Jalsa Salana UK 2023: A Most Successful Culmination
Friday Sermon delivered at Baitul Futuh Mosque, Morden, London, UK
‘Jalsa Salana UK – A Glimpse into the Blessings of an Extraordinary Spiritual Gathering of Believers’
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that all praise belongs to Allah, that last weekend, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, the Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) UK was held successfully. Despite the weather at times taking a turn for the worst, all operations generally ran smoothly. Similarly, the attendance was much greater than in previous years.
Blessings Showered Upon us by Allah Almighty During this Jalsa Salana
His Holiness(aba) said no matter how much we thank Allah, it is not enough, for He greatly blessed this Convention, and this was felt by all, by Ahmadis and non-Ahmadi guests alike. We are weak; it is only through the blessings of Allah that we are able to do anything, and this Community is showered by the blessings of Allah the Almighty in a manner that is best described as:
‘And if you try to count the favours of Allah, you will not be able to number them. Surely Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful’ (The Holy Qur’an 16:19)
His Holiness(aba) said that Allah the Almighty overlooks our weaknesses and bestows such favours upon us that we could never truly thank him. Nonetheless, Allah the Almighty has commanded us to be thankful to Him, and if we are thankful to Him, then Allah the Almighty will continue to grant more. Therefore it is our duty to thank Allah the Almighty, and if we do so, then we will continue to progress. Therefore, when it comes to the Jalsa Salana, we must first and foremost thank God Almighty. Both the workers and the guests should be thankful to Allah. Despite the fact that Covid has not entirely gone away, God Almighty has kept everyone safe. There are a few people who, after the Convention, contracted Covid. His Holiness(aba) prayed for their recovery. His Holiness(aba) said that of the few cases he has come to know of, it is possible that they did not contract Covid from the Jalsa, rather, the government has announced that there has been a rise in cases in certain areas in general.
Gratitude to the Workers During Jalsa Salana
His Holiness(aba) said that he also wished to thank the workers, who worked in extraordinary fashion, and with smiling faces as he had advised at the beginning. Both on the men’s and women’s sides, all the workers displayed great proficiency in their respective departments. Generally in the past, there have been complaints about the food serving department. However, this year, those complaints were virtually non-existent. There were also the departments of traffic, cooking, the roti plant and MTA who connected the world in a new way this year. His Holiness(aba) said all the departments, those which he named and didn’t name, all worked excellently, both men and women, and he wished to thank them.
His Holiness(aba) said that even the non-Ahmadi guests expressed their amazement at the manner in which the workers carried out their duties. May Allah the Almighty grant them the best reward.
His Holiness(aba) said that there is just one point which he would like to draw the attention of the Jalsa Salana department towards; the water is shut off as soon as the Jalsa proceedings are over. However, the water should remain on for at least 12 hours. Otherwise, the organisation was well taken care of.
Sentiments & Remarks Expressed by Guests in Attendance
His Holiness(aba) said that he would present some of the sentiments of non-Ahmadi, even non-Muslim guests who attended the Convention.
His Holiness(aba) presented the views of a doctor from Burkina Faso who attended the Convention for the first time. He was impressed by the fact that all the attendees were unified, gathered in one place for a single purpose around a single leader. People from all over the world and from different backgrounds had all gathered for a single purpose at a single hand which was extraordinary to see. The standard of speeches was very high. He also listened to His Holiness’ addresses, which opened his eyes to the importance of the world recognising the message of God. He also recognised the extraordinary connection which Ahmadis have with God and their leader. He expressed his intention, if possible, to attend the Jalsa Salana every year.
His Holiness(aba) said that Dr Brad Shaw, a prominent professor of Law from the USA, also attended the Convention. He said that he was very happy to see such a large gathering. He says that he has also conducted various conferences where registration is required, however, the organised manner in which registration was being done at the Convention in just a matter of minutes was amazing. His Holiness(aba) commended the work done by the registration department. The American doctor commended the efforts of all the workers he came across.
His Holiness(aba) said that a mayor from Belize also attended the Convention. He said that never in his life had he seen such peaceful and loving people. He expressed his astonishment that people associate terrorism with Islam. He said that the spiritual atmosphere and the mutual love he saw were truly commendable. He was so inspired that he expressed his desire to attend in the future, not as a mayor, but as a worker. He says that he has never seen such an amazing convention. He says that the future of the world is Ahmadiyyat.
His Holiness(aba) said that Michael Wilson, a guest from Ghana, also attended. He is a chief technologist under the Department of Environmental Science and Technology. He also attends various conferences around the world. Even before the Jalsa started, he was amazed by the work that was being done and expressed that it could not be done without God’s grace. After seeing the actual Jalsa, he was surprised by the commitment of the Jalsa workers and expressed that it must be God’s grace. He was astounded by the fact that people who work in certain professional fields were doing different work at the Jalsa. He was also amazed by the International Bai’at (initiation) ceremony and expressed his desire to attend in the future. He said that the Community in Ghana should do more to introduce the people of Ghana to the Ahmadiyya Community.
His Holiness(aba) said that the Minister of Information from The Gambia also attended, who was amazed by the selfless work done by those on duty. There was not a single incident of any quarrel in such a large gathering. The Community member’s love for their leader is unmatched. There is no better practical image of brotherhood than the example shown by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
His Holiness(aba) said that a historian and archivist from Spain also attended the Jalsa Salana who had never seen so many people of different backgrounds gather in one place. He expressed that the Ahmadiyya Community has set an excellent example of effort and perseverance, which he will implement in his own life.
His Holiness(aba) said that a writer from Italy who attended said that they had heard about the Jalsa Salana, but attending it was a completely different experience. They were greatly impressed by the volunteerism, the decorum and the cleanliness, which is no easy matter in such a large gathering. They were also greatly impressed by the prayers that were offered. Though not Muslim, they said that the manner in which Ahmadis pray is the foremost duty of every person.
His Holiness(aba) said that a guest from Columbia was impressed by the peaceful and loving atmosphere and the addresses by His Holiness(aba). He said that seeing this Convention, we should know that despite difficult times, God is with us. He was astounded by the organisation and the workers, who he saw everywhere working with smiling faces. This volunteerism is an example for the world and for those searching for God.
His Holiness(aba) said that a Christian priest and theologian from Chile also attended. He was impressed by the unity and brotherhood of the Community. He says that he has attended many Christian conferences worldwide, but he has never seen such a vast organisation all coordinated by volunteers anywhere else. In his view, the success of this Convention is owed to the Community’s unity around their leader. He described the Community as a body; the Caliph is the head and brain, and the Community are the limbs which operate according to the signals sent from the brain.
His Holiness(aba) said an Indigenous Vice-Chief from Canada also attended, and she was very impressed with the International Bai’at ceremony. She, too, became emotional, just like everyone. She says that she never experienced such spirituality as she did during the Bai’at ceremony.
His Holiness(aba) said that people watching around the world also expressed their sentiments. A Christian guest in Congo-Brazzaville joined the Community to watch the concluding session of the Jalsa. Afterwards, he said that if the things which His Holiness(aba) said were implemented, then not a single person in the world would go to bed hungry. He said that his heart was at ease because of the manner in which ‘our Caliph’ presented Islam. He explained that he said ‘our Caliph’ because ‘from today I am with you, and he is now my Caliph as well.’
His Holiness(aba) said that some people watching the Jalsa around the world even accepted Islam Ahmadiyya as a result, for example, from Guinea-Bissau and Tanzania.
(These are just a few examples of the various guest sentiments presented by His Holiness(aba))
His Holiness(aba) said that he received many sentiments and remarks from guests, all of which cannot possibly be read out.
The True Purpose of the Annual Gathering & Coverage
His Holiness(aba) prayed that the results of this Jalsa be such that Allah the Almighty enables Ahmadis to remain connected with God throughout their lives, they may increase in faith and certainty, and they may become those who fulfil the purpose of the advent of the Promised Messiah(as). May the impact on non-Ahmadis not be temporary, rather, may they perpetually be eye-opening. May they realise the teachings of Islam Ahmadiyya to be the true means of salvation for them and the rest of the world.
His Holiness(aba) said that the Jalsa was heard through various forms of media. 24 channels in Africa relayed all of His Holiness’(aba) addresses, reaching more than 40 million people. 23 media directors and journalists visited the Media Center at the Jalsa, who prepared news reports every day, as a result of which 72 news reports were prepared, reaching about 50 million people. 41 websites posted reports, with an estimated readership of 19 million. 15 newspapers covered the Jalsa, with an estimated readership of 15 million. 14 TV news reports were aired, with an estimated viewership of 20 million. 37 reports were aired on radio, with an estimated 8 million people listening. Various channels, such as the BBC and others from around the world covered the Jalsa, thereby introducing Islam Ahmadiyya.
His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah the Almighty enable us to remain humble and continuously reform ourselves, and may we always remain specially and firmly attached to the Community, while fulfilling the purpose of the advent of the Promised Messiah(as).
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions