Jalsa Salana UK 2018 is now over. It is over for those who attended it as guests and for those who watched it on their television screens at home, but those who built the tent city are now busy taking it down to bring it back to the same farm that Hadiqatul Mahdi shall remain for the coming year, as it waits to bloom again for the next Jalsa. But before going to these teams that remain busy even after Jalsa, let us share an interesting aspect of this convention.
One could think that Jalsa for Huzooraa means five addresses that punctuate the course of the three-day event. But the fact of the matter is that these five addresses, magnificent as they are, is what we get to see and hear. What goes on behind the scenes makes Jalsa an extremely busy period for Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa.
With guests flocking from all over the world, a huge number of Ahmadis are seen huddling in the waiting rooms of Huzoor’s secretariat, waiting to see their revered Imam. These meetings, or mulaqats as they have traditionally come to be known, can see a total of over 60 different mulaqats and can even go up to the 70-mark in busier periods. This means that at least 60-70 families meet Huzooraa daily. Families who go in last are also heard saying that they felt as if they were the first family Huzoor was seeing; welcoming, loving, affectionate, understanding and sympathetic is the feeling everyone gets from this divinely appointed Man of God.
Then there is, of course, the preparations of the addresses that we get to hear from Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa during Jalsa sessions. From the content of the addresses, it is not hard to guess the amount of time, research, thoughtfulness and insight these addresses must have taken as Huzooraa prepared them for the benefit of the Jamaat.
After the Jalsa, while most of us head home tired and longing for a sound sleep in the night ahead, Huzooraa heads straight back to his office in Hadiqatul Mahdi where foreign delegations await an audience with him. These audiences are not merely meetings with light-hearted conversations but regarding issues of serious nature; from geo-political to social and from religious to non-religious trends of respective regions. Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa, as these delegates express after their audience, is always better informed about these issues than most of them, and the benefit derived is all theirs.
The next morning, as many struggle to get out of bed, Huzoor’s day starts with the routine Tahajjud prayer and Fajr prayer that he leads in the Fazl Mosque in London. A busy day lies ahead of him where dozens of delegations from almost all parts of the world are scheduled to have an audience with him. They seek guidance on particular issues pertaining to their regions and this goes on up to mid-afternoon. Late-afternoon, once again, sees families arriving to see Huzooraa and these sessions span over the rest of the afternoon and evening. This dawn-to-dusk-to-late-night routine continues for several weeks even after the Jalsa. This is the example set by our beloved Imam; the factor behind the motivation that keeps the whole Jamaat aspiring to achieve this standard untiringly, relentlessly and uncompromisingly.
Around 150 Khuddam from Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Canada travelled this year to assist with the winding up of Jalsa facilities at Hadiqatul Mahdi. MTA cameras have shown the magnitude and the scale of the Jalsa arrangements: gigantic marquees, water-supply, portable toilets and showers, mass-scale kitchens, storage, hired equipment; all this has to be removed from the site to bring out the farm that had hibernated under this tent-city for the Jalsa period.
Seeing all facilities being set up for Jalsa is a very pleasant sight; seeing all of it being dismantled is quite the opposite. But the 127 years of Jalsa Salana have proved that there is no moment in the calendar of the Jamaat where one can stop and spare time to be sad and go into melancholy. There is always something happening; Jalsa Salana Germany is less than a month away already, but before Jalsa Germany is Eid-ul-Azha, and later in the year Jalsa Qadian and then many more events that continue to happen all throughout the year in the blessed cause of Islam.
So let’s put it this way: the wind-up teams are harbingers of the next Jalsa, clearing Hadiqatul Mahdi for the guests of the Promised Messiahas who will come for the next Jalsa Salana.