Settlement after Ahmadiyya Founder
This is the name of the village where Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was born and lived for most of his life. It is located in Punjab (now Eastern Punjab, part of India).
It is situated a few miles from Batala in District Gurdaspur. It was inhabited by Hindus and Sikhs as well as Muslims during the latter half of the 19th century.
When the Ahmadiyya movement gained steam in the 1890s and the 1900s, Ahmadis migrated to this village in droves. As Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was one of the bigger landlords of the area, he accommodated them in existing dwellings.
However, Dard (in his biography of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, p.777) writes:
"The officiating Tahsildar of Batala, Moti Ram, came to Qadian on May 8th, 1903, and made some
enquiries. In view of his suspicious attitude a memorial was sent to him on May 9th, 1903, under
the signatures of about 30 Ahmadis of Qadian. That was probably the total number of the adult male population of Ahmadis at that time living in Qadian."
After the schism, his son Mirza Mahmud Ahmad became the head of the Qadiani Ahmadiyya and started property development, acquiring adjacent land through Shufa (right of first refusal) and setting up subdivisions and selling land to the Ahmadis coming into the area, which was a town by now. The marketing was quite active and aimed at pensioners who were told to spend their lump-sum pensions to purchase property in the town. One such pensioner was Babu Akbar Ali.
A well-known geographer and historian, O.H.K. Spate, aptly describe Qadian as a mini-Vatican, with its own laws and a state-within-a-state. This holds true of future Qadiani settlements as well, such as Rabwah (later Chenab Nagar) in Pakistan, and of concentrated areas in London and Toronto as well.
Here is the full article: Qadian as mini Vatican
Real-estate Activity of the Mirza Family
Mirza Bashir Ahmad co-ordinated these real estate activities through his assistants Malik Abdullah and Maulvi Zahoor Hussain, but no actual title was transferred unless someone insisted on it. This is possible due to the peculiarity of the land laws of British India. Some of these subdivisions were:
- Dar al-Rahmat
- Dar al-Fazal
- Dar al-'Uloom
- Dar al-Rahman
- Dar al-Futooh
- Dar al-Anwaar : This was the name of a subdivision in Qadian that was exclusively reserved for the upper stratum of the Ahmadiyya social hierarchy -- the stratum that generally includes the Mirza Family. No subdivision with the same name was created in Rabwah. The equivalent there is Dar al-Sadr.
After the partition of Indian in 1947, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad forbade his followers from filing reciprocal claims against their properties in Qadian (as there was no clear title) and he told them, 'we will be going back to Qadian soon'. It is widely believed that he filed a collective claim for all the properties and was allocated huge tracts of land in the newly formed state of Pakistan, among which are:
- Tehsil Samundari, District Faisalabad
Details of the lawsuit that acquired the land in Qadian from the Sikh owners and the claims have been documented in the book Mirza Mahmud ki Maali bad-Uwanian published by the Haqiqat Pasand Party.
Current Official Description
Current Official Description
The government of District Gurdaspur has this description of the current state of the town:
Qadian is situated 18 Kilometers east of Batala city. The town can also be approached from Gurdaspur Via Kahnuwan-Kot-Todarmal which becomes a distance of 26 Kilometers.
Town of Qadian is associated with the founder of AHMADIYA MUSLIA SECT, the Promised Messiah "HAZRAT MIRRZA GULAM AHMAD " who was born in Qadian. Qadian is not only known now within India but enjoys special regard in the hearts of 10 million Ahmadia Muslims spread in all five continents of the world.
It is considered that Qadian was established in 1530 AD. MIRZA HADI BAIG was the first Qazi (city Magistrate) of this area. Because of this, the town became to be known as Qazi. Mirza Hadi Baig was a religious scholar dedicated to Islam. Therefore he named the new town "ISLAM PUR QAZI". With the passage of time, it changed to "QaziMaji" then to "QADI" and eventually to its natural transformation to be known as QADIAN.
It was in 1834 AD during the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh that the estate consisting of Qadian and five adjoining villages were given to MIRZA GHULAM MURTAZA AHMAD, father of the Messiah Mirza Gulam Ahmad.
At that time, Qadian had no significance in the area at all with population of a few hundred people and only a sandy track pitted with pot holes connected the town with Batala. People were totally ignorant and uneducated. There was total lack of urban amenities and facilities.
A remote and unknown village "Qadian" even in the province of Punjab emerged as centre of Islamic learning in 1891, when Hazrat Gulam Mirza 1835-1908 proclaimed himself the basis of AHMADIYA Movement in Islam.
Qadian is very dear to Ahmadies all over the world, but their unity was upset during the communal disturbance in 1947. No body wanted to leave Qadian, although KHALIFATUL MESSIH II was forced to migrate to Pakistan in 1947 and established a new Headquarter at RABWAH. Ahamdiya Anjman, a religious registered body did not migrate to Pakistan. Talim- ul- Islam College building, Noor Hospital building and most of the residential buildings were attached to the Ahamdiya Anjman. So this religious body got these buildings. Now the college building is given on rent to the Sikh National College Qadian and there is a Civil Hospital in the building of Noor Hospital.
Current Qadiani Ahmadiyya Situation
The members of the Qadiani Ahmadiyya are now located in one area of Qadian: Ward 7. They elect one councillor to the town council, usually unopposed.
Talim-ul-Islam School and College, the main educational institutions of the Qadiani branch of the Ahmadiyya, now house the Sikh National College, which moved there from Lahore after the partition of India in 1947.