Nottingham Muslims to attend ‘spiritual Glastonbury’ and mark connection with the UK

Hundreds of Muslims from Nottingham will join tens of thousands of others at an event in the English countryside regarded as Britain’s biggest Muslim festival.

Around 30,000 people from more than 100 countries will attend the event – called the Jalsa Salana – which takes place from August 2 to 4 at Oakland Farm near Alton, Hampshire.

The event is organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which has a large presence in Nottingham.

A tented city has been erected ahead of the event which has the aims of helping attendees reach “spiritual reformation” and tackling extremism carried out in the name of Islam.

5,000 volunteers will help run the event that will feature speakers discussing a range of religious topics, as well as several MPs and diplomats from different countries.

Dr Irfan Malik, media secretary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Nottingham, said: “The event has been likened to a spiritual Glastonbury – but instead of the music and songs we have religious hymns and prayers.”

“At a time of growing division and hatred in the world, especially with the rise of extreme views, this convention, with the spirit of volunteering and promoting the peaceful teachings of Islam, is refreshing to see.

“The event gives us an opportunity to be loyal to our faith and our nation also. How motto is ‘Love For All, Hatred for None’ and we wish to keep putting this into practice.”

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has more than 125 chapters and 35 mosques across the UK, including the largest, and first, mosque in London – the Baital Futuh Mosque.

It is an Islamic movement that since its establishment in 1889 has denounced all forms of extremism and promoted pluralism.

The community has tens of millions of members spread across 210 countries and is run under a system of Caliphate following the death of its founder – Mirza Ghulam Ahmad – in 1908.

The convention this weekend will finish with a human chain of 35,000-plus people pledging allegiance to the Caliphate, as well as raising of the British flag to showcase the community’s support and connection to the United Kingdom.