National Ijtema 2017
By the Grace of Allah Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK 45th National Ijtema was held this year on 15, 16 and 17 September at Country Market, Kingsley in Hampshire. The theme of this years Ijtema was “the Holy Quran”. By the Grace of Allah, the Ijtema was successful with the final recorded attendance of 5600 members.
Planning for the Ijtema had started many months before with Okasha Sami Sahib being appointed as Nazim-e-Ala for the Ijtema. The Ijtema committee was formed and tasked to build on the success of last years Ijtema and ensure that all Khuddam and Atfal find the Ijtema 2017 another memorable event.
Securing the Ijtema site this year had particularly been challenging as getting permission from local councils proved difficult for the preferred location. Hence just 2 weeks prior to the National Ijtema Country Market in Kingsley, Hampshire was secured as the venue for the National Ijtema this year. All final planning and site arrangements for the Ijtema had to be condensed into the 2 weeks. Only through the Grace of Allah and prayers of Huzur[atba] this had been possible to setup and plan for the Ijtema in such short period of time.
In the weeks leading up to the event, road shows were organised whereby members of the Ijtema Committee visited the regions and briefed office bearers as well as khuddam/atfal about the Ijtema as well as new features being introduced this year.
Whilst the roadshows were being carried out, the Khuddam and Atfal were also being approached through Instagram, Telegram, and of course through the traditional channel of meetings and house visits being carried out by the regions and local Qiadats. In addition to the daily countdown banners and daily YouTube video was also created and distributed by the National Ishaat Department
The highlight of National Ijtema was presence of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V [atba]. Huzur graced the Ijtema with his presence at all prayers, taking time out from his very busy schedule on Saturday for flag hoisting and taking a tour of Ijtema site. Finally, Huzur[atba] presided the concluding session of the National Ijtema and addressed the Khuddam.
Other activities that included at the Ijtema were Academic competitions that included Tilawat, Nazm, Adhan, Speeches, Paigham Risani, Hifze Quran, Hifze A’dia etc. Sports competitions included Football, Cricket, Athletics, Strong man, Volleyball, Tug of War etc. This year also saw a very special exhibition Kabaddi match which was very popular.
Another great feature this year was the outdoor discovery zone which included a big screen on which various interactive talks were displayed as well as other highlights of the day were played. The big screen was also used to relay live feed from Ijtema Gah so that people could watch and listen to live programmes outside.
The exhibition this year included various exhibits which were mixed of regions as well as several departments. Regions that had their exhibits included Northwest, Muqami, Yorkshire, South, Baitun Noor and South West. Some of the departments were MKA Khidmat-e-Khalq, MKA Talim, IAAAE, Humanity First etc. Atfal Explorers club also had an exhibition highlighting their activities and merchandise. The central exhibition included picture wall of current and historic images, as well as Holy Quran exhibition which also displayed the replica of a 1000 year Holy Quran.
Another great feature at the Ijtema was the Hub which included virtual reality zone, Tech zone, café which provided milkshakes and doughnuts. Review of Religions held a special exhibition this year at the Ijtema which included the Al-Qalam Project, showcasing historic old copies of the Holy Quran and calligraphy exhibitions.
For Atfal this year there was a special funfair at the ijtema which included various games for Atfal. Apart from this Atfal had academic and sports competitions, there was also an indoor sports marquee for the Atfal.
Concluding Address by Huzoor (ATBA)
On 17 September 2017, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivered a faith-inspiring address to conclude the three-day National Ijtema (Annual Gathering) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association in the UK (Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya).
Throughout his address, Huzur[atba] spoke about the most fundamental pledge that all Muslims make, which is the Muslim creed:
Huzur[atba] delivered a comprehensive commentary on the Islamic creed and said it was not enough to merely proclaim these words, rather they had to be accompanied by a manifestation of one’s faith through the worship of Allah and by following the noble example of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).
Speaking about the first aspect of the creed, which is to declare that “There is none worthy of worship except Allah”, His Holiness said that this must be manifested through the worship of Allah the Almighty.
“The most important and significant form of worship is to offer the five daily prayers. At various places in the Holy Quran, Allah the Almighty has commanded us to offer the five obligatory prayers and so if we are negligent in our prayers it means our declaration of faith in Allah is meaningless, without value and false.”
Huzur[atba] further explained the meaning of the creed in light of the teachings and explanations of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him).
Explaining the second aspect of the Islamic creed which states, “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”, His Holiness said that the Holy Quran has referred to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) as the perfect role model for all mankind.
“Without a shadow of doubt, it was the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) who scaled the highest possible peaks of worshipping Allah. No matter the circumstances, he would never allow anything to get in the way of fulfilling the rights of Allah the Almighty.”
Describing the intensity with which the Holy Prophet bowed before God and prayed, Huzur[atba] said:
“This was the unparalleled standard of worship and of the fear and love of Allah displayed by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) which was an example for all of mankind to come.”
Huzur[atba] also explained the love that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) had for reading the Holy Quran and following its instructions.
“Every pore and every fibre of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was engulfed by pure love and reverence for the Word of Allah. Whenever any portion was recited he would become emotional and tears would flow from his blessed eyes.”
Concluding his address, Huzur[atba] said that Ahmadi Muslims must seek to fulfil the mission of the Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) which was to make the world recognise its Creator and to serve mankind.
“We must strive to further this mission so that the world, the majority of whom considers Islam to be an extremist religion that promotes terrorism, comes to realise that Islam is actually a peaceful religion that desires for mankind to recognise its Creator and to fulfil the rights of one another.”