Jalsa Salana Germany 2023 : Review and Guidance for Improvement
Friday Sermon delivered at Bait-us-Sabuh Mosque, Frankfurt, Germany
Sentiments & Impressions of Jalsa Salana Germany 2023
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that by the grace of Allah the Almighty, the Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention) in Germany was held successfully last weekend.
His Holiness(aba) said that we should be grateful to Allah the Almighty for enabling us to hold the large-scale Jalsa after a gap of a few years. The organisers and attendees should be grateful to Allah. The workers should be especially grateful, for Allah the Almighty enabled them to serve the guests the Promised Messiah(as). The attendees should be grateful to the workers who served them during the Jalsa.
Addressing Shortcomings from Jalsa Salana
His Holiness(aba) said that in the large-scale organisation and in such a large venue, there may have been some shortcomings, and some guests may have faced some difficulty, but because everyone was there for a greater spiritual purpose, generally, people did not complain. The workers generally undertook their duties with great effort. If there were any shortcomings in their work or department, it was usually because of the wrong guidance given by their officers. Hence, if there were shortcomings, it is the responsibility of the officers. In order to avoid these shortcomings in the future, they should be written in the redbook and addressed.
His Holiness(aba) said that it should be considered as to whether improvements can be made in this same venue, or if a new venue needs to be explored. Generally, some of the difficulties faced were that the escalators, or elevators were not functioning. There was a shortage of washrooms and water. His Holiness(aba) said that at the venue in Karlsruhe, he had gone himself to inspect various aspects and pointed out various aspects that needed to be addressed there. For this venue, His Holiness(aba) said that he was only sent complimentary reports.
His Holiness(aba) said that generally, the security did a good job, but in certain instances, they created unnecessary hindrances. There was a complaint from the ladies’ side that there was a delay in delivering the food to them. His Holiness(aba) said that the security should understand that their job is not just to stop people but to also guide people. This department should have a team which directs people to where they need to go.
His Holiness(aba) said that there were also some complaints from the ladies’ side about the translations, especially on the first day. The ladies did not complain about this, rather the MTA Translation Department brought this matter to the attention of His Holiness(aba). There were also issues with the sound throughout the Jalsa premises. The Jalsa Salana, Jalsa Gah and Audio Department are responsible for this. People come to the Jalsa to listen to the Jalsa proceedings. Thus, where other shortcomings can be overlooked, however, issues with the sound cannot be tolerated. On account of this, people in the back of the hall could not properly listen to the Jalsa. The Promised Messiah(as) said that this gathering is not like any other worldly gathering, however, based on some videos that His Holiness(aba) saw of people at the back of the Jalsa hall, that was exactly what it seemed like. However, they cannot be entirely to blame, the Officer Jalsa Gah and Audio Department are responsible and should analyse what went wrong.
His Holiness(aba) said that he has observed that wherever an officer works with humility and effort, the department runs smoothly. However, if this is not the case, then even if the workers strive to work hard, there remain shortcomings in the department. That is why His Holiness(aba) said that he has no issues with the workers and appreciated their efforts. It is, in fact, the officers who must reform themselves.
His Holiness(aba) said that, as he mentioned before, the discipline on the ladies’ side was better than the discipline on the men’s side. This shows that the Tarbiyyat department on the men’s side has some work to do. Successful nations always keep an eye on their shortcomings, and there is no shame in doing so. It is the grace of Allah the Almighty that he covered these shortcomings so that the non-Ahmadis guests to attended the Jalsa were positively impacted. Similarly, those who watched around the world on MTA complimented the Jalsa.
Impressions & Sentiments of Jalsa Salana Guests
His Holiness(aba) said that he would present some sentiments of those who attended the Jalsa, and how it was instrumental in conveying the true message of Islam.
His Holiness(aba) said that a PhD Doctor from Bulgaria commented that she found everyone to be sincere and ready to help. She said that this Jalsa spiritually revived her. She learned a great deal about the Ahmadiyya Community. All members, men, women and children, were very disciplined. She was greatly impacted by the fact that the Berlin mosque was built with funds from the donations of women. She said that she has attended other events, but none like this one. She found the speeches of His Holiness(aba) to be very impactful.
His Holiness(aba) said that a Christian journalist from Macedonia said that the organisation of the Jalsa was excellent. She said that the Jalsa was a prime example of how mutual love can make the world a better place.
His Holiness(aba) said that a teacher from Slovakia said that she saw examples of hospitality which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Especially during the bai’at (initiation) ceremony and the prayers, she was unable to hold back her emotions and cried throughout the bai’at ceremony. She said she will never forget her meeting with His Holiness(aba). She expressed her desire to meet His Holiness(aba) again and learn more about the Ahmadiyya Community.
His Holiness(aba) said that another guest from Slovakia expressed his happiness upon seeing the moral conduct of Ahmadis. He found Muslims, especially Ahmadis, to be peaceful. He had the opportunity to learn a great deal about Islam’s beautiful teachings at the exhibitions. He saw that Ahmadis love their Caliph.
His Holiness(aba) commented that there was a map made of Bosnia, regarding which some people mentioned that it needs revision as some aspects may not be entirely accurate.
His Holiness(aba) said that a Professor from Albania said that the Jalsa was extraordinary. He said that he found the true Islam at the Jalsa and noticed that the real difference between Ahmadis and other Muslims is the Caliphate.
His Holiness(aba) said a high school teacher from Albania said that she knows how aggressive children can be. However, she was very impressed by how children at the Jalsa were so well-behaved and occupied with their duties. Thus, the children even proved to be a means of Tabligh. She saw that at the dining hall, everyone was very well disciplined, and there were no quarrels.
His Holiness(aba) said that a Sunni scholar from Georgia, who studied in Madinah for 15 years, also attended the Jalsa. He said that during his studies, he was taught negative things about the Ahmadiyya Community. However, he met the Ahmadi missionary and learned more about the Community. He decided that he wished to see the Ahmadiyya Community up close. Upon attending the Jalsa, he said that the Ahmadiyya Community is certainly a part of Islam. After listening to the addresses of His Holiness(aba), he said that it is utterly wrong to declare Ahmadis to be disbelievers.
His Holiness(aba) said that the official director of education from a municipality in Kosovo also attended the Jalsa. He said he could not wait to tell his friends about his experience at the Jalsa and what he learned from the Caliph’s addresses. The great hospitality shown by his host also left a lasting impression upon him.
His Holiness(aba) said that a mayor from Kosovo said that he was impressed by the unity and brotherhood he witnessed at the Jalsa. The speeches were excellent, especially those delivered by the Caliph. He said that he has now truly understood the real Islam.
His Holiness(aba) said that a guest from Tajikistan said that he had the opportunity to speak about his country with His Holiness(aba) and was impressed with how His Holiness(aba) cares for all of humanity. Before attending, he had heard negative things about the Community, however, on the contrary, he learned about humanity and brotherhood by attending this Jalsa.
His Holiness(aba) said that a guest from Syria said that his friend brought him to the Jalsa. He intended to stay only for the day and then return home, however, upon seeing such an extraordinary atmosphere, he decided to remain at the Jalsa site and sleep on the floor. He was so impacted by the Jalsa, that he decided to pledge allegiance and accept Ahmadiyyat.
His Holiness(aba) said that a student of Physics from Egypt also attended. He said that in physics, they are taught to question everything. He had accepted Ahmadiyyat some time ago, however, after some time, he started having doubts and was drifting away. When he arrived at the Jalsa, there was some delay in the registration process, and so His Holiness’(aba) sermon had already started. As soon as he finally walked into the hall, he heard His Holiness(aba) saying that if one were to doubt and question everything, then perhaps they would not be able to spend even a moment in this world (this was taken from a quote of the Promised Messiah(as)). They would not be able to drink water for fear of it being poisoned, they would not eat anything from the market. How then could such a person survive? This greatly impacted him, and he was convinced that this could not have been a coincidence. It seemed to him as if this was directed to him, and upon this, all of his doubts went away.
His Holiness(aba) said that a guest from the Czech Republic said that upon attending the Jalsa, he was able to see God through the Ahmadis. Many people try to talk about God, but simply seeing the good morals of people led to him finding God.
His Holiness(aba) said that a German guest said that he had no words to describe the amazing addresses by His Holiness(aba), and he said that everyone should implement what His Holiness(aba) said. He said that Germans especially should heed the advice of His Holiness(aba) to always keep smiling. He said that he is in complete agreement with what His Holiness(aba) said about the status of women.
Fortunate Souls Enter the Fold of Ahmadiyyat
His Holiness(aba) said that at the Jalsa, 39 people from 7 countries pledged allegiance and accepted Ahmadiyyat. A guest from Serbia said that the bai’at ceremony left a lasting spiritual impact on her. Though she could not understand the words, they had a profound impact on her and drew her nearer to God.
(These are only a few examples of the many guest sentiments shared by His Holiness(aba))
Coverage of Jalsa Salana Germany
His Holiness(aba) said that four TV channels covered the Jalsa with a reported reach of 41 million viewers. 11 German newspapers published reports and articles about the Jalsa, reaching over 50 million people. 5 radio stations aired reports about the Jalsa reaching 14 million people. Through online media coverage, the message was relayed to 2 million people. In total, it is estimated that the Jalsa coverage reached over 108 million people. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may this bear positive results in the future.
His Holiness(aba) said that he only presented a few of the many guest sentiments. It is a great favour of Allah the Almighty that He covers our shortcomings. Guests have also expressed positive sentiments at the various mosque inaugurations. Some expressed that they did not even know about Ahmadiyyat, or Islam’s teachings about the rights of Allah and the rights of His creation, but they learned at these events. In fact, some complained that their Ahmadi friends never told them about Islam’s beautiful teachings. Hence a Tabligh programme should be made, and without any inferiority complex, Ahmadis should convey the message of Islam and Ahmadiyyat. Simply distributing leaflets does not do the job, rather, we must effectively take advantage of every opportunity to spread the message. His Holiness(aba) said that in Germany, people still have an interest in talking about religion. And so programmes should be made where such people can be invited.
His Holiness(aba) said that we must analyse ourselves, whether in the Jalsa organisation or the permanent departments as well. We must always strive for the best. We should work with good planning and prayers. Always strive to fulfil the true purpose of Jalsa. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah have mercy and may He enable everyone in the future to fulfil the true purpose of Jalsa.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions