Jamaat Kababir, Haifa enjoys spiritual atmosphere at 25th Jalsa Salana


Imaduddin Al-Masri, Missionary, Kababir

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The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Kababir held its annual Jalsa Salana this year which started on 14 July 2022. The Jalsa was held at the historic Mahmood Mosque where guests enjoyed the spiritual atmosphere.

The first day was dedicated to Hebrew speakers. A video recorded message of the President, Isaac Herzog was played in which he congratulated the Ahmadiyya Jamaat and appreciated its role in maintaining harmony and coexistence in Haifa.

The Amir of the Jamaat in the Holy Land, Muhammad Sharif Odeh Sahib then delivered his speech, which focused on establishing global security through knowing the Creator and characterising His ways of morality. The Mayor of Haifa, Dr Einat Klisch gave an important speech in which she praised the role of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in preserving the cultural heritage of the city of Haifa.

The event was also attended by Judge Zaid Falah, the Tanzanian Ambassador, Mr Alex Kallua and the representative of the spiritual leader of the Druze Community, Sheikh Muwaffaq Tareef in addition to several Jewish and Christian scholars.

The former Minister of Science and Technology and the former President of Bar Ilan University, Rabbi Prof Daniel Hershkowitz said to Amir Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya:

“You produce harmony between many thoughts and different religions through your discourse, thoughts and beliefs and your approach towards people.”

The second day of Jalsa Salana Kababir was in Arabic and we witnessed a large presence from the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Morocco. 

The day started with Tahajud prayer in the community’s mosque that is located in Kababir neighbourhood, west of Haifa. Later that day, the Friday prayer was led by Muhammad Sharif Odeh, who focused his sermon on the similarities between the condition of the world during the time of the Holy Prophetsa and its condition in our time, as the period of jahiliyyah (ignorance) was returning in its strongest form, spreading violence and crime and bringing back the law of the jungle.

At five in the evening, the attendees participated in a flag hoisting ceremony, which formally inaugurated the Jalsa Salana.

Thereafter, the second session began under the chairmanship of Shams Al-Din Malabari, which included a set of activities and speeches.

At approximately eight o’clock in the evening, the activities of the third (and final) session began, which started with a recitation of verses from the Holy Quran presented by Hussein Al-Masri, a Jordanian guest. This was followed by the recitation of verses from an Arabic poem composed by the founder of the community, sung by Faraj Odeh. A speech on the biography of the Prophetsa and its role in removing injustice from humanity was then presented by Shamsuddin Malabari Sahib, a missionary of the community in Kababir. 

During his speech, he focused on an overview of the teachings of the Prophetsa and his sunnah, which had a great role in establishing justice in the world, starting from the most difficult parts of the earth and the most uncivilised societies. 

After this speech, a documentary film was shown, which included testimonies of members of the community, from different countries, talking about their personal spiritual experiences. The session concluded with a silent collective prayer.

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It is noteworthy that an exhibition of photographs, books and publications was also held, which was very popular with the attendees. There were allocated points wherein quiet discussions took place in which the organisers answered the questions of the guests who flocked from local areas and different countries such as Jordan, Morocco, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Britain and the Palestinian territories. 

The number of participants reached about 1,000 people, around half of whom were guests from outside the Jamaat.

Below are some of the impressions of the guests who were interviewed by MTA:

An elderly Jewish guest said: 

“I’ve known the Ahmadis for 30 years. I have attended all of your 25 conventions.” He felt moved and his voice trembled, before adding, “Indeed, here we witness ‘love for all, hatred for none.’”

Another Jewish guest said: 

“This is what I was looking for. I was looking for true Islam; I am looking for a voice that speaks in the name of Muhammad, who is a holy human like Jesus, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – Muhammad is holy to me. I am a Jew, but I believe that he is holy because he came with the truth.”

The chief rabbi of Ukraine said: 

“The atmosphere is full of friendliness. I liked the atmosphere very much because I felt here as if I was at home! […] I am the chief rabbi of Ukraine and I am here with a modern Islamic group that promotes peace, friendship and understanding […] learning from each other is a most important thing. This harmony in human relations creates peace, and this is what I found here.”

Another guest said: 

“I feel that this community is a gift from the Creator, and I am fortunate to have known this respectable community, its enlightening and progressive teachings.” 

A guest remarked: 

“I feel that this community is a gift from the Creator, and I am fortunate to have known this respectable community, its enlightening and progressive teachings.”

Ashraf Qurtam, a lecturer and human development coach, is very influential and famous in the Arab community. He says: 

“Honestly, there is something special about your convention. The topics you usually talk about, especially this year, are topics that all people need to hear regardless of their religion. When I participate in your conventions I am nourished spiritually. Not only that, but also professionally, and am filled with positive energy that I later transmit as a lecturer to the recipients.”

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A young Ahmadi from the West Bank: 

“The atmosphere that I find here, I miss in my town all year round, so I come in search of these feelings and of the experience. I wish that every day will be a convention.”

A Druze cleric from the delegate of the Druze community attending Jalsa Salana said: “We have benefited and learned a lot.”

Eid Jubaili, an Arab teacher from Haifa, said: 

“I have taught Ahmadi students for 20 years in the school where I work, which includes Arab students from all over Haifa. I have noticed the moral excellence of the Ahmadi students. They were a symbol of decent morals, tolerance and unity. For the last twenty years, we have never witnessed incidents of violence and riots on their part, so they set an example for the rest of the students in morals and hardwork.”

A Christian guest commented: 

“You are amazing. All sects and religions should come to see and hear what you are doing here. This is brilliant. You taught us love and how a person can spread love among people and sects with humility. Your convention this year was very special.”

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A retired academic and Jewish guest said: 

“I am from Haifa and I come here many times. When I reach the outskirts of Haifa on my way back from a journey, I see the minaret of your mosque and I know that I am home because when I see it, I see where the people I love live. The Ahmadis and their leaders are very brave. Wherever fires burn, you will find your amir heading to extinguish them. Wherever there are differences, we find him bringing the views of all the clergy closer. He is brave and an example because whenever there is a defect, he stands and says his opinion. He unites and does not separate.

“I am proud of you and I want to send a message to your Khalifa, whom I love because I have heard a lot about him. I want to say to him: ‘How great is your community! You all are an example with your daily behavior; you are truly role models. You bring people together and bring them closer to each other, so for that, I thank you.”

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