One of the of the purposes of Jalsa Salana as emphasised by the Promised Messiah (as) is that meeting with one another will broaden the circle of brotherhood and strengthen mutual ties.
One woman who is instrumental in bringing people together at Jalsa is Hamida Sanouri Farooqi. She is the familiar voice we all hear echoing over the ladies Jalsa site, guiding us and keeping us informed- all the way since 1986! It was not until 2003 that an official announcements department was created, which now handle this important role at Jalsa Salana UK.
Many people are comforted by her distinct and calm voice. The friendly and soothing tone she delivers messages which can be recognised anywhere.
‘My favourite announcement is when Huzoor (aba) is expected to arrive in the ladies marquee, and I request the ladies to pray together. The buzz dies down and there is a beautiful atmosphere as we all wait and pray.’
We can all relate to this feeling. When the conversation-filled air draws its last words and is followed by quiet and reflective serenity.
In recollecting the most unusual announcements she’s had to deliver, she tells us the amusing tales of using this platform to reunite mothers and their children who may have wandered off. ‘Once a baby was found who was 18 months old! The mother said the baby had slipped out of the stroller without her realising as she was moving it around and there were too many things on it. The baby was found by someone else and taken to the crèche- the crèche team are really helpful- that was totally amazing.’
We are in awe of her forever tranquil composure in these peculiar scenarios, especially when tiny Jalsa-goers who become separated from their parents need her aid to reconnect with their mothers.
‘Alhamdolillah (all praise belong to Allah) Never ever have we failed to reunite families.’ But it doesn’t just stop there. ‘When it’s an international Jalsa, people have no other means- because in past the phone connections have been very bad…some of these people who have come to Jalsa are going to move on to other cities, or take their flights home. It’s almost crucial for them to meet somebody they need to, or give a parcel. We are happy to provide that service.’
Although her vital work literally brings people together, Hamida Sanouri Farooqi describes herself as a humble servant relying entirely on prayer.