The Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in India concluded on 28th December in Qadian with a powerful and faith inspiring address by the World Head of the community, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who addressed the event from the Baitul Futuh Mosque in London via satellite. The Jalsa attracted over 17,000 people from around the world in Qadian, whilst over 4,000 gathered in London for the concluding session.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad began his address by reminding the audience that the conventions held by the Ahmadiyya community were distinguished from others, because they were exclusively designed to enhance the religious and spiritual development of those who took part.
He said that this year thousands of Ahmadi Muslims from Pakistan had travelled for the event in an effort to lessen the sense of deprivation they felt due to the fact that Ahmadi Muslims were not permitted to host such conventions in Pakistan due to the anti-Ahmadiyya laws that continued to exist.
His Holiness spoke repeatedly about the state of the world, which he said stood on the brink of disaster and destruction due to the lack of justice and equality within society. He said that at such a crucial time, it was the task of Ahmadi Muslims throughout the world to guide mankind towards salvation. He said:
“Today it is the responsibility of every Ahmadi Muslim to protect the world from destruction. This is because we have pledged allegiance to the Promised Messiah, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (peace be upon him) and by doing so we have sworn that we will always strive for the betterment of all humanity.”
His Holiness continued by saying that the Muslim world was today ravaged by sectarianism and internal discord. Only the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat could claim to be united and this unity was derived through its system of Khilafat.
His Holiness reminded the audience that the well-being of the future was being put at risk by the jealousies of today. The unjust policies and practices of world powers were fuelling extremism and terrorism. In this regard His Holiness said:
“True peace and true justice cannot be found anywhere in the world today. Instead worldly desires have increased beyond all limits. The wealth of others is looked at with envy and jealousy by people and by governments. In today’s world governments claim that they are fighting wars for the sake of peace and to save mankind from cruelty. Such claims are totally wrong and deceitful. The aims of such governments are simply to serve their own vested interests and to capture the wealth of other nations. Thus in the name of justice the blood of mankind is being spilled and in reaction to such injustice more and more terrorist groups are emerging.”
The Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat also used his address to counsel against all forms of extremism. He said that any form of extremism had to be outlawed, otherwise the consequences would be grave.
Referring to India specifically, he said that even though the country claimed to be secular, some Muslim extremists had penetrated the country and were already poisoning the society with their acts. He said that the Ahmadi Muslims of India were already being targeted and that the extremists were trying to influence the government to stop the peaceful and humanitarian activities of the Ahmadiyya community in India.
In response to such opposition, His Holiness said:
“Ahmadi Muslims can never, and will never, stop worshipping the One God and following the practice of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). However I say to those who believe in justice and equality, that if you yield to the extremists for the sake of apparent political benefit then your country will no doubt become immersed in strife. If you allow such groups to spread then it will lead to nothing but a moral decline.”
His Holiness concluded by saying that there remained hope and this hope was based upon the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which were of peace, brotherhood and mutual love. To achieve these aims, throughout his life the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) made sacrifice after sacrifice and in this era it is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat who continue to follow in his footsteps. His Holiness said that all Ahmadi Muslims must therefore understand their responsibilities.
His Holiness said:
“Is it enough for us to simply call ourselves Ahmadi Muslims? Will this be enough to develop peace in the world? No! To achieve peace we must first understand the pain that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) felt for all of mankind. Our every act and our every effort should be towards ending all forms of cruelty. By developing true justice we must do Jihad against cruelty itself. Our Jihad will not be conducted by any weapons or might but simply through our prayers for all of humanity. This is the only way that peace and love can develop in society.”