The national Ijtema of Majlis Ansarullah UK was held on 13, 14 and 15September 2019 in the peaceful Hampshire surroundings at the Kingsley Country Market in Bordon. The main purpose of the Ijtema is for Ansar to gather in a spiritual atmosphere, gain religious knowledge, strengthen in unity and increase in righteousness.
This year’s Ijtema, by the grace of Allah, was very special as Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa not only presided the final ceremony, but also delivered his Friday Sermon from the Ijtema Gah. This was a unique opportunity for the Majlis to benefit from the presence of Khalifatul Masih.
The theme of this year’s Ijtema was “The Blessings of Khilafat”. Ijtemas at local and regional levels were held throughout the year following the same theme and activities during the event were also planned to highlight this theme.
The national Ijtema for Lajna Imaillah UK was simultaneously held on the same site, and a week earlier, Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya UK also used the same site for their national Ijtema.
Preparations for the Ijtema began months ago. An organising committee was formed, chaired by the Nazim-e-Ala, Faheem Anwar Sahib. This organising committee had been eagerly working to organise the upcoming 37th annual Ijtema to make it a memorable experience for all Ansar. Various Ijtema committee meetings were held regularly. In the days prior to the start of the Ijtema, over 200 Ansar worked tirelessly to set up the site.
On 13 September, the day began with congregational Tahajud and Fajr prayers followed by Dars. The Friday Sermon, as mentioned above, was delivered by beloved Huzooraa at Ijtema Gah, which was broadcast live on MTA International from the Ijtema site followed by Jumuah and Asr prayers.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa then graciously hoisted the Majlis Ansarullah flag and led congregational silent prayer inaugurating the Ijtema.
After lunch, the first session was chaired by Amir Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya UK, Rafiq Ahmad Hayat Sahib. Amir Sahib narrated some of his personal experiences with different Khulafa and highlighted the progress of the UK jamaat under the guidance of Khilafat in his inaugural address. At the end, Amir Sahib reminded everyone of the pledge taken by Khalifatul Masih Vaa at the occasion of 100 years of Khilafat.
The next session was also presided by Amir Sahib UK. After recitation of the Holy Quran and its translation, Tommy Kallon Sahib, President PAAMA UK delivered a passionate speech in English on Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya: A Source of Unity Through Trials & Tribulations.
This was followed by an Urdu Speech by Waseem Ahmad Fazl Sahib, Lecturer Jamia Ahmadiyya UK on Zikr-e-Habib (Remembering a Beloved). Ansar academic competitions were then held, which included paigham risani (Chinese whispers) and talim quiz.
Throughout the three days of Ijtema, Ansar had the opportunity to visit exhibitions, which showcased the activities of the various majalis. Moreover, central departments such as Humanity First and Al Fazl International presented exhibitions. Arrangements for medical check-ups and workshops on “How to start a business”, “Mental health”, “Introduction to astronomy”, “Writing a will” and “Social media and children” were also arranged for those who were interested, in a separate marquee.
This year’s exhibition also showcased two key projects that Majlis Ansarullah UK has had the honour to Fund and deliver:
Masroor Eye Institute – Currently under construction in Burkina Faso. With the guidance of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa this state-of-the-art ophthalmology teaching hospital is in its construction phase. Members were able to see the site plans and the progress of the project in this exhibition
Cardiff Mosque – The second project is the construction of a purpose-built mosque in Cardiff. The exhibition provided the opportunity to showcase the plan and progress of this blessed project by the Majlis
All these events were followed and attended by the Ansar with great interest. It is worth mentioning that not only were the Ansar present at the Ijtema benefitting from these programmes, but also many hundreds had the opportunity to follow this Ijtema through social media and MTA.
The second day started with congregational Tahajud and Fajr prayers followed by dars. Continental breakfast and channa nan (chickpea soup and traditional Indian bread) were served.
The second session started with recitation of the Holy Quran followed by academics and sports competitions. The academic competitions included recitation of the Holy Quran, prepared speech in English and Urdu, nazm, extempore speech in English and Urdu and Hifz-e-Quran [memorisation of the Quran].
At this year’s Ijtema, among other competitions, the following sports competitions for Ansar also took place: cricket, football, volleyball, tug-of-war, arm wrestling, shot put, weightlifting and other athletic competitions. Many Ansar, along with guests, were present to support the players who participated with enthusiasm.
After lunch and the Zuhr and Asr prayers, the third session was held in which Ibrahim Ikhlaf Sahib, Secretary Tabligh Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK delivered an address on The Blessings of Khilafat and Our Responsibilities. This session was chaired by Mubarak Zafar Sahib, Additional Wakil-ul-Mal.
Two personal accounts of persecution endured by members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan were also presented. The first talk was by Abdul Shakoor Sahib, also known as Shakoor Bhai, who was arrested by Pakistan’s Counter Terrorism Department for stocking religious books on peace published by the community, including copies of the Holy Quran. The second talk was by Tahir Mehdi Sahib, Manager Al Fazl, who was also arrested and imprisoned on false grounds.
This was followed by a tabligh presentation of Ansar experiences in tabligh hosted by Shakil Butt Sahib, Qaid Tabligh.
The fourth session began at around 5pm and this was chaired by Abdul Majid Tahir Sahib, Additional Wakil-ul-Tabshir. Zaheer Ahmad Sahib, Chairman Charity Walk for Peace gave a brief update on the charity walk. He stated that the Charity Walk for Peace project had become an annual event in Majlis Ansarullah UK’s calendar for many years.
This year, the event was held on Sunday, 30 June 2019 in Milton Keynes. In addition to a number of regional charity receptions and charity walks, this year, the Majlis aimed to raise £1 million for various humanitarian causes. He further highlighted how the blessings of Khalifatul Masih had made this project flourish year by year.
The prize distribution ceremony was also held in this session where Abdul Majid Tahir Sahib gave prizes for first, second and third position holders of academic and sport competitions. Thereafter, Abdul Majid Sahib delivered a very motivational speech on The Blessings of Khilafat; Personal Experiences.
Mubarik Siddiqi Sahib shared poetic couplets and some inspirational thoughts related to Khilafat. The session ended with Maghrib and Isha prayers.
A question and answer session was also organised for those who were interested. The panellist included Waseem Ahmad Fazl Sahib, Ataul Momin Zahid Sahib and Mansoor Zia Sahib. This was thoroughly enjoyed by all present and it concluded at around 10pm.
The third and final day started again with congregational Tahajud and Fajr prayers followed by dars. The fifth session was talim quiz and began on Sunday at 10am.
The sixth session was chaired by Munir-ud-Din Shams Sahib, Additional Wakil-ul-Tasnif. Ataul Mujeeb Rashed Sahib, Missionary-in-Charge UK and Imam of the Fazl Mosque, London delivered a speech on Istehkam-e-Khilafat and Responsibilities of Ansar.
This was followed with a prize distribution ceremony for local (qiadat) positions presented by Munir-ud-Din Shams Sahib.
Sadr Majlis Ansarullah, Dr Chaudhry Ijaz Ur Rehman Sahib then delivered his Ijtema Address. He emphasised that the real purpose for a believer is to attain the pleasure and reward of Allah the Almighty and holding onto the rope of Allah requires obedience. The only source of unity and salvation today in this world is Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya. Sadr Sahib prayed, “May Allah enable us to fulfil our obligations to the best of our abilities and continue to benefit from the blessings of Khilafat till the day of judgement as prophesised. Amin.”
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa then addressed the Lajna ImaiIllah UK Ijtema which was relayed live from the Lajna Ijtema Gah to the Ansar Ijtema Gah. After Huzooraa led the members in silent prayer, a lunch break took place.
The highlight of the Ijtema was the concluding session on Sunday, which was graced with the presence of Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa.
After Zuhr and Asr prayers, Huzooraa graciously chaired the concluding session.
During this session (the report of which is presented in this issue), Huzooraa presented the following prizes:
– Best region in attendance at Ijtema 2019: Fazl Region (72%)
– Best majlis in attendance at Ijtema 2019: Islamabad Majlis (98%)
– Best region in overall activities during 2019: Fazl Region
– Best small majlis in overall activities during 2019: Liverpool Majlis
– Best large Majlis in overall activities during 2019 and Alam-e-Inami: Balham Majlis
Afterwards, Huzooraa delivered his concluding address, the details of which have been covered separately in this issue.
Huzooraa concluded his address at the Ijtema by praying for all to follow the teachings of the Promised Messiahas, fulfil the Bai‘at in its truest sense, become true members of Ansarullah, be the ones who leave a good example for our future generations and gain the pleasure of Allah.
Huzooraa then led a congregational silent prayer.
There is no doubt that the highlight of the Ijtema was Huzoor’saa presence and the attention that he gave to the wellbeing of the Ansar. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa graced the Ijtema both on Friday and Sunday. Jumuah and Asr prayers were led by Huzooraa on Friday and Huzooraa also led Zuhr and Asr prayers on Sunday. The Ijtema concluded on Sunday with the final session in which Huzooraa not only graciously awarded prizes, but also delivered the concluding address.
By the grace of Allah, the total Ansar attendance this year was 3,107, which is 23% more than last year. The overall total attendance including guests was 4,622.