|Settled||20 September 1948|
|Founded by||Hadhrat 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)|
Rabwah (Urdu, Punjabi: ربوہ), official name Chenab Nagar (Urdu: چناب نگر), is a city in the Chiniot District of Punjab Province, Pakistan located on the bank of Chenab River near the historic city of Chiniot. Rabwah has been the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community since September 20, 1948 when the community moved its headquarters from Qadian, India to Pakistan following the creation of Pakistan in 1947. Vast majority of inhabitants belonging to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community migrated to Pakistan due to the independence of Pakistan in 1947 and many started a new life in Rabwah. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community leased the area of present day Rabwah from the government for its Headquarters.
- 1 History
- 2 Demography
- 3 Life for the residents of Rabwah
- 4 Geography
- 5 Transport
- 6 Education
- 7 Health
- 8 Newspapers and Publications
- 9 Notable residents
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
From the historical perspective, this land is the same from where Muhammad Bin Qasim, after conquering Sindh and Multan, crossed river Chenab 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 bought 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, Hadhrat 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 Hadhrat Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad led first ever prayers became the first ever mosque of Rabwah, the Yadgari (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 Mubarak Mosque. The second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat 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, Siddiq Abad etc. 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 name was changed without consulting the local populace. The Citizens Rights Committee (in Rabwah) called the resolution "Unconstitutional, unethical, malicious and against all norms of civilized society, which will trigger intolerance, narrow approach and fanaticism".
The city has a population of 70,000, of which 97 percent belong to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The rest 3 percent includes Christians and other 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 Rabwah
As the city is the only Ahmadi Muslim majority City in Pakistan, its residents often times 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 data for Rabwah (1961-1990)|
|Average high °C (°F)||19
|Average low °C (°F)||8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||18
|Source: My Weather|
|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.
The planned city was originally divided into following Muhallas (Boroughs):
- Darul Sadar (The Main/Central House)
- Darul Rehmat (The House of Mercy)
- Darul Futuh (The House of Triumphs)
- Darul Barakat (The House of Blessings)
- Darul Aloom (The House of Learning)
- Darul Nasar (The House of Divine Help)
- Darul Shukar (The House of Gratitude)
- Darul Yuman (The House at the Right)
- Babul 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, Rehman Colony, Muslim Colony, Buyutul Hamd etc.
Sports and Recreation
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 School
Originally founded in 1898 in Qadian, India by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the college was the inspiration of the community's founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. On August 14, 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.
Jamia Nusrat Girls College and School
Government Degree College
Nusrat Jehan Academy and Inter College
Nusrat Jehan Academy was established in 1987 as a Private English Medium School by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, it is the premier educational institute of the city. Currently it has 3 campuses; Junior Campus, English Medium Senior Campus, Urdu Medium Senior Campus and Inter College. Nusrat Jehan Girls College is a proposed extension of the institution which will be housed in a separate campus. The initial plan is to build 4 Science departments and a general block consisting of 3 floors. The college will be able to teach 1,500 girls on an annual basis. It is proposed that the building will cover an area of 31,500 sq. ft. at the estimated cost of 70 million Rs. Since 2011 the educational board of all private schools of Rabwah; supervised by the Nazarat Taleem Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyyah, has been changed to Aga Khan University Educational Board. Since then the quality of education for ahmadi pupils of Rabwah has increased to a very high grade.
Other private Institutes
- 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 Institute
This is a Vocational Education Institute for teaching different technical skills to the students who are not pursuing other Academics.
Fazle Omar Hospital Complex
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 Wing
The three-storey 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 Institute
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 Center
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 Pathlogy 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 Institute
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 a Computers to facilitate follow-up.
There are few other small private hospitals in the city looking after the needs of the citizens in their locales.
Newspapers and Publications
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. It started off as a weekly in 1913 from Qadian and moved to Rabwah after the partition of India. The newspaper is Ahmadiyya Muslim 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.
Rabwah Times is an internet only newspaper founded in 2008. It started off as Rabwah.NET in 2008 but was later on relaunched as a weekly newspaper by the name of Rabwah Times in 2011. The paper was started to give the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Pakistan a voice on the internet as the mainstream media of Pakistan has been reluctant to highlight the plight of the minority community and in some cases has encouraged the persecution of Ahmadis. The website records cases of discrimination and persecution against Ahmadis. 
Many monthly magazines are also published from the city like:
- 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
- Pakistan Population Census Organization (1998)
- Pakistan Migration
- Ahmadiyya in Rabwah
- Muhammad Bin Qasim Pakistan Men by Doctor Abdul Hameed Khan M.A. Ph.D Royal Pakistan Navy, page 21,22
- Tareekh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Volume 11, Page 410. Edition 2007. Published by Nazarat Nashro Ishaat, Qadian, India. ISBN 181-7912-118-6
- Silsila Ahmadiyya by Dr Mirza Sultan Ahmad volume 2 edition 2008 page no 236
- Name Rabwah
- Tareekh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Volume 11, Page 429-435. Edition 2007. Published by Nazarat Nashro Ishaat, Qadian, India. ISBN 181-7912-118-6
- Silsila Ahmadiyya by Dr Mirza Sultan Ahmad volume 2 edition 2008 page no 242
- Silsila Ahmadiyya by Dr Mirza Sultan Ahmad volume 2 edition 2008 page no 244-248
- The Nation, Pakistan 20 July 1999
- 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 Pageiii
- 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 p35
- "Climatological Information for Chiniot", My Weather, web: My Weather.
- "Climate chart of Chiniot". My Weather. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- Fazl-e-Omar Hospital
- Tariq Commemorative Edition published by Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK. 2004. Page 29
- "Rabwah Times as News Source".
- "Rabwah Times News".
- "Geo TV Incites murder of Ahmadis".
- "U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Report".