The three day, 89th Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Bangladesh concluded yesterday in Dhaka with a powerful and faith-inspiring address by the Fifth Khalifa, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, His Holiness, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
The Khalifa addressed the event from the Baitul Futuh Mosque in London via satellite. The Jalsa attracted close to 10,000 delegates, with nearly 6,000 participating in Dhaka and more than 3,500 attending in London.
During his hour-long address, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad spoke extensively about the peaceful response of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in the face of decades of sustained and brutal persecution. His Holiness spoke of his sorrow at the way terrorists and extremists continued to sully the name of Islam in order to fulfil their own political agendas and vested interests.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad also used the occasion to congratulate the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Bangladesh on its Centenary.
The Convention had been due to take place in a large stadium in Gazipur, however, two days before the event began, thousands of extremists, led by fanatical clerics attacked the site and set the entire venue alight.
Commenting on the attack, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“We are not sorrowful because we have been subjected to such cruelty and persecution. We are not sorrowful that the venue for our Jalsa Salana was burnt. Our real sorrow lies in the fact that such evil acts are perpetrated in the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw who was sent as a source of mercy and compassion for all of mankind. Our real sorrow lies in the fact that such hate-filled attacks defame the pure name of Islam.”
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that terrorists and extremists were causing huge damage to Bangladesh and were preventing its progress.
He said that “so-called” religious clerics were taking advantage of innocent people by radicalising them and brainwashing them through misinformation. He said such clerics were motivated only by greed and a lust for power and so it was the duty of Ahmadi Muslims to inform people of Islam’s real teachings.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“We, Ahmadi Muslims, have to enlighten the world with the light of Muhammadsaw who was sent as a mercy for all of mankind.”
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that a spirit of sacrifice was necessary to rid Bangladesh of its extremist elements. He continued by saying that Ahmadi Muslims would lead the way in bringing about a peaceful revolution, not just in Bangladesh, but in all countries where persecution, hatred and inequality were rife.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“We may be relatively small in terms of our numbers, but the day will surely come when this peaceful minority, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, will eliminate all forms of cruelty, hatred and oppression from the face of the earth. And we will achieve this not by means of any force or oppression but through love and peace.”
In an inspiring and emotional message to Ahmadi Muslims, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Governments can place restrictions or pass laws against our Community, however they can never remove the creed of Islam from our hearts, that ‘There is no God except Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger’.”
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad thanked the current Bangladeshi Government and segments of its media and civil society for displaying a degree of support to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, however, he added regretfully, they did not have the power to take firm action to root out terrorists and extremist clerics.
Concluding his address by again referring to the sacrifices that Bangladesh’s Ahmadi Muslims were making for their country, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“O Ahmadi Muslims of Bangladesh, persecution should never dishearten you or make you fearful. The sacrifices you are making today will come to be etched in the history of Bangladesh.”
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad also used his address to congratulate the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Bangladesh on its Centenary. He said that whilst the formal Community was founded in 1913, the message of Ahmadiyyat had reached its land even during the life of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.