Ahmad Faraz, Missionary Lithuania
Giving glad tidings regarding the Jalsa Salana of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Prophet Ahmadas said:
“Its foundational establishment has been initiated under the guidance of Allah the Almighty. Numerous nations, divinely prepared for this purpose, are destined to join it in the near future. The inevitability of this occurrence is unequivocal, as nothing is beyond the realm of possibility for God Almighty.” (Majmua-e-Ishtiharat, Vol. 1, p. 341)
Today, after the historical 131-year journey of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, we witness yet another faith-inspiring manifestation of the aforementioned prophecy: The first-ever Jalsa Salana of Lithuania Jamaat, held in Lietuva, around five thousand kilometers away from Qadian.
Brief report of Lithuania Jamaat’s Jalsa
Jalsa Salana Lithuania was held on 13-14 October 2023, at Medininkų g. 5, 13266, Motiejiškės km, Vilnius. This site encompassed two sizeable halls and 15 rooms, all equipped with essential facilities.
According to the tradition of the Jalsa Salana, all the duties were divided department-wise and assigned over to members of the Lithuania Jamaat. The responsibilities included the preparation of invitations for Ahmadis and non-Ahmadi dignitaries and the writing of other related necessary cards containing information in Lithuanian and English.
The department of transport, medical assistance, registration, preparation and distribution of food, provision of water for participants by young kids, etc., were all the highlights of Jalsa Lithuania. Arrangements were also made for inspection, flag hoisting, and presentation of the proceedings of Jalsa sessions in Lithuanian, English, and Urdu.
The theme of the first-ever Jalsa Salana Lithuania was, “Khilafat Aman-e-Alam ki Zamin” (Khilafat – Guarantor of World Peace), which was prominently displayed in written form on the main stage.
Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa graciously approved Rana Khalid Ahmad Sahib, in-charge of the Russian Desk UK, as the chief guest for the Jalsa.
After the speeches in the first day’s session, a video documentary was presented on the history of the Lithuania Jamaat. Events from the years 1990-91, encompassing the establishment of the Ahmadiyya Community in Lithuania, were collected in the form of various interviews and later assembled into a documentary.
All the proceedings of this Jalsa were telecast live in the Lajna Imaillah Hall.
On the second day, a session was held for non-Ahmadis. The guests were shown a video message based on the journeys and efforts of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa as an ambassador for peace.
The guests were introduced to the audience and invited on stage to say a few words.
The first guest, a writer and journalist, Mr Jaronimas Laucius, appreciated the activities of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat regarding the establishment of peace and said, “I have been friends with the Jamaat [members] for a long time. In the early days, when I was going to participate in the Jalsa Salana Germany for the first time, my friends forbade me to go, saying that Muslims would take advantage of me. I want to categorically mention that, as I have known the Jamaat for quite some time now, my friends were certainly wrong. I have never seen the Jamaat get any wrong advantage from me. Moreover, I want to say that we should always have a positive attitude in our day-to-day life and look for positive things in others. If we do this, we will experience peace and love. I have witnessed various mosques of the Jamaat and they are full of peace, as is the motto of the Ahmadiyya Community, ‘Love for all, hatred for none.’” In the end, he expressed gratitude for being invited to Jalsa Salana, Lithuania.
The second guest speaker was Mr Raimondas Leugaudas. He is an active member of the Bahai community. He said, “The current situation of the world requires taking practical steps towards peace instead of making verbal claims.” Observing Murtaz Ahmad engaded in duty during the Jalsa Lithuania, he expressed, “I want to say that the spirit with which this child is discharging his duty, if we all do our duties in the same way, then peace will surely be established in the world.”
The third guest was Mrs Gintarė Sereikaitė. She is a professor at Vilnius University and has voluntarily translated “The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam” into Lithuanian. She expressed her thoughts about this book and said, “I wanted to understand the Holy Quran and Hadith, and I am fortunate enough that I had the privilege of translating the book, The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, which is very useful for understanding the teachings of Islam. For those people who criticise Islam unnecessarily, if they really want to understand the teachings of Islam, I suggest they contact Ahmadiyya Jamaat and read this book. Moreover, after reading this book, they should make its principles a part of their lives.” She then expressed her gratitude for the invitation.
A tabligh [preaching] stall was also set up on the occasion of the Jalsa Salana Lithuania, where the Jamaat’s literature published into local languages over the previous years was kept for non-Ahmadi visitors. This literature included an array of books, tracts and leaflets addressing various subjects and issues, i.e., An Elementary Study of Islam, The Holy Prophet’ssa Kindness to Children, Women in Islam, Golden Principle for World Peace, Unity of World as Key to Peace, Islam’s Response to Extremism, Teachings of Islam, True Concept of Jihad, etc.
On 14 October 2023 – the second day of Jalsa Salana Lithuania, the Lithuanian National Radio Channel LRT gave coverage in the form of a 10-minute live interview about the aims and objectives of the Jalsa, highlighting the speeches about peace and the role of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the ever-changing situation of the world. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, the message of our Jalsa and the introduction of Ahmadiyya Jamaat reached thousands of people in Lithuania, alhamdulillah.
A notebook was kept for the feedback of the guests. Apart from that, some people openly voiced their views about their experience at this Jalsa.
One guest expressed that the quality of the speeches and the arrangements for the annual gathering were of very high standard, stating further, “Today, there is a dire need for peace in the world. In this regard, the theme of your annual convention and speeches are a beacon for the whole world.”
Another guest said, “It was really nice to see your Khalifa. We pray that he may be successful in his peace mission.”
A visitor expressed, “Looking at the arrangements and organisation of the Jalsa Salana, it never felt that this is the first annual convention [of Lithuania Jamaat] and that its management consists of only 5 individuals. This Jalsa was quite similar to the extensive conventions of other countries.”
Members of the Jamaat from nine different countries, i.e., Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Norway, Georgia, Germany, Poland, the UK and Belarus, joined the first annual convention. A total of 75 Ahmadis and 57 non-Ahmadi guests participated in Jalsa Salana Lithuania.
(Courtesy of Wakalat-e-Tabshir, UK)