It is through His Grace that Allah the Almighty has united the Ahmadi’s around the world through MTA, and made us so well-informed about the tours of the Khalifa, as well as about Jama’at events and other news. Rather, every news reaches instantly and every event is watched as it unfolds. In fact, sometimes, the listeners instantly send their views and express their sentiments regarding the proceedings of the Jalsas and their atmosphere, during the [live] programmes.
Nevertheless, as everyone is aware, Jalsa SalanaGermany took place recently. One expresses gratitude towards Allah the Almighty and praises Him for having granted this blessing [of MTA], through this means it has united the Community of the Promised Messiah(as) as one entity. He has vouchsafed the physical means for a beautiful sight of [Jama’at members] being beaded into one string [of pearls]. Thus, whereas on the one hand, we should be grateful to Allah the Almighty for this, on the other hand, we should also be thankful to the workers of MTA, which include volunteers as well as full-time staff. May Allah the Almighty reward all of them. And this is also what people write in their letters, that ‘may Allah the Almighty bless the workers of MTA’ and they offer their sentiments of gratitude.
Likewise, there are workers, engaged in various [other] departments, who render their services at Jalsa on a voluntary basis. They serve the guests incessantly. Thus, all participants should be thankful to these volunteers, who – as I always say – work with a passion for the sake of Allah the Almighty while being selfless. The actions of these workers serve as a means of silent tabligh [preaching] for the non-Ahmadi or non-Muslim guests. These workers, in addition to [performing] their duties, are serving as silent missionaries. Neither the screen of MTA reports this [aspect] nor can the presenters do justice to this [task]. Likewise, the attendees of Jalsa also leave a good impression on the guests through their conduct.
In this regard, I shall now present the impressions of guests, who had come from various countries so that this aspect of the blessings of Jalsa may also come before us and we may be given another opportunity to be grateful to Allah the Almighty and we may pay attention to further reforming our condition.
A Muslim guest of Arab origin, Khalid Miaz Sahib, who works with the Red Cross, attended Jalsa Salana Germany this year. Expressing his sentiments, he says: “when I would hear my non-Muslim friends criticise Islam, I would be unable to defend Islam due to the mutual dislike and disputes of Muslims. However, today during this Jalsa, having seen the collective as well as individual peace, love and unity of your Jama’at and their sentiment of love and obedience towards the Khalifa, my head has been lifted with pride and honour in that I have witnessed a Jama’at with my own eyes, the members of which are peaceful and whose gatherings are well organised.”
Then, a German friend, Michael Fetscher Sahib attended Jalsa. He says that prior to attending the Jalsa, I frequently read in the newspapers that Ahmadis are peace-loving people. However, in my heart I would think that many other people also claim to be peaceful. After coming here, I have witnessed with my own eyes that the testimony of the claim of peace, followed by its practical example can merely be found in this Jalsa, where people are personally spending their time in peace and love and are also welcoming other participants.
Then, a German lady by the name Merasi Ogala, who is in regular contact with the Jama’at, witnessed the programme of the Bai’at[pledge of allegiance ceremony] during Jalsa. She says “almost all of my questions have been answered and solved one by one. I now believe that I will not attend the Jalsa much longer as a guest. Rather, it is my desire to personally do Bai’at and enter the Jama’at.”
A lady by the name Maria Jose, who is originally from South America but is currently a student in Berlin and has come here to study, expressed her sentiments by saying: “I was amazed to see people of so many nations, races and colours living together with such unity and experiencing an atmosphere of peace and comfort in every direction. It is my desire to return to Berlin and contact the mosque of the Ahmadiyya Jama’at and to further strengthen my relationship with this Jama’at. My heart felt comfort by being around you!
Then, three ladies from Macedonia working for a social welfare organisation were present. One of them says that many Muslims live in our surrounding in Macedonia. However, this kind of Islam and such a social demonstration thereof proved to exceed our expectation. On this occasion, we came here on the invitation of another person. However, we hope to bring guests with us in the future and to personally introduce the Jama’at to the Muslims of Macedonia.” Thus, this is how Allah the Exalted opens avenues for Tabligh.
A Christian guest from Latvia by the name May Kalar Sahib was present. He is a student and is interested in researching into different religions. He says: “I am deeply interested in religions and due to this very reason have I read the teachings of your Jama’at and am now seeing its practical demonstration. I find your teachings and your conduct positive and attractive. I have felt a spiritual devotion in the participants of Jalsa.”
A lady journalist from Latvia called Augustine Sahiba, whilst expressing her impressions wrote “having seen the Imam of the Ahmadiyya Jama’at here, I do not have the words to express the state of my heart. During our meeting, I asked him (i.e. she asked me what is the solution for radicalism and extremism). “He gave a complete answer to this difficult question in merely two words by saying that the solution to these problems is to provide adequate education and upbringing and to teach Islam correctly.
Professor Loli Diaz sahiba from Qurtuba University, Latvia, attended the Jalsa and shared her impressions. She wrote, “My words do not render justice to my emotions. It is my belief that this Jam’aat and the Khalifah of this Jama’at are completely different from other Muslims and I sense this difference within me.”
Forty-six members of the Bosnian delegation attended the Jalsa this year out of which 18 were Ahmadis and the remaining approximately 28 were being introduced to the community. One of the guests, Yasmin sahiba, who is also president of an NGO and was introduced to the Jama’at recently, attended the Jalsa. She drove alone in her car for 1200km in order to get here. She says “I did not notice any flaws in the Jalsa arrangements.” Hence, this is the result of the service rendered by the volunteers and it does nothing but impress outsiders.
Then [there was] a guest named Nijaat sahib who is from the Bosnian Roman Catholic Community. He is a famous politician, well-known intellectual, and also the councilor of the city of Totla. He says “The Jalsa arrangements were executed very well. After witnessing the sincerity of the volunteers, I concluded that they have very strong faith and the conformity in their words and actions was the secret behind their progress. And the main thing that developed this condition within them was their connection with Khilafat.”.
Mahir sahib, a non-Ahmadi guest, attended the Jalsa with his wife on their personal expenditure. He says that “The way guests are treated here and the love shown to the people here, I say this genuinely that the love and affection we found here cannot be matched anywhere in the world.
Diyana sahiba, a Bosnian guest, also attended the Jalsa. She is a nurse by profession and is connected to the Jama’at through another family. She traveled to the Jalsa with her husband and parents whilst bearing the travel expenses. She says that “All the Jalsa arrangements were executed perfectly. After watching these sincere workers we felt ashamed for they were enduring such difficulty for our sake.”
The Jalsa atmosphere left a very positive impression on Ameer sahib, a guest who attended the Jalsa for the very first time. He says “Upon my return I shall convey the message that I cannot render in words about what my heart felt during the Jalsa. These things can only be experienced and for this reason everyone should spend a few days with this heavenly community in order to obtain conviction about the true heaven.”
This year a delegation from Bulgaria comprising of 52 people attended the Jalsa in Germany. Among them 20 were Ahmadis and 32 were non-Ahmadis. They travelled for approximately 32 hours by bus to reach Germany. The delegation included businessmen, lawyers, lecturers, students as well as people from ordinary walks of life. One of the ladies, Aisy Nowas, said: ‘This is the first time I have attended the Jalsa. If one wants to make a change in their life then they need to attend the Jalsa. I have learnt a great deal from here. I would particularly like to mention two things. Firstly, one is taught the love of God here and secondly people are taught to love and respect one another. ‘
Bulgaria is also among the countries whose registration has been cancelled and the opposition from the non-Ahmadi Ulema [clerics] is at its peak. As a result, the government is also influenced by them, therefore pray for the Jama’at in Bulgaria so that may Allah the Almighty improve their circumstances and the Jama’at can be re-registered and we can openly preach and that may Allah the Almighty enable them to once again conduct Jama’at activities.
A guest from the Bulgarian delegation, Fafkwanal Sahib, said: ‘It is the first time I have attended such a blessed Jalsa. It is difficult to describe this in words but I have learnt that it is only Ahmadis who truly teach about peace and show respect and wish to make the world heaven-like.’ Dee Moro Aaf, a guest from this delegation addressed me and said “Your address in which ‘love for mankind was mentioned’ was very impressive.” Mrs Dessilaya Sahiba, a psychology lecturer says “This Jalsa is a miracle.” A young man of Guinea Bissau, Abu Bakr Sahib, who is pursuing a Masters degree in public security in a university in Portugal stated: “the security arrangements which I saw in the Jalsa were completely unique. This really left an impression on my heart.”
A delegation of sixty five people from Macedonia came and participated in the Jalsa. A large number of them travelled by bus for forty two hours, covering a distance of approximately 2,000km. Among them were five journalists of four different TV stations. Three were representatives of regional TV stations while one journalist belonged to a national TV station. During the Jalsa the journalists carried out their recordings and took interviews from different people. A further twenty eight journalists also met me. They said that they will make a documentary and show the recorded footage and the entire interview they had conducted. Among them thirty two were Christian, twenty three were Ahmadis and ten were non-Ahmadis. On the last day one of them took the oath of allegiance.
A guest came from the Macedonian city of Berovo, Belagista Trenchoska who is a lawyer by profession said, “The entire organisation of the event was outstanding I did not see any flaws.” She then says “Whatever you said about the rights of women I understand to be a very good teaching. Women are responsible for the education and upbringing of children and their role is very important in this matter.” Then, summarising the speech on women’s rights, she said “In short I will only say that you mentioned that it is the responsibility of a woman to look after the nest while the man is the one who protects the nest.”
A female guest from Macedonia, who is a television reporter says “As a journalist I am very grateful to you for this new experience. I will take these impressions back with me to Macedonia and my meeting with His Holiness (she met with me also) had a very positive effect on me.”
Then another Macedonian TV reporter, Saler Roteski Sahib says “I have learnt a lot about Muslims. I was very amazed to see so many people gather in one place and everyone was completing their own tasks and no one had any issues.”
Another TV reporter from Macedonia, Rodne Deloska says “I have learnt many new things about Islam after this Jalsa. I interviewed some of those who accepted Islam. When I return to Macedonia I shall make a documentary of all these recordings and spread this message to the people of Macedonia.”
A guest from Lithuania by the name Agosti Sahib says “I felt as if I was in my home. I am very happy to have had the opportunity to witness different cultures and backgrounds, religions, traditions, to eat and drink and many other things. Your teachings are correct and there is a universality about it.”
Another guest from Lithuania, Mrs Angreda, said: ‘This is my first time attending this event and I was also truly amazed and astonished at how beautifully the event was organised and after listening to the proceedings and meeting the Khalifa has further increased my interest to learn about the community.’
Similarly, a delegation consisting of 18 people attended from Kosovo in which one was a non-Ahmadi and the rest of the 17 were Ahmadis.
A guest from Estonia, Laura Sahiba states: ‘I am extremely impressed with the organisation of the Jalsa. The concluding address of the Head of the community compels one to ponder over many things and this left a deep impression on me and it was truly an impactful experience.’
A delegation comprising of 48 people attended from Albania. 19 among them were Ahmadis and 29 were non-Ahmadi Albanians. They travelled for 43 hours. Among them were two representatives from the government; one of these was the Chairmen of the State Committee Owna Kalts. Similarly, a delegation of 20 people attended the Jalsa from Hungary; 11 were Ahmadis and the rest were non-Ahmadis. A guest, Agiya Yaas Sahiba, who is originally from Armenia and is very renowned for her social work in her town, Gyor, in Hungary. She is also the spokesperson of the cabinet for the Armenian minority in the country. She said, ‘I am walking in the midst of thousands of Muslims without any fear. The media claims that migrants, particularly the Muslims, ill-treat people from other faiths and also women, but they should come here and witness how courteous they are.”
Another guest from Hungary, Mr Gaber Thomas, while expressing his sentiments said: ‘I have worked as a priest in America for a very long time and have travelled the world but I have never witnessed such a sight before. Ahmadis are extremely fortunate that they have a leader who loves the Ahmadis and guides them in everything. After having attended the Jalsa I feel my faith has greatly strengthened.’
A Syrian friend, Akram Domani Sahib, said: ‘I was introduced to the community almost one month ago. One of the things which I consider to be a miracle is that despite such a large number of people in attendance there was not a single instance of any fighting or altercation in all three days. Another thing which I consider to be a miracle is that Ahmadis look at women guests with a sense of brotherhood and respect. My wife also told me that not once did anyone look at her with ill intent.’
Osama Abu Muhammad Halbi said: ‘Our Ahmadi brothers served us in the most excellent manner in providing food and accommodation. Although I am not an Ahmadi, but I must say that I have to commend all your efforts.’
A Syrian friend from Poland, Mahmood Sahib, said: ‘After listening to the address of the Head of the Ahmadiyya community, my heart is filled with emotions of great joy and happiness. In one single address, he presented the solution for all of the world’s problems.’
Another guest, Boi Migar Sahib, said: ‘The Head of the Ahmadiyya community spoke about the importance of understanding one another and by quoting verses from the Holy Quran, he proved that Islam is not a religion of extremism.
In Germany, from those attending the Jalsa, thirty three people from eleven different countries had the opportunity to perform the Bai’at ceremony. They originated from Albania, Gambia, Ghana, Germany, Iraq, Yemen, Morroco, Palestine, Syria, Turkey and Lithuania.
Namees Abdul Jaleel Sahiba from Estonia was also present and had the opportunity to perform the Bai’at. She said: “I consider myself very fortunate that countless people at the Jalsa prayed for me to become an Ahmadi. I have never seen such unity and brotherhood amongst the women as I have seen here.”
With regards to the media coverage, on the first day, a press conference took place after the Friday Prayers, in which national and international media outlets were present. The international media outlets included television and newspaper representatives from: Italy, Macedonia, Austria, Brazil and Belgium. From among the German national outlets four television channels were present as well as three press media outlets. From the local media outlets NTV Radio channel and three other print outlets were present. According to the reports the coverage of the three days, through the collective media outlets; including five television channels, three radio channels, and sixty one newspaper and other print media outlets; the message of the Jalsa Salana reached more than fifty nine million, two hundred thousand [59,200,000] people. Furthermore, the coverage by International media outlets that is expected to be broadcast in the coming week – according to the media representatives – is expected to reach a viewership of forty one million, three hundred thousand [41,300,000].
Similarly, the coverage of Jalsa Salana Germany was shown using the alislam [www.alislam.org] website and with the help of MTA German studios. They also uploaded the press release from the Central Press & Media department. The Jalsa was also covered widely on social media. This included: Facebook, which had four posts that were viewed by four hundred and twenty thousand [420,000] people and thirty six thousand [36,000] likes and comments. In addition to this on twitter, five hundred and thirty six thousand [536,000] people saw the Jalsa tweets and five thousand eight hundred retweeted about Jalsa.
Thus, these were some of the sentiments of various guests that attended the Jalsa. However, there were certain shortcomings which I will briefly mention. I have already mentioned one earlier in that people were wandering outside during the Jalsa preceeedings. The sound system did not function properly, especially during the Friday Sermon and translation devices. These should also be rectified. Similarly, due to an unanticipated amount of guests, almost four hundred guests were left without mattresses. Although, this is not a grave issue, nevertheless, Germany Jamaat should make better provisions for the future. Some people have also complained about a lack of discipline inside the Jalsa Gah. This needs to be addressed. Similarly, there were complaints about a shortage of food. Nevertheless, with regards to these shortcomings I have mentioned a few. The Jalsa team should also ponder over their own deficiencies and work to improve on this. They should focus their attention on this matter and ensure adequate planning is made beforehand.
May Allah grant all of the workers to strive towards improvement for the future. During this tour there was also a mosque opening ceremony. By the Grace of Allah this had a positive impact on the guests and they unequivocally expressed their opinion that this Islam should spread throughout Germany.
May Allah enable the Germany Jamaat to work towards spreading the message of Islam in a greater capacity in the future, and further enable them to build upon the coverage they have received.