The three-day 36th Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Canada concluded on Sunday 8th July 2012 with a powerful and faith inspiring address by the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Fifth Khalifa.
The Annual Convention was held at the International Centre, Mississauga and was attended by more than 18,000 people from across Canada and twenty three other countries. The conference was also broadcast live on MTA International globally. Apart from the thousands of Ahmadis in attendance, over 1,000 guests, including more than 70 dignitaries participated in the Concluding session.
The presence of Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who had travelled from London to attend the Convention, led to a highly emotional and charged atmosphere as the Ahmadi Muslims were overwhelmed at being in the presence of the Khalifa.
His Holiness used his address to speak about the Institution of Khilafat itself. He said that according to the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, the Khalifa of the Promised Messiah, was Divinely appointed and thus was God’s Chosen representative on earth.
His Holiness said that the support and help of God Almighty was with the Khilafat and this had been repeatedly proved by countless signs in its favour.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Today, nobody can raise the allegation that the progress of our Jamaat has halted or, God forbid, gone backwards. In fact even those who oppose us are forced to admit that the speed with which the Jamaat is progressing is ever increasing and it is spreading to all parts of the world. Hence this proves that the Khalifa is appointed through God’s Election.”
His Holiness said that from the most humble beginnings, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat had now spread to 200 countries across the world and that this was in itself an example of Allah’s support for the Jamaat.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that even in the most remote towns and villages of the world, where there was no electricity or water available, Allah the Almighty had instilled the love of the Ahmadiyya Khilafat in the hearts of the local people.
Thereafter, His Holiness narrated a number of examples from various parts of the world where people who had come to accept Ahmadiyyat after seeing guiding signs. Many people who had never heard of the Jamaat had seen dreams or other divine signs that had led them towards accepting Ahmadiyyat as the true Islam.
Earlier in the session, various dignitaries also took to the stage and spoke at the Convention. Ontario’s Minister of Community Services, Margaret Best, spoke of how she was ‘honoured to be in the presence of His Holiness, who is such a champion of religious freedom’.
Pakistan’s Acting Consul-General, Muhammad Imran Chaudhary congratulated the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat ‘on holding such a magnificent Jalsa’. He also said that the State of Pakistan could learn from the organisation and discipline of the Jamaat.
Sean Casey MP, from Prince Edward Island, praised the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat for its ‘peaceful, tolerant and just values’.
The Mayor of the City of Vaughan, Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua said that all 300,000 citizens of Vaughan welcomed Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad to the city and said that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat constantly ‘displayed all forms of love through its actions’.
Senator Salma Ataullahjan said that events such as the Jalsa Salana were a means of ‘promoting unity and thus very important’.
Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Charles Sousa, said:
“On behalf of the Premier, Government and people of Ontario, I would like to thank His Holiness for his leadership. We are very fortunate to be able to welcome His Holiness once again.”
Speaker of the House of Ontario’s Parliament, Hon Dave Levac said:
“Your Holiness, I stand before you, humbled by your presence and grateful to be before you. I thank you for coming here and sharing your wisdom, leadership and faith. Thank you for showing us that love conquers all.”
The first ‘Sir Zafrulla Khan Distinguished Public Service Award’ was also presented during the concluding session of the Jalsa Salana by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad to Hon. Greg Sorbara, a member of Ontario’s Provincial Parliament. He was honoured for his long term public service to Canada.
Upon accepting the award he spoke of his great pride at being the first ever recipient. He spoke also of his respect for Sir Zafarulla Khan after whom the award has been named. He said that Sir Zafarulla had proved to be ‘one of the great men of the past 150 years’ in the world.
The Jalsa Salana concluded with a silent prayer led by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.