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The Silver Jubilee Darbar in Nairobi - 1982-10-05

Tuesday, 1982, October 5

THE CAVALCADE of cars came into drive way, under the bowing palm trees, past the blaze of rich petunias and salvias, to the huge complex at Parklands. It brought Mowlana Hazar Imam and Begum Salimah who were to grace a grand Darbar. For a moment one's mind went back to weeks prior to this revered moment.

The whole Jamat had been galvanised into action by an announcement that Kenya had been chosen as the first country that Mowlana Hazar Imam would visit during the Silver Jubilee year. A huge complex was constructed at Parklands, while committees began to arrange for the reception, accommodation, transport and entertainment of hundreds of people from outside Kenya who were expected to arrive. Hundreds of Jamati volunteers had swung into action to make preparations for this historic event.

The hall, large enough to accommodate 10,000 people was erected on the same grounds as the Takht Nashini was held in 1957. The complex was built magnificently, flowers galore, drapes and scallops adorning the ceiling above. Below, banners flanked the Silver Jubilee logo, massive and impressive with the beginning of Ayat 103 from Surah "Ale Imran" and twenty-five crescents -- one for each year. On the richly carpeted stage stood the crimson Gadi, and behind it was the Silver Jubilee cake, rising white and silver.

Thousands of people had been waiting in the hall, their thoughts upon their Imam. Into an atmosphere charged with prayers and reverence entered Hazar Imam, looking radiant in a white sherwani. Begum Salimah, in a green, red and gold coloured sari, looked graceful as ever. Hazar Imam in his ceremonial robe (khilat) addressed the Darbar.

He spoke about the permanence of Islam and the glory of Allah's creation. He acknowledged the gifts given to him, to Begum Salimah and to Prince Rahim, and remarked that it was a very happy and special occasion for him. He wished the Jamat Idd Mubarak, because the Silver Jubilee Darbar had coincided with Idd-e-Ghadir. Those present had witnessed and felt the Imam's grace and his tremendous love for the Jamat. It was a unique and moving occasion whose memory they will cherish forever.

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