35th Jalsa Sālāna Canada - A Brief Report

S. H. Hadi, Nazim Press & Media AMJ

By the sheer Grace and Mercy of Allāh the Almighty, the 35th Jalsa Sālāna of Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada was held from July 1st to July 3rd, 2011 at the International Convention Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. Thousands of devoted attendees gathered from far and wide to partake of the spiritual blessings of this convention.

 

 

Representatives from 31 countries attended the Jalsa including the United States of America, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Germany, France, Norway, Australia, Denmark, India, Austria, Holland, Ireland, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, Nigeria, Gambia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. By the Grace of Allāh, this year, more than 13, 000 people attended.

Inspection of
Jalsa Sālāna Duties

The Jalsa Sālāna unofficially began after on June 19, 2011 with inspection of Jalsa Sālāna duties. The attendance at the inspection exceeded 2000 and included officers, nazimīn, muntazimīn and volunteers.

Respected Lal Khan Malik sāhib, Amīr Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada, addresses the organizers and emphasized the importance of serving guests as well as the maintenance of discipline and composure.

Commencement of the Langar Khana

On June 30, 2011, respected Amīr sāhib, along with Abdul Aziz Khalifa sāhib, Nā’ib Amīr Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada and Mubarak Ahmad Nazir sāhib, Missionary In-charge Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada, inspected all the different departments of Langar Khana.

Respected Amīr sāhib asked Missionary In-charge sāhib to inaugurate the cooking by lighting the stove in the Langar Khana. In addition to this, a large stirring spoon was used to stir sliced onions. Immediately after this, respected Amīr sāhib and Nasir Ahmad Khan sāhib, Officer Jalsa Sālāna Canada, also followed suit. Missionary In-charge sāhib remarked that the Promised Messiahas created five branches of the system of Jamā`at and one of those branches is ‘Langar Khana and hospitality.’ In this respect, he added, this is a very important and blessed service. In the end, Missionary In-charge sāhib led everyone in Silent Prayers.

Inspection
of the Jalsa Gah

After the inauguration of the Langar Khana, Respected Amīr sāhib inspected the arrangements of all departments of the Jalsa Gah and provided guidance to the organizers.

An Overview
of the Jalsa Gah

There was a very beautiful and informative exhibition on display in the exhibition hall, focusing on the excellences of the Holy Qur’ān. Some other exhibits on display were on the Review of Religions, Al-Fazl and the books of the Promised Messiahas. The exhibition hall also hosted the bookstall as well as stalls of Ahmadiyya Gazette Canada, Jāmi`a Ahmadiyya North America/Tahir Hall, First Aid, and Special Services. The registration desk was also situated in the same area.

In the Jalsa Gah, young atfāl were serving water to the members of the Jamā`at.

In the main dining hall, various stalls were setup along the perimeter of the hall. The Officer of Stalls would make sure that the stalls were closed during the sessions of Jalsa.

Men’s Jalsa Gah

During the blessed days of Jalsa Sālāna, scholars and researchers of the Jamā`at spoke with great eloquence in light of the Holy Qur’ān, Hadīth and History, on various topics of Islām, various aspects of the life of the Holy Prophetsa and on present day world issues related to humanity in general and Muslims specifically.

Stage of the Jalsa Gah

This year, the stage of the Jalsa Sālāna was decorated with the Kalimah Tayyibah and verse 10 of Surah Al-Hijr, translated as:

‘Verily, We Ourself have sent down this Exhortation (the Holy Qur’ān), and most surely We will be its Guardian.’

Day One:
Friday, July 1st 2011
Friday Prayers

The Jalsa Sālāna commenced with Friday prayers led by respected Amīr sāhib. However, before the Friday Sermon, a portion of the Friday Sermon of Hadrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa delivered earlier that day from Germany was relayed to the congregation. In his Friday Sermon, Hudūraa addressed the attendees of both Jalsa Sālāna in Canada and the US and shed light on the responsibilities of those attending this spiritual gathering. After a brief Friday Sermon, Amīr sāhib led the Jumu`ah and Asr prayers.

Flag Hoisting Ceremony

Before the start of the inaugural session, just outside the main entrance of the men’s Jalsa Gah, respected Missionary In-charge sāhib hoisted the Liwa-e-Ahmadiyyat (the Flag of Ahmadiyyat) and respected Amīr sāhib, hoisted the Canadian flag and led everyone in silent prayer.

Canada Day Celebrations

July 1st is Canada Day, and as such,  this momentous occasion was celebrated in the Jalsa Gah just prior to the start of the opening session. This is because Jamā`at Ahmadiyya considers love for one’s homeland to be an important part of its faith and is proudly loyal and faithful to this great land. It is for this reason that this Canada Day celebration was the largest of any gathering in Toronto, with an attendance of 11,000 people.

After the flag hoisting ceremony, a program on Canada Day commenced in the men’s Jalsa Gah. Boys and girls presented a chorus of the national anthem and heartfelt speeches were delivered on the topic of ‘Love of the homeland is part of one’s faith.’

Four prominent politicians Graced the occasion with their presence and addressed the audience:

  • Honourable Bob Rae – MP, Toronto Center; Interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
  • Honourable Harinder Takhar – MPP; Minister of Government Services
  • Honourable Kyle Seeback – MP, Brampton West
  • Dr. Kristy Duncan – MP, Etobicoke North

They praised the speeches delivered by two young girls and commended the disciplined structure of the Jamā`at and the passion for community service thriving in every member of the Jamā`at. They even remarked that Canadians should learn a lesson from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamā`at.

Afterwards, respected Amīr sāhib addressed the congregation and expressed his love and devotion towards Canada and said that on this auspicious day, the community also celebrated Canada Day in the Baitun Nur Mosque (Calgary) in which more than 10,000 people attended.

Sessions
of the Jalsa Sālāna

This year, there were four sessions held in the Jalsa. Every session began with a recitation from the Holy Qur’ān followed by a recitation of a selected portion from the beautiful poems of the Promised Messiahas.

The Lajna session was held on Saturday afternoon. This session consisted of four speeches and an inspiring speech delivered by a convert to Ahmadiyyat.

First Session

In the first session, two speeches were delivered in English. The session was presided by respected Amīr Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada. In his inaugural address, Amīr sāhib spoke on the pertinent topic of ‘What has Ahmadiyyat done for us?’

The second speech was delivered by Kaleem Ahmad Malik sāhib, Nā’ib Amīr Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada on the topic ‘Concept of God in Islām’.

After these speeches, dinner was served to all guests.

Āmīn Ceremony

On July 1st, 2011, at 8:00 p.m., an Āmīn ceremony was held in Baitul Islām Mosque, Toronto. Respected Amīr sāhib heard short portions of the Holy Qur’ān from 55 boys and girls.

Evaluation of Jalsa Arrangements

After Maghrib and `Isha prayers, respected Abdul Aziz Khalifa sāhib, Nā’ib Amīr Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada, held a meeting with officers and organizers of the Jalsa in the lower level of Baitul Islām Mosque. An evaluation and assessment of the proceedings of the first day of Jalsa Sālāna was taken and directions were rendered to ensure the smooth operation of all Jalsa arrangements. This also took place on the second day.

Day Two:
Saturday July 2nd, 2011
Second Session

The second session was presided by respected Abdul Aziz Khalifa sāhib, Nā’ib Amīr Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada. This session was in the Urdu language and a simultaneous English translation was provided through headsets.

Remembering the Departed Members of the Community

According to the writings of the Promised Messiah­as, one of the objectives of the Jalsa Sālāna was to remember those members of the community who had passed away within the previous year, so that prayers for their forgiveness could be offered. According to this objective, names of 41 departed members of the community were read out by Colonel (Rtd.) Dildar Ahmad sāhib, Secretary Baitul Islām mission house.

Speeches

The second session had five speeches. They were as follows:

  1. Companionsra of the Promised Messiahas by Maulana Asif Ahmad Khan sāhib, Professor Jāmi`a Ahmadiyya North America
  2. Obedience Exemplified by the Companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa by Professor Ali Chaudhary sāhib, Vice Principal Jāmi`a Ahmadiyya North America
  3. Family Life of the Promised Messiahas by  Maulana Muhammad Ashraf Arif sāhib, Missionary GTA East region
  4. Holy Prophet Muhammadsa: His Vision of One Muslim Ummah by Maulana Ghulam Misbah Baloch sāhib, Professor Jāmi`a Ahmadiyya North America
  5. The Holy Qur’ān as a Fountainhead of Knowledge. by Maulana Hafiz Attaul Wahab sāhib, Professor Jāmi`a Ahmadiyya North America.

After announcements, all guests were served lunch in the dining area.

Ladies’ Session
(Second Session)

Most speeches were relayed live from the men’s Jalsa Gah to the ladies’ Jalsa Gah, which had an attendance of 6,587. However, on July 2nd 2011, during the second session, four speeches were delivered in the ladies’ Jalsa Gah. All speeches were translated simultaneously either from Urdu to English or from English to Urdu.

Speeches

  1. ‘High Moral Station of the Holy Prophetsa by Amtul Hafiz Hina sāhiba on the
  2. Living in an Electronic Era and our Responsibilities by Saadia Mahdi sāhiba, who spoke on the topic:
  3. Natural Disaster or Divine Punishment? by Maliha Shahid sāhiba
  4. My Acceptance of Islām and Ahmadiyyat by Clement Claire  sāhiba inspirationally spoke on

Distribution of Educational Awards

Educational awards were distributed to women who achieved academic excellence in their respective fields. This year, 32 students were awarded certificates of achievement by sāhibzadi Amatul Jameel Begum sāhiba, daughter of Hadrat Khalifatul Masih IIra.

Concluding Address

This ladies’ session was concluded by an address by Amtul Noor Daud sāhiba, Sadr Lajna Ima’illāh Canada. She spoke on the subject: ‘A Happy Family Life: Formation of a Heaven on Earth.’ Following this speech, a dinner was presented to the attendees of the Jalsa.

Meetings of
Professional Associations

Various professional associations held meetings immediately after the session.

Third Session

Maulana Mubarak Ahmad Nazir, Missionary In-charge Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada presided the third session.

Speeches

  1. The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa – Life in Mecca by Maulana Abdul Rashid Anwar sāhib, Missionary Eastern Region
  2. Institution of Marriage in the Light of Islāmic Teachings by Maulana Mirza Muhammad Afzal Mirza sāhib, Missionary Peel Region
  3. Video presentation was shown on the construction of Tahir Hall and Jāmi`a Ahmadiyya North America, produced by MTA Canada Studios.
  4. Raising Children to Love Allāh by Maulana Sohail Ahmad Saqib Basra sāhib, Professor Jāmi`a Ahmadiyya North America
  5. Existence of God in Light of the Holy Qur’ān by Professor Mukhtar Ahmad Cheema sāhib, Jāmi`a Ahmadiyya North America

Shabina Ijlas
(Tablīgh Session)

At 8:30 pm on Saturday July 2nd 2011, a Shaibina Ijlas in which a Tablīgh seminar was conducted in Baitul Islām Mosque under the chairmanship of Saleem Akhtar  and Farhan Khokhar sāhib, National Secretary Tablīgh Canada. Matters such as the importance of Tablīgh and a summary of Tablīgh events in Canada were discussed. Many men and women attended this session.

Announcements of Nikāh

After the Tablīgh session, Maulana Mubarak Ahmad Nazir sāhib, Missionary In-charge Canada, announced six Nikāhs just prior to  Maghrib and `Isha.

Day Three:
Sunday, July 3rd, 2011
Final Session

Respected Lal Khan Malik sāhib, Amīr Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada presided the final session of the 35th Jalsa Sālāna Canada.

Distribution of Educational Awards

On the final day of Jalsa Sālāna, according to the tradition of the Jamā`at, educational awards are given to deserving individuals who excelled academically in their respective fields. Abdul Aziz Khalifa sāhib, Chairman Academic Award Committee announces that this year, 36 students achieved this distinction, by the Grace of Allāh. These students received their awards from Amīr sāhib Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada.

`Alame `In`ami Presentation

After the educational awards had been handed out, the `Alame `In`ami Ceremony was conducted, in which the top Majalis of the previous year, both in Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Canada and Majlis Atfalul Ahmadiyya Canada, were announced by Sabih Nasir sāhib, Nā’ib Sadr Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Canada.

By the Grace of Allāh the Almighty, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Brampton Heartlake was awarded the `Alame `In`ami this year. Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Weston Northwest came in second, and Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Woodbridge achieved third place.

For the Best Regional Majalis Award, the following were awarded:

  1. Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Peel North Region
  2. Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya GTA Center Region
  3. Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Eastern Canada Region

By the Grace of Allāh the Almighty, Majlis Atfalul Ahmadiyya Weston Northwest was awarded the `Alame `In`ami this year. Majlis Atfalul Ahmadiyya Brampton Springdale ranked second.

For the Best Regional Majalis Award, the following were awarded:

  1. Majlis Atfalul Ahmadiyya Peel North Region
  2. Majlis Atfalul Ahmadiyya GTA Center Region
  3. Majlis Atfalul Ahmadiyya York Region

Masroor International Cricket Tournament

By the Grace of Almighty Allāh, Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya Canada’s Cricket Team won first place at the 3rd Annual Masroor International Cricket Tournament, held in London, UK. Hadrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa graciously awarded the team with the trophy of the tournament. The team was warmly received and presented to the audience from the stage of Jalsa Sālāna Canada.

Speeches

This session had three speeches, and besides these, distinguished guests were given some time to address the audience about their thoughts on the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamā`at and the Jalsa Sālāna. The speeches were as follows:

  1. Commonalities of Faith by a student of Jāmi`a Ahmadiyya North America, Talha Ali sāhib.
  2. Islāmic Perspective on Blasphemy by Maulana Mubarak Ahmad Nazir, Missionary In-charge Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada.

Guest Speakers

Many federal and Provincial Ministers, Members of Parliament, Mayors, Councillors from different countries, the Chief of Police, representatives from various organizations and scholars attended the convention and addressed the attendees. They spoke in admiration of the great discipline, peacefulness, brotherhood, loyalty, unity and cooperation displayed by the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamā`at. They also expressed their impressions of attending the Jalsa Sālāna. Messages from the Prime Minister of Canada, the Minister of Immigration and Premier of Ontario were read out to the audience and presented to Amīr sāhib Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada.

The following dignitaries addressed the attendees of the Jalsa:

  • Honourable Judy Sgro – MP, York West
  • Bob Delaney – MPP, Mississauga Streetsville
  • His Worship Doug White – Mayor, Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury
  • His Worship Dave Barrow – Mayor, Town of Richmond Hill
  • Mauril A. Belanger – MP, Ottawa-Vanier
  • Honourable Jim Karygiannis – MP, Scarborough-Agincourt
  • Honourable Chris Bentley – Attorney General of Ontario
  • Jim Jones – Regional Councillor Town, of Markham
  • His Worship Maurizio Bevilacqua – Mayor, the City of Vaughan
  • Honourable Tim Hudak – MPP, Leader of the Opposition Party of Ontario; Progressive Conservative Party
  • Honourable Greg Sorbara – MPP, Vaughan
  • Honourable Bal Gosal – MP, Bramalea-Gore-Malton; Minister of State for Sport
  • Honourable Peter Kent – MP, Thornhill; Minister of Environment

Concluding Address

Lal Khan Malik sāhib, Amīr Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada delivered the concluding address of the Jalsa on ‘What does Islām offer to the West?’ After the address, he led everyone in a silent prayer, marking the successful conclusion of the 35th Jalsa Sālāna Canada, by the Grace of Allāh the Almighty. Immediately after the silent prayer, Zuhr and Asr prayers were offered at the Jalsa Gah, and upon its completion, guests were served lunch.

VIP Banquet Lunch

This year, nearly 1000 guests attended the special banquet lunch arranged for important guests attending the Jalsa.

Appreciation for the Volunteers of Jalsa Sālāna

As soon as the Jalsa concludes, the wind-up teams began packing up all materials and equipment so that the hall could be returned to the authorities in pristine condition, in a timely manner. Amīr sāhib visited and inspected the sites where volunteers were winding up. He appreciated their hard work and had group photographs taken with these volunteers.

Inspection
of the Langar Khana

As soon as the entire Jalsa Gah had been inspected, Amīr sāhib visited the Langar Khana. He commended the dedication and commitment displayed by all volunteers throughout the Jalsa.

MTA

During the Jalsa, MTA Canada had setup a studio in the Jalsa Gah from where interviews of dignitaries, officers, and volunteers of the Jalsa Sālāna were recorded.

Canadian Media

Some Canadian newspapers published reports and snapshots of the Jalsa. In addition, Canadian television stations also televised some glimpses of this convention.

Headquarters of Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada

The headquarters of Jamā`at Ahmadiyya Canada, Baitul Islām Mosque and surrounding properties were decorated with colourful and beautiful flower beds. Flags from various nations of the world were added to the beauty of the mosque. Additionally, at night, homes decorated in Peace Village made a city of light and luminescence.

During the days of Jalsa, all prayers were offered with great fervour, and the mosque was filled with many worshippers, men and women, old and young. Likewise, tahajjud prayers were offered during the three days of Jalsa in Baitul Islām Mosque, followed by Dars-e-Hadīth. In short, these days were filled with blessings and everyone was focused on developing a special relationship with their Lord, Almighty Allāh. The environment was, without a doubt, both highly spiritual and captivating.

Hence the Jalsa Sālāna was very successful, and all attendees went home with a new passion to create a change in their lives.

May Allāh the Almighty bless us all with the everlasting blessings of Jalsa Sālāna, and may we partake of the heartfelt prayers of the Promised Messiahas which he prayed for the attendees of this holy gathering. Āmīn.

A detailed report of the Jalsa will be published in a later issue.

This article was published in August 2011 issue of Ahmadiyya Gazette Canada

Last Updated (Friday, 29 July 2011 20:58)

 
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