Today, one of the tens of thousands of Jalsa attendees is Attiya Tur Rahman, otherwise known as Luo Xuan, her Chinese name.
She is a convert to Ahmadiyyat, having accepted the true Islam in 2005. We caught up with her to get a glimpse into her Jalsa experience this year.
When we asked her name, she showed us her ID badge, but told us she prefers her ‘Muslim name’ as it was given to her by beloved Huzoor (aba) (His Holiness).
When we spoke to her, she told us, ‘I feel very emotional actually, whenever I hear the speech [from Huzoor (aba)], and it’s a very joyful experience I have to say.’ She has travelled here with her young children- and all mothers know that coming across the city to the country with kids can be a little (or a lot) chaotic!
With her 5 year old son feeling car sick, the ride from London to Oakland Farm was made even more challenging. Attiya tells us she was worried he won’t want to come the next day because he was feeling so sick, ‘Even in the car he said I don’t want to come.’ But the next day, when his mother enquired if he wants to travel back, she was surprised to hear him say, ‘Yes I want to go again.’
Alhamdolillah (all praise belongs to Allah), her son’s positive experience of Jalsa outweighed his previous ill feelings. ‘He enjoyed it! He’s so little and he enjoyed so much, like how we enjoy Jalsa,’ she exclaims happily. ‘This morning he asked me, is Jalsa still open?’ Sometimes children really capture the exact sentiment that our minds want to say out loud!
Although there are people from all kinds of cultures at Jalsa Salana UK, bringing with them all kinds of preferred pallets, the Jalsa langar tailors to everyone- even unexpectedly. For instance, Attiya and her little daughter were in the food marquee queue yesterday hoping to get pasta, ‘For children, they always like pasta. We were waiting in such a long queue.’ But when learning the pasta had finished, Attiya’s daughter was presented with daal roti.
A nervous Attiya was once again surprised to learn that this was not going to dampen her daughter’s day- “She really enjoyed it!” Despite being from a different culture, Attiya and her children have happily immersed themselves in the full Jalsa experience. It seems the blessings of Jalsa are all encompassing. All the mothers we have spoken to have only expressed cheerfulness against the challenge of taking care of children during these three days.
In fact, Attiya tell us, ‘Waiting for one year is too long!’ We don’t yet want to think about the end of Jalsa, but when it comes, the one solace we turn to right away is that it will come again, Insha’Allah.