Jalsa Salana/Annual Conventions


39 AHMADIVVA MUSLIM CONVENTION (Rashid Ahmad Chaudhary) The 23rd- Annual Convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association U.K. took place at Islamabad, (Formerly Sheephatch School), Tilford, Surrey, from 22nd to 24th July. The convention was attended by more than six thousand people from 54 countries of the world. Huge marquees were set up for this purpose. Accomodation and food arrangements were made for all the participants. Among the notable figures who attended the convention were Dr. Abdus Salam, the famous Muslim Scientist and Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Deputy Mayor of Wavereley, Virginia Bottomley, M.P. and senior members of the Hounslow Council. Mrs Bottomley commended the efforts made by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to enhance family life and to remind people of the importance of religion. She particularly felt that the message of ahmadiyyat: Love For all Hatred for none, was applicable all over the world. The principal speaker of the convention was Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, the Supreme Head of the World-wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. In his opening address he told the audience that the convention had a special significance in the history of Ahmadiyyat. It happened to be the last convention of the first Century of Ahmadiyyat, the Community which was founded in 1889 at Qadian, India, by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah. He said that since the inception of the Community, the opponents have launched a vicious propaganda against it, made false and totally baseless accusations, and have been attributing religious beliefs to it, which it does not hold. He informed the audience that the Government of Pakistan and its ruler was fully involved in this campaign against the peaceful Community. Ahmadis living in Pakistan have been stripped of fundamental human rights. He recalled that he had thrown a challenge of Mubahala to all opponents, involved in the vicious campaign against the Ahmadiyya Community. ‘Thus’, he said, ‘the whole dispute is now in the court of Allah, who will decide which party is the truthful and which is the accursed one. He prayed, ‘May the curse of Allah fall upon the liar within one year, so that the whole world may see as to who is true and 40 AHMADIYY A MUSLIM CONVENTION who is false. I and all my followers are praying for God’s sign and so should our opponents.’ The Supreme Head stated that he was accused of abducting and killing a person called Maulana Aslam Qureshi, who disappeared in February 1983, and for whom the mullahs had staged demonstrations, and meetings, and urged the Government of Pakistan to prosecute him (Head of Community). One of ‘their ringleaders, a notorious mullah, Manzoor Chinioti declared that he was certain that Mirza Tahir Ahmad was involved in the case and that he was prepared to be shot dead in public if he were wrong. The Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community declared that now after approximately five years the said Maulana has appeared all of a sudden. He was brought on the television by police where he stated that he had disappeared ort his own accord and that has come back on his own accord. He even stated that he spent some time in Sind, and then went to Iran where he was working in the army. This, he said, is the first lie of rnullahs exposed by the will of God, consequent to the challenge of Mubahala. Speaking on the second day, the head of the world-wide Ahmadiyya Community Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad informed the audience that Ahmadiyyat has been firmly established in 117 countries of the world. He said that the Community is spreading all over the world even in Pakistan. Giving an example he said that in one part of Sierra Leone, 5764 persons joined the fold of Ahmadiyyat. He appealed to the Ahmadi professionals, doctors, teachers, and businessmen etc. to come forward and offer their services for the uplift of African countries. Africa should be liberated in the real sense, he urged. On the final day, he spoke on Justice in Islam. In an eloquent speech, he reminded the audience of the rights and duties of parents and children. Quoting the Quranic teachings, and the Sayings of the Holy Prophet of Islam, as well as instances from the early history of Islam he declared that if the West wants to get rid of the evils prevalent in society today, it would have to adopt the Islamic pdnciples and follow the Quranic teachings. Speaking to the ladies, in an exclusive session, he said that men and women have equal rights in Islam. No other religion has granted women the rights which Islam has given. He quoted a saying of the Holy Prophet that paradise lies at the feet of your mothers, and said that Islam has enhanced the status of women.