By the Grace of Almighty Allah, the 25th National Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Australia commenced on Friday the 10th of April 2009 at Bait-Ul-Huda Mosque in Sydney. This year’s Jalsa Salana has much higher significance as it is the Silver Jubilee (25th year) of the Jalsa in Australia as well as being the Khilafat Centenary Jalsa Salana.
Guests had started arriving from all around Australia prior to the commencement of the Convention and the atmosphere surrounding the Bait-Ul-Huda Mosque was one of excitement and joy. A day before the Jalsa started, Ameer and Missionary In-Charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Australia, Maulana Mahmood Ahmad gave a brief talk to the volunteers working during the Jalsa Salana on their expectations and responsibilities.
Ameer Sahib along with the managing committee of the Jalsa began the inspection of the various departments functioning during the Jalsa Salana at 10:35am. Afsar Jalsa Salana, Sarwar Shah led the inspection by briefing Ameer Sahib along the way.
The parking sites were first inspected, followed by the registration department. This was the first year where actual ID cards with photo identification were being issued for all the members of the Ahmadiyya Community, which would be scanned upon entry in the mosque each day of the Jalsa. Ameer Sahib then went through the manual security metal detectors, which were being used for the first time as well. A complete Jalsa Salana map site was also present that showed each and every marquee that was put up for the Jalsa. The next stop in the inspection was meeting with the reception, accommodation and transport teams followed by the information and lost & found marquee, where Khilafat Centenary souvenirs were also being sold. The Bookstall and Exhibition was visited next, were there was a large selection of Urdu and English books for sale, including a whole range of new books that had arrived from Qadian and London. There was a display of various Holy Qurans translated by the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in different languages. By the Grace of Allah, the Ahmadiyya Jamaat has translated the Holy Quran in 69 languages and there were 50 different languages displayed in the Bookstall. The exhibition, which was beautifully presented, included interesting information, articles, photos and pictures of the Promised Messiah (as), the five Khalifas, Ahmadi martyrs, history of Ahmadiyya Jamaat Australia and Humanity First to name a few.
Ameer Sahib then visited the First Aid team followed by the Security and Khidmat-e-Khalq team. There was a fully-contained Caravan hired for the security team that could accommodate 8 Khuddam at one time. The accommodation marquee was the next stop, where after Ameer Sahib inspected the portable showers the wudhu area and the portable toilets. The portable showers were being used for the first time where hot water was supplied at all times. The maintenance, electricity and cleaning/hygiene team were next where the new storage shed and the mobile electricity vehicle were seen. Various security posts were inspected as well as another caravan, which was for the Langar Khana staff.
The next teams to be inspected were the food transport, food storage, pot cleaning, the main Langar Khana and the food preparation teams. The food was being cooked in the Langar Khana during the visit, while Ameer Sahib tasted some of the food already prepared. After this, the guests’ food service area and the general food service marquee were inspected. Finally, Ameer Sahib met the Jalsa Gah and stage team as well as the MTA team. Along the whole inspection tour, photos were taken of the various teams with Ameer Sahib. At 11:55am, Ameer Sahib and the rest of the inspection team made their way towards the Lajna area.
Flag Hoisting Ceremony
After lunch and Friday prayers, the flag hoisting ceremony took place at 2:45pm that was the official commencement of the 25th National Jalsa Salana. By this time, the sun was beating down and the temperature had risen. Everyone gathered around the flag poles, where Ameer Sahib hoisted the Ahmadiyya Jamaat Flag, while Dr. Riaz Akbar, the Sadr of Ahmadiyya Jamaat QLD hoisted the Australian Flag. Upon the hoisting of both flags, religious slogans were raised by passionate members of the Community. It sure was a beautiful sight, seeing the two flags raised high in the blue skies with the Mosque in the background. Ameer Sahib then led silent prayers, where after everyone made their way back into the Mosque for the 1st session of the Jalsa Salana.
Syed Tariq Ahmad reporting
Ahmadiyya Australia News Team
The opening session of the 25th National Jalsa was chaired by Ameer Sahib, Maulana Mahmood Ahmad. At the beginning of the session, Dr. Omar Shahab Khan read out a message from Maulana Ata-Ul-Mujeeb Rashid from London to all the participants of the Jalsa. The session commenced at 3:15pm with the recitation and translation of the Holy Quran by Mujeeb Ur Rahman Sanauri. A poem was then read by Saqib Mahmood Atif in the most melodious tone. Next, Ameer Sahib delivered his opening address where he expressed his gratitude to Almighty Allah for His divine help in conducting the 25th National Jalsa Salana. He reminded the audience that they were gathered to receive knowledge and enhance brotherhood. Ameer Sahib gave a brief history of how the Jalsa Salana started in a small village in Qadian 100 years ago and how it has progressed since then. He also pointed out the responsibilities of the hosts and the guests during the Jalsa. He brought attention to the fact that members of the Jamaat should pay the Jalsa Salana Chanda in due time. Finally, Ameer Sahib advised parents to take care of their children during Jalsa and to try to share the load equally between both parents.
The next speech was by Maulana Masood Ahmad in Urdu on the topic of Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) treatment of non-Muslims. The speaker highlighted that overtime people of many religions have been involved in cruelty to people of other religions. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) had said to his followers that no Christian would be forced to become Muslim. Further, protection of their (i.e. Christians) people and their place of worship would be the responsibility of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Similar to the Atlantic Charter, which promotes freedom among religions, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) made similar agreements many hundred years ago between the Christians and Jews of Medina. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) promoted religious tolerance, even in times when there were no found agreements or Charters like present in today’s World.
The following speech was delivered by Mirza Ramzan Sharif in English on the ‘Progress of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Australia,’ assisted by a slide show shown on a projector screen to the audience. The speaker described the progress of the Ahmadiyya Community in Australia. He vividly described the history of Ahmadiyyat in Australia starting from Hazrat Hasan Musa Khan, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Australia till present. Progresses like building mosques, Khilafat Centenary Hall, guest house in Qadian, increased number of Wasiyyats, educational progress, humanitarian works by Jamaat and visits of Khalifas were all included in his speech. He mentioned that the motivating factor behind this progress is the blessings of Khilafat.
After this, the final speech of the session was presented by Ata-Ur-Rahman Maqbool in English on ‘Our Commitments to Khilafat.’ By citing different quotes from the Holy Quran, he said that Allah had put some conditions for Khilafat. Perfect and passionate obedience to Khilafat can guide humans in a righteous way. According to Holy Quran he said that true righteousness can come through obedience to Allah, His messengers and appropriate authority. Nowadays, individualism and ego has engulfed the human race. The speaker stressed that everyone needs to get out of this individual idea and submit themselves fully to the Khilafat. He also mentioned the importance of Wasiyyat in his speech. Khilafat and Wasiyyat are interrelated. Wasiyyat is a kind of Jihad against oneself. Every Ahmadi has witnessed the blessings of Wasiyyat either in a spiritual way or a financial way. Allah has blessed the Ahmadis with Khilafat and Nizam-e- Wasiyyat. Hence, each Ahmadi should get more blessings from the institution of Khilafat by submitting their souls fully to Khilafat and following all the directives of the Khalifa.
After a session of vastly informative speeches, Ameer Sahib led silent prayers.
Majlis-e-Shoora commenced at 5pm with a Maghrib / Isha prayers and dinner break between 6pm and 7:45pm. The end of the first round of Majlis-e-Shoora signalled a successful end to the first day of the Jalsa Salana.
News Reported By: Hassan Bashir and Manzoor Ahmad Khan
News Editied By:Syed Tariq Ahmad
Ahmadiyya Australia News Team
By the grace of Allah, Friday the 10th of April marked the beginning of the proceedings for the 25th Jalsa Salana, Annual Convention 2009 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.
This year’s Annual Convention is a very special one, not only celebrating the Silver Jubilee but also celebrating 100 years of Khilafat (Successorship) in Ahmadiyyat.
A bright and sunny morning greeted Convention goers this year as opposed to the usual overcast weather we have become accustomed to. The car park filled extremely quickly with vehicles from all different states within the country.
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.
Marquees 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 many 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 12pm, 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 and made their way through the various departments, eventually arriving at the outside marquees. Maulana Sahib was particularly impressed with the portable toilet facilities and mentioned that we should always pay particular attention to hygiene and cleanliness at all times. The delegation then entered the hospitality and food area followed by the VIP Guest Marquee; Amir Sahib mentioned that due to the unexpected large numbers at this year’s convention, both of these marquees should be arranged so they accommodate the overflow of guests.
Next to be inspected was the Exhibition marquee, 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. Maulana Sahib was particularly impressed with the handmade items and various ornaments and arrangements and commended all ladies on their efforts.
After inspecting the Bookstall and Childcare tents, the delegation made their way to 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 final area to be inspected was the accommodation marquee where Ameer Sahib said that in subsequent years, more emphasis should be placed on guests staying at this marquee rather than at members’ homes. The delegation then 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; all complaints, whether right or wrong, should be taken in stride and solutions worked out rather than arguments arising. He also mentioned that he was particularly impressed with the arrangements for all the marquees for this year’s convention.
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; due to the large number of guests this year, there was an overflow of people and many guests were then seated outside or in other marquees. 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. 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 2009 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
( - 11.04.09)