Syed Mukarram Nazeer, Canada Correspondent
Covid-19 severely limited public gatherings in Canada for the past two years. With restrictions easing, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada held its 44th Jalsa Salana on 15 to 17 July, after a pause of two years. However, certain restrictions were placed on the attendees. They had to be double vaccinated, could attend only one day of Jalsa but could choose the day and all members were invited to pre-register for the day that they wanted to attend. Nearly 8,000 pre-registration requests were received.
This year, Jalsa Salana Canada was held at two separate venues; men gathered at Hadiqa Ahmad, Bradford, while the ladies had the Bait-ul-Islam mosque complex to themselves. In addition, the Jalsa was live streamed on social media too.
Hadiqa Ahmad is 247 acres of land that Jamaat Canada purchased in Bradford, just under 40km North of Bait-ul-Islam mosque in Toronto. Although auxiliary organisations have held their respective ijtemas, it was the first time Jalsa Salana Canada was held there.
Multiple marquees were set up and banners were put in the marquee with Quranic verses, sayings of the Holy Prophetsa and quotes from the Promised Messiahas and his Khulafa. Additional marquees were set up for food, stalls, the bookstore, registration, security, translation booths and MTA broadcasting.
Multiple portable washrooms along with a separate area for ablution were set up. The food was cooked at the newly formed langar khana (kitchen) at Hadiqa Ahmad. Food was served to men at Hadiqa Ahmad and transported to Bait-ul-Islam for ladies. Separate food with fewer spices was also prepared for those who needed it.
At the Bait-ul-Islam mosque complex – apart from parking and security duties performed by Khuddam – all other tasks were done by the Lajna.
All mosques and namaz centres across Canada started the day with congregational prayers and dars.
The Friday Sermon delivered by Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa was played before the Friday prayer at Hadiqa Ahmad. Amir Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada, Lal Khan Malik Sahib delivered a short sermon on the topic of “The superiority of Jumuah prayer” and led the Friday prayer.
This was followed by Lunch.
A press conference was held by amir sahib Canada, where the national and local media had an opportunity to ask questions.
At 5pm, amir sahib hoisted the Canadian flag while the missionary-in-charge of Canada, Abdul Rashid Anwar Sahib hoisted the Liwa-e-Ahmadiyyat. Immediately after this, the opening session started with the recitation from the Holy Quran with its translation, followed by an Urdu poem with translation.
The opening address was given by the missionary-in-charge in English and Urdu languages on “Jalsa Salana: A sign of Allah”, followed by another poem and a documentary presentation.
The second speech was delivered by Imtiaz Ahmed Sra Sahib (in English) on “A Merciful God & human suffering: How can both exist?”
Announcements, followed by dinner brought the session to a close.
In all mosques and namaz centres across Canada, the second day of Jalsa Salana Canada also started with congregational Fajr prayer and dars.
The second formal session commenced at 11am with the recitation from the Holy Quran with its translation, followed by an Arabic poem with translation.
A professor of Jamia Ahmadiyya Canada, Misbah Baloch Sahib gave the opening speech of the session in Urdu on “Martyrs of Ahmadiyyat: Rock of patience & dignity (Syed Taalay Ahmad Shaheed)”.
He was followed by Aizaz Ahmad Khan Sahib who spoke on “Transformation of a barbaric society into a divine society: A unique achievement of the Holy Prophetsa”. The speech was followed by a poem with translation and a documentary presentation.
Next was Naib Amir Jamaat Canada, Hadi Ali Chaudhary Sahib, who spoke in Urdu on the topic of “Khilafat: The assurance of protection and spiritual advancement”.
Naib Amir Jamaat Canada, Sohail Mubarak Sharma Sahib was the next speaker who spoke in English on the topic of “Blessings and importance of spending in the cause of Allah”.
This was followed by Lunch.
At 3:30pm, Zuhr and Asr prayers were offered.
Immediately afterwards, the third session started with the recitation from the Holy Quran with its translation, followed by a poem with translation.
The first item on the agenda was awards of excellence. These were given by amir sahib Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada. First up were the Alam-e-Inami awards for Majlis Ansarullah, Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya and Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya. In addition, certificates of completion for recently graduated huffaz from Hifz-ul-Quran School Canada were also given out.
The Parliamentary Friends of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat (PFA) is an organisation that is comprised entirely of members of the House of Commons of Canada, and members of the Senate Chamber of Canada. The PFA’s mandate is to create awareness among members regarding human rights violations, including state-sponsored persecution of Ahmadis globally. The PFA also seeks to promote adherence to values of human dignity and freedom of religion for all. Additionally, the PFA is a forum for exchanging ideas and solutions to promote religious freedoms for all communities worldwide. It has been working for over a decade now and presently has 75 members from different political parties in Canada.
One important mandate of this group is the nomination of the “Ahmadiyya Order of Friendship” award. This is awarded to recognise a leading Canadian politician who has exemplified extraordinary public service and contribution to the community and to humanity at large. It is awarded for special merit in furthering and strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and understanding between diverse communities and people. This year, the PFA awarded this to Ms Judy Sgro, a member of the House of Commons of Canada. The award was presented to her at Jalsa Salana Canada.
Several Canadian dignitaries attended the Jalsa. Most prominent among them was the Prime Minister of Canada, Right Honorable Justin Trudeau. He thanked Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada for its role in making Canada a stronger country. He was joined by two ministers and 13 members of parliament including members from the opposition. Three provincial ministers attended the event, along with seven members of the provincial parliament. Two mayors and multiple regional and city councillors were in attendance too. A documentary on Islam Ahmadiyyat in English and French brought this special session to an end.
Missionary-in-charge Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya USA delivered a speech in English on the topic “Come, O people! ‘Tis here you will find the light of God”.
He was followed by Umair Khan Sahib who delivered a speech in English on the topic of “Attaining peace of mind: An Islamic perspective”.
Announcements and dinner brought the day to an end.
Lajna also had a session at Bait-ul-Islam mosque that ran concurrently to the third session on the men’s side, reported Nudrat Ashraf Chaudhry Sahiba, Secretary Tajnid Lajna Imaillah Canada.
The session started with the recitation from the Holy Quran with its Urdu and English translations, followed by a poem.
The first speech of the session was by an honourary amila member of Lajna Imaillah Canada Amatur Rafiq Zafar Sahiba in Urdu on the topic of “The Holy Prophet’ssa ways of training of the children.”
At this time, the Lajna session was paused and two speeches from the men’s session from Hadiqa Ahmad were relayed. The first was that of the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. That was followed by a speech by the Missionary-in-Charge Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya USA, Azhar Haneef Sahib
The ladies’ session resumed after these speeches, with an Arabic qaseeda written by the Promised Messiahas with its English translation. Sadr Lajna Imaillah Canada, Amatul Salaam Malik Sahiba then delivered an English speech on the topic “The truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas in all matters.”
Secretary Tabligh Lajna Imaillah Canada, Dr Alia Rahim Sahib then delivered an Urdu speech on the topic “Importance of loyalty and sincerity for Khilafat”.
This was followed by an English speech by Secretary Tarbiyat of Lajna Imaillah Canada, Nadia Mahmood Sahiba on the “Importance and blessings of Khilafat”.
The Lajna session concluded with an academic awards ceremony in which 200 students received awards including graduated hafizat from Hifz-ul-Quran School, Aisha Academy, and those who completed PhDs and master’s degrees.
Lajna Imaillah Canada implemented a new initiative for a greener environment this year. The ziafat (hospitality and food) volunteers helped separate the waste from the recycling. Because of this green initiative, there was very little garbage generated across all three days.
Quite a few stalls were set up for Lajna, including bookstalls and 323 Lajna volunteers served tirelessly to make this event a success.
All mosques and namaz centres across Canada started the third day of Jalsa Salana Canada 2022 with congregational Fajr prayer and dars.
The final session started at 11am with the recitation from the Holy Quran with its translation, followed by a poem with translation.
Secretary Tarbiyat Jamaat Canada, Shahid Mansoor Sahib delivered the first speech in English on “Marriage as an institution for safeguarding society”. He was followed by Farhan Iqbal Sahib who spoke in English on “Prophecies of the Holy Quran: Fulfillment in the modern era”.
The next was the academic awards ceremony, where students who completed their respective levels of education with distinction were recognised and awarded certificates.
Najeeb Ullah Ayaz Sahib delivered the next speech in Urdu on “Love for the Holy Prophetsa and the importance of durood sharif”. He was followed by Hafiz Attaul Wahab Sahib who spoke in English on “An ideal family life: Practices & guidance provided by the Promised Messiahas”.
Amir Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada, Lal Khan Malik Sahib then delivered the closing address in English on “Renaissance of Islam through Khilafat”.
Silent prayers, followed by Zuhr and Asr prayers brought Jalsa Salana Canada 2022 to an end.