise and higher studies and upholding the standards of Purdah. The truth is, I cannot envision a life without being part of this remarkable community.