An auxiliary organisation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Lajna Ima’illah commonly known as Lajna
is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, an auxiliary organisation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and our name means handmaidens of Allah. We were first established in 1922 in India as an independent and empowered women’s organisation by His Holiness Mirza Bashir-ud-din Mahmud Ahmad (may Allah be pleased with him) who was the Community’s second worldwide spiritual head known as Khalifatul Masih. His wife, Hazrat Amatul Hai (may Allah be pleased with her) had a great passion for the development and progress of women and it was on her advice that he initiated the organisation, which transformed the lives of the women of the Community.
Such was her zest for learning and improving opportunities for women, that Hazrat Amatul Hai wrote a letter to His Holiness (reproduced here) before she was married to him in which she requests him to arrange religious classes for women.
Lajna Ima’illah began with fourteen members and His Holiness remarked at its launch, ‘Aside from gaining personal and spiritual knowledge, henceforth the successful progress of the Community is also dependent on efforts by women.
Over the years, the organisation spread all around the world and officially formed in the UK on a permanent basis in 1957, though Lajna’s principles had been followed for decades previously by Ahmadi Muslim women in the UK. There were 34 members on record when Lajna began in the UK – the membership today stands at over 12,884.
“Aside from gaining personal and spiritual knowledge, henceforth the successful progress of the Community is also dependent on efforts by women.”
Our Founding Principles
Our founding principles focus on autonomy, women leading women and working together empowering each other.
Specifically, our founding principles are:
- For women to come together to increase their knowledge and spread it.
- To uphold the spirit of unity under our unique spiritual guidance of Khilafat.
- To work at ever improving our morals and spirituality.
- Be fully aware of the responsibility of sound bringing up of our children.
- Regardless of social standing, to consider all women as sisters.
- To serve Islam in practical ways and to help those brothers and sisters who are in need.
- Above all to try and attain all this through prayers.
All our work stems from spiritual education and training and includes:
- Outreach work
- Social welfare activities
- Industry and handicraft endeavours
- Physical health programmes
Members in 1957
Lajna Ima’illah UK Centenary Logo
The Lajna Emblem/Flag
Our flag has many powerful symbols, which are all spiritual in nature with centre-stage allocated to female icons.
The crescent is a sign of a new era in the spiritual darkness of modern ages and the six-pointed star denotes six articles of the Islamic faith, namely, belief in One God, His Angels, His Books, His Prophets, the Day of Resurrection and the Divine Decree.
The white minaret represents the fulfilled prophecy about the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him), and the sun rising from the West denotes the success of Islam and Ahmadiyyat in the Western world as prophesied by the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).
The oasis symbolises motherhood and the three date trees represent three blessed women Hajira, Maryam and Amina, who gave birth in the desert to three Prophets of God; Prophet Ishmael and Prophet Jesus (peace be upon them both) and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Lajna Ima’illah Pledge
I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah. He is One and has no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad (saw) is His servant and His Messenger.
I affirm that I shall always be ready to sacrifice my life, property, time and children for the cause of faith and nation. I shall always adhere to truth and shall always be prepared to make every sacrifice for the perpetuation of the Ahmadiyya Khilafat, InshAllah.
Activities and Events
Lajna Ima’illah has a robust organisational structure, consisting of local branches linked with regional and national management. The Sadr (national president) of the organisation is elected every other year. Lajna plays an active and full role in the religious and philanthropic activities of the Ahmadiyya community including a vital role in running MTA (Muslim TV Ahmadiyya), a voluntary channel (SKY 731) dedicated to the service of Islam.
Lajna also runs its own annual calendar with all events planned, organised and managed by women for women and girls. Here are some of the highlights.
An annual programme for all local and regional office-holders from across the UK to brush-up and update knowledge and various skills required to run the organisation.
Lajna Peace Forum
Lajna UK hosts this forum every year bringing together women from the worlds of faith, politics and civic society to promote a deeper understanding of Islam and other faiths.
Ta’lim and Tarbiyyat Classes (Educational and Training Classes)
Arranged at both local and national levels every year for the purpose of enhancing religious knowledge and spiritual training.
National Sports Day
Organised annually to promote health and fitness activities comprising a diverse range of sports competitions.
Meena Bazaar (Fundraising Fair)
This is our annual fete where various items are sold to raise money. Food stalls are run on regional basis, with a backdrop of themed exhibitions. It is a good time for socialising. The underpinning principle of the bazaar is to encourage and promote entrepreneurial skills.
Lajna UK regularly raises funds for charities and projects around the globe. £57,000 was raised for UK charities in 2016-17.
National Ijtema (Annual Gathering)
A two-day annual academic and spiritual event of Ahmadi Muslim girls and women. It is the main and final event of the Lajna calendar. The gathering is also a time to report on activities undertaken during the past year, a high point of everything Ahmadi Muslim ladies and girls across the UK aspire to and achieve in the year. Over 5500 members attended in 2018.
Lajna Ima’illah UK runs a regular blog, Voice of British Muslim Women. Among our writers are women working in fields such as medicine, law, science as well as mothers, educators and students, who write on a wide range of topics including Islam, Peace, Hijab, Integration and more. All of them bring their own perspective to writing as Muslim women living in Britain. The aims of the blog are to provide a platform for the unheard perspectives and voices of Muslim women and to challenge the ill-informed media narratives about Islam and women.