Third Jalsa Salana Malta 2019 – (the Annual Convention) Video Second Session
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta organised its 3rd Annual Convention on 13th October held at the ‘Ċentru Familja Mqaddsa’ Msida, on the theme of ‘Serving Humanity’. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community annually organises such conventions to promote interfaith harmony, universal brotherhood, and to build bridges between people and to spread the message of love, hope and peace; and to join in supplications for the well-being of the society. Explaining the objectives of this convention the founder of the Ahmadiyya community says: “These meetings will lead to progressive strengthening of a bond of mutual love and affection.’’
Her Excellency, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, the President Emeritus of Malta, was the special guest of this convention. Her Excellency delivered a keynote opening speech and congratulated the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for holding this convention and said that:
“Such an occasion is evidence of respect, love and harmony. Promoting these values, of respect, love and harmony, in a world where unfortunately mistrust has become the order of the day, is truly encouraging. It is heartening to note that, such an initiative, as this convention, counters the waves of discord and confusion that seem to unfortunately dominate our human family, nowadays. I truly appreciate such initiatives because they create a balance to the sad mentality that seems to be taking over the minds of some of us. Such a convention gives us hope and lifts our morale over the tragic events of conflict between nations; of violence carried out in the name of religion; and of other forms of violence against humanity.”
Highlighting the beauty and effectiveness of motto of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Her Excellency said that, ‘I must acknowledge the fundamental belief of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community that emphasises the value of ‘Love for all, hatred for none’. I believe that this value should be a guiding light for all of us. This convention attests to this value as it creates an opportunity for us, to come together, irrespective of our diverse faith traditions, in respectful dialogue’.
Her Excellency also acknowledged the vision of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and stated that, ‘I would like to reiterate my thanks to you Imam for your vision and for your genuine endeavours for the common good, in the best interest of our communities and of our one human family’.
The session started with a recitation of the Holy Quran by Yusuf Mohammad Bala. Imam Attaul Wasih Tariq presented the introduction of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and the purpose of the convention. Hon. Ivan Bartolo, Member of Parliament, Ms. Margaret Baldacchino Cefai, the Mayor of Msida, Rev. John Anthony Berry, secretary of the Diocesan Commission for the interreligious dialogue, Rev. Ioan Iftimia from the Romanian Orthodox Church, Mr. Anthony Gatt the Director of Caritas Malta, and Imam Laiq Ahmed Atif, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Malta, delivered their talks at the this convention. All the speakers highlighted the importance of serving humanity and of building bridges between communities through the basic values of compassion, love and respect.
Honourable Ivan Bartolo highlighted that together we can achieve everything and emphasised on the need of harmonies collaboration between all, and said, ‘together we can make it’.
Ms. Margaret Baldacchino Cefai, the Mayor of Msida, stated that: “It is indeed an honour and a pleasure to be once again addressing this annual convention of the Ahmadiyya – an organisation that has garnered a reputation, which is second to none for demonstrating its generosity towards those that need assistance and through its universal message of ‘Love for all, Hatred for none’. The Ahmadiyya is indeed a religious community that reflects values of peace and empathy.”
Mr. Anthony Gatt the Director of Caritas Malta thanked the Ahmadiyya community and said, ‘thank you for this invitation, I too feel very privileged to receive this invitation and to share this culture of peace and love for humanity’. He spoke about the role and services being offered by the Caritas Malta and shared the experience of collaboration with the Ahmadiyya community.
Rev. Ioan Iftimia from the Romanian Orthodox Church thanked the community for the invitation and acknowledged the services of the Ahmadiyya community and spoke about his mission in Malta.
Rev. John Anthony Berry defined ‘service’ in two words: ‘Readiness and attentiveness’. And said that, ‘when dealing with humanity, with human lives, we need to spread love wherever we go’. He concluded with a quotation of Russell Simmons: “Service is the key to everything in life.”
Imam Laiq Ahmed Atif, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta Highlighted the point that, today’s world has become like a global village, as every nation is now inter-connected. As a result, more than ever before, it is the duty of all humankind to foster a spirit of brotherhood and mutual love amongst the people of all nations and of all beliefs. He said that: “Serving humanity is a hallmark of Islam. The entire Islamic teachings are based upon two fundamental principles of, rights of God and rights of humanity. Thus, we are taught that the worship of God and kindness to the creation cannot be separated from each other.”
He presented references from the Holy Quran and the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, in connection with serving humanity. He presented the Quranic verses that highlight the qualities of virtuous and the true servants of God. “And they feed, for love of Him, the poor, the orphan, and the prisoner, Saying, ‘We feed you for Allah’s pleasure only. We desire no reward, nor thanks from you.” (76:9-10)
He explained that, ‘it is this mother-like spirit of selflessness, compassion, kindness, sincerity and devotion, without seeking any praise or reward, that Islam requires Muslims to develop in their hearts for all of humanity and not just their own progeny’.
He concluded: “I pray that a spirit of service to humanity takes permanent root in society, so that we protect our future and leave behind a better world for our children and coming generations to live in.”
Keeping in view the theme of the convention, that is “Serving Humanity”, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, was pleased to present five wheelchairs to Her Excellency, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, for the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, to which Her Excellency is the Chair; food vouchers for the needy people; 100 books to the Caritas Malta; fifty plants to Msida Primary School; citrus and olive trees which will be planted in the Gzira School; and a podium for the ‘Ċentru Familja Mqaddsa’ Msida.
People from different walks of life attended this convention. After the speeches traditional food was served and participants had more time to interact with each other.
By the grace of Almighty Allah, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta successfully organised its 3rd Jalsa Salana on Sunday, 13th October 2019, at the ‘Ċentru Familja Mqaddsa’ Msida. The convention was held in two sessions.
The first session was chaired by Imam Abdul Basit Tariq Sahib, Mubaligh Silsila Germany. It started with the recitation of the Holy Quran followed by a poem written by the Promised Messiahas. Imam Laiq Ahmed, President Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta read the message sent from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa.
This was followed by a speech by Abdullah Wally Sahib in English about the subject, “Does God Exist?” The next speech was in Urdu by Imam Attaul Wasih Tariq Sahib, Mubaligh in-Charge and vice President Jamaat Italy on, “Salient Aspects of the Companions of the Holy Prophetsa”. Then, Haroon Khan Sahib spoke in English on “Khilafat: A Divine Institution”.
Imam Laiq Ahmed Atif, President Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta then delivered a speech on “Holy Prophet Muhammadsa’s Devotion in Worship” in Urdu. Then, Yusuf Mohammad Bala Sahib, Secretary Tarbiyyat Jamaat Malta, spoke on the subject “What it Means to be an Ahmadi-Muslim?” in English.
The last speech of the session was by Imam Abdul Basit Tariq Sahib, Mubaligh Silsila Germany, on “Evils of this Age and Ways of Attaining a Pure Life” in Urdu. Imam Sahib very comprehensively and effectively educated the gathering about the ways of attaining a pure life and to avoid all ills. This session was concluded with a silent prayer.
“Islam repeatedly emphasises the rights of one’s neighbours and instructs Muslims to be considerate to their needs. For example, chapter 4, verse 37 of the Holy Quran imposes a code of moral values, which true Muslims must adopt and live their lives by and it guides them about how to interact with other members of society.
Where on the one hand, the verse states that Muslims must worship Allah the Almighty alone and not associate any partners with Him, it also commands them to show compassion and love to all mankind. First of all, the verse calls on Muslims to treat their parents with tenderness and affection, as our parents are the people who have loved us selflessly and made countless sacrifices for our benefit. Thereafter, Muslims are taught to be loving and sincere to their relatives and friends. They are taught to be sympathetic to orphans and to all people who are suffering or are vulnerable in any way.
The verse then categorically states that Muslims must fulfil the rights of their neighbours, including those with whom they have personal relations and those with whom they do not. Fulfilling the rights of neighbours means that Muslims must treat their neighbours with grace and compassion and be ever ready to help them in their times of need and to be a shoulder to cry on in their times of grief. It means to respect them and to hold them in the highest regard.
Who is a neighbour?
Furthermore, according to Islam, the definition of a neighbour is extremely far-reaching. The Founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stated that a person’s neighbours are not just those who live in the immediate vicinity, but include at least the nearest fourty houses. Additionally, the Quran teaches that a person’s neighbours include his work colleagues and travel companions.”
(Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Spiritual Leader of the Ahamdiyya Muslim Community, 29th June 2019)
Islam, is the name given by Allah the Almighty to this religion (Quran 5:4). The word “Islam” literally means peace. In this single word, all Islamic teachings and attitudes are most beautifully and concisely reflected. So, how can a religion that means peace can teach hatred for others? In brief, Islam does not teach hatred and discrimination for any human being, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.
One of the fundamental teachings of Islam and one which every Muslim cultivates in his heart is that of brotherhood and equality of human beings. Since Islam considers the diversity of people and nature as God’s creation, respect for diversity is commanded. Especially noted in the Quran are “People of the Book”, namely Jews and Christians, who were always given a special place in Muslim society. Muslims are commanded to safeguard their right to worship and their places of worship, a command that has been historically followed, as is evidenced by the existence of old churches and synagogues throughout the Muslim world in places like Turkey, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Bosnia. Contrary to the common stereotype, Islam was not “spread by the sword”, nor people forced to convert, a fact again borne out by the existence of non-Muslim populations throughout the Muslim world. This same respect and tolerance was extended to people of other faiths.
Muslims believe that the Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa) was sent as “a Mercy for all the worlds,” and that he brought a final religion for all humanity. The very first leaf of the Holy Quran praises the Lord Who is the Sustainer of all the worlds (1:2), and its last passage urges us to pray to the Lord of mankind (114:2). Thus both the first and the last words of the Holy Quran present the concept of the entire universe, and not merely that of a God of the Arabs or the Muslims. Sometimes an impression is created by some people that the Holy Quran says that don’t make friends with non-believers. Such references are taken out of context. There is a mention in the Holy Quran about some people who are open and declared enemies of Islam. It is discouraged to make close friends with such people.
In a nutshell, Islam is a religion of love, compassion and service to humanity. The ethos of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – Love for All, Hatred for None – is an essence and embodiment of the entire Islamic teaching. It is a crystal clear manifestation of the Quranic teaching of compassion and love for the entire humanity. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes and practices this famous slogan and is always committed to serve fellow human beings, and to show compassion and love to all humanity, without any difference of colour, creed or faith.
(i) Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana)
(ii) Promotion of Harmony and Mutual Respect
(iii) Compassion in a time of crisis
(iv) Does Islam teach hatred for non-Muslims?
(v) Good Neighbours (vi) A True Muslim
Click here to read: ID-DAWL OCTOBER 2019