Stuttgart: War Horses & Peace-Gatherings

Photo by Bruno Kelzer on Unsplash

Home to Porsche and Mercedes Benz (and also to millions of people in its extended metro area), Stuttgart is the largest city and capital of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. But this world class city started out as the site for a totally different mode of transportation. 

Horses. And not the nice kind either. See, the name “Stuttgart” literally means “stud farm” in German because Stuttgart was originally founded around 950 CE by Duke Liudolf of Swabia for the purpose of breeding war horses for his warriors to ride into battle to defeat his enemies.

Fast forward nearly a thousand years and Stuttgart became the cradle of the automobile industry in the 1880s. But it’s not just cars; Stuttgart is renowned for its scientific and technological prowess in numerous areas and fields of knowledge. It is one of the safest, richest and most prosperous cities anywhere in the world.

No wonder then that it’s the perfect location for an annual convention, like the one held every year by Germany’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Now in 2023 the convention (known as Jalsa Salana) is being held in Stuttgart. It’s expected that as many as 60,000 people will attend not only from all over Germany but also from around the world. It’s a three-day long event and is taking place from Friday 1st September to Sunday 3rd September.

What makes the event truly special is the presence of His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), who is the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. His Holiness has travelled to Germany from the UK (where his permanent residence is) and will be the keynote speaker for the event; he will be speaking on all three days.

His Holiness is a man of peace and has spoken out against war for years, well over a decade in fact. He has addressed world leaders time and again for the need for unity, brotherhood and absolute justice in geopolitical affairs. Sadly, his message has gone unheeded and humanity stands on the precipice of annihilation.

It’s in difficult times like these that make the Jalsa Salana so special; these gathering of people from all over the world, from all different backgrounds and walks of life show us what happens when human beings from all parts of the planet recognise that we are all created by One God and stand united in spiritual brotherhood. Fundamentally, these annual conventions are gatherings of peace.

About the Author: Mansoor Dahri is an online editor for The Review of Religions. He graduated from UCL in BA Ancient Languages.

About the AuthorZafir Malik serves as the Associate Editor of The Review of Religions, having graduated from Jamia Ahmadiyya UK – Institute of Modern Languages and Theology. He is also an Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and regularly appears as a panellist on MTA International and Voice of Islam radio station answering questions on Islam.