The 45th Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat UK began today at the vast Oaklands Farm site in Alton known as ‘Hadeeqatul Mahdi’. The three day international event has attracted global interest with around 30,000 delegates attending from dozens of countries.
During the course of the first day, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the world Head of the community, addressed the delegates twice. First during his Friday Sermon and then later during the first full session of the Jalsa Salana. Further, as a means to officially open the event, he also raised the Flag of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.
The afternoon session was first addressed by Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport. In his speech he said that he very much appreciated the values displayed by Ahmadi Muslims, particularly the way in which they integrated within their local communities. He particularly praised the Community for its commitment to charitable causes and its efforts in terms of humanitarian relief across the world. Moreover, on behalf of the Prime Minister David Cameron and the Government he wished the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat a successful Jalsa Salana 2011.
In his afternoon address, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad spoke of the fundamental objectives of the Jalsa Salana and he also spoke about the efforts of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat to portray the true teachings of Islam to the world.
His Holiness spoke of how morality and spirituality were crucial factors for the development of world peace. Such qualities were wholly lacking by certain so called Muslims who persecuted Ahmadi Muslims and other minorities. His Holiness said that neither the Holy Qur’an, nor the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), permitted any form of persecution, extremism or terrorism. He said it was a very sad indictment that even though Islam taught honesty in all matters, today large parts of the Muslim world had adopted dishonesty more than any other people.
Speaking about the importance of loyalty and love for one’s country, His Holiness said:
“Ahmadi Muslims must desire and work towards the betterment of the countries in which they live. Furthermore they must always adhere and respect the local laws.”
His Holiness concluded by saying that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat’s worldwide campaign of loyalty, love and peace had attracted a great deal of publicity and awareness over the past few years. However this campaign was now entering a second phase whereby it was the responsibility of the Community to inform the world about the claim of the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. He claimed to be the Promised Messiah and Mahdi awaited by all major religions and his claim was supported by thousands of proofs in his favour.
The session concluded with a silent prayer before the thousands of Ahmadi Muslims dispersed to various locations. Some were camping at Hadeeqatul Mahdi, some had booked hotels nearby, whilst others were commuting. They were however all united in feeling the sense of excitement and spirituality evoked by the Jalsa Salana and in particular the addresses of Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
The full proceedings of the Jalsa Salana are being broadcast worldwide on MTA International which can be viewed on Sky 787 in the UK. It can also be streamed online on MTA.tv.