Jalsa Salana/Annual Conventions

Creating the Jalsa Spirit at Home

Zunaira Mahmood

The three days of blessings are upon us again. We anxiously wait throughout the year to be part of this blessed convention and to enjoy being in the presence of our beloved Huzoor (aba), solely for gaining the pleasure of Allah. This year the desire to be at ‘the Garden of the Mahdi’ (Hadiqatul Mahdi) is still immense but we say ‘Labbaik‘ to the decision of Huzoor (aba); we will still get to be part of this blessed convention through MTA – we hear and we obey. This too is solely for attaining the pleasure of Allah. We submit to the will of Allah like the writer of this line of verse:

راضی ہیں ہم اسی میں جس میں تیری رضا ہو
Raazi hain hum usi mein jismein teri raza ho

[It pleases us to do what pleases You]

We may not be there physically for all three days but our spirits remain as high as ever.  This whole experience will be a reminder for us all as to how our dear brothers and sisters in distant lands might feel about not being able to physically attend Jalsa. This will enable us to pray for them even harder and be thankful for all those Jalsas in the past that we have rejoiced in.

We will Insha’Allah (God-willing) bring the spirit of Jalsa to our homes. Our preparations will be the same. We will get ready and be seated in front of our TVs on time. Prayer mats will be laid for congregational prayers. Our discipline team will be active throughout the sessions. Our children will be serving water. Our kitchens will be mini langars for all 3 days. We will try our hardest to make Jalsa daal (lentil soup) and aloo gosht (potato and meat curry), though it never tastes the same. Kettles will be on for the virtual attendees of Jalsa but our wellies will stay snug in their closets until next year Insha’Allah.

Despite all the challenges due to the pandemic this year, the Jama`at is making sure that as many people as possible can safely attend Jalsa for at least one of the days. Masha’Allah (God desired it to be so), our beloved Huzoor (aba) possesses such wonderful foresight. Physically not being there has made us realize the true value of Jalsa. Those of us who are able to attend and have been able to attend for most of our lives may have taken the opportunity of being at Jalsa for granted. There were thousands of Ahmadis around the world who could not attend even before this pandemic and we should be forever grateful for the blessing of being able to attend Jalsa. However, now we have been given the chance to absorb the true essence of Jalsa. By listening to the Jalsa proceedings at home we can draw our full attention to the fruitful speeches and, most importantly, the sermons given by our beloved Huzoor (aba).

This year we know it will be a very different Jalsa but we’re really looking forward to attending it physically for the allocated days. We will miss our elderly Lajna and children but will be content that it’s for their own health and safety. We will miss the humble individuals whom we were so used to seeing at Jalsa but now they have returned to their creator during these hard times. Indeed we have lost a generation; hopefully, will we be able to carry on their legacy of self-sacrifice and devotion to Khilafat and the Jama`at. We will miss our Jalsa bazaar and the members working tirelessly in it. Most of all we will miss those hugs and handshakes that bring out the essence of sisterhood. We will be earnestly praying for the normalcy to return so we can once again witness Jalsa in its full glory, Insha’Allah.

May Allah keep our beloved Huzoor (aba) safe and healthy along with all the attendees of Jalsa. May we all be recipients of the prayers of the Promised Messiah (as) for the attendees of Jalsa – near and far. Ameen