The 46th National Ijtema of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya UK has commenced today in Bordon, Hampshire.
Khuddam and Atfal have travelled from various parts of the UK to participate in what is seen as one of the largest gatherings of Muslim youth in the country. Rafiq Ahmad Hayat Sahib, Amir Jamaat UK, opened the Ijtema with an address to the Khuddam and Atfal, followed by silent prayer.
Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya UK has the blessed fortune to have Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa residing in the UK and have had the blessed opportunities over the past few decades to have their Ijtemas graced by the blessed presence of Khilafat. The concluding address by Huzooraa on the third and final day of Ijtema has been the highlight of many Ijtemas. For the past few years, this address has been broadcast live on MTA, enabling millions of viewers to benefit from the enlightening words of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa.
While joy and excitement can visibly be noticed in all Khuddam and Atfal in attendance, the most happy ones include those who have recently come from Pakistan and settled here in the UK. The infamous anti-Ahmadiyya laws of Pakistan mean that no gatherings of Ahmadis like Ijtemas or Jalsas can be held anywhere in Pakistan. So, for those fortunate ones who have come from Pakistan, this Ijtema is like a dream come true.
The organisers have taken great care that the Ijtema truly reflects the purpose behind the auxiliary body of Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya in general and the annual Ijtema in particular. The timetable of the three days is packed with programmes that aim at spiritual, moral and physical wellbeing. While activities and competitions are mainly divided into two main groups of academics and sports, the third activity remains the paramount purpose of Ijtema: attaining spiritual progress through Tahajjud, all five prayers, remembrance of Allah and listening to the speeches delivered by scholars. The highlight of the Ijtema remains the blessed words addressed directly to the Khuddam and Atfal by Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa.
Academic competitions include memorising the Holy Quran, memorising Ahadith, memorising prayers, tilawat, nazm, prepared English and Urdu speeches, extempore English and Urdu speeches, Paigham Rasani and Bait Bazi.
Sports competitions will include football, cricket, volleyball, shotput, table tennis, badminton, athletics, tug of war and weightlifting.
A marquee, named The Hub, will be put up to provide information, knowledge and entertainment to Khuddam and Atfal. The Hub has various stalls where Khuddam and Atfal can feel free to speak to a missionary about any questions they may have in mind. The Allegations Corner is there to address any allegations about the Jamaat that Ahmadi youth come across and need to find an answer to.
Rational Religion is another stall here where young scholars are available to talk to and help understand the rationale behind every tenet and belief of Islam. Career advice can also be sought in The Hub from experts in the field and those who are pursuing various careers.
Those who want to know how strong they are before putting it to test in the grounds can go to The Hub and do so at the Punch Machine. Close by is the table-football for those who want to try their football skills out of the grounds. Milkshakes (termed at the Ijtema as Hubshakes) and donuts are also available to boost up energy levels after long hours spent at the sports grounds.
Talks and speeches on various religious and contemporary issues will be delivered throughout the Ijtema.