Syed Mukarram Nazeer, Canada Correspondent
Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Canada and Majlis Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya Canada held their ijtemas on 25 to 27 August 2023 at the Baitul Islam Mosque Complex. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa appointed Azhar Haneef Sahib, Naib Amir USA, as his representative for this ijtema. Multiple marquees were set up for the ijtema.
On 24 August, an inspection of the ijtema preparation was performed by Naib Amir USA in the main marquee. He was joined by Sadr Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Canada, Tahir Ahmed Sahib. The session ended with a silent prayer.
On the first day, the attendance was 2,119. After Jumuah and Asr prayers, a press conference was held with the aim of announcing the launch of the “Light of Quran” campaign, which is a response to the unfortunate Quran burnings taking place in Sweden, Denmark, and several other countries. Four news outlets attended; CTV Toronto, the Globe and Mail, OMNI News, and the Vaughan Citizen. After the press conference, a flag-hoisting ceremony took place.
The opening session started at around 2:35 pm with the recitation from the Holy Quran, followed by the Khuddamul Ahmadiyya pledge and poem. After this, Amir Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada read out a special message from Huzooraa. After the message was read out, Naib Amir USA gave his opening remarks, in which he reiterated the message from Huzooraa about creating a strong and living connection with God Almighty. Soon after the opening session, academic and sports competitions commenced. Concurrently, multiple other activities were organised to keep khuddam engaged. A Hub Marquee had different recreational activities. Different workshops were organised, covering a wide variety of topics. Along with the Hub and Workshop marquees, 16 food stalls were also set up for khuddam. Another marquee was home to an exhibition, a book store, and an exhibition by The Review of Religions. A special sitting of the Pan-African Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (PAAMA) Khuddam was held with Naib Amir Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya UK. This was followed by a sitting with Arab khuddam.
After the sports and academic competitions, dinner was served to khuddam. After dinner and prayers, a bonfire session was held in which khuddam from martyrs’ families narrated their personal experiences. Khuddam were also given a chance to share their thoughts and ask questions.
On day two, the attendance was 3,027, and the day commenced with congregational tahajjud and Fajr prayers at Baitul Islam Mosque. Sports competitions resumed after breakfast. This was followed by the opening session in the main marquee. Academic competitions continued on the second day as well. After Zuhr and Asr prayers, the second session of the ijtema commenced. Sadr Majlis addressed khuddam on the topic of “Upholding Our Pledge”, followed by a question-and-answer session in which khuddam asked a range of questions. After this, sports competitions continued. Multiple workshop sessions were held concurrently on a variety of topics.
More than a dozen dignitaries attended the ijtema, including the Provincial Minister of Education, Deputy/Acting Mayor of Vaughan, Deputy Mayor of Innisfil, Regional Councillor, Member Provincial Parliament of Ontario, and members of the Federal Parliament.
A special dinner was held at 7 pm in which members of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Canada’s amila, members of Majlis Ansarullah Canada’s amila, and seven of the eight past sadran of MKA Canada attended the dinner. Dinner was followed by Maghrib and Isha prayers.
This year, Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Canada had a separate marquee for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) for khuddam and atfal with special needs. This was established following the recommendation of Majlis-e-Shura. Seven atfal with special needs were accommodated and served.
At the end of the day, a second Bonfire session was held in which khuddam asked different marriage-related questions. The session lasted for more than an hour. The session ended with a silent prayer.
The attendance on the third day was 3,313, and the day commenced with tahajjud prayer at the Baitul Islam Mosque, followed by Fajr prayer and dars. All sports and academic competitions concluded before Zuhr and Asr prayers.
The closing session started at around 2:20 pm with the recitation from the Holy Quran, followed by the Khuddamul Ahmadiyya pledge, poem, ijtema report, and prize distribution. After the prize distribution, Naib Amir USA delivered an address on how to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of society and how Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya acts as a shield. The closing session concluded with a silent prayer followed by a group photo.
MKA Canada Studios provided a live stream on all three days of the ijtema. It was full of original content and studio sessions, with a total viewership of more than 14,000. Over 40 members were interviewed during the ijtema. A total of 27 individual videos, three promo videos, and over seven YouTube shorts in promotion of the ijtema were produced. There were over 30,000 views in the past 28 days leading up to and during the ijtema.