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Thankfulness in terms of the safe and sound conclusion of the 41st Jalsa Salana UK

Summary of Friday Sermon

delivered by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

August 3rd, 2007

NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon

Huzur based his Friday Sermon on the subject of thankfulness in terms of the safe and sound conclusion of the 41st Jalsa Salana UK. Huzur said the UK Jalsa has had an international dimension to it for sometime now and as long as Khilafat is based here it shall remain so. In this respect the responsibility of the UK Jama’at has increased manifold and its men, women, children and the elderly understand this well and fulfil their obligation.

Huzur said that as all knew and saw on MTA that the wet weather in UK prior to the Jalsa and indeed during Jalsa had been extreme. While the organisers had to deal with some problems due to this inclement weather, the attendees too faced some inconvenience. The car-parking system fell into chaos, however, apart from a few exceptions, people did not complain. Huzur said the incidents of displays of impatience of a few that have come to his notice did not leave a good impression on the new converts and others. Huzur said the case in point of our Community is like that of a white linen sheet. Even a tiny mark of another colour would show on it. There is a great need that Ahmadis demonstrate courtesy and civility, for this is our distinction, indeed, it should be our distinction. It is most important to be ever mindful of one’s standing as an Ahmadi. If some display impatience and intolerance others should counsel them reminding them that the objective for which they have come for the Jalsa does not allow such conduct. Huzur said those who expressed negativity should profusely engage in Istaghfar. However, the majority of people were cooperative and may Allah reward those who exercised fortitude and resilience.

Huzur said one advantage the bad weather presented is that the attention of the Jalsa organisers has been drawn to the problems arising from such a situation. Apart from a few early Jalsas, most Jalsas have taken place in Islamabad with great ease as the weather has also remained temperate. Besides, the soil in Islamabad is suitably compacted due to constant use over the years. Two years ago the Rushmoor Arena provided a purpose-built venue and the rainfall was also limited to Jalsa days. Therefore thoughts did not turn to envisaging worse case scenario. This year, however, Allah has drawn attention to many organisational aspects. Ameer Sahib UK and the other organisers were extremely anxious during the Jalsa and it is hoped that they will plan better in the future. Whatever comes from Allah leads one to betterment, not only will there be improvement in the specific matters that were highlighted due to the extreme weather this year, rather upon reflection attention will be diverted to those aspects that have a remote possibility of materialisation.

It is correct of some to say that Allah has thus provided an opportunity to organise and plan for the Jalsa 2008 in the best possible manner. If the British embassies around the world are generous in granting visas, it is likely that next year the Jalsa attendance is increased by ten thousand people of the regular attendance. No matter what the total number of guests the UK Jama’at can take care of them. However, some weak points have now been identified and they will improve on them.

Huzur said this year alternative parking arrangements were made but the mistake was made to allow the drivers to let their passengers get off at Hadeeqa tul Mahdi before proceeding to the alternate site from where they were ferried in buses. The disembarking of passengers caused a huge queue of cars on the main road and the police got flustered, although football matches and such like cause similar traffic jams but this incident involved Muslims so their bother was evident. Some cars were parked outside people’s drives and caused agitation. There was unpleasantness and this system did not prove successful. Most Ahmadis displayed patience and resilience but a few caused problems and their coarseness caused upset among men women children and also the organisers and each had a story to tell. The attitude of the police also caused concern.

Huzur advised that the cars should have been driven straight to the alternate parking site where basic facilities like toilets and hot drinks could have been provided to the guests and they could have been ferried to the Jalsa site. Huzur said the traffic discipline could not be maintained due to illegally parked cars and the ferrying of the drivers to the Jalsa site. Each Ahmadis should be mindful that at all times in general and during community gatherings in particular each action of theirs reflects on the Community as a whole. Huzur advised that next year there should be adequate parking arrangements at Hadeeqa tul Mahdi and if car parking is to arranged in Islamabad then a few thousand car could be parked at Hadeeqa tul Mahdi while the others may be ferried via buses, which would be a swift and efficient way to transport people to Hadeeqa tul Mahdi. Huzur said there are a few things that we still cannot carry out at Hadeeqa tul Mahdi, for example the food for Jalsa is still cooked at Islamabad. In any case next year the Jalsa will be the Khilafat Centenary Jalsa so the organisers as well as people should be prepared.

Huzur said as he had given the examples of Jalsas in Pakistan and Africa and he felt that people here had shown similar resilience as they stood out in the rain most patiently, some had not even had eaten. Finding them in this state Huzur says he went up to them and found them completely relaxed. Huzur said the Community of the Promised Messiah is a wondrous community indeed, one feels great love for them. Huzur said he was most concerned for the guests and all night said Istaghfar for them and beseeched Allah on their behalf. When he saw the same faces the next day he was heartened. Huzur said he found out that due to the urgent nature of the implementation of the alternate planning some people did not get to eat, some heard the Jalsa in Islamabad, some at Bait tul Futuh and some even ended up in Fazl Mosque.

Huzur said that Ameer Sahib UK and the organisers have apologised for the inconveniences and he was sure that all the guests who were inconvenienced in any way would forgive and forget.

Huzur said that bulk of the problems that arose with the police would not have come to pass had the officer in charge been different. Last year the officer was a even-tempered person. In any case we now know that we need to put all matters to scrutiny and not to rely on assumptions and base our planning with the worse case scenario in mind.

In general that Jalsa organisation was very good. Most of the attendees as well as the police were appreciative of this later. We should be grateful that Allah made arrangements for our training it is indeed the task of a believer to continually improve and get better and better.

Huzur said it is his tradition that as a mark of thankfulness he expresses thanks to all those who volunteer to help at the Jalsa. Those who cook, who ferry the food, who provide drinking water, the transport people, the accommodation people, each volunteer did a great job and did not let the extreme weather conditions impede their task. Those born and bred here - whose parents are so concerned about their prospects of excellent adherence to the Community – performed very well. The muavineen (volunteer helpers) worked harder than labourers, some of them probably had never seen so much mud in their lives before, yet they eagerly helped in pushing cars that were stuck in the mud happily withstanding sprays of mud in the process.

Huzur said a guest who was a government minister from Uganda observed with great appreciation how the volunteers worked regardless of their academic qualification or social standing and only to gain Allah’s pleasure. Huzur said he told the minister that this indeed was the revolutionary change the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had brought about. Huzur said this enthusiasm is prevalent in the Community worldwide. Here the workers went about their duties in pouring rain all day and all night but did let the task in hand suffer. Some did not even have weatherproof clothing, Huzur said he asked Sadr Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya to provide them with weatherproof clothing but they could not get find any. Certainly, Huzur said, everyone had bought Wellington boots (rubber boots) to work in the muddy conditions and the shops were sold out.

Huzur prayed that may Allah grant excellent reward to all the workers and may He increase their faith. In light of the Hadith that one who is not grateful to people is not grateful to Allah, Huzur said he thanked all the volunteer workers.

Huzur said grateful people of Allah are also grateful to those who facilitate their comfort. There were some volunteers at Jalsa who barely slept during twenty four hours, each Ahmadi who attended the Jalsa is obligated to be grateful to them and pray for them; little girls, women, men, all worked most selflessly. The workers should also be grateful that they were enabled to be part of the army of the Messiah and serve others. The challenge of next year’s Jalsa is huge and everyone should be prepared for it and should not let the enthusiasm and fervour cool off.

Huzur said MTA also served the Jalsa in an excellent way. Ahmadis spread all over the world, in particular those in Pakistan are overwhelmed with a sense of gratefulness for the live transmissions of MTA for which the MTA workers worked extremely hard and are deserving of the gratitude of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Community. Many of MTA volunteers were exhausted due to the long hours spent in setting up the system ahead of Jalsa. One instance is of a volunteer falling off in the mud due to sheer exhaustion and falling asleep in there. Huzur said one could not come across such examples in worldly matters.

Huzur added that all the attending dignitaries expressed great appreciation of the arrangements and the programme and observed that the Islam presented here was indeed the true Islam. One person observed that the bad weather did not seem to have deflated the spirits of people, adding they could even offer their Salat in the open air on the mud if they had to.

Huzur said all this increases our sense of gratefulness. Members from the USA Jama’at told Huzur that the ambiance of this Jalsa was altogether special and overwhelming. Someone had mentioned to Huzur that owing to the weather ladies might not turn up at the Jalsa to which Huzur said he had said that those who care about their jewellery and clothes might not, the rest would certainly come.

Each Ahmadi who attended the Jalsa should be grateful and should continue to pray to stay grateful so that we may be the recipient of His pleasure. May He cover our faults. The UK Jalsa organisers will make use of the ‘red book’ in terms of making good any shortcomings, however, others around the world, in particular the countries where Huzur would be gracing the 2008 Jalsa should review the situation. We should always be mindful that sense of gratefulness is developed as taqwa is developed. Truly thankful is one who has fear of God and this Jalsa would be of any avail only if we seek the objective for which the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) advent took place.

Huzur said that he would say it one more time that each Ahmadi should be grateful that he/she has seen the age of the Messiah and that they have had the opportunity to attend the Jalsa that he initiated and have observed the sincerity of the volunteer workers.

May Allah enable everyone to be among those who understand the true essence of thankfulness.