Review of Jalsa Salana Germany 2019
12 July 2019
After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa stated:
By the sheer grace and blessings of Allah the Almighty, a few days ago, Jalsa Salana [the annual convention] of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Germany concluded. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, as I announced on the final day, the attendance this year reached above 40,000. All this progress that we observe year-on-year is solely and entirely due to Allah’s grace, Who always blesses us far more than our efforts and endeavours.
Thus, whilst expressing our gratitude to Allah the Almighty, we should endeavour to increase our efforts so that these blessings and favours of Allah the Almighty continue to increase. The hundreds of non-Ahmadi and nonMuslim guests have mentioned that they had experienced an extraordinary atmosphere which had a profound effect upon them. Our own members also express this feeling. However, the manner in which the volunteers perform their duties, including young boys and girls, and moreover the fact that people stay together in such large numbers without any quarrelling or disruption, is a remarkable and unique experience for those from outside the Jamaat. Some have even stated that this was a miracle.
Thus, in addition to being a source of our own tarbiyat [moral training], our Jalsa is also a great source of tabligh [propagating the message of Islam]. Thus, this demands from us that we continue to express our gratitude to God Almighty.
This atmosphere should not be temporary, rather every moment of our lives should exhibit the beautiful teachings of Islam through every action of ours and we should continuously fulfil the purpose of entering into the Bai‘at of the Promised Messiahas.
Generally, I mention the sentiments and views expressed by the guests and some other matters related to Jalsa and I shall present some of those impressions today as well. However, I would firstly like to thank all the workers, both men and women, who worked continuously day and night, in order to try and make the arrangements of the Jalsa successful in every respect and who, even at this very moment, are working there as the windup operation is continuing.
It is observed here [in the UK] as well as in the larger and organised Jamaats around the world, in which the administrative system is well-established, that the volunteers dedicate every moment of their time solely for the arrangements of Jalsa and for the hospitality of the guests of the Promised Messiahas, while ignoring their personal interests. By the Grace of God Almighty, the Jamaat in Germany is also exceedingly sincere and loyal, to the extent that in terms of certain aspects of sacrifices, it surpasses many other Jamaats. If there are any shortcomings, then it is usually due to the way in which the office-bearers carry out their duty or the manner in which they obtain the work from the volunteers. However, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, the members of the Jamaat are always willing to sacrifice their life, time and wealth. May Allah the Almighty continue to increase them in their sincerity and loyalty.
This time, due to an increase in the attendees, the organisers, as well as Amir Sahib, have realised that it is time that they ought to have a large Jalsa Gah [a site for the annual convention] of their own – although, they recognised this need last year and I have also been reminding them for the past few years – but it seems that Amir Sahib, the national amila and the office-bearers have taken this matter more seriously this year.
This time, they faced some difficulties with regard to the parking due to which there were some traffic issues. Furthermore, people faced difficulties while entering the Jalsa Gah in order to take part in the proceedings. Understandably, when there is such a vast number of attendees, such situations can arise if there is even the slightest of shortcomings in the arrangements and thus, given the circumstances, this naturally led to some disruption.
Those people who could not enter the hall and were being delayed expressed their displeasure. Consequently, those who were on duty in the traffic and parking departments became worried. However, it is by the grace of Allah the Almighty that even under such circumstances, people were able to watch or listen to the speeches and follow the proceedings on their phones via the service provided by MTA.
Therefore, such issues in relation to the Jalsa draw our attention to the need for more expansive arrangements and facilities. Furthermore, we have to fix the dates of Jalsa according to the hirer and we are not free to choose the dates ourselves. This year, they handed over the halls for Jalsa at the last moment. All these matters should draw the attention of the organisers that they ought to obtain their own site where the Jalsa can be held.
Amir Sahib has informed me that he has a seen a site, which he liked and they are trying to acquire it. If this site is suitable for the Jamaat in the eyes of Allah the Almighty, then may He enable them to acquire it and may He facilitate them to purchase it with ease. I am hopeful of this Insha-Allah and upon observing the sincerity, loyalty and the spirit of sacrifice of the German Jamaat, I can say that if any financial sacrifices were to be required, the members of the Jamaat will, God-willing, offer such sacrifices. May Allah the Almighty increase their ability to do so.
As I mentioned on the last day at the Germany Jalsa that this has now also become an international Jalsa. Previously it had been convenient for people of Europe to attend the Germany Jalsa. This time, however, it seems that it was more convenient for other countries to also attend, such as former Soviet states and some African countries, and they were able to acquire the visa more easily. Even from this perspective, it is necessary for Germany to expand the Jalsa Gah [Jalsa hall] and the relevant arrangements as well.
After expressing my gratitude to the workers and mentioning some aspects in relation the Jalsa, I will now present before you some impressions of those who attended the Jalsa, from which it becomes evident that not only the volunteers, but rather every Ahmadi attending the Jalsa serves as a means of silently preaching the message of Islam through their morals and good conduct. During the days of Jalsa, there is an additional programme for non-Ahmadis and non-Muslim guests on Saturday afternoon as well, during which I deliver an address. Hence, I will first mention the impressions of those who took part in this programme. During the remainder of this programme, a tabligh programme or gathering is organised for the guests by the local administration.
This year, as part of the tabligh arrangements, a total of 1,179 external guests attended the Jalsa. The number of German guests was 502 and the number of guests from other European countries totalled 341. Apart from this there were 157 guests from Arab countries, 104 guests from Asia and 75 guests from Africa. Thus, a total of 76 nations were represented.
Mr Hans Oliver was one of the guests, who is a senior partner of a law firm in Frankfurt and is a lawyer. After attending this gathering and listening to my address, he expressed his sentiments by saying:
“The speech of the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat was extremely passionate and impressive for me.”
He further writes:
“To identify the impending dangers and the possibility of war in the midst of seemingly peaceful and routinely affairs of daily life, is indeed of great significance. Furthermore, the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat has not only accurately perceived the looming dangers of the future, but along with this is also warning the world. Similarly, the manner in which he connected the issue of immigration to the socio-economic interests of governments was indeed a profound analysis.”
He then says:
“As a lawyer, I wish to mention this aspect to my colleagues and to emphasise the appreciation of this mutual need. The reason for this is that here, in general, people speak of the arrival of refugees in a negative manner. However, they neglect the local interests of the countries and nations that are attached to immigration, which is a matter of great significance.”
Then, Vereena Ludwig Sahiba, who is an IT expert working for the Lufthansa airlines, says:
“Whilst listening to the address, I was constantly thinking that other leaders also deliver speeches and encourage the world to protect itself from the looming dangers.”
She further says:
“Speaking on the subject of establishing world peace is a burning issue for world leaders. However, I have never experienced the effect and power in the words of any other leader as I witnessed in the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. Secondly, there was such an extensive research carried out on this subject, which reveals his heartfelt anguish. One cannot offer such a detailed analysis if they do not possess true heartfelt pain.”
She further says:
“Not only from a religious perspective but also from a socio-economic point of view, he made it evidently clear to world leaders that the peace of the world is intrinsically linked to instilling the fear of God. If we do not rise above our personal interests and take action, then we will be responsible for the catastrophic destruction that will be caused by an atomic war.”
She further says:
“In my view, this message has been delivered with such clarity that if a person does not have any prejudices, it is sufficient enough as a warning to make them shudder. Furthermore, this message should be conveyed to the relevant organisations, as it is necessary to spread this understanding on a global level for the welfare of mankind at large.”
Then, there was a German couple, Mr Klause and Mrs Heide. They stated:
“We were very apprehensive before we came here. Even though we had been familiar with the Jamaat for several years, we had reservations when it came to attending the Jalsa, which were based on the information we heard about Islam and Muslims from the media. Hence, we were extremely nervous coming here today as we were uncertain as to the nature of the people gathered here. However, after arriving, both of us, husband and wife, were so relaxed and we experienced such a friendly atmosphere here that it felt as if we were walking around in our own environment.”
After listening to my speech, the wife said:
“In relation to this, I would like to say that I have personally witnessed the destruction caused by war.” She was referring to the Second World War.
“Furthermore, the catastrophes and the terrifying conditions, which the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat continues to warn mankind of and also the spirit of sympathy and sincerity with which he is cautioning the world has a different impact on individuals such as myself, who has witnessed a world war. Therefore, we are in agreement with every word of this address and wish for the current generation to understand and realise it in good time.”
The husband of this lady further says:
“He [i.e. the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Community] has certainly pointed out all the dangers posed today. However, whilst doing so, he neither mentioned anyone’s name, nor did he adopt a manner of speech during his address, which gave the impression that he was inclining towards any particular side. The manner in which he was issuing a warning contained a profound sympathy rather than on personal likes or dislikes. There was not the faintest indication of any personal inclination during his address and this is the very status of a religious leader.”
He further says:
“Following this address, I return with this conviction that the Ahmadiyya Jamaat holds deep sympathy for humanity.”
Then, Mr Nobert Wagner, an immigration lawyer, says:
“Even though I am not attending the Jalsa for the first time and as a lawyer for cases related to Ahmadis, I am aware of most matters.”
He deals with the asylum cases of Ahmadis.
“However, today’s address of the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat contained completely new aspects and points for me. Even though I am expressing my feelings, this expression is a form of an immediate response as this very speech contains many important points for my professional needs, which I will deliberate over once I return home.
“The viewpoint presented today by the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in relation to the issue of immigrants and those who leave their homeland will develop a mutual relationship and honour between hosting countries and immigrants. Furthermore, and particularly the manner in which he highlighted the need of German manpower with the support of figures in relation to the elderly and the age of retirement, it will strengthen the self-esteem of the refugees and the respect and honour of immigrants will also increase in the eyes of the hosting institutions. However, I say this once again that this contains a lot of material for myself as well as for those who practice immigration law, which will benefit us.”
Thus, even from worldly perspective, the Jalsa helps people.
Then, a lady named Laila from Switzerland writes:
“I belong to an organisation and we are working toward spreading peace. Today, when I heard this address, I felt peace in every single word of it. In each word, I witnessed tolerance and regard for human dignity. If you combine peace, humanity and tolerance into one place, then you will end up forming a beautiful society.” Then she goes on to say:
“Whatever you say, it is beneficial for us. The most impressive aspect was that after presenting all of the prevailing issues, you offered a solution from religion itself, and said that the solution to all of these issues lies in recognising God Almighty. You have proven that religion is not the problem, but the solution to the problems.”
A German lady said:
“I really liked the fact that his holiness spoke upon current issues. Before him, some politicians also spoke, but there was no substance to their words – they were the usual average things that anyone can say. But this speech was totally distinctive. He spoke on real issues – nuclear war, climate change, immigration. These are the prevailing issues, the solution for which he also presented. Rather than putting constraints on religion, it should be propagated. He also directed the attention towards forming a connection with God.”
Then, she says:
“He explained in very clear words that the wars that are taking place today have no connection at all with religion. He also shed ample light on political affairs, and then went on to say that powerful nations take advantage of weaker ones. Sometimes they are exploited in an apparent way, while at other times it is more subtle, and they are compelled to safeguard the interest of the more powerful nations.”
And so, in this way, she has done a good analysis, especially as a student. This means that people listen carefully and also reflect on what is being said.
Then, there is a Christian Priest of Germany named Andreas Weisbrote, who says:
“I have been greatly impressed by the Jalsa Salana – from the multitude of friendly faces, from this environment of positivity and goodness, and from the great unity and love.”
Furthermore, in relation to my address, he said:
“This speech left me in utter amazement. I was not so aware of the imminence of a nuclear threat. I also think that at this time, we can only progress if we give due attention to collective priorities, peace and when we search altogether for peace. For
this purpose, we require a strong society where we establish an environment of multiple perspectives and tolerance, and one of interfaith dialogue, which is an integral part of this as well.”
These were just a handful of examples, which I selected from numerous expressions. Now, I shall also present some general impressions of the Jalsa.
A Macedonian delegation had come, comprising of 70 people. Among them were also eight journalists. Two were representing the regional news groups while the remaining six belonged to national news agencies or other media groups. Aside from recording the actual proceedings of Jalsa, they also took some interview people and also took my interview as well. Apart from the journalists, there were also 15 Christian friends in this delegation, 23 Non-Ahmadi Muslims and 24 Ahmadi Muslims. Of the non-Ahmadi guests from this delegation, five of them, after having seen the Jalsa and its programme, and who were already being preached to from before, joined the Jamaat.
A Macedonian lady named Aleksandra Doneva was attending for the first time. Her expression was truly unique; very poetic and philosophical. Thus, I kept this in order to share. She says:
“What is a home without its inhabitants? Can there be a concept of humanity without morals? The reality of humankind cannot exist without religion and beliefs. After all, what is humanity at all without love? The purification of man’s soul can only be had when he lives in peace and spreads peace as well. Similarly, the purification of the soul lies also in tolerance and mutual respect and dignity. It is necessary for man that he believes in God, and strives to build a better future on Earth. This is a method by which we can safeguard mankind, and the Ahmadiyya Community is doing all of these things. Ahmadis spread peace, teach peace, and are establishing morals and goodness so that all of mankind also joins in all these things. Ahmadiyyat is unifying all people in one place and is kindling the light of worship in them. Ahmadiyyat desires that people should increase their spirituality and that unity should be established among them, and that they become close to God. This year at Jalsa, I saw a multitude of good people with smiling faces who were affording us a great deal of respect. They truly believe that with good morals, a good life can be lived.”
She goes on to say:
“I, along with expressing my sentiments of gratitude, bear witness that I saw such people whose conviction in God and faith in Him is very strong. I am hopeful that you will continue with these good works, and you will increase your love and attention in this regard. Then shall a time come that people will realise the true purpose and value of life.”
This is the impression of a person who is not from the community. And this impression should bring us to the point where we truly recognise the purpose of our lives, and also strive to achieve this purpose as well.
Among the Macedonian delegation was also a television journalist, Zoranco Zorinski Sahib, who says:
“I am attending this Jalsa for the second time, and it is a great honour for me. The organisation of the Jalsa was extraordinary and in my opinion, the organisational structure of the Jalsa was even better this time than last year.”
Then he says, “I greatly enjoyed your address. Every word of it was a lesson for humankind. This is an international message – ‘Love for all, hatred for none.’”
Then he says, “To believe in God and in helping all people is a thing that will remove all conflict from between people.”
He further states, “Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya teaches people very positive things.”
Then, regarding the Press Conference with different journalists that took place with me, he writes, “The answers he gave were expressive of the fundamentals of human dignity and respect.”
He says, “I am also a journalist and will try to get an interview with you at some time.”
Then he goes on to say, “[His holiness] gives good advice. I hope that more people will accept Ahmadiyyat and will work toward the betterment of humankind.”
The world can see that Islam will progress in the world through Ahmadiyyat.
Then, a man named Vojomanevski Sahib states:
“I have deeply pondered over the message of Ahmadiyyat and understood it with depth. As a journalist I have analysed those aspects of faith which overlap among different religions. The foundation of religion is based upon love for God and for humankind. This is a message which is direly needed in today’s day and age. The solution to many of those problems which are greatly agitating the world lies in this love. Today, a great predicament in Europe is the upsurge of right-winged politicians, the solution for which is only possible through dialogue between the various faiths, cultures and civilisations. If we search for God, then we will come to learn that there is not that much of a difference between us.”
Then he says, “The more distanced we become from God, the more distant we shall become from mankind and people in general. The age of materialism is bringing an end to spiritual livelihood and relationships between people. This is why we must protect our families and friends and all our relationships and connections.”
Then, a man named Jani Redjepov sahib states, “I have participated in the Jalsa with my family. The Jalsa was amazing and proved to be a marvellous experience.”
Then he says:
“When I first heard of the message of Ahmadiyyat in Macedonia, I realised that the work of Ahmadiyyat is giving people positive guidance. First, my family accepted this message, and then they guided me. I am grateful to you for facilitating the means for us to partake in the Jalsa Salana.”
Then there is a lady named Tanja Sahiba, who says:
“This is the first time I have participated in the Jalsa. Here, everything was new for me, and it was excellent. All of the organisational structures put in place were excellent. Particularly the manner in which the volunteers interacted was so
friendly. They were conducting themselves with smiling faces and working with an excellent conduct.”
Then, a university student from Bulgaria says:
“The people were very empathetic, which is why I am here now. I was watching the Bai‘at ceremony as an observer. I do not have the words to express my emotions. For people to collect in this manner is an astonishing and grand thing.”
A delegation of 49 people came from Bulgaria. Among them were 15 Ahmadis and 34 non-Ahmadi and Christian guests. A Christian woman named Yulia Sahiba, who was part of the delegation, said:
“I am very emotional just to think that I am also participating with thousands of people in the Jalsa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Despite being Christian, I really enjoyed the address (she is speaking about my address). Your prayers really touched the heart and I really enjoyed the recitation of the Holy Quran and its translation. One thing worth mentioning is that you handed the awards to the students yourself.”
She then prayed that may God Almighty accept all our supplications. A woman from the Bulgarian delegation, Krasrmira Sahiba says:
“This is my third opportunity to attend the Jalsa in Germany and each year I learn something new. As a physiotherapist and psychologist, I listen intently to the speeches. Through the teachings of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community presented in the speeches, I can find the best solutions to the issues of my patients and I gather valuable advice for myself.”
Ivanka Sahiba, a Christian guest from the Bulgarian delegation, says:
“This is the first time I have had the chance to attend the Jalsa in Germany. To see all of this really left me astounded, especially the children who would come and serve us water in cups.”
Then another guest named Galia Sahiba said:
“I attended all three days of the Germany Jalsa. I am extremely impressed with the hospitality and organisation. I am also very impressed by the courteous and pious people I had the chance to meet during the Jalsa.”
A delegation from Hungary attended this year among whom were 8 guests and 11 Ahmadis. Szavavince Sahib, who is from the Romani people said:
“We set up an organisation for the success, betterment and legal support of our people, which comprises of over 16,000 members.”
This is the first time he attended the Jalsa. He further says, “Meeting new people is part and parcel of my job. I have attended these functions and events, be they Jewish, Muslim or Christian programmes. In my entire life, I have never witnessed such love, mutual respect and dignity, equality and brotherhood as I have witnessed here, nor have I seen this in any other function.”
He thanked the Jamaat for granting him the opportunity to come and see for himself the practical implementation of “Love for all, hatred for none”. He also said that this was a lifetime experience for him which cannot be forgotten, and that he is in a very emotional state after attending the Jalsa. He then said that he had been speaking in support of the Muslim migrants in his country who are facing difficulties and hatred, but now he will speak up even more and stand up for them more resolutely, knowing that the way the media is portraying the Muslims is completely false.”
Then there is Wafaa Hasan Shermani Sahiba of Yemen, who migrated with her mother and son to Hungary. She says that she attended the Jalsa last year as well as this year. She mentions that last year when she went to the ladies’ side, she felt very comfortable. Hence, this time she sat in the ladies’ side and listened to the entire program and there was a special spiritual and emotional atmosphere. There was a guest by the name of Besim Gjozi Sahib, who took the oath of allegiance on the final day and joined the Jamaat. He said, “I am so grateful to God Almighty for this.” Another guest, Sinan Breshanaj Sahib states that the reason why he joined the Jamaat was that a few years ago, he met me and this had a profound impact upon him and as a result, he began attending the Jalsa in Germany every year. There is an Ahmadi, Bekim Bici Sahib, who says:
“I performed the Bai‘at in 2004. I achieved great success in my journalism degree as a result of which I received a medal at the Jalsa Salana in 2016. Thereafter, I began working as a journalist for online newspapers outlets in Albania. Last year when I requested to take leave to attend the Jalsa, it was not granted. I therefore resigned because I could not miss the Jalsa. The very same day, God Almighty granted me work in another media outlet, which I accepted on the condition that I would begin work after attending the Jalsa in Germany.”
He further says:
“Similarly, this year also, I had only been working for only four months in an online news company, and according to the company policy, there was no permission to take holidays before six months of working there. Despite this, I sought permission to attend the Jalsa, which was not granted. Subsequently I resigned from that company and on the same day, three other companies offered me a job. From among them, I agreed to work on the condition that I begin work after attending the Jalsa Salana in Germany. Thus, this condition of mine was accepted.”
This is the true example of giving precedence to faith over worldly pursuits, which those who have recently accepted Ahmadiyyat are also demonstrating. An Ahmadi friend, Gezimmuzhaqi Sahib, who used to belong to an atheist society and got in contact with the Jamaat a few years ago. He found the proofs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in support of religion and Islam in particular to be very logical and pleasing. Previously, he was completely against religion due to hearing stories of the Maulvis [religious clerics]. He did the Bai‘at a few years ago and is now steadily increasing in observing Islamic customs.
“The Jalsa Salana is very special to me. As always, the organisation and hospitality were of the highest level. The address in the Ladies Jalsa Gah and the concluding address really impressed me and we, men, must always bear this message in mind.”
Then there was an Albanian guest called Ilir Cylandji, who lives in Germany.
“The Jalsa Salana is a wonderful spiritual gathering for all Ahmadi Muslims, in which not only members of the Jamaat attend, but also a large number of guests from different countries.”
On the one hand, he learnt about the fundamental teachings of Islam through his attendance at the Jalsa, and on the other hand, he was able to witness and experience the practical example of these beautiful teachings through the intuition of Khilafat established in the Jamaat.
“During these three days, there are only [religious] sittings in the men’s and women’s Jalsa halls and the beautiful teachings of Islam are presented to tackle the changes and challenges in this day and age. As an Ahmadi Muslim, I wait very eagerly for this spiritual gathering because one can witness the true spirit of brotherhood, which is indescribable. Every single member of the Jamaat displays pure and sincere love. When attending this Jalsa it feels as if I am in paradise and the most fortunate man in the world, and I wait very keenly for the Jalsa to take place next year.”
There was a delegation of 85 people from Georgia. This was the largest delegation from former Soviet state to attend.
Besso Sahib, Chairman of a welfare organisation, says:
“I had the opportunity to speak to many Ahmadi members and whilst speaking to them, I was trying to asses just how much this Jamaat tolerant of other faiths. With this in mind, I spoke to two Ahmadis and during the conversation, all of a sudden, I said I am not a Muslim, but a Christian. I thought that they would change their attitude completely once they found out, but I was so amazed to see the way they continued to display their good morals and good manners, without showing any kind of prejudice.”
Thus, in this manner also, people try to put us to the test. Nanuka Sahiba, a religious studies student from the Georgian delegation also attended. She expressed her sentiments during the Bai‘at ceremony saying, “The Bai‘at ceremony was very emotional. I was able to witness scenes of religious unity and just how people of different ethnicities and backgrounds can live in peace with one another. I am studying religious studies, this is the first time I am attending the Jalsa and I am certain that this Jalsa is the best way to attain peace.”
Then there was a lady named Nana Kurdiani Sahiba, she says, “I am neither a Muslim nor a Christian, but after attending this Jalsa, I find myself more inclined towards Islam. I feel compelled to make a decision regarding my faith.”
Georgio Sahib, a university student from Georgia and the nephew of an Imam, says, “I am a Muslim by name only, but after attending the Jalsa and witnessing the love of the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, I shall continue researching into the Jamaat.”
A delegation also came from Kosovo, comprising of 45 individuals. 30 of them were Ahmadis and 15 were non-Ahmadi guests. A friend named Mr Shaip Zeqiraji Sahib attended the Jalsa for the second time.
“I was very pleased when I was told to come and attend the Jalsa, but I was in a dilemma in terms of travel expenditure. However, I had a keen desire to meet the Caliph and attend the Jalsa, which is why I sold my cattle to raise funds to travel and attend the Jalsa.”
This is another example how people make great efforts and sacrifices to attend the Jalsa after accepting Ahmadiyyat. These are similar to examples of people in the past which they are acting upon. One of the members of a delegation from Kosovo was Mr Skender Asllani Sahib, who teaches Albanian language and literature. He also had the opportunity to do the Bai‘at this year.
He said, “Despite carefully observing everything, I could not find any flaws in the arrangements of the Jalsa and the speeches delivered were of a very high standard.”
He also that he was very impressed by my speech as well. He further stated, “Performing the Bai‘at indeed is a reward which we all should truly cherish because in the current conditions of the world, the key to our success lies in uniting under one hand.” Three ladies from Malta attended the Jalsa and were in the ladies’ Jalsa hall.
“We were very well looked after and were always asked if there was anything we required. The atmosphere in the ladies’ marquee was like one family. Even though we were meeting the people there for the first time, however it felt as if we all knew each other from decades ago.”
They further stated:
“We had the opportunity to experience the atmosphere of both halls and felt much more comfortable in the ladies’ side. Thus, we were able to truly understand the wisdom and philosophy of the Islamic teachings in relation to making separate arrangements for men and women. Moreover, based on our personal experience, we can say that the teachings of Islam are filled with deep wisdom. Women feel much more comfortable and content with having their own separate arrangements which they manage themselves, and thus providing them with the opportunities to demonstrate their skills and talents.”
Therefore, even the non-Muslims now acknowledge the importance of segregation between men and women and making separate arrangements for them. Therefore, those young girls who sometimes question why men and women are not together and that there is no freedom, should ponder over this.
Another lady who was a guest from Malta and recently married, said:
“I was greatly impressed by your address which you delivered to the ladies. You drew the attention of both the husband and the wife on fulfilling the rights and responsibilities towards one another. Various issues always arise in households, however your guidance in this regard shall always prove to be beneficial.”
She further stated:
“You spoke about the Islamic teaching in relation to upholding one’s chastity and purity before marriage and this was full of great wisdom and extremely comprehensive. This is vitally important. You also guided us on purifying ourselves, spiritually and physically, and also towards adopting righteousness. If I ever have the opportunity to attend the Jalsa again, I will spend all my time in the ladies’ hall because the atmosphere that I experienced there was filled with faith and spirituality.”
A guest from Kirgizstan said:
“I am filled with extraordinary emotions after having attended the Jalsa. Prior to accepting Ahmadiyyat, I never emotionally cried except for when I was in Qadian and here in Germany. I felt as if the condition of my heart had completely changed and had become softer. Every time a person performs the Bai‘at, they increase in their faith. Before this, I was a maulvi [Muslim cleric] but when I read the literature of the Ahmadiyya Community, I developed a true understanding of the concept of the Dajjal and the advent of the Promised Messiahas which has been mentioned in the Holy Quran. During the course of the Bai‘at, I felt as if cold water was being poured over me and now I have become a true Muslim.”
A guest from Tajikistan, Abdussator, said:
“I had heard that Ahmadis are not Muslims and consider it permissible to drink alcohol. Prior to attending the Jalsa, I visited the Ahmadiyya mosque, Baitul-Subhan”, which is in Germany, “and I offered my prayers there. I realised that in fact Ahmadis are also Muslims and believe in the five pillars of Islam. After having attended the Jalsa, I learnt that Ahmadis believe in the Imam Mahdi and certainly do not drink alcohol and in fact adhere to all the Quranic injunctions. Having attended the Jalsa, I have learnt a lot about the Ahmadiyya Community and I consider you to be Muslims. You share the same pillars and articles of faith as other Muslims. After Hajj, this is the second time I have witnessed so many Muslims come together.”
A delegation came from Lithuania consisting of 58 people, of which 46 were non-Ahmadi guests and the other 12 were Ahmadis.
Expressing his sentiments, Petras Janulionis said:
“I did not have a very good view on Islam prior to attending the Jalsa. However, after having attended the Jalsa, I now have many positive sentiments about Islam. From the Jalsa I learnt that Muslims very firmly adhere to their beliefs, in fact in comparison to Christians, they are much more resolute.”
Another guest from Lithuania, Manefa Sahiba, stated, “Prior to attending the Jalsa, I was very confused about Islam because some Muslims have an extremely fiery temperament and show complete intolerance towards other faiths. However, after having attended the Jalsa, I learnt that Ahmadi Muslims respect the views and faith of other people and seek to propagate peace and love among the whole of mankind.”
Another guest from Lithuania was a CEO of a law firm, Sarunas Sahib.
He states, “The Jalsa Salana is an extremely important event as one is able to learn about the peaceful teachings of Islam and completely dispels the misconceptions that surround it.”
A member from Syria, who did the Bai‘at in January 2019, describes his account of how he accepted Ahmadiyyat.
“My father did the Bai‘at in 2008 in Syria and one of my brothers also did the Bai‘at. I have previously attended the Jalsa on three occasions, however I would be perplexed and would even find it humorous when I would see people emotionally crying. I continued to oppose Ahmadiyyat and did not do the Bai‘at. However, I prayed to God Almighty that if the Jamaat was true, then God Almighty would guide me Himself. Thereafter, I saw in a dream that we are all sitting waiting for a mulaqat [an audience with Huzoor-e-Anwar] and I am sat in the front row. We were all filled with joy and when I saw Huzoor, I uncontrollably began to cry. Huzoor then called me towards himself and said in a very loving manner, ‘Come close and sit here.’ After that I woke up and was content for doing the Bai‘at and later did the Bai‘at as well.”
He also related this account to me as well and was overcome with emotion during the mulaqat and whenever I would look towards him, he would become extremely emotional.
Another guest from Belgium was a young man, Lokh Balin Sahib.
“I did the Bai‘at a few months ago and I am attending the Jalsa for the first time. I am astounded after having attended the Jalsa; the beautiful atmosphere of brotherhood which I had only heard about before, I was now able to witness it for myself during the Jalsa. I am extremely fortunate that I have had the opportunity to be part of such a spiritual atmosphere.”
Another guest who came from Senegal who is a commissioner in his area, mentioned about his mulaqat with me.
“I was extremely happy after having met you and was greatly impressed by your address in which you spoke about love and the unity of God Almighty. If I had not attended the Jalsa and met you, it would have left a very big void in my life. Today, I feel as if I have attained the mission of my life.”
He had also brought a small model ship with him which he had in his lap. When I asked him about it, he said:
“We have brought this as a gift for you. This is a ship that represents peace. This is a ship that represents the motto, ‘Love for all, hatred for none.’ Whosoever boards this ship shall be granted peace and this is the ship of Ahmadiyyat. Another meaning for gifting this ship was that our livelihood is dependent upon this,” as there is a lot of fishermen there, “therefore please pray for our country.”
Another guest who came with him was a director for their department of health. He thanked me for the hospital we built there. He also said that he was able to witness various aspects of Islam by coming to the Jalsa. He further said: “I have travelled to many countries in the world and have travelled to the USA and Europe as well. I have attended many religious and political events, however I have never witnessed such an organisation and representation of the true image of Islam before. I have never witnessed such a level of obedience as I have done here and nor have I witnessed such love for Khilafat before. I can clearly say that there is no political or religious leader in the world who is loved more by his people than the Khalifa, and I testify to this truth.”
This was Dr Mordiaw Sahib who further says:
“We accept this truth with all our hearts which we have witnessed here. This is something that cannot be denied and from today onward, we and our hearts are with you. We have truly felt what we have heard and witnessed here and will strive to adhere to it.”
A delegation from Bosnia also attended the Jalsa which consisted of 74 members.
Yasmin Spahich Sahib, who is the president of an NGO, said:
“Your love for Islam and the founder of Islam and your efforts to spread love is evident from your words. The guidance given in light of the Holy Prophet’ssa pure life was penetrating into my heart and indeed the Holy Prophetsa practically lived his life in this very manner. I pray to God Almighty that may the next Jalsa be even better than this and may it become the means of strengthening and uniting the followers of the Holy Prophetsa.”
Another guest, Emina Chaoshevich Sahiba, said, “After coming to the Jalsa, I have realised that the atmosphere of the Jalsa has such a powerful impact that it can revive the soul of one who is spiritually dead.”
Another guest, Elma Krehmiche Sahib, states:
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Ahmadiyya Community for inviting me to this great Jalsa. The hospitality and all the various arrangements of the Jalsa have extraordinarily impressed me. In particular, I have spent the weekend amongst such people who were constantly smiling.”
The Bai‘at ceremony also took place in which 37 people with the representation from 16 different countries had the opportunity to do the Bai‘at. These included Albania, Serbia, Holland, Germany, Chechnya, Romania, Kosovo, Belgium, Syria, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Senegal, Ghana, The Gambia and Guinea Conakry. Another guest was Mr Labinot, who is a principal of a high school in Kosovo. He states: “The Jalsa had a very emotional impact upon me. In particular, I was greatly impressed when you said to everyone to sit down and the huge crowd of people immediately sat down – one cannot witness such an example anywhere in the world. After having attended the Jalsa, I say that the Jalsa should not only be for three days but in fact should last for thirty days. I did not have any intention to take part in the Bai‘at, however I was overcome with such emotions during the course of the Bai‘at that my hand automatically went up and I began to repeat the words of the Bai‘at. However, I did not just superficially perform the Bai‘at, in fact, I truly took part in the Bai‘at.”
A guest from Azerbaijan, Aghasaf Sahib, states:
“I had never imagined that I would scale such spiritual heights. When Murabbi Mahmood Sahib initially began to give me information about the Jamaat and its beliefs, I perceived it to be very artificial and untrue. Hence, I immediately rejected it when I heard about it. However, little did I know that the power of the truth would quickly attract me towards it. Indeed, the truthfulness of the Jamaat and the arguments it put forth are irrefutable. By coming to the Jalsa, I was able to witness these sights in reality which I would previously only see through videos. I had the opportunity to meet so many people during the Jalsa and would sense the same level of joy from everyone which proved that in reality this is one community. God Almighty also granted me the opportunity to do the Bai‘at at your hands. When I was informed for the first time that I would perform the Bai‘at at the hands of the Khalifa, I did not believe it. I asked four or five times if I will be able to perform the Bai‘at by placing my hand on the hands of the Khalifa?”
He further says:
“My tears began to flow and I became worried because I was not worthy. I
then began to constantly recite Durood Sharif [sending salutations on the Holy Prophetsa] and istighfar [seeking repentance from God Almighty] until the Bai‘at, I was unable to eat or do anything. Alhamdolillah [all praise belongs to God] that as the time for the Bai‘at approached, God Almighty granted me such strength from the spiritual atmosphere, that straight after the Bai‘at I fell into sajda [prostration] in gratitude to that Being, Who enabled this lowly one with many faults to perform the Bai‘at at your hands.
After the Jalsa, I learnt that there would be another opportunity to meet with Huzooraa. I spent all day thinking of many questions, but as soon as the meeting began I forgot all of them except the most important one, which was how can one maintain their spirituality when one returns back home? To this, Huzooraa replied that one ought to constantly recite:
اهدنا الصراط المستقيم
[Guide us in the right path]
صراط الذين انعمت عليهم
[The path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings]
As well as reciting istighfar.”
He then says, “I am leaving this Jalsa with the firm pledge that until the next Jalsa, I will act on this guidance. Then, when I return the following year, I will affirm that I abided by this advice.”
May God Almighty increase him in his loyalty and sincerity.
A guest attending the Jalsa for the first time from the Kosovan delegation stated:
“I am unable to put my feelings and emotions into words. In all my life, I have wished to meet someone who cares and worries about the world and having met
him, my worries fear seem to fade away. My being able to attend this Jalsa was only due to blessings of God and during the Bai‘at ceremony, I felt a nearness to God.”
Pellumb Sahib from Albania says:
“I pledged allegiance at your hands and had the good fortune of entering the community. I am extremely grateful to God Almighty for giving me the opportunity to accept Ahmadiyyat.”
He further states, “Just one year ago I was without faith; God Almighty bestowed the treasure of faith upon me. I was born and raised in a nonreligious family, however having attended the Jalsa Salana and meeting with you, God Almighty brought faith into my life.”
Dr Muhammad Mahmud Sahib writes:
“When two years ago I attended the Jalsa for the first time I found it somewhat strange and novel the idea that Ahmadis believe that the Mahdi and Messiah has appeared and we [i.e. non-Ahmadi Muslims] were completely oblivious to this fact. Many questions arose in my mind as we had always learned and been taught that the Mahdi would be an Arab and his name would be Muhammad, son of Abdullah. Is this a religious or political movement? Many such questions gripped my mind. In order to try and find answers to these questions, I again attended the following year and had many discussions on various topics with Ahmadi brothers. Even after Jalsa, I was in contact with Ahmadis and over time I found the answers to all my questions. I became convinced that Ahmadis hold all the traits of a true Muslim. Moved by the love and affection of the Jamaat, I decided to pledge allegiance.”
He further writes:
“This love that is found amongst members of the community, had God not sown this seed, this love could never have been born. It is God’s grace that I had the opportunity to pledge allegiance at the hand of the Khalifa. It is difficult to express the feelings that I had when I was repeating the words of the pledge. I am fortunate to pledge allegiance at the hand of the Khalifa. Even if the Bai‘at proceedings had lasted for five hours, I would have not been bored or noticed the passing of time.”
A guest from Kosovo attending for the first time and along with five members of his family had the opportunity of doing the Bai‘at.
He writes, “Initially I was anxious of how the Bai‘at ceremony would unfold and found myself trembling, however after the ceremony, I was calm and felt at ease.”
Kamal Alwan Sahib from Lebanon says:
“I used to own a restaurant, where an Ahmadi friend, Muhammad Shahada, used to visit frequently. One day he said to me, ‘I want to tell you something, the Imam Mahdi has come and has already passed away.’ After he left, I thought to myself, who was this man he was referring to as the Imam Mahdi. Sometime after this, I met the Ahmadi friend again and he said again that the Imam Mahdi had appeared. One day he explained certain concepts including the Dajjal [the Antichrist] and the death of Jesusas. These were extraordinary findings and they became embedded in my heart. These feelings drove me to gain more knowledge about the community. The Ahmadi friend invited me to attend the Jalsa, which I gladly accepted.”
Kamal Alwan Sahib further states:
“For me, the first evidence of the truthfulness of the community was just how well such a vast number of people were looked after. During the Jalsa, a friend of mine informed me that he [referring to Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa] was the Caliph of the Muslims. I then asked numerous question to many Ahmadis and they replied with great affection. My heart started to become content with the truth of Ahmadiyyat. I thought to myself, one never knows if one will live to see the next year, so I should pledge allegiance here and now and thus, did so.
In addition, I saw two dreams which reinforced my belief in the truthfulness of the community. With the grace of God Almighty, one of my sons has also pledged allegiance and I yearn to see my other children also accept Ahmadiyyat. Today I watch with great interest the Al-Hiwar Al-Mubashir [Arabic television programme on MTA] and Friday Sermons. As far as I am concerned, the ten conditions of Bai‘at are not just a few conditions but in fact, are a way of life as ordained by God Almighty. Before joining the community, I would often pray that God would give me the opportunity of seeing the Imam Mahdi. I have a sense of remorse for all the time I spent outside the community. For this reason, I have a heartfelt respect for every Ahmadi because they are serving the religion of the Holy Prophetsa. I now feel less worried about my family and work, rather I worry that I have enough money to spend to support the progress of the community and be able to serve the community. May God Almighty fulfill this wish of mine.”
Fawad sahib states:
“Before being introduced to the community, I would reflect on the grandeur of God Almighty and the ever declining state of the Muslims and when this would improve. When I moved to Germany, I used to see my European Arabs friends and would think, are these the people through whom Islam would flourish in Europe; as mentioned in the Hadith that Islam would spread throughout Europe in the latter days. During this period, I met an Ahmadi friend, Mahir Almani, who started to introduce the [Ahmadiyya] community to me.
In the beginning I was quite opposed to these ideas, however aft er studying the books of the community, I decided to attend the Jalsa. When I saw the Jalsa, I thought how so many people could come together at the hands of one person and also exhibit so much mutual love and affection. During the Tahajjud [pre-dawn voluntary prayer] prayers, I prayed, ‘O Allah! If this community is truthful, grant me the opportunity to pledge allegiance during this Jalsa’ (he is referring to the Jalsa of 2018). During the course of the Jalsa, my heart was content and I pledged allegiance, however my wife refused to take the pledge. I explained that she should read the books of the community and pray to God Almighty for guidance. For three months, my wife prayed for guidance and saw in a dream a large gathering of people and a white pigeon in the middle of them. She asked what this pigeon was, and one of the persons explained that this pigeon was here to spread the message of Islam to the area of Jerusalem. This dream opened my wife’s heart and during this Jalsa of 2019 she took the pledge of allegiance.”
He goes on to say, “I am overjoyed that God Almighty has enabled my entire family to accept the Promised Messiahas and I will now take this message to all my relatives”.
Fatimah Samir Sahiba, a guest from Austria says:
“I took the pledge on 7 July during Jalsa Salana Germany. I request for prayers that may this pledge be blessed and that may I never break my oath by any fault of mine. May God Almighty bring about that reformation in myself that the Promised Messiahas mentioned in the Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam.”
She goes on to say, “My family and I have been Ahmadis since 2011. Although I was an Ahmadi, however I had not fi lled in the Bai‘at forms and considered myself an Ahmadi. I am turning 18 in two months and since childhood had a desire to take the pledge myself. Since 2011, I had kept the forms safe but wanted to present it myself and take the pledge at Huzoor’s hand. And this year, that wish has been fulfilled”.
She now helps in doing outreach with the Arab guests coming to Jalsa. Thus, God is also opening the hearts of the youth.
A Kurdish Girl expressing her sentiments, states; “My mother accepted Ahmadiyyat, but at the time, I was not ready. Now, over the last few months, my heart has opened up to Ahmadiyyat as I have seen the love Ahmadis have for one another and today, having listened to the address of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa, all my doubts have disappeared. I also attended last year but did not then feel the emotions that I have now. My mother will be very happy because I know realise how important it is for me to become an Ahmadi. With regard to the Bai‘at ceremony, a lawyer from Georgia who is a non-Ahmadi and lectures in a university states that the ceremony had a profound effect on him and he kept repeating that this was a miracle. He then says that there is great mutual love present within the community and he has observed that there is a smile on the face of all Ahmadis.
For all those who took the pledge, may God Almighty increase them in their sincerity, loyalty, faith and conviction. And may every one of us reap the blessings of the Jalsa and make us the true heirs of the prayers offered by the Promised Messiahas.
With regard to the media coverage of the Germany Jalsa, 13 media outlets covered the Jalsa. There were also reports in the online news outlets of Italy, China and Slovakia. From their estimates, 22.6 million people received the message.
The Review of Religions also produced various content, which will continue for another week and according to their estimates, the news will reach one million people. As mentioned, the coverage through the social media of The Review of Religions will continue.
Through MTA Africa, various programmes of the Jalsa were broadcast in Africa. Reports prepared about Germany Jalsa were shown on Ghana National TV, Gambia National TV, Rwanda National TV, Sierra Leone National TV and Uganda National TV. With the grace of Allah the Almighty, through this Jalsa, there has been extensive introductions to the Jamaat throughout the world. May God Almighty bless this in every way.
(Originally published in Al Fazl International, 2 August 2019, pp. 5-11. Translated by The Review of Religions.)