Ehtesham Ahmad Arif
Since the inception of the Jalsa Salana (annual gathering) in 1891, speeches and addresses have become a fundamental and integral part of the Jalsa. The first Jalsa – in which the Promised Messiah (as) invited his followers – had 75 participants. During the gathering, the Promised Messiah (as) and his companions deliberated over the matter of the Anjuman (organisational body). It was after the first Jalsa that the Promised Messiah (as) announced that Jalsa Salana would now become an annual gathering.
The second Jalsa Salana which was held in 1892 saw an influx in speakers and addresses; Hazrat Hakeem Maulvi Nooruddin Sahib (ra) and other prominent companions of the Promised Messiah (as) spoke on various topics such as the death of Jesus (as) and the topic of Angels. The Promised Messiah (as) himself addressed his followers during the Jalsa Salana.
Ever since the Jalsa Salana’s humble beginnings, it has become a tradition that members from the community, and even external members, speak on various topics and address the participants of Jalsa Salana.
Even today, the community’s scholars speak on various issues and topics during the course of the Jalsa Salana in the different sessions.
However, the most anticipated speeches are the keynote addresses of Hazrat Khalifatul-Masih (aba), who traditionally speaks multiple times throughout the Jalsa Salana UK over the three-day period. As well as inaugurating the Jalsa with an Inaugural address, Huzoor (aba) delivers a Friday sermon, address to the ladies, address to guests and dignitaries and finally Huzoor (aba) concludes Jalsa Salana UK with a closing address.