Summary of the 21st Annual Convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Australia
The 21st Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Australian Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was held at Masjid Bait-ul-Huda in Sydney from the 25th of March 2005 to the 27th of March 2005. By the Grace of Allah, it was a glorious and spiritual event for all Ahmadis present at the Convention.
Inspection of Arrangements
Prior to the formal opening of the Convention, the National Ameer and Missionary In-charge, Maulana Mahmood Ahmad, undertook an inspection of all the departments involved in the Jalsa early on Friday morning. Ameer Sahib encouraged all the officers (nazims) and volunteers (muawineen) taking part in the Jalsa to carry out their responsibilities on time and advised them to serve all the guests well.
Jalsa Salana 2005 was officially inaugurated after the completion of Friday Prayers, by the hoisting of the Jamat-e-Ahmadiyya Flag and the Australian Flag by Maulana Mahmood Ahmad and Musa Bin Masran (Missionary Incharge of Solomon Islands) respectively at 2:45pm. Mahmood sahib led silent prayers after the flag hoisting and then the first session of the Jalsa got underway.
The backdrop for the proceedings of the Jalsa was a beautifully decorated stage, with a banner illustrating a prophecy of Hazrat Masih Maud (as), as well as a model of Minaratul Masih and a World map with paper doves around it, signifying the message of peace, which Ahmadiyyat preaches.
The first session commenced by the recitation of the Holy Quran followed by a poem. Then Ameer Sahib read a message from Hazoor Khalifatul Masih V regarding Jalsa Salana. The main message was about the responsibilities of Ahmadis in Australia about Tabligh. He urged every Ahmadi to strive for the spread of Ahmadiyyat and Islam in Australia. Ameer Saheb also described the arrangements and responsibilities of the participants of the Jalsa. He explained the history of Jalsa Salana and the Barkaat involved in it.
There were three speeches after Ameer Sahib's opening address. The first speech was titled 'Existence of God, the scientific perspective'. The second speech was on the 'Exemplary Family Life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)'. Finally, Mr Muhammad Assad Leslie Norris from Solomon Islands delivered the last speech. He spoke about the introduction of Ahmadiyyat in Solomon Islands and the achievements made by Jamat there. By the Grace of Almighty Allah, the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in Solomon Islands has now grown to around 200 people. The speeches were followed by announcements and Dua.
The second day of the 21st Jalsa Salana was another day full of informative and interesting speeches. The second session of the Jalsa included four well-presented speeches. The first speech in Urdu were was by Maulana Masood Ahmad Shahid. It was titled 'Examples of good tarbiyat in children'.
Dr Omer Shahab Khan also spoke in Urdu about the life of the Promised Messiah (AS). This followed a talk in English by Dr Taseer Ahmad Bashir, our administrator of this website about parents childern and challenges faced today due to Internet. This was followed by another speech in Urdu about the Waqfe Nau scheme, delivered by Maulana Qamar Dawood Khokhar.
The third session of the Jalsa Salana began as usual with the recitation of the Holy Quran and a couple of beautifully delivered poems. This was followed by the first speech in Urdu, which was about the Institution of Wassiyyat. The next speech was also in Urdu and it was presented by Athar Mahmood, regarding the Institution of Khilafat.
During this third session of the Jalsa Salana, the women (Lajna) held their own session in their Jalsa Hall (Gah). There were various poems and speeches presented in this Lajna session, including key speeches on pardah for women and the Islamic concept of Motherhood.
During the first session of the third and final day of the 21st Annual Convention, we were joined by a number of guests from outside the Jamaat, including the Director of the Refugee Council and the Federal MP for Greenway. All the speeches in this session were in English. The first speech of the fourth session was by Mr Khalid Saifullah Khan Saheb, Naib Ameer Australia, regarding secularism and its compatibility in government with religion. The second speech was by Ehsanul Haque Alvi about the topic of Jihad - quite fitting in the current climate.
It was the turn of our guests to share their feelings. The first guest speaker was Louise Markus, the Federal Member of Parliament for Greenway. She said that she has a strong faith and believes in a strong family. She wants to serve the community well and to be compassionate to people needing help. The second guest speaker was the Director of the Refugee Council of Australia, Margaret Piper. She said that this Jalsa gives her the opportunity to learn more about her country and the history and faith of all people. She appreciated the work done by the Jamaat to help those who are overseas.
Following the guest speakers, Zahoor Rasool Butt delivered a speech about the role of women in Islam. Finally, Dr Riaz Akbar spoke about the services to humanity that have been offered by Jamaat Ahmadiyya, since the Community was founded.
Fifth and Final Session
After the lunch and prayer interval, the fifth and final session of the 21st Annual Convention got underway. The main item of this session was Ameer Sahib's concluding address. He stressed on better communication between individuals of the Jamaat. He also advised that the individual families needed to develop better relations among their members. He emphasised that particularly the quality of relations between the parents play a pivotal role in shaping up the personality of the children.
He also stressed on the need to document every business and social deal that happens between the members of the Jamaat. Ameer Sahib finally announced the opening of this website, which was a historic moment for the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in Australia. He prayed and hoped that this website will serve the Jamaat to the best of its capacity in the future. In conclusion, he indicated that the next Annual Convention is expected to be a special occasion in the history of Jamaat Ahmadiyya Australia and that every member needs to plan for its preparation well in time.
The session and the Convention both came to an end on the 27th of March 2005 by a silent prayer led by the Ameer and Missionary In-charge of Jamaat Ahmadiyya Australia, Maulana Mahmood Ahmad.
The participants of Jalsa came from different areas within Australia and overseas. Representatives were from Singapore, Solomon Islands, Bangladesh, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Perth and Canberra.
This year new ID cards were introduced for people participating in Jalsa Salana. Each card had printed names as well as serial barcode for security as well as statistical purposes. Every member was requested to display their IDs all the time during Jalsa.
Day Male Female Total
Day 1 392 360 752
Day 2 366 360 726
Day 3 367 330 697
Average Attendance: 725
The venue of the Convention at Bait-ul-Huda Mosque was decorated beautifully with its neatly landscaped lawns and well marked pathways and marquees.
Food and Security
The Food Preparation and Food Serving Departments are worth mentioning here, as they worked tirelessly in preparing and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner for all the attendees of the Jalsa throughout the 3 days. The Security Department also worked very hard to ensure that the proceedings of the Jalsa and the mosque surroundings as a whole were not disturbed by any external menace.
The Bookstall, which was set up in a marquee of its own next to the Reception marquee was open for participants between the breaks in the Jalsa proceedings. This was the first year where the selling system was computerised and this was implemented quite successfully. There were a number of new books on sale and a large number of books and Holy Quran were sold during the three days.
Last but not least ....
The finally word, the Annual Convention 2005 was another occasion blessed by Allah and all of the participants returned home well contented with the spiritual gratification and fulfillment.
Reported by: News Editor (Gents),
Ahmadiyya Australia website