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Jalsa Salana: The Spring of Spiritual Serenity and the Binding of Hearts

The primary purpose of Jalsa is to enable attendees to personally experience religious benefits. Among its secondary benefits is that it will promote mutual introduction among the members, and will strengthen the fraternal ties within the Community.

Jalsa Salana: The Spring of Spiritual Serenity and the Binding of Hearts

The primary purpose of Jalsa is to enable attendees to personally experience religious benefits. Among its secondary benefits is that it will promote mutual introduction among the members, and will strengthen the fraternal ties within the Community.

SALEEQ AHMAD NAIK

JULY 27, 2023

Jalsa Salana is the annual convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community initiated by its founder, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiahas, around 130 years ago in an unknown and remote Indian village, Qadian. This unique event eventually became a centrepiece for extraordinary love and cynosure of bonding among the members of the Community. Moreover, it also served as a key event for inter-religious peace and harmony around the world.

The Promised Messiahas emphatically declared Jalsa Salana to be entirely different from other worldly gatherings. Hence he says:

“You must not rank this convention in the same league as other, ordinary, human assemblies. This is a phenomenon that is based purely on Divine Help, for propagation of Islam.”[1]

With the rapid expansion of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the last century, these annual conventions ceased to remain confined to India. Today, Jalsa Salana is organised in many countries worldwide and is globally recognised as a flagship event of the Community that works to establish peace and harmony in society.

Objectives of Jalsa Salana

The foremost objective of Jalsa Salana is to create an atmosphere of spirituality where people can acquire true recognition of God and develop a personal relationship with Him. In this way, Jalsa Salana becomes a means of spiritual advancement, moral training and self-reformation for the members of the Community.

As people from outside the Community also attend this event, Jalsa becomes an opportunity for them to clear their misconceptions of Islam. It would not be an exaggeration to say that these conventions are bringing about revolutions in the minds of people and are opening veils for many seekers after truth to know the true Islam.

Another distinctive feature of Jalsa Salana is the physical company of the righteous and communion with them, which creates an environment full of spiritual calmness and tranquillity. Attendees get the opportunity to exchange good habits, develop and strengthen their spirit of social and religious responsibilities.

Most importantly, all barriers of race, colour or nationality are invalidated, and all kinds of egoism and superiority are shunned solely for the sake of Allah and to earn His pleasure. Hence, the Convention becomes the epitome of mutual love, bonhomie and brotherhood.

In a nutshell, Jalsa Salana is a magnificent demonstration of true Islamic values. Explaining the aim and purpose of Jalsa Salana, the Promised Messiahas says:

“The primary purpose of this Convention is to enable every sincere individual to personally experience religious benefits; They may enhance their knowledge and – due to their being blessed and enabled by Allah, The Exalted – their perception [of Allah] may progress. Among its secondary benefits is that this congregational meeting together will promote mutual introduction among all brothers, and it will strengthen the fraternal ties within this Community.”[2]

The Promised Messiahas continues:

“It is essential for all those who can afford to undertake the journey, that they must come to attend this Convention which embodies many blessed objectives. They should disregard minor inconveniences in the cause of Allah and His prophet (peace be upon him). Allah yields reward to the sincere persons at every step of their way, and no labour and hardship, undertaken in His way, ever goes to waste.”[3]

In the same announcement, the Promised Messiahas articulated the following aims and objectives for all those attending the Jalsa Salana:

  • “The visit will be solely for the sake of Allah, to listen to heavenly discourses and to participate in prayer to their utmost ability.
  • “The voicing of such truths and verities will be the occupation of this Jalsa which are important for the progress of belief, certainty and enlightenment.
  • “Friends that join this Jamaat in each new year shall, by attending on the appointed dates, get to meet their brethren, and as a result become friends.
  • “Also, anybody who passes away during the year, a prayer for their forgiveness shall be made at this Jalsa.

“It shall be endeavoured to spiritually unite all brethren and to remove disassociation, unfamiliarity and hypocrisy from among them.”[4]

Jalsa Salana UK

As this year’s Jalsa Salana UK is all set to start tomorrow, the country in Northwestern Europe is becoming a global centre of attraction for Ahmadi Muslims. People from the corners of the world are reaching the United Kingdom to accumulate the blessings of this spiritual convention.

Jalsa Salana UK carries many distinctions compared to Jalsas organised in other countries, as the Worldwide Head and the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph) of the Ahmadiyya community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, blesses this convention with his presence. Hence, people from all over the world roll in there to avail the opportunity to meet their beloved Khalifa and listen to his faith-inspiring addresses.

Apart from the physical attendance, members of the Community from all across the globe get the opportunity to listen to the programs of the Jalsa through the Community’s global satellite channel MTA (Muslim Television Ahmadiyya).

International Baiat

Another unique distinction of Jalsa Salana UK is the International Baiat (initiation ceremony) that takes place every year during the Jalsa. It is watched by millions of members worldwide. New converts who join the Community during the year take a pledge of allegiance at the blessed hand of the Khalifa. Members around the world also take part in the Baiat virtually through MTA and renew their covenant of allegiance[5]. During Baiat, every person reaffirms their commitment to lead a righteous life in accordance with the teachings of Islam and pledges their resolve to serve mankind, as detailed in the ten conditions of Baiat laid down by the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.[6]

For an Ahmadi Muslim, Jalsa Salana is more than a spiritual spring which brings happiness, joy and fervour, and provides a chance for the emergence of new flowers and a serene environment, in which the chirping of the spiritual birds are experienced with soothing and calm feelings. It is also a season in which the manifestations of Divine succour bloom, and the calm breeze of mutual love creates a refreshing and peaceful atmosphere.

During the Jalsa, attendees feed their souls with an abundance of spiritual food in the freshest way. Once again, it furnishes an opportunity to embellish gardens of heart and bestow us a rejuvenating spirit to soothe our souls.

The Holy Quran recitations, soulful poems, faith-inspiring speeches and continuous prayers make the environment lively, and provide the attendees with the energy to start a new journey of God realisation and self-reformation. Additionally, a warm, harmonious and brotherly climate melts all negativity and disappointment and inculcates a fresh will and unflinching confidence of faith.

In essence, this blessed convention holds innumerable benefits; it lifts our spirits in every possible way and revives our minds, body and soul in all aspects. May these blessed days of Jalsa enable us all to develop a living connection with our Creator, and may no materialistic luxury and worldly desire ever overtake us. Amin.

END NOTES

[1] Ishtihar 7 Dec. 1892, Majmo’ah Ishtiharat v. 1, p. 341

[2]  Ishtihar 7 December 1892, Majmoo`ah Ishtiharat v. 1, p. 340

[3]  Ishtihar 7 December 1892, Majmoo`ah Ishtiharat Vol. I, p. 341

[4] Majmua-Ishteharat, Volume 1, pp. 302-304

[5] A Brief History of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community by Shaikh Khurshid Ahmad

[6] Conditions of Bai’at & Responsibilities of an Ahmadi by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba pp. xxix-xxxi

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