By Rana Atta Ur Rehman mta int
As a avid reader and budding writer, it was a real treat to visit the massive Jalsa Salana book stall, which is under the Nizamat of Arshad Ahmadi sahib, head of the publications (Ishaat) department of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya UK. Here, a vast choice of Ahmadiyya publications available in Urdu and English can be purchased.
Arshad Ahmadi sahib gave an introduction to his department.
“’I’ve been secretary Ishaat for about 12 years. We used to be in Islamabad (Tilford). Initially this was a small affair, but we have expanded here at Hadeeqatul Mahdi in leaps and bounds. As you can see today’s (stall) is even bigger than last year’s due to the number of books being published (by the jamaat) every year. This year Mashallah we have 25 new titles, in English, Urdu, Arabic, Chinese and French. Alhamdulillah this is progressing all the time.”
“A lot of Hadhrat Masih Maud’s (ra) books are being translated into English, Arabic and French. This year the focus is on Huzoor’s speeches that he gave on the world crises all around the world.”
We asked Arshad sahib to give us an account of his 12-year experience with the bookstall.
“There are people who come and are quite well off and they donate money. I know one Ameer from Saudi Arabia who donates a large amount so that he could purchase books for third world countries, people who cannot afford these books. All he needs is our prayers.”
He had a message for all those who were attending Jalsa.
“This is a good place to visit. If you are thirsty for knowledge, your thirst shall be quenched here.
Abdul Latif Khalid sahib, has been running the book store at the Fazl Mosque in London and Baitul Futuh for the majority of the years we could remember.
“I have been working as a servant of the Jamaat for the past 25 years I was first at London Mosque, but later after Masjid Baitul Futuh had been made, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih the 4th appointed me at the book store over there. After working there for 5 years, I was recalled to Fazl Mosque”.
We asked about the average age group of the customers…
“These books are usually purchased by veterans of the Jamaat, who also purchase for their children. The majority of the books to be sold are in the Urdu language, especially the books of the Promised Messiahs (as).”
“Our new generation needs a lot of books in the English language. The more books of the Promised Messiahas that are translated into the English language, the better it is for our future generation. There should also be many books created for children in which the simple and basic teachings of morals should be taught in a text book form.”
His 25 years of experience has had a great impact on him.
“I get great satisfaction when I see people buy these books with great dedication and use them to teach their children about Ahmadiyyat and Islam. My heart feels at ease through this. It also pleases me when I get the opportunity to recommend a book for the spiritual improvement of any customer, knowing that I may have gained blessings from Allah”.
So if you want my advice, don’t leave Jalsa Salana without a visit to the bookstall. I hope you will love it as much as I did!