More than 217,100 people join the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
The World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad concluded the 57th Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on 30th July 2023 with an inspirational address.
More than 41,650 people attended the Jalsa Salana, which took place at Hadeeqatul Mahdi in Alton, Hampshire.
This was the first international full-scale Jalsa Salana since the Covid-19 pandemic and saw participants attending from 118 countries. The entire event was broadcast live on MTA International and streamed online.
A highlight of the three-day Jalsa Salana was the pledge of allegiance, known as Bai’at, on Sunday afternoon. The participants once again formally pledged allegiance to Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad as the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph) of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him).
The participants formed a human chain leading to the Khalifa as they repeated the words of the pledge in unison.
Prior to the ceremony, His Holiness announced that 217,168 people had joined the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community during the past year from 114 countries around the world.
During the concluding address, His Holiness continued with the theme of shining a light on the superior rights that Islam grants to mankind that are unmatched by any other faith or ideology. This was the fourth in a chain of addresses delivered by His Holiness on this theme with the first three addresses being delivered at the concluding sessions of the Jalsa Salana UK of 2019, 2021 and 2022.
Speaking of how Ahmadi Muslims should be proud of the fact that Islam comprehensively grants rights to all sections of society, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“We should never be shy whilst presenting the teachings of Islam to others and nor must we be under any inferiority complex. The laws and teachings of Islam are ever-lasting in nature. They are so comprehensive that they do not need to be changed in order to fulfil the needs of the time. Materialistic people make laws to protect what they consider human rights. After a while, they realise their weaknesses and begin campaigning against the laws they introduce, saying that the law is too extreme and its negative aspects outweigh its benefits, and so the law becomes a target of mockery. Therefore, we must inform the world about the true rights of people and guide the people towards how a peaceful society can be created whilst upholding the rights of different groups.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad further said:
“It should always be borne in mind that the rights of different groups of people can only truly be fulfilled by someone who has firm faith that there is a Supreme being that is watching and keeping count of every action we do and we will be answerable to Him if we fail to act on his injunctions…We should always remember that alongside fulfilling the rights of Allah, we ought to fulfil the rights of His creation too as He greatly loves His creation. When we adopt thinking, we can then have a firm faith in God and we are also able to understand the need of having faith.”
His Holiness said that thus far, he had spoken of 21 different groups of people in the past three Jalsa Salana addresses on the theme of the rights Islam affords to the various groups of society.
This year His Holiness spoke about the rights of the poor and the deprived and how Islam ensures that they are looked after in an Islamic society.
Speaking about the importance of looking after the needy, His Holiness quoted chapter 9 verse 60 of the Holy Quran:
“The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and for those employed in connection therewith, and for those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and for the freeing of slaves, and for those in debt, and for the cause of Allah, and for the wayfarer—an ordinance from Allah. And Allah is All-Knowing, Wise.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said that it is due to the weak from amongst you that you are provided for and you receive support. This means that poor people work for you, and those who are rich benefit from the work of the poor. Therefore, take care of them and pay them appropriately according to their work so that they do not feel they are being unjustly treated. Today, the strikes and protests that happen are a result of people saying that they are not being paid properly. This is the case even in richer countries. Even well-educated people are protesting including doctors and other medical staff are striking. This is the case all over the globe. Some nations see revolt and other areas see military takeovers because the poor are not given their rights. The poor are not given their due whilst the rich are filling their pockets.”
Speaking of the practice of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad narrated that once when Hazrat Umar received some property in Khyber, he came to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who said to Hazrat Umar, ‘If you wish, you can give this wealth in charity.’ So Hazrat Umar dedicated all that wealth to the needs of the poor and the needy.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad narrated another Hadith which states:
“The one who helps a widow and the needy is like the person who goes for Jihad.”
His Holiness also narrated several incidents from the lives of the four rightly guided Caliphs of Islam about how they looked after the poor.
His Holiness said that during the time of Hazrat Umar, a census was carried out to ensure that every person, be they rich or poor, received the basic amenities of food and clothing under the Islamic government and so the government established under Islam was such that it led the way in ensuring that the poor did not have to struggle for their basic needs.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Islam is the religion which has established he rights of people at a national scale as well. According to Islam, it is the government’s responsibility to provide people with food, shelter and clothing. It is Islam that established this rule for the first time. Governments are trying to implement this now however, they are not doing it comprehensively. With the exception of a few, Muslim countries are such that they are not fulfilling this responsibility. If Muslims begin to fulfil this obligation, their destiny will turn around. It will end the frustrations people have which causes them to go on strikes and protests against their rulers.”
His Holiness also narrated incidents from the life of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) about how he took care of the needy including the fact that he would purchase expensive medicines with him in the village of Qadian and the poor and the needy would come to him to receive treatment from his house free of charge. This would at times take several hours of his precious time.
Once, one of his companions saw that for a long period of time, the Promised Messiah had been treating patients who had come to his house and three hours had passed in doing so. He said to the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) that this laborious task of seeing people and treating them was a cause of pain for him and took him away from his other important work and so he should avoid seeing the poor people who come to him.
The Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) replied:
“This is also religious work just like other religious pursuits. These people are poor and there is no hospital nearbyI acquire different kinds of English and Greek medicines for these people, which prove useful. This work is a source of many blessings and a believer should not be lazy or negligent regarding such service.”
As he concluded his address Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“May Allah the Almighty enable us to fulfil the rights of the poor and the needy whilst purifying ourselves of all arrogance and pride. May we see the true representation of Islam in every chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community across the globe.”