Press Release: THE 43rd NATIONAL JALSA SALANA (ANNUAL CONVENTION) OF THE GAMBIA ENDED WITH SUCCESS AND BLESSINGS

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

By the grace of Allah the Almighty the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, The Gambia on Saturday 27th April 2019 ended its 43rd National Jalsa Salana with success and much blessings. The Jalsa took place at Masroor Senior Secondary School in Old Yundum was attended by many dignitaries and high profile personalities. The attendance was over 8500 as compared to 6500 last year.

As usual, this year Jalsa also started with the opening of Exhibition by the Amir and other dignitaries including the Amir of Senegal, the Amir of Sierra Leone and The Missionaries In-charge of the Gambia and Guinea Bissau as well as a delegate from Nigeria. This was followed by flag hoisting by the Amir and the Hon. Minister of Information and Communications Infrastructure, Honourable Ebrima Sillah.

In a special message from His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V (May Allah be his helper) Sprirtual and Supreme Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at prayed for the success of the 43rd Jalsa Salana and for countless spiritual benefits and limitless blessings of participating in the event. His Holiness said:

“I am very pleased that you are holding your 43rd Jalsa Salana on 26th, 27th and 28th April 2019. It is my prayers, may Allah bless your Jalsa with great success and may all the participants who attend this unique religious gathering gain the special blessings of Allah the Almighty.

The Khalifa (May Allah be his helper) enjoined participants to carefully and keenly listen to all speeches. “Your sole purpose of attending the Jalsa should be for the purpose of becoming better Ahmadi Muslims and to bring about an extraordinary spiritual revolution within yourselves,” Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (May Allah be his helper) said. He went on to admonish members of the Jama’at to remain dedicated and loyal to the institution of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya.

“I urge you to keep in mind your pledge of allegiance by which you are bound to the Jama’at of the Promised Messiah (as) and to strive constantly to fulfil each and every condition of this Bai’at. As sincere Ahmadi Muslims, you should show exemplary behaviour in all your deeds and actions and be especially kind, considerate, and caring to everyone.” The speech was read in English and translated into Mandinka, Wolof and Fula and it was a blessed and well received message.

In his opening speech, the Amir of the Gambia Baba F. Trawally reminded participants of the purpose of the Jalsa Salana and we thank Allah Almighty for enabling us to once again witness yet another blessed occasion of Jalsa Salana. “This gathering we should remember is not an ordinary gathering but one that aims to bring participants nearer to Allah Almighty, winning His pleasure and His nearness.  We should all remember the reason why we travel far and wide, leave the comfort of our homes and come and gather here for three days,”.

The participants were reminded of the advice of the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi (AS) regarding Jalsa Salana: “Do not consider this gathering to be the same as other ordinary, worldly gatherings. Rather the case of this is such, that it is founded upon the pure support of truth and the propagation of Islam. The foundation stone of this community has been laid by Allah Almighty Himself, and such nations have been prepared that will soon come and enter its fold. This is because it is the work of that All Powerful Being, for Whom, nothing is impossible.”

“Since the theme of this year’s Jalsa Salana is about the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha(saw) as Mercy for Mankind, I will make an appeal which in essence was an earlier appeal of our beloved Khalifa, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad Khalifatul Masih V (May Allah be his helper) and that is I am appealing that we should all spend these three days in sending Durood also known as Salat-ala-Nabi or locally as ‘Alluma Salo’ on the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha(saw) so that we will be able to gain and attract Allah Almigty’s mercy and favours upon us.”

The Amir addressed the women on Saturday before his concluding speech of the Jalsa and advised the women to be defenders of Islam and its founder the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (saw). “To show the beautiful teachings of Islam and the true character of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha(saw) is not the duty of only the male Muslims, but instead the women have even an equal role to play in this regard.

Looking at History, we learned about many brave women, who never hide their faith, but instead came out with dignity, fearlessness and for the sake of only their Creator to defend Islam and spread its true teachings. We have seen women who sacrificed their own belongings, be it jewellery or finances, to contribute towards the propagation of Islam. We have seen women who will preach their fellow women about what are the true teachings of Islam and the rights given to women by Islam, a religion which says that women are not inferior to men but instead they are all equal in the eyes of Allah Almighty as it is mentioned in the Holy Quran.”

In his closing address, Amir Trawally told the gathering what the Holy Quran teaches about reconciliation adding that even in times of crises if the enemy inclines to peace you should also incline toward peace. “And in societal matters, the peace begins in the home and here again; the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) has taught us how to get that peace and tranquility in the home and society.

He says that the best among you is the one who treats his spouse best. If there is peace in the family, there will be peace in the society as well,” he said.

“Without peace my dear brothers and sisters, no society, community, or a nation can move forward. As Gambians we are known to be a peaceful country, a friendly and brotherly country, we are an example for many countries. With all the good reputation we have as a country and a people, we should cherish and guard that. We all in one way or the other have a great role to play in maintaining peace in our country and the world at large. But how can we do that, what role can we play, so that peace will ever reign in our beautiful country?

The answer is to follow the true teachings of the Holy Quran, and how best can we follow the true teachings of the Holy Quran, it is to follow the noble examples set forth before us by our beloved Master and Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad Mustapha(saw) regarding whom Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:

Verily you have in the Prophet of Allah an excellent model, for him who fears Allah and the Last Day and who remembers Allah much. (Al-Ahzab 33:22)

The Holy Prophet Mohammad’s [pboh] personal life was such a beautiful example of Quranic teachings that this becomes the best explanation of how to implement the teachings. All his noble life is a witness to the fact that he championed peace throughout, and despite all odds and challenges he proved that peace can only be established in the world by following Quranic teachings. History is witness to the fact that the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha(saw) always preferred peace over war or strife.

… and reconciliation is best (Al-Nisa 4:129).… was his aim all the time.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (saw) was particular about the treatment of one’s neighbours to the extent that he advised how one should look after and live with his neighbours. He was always interested in the welfare of the orphans, the poor, the needy, the wayfarers and the observance of the rights of others. It is with this quality that he lived and made the Muslims live side by side with the Jews, the pagans and others in Medina for so long without problems. He never forced anyone to accept Islam or took up arms against anyone, like mentioned before, all the battles he fought were defensive battles. Whenever he was abused, he will peacefully ignore the abuser and walked pass with dignity like Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:

And the servants of the Gracious God are those who walk on the earth in a dignified manner, and when the ignorant address them, they say, ‘Peace!’(25:64)

The Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha(saw) lived a very humble life and would treat people equally and with kindness. He was a just person and taught the world how with true observance of justice in our dealings, we can make a big difference and make not only our societies a better place but the world at large.”

According to Hazrat Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi 9AS), “To be a Muslim is not a child’s play. It requires complete submission in everything to the Holy Prophet(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Do not take it cursorily. It is a matter worth deep consideration. Do not feel complacent until you obey the Holy Prophet completely. If you call yourself a Muslim without doing so, you have only a shell without the kernel. A wise man will not be happy with a shell only nor on bearing an empty name.”

“So my dear brothers and sisters, the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha(saw) is our true example, model and teacher. As Muslims, we cannot be true believers until and unless we try our best to follow the noble examples and teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha(saw). There is no doubt that if we do so, we will definitely continue to enjoy the peace that Allah Almighty has blessed us for a long time. In our homes, societies, communities, workplaces, with our friends, with people who we share different opinions and views, with people who we are not in the same religion with, we should always be kind, tolerant, compassionate, caring towards each other.

Let us be compassionate towards the orphans and the poor and try our best to look after them not only on special occasions but at all times. As a Nation, it is true that we will belong to different political parties, different religions, different ethnicities, different societies and different opinions and views, but we should always remember that great bond that united us, that brought us as true brothers and sisters and that enable us to live in peace and harmony each day, that is THE GAMBIA OUR HOMELAND.

So we should do everything to safeguard the peace Allah Almighty has blessed us. As a Nation, in every stage, we have people who are in authority over us, from homes to villages, communities to societies and towns to cities. We should always be obedient to the people in authority and when we have any dispute we should refer it to those in authority and not to take things into our own hands as Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:

O ye who believe! obey Allah, and obey His Messenger and those who are in authority among you.(4:60)

At the end, I will like to acknowledge the efforts of every one of you here which has made the Jalsa Salana a very successful one, we are always grateful to our beloved Huzur, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(May Allah be his Helper) who is always fervently praying for our Jama’at and nation. We are profoundly and sincerely praying continuously for His Holiness. We acknowledged the work of Afsar Jalsa Salana and his deputies, departmental heads, their deputies and assistants, men, women and children and our institutions who worked day and night to make this Jalsa a great success.

We also acknowledged the presence of our foreign delegates who travelled from Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and the entire sub-region and beyond. We are praying for everybody and May Allah Almighty reward you all abundantly. Ameen.

In conclusion I once again request you all to continue remembering His Holiness, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(May Allah be his Helper) in your prayers. Also continue praying for the peace, harmony, security and prosperity of our dear motherland the Gambia, the sub-region and the world at large.”

The participants were further admonished to pay full attention to the purpose of Jalsa Salana and the responsibility of Ahmadis. The Amir advised that everyone attending this Jalsa Salana should know that they have a moral responsibility to leave together as brothers and sisters. “It is true that while everyone’s needs cannot be fully taken care of, efforts are made especially by the hosts and the volunteers to take care of everyone.”

For his part, the Minister of Information and Communications Infrastructure, Honourable Ebrima Sillah noted that Government is committed to treating every religion and religious sect equally since The Gambia is a secular state.

“President Adama Barrow would have wished to be present here today at this event had it not coincided with other pressing matters of the State that he is currently engaged in. Nonetheless, the President had instructed me to convey his personal greetings and best wishes for a fruitful and impactful Jalsa 2019. The President has particularly told me to convey his personal appreciations of all the efforts the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at is doing in the Gambia to advance development initiatives of the country. For the record, let me assure that the Gambia government is deeply committed to the secularity of the State as enshrined in our Constitution.

“The government of the Gambia has fully recognized the important contributions of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at to the overall socio-economic progress of the Gambia. The Jama’at is into education, molding the hearts and minds of our future leaders. You are also into agriculture, contributing greatly to food self-sufficiency. And more importantly you are into health, providing essential services to the vulnerable groups in our communities across the Gambia,” Sillah said.

Minister Sillah further said: “You are indeed a law-abiding community preaching the sacred message of peace and communal harmony. In a world where some religious groups are using this peaceful religion to divide people and sanction mass killings of non-Muslims and Muslims alike, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at is building bridges worldwide, preaching peace and progress. The government of the Gambia has long recognized and acknowledged this fundamental position of the Ahmadiyya Jama’at. That is why as a government we will continue to support your efforts in building a better Gambia for all to live in peacefully. The government sees the Ahmadiyya Jama’at as a true partner in nation building. I want to assure you that together the government of the Gambia will crawl and match with you for the greater good of the Gambia and Gambians living in the Gambia.”

For his part, Hon. Omar Jallow, alias OJ thanked the head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at and pray for his good health and long life. “Let’s pray for peace and stability like the Ahmadis because without peace there is will be no development,” he said. “Therefore, I appeal to all of you to know that we live in a secular state. No religion is above the other in the Gambia. All religions are equal under the law, under the Constitution. So every Ahmadi has the same right as other Muslim or Christian or anybody else who believe in another religion. And we will make sure that continues in this country. And we will never ever tolerate anybody who wants to bring religious intolerance in this country. We have to live in peace together and die in peace together.”

 The Governor of Lower River Region, Mrs. Fatou Jammeh Touray said “I will join the previous speakers to acknowledge the good work that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at is doing in the Gambia and the world at large. I will in particular recognize their efforts in inculcating good morals and attitude into the youth of this world. And we are saying they are peaceful, yes they are peaceful and they will continue to be peaceful because they have targeted the future generation. Given your good work in the Gambia and elsewhere, we pray that you continue to grow from strength to strength.”

Chief of Foni Bintang Karanai, Alfusainey Jarjue said the Jama’at has contributed immensely to the development of education, health among other things. The Jama’at has built a school in Foni Kansala, which has broght education to the doorsteps of people from the area. As a law-abiding community, the Jama’at has established a strong bond with the people of the Gambia and the world at large. Thanked the Amir and Ahmadiyya Jama’at for helping to raise the spiritual wellbeing of the populace. He said that Ahmadis do not castigate or backbite directly or indirectly.

Speaking on the topic, Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) Rahmtul lil’aalameen Mercy for the all Mankind, Ustas Syed Saeed Ul Hassan Shah, Naib Amir and Missionary In-Charge spoke great of the Prophet of Islam. He said that this topic assumes a very special importance for our era, particularly in view of the current situations of the world. “Taking a casual glance at events around the world, one would easily conclude that followers of ‘the Mercy for All mankind’ have forgotten the lesson of Mercy,” he said.

Ust. Demba Bah spoke on the topic, Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi(as) Love for Allah and the Holy Prophet of Islam Muhammad(saw) and said that it may be said that the whole of the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi(as) prolific writing is, in reality, a love letter to Allah; whether in defense of God’s Prophet (saw) or extolling His Holy Book or expounding the excellences of His teachings. “The Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi(as) repeatedly emphasized that all the blessings he received were a direct result of following Hazrat Muhammad Rasulullah (saw). It was from the blaze of Divine love of that great Master Prophet, that the light of his own heart was kindled.”

Other speakers included: What is Ahmadiyyat? By Ust. Muhammad Zaheer Ahmad, The Challenges of the 21st Century and their Solutions Ust. Abdourahman Cham, Khilafat in the Footsteps of Prophethood Dr. Tanweer Ahmad, The Importance and Spirit of Financial Sacrifices Bro. Musa Sanneh, The Life and Character of Hazrat Nawab Mubarak Begum (ra) Daughter of Hazrat Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi (as) Sist, Tayyba Mansoor, Responsibilities of Lajna Imaillah in Tarbiyat in the Light of the Saying of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (May Allah be his helper) Sist. Fatoumata Dambell, Evils of this Age and the way of attaining Pure Life Sist. Majida Adiamoh and Signs of Believing Woman Sist. Maryam Drammeh.

Award of Prizes to outstanding students were conducted in both men and women sections of Jalsa Gah.

May Allah Almighty continue to guide and protect us all in fulfilling our duties to the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustafa(SAW). May He continue showering His choicest blessings, mercy, prosperity and peace on the Gambia. May He enable you all reach your different destinations safely in peace, security and harmony. Ameen.

 

Wassalam

Yours Sincerely

………………………

Mamadi Ceesay

Press and Publication Department