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Chenab Nagar
Rabwah is located in Pakistan
Location in Punjab,Pakistan
Country  Pakistan
Province Punjab
District Chiniot District
Settled 20 September 1948[1]
Founded by Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad
 • Total 24 km2 (9 sq mi)
Elevation 300 m (1,000 ft)
Population (2003[2])
 • Total 70,000
 • Density 2,300/km2 (6,000/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC+6)
Postal code 35460
Area code(s) 047

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 in district 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 Community migrated to Pakistan due to the independence of Pakistan in 1947 and many started a new life in Rabwah.[3] The Ahmadiyya Community leased the area of present-day Rabwah from the government for its Headquarters.[4]


  • History 1
    • Name change 1.1
  • Demography 2
  • Life for the residents of Rabwah 3
  • Geography 4
    • Climate 4.1
    • Neighborhoods 4.2
    • Notable Places 4.3
    • Sports and Recreation 4.4
    • Commercial Places 4.5
  • Transport 5
  • Education 6
    • Talim-ul-Islam College and School 6.1
    • Jamia Nusrat Girls College and School 6.2
    • Nusrat Jehan Academy and Inter College 6.3
    • Other private Institutes 6.4
    • Jamia Ahmadiyya 6.5
    • Madrissatul Hifz 6.6
    • Darul Sana'a Vocational Institute 6.7
  • Health 7
    • Fazle Omar Hospital Complex 7.1
      • Begum Zubaida Bani Gynecology and Obstetrics Wing 7.1.1
      • Tahir Heart Institute 7.1.2
    • Blood & Eye Donor Center 7.2
    • Tahir Homeopathic Research and Training Institute 7.3
    • Other Hospitals 7.4
  • Newspapers and Publications 8
    • AL Fazal 8.1
    • Rabwah Times 8.2
    • Others 8.3
  • Notable residents 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


Yadgar Mosque, the "first" mosque of Rabwah, There are many other mosques that were built by Ahmadis in Rabwah way prior to this mosque. This is believed the be the spot where the Ahmadis had their first congregational prayers salat in Rabwah. Pakistani Law does not allow them to be called as mosques anymore.

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.[5]

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.[6] The lease was approved on 11 June 1948[7] The city was named Rabwah by then leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hadhrat Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad.[8] 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.[9] The ceremony was attended by 619 people[10] 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.[11]

Name change

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’[12] 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’[13] (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.[14] 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".[15]


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 oftentimes face many difficulties due to Ordinance XX. The residents have been denied the right to hold peaceful religious gatherings since 1983.[16] 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.[17][18]


Tilla Chenab beside Rabwah and between Rabwah and the Chenab River.

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".[19] 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)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 19
Average low °C (°F) 8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 18
Source: My Weather[20]
Climate chart ()
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: [21]

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.

Notable Places

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[22] and Rowing teams. There is also an olympic sized swimming pool in the city.[23] along with well-maintained Lawn tennis and Squash courts.

Buyut-ul-hamd park is a small amusement park in Rabwah. Also, the river bank and many farmhouses in the surrounding areas are considered good picnic spots.

Commercial Places

  • Gol Bazar (in English; "Round Market"): is a semi-circle shaped market in Rabwah which houses most of the bank branches in the city including UBL, MCB, Faysal Bank etc.
  • Masroor Plaza: is a commercial plaza located in the center of the town.


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.[24] 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 [25] An old students association of the College is active and publishes the Al Manar[26] magazine.

Jamia Nusrat Girls College and School

This is an all Girls College and School founded by the [25]

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 2012, the examination board of all schools administered by the Nazarat Taleem Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyyah Pakistan, including Nusrat Jehan Academy, have been changed from the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Faisalabad to the Aga Khan University Examination Board.[27]

Other private Institutes

Ahmadiyya Public Model Elementary School
  • Schools under Nazarat Taleem:
    • Buyut-ul-Hamd Primary School
    • Bayoutul Hamd Girls High School
    • Maryam Girls High School
    • Maryam Siddiqua Girls High School
    • Tahir Primary School
    • Nasir High School
  • 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[28]
    • Nadi Academy

Jamia Ahmadiyya

Jamia Ahmadiyya Missionary College

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.

Madrissatul Hifz

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.


Tahir Heart Institute

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.[29]

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.[30]

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.[31] 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.[32]

Other Hospitals

There are few other small private hospitals in the city looking after the needs of the citizens in their locales.

Newspapers and Publications

AL Fazal

A daily newspaper 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.[23]

Rabwah Times

Rabwah Times is an online news aggregator and blog that started in 2008.[33][34] It has its offices located in Rabwah. The website records cases of discrimination and persecution against Ahmadi Muslims.[35][36]


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)
  • (for elderly)

Notable residents

Some of the notable residents of the city are:

See also


  1. ^ Tareekh e Ahmadiyyat, Volume 11, Page 429,430
  2. ^ Pakistan Population Census Organization (1998)
  3. ^ Pakistan Migration
  4. ^ Ahmadiyya in Rabwah
  5. ^ Muhammad Bin Qasim Pakistan Men by Doctor Abdul Hameed Khan M.A. Ph.D Royal Pakistan Navy, page 21,22
  6. ^ Tareekh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Volume 11, Page 410. Edition 2007. Published by Nazarat Nashro Ishaat, Qadian, India. The ISBN printed in the document (181-7912-118-6) is invalid.
  7. ^ Silsila Ahmadiyya by Dr Mirza Sultan Ahmad volume 2 edition 2008 page no 236
  8. ^ Name Rabwah
  9. ^ Tareekh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Volume 11, Page 429-435. Edition 2007. Published by Nazarat Nashro Ishaat, Qadian, India. The ISBN printed in the document (181-7912-118-6) is invalid.
  10. ^ Silsila Ahmadiyya by Dr Mirza Sultan Ahmad volume 2 edition 2008 page no 242
  11. ^ Silsila Ahmadiyya by Dr Mirza Sultan Ahmad volume 2 edition 2008 page no 244-248
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ The Nation, Pakistan 20 July 1999
  16. ^ 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
  17. ^ 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
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Climatological Information for Chiniot", My Weather, web: My Weather.
  21. ^ "Climate chart of Chiniot". My Weather. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b
  24. ^ [2]
  25. ^ a b
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ Fazl-e-Omar Hospital
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ Tariq Commemorative Edition published by Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK. 2004. Page 29
  33. ^ "Rabwah Times as News Source" (PDF). 
  34. ^ "Rabwah Times News" (PDF). 
  35. ^ "U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Report" (PDF). 
  36. ^ "UK Home Office Country Guidance for Pakistan's Ahmadis" (PDF). 

External links

  • The Ahmadis by Antonio R. Gualtieri
  • Pictures of Rabwah
  • Pictures of Rabwah
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