Laiq Ahmad Atif, Malta Correspondent
Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Malta successfully organised its 3rd Jalsa Salana on Sunday, 13 October 2019 at Centru Familja Mqaddsa. The theme of this year’s Jalsa was “Serving Humanity”.
The first session of the Jalsa was chaired by Imam Abdul Basit Tariq Sahib from Germany. The session started with the recitation of the Holy Quran followed by a poem written by the Promised Messiah, peace be upon him.
Laiq Ahmad Sahib, President Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Malta then read out a special message sent from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his Helper, for Jalsa Salana Malta.
Speakers included Abdullah Wally Sahib Secretary Tabligh Malta, Attaul Wasih Tariq Sahib Missionary in Italy, Haroon Khan Sahib, Laiq Ahmad Atif, Yusuf Mohammad Bala Sahib Secretary Tarbiyyat and Abdul Basit Tariq Sahib.
The topics that were covered were about the existence of God, the great qualities of the Companionsra of the Holy Prophetsa, the institution of Khilafat, the Holy Prophet’ssa devotion to worship, what it means to be an Ahmadi Muslim and the ills of our age and ways of attaining a pure life.
The second session of Jalsa Salana Malta invited non-Muslim guests. These included religious and political leaders, neighbours and members of the public. Her Excellency, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, the former President of Malta (2014-2019), was the special guest of this session.
Her Excellency delivered a keynote speech and congratulated the Jamaat for holding this convention, she said:
“Such an occasion is evidence of respect, love and harmony. Promoting these values, of respect, love and harmony, in a world where unfortunately mistrust has become the order of the day, is truly encouraging. It is heartening to note that such an initiative as this convention counters the waves of discord and confusion that seem to unfortunately dominate our human family nowadays. I truly appreciate such initiatives because they create a balance to the sad mentality that seems to be taking over the minds of some of us. Such a convention gives us hope and lifts our morale over the tragic events of conflict between nations, violence carried out in the name of religion and other forms of violence against humanity.”
Highlighting the beauty and effectiveness of the motto of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Her Excellency said, “I must acknowledge the fundamental belief of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that emphasises the value of ‘Love for all, hatred for none’. I believe that this value should be a guiding light for all of us. This convention attests to this value as it creates an opportunity for us, to come together, irrespective of our diverse faith traditions, in respectful dialogue.”
Her Excellency also acknowledged the vision of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and stated, “I would like to reiterate my thanks to your Imam for your vision and for your genuine endeavours for common good, in the best interest of our communities and of our one human family”.
Next, a number of dignitaries spoke before the convention. These included, Hon Ivan Bartolo Member of Parliament, Ms Margaret Baldacchino Cefai Mayor of Msida, Rev John Anthony Berry Secretary of the Diocesan Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue, Rev Ioan Iftimia from the Romanian Orthodox Church, Mr Anthony Gatt Director of Caritas Malta.
All the speakers highlighted the importance of serving humanity and the need to build bridges between communities through the basic values of compassion, love and respect.
Hon Ivan Bartolo highlighted that together we can achieve everything and emphasised on the need of harmonious collaboration between all, and said, “Together we can make it.”
Ms Margaret Baldacchino Cefai, Mayor of Msida, stated:
“It is indeed an honour and a pleasure to be once again addressing this annual convention of the Ahmadiyya – an organisation that has garnered a reputation, which is second to none for demonstrating its generosity towards those that need assistance and through its universal message of ‘Love for all, hatred for none’.
The Ahmadiyya is indeed a religious community that reflects values of peace and empathy.”
Mr Anthony Gatt, Director of Caritas Malta, thanked the Jamaat and said, “Thank you for this invitation, I too feel very privileged to receive this invitation and to share this culture of peace and love for humanity”.
He spoke about the role and services being offered by the Caritas Malta and shared the experience of collaboration with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. Rev Ioan Iftimia from the Romanian Orthodox Church thanked the community for the invitation and acknowledged the services of the Jamaat and spoke about his mission in Malta.
Rev John Anthony Berry defined “service” in two words: “Readiness and attentiveness”.
He said, “When dealing with humanity, with human lives, we need to spread love wherever we go”.
He concluded with a quotation, “Service is the key to everything in life.”
The President of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Malta then highlighted the point that the world has become like a global village, as every nation is now interconnected. As a result, more than ever before, it is the duty of all humankind to foster a spirit of brotherhood and mutual love among the people of all nations and of all beliefs.
He said, “Serving humanity is a hallmark of Islam. The entire Islamic teachings are based upon two fundamental principles of rights of God and rights of humanity. Thus, we are taught that the worship of God and kindness to His creation cannot be separated from each other.”
He presented references from the Holy Quran that highlight the qualities of virtuous and the true servants of God. For example, “And they feed, for love of Him, the poor, the orphan, and the prisoner, saying, ‘We feed you for Allah’s pleasure only. We desire no reward, nor thanks from you.” (Ch. 76: V. 9-10)
Keeping in view the theme of the Jalsa, “Serving Humanity”, the Jamaat was pleased to present five wheelchairs to Her Excellency, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, for the Malta Foundation for the Well-being of Society, to which Her Excellency is the Chairperson. Other donations included food vouchers for the poor, 50 plants to Msida Primary School, 100 books to the Caritas Malta, citrus and olive trees for the Gzira school and a podium for the Ċentru Familja Mqaddsa’ Msida.
More than 100 people from different walks of life attended Jalsa Salana Malta.