Spring Retreat 2019 Event Report

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Ali Khan

Nazim-e-Ala Spring Retreat 2019

Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya UK held its 7th national talimi & tarbiyati class officially known as the Spring Retreat in the serene campus of Jamia Ahmadiyya UK, Haslemere. 

The theme of this year’s event was, in line with the UK national ijtema theme, the existence of God. This residential class ran from 7 to 13 April.

196 Khuddam and Atfal were vetted and confirmed, from which 168 attended the class from various regions across the country. The age group of these Khuddam and Atfal ranged from 13-17. 

As a previous nazim-e-ala of this event, Sadr Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya UK chaired several committee meetings in the build-up to the event to guide and support a new, youthful and energetic committee.

The core committee consisted of seven naib nazimeen-e-ala.

Just hours after the conclusion of the national Waqf-e-Nau Ijtema, participants began arriving on the evening of Sunday, 7 April to be registered and allocated accommodation. 

The opening session was held at 9am the following day and was chaired by Ataul Mujeeb Rashed Sahib, Missionary In-charge UK, who also addressed the Khuddam and Atfal present. 

Khuddam and Atfal were divided into seven classes, based on their age and whether they had attended the class before.

The subjects being taught during the week were as follows:

  1. Memorisation and correct pronunciation of the Holy Quran
  2. Salat with translation
  3. Basic Islamic knowledge
  4. Ilm-ul-Kalam – Our viewpoint about the death of Jesusas and the existence of God
  5. History of Islam & Ahmadiyyat

The teachers for these core Islamic subjects were all current Jamia students who all taught one subject each as a specialism. 

The week prior to the class, the Jamia students attended teacher training sessions with a teaching professional. Together with members of the committee and tarbiyat teams, the young teachers also received safeguarding and well-being training from an accredited trainer. 

A special social issues class was also held daily, which covered various aspects such as peer pressure, free mixing, relationships & homosexuality and drugs & alcohol. The teachers for these classes were field missionaries from the UK Jamaat, selected with the approval of Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa.

As per tradition, an extensive and challenging schedule was set for the participants, which started with Tahajud and Fajr prayers (followed by dars) every morning.

After breakfast at 7:30am, assembly was held at 9am with the recitation of the Holy Quran.  At 9:20, students would be dismissed for their lessons. Students attended five classes a day, lasting approximately 40 minutes each, set around regular breaks serving refreshments.

After the conclusion of classes, Zuhr and Asr prayers were offered followed by lunch. After lunch, half an hour was allocated to Waqar-e-Amal so students could clean their accommodation and the surrounding areas. 

This was followed by a daily sports session, in which students had the option of either playing football, volleyball, basketball, cricket or dodgeball.  An indoor games room (table tennis, table hockey, table football and board games) was also set up for those who chose to stay indoors. 

A new addition to this year’s Spring Retreat was the introduction of classes in the ancient Asian martial art of Muay Thai. One of the top Muay Thai instructors in the UK, Chris Kistan, taught the Khuddam and Atfal the basics of this ancient discipline. The objective of this innovation was to encourage more health, fitness, wellbeing, character development and discipline amongst our youngsters, as well as teaching them to defend themselves in situations where their personal safety is at risk.

What has also become a regular feature of the Annual Spring Retreat are the daily evening lectures by prominent & inspiring members of the Jamaat. This year’s speakers and topics were as follows:

  • Major Mahmood Ahmad Sahib – Experiences with Khilafat 
  • Syed Taalay Ahmed Sahib – This year with Huzooraa
  • Umar Nasser Sahib – The existence of God 
  • Mansoor Clarke Sahib – Experiences of missionary work in Africa 
  • Safeer Qamar Sahib – Jihad from home: Social media

The Retreat is also an opportunity for us as office bearers and young missionaries to spend time with the younger generation and discuss the challenges and issues they face such as social media, drugs, relationships, gang culture as well as the importance of obedience to the Nizam-e-Jamaat and the blessings of Khilafat. 

As the youngsters became more acquainted with their allocated mentors, they would ask more questions and even deeper discussions would occur, thereby building closer relationships.   

On behalf of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya UK, I would like to express my sheer gratitude to the administration of Jamia Ahmadiyya UK for their co-operation with us and allowing us access and use of this blessed facility, as well as the use of their minibuses to transport children back and forth from the sports grounds. 

We were also extremely grateful to Amir Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya UK, Rafiq Ahmad Hayat Sahib for travelling to Jamia Ahmadiyya UK and chairing the closing session where prizes, including signed certificates from Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa, were distributed to those who came first, second and third in the end of the class examination that was held on Thursday (written paper & verbal exercise).

We commend the young participants for sacrificing a week of their personal time in obedience to their parents, obedience to Nizaam-e-Jamaat, in recognition of their Creator and out of love for Khilafat. 

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