Rabwah (Urdu, Punjabi: ربوہ), officially known as Chenab Nagar (Urdu: چناب نگر‎), is a city in Chiniot, Punjab, Pakistan on the bank of Chenab River. It has been the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Community since September 20, 1948 when the community relocated from Qadian, India to the newly-created state of Pakistan in 1947.[3] The Community leased the area of present-day Rabwah from the government to establish its home.[3]

Chenab Nagar
Rabwah is located in Punjab, Pakistan
Location in Punjab, Pakistan
Rabwah is located in Pakistan
Rabwah (Pakistan)
Coordinates: 31°45′10″N 72°55′20″E / 31.75278°N 72.92222°E / 31.75278; 72.92222Coordinates: 31°45′10″N 72°55′20″E / 31.75278°N 72.92222°E / 31.75278; 72.92222
Country Pakistan
DistrictChiniot District
Settled20 September 1948[1]
 • Total24 km2 (9 sq mi)
300 m (1,000 ft)
 • Total70,000
 • Density2,300/km2 (6,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+5 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+6 (PDT)
Postal code
Area code(s)047


Yadgar Mosque, the first mosque built in Rabwah.

From a historical perspective, Rabwah is from where Muhammad Bin Qasim, after conquering Sindh and Multan, crossed the Chenab River and moved towards Kashmir. Here the Arabs fought against the Hindu Raja of Chandrod (which is probably the ancient name of Chiniot). More than 100 Arab soldiers lost their lives in the battle with mighty Hindu King and a "Graveyard of Martyrs" exists to this day in Chiniot.[4]

Before the establishment of Rabwah, the area was barren and was known as Chak Digiyaan. The land was leased by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community following the migration of most of its members from Qadian and other parts of Indian Punjab, to newly created Pakistan. In June 1948, 1034 acres of land were leased from the government for PKR 12,000.[5][6] The town was named Rabwah by then leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad.[7] Rabwah is an Arabic word meaning an "elevated place". The formal inauguration of the settlement took place on 20 September 1948 after prayers and a sacrifice of five goats at the corners and centre of the area.[8][9] The place where Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad led first ever prayers became the first ever mosque of Rabwah, the Yadgaar (memorial) Mosque. The first settlements were in camps which were later replaced by buildings constructed of mud. The first ever building constructed using concrete was the Mahmood Mosque. Electricity was provisioned to the city in 1954.

Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad relocated to Rabwah on 19th of Sept 1949. By that time the population had reached 1,000. The first ever Jalsa Salana in Rabwah took place from 15 to 17 April 1949, attended by 17,000 people.[10]

The Punjab Assembly passed a resolution on 17 November 1998 changing the name of Rabwah to ‘Nawan Qadian’,[11] but on 14 February 1999, a new directive was issued, renaming Nawan Qadian to Chenab Nagar.[12] The other names considered were Chak Dhaggian, Mustafa Abad, and Siddiq Abad.


The city has a population of 70,000, of which 97 percent belong to the Ahmadiyya Community. The rest 3 percent includes Christians and Sunni Muslims. As the City has seen many migrations of Ahmadis fleeing persecution, it has a very diverse ethnic mixture. Most of the populace speaks Urdu and Punjabi while most of the students are also fluent in English.

Life for the residents of RabwahEdit

As the city is the only Ahmadi majority city in Pakistan, its residents face legal discrimination due to Ordinance XX. They have been denied the right to hold peaceful religious gatherings since 1983.[13]:iii In 1989, a report was registered by Punjab police against the whole of the population of the city for the crime that they were displaying Quranic texts on their graves and buildings.[13]:35[14]


Tilla Chenab beside Rabwah and between Rabwah and the Chenab River.

Rabwah covers an area of about 24 km2 (9.3 sq mi). It is located in the temperate region of Central Punjab, approximately halfway between Faisalabad and Sargodha. The River Chenab surrounds the city on its Eastern and Southern sides. The area is higher than the surrounding plains due to the dry hills which dot the landscape, providing a natural barrier against floods. These hills are part of the Kirana Hills, also known locally as the Black Mountains, which reach from Sargodha to Jhang.[15] The area, which used to be arid and barren, has been transformed through more than fifty years of aggressive plantation into a lush green city.


According to the Köppen climate classification Rabwah experiences an arid climate (BWh). As it is located in the temperate area of northwestern Subcontinent it shares the weather of the subcontinent. Rabwah has hot summers and cold winters. The summer season is from April to October where May, is the hottest month, in which temperatures regularly reach 40 °C. The location in the centre of the dry plains is responsible for dust storms in the summer. Summer also brings the Indian Monsoon which increases the precipitation in the month of June and July to above 80 mm. The winter season is from November to February where January is the coldest month in which temperatures may fall to the freezing point. The winters also bring fog which can reduce the visibility to dangerously low levels.

Climate data for Rabwah (1961-1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 19
Average low °C (°F) 8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 18
Source: My Weather[16]


The planned city was originally divided into following Muhallas (Boroughs):[citation needed]

  • Darus-Sadr or Dar al-Sadr (The Main/Central Area)
  • Darur-Rahmat or Dar al-Rahmat (The Abode of Mercy)
  • Darul-Futuh or Dar al-Futuh (The Abode of Triumphs)
  • Darul-Barakat Dar al-Barakat(The Abode of Blessings)
  • Darul-Uloom or Dar al-Ulum (The Abode of Learning)
  • Darun-Nasr or Dar al-Nasr (The Abode of Divine Help)
  • Darush-Shukr or Dar al-Shukr (The Abode of Gratitude)
  • Darul-Yumn or Dar al-Yumn(The Abode of Blessings)
  • Babul-Abwab or Bab al-Abwab (Door of the Doors)

Later on, as the city expanded, these boroughs were split into sub-divisions. Also many new boroughs were established like Factory Area, Tahir Abad, Nasir Abad, Rahman Colony, Muslim Colony, Buyutul-Hamd, etc.

Notable placesEdit

Sports and recreational placesEdit

Many neighborhoods have their own playing areas for children. Popular sports include cricket, football and badminton, basketball[17] and rowing. There is an Olympic sized swimming pool in the city,[18] along with well-maintained tennis and squash courts.

Buyut-ul-hamd park is a small amusement park in Rabwah. The riverbank and many farmhouses in the surrounding areas are considered good picnic spots.

Commercial placesEdit

  • Gol Bazar ("Round Market") is a semi-circular market in Rabwah which houses most of the city's bank branches.
  • Masroor Plaza is a commercial plaza located in the center of the town.


Cycling is the predominant mode of transportation in Rabwah, augmented by Motorcycles and Motorcycle rickshaws. From the city, there are bus services to Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad, Karachi and other major cities in Pakistan. Rabwah can be accessed from the M-2 (National Highway Motorway 2) while the nearest airports are in Faisalabad (48 kilometres (30 mi)) and Sargodha (59 kilometres (37 mi)).


Rabwah has a high literacy rate with school enrollment of nearly hundred percent. This is reflected by numerous achievements by students from Rabwah.[19] There are numerous Government and Private Primary and Secondary Schools as well as Colleges.

Talim-ul-Islam College and SchoolEdit

Talim-ul-Islam College was founded in 1898 in Qadian by the Ahmadiyya Community and relocated to Rabwah in 1947. It was nationalized under the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as part of his Nationalization Program.[20] An old students association of the College is active and publishes the Al Manar magazine.[21]

Jami'a Nusrat Girls College and SchoolEdit

This is an all Girls College and School founded by the Ahmadiyya Community which was later nationalized.[20]

Nusrat Jahan SchoolsEdit

Nusrat Jahan College, Girls Campus

These are a group of non-profit, private, educational institutions in Rabwah. They were established under and named after the Nusrat Jahan Scheme; a scheme launched by the community for the educational betterment of its members. Nusrat Jahan Schools include the Nusrat Jahan Academy Boys School, Nusrat Jahan Academy Girls School, Nusrat Jahan Boys College and Nusrat Jahan Girls College. These institutions offer programmes of primary, secondary, higher secondary and higher education. They are operated by Nazarat Taleem Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Pakistan.

In 2011, the external examination board of all Nusrat Jahan Schools was changed from the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Faisalabad to the Aga Khan University Examination Board. [1]

Institute for special education

Nazarat Taleem has started a school for special children in Rabwah. It is a revolutionary project in which Nazarat Taleem has started delivering all the basic and necessary facilities for disable children in the separate school including special buses to pick and drop etc.

Other educational InstitutionsEdit

  • Schools under Nazarat Taleem:
    • Bayout-ul-Hamd Primary School
    • Bayoutul Hamd Girls High School
    • Maryam Girls High School
    • Maryam Siddiqua Girls High School
    • Nusrat Jahan Academy Boys
    • Nusrat Jahan Academy Girls
    • Tahir Primary School
    • Nasir High School
    • Institute for special education
    • nusrat Jahan college
  • Self-directed Schools:
    • Ahmadiyya Public Model Elementary School
    • Heaven House Public School
    • Al Ahmad Public School
    • Al Sadiq Modern Public School
    • Crescent Grammar High School
    • Star Academy[22]
    • Nadi Academy

Jamia AhmadiyyaEdit

Jamia Ahmadiyya Missionary College

Jamia Ahmadiyya is an International Islamic Seminary and Educational institute with branches all over the world. It offers a seven-year theology degree, Shahid. It has both junior and senior campuses.


It has two campuses one for boys and one for girls. It is an institution for the memorization of the Quran. Interested students can join after completing their primary education and after completion of the 3-year course they continue their education from the eighth grade.

Darul Sana'a Vocational InstituteEdit

This is a Vocational Education Institute for teaching different technical skills to the students who are not pursuing other academics.

Khilafat libraryEdit

The Khilafat library is open to all members of public and is the central library of Ahmadiyya community. It contains both religious and secular books on wide range of subjects. It was established on 18 January 1970.[23][24]


Tahir Heart Institute

Fazl-e-Omar HospitalEdit

The Fazl-e-Omar Hospital Complex is the main private hospital of the city and caters to the majority of population's needs. It is run by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Founded in 1958 it has now become one of the finest medical facilities in the area providing hospital services not only to the local community but also to patients from towns and villages from further afield. With 150 beds and highly trained medical staff, Fazl-e-Omar Hospital aims to provide up-to-date medical care in major specialties such as medicine, surgery and pediatrics in a caring environment. Last year more than 140,000 patients were seen in the OPD.

The Begum Zubaida Bani Gynecology and Obstetrics Wing is a modern facility providing a wide range of obstetrical and gynecological services.[25]

The Tahir Heart Institute is named after the late fourth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Tahir Ahmad.[26] It is one of the best equipped Heart Institutes in the region.

Noor ul Ain Blood & Eye BankEdit

It is a specialized center which manages eye donors from around the country and performs corneal transplants. A blood donation centre, pathology laboratory, and dental clinic are also housed in the same complex.

Tahir Homeopathic Research and Training InstituteEdit

Tahir Homeopathic Clinic and Research Institute operates free clinics round the year. Last year it dispensed free medicine to 44,000 patients. The Institute plans to open new clinics in other countries and to connect all such clinics operating in any country through the email system. Patient records and diagnosis are maintained on computers to facilitate follow-up.[27]

Newspapers and publicationsEdit

  • Al Fazl is a daily newspaper published from the Ziaul Islam Press located in Rawbah and one of the oldest newspapers of Pakistan and is the Ahmadiyya Community's official organ. It started off as a weekly in 1913 in Qadian and moved to Rabwah after the partition of India. It contains news and articles relating to the community and its faith along with national and international news. Due to Ordinance XX, the newspaper is forbidden by law to use words that are deemed "Islamic", such as Muslim, Islam and shaheed. Publication was suspended after a raid by Pakistan's security forces in December 2016.[28]
  • The Rabwah Times is an independent publication founded in 2006 by Ehsan Rehan.
  • Misbah is a magazine for women.
  • Tashhez ul Azhan is directed towards children.
  • Khalid includes articles written by and for youth.
  • Ansarullah is aimed at the elderly.

Notable residentsEdit

Some of the notable residents of the city are:


  1. ^ Tareekh e Ahmadiyyat, Volume 11, Page 429,430
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b "Establishment of Rabwah - Islam Ahmadiyya". Alislam.org. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  4. ^ Muhammad Bin Qasim Pakistan Men by Doctor Abdul Hameed Khan M.A. Ph.D Royal Pakistan Navy, page 21,22
  5. ^ Tareekh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Volume 11, Page 410. Edition 2007. Published by Nazarat Nashro Ishaat, Qadian, India. The ISBN printed in the document (181-7912-118-6) is invalid.
  6. ^ Silsila Ahmadiyya by Dr Mirza Sultan Ahmad volume 2 edition 2008 page no 236
  7. ^ "Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad - Islam Ahmadiyya". Alislam.org. 22 February 2000. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  8. ^ Tareekh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Volume 11, Page 429-435. Edition 2007. Published by Nazarat Nashro Ishaat, Qadian, India. The ISBN printed in the document (181-7912-118-6) is invalid.
  9. ^ Silsila Ahmadiyya by Dr Mirza Sultan Ahmad volume 2 edition 2008 page no 242
  10. ^ Silsila Ahmadiyya by Dr Mirza Sultan Ahmad volume 2 edition 2008 page no 244-248
  11. ^ "Photographic image of papers" (JPG). Persecutionofahmadis.org. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  12. ^ "Photographic image of papers" (JPG). Persecutionofahmadis.org. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  13. ^ a b Rabwah: A Place For Martyrs? Report of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group mission to Pakistan into internal flight for Ahmadis. Edited by Dr Jonathan Ensor
  14. ^ "Police book whole town on religious grounds". Hrcpblog.wordpress.com. 9 July 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  15. ^ [1][dead link]
  16. ^ "Climatological Information for Chiniot", My Weather, web: My Weather.
  17. ^ "Rabwah – Basketball a Love Story". Rabwah.net. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  18. ^ "In Ahmadis's desert city, Pakistan closes in". Reuters. 15 July 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  19. ^ "11-year-old Sitara Akbar sets O-Levels world record". Pakistantoday.com.pk. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  20. ^ a b "Nationalisation of Ahmadiyya educational institutions - Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community". Persecutionofahmadis.org. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  21. ^ "TI COLLEGE RABWAH". Ticollegerabwah.com. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  22. ^ "Advanced learning: The bright-eyed future - The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  23. ^ "Khilafat Library | iRabwah". Irabwah.com. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  24. ^ خالد, مبشر احمد (September 2011). جماعت احمدیہ کا تعارف (Jamaat Ahmadiyya KaTaaruf) (PDF). Alislam.org. Zia ul Islam press Rabwah. pp. 253–258.
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ "Welcome to Tahir Heart Institute". Tahirheart.org. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  27. ^ Tariq Commemorative Edition published by Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK. 2004. Page 29
  28. ^ "CTD raids headquarters of Ahmadis in Rabwa - The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. 7 December 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2017.

External linksEdit