As Majlis Ansarullah is celebrating 75 years of service, this is a very humble effort by the Publications Department of Dallas Majlis to remember the elders and help to remind the new members of the services of the elders, We try to give a brief look at the history of our Dallas Majlis and to connect back to the elders who took the early steps and gave us the guide posts for continuing their great service. This article is indebted to Mr. Abdul Latif, the first Zaeem and who won Dallas the best Majlis Award for multiple years, including our first Alam-e-Inami, who not only suggested writing this story, but also provided a core draft and copies of old pictures of the early years. Gratitude is also due to Mr. Mujahid Mahmood, Zaeem of Dallas Ansarullah during 2003-2009 who helped with an old document by Mr. Hamid Malik that has a lot of history of Dallas. (click here to view the document, produced in 2009)
As part of this effort, we are planning to create a video documentary about the Dallas Majlis which we will Insha Allah release during this year. This video will include interview with all Zuama of Dallas Majlis who led our way and we pray that it serve as a guidance for us and our future members.
The founder of Majlis Ansarullah, the second Khalifa, Hadhrat Mirza Mahmood Ahmad (ra) advised us how be a true Nasir and deliver our responsibilities as Ansar.
“I continue to receive reports that quite a few individuals have joined this organization. I want to tell the members that just apparent registration is not enough until they show practical work. I hope that you will prove through your practical example that only you are the Community of God, the Almighty, in the world. This proof can only be presented if you sacrifice your time, sacrifice your wealth, sacrifice your lives, and continue trying to propagate the faith of Almighty God and popularization of Aḥmadiyyat day and night. If we do not carry out this task, and deem it enough just to register our name, we do not provide any proof of our love of the God Almighty. Just to join these auxiliaries is not enough. Actions should be molded to the purposes and goals of these auxiliaries” [Friday sermon Aug23, 1940. Ref: Sabil-ur-Rashad, Vol I First Ed. Aug 2011]
In another speech, he listed six purposes for the establishment of the auxiliaries of the Jama’at including Majlis Ansarullah – Belief in the Unseen, Establishment of Prayer, Social Service, Belief in the Qur’ān, Respect of the Elders of the Faith and Conviction of the Day of Judgment [speech during the Jalsa Salana Qadian 1941. Ref: Sabil-ur-Rashad, Vol I First Ed. Aug 2011]
We pray to Almighty to let us understand the true values of an Ahmadi Muslim and the true responsibility as the members of Majlis Ansarullah. Let us all live by the pledge we take in our monthly meetings and keep building the brotherhood in our discussions and Ijtimas and fill the larger goal of becoming true servants of Allah.
Dallas is a comparatively young city in the USA. Originally founded as a trading post in 1841, Dallas got the town charter on 2 February 1856. Later on it achieved a legal existence as a city in 1871. The new city of Dallas was to quickly become a commercial center in the south as the major north-south (Houston and Texas Central Railroad) and east-west (Texas and Pacific Railway) Texas railroad routes would intersect in Dallas in 1873.
Originally a farming center, by early 20th century, Dallas witnessed a growth in industrialization. The industrialization led to a large immigration into Dallas from Eastern and Southern Europe, Mexico and freed slaves from elsewhere in the country. But the state of Texas had established Jim Crow laws that legalized segregation and kept a white supremacy until later part of the century. By mid 20th century, Dallas was to witness an oil boom, by the discovery of large oil fields in East Texas. Dallas became the financial center of oil business and remained so until Houston took over the oil businesses in the 1960s. But Dallas continued to thrive in its entrepreneur friendliness and attracting people from elsewhere the country to move in here.
Fame and shame
The electronics revolution also took its birth in Dallas, as an oil industry company, Texas Instruments, invented the Integrated Circuit. This not only was a huge effect on the worldwide electronics industry, it also converted Dallas into a high technology center hosting lot of companies including the now defunct Nortel Networks, Fujitsu, Dell Computers etc. to name a few. (As a matter of fact, Texas Instruments is no longer known for its oil industry past, but as a Semiconductor pioneer)
The lowest point of Dallas came in the morning of Nov 22, 1963, when the popular President of the United States, John F Kennedy, was assassinated in the city of Dallas. This sad incident caused Dallas to be known to the world as the city that killed Kennedy. While conspiracy theories around the assassination grew, Dallas quickly rose up and tried to fix its image, and hopefully been largely successful in it.
According to Pew Research Center studies of 2014, 78% of the population in Dallas identified as Christians. There is a 45,000 strong Jewish community also in Dallas. There are a couple Hindu temples in the north side of the Metroplex where Indian community has a good presence. There is a sizable Muslim community in Dallas and the first mosque in Dallas is Masjid Al-Islam located in downtown, on a property purchased by W.D.Muhammad, son of Elijah Muhammad, founder of Nation of Islam. There are multiple mosques across the multiplex serving local Muslims as well as Muslims migrated from Arab countries, African countries and South Asia.
Early Ahmadis in Dallas
In the history of the Jama’at, Dallas normally refers to the Dallas-Fortworth-Arlington metropolitan area, which is also known as DFW Metroplex, which covers 12 counties in total. Until 2011 when Fort Worth Jamaat was formed, Dallas Jamaat represented Ahmadis in the entire metroplex. The early Ahamdis who lived in the Metroplex were attached to the Jamaat in Houston. In the year 1983, following five families lived in Dallas area. [incomplete]
Dallas became an independent Jama’at in 1987. The Jamaat held Friday prayers in rented properties initially and as the Jamaat was growing, it started moving between cities of Irving, Richardson and Addison. In was in 1996 that Dallas Jama’at formed a Mosque committee to buy and build a mosque and the work was completed in 2002 when the Masjid Baitul Akram was open for prayers. The mosque is located on a 5 acre property in the City of Allen, a northern suburb of the Metroplex. Ever since the Mosque was built, people starting moving to the growing city of Allen and now there are more than 40 families within 20 min driving from the mosque. Masha Allah.
Majlis Ansarullah formed
Majlis Ansarullah was established in Dallas, Texas in 1993, when Mr. Karimullah Zirvi National Sadr Majlis Ansarullah, nominated Mr. Abdul Latif s/o Maulvi Abdul Majeed Sahib of Karachi, Pakistan as Zaim for Dallas Chapter.
Br. Abdul Shakoor Azhar sahib was the first Ansar living in Dallas, Texas.
There were a total of nine Ansar members living in Dallas, Texas in 1993, when Mr. Abdul Latif was nominated as Zaim Majlis Ansarullah; those were
- Mr. Abdul Shakoor Azhar
- Mr. Akram Chaudhary
- Mr. Hafeez A Malik
- Mr. Malik Aziz Ahmed
- Mr. Hameed A Malik
- Mr. Naseer A Bajwa
- Mr. Khaleel Umar
- Mr. Munir A Bajwa
- Mr. Abdul Latif
Following were the members of first Majlis-Amela formed.
- Mr. Abdul Latif Zaim
- Mr. Abdul Shakoor Azhar Gen: Secretary
- Mr. Hameed A Malik Nazim Tabligh
- Mr. Munir A Bajwa Nazim Taleem-u-Tarbiat
- Mr. Abdul Latif Nazim Maal
First local Ijtima
Under Zuamat of Mr. Abdul Latif, Dallas Majlis started its local Ijtima from year 1998. The first local Ijtima was held in the local center at Carrollton, TX on Saturday, March 14th, 1998. Mr. Daud Muneer, the than Regional Nazim inaugurated the Ijtema, Maulana Zafar A Sarwar, regional missionary, also attended Ijtema. A total of 21 members attended this Ijtima.
Years that followed
Zuama who followed
- Mr. Mubarak Piracha 1998-2003
- Mr. Mujahid Mahmood 2004- 2009
- Mr. Suhail Kausar 2010-2012 /Jun
- Mr. Mubashir Chowdhry 2012/Jun – present
Though a relatively young Jamaat, right from the beginning, Majlis Ansarullah Dallas has been an active Majlis in the USA. During these 22 years, Dallas Majlis brought home the Alam-e-Inami home seven times. In addition to Alam-e-Inami it also won multiple awards for performance in various activities.
Alam-e-Inami years : 1998, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013
At present, Dallas Ansarullah is under the Zuamat of Mr. Mubashir Chowdhry and is as active as always. We have sixty members in the Majlis at this time. Dallas Majlis actively participates in discussions during monthly meeting (see a sample discussion video here) and arranges annual picnic with barbecue lunch and sports (Pictures). Ijtimas are conducted in Dallas in the same fervor as the first one (Pictures). In addition to internal activities building brotherhood, Dallas Majlis also participates in many social services such as
- Meals on Wheels. This is an activity in association with Veteran Nurses Association (VNA). The first three Thursdays of every month, one brother spends time by picking up meals and delivering to elderly homes identified by VNA. This program has been active for many years now.
- Feed the neighbor. This activity started recently and is working with Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Dallas and North Texas Food Bank where Dallas Jamaat has contributed $5000 this year to serve food to 5000 needy families. Our brothers participate in food packing as well as delivering to the homes. This activity is weekly
- Feed the Hungry. Dallas Majlis works with Masjid Al Islam Dallas in feeding the needy every month. (Pictures)