Jalsa Salana/Annual Conventions

The Long-Awaited Trip to Jalsa Salana and Presenting My Poem to the Caliph

María Isabel Losa, UK.

It was 7:20AM. The alarm went off. It was the day that I and thousands of women had been waiting for: the second day of Jalsa Salana UK 2021, when our beloved spiritual leader, visits the women’s Jalsa Gah (Jalsa Site), and address the ladies of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. A much-awaited day for the ladies!

Only a one- hour trip by car separated me from the Jalsa grounds; the blessed location where the annual convention takes place. As I was leaving home, before getting into the car, I grabbed my prayer mat, a few masks and my Covid pass. The few objects that make this Jalsa Salana different to previous ones; as this is an annual convention in the time of COVID-19. Due to the pandemic, last year’s Jalsa Salana, 2020, was unable to go ahead, and thousands of Ahmadi Muslims missed out on the spiritual reformation that takes place during this event.

As I was driving to Jalsa, it began to rain. Further into our journey, the rain got stronger and heavier to such a point that it was becoming dangerous to drive. Some parts of the road were even getting flooded, and the traffic became very slow. I started reading Durud Sharif (prayer for sending blessings upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad [sa]) and began requesting God for His help and assistance, to take me safely to the awaited event. After a few more minutes of driving, the rainfall got lighter and the driving became easier.

During the drive I was able to practice the poems, that along with the tarana (poems) group, we were planning to recite in front of our beloved Huzoor (aba), His Holiness. A group of ladies, from different backgrounds and languages, were blessed to be selected to recite a group of nazms (poems) to conclude the ceremony after the speech of our beloved Huzoor (aba). This year, I would be reciting the Spanish nazm (poem), in front of our beloved Imam, but due to Covid restrictions, the time frame was reduced, giving us very little chance to recite it. We had been preparing this for many weeks and today was finally the day. The day we would recite our poems and show our love, our dedication and our admiration to our Caliph.

Everyone entered the Jalsa Gah. All of the sisters were quiet, eagerly awaiting His Holiness’s (aba) arrival. We were patiently, and silently looking towards the entrance near to the stage; checking if any car was approaching. After a few minutes, our beloved Imam arrived and entered the Jalsa Gah, and the session began. With His Holiness’s (aba) presence, it seemed like a breeze of fresh spiritual air had entered through and filled the whole atmosphere.

I couldn’t believe that His Holiness (aba) was just a few steps ahead of me, standing and addressing all the Ahmadi ladies worldwide. It seemed like a long time ago when I last saw him in February 2020. A private mulaqat (meeting) between him and my family that day was the last time that I exchanged a  few words with my beloved Imam. On that day, I would never have imagined I would have to wait for more than a year to see my beloved Caliph again.

When the address concluded and we raised our hands to do silent prayer, led by our Caliph, the green signal to the tarana group was made. The long-awaited moment had finally arrived. One by one the poems were presented in front of Huzoor (aba). Words and voices were full of emotions, happiness and love. Our hearts were beating, as the most important person in our lives, even more important than our own fathers and mothers, was paying full attention to our poems. His Holiness’s (aba) blessed face was full of light, and it was extremely difficult to compose myself when I looked at him.  My eyes were full of tears, after I finished my poem. The Spanish words of the poem, full of meaning, expressed how important this day was and how special our Caliph is to us.

The Spanish poem translates as follows:

We are all gathered,

We are in front of you

You are our Khalifa,

Our leader to follow

By divine grace,

The world is witness

You are the flowing water

In this green spring…

Khalifa, Khalifa, Khalifa of Allah

You are our spiritual father…

The whole tarana team felt so blessed and so grateful for having had this opportunity.

He is God’s vicegerent on earth, and we are the recipients of his spiritual light.

A light that once again, during this blessed event, shone on us; it illuminated us so radiantly and filled our hearts with the love of God and left us speechless. It made us feel like we were in a different world, in another reality, where the most important thing is God and His existence. This is the reason why we love Jalsa so much. There is no event, or other activity in our lives that can compare to the blessings and benefits of Jalsa.

As I was leaving the Jalsa Gah, and I started walking towards the car, it felt like a completely different day. The sun was now shining. The clouds which had earlier been full of rain had now disappeared and the sky was blue and clear. The sun’s rays were flying through the air and touching our faces. There was a beautiful sunset. In the distance I could see the beautiful countryside with tall green trees surrounding the Jalsa grounds. A nice and gentle wind was blowing, making it a peaceful evening. It all reminded me of the countless blessings of our Almighty God.

After hardship comes ease. After a period of pain, comes the period of joy. And today for many sisters, when they sat back in their cars and contemplated the horizon, a gentle smile appeared on their faces. This was the true happiness in our souls, after connecting with Him, our Almighty God.