S Mukarram Nazeer, Canada Correspondent
The 32nd Annual Majlis Khuddam-ul Ahmadiyya Canada Ijtema was held on 26, 27 and 28 July at Hadiqa-e-Ahmad, Bradford, Ontario where hundreds of Khuddam from all over Canada participated.
Official registration began at the Ijtema site at 10am, with Khuddam arriving to participate in a weekend of spiritual transformation.
Lunch was served at mid-day. After lunch, they had the opportunity to listen to the Friday Sermon of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa. It was a hot day by Canadian standards. Thermometers showed 30 degrees Celsius, while the humidity made it feel like 35 degrees.
The Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya flag was raised by Markaz Representative, Additional Nazir Islah-o-Irshad & Dawat Ilallah, and Mufti-e-Silsila, Mubashar Ahmad Kahlon Sahib, accompanied by Amir Jamaate-Ahmadiyya Canada, Lal Khan Malik Sahib.
The Canadian flag was raised by Sadr Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Canada, Zubair Afzal Sahib.
The first azan for Friday prayers followed flag hoisting.
Amir Jamaat Canada, Lal Khan Malik Sahib delivered the Friday Sermon. He shared the summary of the sermon delivered by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa earlier in the day. He advised Khuddam on how to get maximum benefit from the Ijtema.
After prayers, the audience prepared for the opening session. The opening session started with the recitation of the Holy Quran followed by nazm.
Mubashar Ahmad Kahlon Sahib delivered an inspiring speech on the topic of obedience, which was followed by silent prayer. After the opening session, there were three options for Khuddam to choose from: the first, academic competitions with tilawat, azan and book-reading quiz; the second offered individual and team sports, along with various races, while the third offered workshops on a variety of topics, including virtual reality tour of Mecca and tackling mental health issues.
Multiple recreational activities were also arranged for Khuddam throughout the Ijtema. These included archery, arm wrestling, pull up challenge, ring toss and a limbo challenge.
For more relaxed individuals, the Patio area provided a lounge, carrum board, PlayStation 4, fussbal and a table tennis setup.
Various exhibitions and food stalls were set up and gave the Ijtema a fun-filled atmosphere. All those present came together for dinner and prepared for the Maghrib and Isha prayers afterwards. Some spent the evening at the very entertaining and challenging impromptu speeches, while others opted for a game called Kahoot!
The Patio was open for all to enjoy a barbecue hosted by various participating regions. Similarly, Khuddam enjoyed food stalls, indoor games and exhibitions. The second day commenced with Tahajud and Fajr prayers. This was the longest day of Ijtema, with temperatures forecast to 33 Celsius, with a real-feel of 38 Celsius with humidity.
Round 1 of Canada’s Smartest Khadim challenged the brainiest Khuddam to test their intellectual skills against one another in the early hours of the new day. Educational events included speeches in English and French languages, Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association Inter University Quiz and a message relay competition.
Individual and team sports, along with races, filled up the sports events. Various physical activities from the first day continued, along with some new ones such as canoeing, punching power, bubble soccer, sumo suit fight, and hot air balloon rides.
Lunch was followed by congregational Zuhr and Asr prayers.
Sadr Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Canada, Zubair Afzal Sahib delivered an inspiring address on the topic of “Identity of an Ahmadi Khadim in the Western Society” at the start of the Second Session of the Ijtema.
Following this was a very interesting question and answer session with Mubashar Ahmad Kahlon Sahib.
He was accompanied by Amir Jamaat Canada and Sadr Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Canada. The questions and answers were very informative and the audience really enjoyed the knowledge and guidance shared by the panel. Questions covered a myriad of topics, including common issues faced by our youth on talim, tarbiyat, tabligh etc.
A special sitting for Arabs, new-converts and Khuddam from families of martyrs was held with Mubashar Kahlon Sahib.
Educational competitions offered Urdu speech, bait bazi and Friday Sermon quiz.
In sports, individual and team matches, along with a 4-way tug of war tournament were available to participate.
An interesting workshop called How to Start a Business was of interest to entrepreneurial-minded Khuddam.
A bonfire was setup where any Khadim could come and share his talent, while others could enjoy the gathering. Some continued their recreational activities in the Patio area where they also enjoyed corn on the cob, tea and stargazing. They also had the option of attending a session called Ask a Murabbi Questions, or they could write to Huzoor-e-Anwaraa.
Lights went out at 10:30pm for all to recover for the next day.
Sunday was the last day of the Ijtema and Khuddam prepared for Tahajud and Fajr prayers. After Dars-ul-Quran, some went to participate in the memory and observation test. All came together for the final breakfast service of the annual Ijtema.
Afterwards, many went to the nazm and hifz-ul-Quran competition, as well as the final round of Canada’s Smartest Khadim contest. At the same time, some chose to relax and spend time with other Khuddam from all over the country. The finals for team sports were held along with 100m, 400m and relay race competitions.
Many enjoyed recreational events at the Patio while others participated in the final workshop event on physical fitness and health. Sunday was the hottest day of the Ijtema, with temperatures feeling like 36 degrees Celsius (with humidity).
Khuddam came together for the closing session of the Ijtema. Everyone enjoyed the prize distribution ceremony, before Mubashar Kahlon Sahib delivered the final address of the National Ijtema.
The Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya pledge by Sadr Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Canada, Zubair Afzal Sahib brought the Ijtema to an end.
Zuhr and Asr prayers were followed by lunch service.
By the grace of Allah, the total attendance was 2,352 from across Canada, an increase of 124 (6%) from last year, and 282 guests also attended.