Undoubtedly, this year’s Jalsa Salana was a unique yet exhilarating experience, to say the least.
While there may have been some sceptical opinions forming on how Jalsa Salana would be conducted in the midst of a global pandemic, the auspicious guidance from our Caliph, the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, addressed all aspects of the well-being and safety of not only the Jalsa attendees but also of the wider community.
Attendees had to show proof of their double vaccination, temperature checks were completed upon arrival, daily proof of negative lateral flow tests was required, social distancing was in place, and masks had to be kept on at all times whilst at the Jalsa site (Hadeeqatul Mahdi).
Jalsa is a time when Ahmadi Muslims gather to quench their spiritual thirst. They strive to bring about a pure change within themselves, and tread upon the path of righteousness.
Thousands of Ahmadi Muslims get together as a living example of the peaceful teachings of Islam and call for unity and love irrespective of race, colour and creed.
It is a time where Ahmadi Muslims put aside their worldly professions and become humble volunteers to tirelessly serve the guests of His Holiness Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah (peace be on him).
Certainly, a lot of things were different this year but to say the pandemic caused any real hindrance for Ahmadi Muslims attending Jalsa UK would be completely groundless. As with every other year, we had the blessed opportunity to listen to faith-inspiring addresses by His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, prayers were offered in congregation, speeches on religious and scholarly topics were delivered by eminent speakers, and most importantly, the spirit of comradeship was well and truly alive; it was all there despite the Covid restrictions.
I consider myself very fortunate as I had the opportunity to attend all three days of Jalsa while serving as a security personnel in the Lajna (women’s) Jalsa arena.
Seeing our Caliph, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad from a distance of about five metres on Saturday was truly soul stirring.
Prior to the pandemic, I was among the fortunate people who used to see His Holiness every day at the Mubarak Mosque, so to go from seeing him every day to seeing him after about 17 months in person, was no less than a numinous experience.
Ahmadi Muslims, like myself, eagerly wait for the day when we can return to the Mubarak Mosque and see our Caliph every day.*By Husna Butt, general secretary of the Ahmadiyya Muslims Women's Association, Tilford branch