After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’wwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated:
Alhamdulillah, by the grace of Allah the Exalted, the Jalsa Salana (annual convention) of the United Kingdom concluded last Sunday, having manifest the blessings and grace of God Almighty. The three days (of the Jalsa) were very blessed. Although, the preparations for Jalsa Salana take place all year round, but the management and the many volunteers specially engage themselves in the preparations of the Jalsa in the last three to four months. The number of the volunteers increases significantly in the two weeks (prior to Jalsa.) In order to provide all the facilities at Hadeeqatul Mahdi, the workers work to their utmost capacities. It is not an ordinary task to construct a temporary city with all the adequate facilities in a place which is almost a jungle. Moreover, the workers are not professionals of the work they carry out. Everything that we accomplish and the results we obtain is due to the grace of Allah the Exalted. It is God Almighty alone who blesses these efforts in an extraordinary manner.
The guests who attend also express their astonishment by seeing the motivation of the workers. The number of the people working prior to Jalsa increases manifold during the Jalsa itself, which includes the youth, elderly, children, men and women. For non-Muslim guests it is an extraordinary sight as to how the young and the old are all devoted to their duties. The way these people express their sentiments is truly remarkable. In addition to commenting on the service provided by the workers, they also say that the Jalsa has had a special impact on them and has changed their lives. Thus, on the one hand, Jalsa is a means of strengthening the faith and increasing the brotherhood among our own people and on the other hand it serves as a means of conveying the true message of Islam to others. I will now present some of the sentiments which show how much the blessings of Jalsa affect others too.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) read out many faith-inspiring quotations from many respected guests admiring the organisation, peace, tranquillity and atmosphere of Jasla. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) said that I would also like to mention that once again, approximately 140 Khuddam came from Canada to help with the wind up. They have fulfilled this task in an excellent manner. Aside from them, I would also like to thank all those from the UK who helped in the wind up. In addition to this, the UK Tabligh Department had the opportunity to hold seminars and question and answer sessions, as well as five exhibitions: the Al-Quran exhibition, in which the beautiful teachings of the Quran were highlighted by displaying different types of Qurans, there was a speech competition about the (life and character of the) Holy Prophet (sa). This was in response to the hate campaign initiated by the Dutch politician (Geert) Wilders. Many non-Ahmadi and non-Muslim Europeans took part in this contest.
The broadcast of the Jalsa Salana through various means was as follows: Alislam website was visited 862,000 times and number of videos watched was 218,000. The number of online and print outlets that covered the Jalsa numbered 53, on radio the Jalsa was broadcast in 20 news reports and four news reports were covered on television. The total number of reports was 70, which reached more than 26 million people. Among the well-known television channels and media outlets which covered the Jalsa included: the BBC, ITV, BBC Arabic service, The Economist, The Express newspaper, The Independent, the Huffington Post, LBC, Capital Radio, Alton Herald, London Live. Aside from these, 19 regional BBC radio stations gave airtime to our representatives, which provided coverage for a large area. Journalists were present from all over the world and following their return to their countries they would also cover the Jalsa through print media and electronic media, as well as through documentaries. Speaking about the Ladies Jalsa Gah (event hall), a female journalist said: “I had an opportunity to attend the Jalsa last year, however, I was unable to visit the ladies’ section, but this year I managed to see it. I must admit that your (Ahmadi) women are more educated and engaging than the men. They had complete freedom and seemed very sincere to their community. This experience has completely changed my perspective.”
The Jalsa was covered across the African continent and this year, 15 television channels broadcast the Jalsa including; Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Benin, Uganda, Mali, Congo-Brazzaville and for the first time Burundi Television channel broadcast the Jalsa as well. Each journalist wrote stories for their respective channels. In total, across the African continent, the Jalsa coverage reached 50 million people. In this regard hundreds of people have sent their comments which shows that they have watched the coverage.
People commented on other departments including the photo exhibition, Review of Religions, Archives, Al Hakam exhibition and through these people were able to learn about the history of the Jamaat. In the Jalsa administration as well as the exhibitions were all organised by volunteers. As is clear from the sentiments of the people attending Jalsa, all the volunteers were carrying out silent tabligh, children, women and men alike. Therefore, after expressing gratitude to God Almighty, all the participants of the Jalsa should be grateful to all the workers and should also pray for them. May Allah enable them to serve in the future as well.
I would also like to express my gratitude to all the workers, both men and women. May Allah reward them and enable them to offer greater sacrifice in the future; and also make them helpers of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. All the workers should render thanks to God Almighty, all the volunteers should first and foremost give thanks to God Almighty that He enabled them to fulfil their duties. Without the help of God Almighty it would not have been possible to carry out this task. May Allah enable everyone to increase in humility and may they be protected from all forms of arrogance that could be borne out of the service they have carried out and the praise they have received.