Muslims from Doncaster prepare for the biggest annual religious gathering

Britain’s oldest established Muslim organisation, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will be holding its Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention) on August 5-7 in Hampshire. The event is normally the largest annual gathering of Muslims in the UK, as it attracts 35,000 people over the three day event. But this year the faith gathering has been restricted to primarily UK delegates only, owing to the ongoing pandemic. It will be led by the world head of the Ahmadiyya Muslims His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who is the Caliph (Spiritual Leader) of the community, and the proceedings will be televised globally via satellite and live streamed over the Internet.

The convention will touch on a range of topics from the principles of justice in international affairs to advice and guidance on and harmony in the home. His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said: “For peace in our time, we must act with justice. We must act with respect and fairness. We must love for others what we love for ourselves. We must uphold the rights of others with the same zeal and determination that one has for their loved ones. We should always look beyond narrow self-interests and work for the greater good. “It is my heartfelt belief that true and lasting peace in the world is not possible until mankind comes to recognise his Creator, fulfils His rights and acts upon His commandments, that are the means to peace.”

Bilal Mahmood, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Doncaster said: “These last two years were unprecedented times for our nation. Ahmadi Muslims of Doncaster are pleased to again be attending the convention to pledge loyalty to one’s nations and renew our efforts to serve humanity.” Rafiq Hayat, UK President of the community, said a remarkable feature of the pandemic was that it afforded more time for introspection and self-reflection. He said: “During the pandemic and through lockdowns, even though mosques were closed or had restricted attendance, we discovered a heightened interest in matters of faith– and the quality and depth of our faith increased through a renewed focus on prayer.

“People also remain engaged with the community in online meetings and activities, and spent time listening to discussions and debates that were broadcast on online platforms.  People had more time to delve into faith matters, study the Holy Quran and to reflect on the purpose and direction of their lives.” An estimated 30,000 men and women, young and old from across the UK, will flock to the three-day convention.