Kent Muslims come together for first time since COVID restrictions at Islamic convention

Written by Adeel Shah

Muslims from Kent made their way to the UK’s longest running Islamic conference for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ahmadi Muslims gathered on the 200-acre Oakland Farm in Hampshire for three days of worship at the event known as the ‘Jalsa Salana’.

Prior to last year’s global pandemic, well over 35,000 people from all over the world attended the last Jalsa, held in 2019.

This year, only UK residents who have been double vaccinated were permitted to enter the ballot to attend this gathering. The 4,000 people selected were required to follow strict social distancing measures.

The highlight of the event was the attendance of the global Islamic Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who delivered an address to attendees on each of the three days of the Jalsa.

The objective of the event was to highlight the true peaceful teachings of Islam and to enable the participants to increase their knowledge and understanding of Islamic teachings and practices.

Zartasht Lateef, an Imam from Kent who atteneded, said: “We feel really lucky to have the chance to attend the Jalsa again.

“My family comes every year and we were really sad that it was cancelled last year.

“It will finally feel like we’re coming out the other side of “Covid” when we can pray together with our friends and family from all over the UK again in those huge marquees.”

The event was broadcast online and on the Community’s worldwide television station, Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (Sky 731), across its 19 television channels.