It was that time of the year again, where members of the Ahmadiyya Community of Australia gathered at the Bait-Ul-Huda Mosque in Sydney to participate in the Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana).
This was the 26th Jalsa Salana and preparations had begun a few months in advance to host this blessed gathering. Guests from Inter-State, including ACT, QLD, VIC, SA and WA started coming to the Bait-Ul-Huda Mosque on Thursday, the 1st of April 2010, a day prior to the commencement of the Jalsa. On this day, after Maghrib/Isha prayers, all the workers (around 250) of the Jalsa Salana gathered in the Mosque to listen to Ameer and Missionary In charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Australia, Maulana Mahmood Ahmad give advice to the members. The brief session began at 7:50 pm with the recitation and translation of the Holy Quran by Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman Sanauri. Ameer Sahib started his speech by highlighting that this Jalsa is the blessing of the Promised Messiah (as) and is not an ordinary gathering. He advised that all workers serve the guests with open hearts and smiles on their faces. One should feel happiness and satisfaction after serving the guests. He pointed out that the purpose of the Jalsa is to worship and remember Allah. Prayers should be offered 5 times a day in congregation with minimum as possible workers left on duty during prayers if needed. Ameer Sahib continued to advise that all muawins should cooperate with nazims and work as a team. The guests should also cooperate with the workers and overlook mistakes. Ameer Sahib further advised that everyone should keep an eye out in the surroundings for security reasons. If anyone or anything is seen that is not familiar, one should notify the head of security and should never panic. However, overall dua (prayer) is necessary as Allah is the best Protector. Ameer Sahib ended his talk with silent prayers at 8:10 pm.
On the 2nd of April 2010, inspection of the various departments of the Jalsa Salana commenced at 9:50 am. Prior to this earlier in the morning, Tahajjud prayers were offered at 5:10 am followed by Fajr prayers and Dars-Ul-Quran.
The Jalsa Salana organising committee and Ameer Sahib led the inspection with the first stop being the parking ground, where the parking plan was shown to Ameer Sahib. The inspection team then walked down to the Mosque car park, where only members with special passes could park. There were three separate parking passes, for specific ladies, nazims and disabled members.
Registration was the next department on the inspection tour. Ameer Sahib had his Jamaat membership card scanned as an example, with all members who had already got their Jamaat cards needed to go through the same process to get registered on a computerised system. Members with no Jamaat cards would be given manual registration cards. Next the following departments were briefly visited as they were all situated in one marquee, including tarbiyyat, reception, information, lost and found and homeopathy. The bookstall / exhibition marquee was next, where apart from a large variety of religious books in English and Urdu, there was a display of 52 Holy Qurans in various languages. These 52 are out of 69 languages that the Holy Quran has been translated by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Khidmat-e-Khalq / Security, the Jalsa Salana office, first aid and lajna coordination departments were then visited. The team then moved on to the accommodation marquees, where outdoor gas heaters were placed as well for the guests. Portaloos, showers and an ablution area were situated outside these marquees as well. The food service, electricity, maintenance, preparation and wind up, hygiene / cleaning, store / procurement and langar khana cleaning departments were next. There was also a special area designated for people who had special dietary needs.
Ameer Sahib then led the inspection team inside the mosque to inspect the Jalsa Gah and stage, where this year there was a large screen placed on the wall in one corner so that the audience at the back of the Jalsa Gah could view the proceedings. The MTA office was inspected next, where after the team went out to see the Langar Khana in the Khilafat Centenary Hall, which was being used for the first time in a Jalsa. There was also a television placed in the Langar Khana so that the kitchen workers could view the Jalsa proceedings while working. This brought an end to the inspection, where Ameer Sahib led silent prayers at 10:55 am and then had a taste of the lentils being cooked in the Langar Khana. After completing the inspection on the gents’ side, Ameer Sahib made his way to the ladies’ side for their inspection.
Lunch was served for everyone at midday and then members made their way inside the mosque for Friday prayers. The Friday sermon was delivered by Khalid Saifullah, Naib Ameer of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Australia. This was based on the speech given by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (aba) addressing the Lajna in Pakistan on the occasion of their annual Majlis-e-Shoora. Huzur (aba) gave certain directions to Jamaat members, firstly putting great emphasis on the five daily prayers. He said that the office bearers of different auxiliary organisations should be very particular about their prayers and should set examples for the rest of the Jamaat. Salat brings one closer to Allah and keeps one away from committing sins.
Huzur (aba) also pointed out that reciting the Holy Quran daily; preferably at dawn time is very favourable. He further emphasised the importance of reading the books and writing of the Promised Messiah (as), as these Godly words not only increase one’s knowledge but provide spiritual enlightenment as well. The speaker continued by stating that Huzur (aba) advised all Jamaat members to stay away from the social practices that are based on extravagant expenses; in weddings for example. One should follow the simple path at all times. Huzur (aba) also instructed Jamaat members to use to Internet in the proper way and parents should guide their children towards the true Islamic path. Finally, Huzur (aba) expressed that the Ahmadiyya Jamaat are fortunate to have the blessings of Khilafat. Therefore, it is the responsibility of each Jamaat members to stay connected with the Khalifa of the time and follow his guidance.
After the Friday prayers, it was time for the flag hoisting. After experiencing a cool morning, the sun had come out and it was turning out to be quite a warm day. At 2:45 pm, with all the Jamaat members gathered around, Ameer Sahib raised the Australian Flag while the Ahmadiyya Jamaat Flag was raised by Mirza Mahmood Ahmad, who was here from London to audit the finances of the Australian Jamaat and at the same time attend the Jalsa. As the flags fluttered in the sky, religious slogans were raised with passion from various Jamaat members. Ameer Sahib led silent prayers once both flags were hoisted.
The opening session of the 26th Annual Convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Australia commenced at 3:10 pm. This was chaired by Ameer Sahib and began with the recitation and Urdu translation of the Holy Quran by Mohammed Tahir Majoka. Dr. Omar Shahab Khan then read the English translation of the verses recited. Next, a nazm (religious poem) was read by Saqib Mahmood Atif in the most melodious tone.
Ameer Sahib then proceeded to deliver his opening speech. He prayed for all the participants taking part in this sacred gathering. The first Jalsa Salana was held in 1981 by the Promised Messiah (as). From those humble beginnings in Qadian, Jalsa Salana is now held in all corners of the World through the blessings of the Promised Messiah (as). Hence, the foundation of this Jalsa was laid by Allah and it should be an enjoyable, knowledgeable and spiritual occasion. Ameer Sahib stressed that the Jalsa organisation body should follow the guidelines of the Promised Messiah (as), hence be patient and hard working. On the other hand, the audience and participants need to show high levels of decency, manners and obedience. Allah is the overall Protector, but all members need to be aware of their surroundings and make security their responsibility as well. Wastage of water and electricity should be eliminated and time should be spent listening to the speeches attentively. Positive talks should be encouraged and foul talk avoided. Spiritual and moral elevation should be achieved during the Jalsa. Ameer Sahib also advised parents to mind their children and finally pray for the success of the Jalsa. He ended his speech by stating that each Jamaat member should aim to clean their minds and hearts to become roses in the garden of the Promised Messiah (as).
The next speaker was Mohammed Amjad Khan, Sadr Majlis Ansarullah, who spoke in Urdu on the topic of ‘The Holy Prophet (PBUH) as a Father.’ In the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) day, daughters used to be killed when born as parents only wanted sons. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) abolished this act and further instructed everyone to take care of the needs of orphans and raise them. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) made sure that inheritance shares went to both sons and daughters. Expenditure on children with good intentions holds great reward. The speaker quoted a number of prayers in the Holy Quran in relation to parents and then went further on to state that good tarbiyyat is the best gift a father can give to his children. One should not even lie to children jokingly as children then think that lying is acceptable. Finally, various excerpts from the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) life were relayed on his behaviour, attitude, love and respect shown to his children, showing that the best and greatest example for all mankind is that of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), which is echoed in the Promised Messiah (as) sayings as well.
Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman Sanauri, National Secretary Waqf-e-Nau, then spoke in Urdu on the topic of ‘Waqf-e-Nau Scheme and Our Responsibilities.’ This Scheme was initiated by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IV (ra), hence the speaker highlighted various excerpts and talks from the 4th Khalifa (ra) in relation this Scheme. To sacrifice one’s child in the cause of Allah before birth is a great commitment, but Huzur (ra) advised parents to give these children proper tarbiyyat from the start. From early childhood, children should be taught the spirit of sacrifice, so this gets embedded in their nature as they grow up. Parents need to be united in making this decision to enter their child in this Scheme. They also need to be mindful of what literature is being learnt by their children, as this makes a huge difference when these children grow up. Arabic, Urdu and their local language is vital to be learnt by these children as well. Marriages should also be done between waqf-e-nau men and women for a compatible lifestyle. Children should not be forced to work if it affects them attending waqf-e-nau classes or programs. In the end, the speaker stressed that parents also need to set good examples for their children to follow; hence parents first need to work on their own tarbiyyat. A brief summary of his speech was also presented in English by the speaker himself.
Ameer Sahib then gave read out some very useful information in regards to Wasiyyat for all Musis, which was given to him by the National Secretary Waqf-e-Nau, Rana Farooq. In short, the instruction was that the demise of a Musi should be notified to the respective local Sadr of the Majlis as soon as possible, so necessary actions can take place, the finances and payments can be checked of the deceased and the final approval received from the Khalifa of the time in relation to the burial in the Musi Graveyard.
Dr. Omar Shahab Khan delivered a few announcements followed by Ameer Sahib leading silent prayers at 5:05 pm to conclude the opening session.
After this, there was the opportunity for members of the Jamaat to mingle with each other and socialise till Maghrib/Isha prayers were offered at 7:15pm. Then dinner was served for everyone to bring an end to a most successful first day of the 26th Jalsa Salana.
News Reported By: Syed Tariq Ahmad and Manzoor Ahmad Khan Ahmadiyya Australia News Team
This is no ordinary gathering.
There are many benefits of the Jalsa to the participants.
Members should utilize this opportunity to renew their personal faith and spirituality, meet and establish friendship with other members of the community, welcome new members into the fold of the community and remember those who have passed away in the previous year and pray for them.
By the grace of Allah, Friday the 2nd of April marked the beginning of the proceedings for the 26th Jalsa Salana, Annual Convention 2010 in Australia. This Convention is a worldwide phenomenon held every year by various Ahmadiyya 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.
A partly cloudy and cool morning greeted Convention goers this year as the car park filled extremely quickly with vehicles from all different states within the country. There were 2 designated parking areas this year as by the Grace of God, numbers have increased vastly.
Ladies and girls began to enter for the day’s activities bright and early in the morning. The reception and hospitality teams were present with great enthusiasm to greet convention goers and provide them with breakfast. All duty holders, as well as interstate and international guests, could be seen mingling and greeting one another.
This year Ladies were situated within the new Khilafat Centenary Hall which was adorned with colourful, creating a grand and energizing atmosphere. Dining, Guest and Children’s Marquees filled the grounds while the Exhibition marquee, this year, was located within the Centenary Hall where many hand made items were 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 11am, 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.
The delegation started in the main hall inspecting the stage area first then making their way through the various departments and then to the exhibition area, where the female members of the Community showcase their hard work and efforts throughout the entire year. Some pieces of work were handmade which will later be judged in the Annual Competition. Ameer Sahib commented on the wonderful setup in the Khilafat Centenary Hall, making only a few changes to projection screens to increase visibility. Maulana Sahib was particularly impressed with the many handmade items in the Exhibition; he then returned to the main area for water before making his way to the outside marquees.
The delegation then entered the childcare area where Maulana Sahib advised that the trees need to be roped off for child safety. Next to be inspected was the hospitality and food area followed by the Registration area, where Ameer Sahib was particularly impressed with the way security and registration badges were being handled and mentioned how much it has improved since the previous year. The delegation then made their way back to the Men's area.
There was a lot of good energy in the air this morning as Ameer Sahib greeted all the guests and most of all everyone was thoroughly enjoying the pleasant weather.
Lunch was then 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 about two hours 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. Dinner was also served later in the evening and ladies were given another chance to mix and mingle, which is always very much enjoyed. Thus day 1 of Jalsa Salana 2010 came to a close; stay tuned for more events and excitement tomorrow.
News Team - Ladies & Families
Signing off Ahmadiyya Australia Technical Team at 12:40am - See you again tommorrow with the proceedings of Day 2