By the Grace of Allah the Almighty, the 24th Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Australia commenced on the 21st of March 2008. This was a significant Jalsa as the Khilafat Centenary is being celebrated this year. Though the formal opening of this spiritual gathering was scheduled after Friday prayers, the traditional inspection of all the departments by National Ameer Sahib, Maulana Mahmood Ahmad took place early in the morning. Contrary to the weather of autumn it was drizzling since sunrise, but still many members of the Jamaat from Sydney and interstate had turned up early.
The Ameer and Missionary-Incharge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Australia, Maulana Mahmood Ahmad started the inspection at 10:20 am. He was accompanied by Afsar Jalsa Salana, Mohammad Sarwar Shah and other members of the planning team. Afsar Jalsa Salana took Ameer Sahib to the different departments of Jalsa Salana and introduced him with the volunteers and gave him a brief idea about the preparation.
Ameer Sahib along with his companion started his inspection from the registration department. Incharge of registration explained the process of registration and all the members of the registration team were introduced to Ameer Sahib. The next stop was at the bookstall where all the newly published books were displayed beautifully. Ameer Sahib appreciated the effort of the whole bookstall team.
Then the inspection team moved onto the security and guard room, reception area, accommodation, lost and found team, transportation team, first aid team and tarbiyyat department. Ameer Sahib had a few quick words with all of them. He was concerned about the accommodation facilities provided by the accommodation team.
Ablution area and public toilets were the next places visited by the team. Before hand they met food service team. The team then moved to the “Langar Khana” (the kitchen and food providing department) and got informed about their preparation. At the same time food store, cleaning and hygiene, electricity and plumbing department were visited.
After visiting all these departments, Ameer Sahib and his team took a walk to see the main Jalsa Gah for men. Ameer Sahib was very much delighted to see the stage and hall room, which included the beautiful display of banners of verses from the Holy Quran and valuable sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his servant Promised Messiah (AS). The team who took endless effort to make the hall area and stage attractive were credited. The M.T.A. (Muslim Television Ahmadiyya) Australia department was the last stop for the whole team to inspect. This inspection journey ended up at 11:20 am. Then Ameer Sahib moved to visit the Jalsa Gah for women and the various stalls set up by the Lajna.
The Friday sermon was delivered by Mr. Khalid Saifullah at 1:30 pm, which addressed the purpose of Jalsa Salana through the words of the Promised Messiah (AS). The sermon addressed issues such as gaining benefits from the Jalsa through participation and continuous prayer. This was followed by Friday prayers and then a Nikkah ceremony was held. The Nikkah ceremony was read by Ameer Sahib for the matrimonial bond of Syed Tariq Ahmad, son of Syed Mobashir Ahmad and grandson of Late Sahabi Syed Wazarat Hussein with Rukhsana Khan, daughter of Farhad Jan Khan. Silent prayers were led by Ameer Sahib for the new couple and then sweets were distributed.
Flag Hoisting Ceremony
The 23rd Annual Convention was officially commenced with the flag hoisting ceremony. The Ahmadiyya Jamaat flag was raised by worthy Ameer Australia, Mahmood Ahmad Shahid and the Australian flag was hoisted by Safdar Javed Chaudhry, President of the Community in Melbourne.
The opening session of the Jalsa Salana started at 3:00 pm with Khalid Saifullah, Naib Ameer of Jamaat Ahmadiyya Australia being the chairperson. Qamar Ahmad recited verses from the Holy Quran, which was followed by a religious poem from Faheem Ejaz. The first speech of this session was delivered by Mudassir Mahmood. The topic was “Life of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)”. In his speech he said that Allah has created human beings from His love. He instructed us to show love towards God and human beings. Both kinds of love were reflected by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He taught people about the unity of God through his words and deed throughout his life. All the divine characters of Allah were bestowed upon him to an extreme extent.
The second speaker was Maulana Mahmood Ahmad, Ameer and Missionary-Incharge. His topic was Hazrat Abu Bakar (ra). In his speech he described the character of Hazrat Abu Bakar (ra), who was accepted by the Holy Prophet unconditionally, so he was called Siddique. He was beloved by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and was regarded the most superior person amongst all the followers. He was the first successor of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). During his Khilafat he continued to follow the mission of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The period of his Khilafat was 2 years and 3 months. During his period of time he established the golden principles and continued the manifesto of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and united the Muslim Ummah under one leadership. That is why the Promised Messiah (AS) regarded him as the 2nd Adam of Islam.
Hazrat Umar (ra) was the topic of the next speech and delivered by Khalil Sheikh. During the early stage of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prayed to Allah to strengthen Islam and give him either Umar bin Hisam or Umar bin Khattab. Allah listened to his prayer and on the very next day Umar bin Khattab came to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and accepted Islam. Ten years of his Khilafat was the golden period for Islam. He followed the footstep of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Some of his great deeds were the establishment of Majlis Shura, the Islamic calendar, foundation of schools and mosques and spreading the message of Islam around the world.
Finally, Nasir Mohammed Kahlon presented a brief resolution stating that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Australia had become a member of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission due to the increase in the size of the Jamaat in terms of numbers and capital.
The opening session was concluded at 5pm with silent prayers led by Khalid Saifullah.
Majlis Shura and dinner was followed by this, which brought a successful end to the first day of this historic Khilafat Centenary Jalsa Salana.
Syed Tariq Ahmad and Manzoor Ahmad Khan reporting
Ahmadiyya Australia News Team
Day 1 - From Ladies Vantage Point
By the grace of Allah, Friday the 21st of March marked the beginning of the proceedings for the 24th Jalsa Salana, Annual Convention 2008 in Australia. This Convention is a worldwide phenomenon held every year by various Ahmadiya Organisations across the world. It was originally started by the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) in 1891, and was held in Qadian in India.
Yet another overcast morning greeted Convention goers again this year, however spirits were not dampened, nor were people deterred from coming. The car park was filling fast with vehicles from all different states within the country.
Ladies and girls began to enter for the day’s activities early in the morning. The reception and hospitality teams were there in full force to greet them and to provide breakfast. All duty holders as well as interstate guests could be seen mingling and greeting one another.
Tents lined pathways and colourful banners adorned the Ladies Hall thus creating an energising atmosphere. Ladies and girls could be seen flitting in and out of the various marquees, particularly the Exhibition marquee where various hand made items were up on display.
On this particular day an inspection of the Ladies area was to be held by Maulana Mahmood Ahmad, the National Ameer(President) and Missionary In charge. Around 11:20am, the Inspection team made their way from the Men's area to be greeted by the President of Lajna Imaillah, Women's Auxiliary, Mrs. Tamseela Saleh and her team. They made their way through the mosque from the main hall to the Guest Marquee. The delegation then entered the hospitality and food area followed by the marquee reserved for mothers with younger children. Next to be inspected was the exhibition marquee, where the female members of the community showcase their hard work and effort throughout the entire year. Some pieces of work were handmade which will later be judged in the annual competition. After inspecting the childcare and registration areas, the delegation made their way back to the Men's area.
The National Ameer(President) and Missionary In charge had a few words for the duty holders. He primarily talked about teamwork and the necessity to help each other specifically in terms of winding up after the Convention proceedings. Lunch was served at 1pm, with Friday prayers soon after.
The first session began with the flag hoisting and then the ladies were directed to the main convention hall for the remainder of the session. The session lasted for just over an hour beginning with the recitation of the Holy Quran. After which, a mixture of speeches and poems were read and the session was concluded with silent prayers.
Reported by: Embreen Khan,Ayesha Rashid Khan &Tooba Khan
News Team - Ladies & Families
Signing off Ahmadiyya Australia Technical Team at 12.30am - See you again tommorrow with the proceedings of Day 2
( - 22.03.08)