The 3rd session of the 24th Annual Convention commenced at 10:10am on the 23rd of March 2008. The clouds had cleared up after two days of overcast conditions and the sun finally shone through. There were a number of guests from outside the Ahmadiyya Community who attended this session, including members of the Sikh community, Church representatives, Red Cross Australia representatives, Councillors and other guests.
The session was chaired by Musa Bin Masran and began with the recitation and translation of the Holy Quran by Nasir Ahmad Sharma. A beautifully delivered nazm was followed by Syed Fawaz Ahmad. A few messages from various dignitaries were read out next by Dr. Omar Shahab Khan, which included messages from MP Louise Markus who attended the 2nd day of the Convention as well as MP Roger Price, who both offered their best wishes for the Convention. Members of the Blacktown Council and Councillors of various nations sent their good wishes and apologies for not attending the Convention.
Speech 1: Service for Humanity
The first speech of the session was made by Ehsan Alvi on the topic: “Ahmadiyya Muslim Community: Services for Humanity.This was an informative talk with the speaker using a power point slide presentation to assist with his speech. Firstly, Quranic verses were quoted advising Muslims to serve humanity and to do good to one another no matter what colour, creed or race the person is. The speaker then mentioned some sayings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and teachings of the Promised Messiah (as) highlighting that sympathy for all mankind is a moral obligation and a duty for all Muslims.
Then the services to humanity carried out by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community around the World were outlined, including the various programs and projects run by Humanity First, such as Water for Life, Orphan Care and Gift of Sight. The major disaster relief efforts carried out by Humanity First were then mentioned such as the Asian Tsunami of December 2004 and the large-scale earthquake in Northern Pakistan in October 2005. By the Grace of Allah the Almighty, Humanity First is now established in 25 countries around the World. The speaker continued by mentioning the different humanitarian efforts made by the Ahmadiyya Community of Australia, which consist of the Clean Up Australia Day, the Red Cross Door Knock Appeal, blood donations, Walkathon for the Royal Institute of Deaf and Blind Children, activities to raise funds for international disaster relief and campaign to support the Blind Dog Association.
The Regional Manager of Red Cross Australia, Jennifer Savage then gave a power point slide presentation on the activities of Red Cross and Red Crescent, followed by a talk on how the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Australia could interact even more with Red Cross Australia then they already do.
Speech 2: Globar Warming and Enviornmental Issues
The second speech of the day was delivered by Dr. Riaz Akbar on the topic: “Global Warming and Environmental Issues: The Islamic Perspective.” This was an extremely enlightening speech started by the speaker explaining the inter-relationship of the natural phenomena outlined in the Holy Quran. He then discussed the issue of climate change and its effect and implications. Sayings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) were also mentioned in regards to environmental issues. Protection of vegetation was pointed out as well, as the Holy Prophet (PBUH) always encouraged the plantation of trees. Conservation of resources was also discussed and the Holy Quran teaches us to eat and drink in moderation as contentment is a virtue. The Earth's resources need to be used wisely and with thought as they are not unlimited. The connection between the environment and war was also talked about. Conflicts will increase, which in turn will affect the environment, as land mines and bombs will destroy agricultural lands and infrastructure will be destroyed to just name a few examples. The speaker stressed that there are tough times ahead for us humans as we have brought this upon ourselves. It is time to turn to God more than ever and become those who put humanity always first in their lives and keep the motto Love for All, Hatred for None, at the forefront of their minds.
Speech 3: Khilafat in Islam
The 3rd and final speech of this session was presented by Khalid Saifullah Khan on Khilafat in Islam. Khilafat means succession and the Khalifa spreads the message of the Prophet, looks after the spiritual needs to the Community and unites the Community as one. The Khilafat in Islam and then the Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya was discussed in great depth with references from the Holy Quran, hadeeth and writings of the Promised Messiah (as). It was a very knowledgeable speech and the audience would have gained a lot from it.
Views from Guests
Cathy Collins, Councillor of Blacktown City Council then addressed the audience by congratulated the Ahmadiyya Community on the Convention and the 100 years of Khilafat. She thanked the Community for inviting her, praised and commended the contribution and effort made by the Ahmadiyya Community of Australia for the Clean Up Australia Day and talked about the multi-cultural diversity present in this nation.
Father Herman, a priest from the Blacktown Catholic Church and an active member of the Holy Family Centre in Mount Druitt then gave a brief talk as well. He congratulated the Ahmadiyya Community on a successful Convention and he pointed out that he shared the same issues and concerns as the Ahmadiyya Community does in regards to humanity and the environment. He talked about wanting the Catholics and Muslims to work together even more on these issues.
Aqeeqas, Lunch & Prayers
Finally, Dr. Omar Shahab Khan announced 3 aqeeqas, which were as follows:
Master Noman Latif, son of Abdul Latif of Canberra.
Miss Azka Raghiba Nizam, daughter of Bahsir Ahmad of Canberra.
Master Hammad Tahir Zia, son of Tahir Ahmad Zia of Adelaide.
The session was brought to and end at 1:00pm. Lunch was served after this for everyone including all the guests from outside the Community. Zuhr/Asr prayers were offered in congregation next and then the 4th and final session of the 24th Annual Convention commenced.
The final session of the 24th Annual Convention started at 2:45pm with Maulana Mahmood Ahmad, Ameer and Missionary In-Charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Australia being the chairperson. The session began with the recitation and translation from the Holy Quran by Rana Ejaz, which was followed by a religious poem (nazm) by Zafar Mustafa that left the audience in a trance. The chairperson mentioned that this is a historical day in the history of the Ahmadiyya Movement, because on this day in 1889 the founder of this Movement, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (as) first took Bait (taking oath of allegiance to a righteous leader; initiation at the hands of a Prophet or his Khalifa) from some of his followers. Hence, Ameer Sahib announced that this session should be dedicated in memory of this historical event. He said that Allah promised to Promise Messiah (as) that He would give him a Jamaat of righteous people and He would look after them and multiply the number of followers and the beauty of the Jamaat would illuminate throughout the world.
Speech 1: Life of Promised Messiah (as)
The speech was delivered in Urdu by Mirza Imran Ahsan Karim on the life of . Promised Messiah (as). He was a descendant of a renowned Barlas family. Since his childhood he occupied himself in prayer and remembrance of Allah. The speech was informative with some important events of his life. In the year 1889 he took bait (initiation) from his followers and initiated the Jamaat. His whole was devoted to the service of Islam. Soon before his death, he received several revelations from Allah regarding his demise. He wrote a book in this regard, “Al Wasiyyat (The Will). The Promised Messiah (AS) died on 26 May 1908.
Speech 2: The Promised Messiah Revival of Islam
The speaker of this speech was Manzoor Qadir Khan and he pointed towards different contributions of the Promised Messiah (as) in favor of Islam. The mission of the Promised Messiah (as) was to revive and glorify Islam. On the time of his arrival, Islam was at the edge of a deep dark fall. Many Muslims had converted to Christians; the other religions stood against Islam and were trying to disgrace Islam. On this crucial moment, the Promised Messiah (as) stood on the side of Islam and protested against all the false allegations. To establish the truth of Islam he wrote “Brahin-e-Ahmadiyya,” which was praised by all the Muslim scholars. To preach and inform the real beauty of Islam he published the monthly magazine “Review of Religions.” Throughout his lifetime he fought for Islam through his writings and speeches.
Speech 3: Promised Messiah’s Love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH)
Malik Imran Ahmad was the speaker of this next speech that portrayed the love of the Promised Messiah (as) to his beloved master The Holy Prophet (PBUH). The Promised Messiah (as) said that whatever he received from Allah was due to his love towards the Holy Prophet (saw). He used to pray durood in remembrance of The Holy Prophet (PBUH). The whole life of the Promised Messiah (as) testifies his love to The Holy Prophet (PBUH). The Promised Messiah (as) kept so much love for his master The Holy Prophet (PBUH) that whenever he heard his name he used to cry and tears dropped down from his eyes. He could not tolerate a single word against The Holy Prophet (PBUH). He was the true lover and follower of The Holy Prophet (PBUH) and hence, the character of Holy Prophet (PBUH) reflected on him.
Ameer Sahib delivered the concluding speech of this Jalsa Salana in front of the gathering. He mentioned that with the Grace of Almighty Allah the Jalsa Salana had come to a successful end. It was inspiring that a good number of children attended this Jalsa, who will take over the responsibilities of the Jamaat in future. Mentioning the importance of the scheme “Waqf-e-Nau,” he said that it is the utmost sacrifice of the members. He said entering into the scheme is not enough rather it is the first step. Parents play the principle role in upbringing the children. Parents should follow the schedule given by the Jamaat and bring their children to Jamaat’s activities. More and more Waqf-e-Nau children should dedicate their lives to become missionaries, which was the core reason of this scheme.
Ameer Sahib then drew the attention of the audience towards the Khilafat Centenary. Instructions have come from the supreme Head of the Ahmadiyya Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) through his sermons. Every member should listen to the Friday sermons and try to work accordingly. It is the responsibility of every Ahmadi to follow the instructions as per the pledge and bait. He also mentioned that there are few people who have query about the continuation of this Khilafat in comparison to the Khulafa-e-Rashedin. Basically it is those people who have little relation with Jamaat who raise these questions. It is the promise of Allah with the Promised Messiah (as) that he will continue this Khilafat till the Day of Judgement. If we do not follow the words of Allah and His messengers, He will raise a different group of people to complete the mission of the Promised Messiah (as). Despite of all the hostilities prevalent, by the Grace of Almighty Allah this Movement is established in over 190 countries. At last he conveyed his thanks and gratitude towards all the volunteers and the participants of the Jalsa Salana for their endless effort. The session ended up with silent prayers led by Ameer Sahib at 4:30pm, with the members of the Ahmadiyya Community leaving with a spiritual uplifting and anticipation towards the next Jalsa Salana.
The total attendance of the 24th Jalsa Salana of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Australia was 1047.
Syed Tariq Ahmad & Manzoor Ahmad Khan reporting reporting
Sunday the 23rd of March marked the final day of the Annual Convention. The familiar cold and rain that people had started to get accustomed to, took a pleasant turn. Members and guests were instead greeted with the comforting warmth of the sun, which was a bright start to the day.
As this was the final day of the Annual Gathering, members arrived early in the morning for proceedings to start on time. The first session started with the recitation of the Holy Quran, followed by a Nazm (poem) and a combination of speeches. Various guests from different faiths also attended this session and were invited to speak to the gathering.
During lunch, in the Ladies area, guests were being looked after by the hospitality team. Upon the conclusion of lunch, guests were shown around the Mosque and also various parts of the Exhibition Marquee, of which they took a particular interest in the handmade items displayed.
The Ladies web team meanwhile, was out and about amongst the general gathering to discover their feelings and experiences while attending the Annual Convention here in Australia. Many members and guests were talked to.
The first, a young lady, Abida Siddiqui, visiting from London, England, said that she “loves the closeness of the community here, and how everyone is so friendly, is gives you a sense of comfort and belonging”. By the Grace of God, we are indeed blessed to have such a community, that no matter where in the world one goes, it always feels like home.
The next guest whom we had the privilege to speak to was Erum Chawdry. Erum converted from Buddhism to Ahmadiyyat about 12 years ago in England at the hand of the fourth Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (ra). She spent 2 years in England and then moved to Canada, where she has lived for the last 10 years. She was asked her feelings towards the Australian Convention in regards to it being smaller in scale than the previous two countries she has lived in. Her response was that in comparison, Australian members are “extremely friendly, organised, welcoming and within the convention grounds, there is no chance of getting lost”.
The Ladies web team members found it a privilege and a joy in speaking to all guests and thank them for taking time out to speak to us. We pray for their safe travel back to their home countries and states within Australia and look forward to seeing them in the next Annual Convention, God willing.
Prayers were then offered after the lunch break and the final session commenced with a recitation from the Holy Quran, followed by a Nazm (poem) and various speeches. The closing address by the National Ameer, (President) and Missionary In charge, Maulana Mahmood Ahmad, was then delivered; after which the session was concluded with a silent prayer.
Emotions were high now, as the event had come to a close. Many new and old friends had been met and it was time to once again say farewell until next years Gathering. This will be most eagerly anticipated as we will, God willing, once again be blessed with the presence of our beloved Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (atba), for the Khilafat Centenary Convention 2009.
With this the Ladies and Families team sign off. It has been a privilege and joy bringing you the highlights of this most extraordinary three-day Convention. God willing, we will meet again next year, till then we pray that may God keep you all in his safe Grace. Amen.
Reported by:Embreen Khan,Ayesha Rashid Khan &Tooba Khan
Reported by News Team - Ladies & Families
Ahmadiyya Australia Technical Team Signs off at 011.51pm (AEST) - Please remember the web team in your kindest prayers who worked tirelessly to bring this Jalsa to you.
(God Bless you)
( - 23.03.08)