Rameen Masood, Leicester, UK
“That is Allah’s grace; He bestows it on whom He pleases; and Allah is the Master of immense grace.” (Surah Al-Jumu’ah, Ch.62: V.5)
Alhamdulillah! Jalsa Salana UK 2023 has successfully ended, and while the wait for next year has already begun, it’s time to pause briefly and reflect on the excitement, zeal, and teachings of the past couple of days.
The preparations for Jalsa Salana had long started, but the realisation hit deep during the inauguration when Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, visited the Lajna marquee and lovingly addressed all the volunteers. Alhamdulillah! I had the opportunity to sit in the first row and see beloved Huzooraa up close (the feeling of being in the presence of beloved Huzooraa is truly unparalleled, and no words can convey a person’s emotions during that time). Thoughts race through one’s mind, and at that moment, you wish for nothing but to be of some use to the Jamaat and to do whatever you can to bring joy to beloved Huzoor’saa face. These precious moments will leave indelible marks in one’s mind and nurture the lives of countless youths like myself. Especially in today’s world, where materialistic desires can easily consume us, the grounds of Jalsa Salana guide us. Being a part of this magnificent makeshift village teaches us many things.
It’s a village where people from all across the globe, far beyond all spheres and creeds, become unified under the tree of Ahmadiyyat. We witness the unwavering devotion of the volunteers, the smiling faces of the duty holders and guests alike, and the constant reminders and methods of increasing one’s knowledge. The fresh scent of newly published books, the renowned museum-like exhibitions, and, of course, the wafting aroma of dal and aloo gosht. And not to forget the unanimous slogans resonating through the marquees — all imbuing the true essence of a Jalsa.
Scanning around the Lajna marquee, I saw the elderly and young interacting, most of whom had never known each other. Still, all were connected by their sisterhood and love for Allah the Almighty, Huzooraa and faith. A majestic panorama of worshippers, all resolute and with the same purpose of being cloaked by the robe of Allah’s love and nearness. Truly, it is an ethereal aura – a sight to behold where one can only say: Alhamdulillah!
These emotions were even more pronounced during the International ba‘ait ceremony. As the heavenly light suffused through Hadeeqatul Mahdi, all souls became unified at the hand of beloved Huzooraa. Each of us, with our own share of happiness and sorrows, pasts and futures, united in humility and with teary eyes. The holy grounds of Hadeeqatul Mahdi reverberated with life as seeds of taqwa and obedience were solicitously sown.
Undeniably, Jalsa Salana has left us with an urge to do more: to pray more, to serve more, to row our boat across the river of righteousness, and, well, to continue rowing.
All the addresses of Huzooraa encouraged us to continue ascending the minaret of piety. Whether it’s inspiring us through the examples of the female companions of the Holy Prophetsa or elucidating upon the three stages of the soul, or reminding us to constantly engage in reciting durood and spending our time in zikr-e-ilahi, beloved Huzooraa instilled, and continues to instil in us, sheer hope and motivation to succeed spiritually.
Allah the Almighty assures us that our efforts won’t go in vain. Humans are imperfect, but through His eternal grace, our Gracious Lord bestows His bounty upon us and manifolds the blessings, even for a small deed we may perform. A notion that needs to be fostered in the minds of every soul, because why should we let our souls be bereft of such divine love?
I pray that Allah the Almighty may enable us to inculcate the teachings and attributes we have learnt during Jalsa Salana. May we try our best to continue our spiritual rejuvenation into the following weeks, months, and years, insha-Allah.
Indeed, no words can express the profound gratitude we owe to our Gracious Lord for enabling us to see this day. And so, I will end with these couplets of the Promised Messiahas:
احباب سارے آئے تُو نے یہ دن دکھائے
تیرے کرم نے پیارے یہ مہرباں بُلائے
یہ دِن چڑھا مبارک مقصود جس میں پائے
یہ روز کر مبارک سُبْحَانَ مَنْ یَّرَانِى
“All the friends came; Thou showed us these days; Thy grace, O Dear, brought all these gracious people; A blessed day has dawned in which we found our goal; Pray bless this day; Holy is He Who watches over me.” (Durr-e-Sameen [English Translation], p. 46)