Since early 2012 I had been hearing that Hazur‐Aqdas would Insha’Allah grace the 2012 USA and Canada Jalsa Salanas with his presence.
I was soon told that we would be travelling on 16th June 2012 and that I should report at Masjid Fazl by 8am.
When we arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport as soon as we left the plane we were guided to a private room just a few metres away.
On 17 June 2012, Hazur‐Aqdas visited the Sadiq Mosque in Chicago.
From the Sadiq Mosque we proceeded to the town of Zion in Illinois, which is well‐known to all Ahmadis, as the town of the false prophet John Alexander Dowie.
We returned home late afternoon and so lunch was well after 4pm.
On 18th June 2012, Hazur’s Qafila left Chicago and travelled to Ohio.
Upon our eventual arrival I looked around at all the Qafila members and I could see that I was not the only who was tired, but all of the other members also looked exhausted and hungry.
The next day, on 19th June, the vast majority of the day was spent at the Bait‐ un‐Nasir Mosque in Columbus.
I took out my laptop and started to do some work but quite often local Ahmadis of different ages would come up to me and start talking.
One person I met in Columbus had travelled with his family from Detroit to meet with Hazur.
On 20th June 2012 we left Ohio and embarked on the next part of the tour.
We arrived at Baitur Rahman at 9pm and it was one of the most electrifying moments of the entire tour.
After arriving at Baitur Rahman late on 20th June, we stayed for just over a week until 28th June. For the first time on the tour there was not much travelling for a few days at least.
There is little doubt that every Ahmadi in the USA would have loved to have the opportunity to meet with Hazur personally in Mulaqat during the tour.
Another historic aspect of this tour occurred on 22 June 2012 when Hazur‐ Aqdas delivered the Friday Sermon at Baitur Rahman.
On 22 June 2012 a few hours after Jumma prayers, Hazur‐Aqdas met with Dan Merica a well‐respected journalist working for CNN.
After the interview, the local USA Jamaat assured us that the journalist would write up a story and place it on the CNN website within the next couple of days.
During the course of the week at Baitur Rahman, Hazur‐Aqdas met with a number of other dignitaries.
It was the day that Hazur‐Aqdas made an historic address in the Gold Room of Capitol Hill entitled: “The Path to Peace: Just Relations between Nations.”
After the formal part of the Capitol Hill event was concluded, Hazur was given a tour of the entire Capitol Hill building by Congressman Gary Peters.
“Indeed on the day of the event, several incidents happen that were completely unplanned, unexpected and unexplained and can only be seen as miracles.”
We stayed at the Fazl Mosque for around fifteen minutes before the Qafila proceeded to Virginia where Hazur was to inspect the newly completed Mubarak Mosque.
I hardly ate anything all day and so Alhamdolillah, I survived the journey to Harrisburg without major distress!
During the journey to Harrisburg we stopped at Baltimore where the Jamaat had bought a property in a beautiful residential area.
After departing from the Hadee Mosque we travelled to the nearby Expo Convention Centre for the Jalsa Salana inspection.
During our days in Harrisburg, Hazur‐Aqdas and his Qafila stayed at the Sheraton Hotel which was about fifteen minutes drive from the Jalsa.
The Jalsa of the USA was from 29th June to 1st July 2012. It was held at the Expo Centre in Harrisburg, which was the same location as the Jalsa of 2008.
We soon found out that Baitur Rahman had been affected and the electricity was down and so was the water supply.
On Sunday evening, just before Hazur met with dozens of Ahmadis in Mulaqat he visited the home of Dr Ahmad Hameed Qureshi and his wife Dr Ayesha Ahmad.
Hazur spent around 30 or 40 minutes in the store looking at the hunting equipment and speaking to one or two of the people who worked there.
The final day of the USA tour was filled with mixed emotions.
The journey to Canada was quite long and some of the scenery as we drove through the Appalachian mountains was very beautiful.
When I was young I used to think that Albany was so far away, but in that moment I realised that Alhamdolillah I had been able to travel close to the city where my father worked more than 40 years ago and it was as part of the Qafila of Hazur‐Aqdas.
A personal diary written by Abid Khan (Press Secretary to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V) on the USA Tour 2012 of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.