While we can trace the beginnings of Ahmadiyyat in Canberra to the historic visit of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV in 1983, a formal organisation of the Ahmadi women was to be founded years later. Mr. Musa bin Masran, and Mrs. Helen Musa organised Huzur’s visit to Canberra, one of the highlights of this visit being Huzur’s lecture at the Australian National University.
With the permanent re-location of the Musa Family in Canberra in 1986, Tabligh activities also began in the ACT. The Jama’at increased in numbers over the years with the arrival of families from Fiji and Pakistan.
With the increase in female members, in 2002, our Amir and Missionary In-charge at the time Late Maulana Mahmood Ahmad Sahib called upon Dr Salma Karim to found Lajna Imaillah Canberra. She took upon this responsibility and was appointed the very first president of the auxiliary organization in late 2002. About a year later a formal election was held and Dr Salma Karim Sahiba was unanimously elected Sadr Lajna of Canberra Jama’at for the term 2003-2005.
Few became many which increased the responsibilities of Dr Salma Karim Sahiba. In addition to organising monthly Lajna meetings and Jama’ati events, she started teaching children’s classes in December 2005 upon the advice of Amir Sahib. Dr Salma Karim was re-elected as the president for the term 2005-2007 and 2007-2009. She was only to be relieved from the position when re-election was not allowed by the Lajna Constitution any more after having held the office from 2002-2009. During her tenure Dr Salma Karim had formed an Aamla consisting of these portfolios: 1) Secretary Finance, (2) Secretary Taleem and Tarbiyyat, (3) Secretary Tehrik-e-Jadid and Waqf-e-Jadid, (4) Secretary Sanat and Dastkari, and (5) Secretary Khidmat-e-Khalq.
In 2009 Mrs. Munazza Nishat was elected the Lajna President with the Tajneed of 23. An Aamla consisting of a Vice President, General Secretary and eight secretaries was formed with the approval of National Sadr Lajna. Secretaries for these portfolios were nominated for the first time 1) Nasirat 2) Tabligh, 3) Isha’at and 4) Ziafat). A sub-organization of Nasirat-ul-Ahmadiyya was also established formally at this point, with only 6 Nasirat. Already from the beginning our Nasirat have been fully acknowledged at the national level for their active participation and continuous achievements.
The first Ijtema of Lajna Imaillah and Nasirat-ul-Ahmadiyya in Canberra took place in August 2010 under the auspices of Mrs. Munazza Nishat with almost 100% attendance (only one member was absent). We all felt immense gratitude towards Allah Almighty for having reached this milestone. The second Ijtema took place in September 2011. Dr. Shereen Taseer was elected as the 3rd president of Lajna Imaillah on this occasion. Seht-e-Jismani & Auditor were the new additions in Aamla in her tenure.
In December 2013 Zarina Hasan Sahiba, who moved here from Fiji in 1994 with her husband Mohammad Taffazul Hasan Sahib,current President of ACT Majlis, was elected as the Lajna President ACT.
Our Lajna has been regularly organising exhibition stall at Jalsa Salana with great success. In the Jalsa Salana of 2005, Lajna Canberra won third prize for preparing most hand-made items and in 2010 we came third in fund-raising. In Jalsa Salana 2012, our Nasirat and Lajna memebrs won 3 prizes in the Exhibition. These are great achievements given our very small numbers compared to the other Lajnat in Australia.
Lajna Canberra actively participate in Khidmat-e-Khalq activities including Red Cross door knock appeal, Australia Clean-Up ,visiting and giving donations to the old age home in Page and Queanbeyan Nursing Home. We continue to participate in Jama’at’s financial schemes and other community events to the best of our abilities. Our focus these days is on motivating members for Khidmat-e-Khalq, Tabligh and also financial sacrifice for the planned mosque.
Classes for Waqf-e-Nau and other children are held alongside regular classes for Nasirat-ul-Ahmadiyya. Excursions and special Eid arrangements for Nasirat have also become a part of our activities in Canberra.
Lajna Imaillah Canberra has always been an ethnically diverse community with current membership having Australian, Bengali, Chinese, Fijian and Pakistani backgrounds.
We thank Allah Almighty for the success He has granted us in our very short history and we aim at continuously raising our spiritual and moral standards.