In last week’s Friday Sermon, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa narrated the sentiments and heartfelt emotions of those who journeyed far and wide to attend Jalsa Salana Germany 2023. They expressed how the Jalsa had significantly impacted them, from the speeches of Huzooraa to the hospitality, unity, and brotherhood on display.
Huzooraa explained that this was by no means an exhaustive list. Instead, it was a glimpse into how Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya continues to have a profound impact on countless souls worldwide.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, was told by Allah that his message would reach the corners of the earth, at a time when he was practically unknown to the world. Today, we all witness this truth unfold. Kosovo, Albania, Georgia, Morocco, Egypt, and Sweden are just some of the countries from which individuals, groups, and delegations flocked to Jalsa Salana Germany to listen to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa.
We caught up with a handful of such people. The stories of born Ahmadis, converts, and even non-Ahmadi guests serve as an inspiration and a means of rejuvenating the faith of every one of us.
From doubts to faith in Islam
Kubilay travelled from Turkey to attend the Jalsa. Born a Muslim, his journey with Islam took a transformative turn when he read a book by a mufti (Muslim jurist), which initially shook his faith. He contemplated leaving Islam altogether. However, fate had other plans for him.
During his lowest moment, he crossed paths with Ahmadi Missionary Rashid Sahib in Turkey, who had only recently arrived and struggled with the Turkish language. In their conversation, Rashid Sahib passionately shared the beauty of Islam and persuaded Kubilay to reconsider his decision.
They went their separate ways for a few years, but their meeting left a lasting impact. When they reunited, Rashid Sahib could not help but ask if Kubilay had stayed true to Islam. Kubilay’s response was heart-warming. He recounted how, after their initial conversation, he rushed home, tore apart the mufti’s book, and embraced Islam wholeheartedly.
What makes Kubilay’s story even more inspiring is his subsequent acceptance of Ahmadiyyat. He became a pioneering convert in Turkey’s Ahmadiyya Community and played a crucial role in introducing many Muslims to the beauty of Islam Ahmadiyyat.
His journey is a testament to the power of faith and the profound impact one individual can have on another’s spiritual path.
Bridging Divides: A Sunni scholar seeking Muslim unity at Jalsa Salana
Veisel Orujovi is a Sunni scholar and the Imam of Georgia’s largest mosque. He moved to Medina at a very young age in pursuit of Islamic knowledge, with no prior knowledge of Arabic. He regularly attended classes in Masjid an-Nabawi, and not only did he become fluent in the Arabic language, but also memorised the entire Holy Quran. He enrolled in the Islamic University of Medina and studied there for 15 years, graduating with a Master’s degree in Islamic creed (aqidah).
Unlike many traditional scholars, Orujovi does not classify Ahmadis as non-Muslims but sees them as fellow members of the Islamic Ummah. He is a strong advocate of intra-Muslim unity and believes that every Muslim should develop their own understanding of faith through sincere research and prayers. This is what he did, instead of being swayed by the edicts of disbelief against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.
He took the initiative to independently research the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, a decision that led him to acknowledge Ahmadis as genuine and devout Muslims. His views were reinforced during his visit to Jalsa Salana Germany in 2019.
In a world rife with sectarianism, Orujovi’s stance stands as a testament to the potential for unity in the Islamic community.
French Algerian on why Arabs are accepting Hazrat Ahmadas
Ali Ichou Belarbi, 22, was born in France and is of Algerian origin. He explained to us why he believes more and more Arabs are accepting Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas:
“More and more pious Arabs are embracing the Promised Messiahas and joining the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. What is the reason for this? Today, Muslims are more divided than ever, and there are many tensions in Muslim countries. But all the while, more and more pious Arabs are accepting the Promised Messiahas and joining the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
“The reason is that these people have understood that the Promised Messiahas is the only solution to the current divisions and troubles in the Ummah. The Ahmadiyya community is the only Muslim community to follow the blessed system of Khilafat, and it brings that unity that they deeply lacked. It is only this community that shows us how to establish a true, living relationship with Allah. Arabs are realising this, and are accepting Ahmadiyyat.
“I call upon the Arab world, as well as the true lovers of the Holy Prophet Muhammedsa and his companions, to run towards this message of peace and reformation of the believer that allows the re-establishment of true Islam on Earth.”
A story of faith, resilience and acceptance
Abdallah Ezzat Okely is an Egyptian. Born in Saudi Arabia, he grew up as a Sunni Muslim. In 2014, he accepted Islam Ahmadiyyat after his brother – who had converted before him – convinced him of the truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas.
At first, he and his family opposed his brother, but Abdallah could see that his arguments made sense. Once his family realised that he was becoming convinced of the truthfulness of his brother’s faith, they also opposed him harshly. Since then, he has remained firmly attached to the Jamaat. Abdallah has spent time in different countries and is studying in France at the moment.
Jalsa Germany created an opportunity for Abdallah to see Huzooraa for the first time in person, and he said it was an amazing experience.
Atheism and scepticism towards Islam Ahmadiyyat
Alexander Svensson, from Sweden, grew up having no concept of Allah. Until a few years ago, he didn’t believe God existed but always wondered about the purpose of our existence.
He started reading the Bible and researching different faiths. He discovered Islam, which made the most sense. He began to visit different mosques in Sweden until he stumbled on Mahmood Mosque, the mosque of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Sweden. He didn’t know which sect was right and worthy of being followed, so he went along with his gut feeling and kept coming back to Mahmood Mosque, where he felt most comfortable.
The Imam of the mosque welcomed him with open arms and asked him to attend the Jalsa Salana in the UK this year. During the International bai‘at, although he wasn’t planning to, he accepted the Jamaat and pledged allegiance to Khilafat. He had the opportunity to meet Huzooraa the next day, during which Huzooraa told him that it was his duty to spread the message of the Holy Quran to the Swedish people. He also offered prayers behind Huzooraa.
He said that with indescribable clarity, he felt that Allah had led him to this very moment and that He had been with him his whole life. After returning to Sweden, he wanted to attend the Jalsa Salana in Germany as well to further enhance his spiritual experience, as he deeply values a personal relationship with Allah.
Afghanistan to Ghana – A life of resilience and blessings
Naimatullah Sayed Sahib was born in Afghanistan. He is an Ahmadi by birth and a missionary for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He suffered greatly at the hands of opponents of the Jamaat in Afghanistan, where he was imprisoned and tortured. Yet he never gave in to the attempts of oppressors to make him leave his faith.
In 2017, he escaped persecution in his own homeland under extraordinary circumstances and now serves the Jamaat in Ghana. He cannot return to his country because of his faith. Throughout this time, he had never met his Khalifa in person, nor had he ever attended a Jalsa with the Khalifa present – until Jalsa Germany 2023. He expressed that the Jalsa in general, but specifically meeting Huzooraa, was a surreal experience for him and one he will cherish for the rest of his life.
A French-Moroccan’s journey to finding Islam through Ahmadiyyat
Landwerlin Mehdi is a French-Moroccan Ahmadi Muslim. His mother was a Moroccan Sunni.
When he was around 14 years old, he grew curious about his religion and decided to seriously search for the reality of his faith. He went online and started researching Islam, specifically Sunni Islam, but he wasn’t satisfied. During his search, he found Islam Ahmadiyyat and began to watch videos of the Jamaat. After discovering Jamaat’s French website, he also started reading extensively.
The Islamic teachings of tolerance and humanity deeply impressed him. Whereas earlier, he could not understand some aspects of Islam, he said he found answers in how the Promised Messiahas explained the teachings of Islam.
After accepting Islam Ahmadiyyat in 2020, he has been content with all the teachings of Islam and Ahmadiyyat. Whereas before, he would pray on occasion, he has now started praying intently and regularly. Jalsa Salana Germany gave him the opportunity to see Huzooraa for the first time in person, and he was incredibly happy.
“Ahmadiyya is the Light” – Albanian Sunni finds true Islam
Bujar from Albania converted to Islam Ahmadiyyat ten years ago after studying the books of the Promised Messiahas, specifically the Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam and The Victory of Islam. He was previously a Sunni Muslim and was told by clerics not to visit the Ahmadiyya mosque in Albania. He refused to blindly follow this advice, and it instead sparked his interest.
He visited anyway and realised that Islam Ahmadiyya was totally different from what he was being told by the clerics. He continued his research and met Ahmadi Muslims for himself, and soon he realised that Islam Ahmadiyyat was the true Islam and the “light”. He is now a devout Ahmadi by the grace of Allah.
Preaching Ahmadiyya in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Latvia
Missionary, Basharat Ahmad Shahid Sahib, spent over 15 years in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan preaching Islam Ahmadiyyat. He has learnt eight languages, and by Allah’s grace, hundreds of local Uzbeks and Kyrgyz Sunni Muslims accepted Islam Ahmadiyyat through the preaching efforts of Ahmadi missionaries.
Due to the success of Ahmadiyyat, Basharat Ahmad Sahib and his colleague were told to leave Kyrgyzstan. He is now serving in Latvia and brought a delegation from there to Jalsa Salana Germany. Interestingly, he regularly uses Al Hakam articles for his preaching efforts, preparing his Friday sermons from them and translating them into various languages.
From irreligiousness in communist Kosovo to embracing Islam Ahmadiyyat
Shahip from Kosovo accepted Islam Ahmadiyya 10 years ago after seeing the great moral conduct of Ahmadis.
He said that due to the communist rule in Kosovo, though they were Muslims by name, they did not practise Islam growing up. However, when he heard about Ahmadis and began to study the beliefs in great detail, he realised it was a life worth living and that Ahmadiyyat was the true Islam. Also, meeting Ahmadis was a turning point for him due to the great moral conduct displayed by Ahmadis. He came to the realisation that these were no ordinary people and must be special.
His family has now, by the grace of Allah, accepted Ahmadiyyat, and his children are very active in preaching Islam Ahmadiyyat.
A lifelong love for the speeches at Jalsa Salana
Abdul Samee Khan Sahib has been attending Jalsa since the time of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh. In those days, he would agree to double shifts of duties so that he could listen to the speeches given at the convention, especially those delivered by Khalifatul Masih.
Today, as he looks back to that time in Rabwah, he thinks it helped him on his journey to attend Jamia for seven years of theological study. He went on to teach for nearly sixteen years, specialising in Hadith. In 1998, he was made editor of the prestigious Al Fazl Daily newspaper.
In the time that followed, many legal cases were filed against him and his team. Finally, when it became clear that he and others alongside him would be imprisoned, he left the country – never to return. He now teaches at Jamia Ahmadiyya Canada. To date, he places great emphasis on listening to the Jalsa speeches.
In the end, “Falsehood has no foundation; only the truth prevails.”
Cousins, Rashid Ahmad (left) and Bashir Ahmad (right), both reaching the age of 90, sat together after breakfast on the first day and discussed the progress of the Jamaat with us. Rashid Sahib converted to Ahmadiyyat at the hands of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra in 1951 and has seen the progress of the Jamaat ever since.
He reminisces about the jalsas in Rabwah, Pakistan, during the time of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra and the Khulafa after him, until they were banned in Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV’srh time. Though the jalsas were banned in Pakistan, he fondly remembers those spiritually uplifting conventions and seeks comfort in the fact that he can enjoy them in Germany now.
He told us about the severe persecution Ahmadis in Pakistan faced in 1974 and after that, but with a firm and confident tone, he told us that through his experience, the following was a fact of life: “Falsehood has no foundation; only the truth prevails in the end.”