Aug 27, 2008, 6:46 AM
Dear Sir / Madam,
Assalamo Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barkatuhu
By the Grace of Allah Almighty, the 40th Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, The Gambia, started on Friday 8th April, and ended on Sunday the 10th April 2016 at the Masroor Senior Secondary School, Old Yundum. After the opening of the Exhibition, The Amir Baba F. Trawally and Governor Salif Puye hoisted the Jama’at and national flags, respectively.
Amir Sahib, in his opening remarks spoke on the exemplary life of the Holy Prophet, Muhammad (s.a.w.) as the solution to everlasting global insecurity. Amir Sahib stated that the purpose of human creation is to worship Allah Almighty. To achieve this objective He raised Prophets at different times and different places until conditions were conducive for a single universal Prophet and Messenger.He said that the sublime Divine revelation descended on the best of human beings, Hadhrat Muhammad Mustapha (s.a.w) who had the mental and physical capacity to undertake that mission. He indicated that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) is the best of Prophets and the light that descended on him is the most illuminating. He indicated that the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w) sublime qualities and practical examples provide the solution to the current crises of the world. He cited the incidence when the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (s.a.w) allowed the Christian delegation to offer their church service in his mosque in Madina. “Do we the Muslims today have the heart to allow the Jews and the Christians and other religious faiths to worship in our mosques? We have seen the condition of the world today, innocent people, Muslims and non-Muslims are killed in the name of Islam-the most perfect and peaceful religion. They are doing it only because of their ulterior and selfish interests; not in the name of Islam. Islam is pure, Islam is justice, Islam is tolerance, and Islam is peace. This is what we should all advocate as far as we are concerned as Muslims.”
He said the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (s.a.w) said if Muslims emulated this practice of respect for diversity and religious tolerance, the world would not have been grappling with the religious violence in the world today. The theme of the Amir closing address on the 40th Jalsa Salana held on Saturday 10th April 2016 was “our responsibilities towards the Holy Quran and The Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (SAW)”. It is the responsibility of all of us to respect, honour, regularly recite and ponder over the Holy Quran’s immense treasure of miracles. The Holy Quran has no parallel in its depth in both physical and spiritual knowledge. It is a Holy book which is full of light, guidance and blessings. He admonished the audience to act on all the injunctions of the Holy Quran. He said that the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi (as) admonished us to obey all the seven hundred injunctions in the Holy Quran and act obediently on all its teachings.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (saw) said that the best among you are those who learn the Holy Quran and teach it to others. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said that he left two things with Muslims for guidance; the Holy Quran and his Sunnah. His Sunnah is the practice of the teachings of the Holy Quran and therefore the two are the same. In fact Hadhrat Aisha (ra) said that the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (saw) life was the Holy Quran. And Allah Almighty admonishes us that if we want progress, development and salvation we must follow the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (saw). Amir Sahib said that this means that if we wanted to development in this world and beyond, we must follow the teachings of the Holy Quran. The efforts of every one of you here have made the Jalsa Salana a very successful one. May Allah Almighty reward you all abundantly. May Allah Almighty have mercy and grace on all of you and the entire humanity so that we can all live together as brothers and sisters despite our religious differences. Humanity is one community.
So therefore wherever we are (in the community, village or country), we should make sure that we respect each other and respect each other’s views and also have tolerance and understanding for a peaceful co-existence. We cannot develop without accepting the views of other people. So therefore, being Muslims, wherever we are we enlighten others about these teachings of tolerance and understanding. Muslims and Christians wherever they are should live together without problems. Islam is totally against injustice and inequality, suffering of the poor and the needy. We should try our utmost to make sure that the poor and the needy, the orphans and the sick are all assisted as far as society is concerned. We must heed to their calls. We must make sure that all their needs are taken care of. Despite our origins, we make sure that we live together peacefully.
In conclusion, I once request you all to continue remembering His Holiness, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (ATBA) in your prayers. Also continue praying for the peace, security, and prosperity of our dear and beloved motherland the Gambia, the sub-region and the world at large. We are able to stay here for the past two days because of security and peace.
This is why we are all obligated every time to pray for this country, the sub-region and all those countries engulfed in crises resulting in the killings of innocent people. Religion is a matter of faith, it is an individual matter between Allah Almighty, the Creator of the Universe, the Most Powerful, The Universal Lord, the Most Accommodating. We must be able to adhere to His commandments so that there will be continuous peace in the universe. This is the essence of the name of Islam. The Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (saw) came to reform the entire humanity which he did and even his enemies have attested that he was the most successful of all the Prophets and Messengers. Therefore, we the followers of our master, the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (saw) should try to emulate and follow him so that the call of the Imam of the Age (as) can be accepted.
“We welcome all those people from beyond the Gambia: from Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Germany, the United Kingdom, the USA and other countries. They are all present here purposely to attend this spiritual gathering. And of course we also welcome all brothers and sisters, including children from across the country.”
The occasion was attended by various dignitaries such as the Governor of Lower River Region, the Chiefs of Kiang Central, Jarra Central, Kiang West and Jokadu, and the Alkalo of Old Yundum. The Governor of Lower River Region said that despite his busy schedule he came to extend his gratitude to the Jamaat for it social and religious services in his region, in particular and the country, in general. He said he has been attending the Jalsa for the past three years and has been attending all the regional Jamaat activities in his region because of the invaluable services of Jamaat to the country in the educational and health sectors as well as the spiritual sphere.
The three chiefs who made remarks at the convention expressed their satisfaction with Amir Sahib’s human relations, love and respect for authority. They praised the Amir for annually visiting his members and non-members during which he paid courtesy calls on local authorities and extending a message of peace, love, brotherhood and Islam to all. They acknowledged the great contributions that Jamaat is making in their various areas in terms of social services provision and religious guidance. They praised the Jamaat for its consistent intervention in key development areas in the country over a long period of time. They revealed that the Jamaat empowered several people in the country who are contributing immensely to the socio- economic development of The Gambia.
Ust. Essa Joof, dilated on the topic the Exemplary Character of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w).He gave several examples of the practical live of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) that can serve as bases for peaceful coexistence such as the Medina Constitution, which ensured the rights of all people, regardless of religious differences. He, too, mentioned the case of the Najran Christians who were allowed to observe their worship in his mosque. Another incident he mentioned is about the arch enemy of Islam, the son of Abu Jahl, who was granted pardon by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w).
He contrasted this exercise of tolerance, humility and kindness to the current events where Muslims blow themselves up, thus, killing innocent people in the name of Islam. He concluded that such violence is not part of the lesson that we learned from the Holy Founder of Islam Muhammad Mustapha(s.a.w).
Ust. Sayed Saeed Ul Hassan Shah, Naib Amir and Missionary In-Charge, spoke on the topic: “Advent of Imam Mahdi.” He said some people are committing heinous crimes in the name of Islam all around the world. He stated that some Muslims are killing each other and killing other people with the notion that they are engaged in Jihad. He said that Ahmadi Muslims are promoting peace in the world through the slogan of “Love for All, Hatred for None.” He said this clearly shows that Ahmadiyyat is demonstrating the true features of Islam: “that is a religion of peace.”He revealed that Allah Almighty and the Holy Prophet, Muhammad Mustapha (s.a.w) pointed out that the victory of Islam in the latter days will be strongly linked to the appearance of the Imam Mahdi (a.s). He cited various verses from the Holy Qur’an and hadith to support his point. He said that the prophecy in Suratul Jumaa points out clearly that Imam Mahdi (a.s) would not come from among the Arabs but non-Arabs. He clarified that these salient sources point to the fact that the Imam Mahdi (a.s) would come from the Persians, to be precise. He said this prophecy was fulfilled in the person of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (a.s).Ust. Shah cited various signs and conditions prophesied by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) linked to the advent of the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi (a.s).
Brother Kemo Sonko, dilated on “Financial Sacrifice.” He cited various verses from the Holy Quran to emphasis the significance of financial sacrifice. He pointed out that the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (s.a.w) said that financial sacrifice would be crucial at the time of the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi (a.s) because he would conduct Jihad of the pen which requires immense financial sacrifice. Brother Kemo went on to say that there are two basic forms of financial sacrifice. He pointed out that one form of financial sacrifice is towards Allah Almighty and the other towards the creatures of Allah Almighty - humans. He indicated that a Muslim’s good deed shall never go in vain. He said this is supported by the Holy Qur’an which states that Allah Almighty suffers not the work of a believer to go in vain. He said Allah Almighty loves a believer who sacrifices for humanity more than a devoted worshiper who is niggardly. He concluded his speech by stating that the blessings in sacrificing financial towards Allah Almighty and Mankind attract the following Divine Blessings: Love of Allah Almighty, Love of people, Security from the fire and Closeness to heaven.
Alhajie Sekou Omar Dibba, dwelt on the topic: “Blessings of the Holy Qur’an.”He said the Holy Qur’an is the word of Allah Almighty; a complete code of guidance; an ocean of knowledge full of blessed prayers; revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) who is the best of Mankind, through the Holy Spirit of Angel Gibril in the Holy month of Ramadan. He said Holy Qur’an liberates the oppressed and empowers the poor and less privileged in society, including women. He indicated that the Holy Qur’an’s teachings are perfect and has no parallel.
Its teachings are complete and comprehensive social code of justice for all and liberate the oppressed. He stated that the Holy Quran is the best spiritual, social and physical guidance for the well being of humanity. He said if human beings desire progress, development and protection in this world and the hereafter, they should learn and act on its teachings.
Brother Musa Kinteh, spoke on the topic “Khilafat is the Shield.” He indicated that Khilafat provides unity, comfort, solace and hope during trying times, as well as the physical and moral requisites for material and spiritual progress for Muslims. He indicated that as the four Rightly Guided Caliphates (may Allah be pleased with them) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa.w) provided spiritual guidance to the early Muslims after his (s.a.w) demise, the current Khilafat provides similar guidance to the later Muslims after the demise of the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi (a.s). A khalifa is a successor of the Prophet and Khilafat as an institution that cannot be created without the appearance of a prophet.
A separate session was conducted by the Lajna (Ladies) wing on Saturday 9th April 2016, Chaired by Sadr (National President), Sist. Musukebba Jarjue.
Sister Isatou Kinteh Sonko, dwelt on “The importance of dress code”. According to her, today’s Muslim women’s dress code is a matter of concern because majorities of their dresses do not conform to Islamic dress code for women. Proper dressing is important for spiritual and moral progress of the society. She cited the Holy Quran and Hadith to support her argument.Proper dress protects the woman herself from danger and gives her security and spiritual advancement.
Sister Fatoumata Kinteh, elaborated on the topic “Islam and Human Right of Women”. She indicated that some misguided people think that men have better rights in Islam than women. She argued that this is completely wrong. According to her the rights of a woman and that of a man in Islam are the same and equal in every aspect. A woman is human being as well as man. All human rights are rights for all human being. She said that Islam has gone far in declaring that women are not inferior to men when the Holy Quran similitude the best people with reference to woman, Mariam (as) mother of Jesus (as). She said that it is Islam which liberated and cleaned women of all kinds of allegations and mistreatments and has empowered them with similar and equal rights with their male partners based on their physical capacities and social responsibilities.
Sister Baturu Camara Ceesay, discussed the “Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) as a perfect model for the treatment His wives”. She argued that to understand Islam’s treatment of women is to study the practical life of our Holy Master Muhammad Mustapha (saw) with his wives. Islam attaches great importance to women and wives. She said that the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (saw) was the best of husbands. He used to provide provisions for his wives, speech to them gently with tenderness. He used to assist them in household chores and had given importance to his family duties and responsibilities, used to express appreciation of love and used to nurse them personally when sick.
She said that Hadhrat Aisha (ra) reported that the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (saw) never uttered harsh words or raised his hands on any of his wives or servants.
He used to express his love to his wives verbally, stroll out with them, go on expeditions with them and used to be informal with them and used to pamper them. She ran a race with his wife Hadhrat Aisha (ra). The Holy Prophet has said that men should “provide them their wives needs according to their means and never slap or verbally abuse them”.
Speaking at the Lajna (Ladies) session on Saturday the 9th of April 2016, the Amir said Allah Almighty raised the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi (a.s) to guide Mankind on the path of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (s.a.w) and the Holy Qur’an. He reminded members of their responsibility to establish these teachings of their personal lives practically. He said as representatives of the noble female Companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (s.a.w) their high status requires them to serve as touch bearers of the present generation. He said they should be careful of the two evils that create havoc in modern societies: immoral dress code and indiscriminate socialization with men. He said these are the major sources of divorce and fitna (disorder) in society. He warned the women folk about the dangers of misusing the social media and phones. He said social media provides a platform for creating groups most of which entice members to immoralities online. He advised the women folk to rule over technology rather let themselves be controlled by technology.He said the Khilafa, His Holiness Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V always remind them of these situations and their responsibilities and they should heedto help them live a life worthy of their high status. He requested them to remember His Holiness Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (atba) in their prayers, the country and humanity at large.
The theme of Amir’s closing address was “our responsibilities towards the Holy Quran and The Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (SAW)”. It is the responsibility of all of us to respect, honour, regularly recite and ponder over the Holy Quran’s immense treasure of miracles. The Holy Quran has no parallel in its depth in both physical and spiritual knowledge. It is a Holy Book which is full of light, guidance and blessings. He admonished the audience and all to act on all the injunctions of the Holy Quran. He said that the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi (as) admonished us to obey all the seven hundred injunctions in the Holy Quran and act obediently on all its teachings. The Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (saw) said that the best among you are those who learn the Holy Quran and teach it to others. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) said that he left two things with Muslims for guidance; the Holy Quran and his sunnah. His sunnah is the practice of the teaching of the Holy Quran and therefore the two are the same. In fact Hadhrat Aisha (ra) said that the Holy Prophet’s Muhammad Mustapha (saw) life was the Holy Quran. And Allah Almighty admonishes us that if we want progress, development and salvation we must follow the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha (saw). Amir Sahib said that this means that if we wanted to development in this world and beyond, we must follow the teachings of the Holy Quran.
The Jalsa Salana attracted over eight thousand (8000) participants from throughout the country, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, UK, USA, Germany and many others. It was well organized and the sessions were well attended.
May Allah Almighty bless and reward you and your noble organization. May He shower His immense blessings, security, peace, harmony and mercy on our dear and beloved country, The Gambia. Ameen.
Head Press and Publicity