The three-day 64th Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in the USA concluded on Sunday 1st 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 Expo Centre in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and was attended by more than 11,400 people from across the United States and numerous other countries. It was also broadcast live on MTA International globally.
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who had travelled from London, to attend the Convention, addressed various issues of importance during the concluding session. His presence led to a highly emotional and charged atmosphere as the Ahmadi Muslims were overwhelmed at being in the presence of the Khalifa, who Ahmadi Muslims believe to be Divinely appointed.
His Holiness began his address by speaking about the false prophet, John Alexander Dowie, who more than a hundred years ago was left humiliated and abandoned after he had failed to heed the warnings of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, to refrain from attacking the blessed character of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Speaking about Dowie’s humiliating decline, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Dowie’s entire life fell apart. He suffered from paralysis. His wife left him. His children died without ever marrying. And today we find no trace whatsoever of Dowie’s progeny anywhere in the world.”
In contrast, His Holiness reminded about the legacy left behind by the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him):
“Let us see and observe with what glory and magnificence Allah fulfilled His promise to the true servant of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw), of continuously increasing his spiritual and physical progeny. Indeed, the attendance of all of you here today is clear proof that the Promised Messiah(as) was, and is, most certainly truthful in his claim… Indeed this incident that occurred here in the United States compelled a well-known American newspaper to declare and to testify that: ‘Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is Great – The Messiah foretold pathetic end of Dowie.’”
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad also used his address to counsel about the dangers of consumerism and materialism. He said that the global financial crisis had highlighted the superficial nature of material wealth.
He said it was essential to realise that wealth or means did not equate to any form of superiority because the Holy Qur’an had clearly stated that the best amongst mankind were those who were righteous.
His Holiness said:
“Material wealth, worldly status, owning a large house or an expensive car does not make anyone honourable in the sight of Allah… Thus no one should ever feel pride at his worldly and material gains and should never think that he is deserving of more respect and honour than those who have less material wealth. We have all witnessed the results of the financial crisis that has struck the world over the past few years. Many people who were seemingly extremely wealthy have been forced into a life of hardship and bankruptcy.”
His Holiness spoke about spiralling levels of debt and credit that were the hallmark of a capitalist society. He said:
“A person may claim to be the owner of various possessions, but they have generally been acquired through the use of credit cards or through bank loans. Thus they are actually a means of consuming the purchaser into a life of debt.”
The Khalifa concluded his address with an inspiring message to all Ahmadi Muslims across the world. He said that they must prove to be a positive example to the people of the world by following the real and peaceful teachings of Islam.
His Holiness said:
“O people, who claim to have taken the pledge of the Messiah of the Age, become those who the Promised Messiah(as) described as the luscious and ever green branches of his blessed tree. Prove true the statement of the Promised Messiah(as) that you are a truthful Community. Prove to the world that you will make the wealth and successes of the material world your slave and your follower, rather than yourself becoming a slave of the material world.”