After reciting Tashahhud, Ta`awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness (aba) recited a portion from the Holy Qur’an, the translation of which is as follows:
‘They desire to extinguish the light of Allah with the breath of their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, even if the disbelievers hate it. He it is Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the Religion of truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religions, even if those who associate partners with God hate it.’ (61:9-10)
His Holiness (aba) said that today is August 7th, which according to the calendar of the UK Jama`at, is meant to be the first day of Jalsa Salana, which cannot be held due to the current pandemic. May Allah bring things back to normal that we may be able to hold this convention once again.
Efforts to Cover Jalsa Salana
His Holiness (aba) said that MTA has planned to try an fill the void, by replaying some of the addresses given by His Holiness (aba) on the occasion of previous Jalsas and they will also be conducting some live programmes. May these programmes prove beneficial for Ahmadis all around the world. All Ahmadis should watch these proceedings from home.
His Holiness (aba) said that he also thought it would be better, rather than the old report of the Jama`at’s progress throughout the year being played from last year, he would present an updated report. Though certain programs could not be held during the year due to the pandemic, the Jama`at has continued to progress. Many people have written that the level of Tarbiyyat or moral training especially in children has increased.
His Holiness (aba) said that usually, the report presented on the second day of Jalsa cannot be presented in full, due to the shortage of time. However now, an opportunity has presented itself where he will present some portion of the report today and the remainder during a live address on the coming Sunday.
His Holiness (aba) said that before presenting the report, he would present an excerpt from the writings of the Promised Messiah (as) pertaining to the verses he recited in the beginning of the Sermon and how they clearly announce the coming victory of Islam which is associated with his advent as the Promised Messiah (as). His Holiness (aba) further said that the faith inspiring incidents which would be presented in the report speak for themselves in this regard.
New Seeds Sown
His Holiness (aba) said that the by the grace of Allah, in the past year, apart from Pakistan, 288 new Jama’ats were established in the world, and the seed of Ahmadiyyat has been sown in 1040 new places. In this regard, Sierra Leone is at the top of the list, then Congo Kinshasa and Ghana in third.
A local mu`allim from Congo Kinshasa wrote to His Holiness (aba) that when the local cleric of a village heard a program of the Jama`at on the radio he came to the mosque and began asking many questions. When he was given answers and given further material to study, he realized the truth and accepted Ahmadiyyat. Upon returning to his village, he conveyed this message and thus, 20 more people entered the fold of Ahmadiyyat.
The Amir of the Gambia Jama`at wrote to His Holiness (aba) that when a local mu`allim went to a village to propagate the message of Islam, an elder was very happy. He said that you and your community are following the true practice of Islam. Just as the Holy Prophet (sa) migrated for the sake of spreading Islam, so too have you travelled to spread the message of Islam. Then the elder said that we all accept this message you have brought regarding the Imam Mahdi, and then two families comprising of 19 people entered the fold of Ahmadiyyat,
His Holiness (aba) said that a missionary from Liberia wrote of his visit to a village. Upon going there he found that rather than offering the Friday Prayer in their mosques, everyone would gather in a village. When asked why they do this, they replied that their Imam had told them that the only way to offer the Friday Prayer was to sacrifice three goats and present the meat to him. The local missionary informed them that there was no such teaching in Islam in fact this was an innovation. Thus he taught one of the local members how to lead the Friday Prayer, and thus they were able to offer the Friday Prayer without having to follow the innovations created by the local cleric. In this way, an entire village entered the fold of Ahmadiyyat.
The Amir of Senegal wrote to His Holiness (aba) that a group went to a town to preach the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat. Upon going there, they found two sects who were at odds and had decided that they would wait for the coming of the Messiah. They were given some literature, and then this group returned again to the village. The local people said that upon reading the literature of the Jama`at, they realized that this was the community of the Messiah for whom they had been waiting.
The missionary from Kababir wrote to His Holiness (aba) that the Jama`at has been established in Al-Khaleel, which is also where the graves of Hazrat Ibrahim (as), Hazrat Ishaaq (as), Hazrat Ya’qub (as) and of other family members are located.
New Houses of God
Then, His Holiness (aba) presented the report regarding the establishment of new mosques. By the grace of Allah, a total of 217 new mosques were established in the past year, of which 124 were newly built and 93 which were mosques that had already been built. His Holiness (aba) read out a list of countries where new mosques were established which covered four continents of the world.
His Holiness (aba) mentioned that a new mosque was established in Guatemala for the first time in 31 years, Masjid Noor. When the foundation for the mosque was laid, there was no road which led to it. There was a narrow dirt path which was very dangerous. But since then, by the grace of Allah, a paved road has been made for a distance of 17 miles leading to the mosque.
His Holiness (aba) said that in Norway, the Jama`at obtained a building which previously served as a church and converted it into a mosque. Previously, the Jama`at had purchased another building to convert into a mosque, but was faced with great opposition by the locals, which included a local church. This lasted for about two years. God’s work is such, that the same church which was hindering the Jama`at from establishing a mosque could no longer maintain the church and were forced to sell it. The local council suggested it be sold to the Ahmadiyya Community, and thus, the very same church was turned in to a mosque, Masjid Maryam.
His Holiness (aba) mentioned that a mosque was established in Malawi for the first time. He also mentioned a new mosque established in Mexico. There is also a mosque under construction in Belize which will soon be completed, God-Willing!
The Amir of the Jama`at in Tanzania wrote to His Holiness (aba) during their efforts to build new mosques, local clerics would pose hinderances. Despite these hinderances, the Jama`at was still able to build mosques, upon which the locals said that this community surely has a higher power helping them, seeing as they are still able to build such great and beautiful mosques.
New Mission Houses
His Holiness (aba) said that by the grace of Allah Almighty, 97 new Mission Houses were established around the world.
His Holiness said that Waqar-e-Amal is a key feature of the Community, whereby work is done on a volunteer basis to help not only the Jama`at but the local community as will. Work is also done specifically pertaining to the building of mosques. During the past year, 114 countries took part in Waqar-e-Amal. Through volunteer efforts spanning 41, 111 sessions of Waqar-e-Amal, a total of $5,213,000 was saved.
Scale of Voluntary Work
His Holiness (aba) mentioned the work being done through the Raqeem Press, established in eight Africa Countries, under the supervision of the Raqeem Press in the UK. During the past year, the Raqeem Press in UK printed over 360, 000 books.
One of the salient features of this year is that the Jama`at in Qadian, after working on it for 6-7 years, the Holy Qur’an has been printed in a beautiful font, along with excellent binding and overall quality of print. The font is called Khatt-e-Manzoor. Further copies of the Holy Qur’an along with translation will also be printed in this font.
His Holiness (aba) mentioned that despite the great restrictions and hardships created for Ahmadis in Pakistan pertaining to the reading and distributing of the Holy Qur’an, God Almighty has opened up many new avenues in this regard throughout the world for the Jama`at.
Increase in Publications
His Holiness (aba) said that a total of 4,256,659 publications were published in 93 countries. These include 407 different books in 42 different languages. His Holiness (aba) then presented various faith-inspiring incidents of how the spread of literature helped individuals in recognizing the true Islam.
Exhibitions and Book Stalls
His Holiness (aba) said that by the grace of Allah Almighty, the true message of Islam was conveyed to 22,700,000 people through the distribution of 9,357,000 leaflets. Furthermore, through 7540 exhibitions held across the world, 343,000 people received the true message of Islam. Then, over 5000 bookstalls and book fairs held across the world, 774,000 people received the true message of Islam.
His Holiness (aba) presented an incident from a book fair in India, where a man came and began raising allegations against the Qur’an, saying that it taught the killing of others etc. He was told that there were no such teachings in the Qur’an. Upon hearing some answers, he decided to sit in the stall and discuss Islam for a few hours. After this discussion, he said that up until now, he would never find a response or answer to his questions. Thus his hatred towards Islam continued to increase and he had even decided to start a television channel against Islam. However he said that day, after having a discussion with an Ahmadi at the book fair, his perspective had changed entirely. He said that he would no longer speak out against Islam and would not air anything against Islam on his television channel. His Holiness (aba) said that by spreading literature in this way, the Jama`at has been able to convey the true message of Islam and remove misconceptions, contrary to the actions of clerics which do nothing to help propagate the true image and message of Islam.
His Holiness (aba) mentioned an incident of a peace symposium held in Finland where a diplomat who had previously lived in Pakistan as an ambassador also attended. He mentioned the great services the Ahmadiyya Community has offered in Pakistan. He also expressed his dismay at the attempt to erase the history of Dr. Abdus Salam, the first Nobel Laureate from any Muslim country, solely because he was an Ahmadi, to the extent that the world ‘Muslim’ was erased from his tombstone. His Holiness (aba) said that whether Ahmadis say anything or not, those who are learned know what Ahmadis have done for Pakistan and how they are treated now. In any case, Ahmadis will always be loyal to Pakistan, as they always have been. God-Willing, the persecution will soon fade away.
His Holiness (aba) said that this was the first part of the report, the second part of which will inshaAllah [God-willing] be presented on Sunday evening in front of a small gathering which will also be broadcasted live around the world.