Rabwah (Urdu, Punjabi: ربوہ), official name Chenab Nagar (Urdu: چناب نگر), is a city in District Chiniot in the province of Punjab, Pakistan. It is located on the bank of Chenab River. Rabwah is famous for being the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Community. It has been the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Community since September 20, 1948 when the community moved its headquarters from Qadian, India to Pakistan following the creation of Pakistan in 1947. A majority of the Indian members of the community, including the Ahmadiyya caliph himself migrated to Pakistan following the independence of Pakistan in August 1947 and inhabited Rabwah. The Community leased the area of present-day Rabwah from the government to establish its Headquarters.
|Settled||20 September 1948|
|Founded by||Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad|
|• Total||24 km2 (9 sq mi)|
|Elevation||300 m (1,000 ft)|
|• Density||2,300/km2 (6,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC+6)|
From a historical perspective, Rabwah is from where Muhammad Bin Qasim, after conquering Sindh and Multan, crossed Chenab River and moved towards Kashmir. Here the Arabs fought against the Hindu Raja of "Chandrod" (which is probably the ancient name of Chiniot) and conquered it. More than 100 Arab soldiers lost their lives in the battle and a "Graveyard of Martyrs" exists to this day in Chiniot.
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, the old headquarters, to newly created Pakistan. 1034 Acres of land were leased originally from the government for PKR 12,000. The lease was approved on 11 June 1948 The city was named Rabwah by then leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad. Rabwah is an Arabic word (it also appears in the Quran) meaning an "elevated place". The formal inauguration of the settlement took place on 20 September 1948 after prayers and sacrifice of five goats at the corners and centre of the area. The ceremony was attended by 619 people The place where Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad led first ever prayers became the first ever mosque of Rabwah, the Yadgaar (literally Memorial) Mosque. The first settlements were in camps which were then replaced by buildings constructed of mud. The first ever building constructed using cement was the Mahmood Mosque.
The second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad relocated to Rabwah on 19th of Sept 1949. By that time the population had swelled to 1,000. The first ever Jalsa Salana in Rabwah took place in Rabwah took place from 15 to 17 April 1949. 17,000 people attended this Jalsa. The electricity was provisioned to the city in 1954.
The Punjab Assembly passed a resolution on 17 November 1998 to change the name of Rabwah. The government of Punjab issued a notification on 12 December that Rabwah town was renamed ‘Nawan Qadian’ with immediate effect. On 14 February 1999, another notification was issued that in suppression of the earlier notification, the Nawan Qadian was renamed as ‘Chenab Nagar’ (meaning The Town of Chenab). The other considered names were Chak Dhaggian, Mustafa Abad, and Siddiq Abad.
The resolution to change the name of Rabwah was passed unanimously by the Punjab Assembly on a Private Members Business Day. However, only 67 members out of a House of 275 strong were present.
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 oftentimes face many difficulties due to Ordinance XX. The residents have been denied the right to hold peaceful religious gatherings since 1983. In 1989, an F. I. R. 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.
Rabwah covers an area of about 24 km2 (9.3 sq mi). It is located in the temperate region of Central Punjab, Pakistan approximately halfway between Faisalabad and Sargodha. 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 (thus aptly named "Rabwah" - meaning raised area) providing a natural barrier against the floods. These hills are part of the small Kirana Mountain Range, which spans from Sargodha to Jhang. These hills are also known locally as the "Black Mountains". This area which used to be arid and barren has been transformed, through more than fifty years of aggressive plantation, into a lush green city.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
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 400C. 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)|
|Average high °C (°F)||19
|Average low °C (°F)||8
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||18
|Source: My Weather|
The planned city was originally divided into following Muhallas (Boroughs):
- 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.
Sports and recreational placesEdit
Many neighborhoods have their own playing areas for children. Popular sports include Cricket, Football and Badminton. The city has also had Basketball and Rowing teams. There is also an olympic sized swimming pool in the city. along with well-maintained Lawn tennis and Squash courts.
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. There are numerous Government and Private Primary and Secondary Schools as well as Colleges.
Talim-ul-Islam College and SchoolEdit
Founded in 1898 in Qadian, India by the Ahmadiyya Community, the college was the inspiration of the community's founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. On 14 August 1947, the independence created two sovereign states of India and Pakistan. As a result, the majority of faculty and students made the migration to Pakistan, resulting in the permanent closure of the facility in Qadian. After a short time in Lahore, Talim-ul-Islam College permanently established its location in Rabwah, Pakistan. These institutions were nationalized under the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as part of his Nationalization Program. An old students association of the College is active and publishes the Al Manar magazine.
Jami'a Nusrat Girls College and SchoolEdit
Nusrat Jahan SchoolsEdit
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. 
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:
- 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
- Nadi Academy
Jamia Ahmadiyya is an International Islamic Seminary and Educational institute with branches all over the world. Its Pakistan Center is located in Rabwah. It offers seven year Theology degree, Shahid. It has two campuses, Junior Campus and Senior Campus, both located along the College Road, Rabwah.
It has two campuses one for boys and one for girls. It is an institution for the Hifz(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.
This is a library open to all members of public and has the status of central library of Ahmadiyya community.It contains both religious and secular books on wide range of subjects. It has different sections including General section, Children section, Magazine section, textbook section and a blind section among many others.
Textbook section is for those members who are students studying at the level of bachelors or above and can’t afford text books. Six books can be issued by such members at a time for two months.
In Blinds section (all the members of Rabwah that are blind are members of this section and they are 25 in number). This section has a President and General Secretary that handles all the problems. There are special books and audio section for them.
An exhibition of books related to the literature of Ahmadiyya community and its founder was held in 2008 on the occasion of khilafat centenary
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 Jamaat. 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 a roofed area of 115,000 square feet, 150 beds and highly trained medical staff, Fazl-e-Omar 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.
Begum Zubaida Bani Gynecology and Obstetrics WingEdit
The three-story modern facility was opened to provide wide range of medical and surgical facilities to women in the specialties of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Begum Zubaida Bani Wing also has a separate set-up for hepatitis patients.
Tahir Heart InstituteEdit
A six-storey state of the art Heart Institute started operating in 2007. Its foundation stone was laid in 2003. It is named after the late fourth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad. It is one of the best equipped Heart Institutes in the region. Pediatric and Adult Cardiac Surgeries are also performed here. Worth of mentioning here, that its one of few heart hospital facility in Pakistan, that equipped specialized ambulances to transfer heart patients over long distances. A dialysis center has also started functioning in it since early 2012. It also houses the head offices of Ahmadiyya Medical Association, Pakistan.
Blood & Eye Donor CenterEdit
It is a specialized center which manages eye donors from around the country. Corneal transplants are performed for those who are needy. A blood donation centre and a Pathology laboratory is also housed in the same complex. The center is known as "Noor-ul-Ain Daira Khidmat-e-Insaniya" in Urdu.
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.
Other healthcare institutionsEdit
There are also other small private healthcare units functioning in the city; fulfilling the needs of the citizens in their locales.
Newspapers and publicationsEdit
A daily newspaper Al Fazl is published from the Ziaul Islam Press located in Rawbah. The newspaper is one of the oldest newspapers of Pakistan until recently when the publication was suspended after a raid by Pakistan's security forces in December 2016. It started off as a weekly in 1913 from Qadian and moved to Rabwah after the partition of India. The newspaper is Ahmadiyya Community's official organ in the city. As such it contains news and articles relating to the community and its faith along with general national and international news. Due to the Ordinance XX promulgated in 1984 by the military dictator General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the newspaper is forbidden by law to use words that are deemed "Islamic" e.g. Muslim, Islam and shaheed. The editors have to scan and remove all such words before the publication of the daily issue.
Many other publications are also originate in the city such as: Rabwah Times is an independent publication originally based in Rabwah founded in 2006 by Ehsan Rehan. It has no affiliation with the Ahmadiyya Community.
- Misbah (a magazine for women)
- Tashhez ul Azhan (directed towards children)
- Khalid (includes articles written by and for youth)
- Ansarullah (for elderly)
Some of the notable residents of the city are:
- Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, founder of the city and eldest son of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Khalīfatul Masīh II of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
- Mirza Nasir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih III of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
- Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IV of the community.
- Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V of the community.
- Tareekh e Ahmadiyyat, Volume 11, Page 429,430
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