jalsa preparation

The 2016 Jalsa Salana UK, the 50th Jalsa to take place in the UK, is quickly approaching. With less than a month to go, we’re all busy in preparations. Whether it’s gathering camping equipment, finalizing bookings or preparing our homes for guests, we’re all preparing for the Jalsa in one way or another. Preparation is a vital part of every Jalsa, so here is a small checklist of 8 things you need tokeep in mind to physically and spiritually prepare for the Jalsa.

Think Battery

Despite our efforts to disconnect from the world, communications and electronics are often vital at the Jalsa for various reasons. Whether we are taking notes from Huzur’s speeches or checking for any new announcements on the Jalsa app, we often need our phones. As charging facilitiescanbedifficult to find, it is usually a good idea to invest in a spare battery for your phone- or a power pack to charge multiple devices. Be sure to take care when buying online and to buy according to your needs and capacity- size and battery capacity (mAh) are often important things to consider when buying.

Alternatively, if you only need a phone for communications, it could be a good idea to ditch your smartphone and downgrade to an older feature phone for the weekend- a longer battery life will come in handy. Also, you may want to consider picking up a free EE sim to benefit from the temporary EE signal masts that are being installed at the Jalsa this year for improved communications and better signal.

Wear suitable clothing

The weather at the Jalsa is often unpredictable- ranging from scorching heat to biting cold and intense rainfall. Be sure to check the forecasts and pack necessities accordingly – jackets, sunscreen, or boots. A change of clothing could also be a good idea.  For cold weather, sweaters, shawls and socks will all be invaluable- while for hotter weather sunscreen, a cap and plenty of water would be advised. All updates on the weather and suitable precautions will be available closer to the time through JalsaConnect and our social media platforms.

Carry some cash/change

Be it buying burgers or buying books, we all inevitably end up in need of some cash or change at the Jalsa, and it is wise to keep some on you in a safe place such as a wallet or a bag.

Don’t forget medicine

Jalsa means traveling to Hadeeqatul Mahdi from all corners of the earth. To ensure that you stay healthy while traveling and during the Jalsa, it is vital to keep any medication you might require with you. Keeping essentials like paracetamol and hayfever medicine as well as bandages and a first aid kit is also a good idea- if you don’t need it, it could be used to help a brother or sister in need at the Jalsa. Be sure to take care of all of your medication (keep out of reach of children) and not to lose it, and to keep yourself hydrated-after all, staying healthy is crucial in order to fully enjoy the Jalsa.

Don’t forgetyour five daily prayers

Our 5 obligatory prayers are essential in order to fully experience the countless blessings of the Jalsa. Paying attention towards safeguarding our prayers are a must, especially in the build up towards Jalsa.

Our beloved Huzur once said in his Friday Sermon:

“… A vital purpose of Jalsa is to establish a relationship with God. So, it’s imperative for those who participate in Jalsa Salana, both guests and workers that they remember in order to establish this relationship they must pay full attention to their prayers and nawafil. Because through these (prayers) our problems will be resolved…” (Friday sermon – July 22nd 2011)

Furthermore, to try and attain nearness to Allah, Nawafil (extra prayers) will certainly help develop our soul and nurture us spiritually. To begin with we should all try to offer Tahajud, a unique Nawafilprayer meant to be offered before Fajr.

Allah the Almighty has said:

 “And wake up for It (the Qur’an) in the latter part of the night supererogatory service for thee It may be that thy lord will raise thee to an exalted station” (Qur’an 17:80)

The Holy Prophet has also stated that “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer” (Muslim).

Revisit the10 conditions of Ba’ait

An event that is the size and magnitude of the Jalsa often makes us contemplatethefundamentalsofour faith, such as “Why am I an Ahmadi? How can I be a better Ahmadi?” In times like this, the best thing for us is to go back to the basics of our beliefs- revisiting the 10 conditions of Ba’ait. As they are the guidelines that were set out by the Promised Messiah for being a true Ahmadi, it is vital for us to revisit these and try and improve ourselves by making firm resolves to tryto overcome our shortcomings by abiding by these conditions. One of the highlights of the Jalsa is the Initiation ceremony (the Ba’ait)- an emotional and uplifting part of the Jalsa, and in order to grasp the importance of this ceremony we must revisit the conditions of Ba’ait and our obligations, in order to be better Ahmadis and better people.

Maintain humility and abondof unity

Humility is an imperative attribute for any Ahmad Muslim- the Promised Messiah AS said himself “it is mandatory for a believer that he should not have any arrogance”-and just before the Jalsa is a perfect time when we need to reinforce this virtue in ourselves. Humility at the Jalsa is always important as we need to ensure that we respect and appreciate the work that goes into preparing for the Jalsa each year; the hard work and dedication of children, students, people who work full time, parents of small children, even elderly people who give up their time to assist in any way possible to make this blessed gathering a success. Another important aspect of Jalsa is a sense of unity. Over 30000 people gather each year for this blessed event and we need to ensure we embrace our unity and are always ready to serve the guests of the Promised Messiah AS with love and humility.

Be Cheerful

A smile can instantly improve your day, and at an event like the Jalsa it is your own attitude that can make all the difference. Be positive and happy towards everyone you see around you and spread this cheerful attitude- after all, the Jalsa only comes once a year. A smile on your face will ensure that your Jalsa experience is the best it can be, as well as that of those around you.  Enjoy the Jalsa! Make friends, have fun and enjoy yourself.

Jazakallah for reading, I pray that Allah makes your Jalsa experience as beneficial and enjoyable as possible. Amen

By Wajeeh Maaz