The A-Z of Jalsa

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Jalsa sign

As we approach the 50th Jalsa Salana UK, let’s take a look at the A-Z of Jalsa UK..

A is for…

Ahmadiyya – Jalsa Salana UK is organised by the UK chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The community was founded in Qadian, India by The Promised Messiah (as) in 1889 and was established in the UK in 1913. Since then, the Community has created 129 branches across Britain and built a number of mosques, including the largest mosque in Western Europe, Baitul Futuh and the first mosque in London, Fazl mosque. Members of the community live by the motto: Love for all, hatred for none.

B is for…

Ba’ait – An integral part of Jalsa UK is the international Ba’ait, or pledge of allegiance, which has been a part of the Jalsa UK programme since the early 1990s. The Ba’ait takes place on the final day of Jalsa UK and is opportunity for existing and new Ahmadis alike to pledge their allegiance to the Jama’at at the hands of the Khalifa. This incredibly emotional event has been broadcast globally since 1994 when the entire Jalsa UK proceedings were broadcast live for the first time on MTA. This enabled Ahmadis around the world to feel connected to the Ba’ait proceedings and have a truly international Ba’ait.

C is for….

Charity – Jalsa is an excellent opportunity to drop by some of the stalls and exhibitions set up by various charities, such as Humanity First. Not only will you have a chance to learn more about the wonderful work these charities have been doing in the past year, you will also get a chance to donate to their cause either through purchasing merchandise or donating directly. Humanity first have been involved in a number of projects in the UK and around the world, such as blood donation drives, helping victims of floods in the UK, providing assistance to the elderly and supporting the homeless.

D is for…

Delegates – With Jalsa Salana UK being a truly international gathering, each year we see more people attending from all over the world. The Jalsa started with humble beginnings 50 years ago when a few hundred people attended Jalsa in the grounds of Fazl Mosque in London. As attendance grew, the Jama’at sought larger premises for the event, with Jalsas being held in Roehampton, Hounslow and TIlford, Surrey (better known as Islamabad). This year, more than 35,000 delegates are expected to attend from over 90 countries around the world, gathering in over 200 acres of land in the English countryside. 

E is for…

Emotions – During the three days of Jalsa, emotions run high as people listen to faith inspiring speeches, meet long lost friends and make acquaintances with new ones. It’s an opportunity to disconnect from the world around us and immerse ourselves in an experience like no other. Wherever you go, you will meet many types of people attending, from the seasoned attendee who hasn’t ever missed a single Jalsa, to those who are revisiting after years as well as those who may be attending for the first time. All guests will feel the sense of brotherhood and the spirituality which exudes from all areas of Jalsa Salana UK, leading up to the crescendo of the international Ba’ait on day three.

F is for…

Falooda – and fruit chaat, fries and plenty of other food! Whilst nothing beats the joys of Langar food, there is also a wide variety of food available to all in the bazaar. The aforementioned falooda is a particularly popular hit, especially in hot weather, yet there are many other options for those looking for something a little simpler. Whether your weak spot is a juicy burger or you cannot resist a kebab roll to accompany the customary daal chawal from the Langar, there is something to suit all tastes and satiate the biggest appetites!  

G is for…

Guests – Jalsa wouldn’t be complete without the guests who travel all around the world to attend this blessed event. The UK Jamaat arranges hospitality for guests in the week before and after Jalsa Salana UK with Fazl Mosque, Baitul Futuh and Islamabad serving as hubs for people to stay, meet, eat and visit. The guests who attend Jalsa are considered to be the guests of the Promised Messiah (as) and as such, should be treated with the utmost respect. The Promised Messiah (as) said: ‘I am always mindful that no guest should be inconvenienced and this is why I always give instructions that as much as it is possible, guests should be afforded comfort. The heart of a guest is fragile like glass and is broken by the slightest of knocks.’ If you see someone looking lost or in need of help, be sure to lend them a hand! 

H is for…

Hadeeqatul Mahdi – For the three days of Jalsa, thousands of people from all around the world descend on this site in the middle of the English countryside. The site was named “Hadeeqatul Mahdi” by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (atba) and translates to ‘Garden of the Guided One’. The first Jalsa to be held in Hadeeqatul Mahdi was in 2006. Prior to this, Jalsa Salana UK had been held regularly at Islamabad in Farnham, however, this site had already reached the maximum capacity of 12,000 with many more people attending each year. Following a search far and wide across the country, this 208-acre site was purchased. Having previously been a fully operational farm, there was a lot of work to be done to transform the sprawling green fields into a fully functioning global village for these blessed three days. These days, lessons are learnt each year to continue improving the experience for our guests and this place which was once a farm is now embedded in many people’s hearts as a blessed place full of memories. 

Stay tuned for more…