After reciting the Tashahhud, Ta’wwuz, and Surah Al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) stated: Alhamdulillah. By the Grace of God Almighty, we are able to participate in yet another Jalsa Salana [annual convention] today. As everyone is aware, the Jalsa arrangements, especially during the days of the Jalsa, are entirely or at least upto 90 per cent made by members of the Community on a voluntary basis. That is why some of the arrangements are prone to shortcomings or weaknesses. However, all of us participants must rectify and remove those weaknesses and shortcomings. Wherever the workers require help, they should come forward to help them. We can only be united if we bear the burden of each other and help each other whenever required. Thus, this fundamental matter should be remembered by both the guests as well as the hosts. Today, I will now draw the attention of both the guests as well as the hosts towards a few matters.
The first matter for the attention of the workers is that they have presented themselves to serve those people, who have come to participate in the Jalsa initiated by the Promised Messiah (as) upon the command of God Almighty. Anyway, the workers should always remember that no matter what attitude the guests may have, those who are serving must care for their feelings and sentiments while exhibiting the highest morals. Even if a guest or a participant were to adopt a wrong attitude, it is still the duty of the worker to keep his passions under control and not to reply with the same attitude. The Holy Prophet (sa) was most respectful to his guests and God Almighty has mentioned the most excellent model of the Holy Prophet (sa) regarding hospitality. God Almighty has especially commanded the guests not to go beyond the bounds of their rights, while being guests. Guests should not wrongfully take advantage of their being guests. As for human weaknesses, everyone has them. Even if someone, were to make small error and mistake, we cannot brand them as immoral or that they have ill intentions. These are all part of human weaknesses. Therefore, even if such minor issues arise, we should tolerate it. Thus, those who are on duty should demonstrate the highest morals in every department and wherever they are offering duties. Everyone has to play a role in creating a pleasant atmosphere here so that we can fulfil the purpose for which we have gathered here; which is to improve our moral and spiritual state. Furthermore, these very morals will be the means of informing the non-Ahmadi guests in attendance of the high morals taught by Islam. This is a silent manner of Tabligh [preaching the true message of Islam], which will be carried out by the guests as well as the workers. The Holy Prophet (sa) states that nothing weighs heavier on the scale than good morals. Furthermore, he also stated that the one who possesses good morals, acquires the status of one, who is regular in offering prayers and observing the fasts. One virtuous deed continues to produce many more virtuous deeds. Thus, the workers should make it incumbent upon themselves that whatever the conduct of the other person may be, they should always have a smile on their faces. This outwardly state also has an impact on their hearts and as a result, they will not develop any harshness in their hearts. Furthermore, when they will not develop any unnecessary harshness in their hearts, they will also not make any wrong decisions, which are at times made in a state of rage and anger.
By the grace of God Almighty, the workers serve every guest wholeheartedly. They render their services for the guests of the Promised Messiah (as) with an ardent devotion. All of them serve with a certain passion. Therefore, even if you observe any minor shortcomings and flaws, then ignore them and keep this purpose in mind that we have merely gathered here in order to listen to the teachings of God Almighty, His Messenger (sa) and of His religion. If a guest notices shortcoming in a certain department, then they should write to the person in charge of the department instead of quarrelling with the workers. Even if the shortcoming is not removed or improved this year, however the Jama’at will be mindful of it for the coming year. This is the beauty of the system of the Jama’at that whatever flaws and shortcomings are highlighted, efforts are then made to improve them for the future.
Furthermore, those attending the Jalsa Salana should also be mindful of the fact that the Holy Prophet (sa) said that one of the good morals taught by Islam is that a believer refrains from idle and unnecessary speech. In this Jalsa, which the Promised Messiah (as) has declared to be solely for the sake of God, we should refrain from every kind of idle speech and time wasting. You should listen to the proceedings attentively. Even if those delivering the speech are not of your preferred choice, however the topics of the speeches are chosen so that they can be of benefit to everyone. Do not leave the Jalsa Gah [main arena of the Jalsa Salana] unless there is an urgent need to do so. The attendance in all other programmes should be as much as it is right now so the children and youth are able to realise the importance of Jalsa Salana and they are able to connect with faith and strive in this way.
I would like to say a few more things in regards to the management. Those people who drive here should cooperate with the administration and they should park their cars where and how they are instructed to do so. I had directed the attention of volunteers towards this on Sunday, but those guests and attendees of Jalsa who offer their prayers in the Fazal mosque should also keep in mind to park their cars in areas that do not block the driveways of our neighbors and to not cause them any kind of difficulty. I mentioned on Sunday to the volunteers about our neighbors who complained that some of us park the cars in front of their homes in such a way that it blocks their driveways. And so, they are neither able to take their car out nor are they able to park it inside. Some of them who know the community, as they meet us every year or they receive presents on Eid from us or we meet them during the days of the Jalsa, have gone to the extent to say that although we speak so highly about Khilafat and claim that we are guided by Khilafat, therefore either your Khalifah does not advise you about fulfilling the rights of your neighbors or then you do not obey him. Such a comment by an outsider is a source of shame for everyone. In any case, this caused me a great deal of embarrassment and what they said is indeed correct. If we block our neighbours’ driveways, then it has to be either of the two scenarios mentioned. Therefore, everyone should pay particular attention towards this and be mindful of this.
In terms of management there is a department of hygiene and cleanliness. Particular attention needs to be direct to this as well. There is another very important aspect that needs to be addressed here. These days due to the lack of rain, the grass has become very dry resulting into a fire hazard. Therefore, all preventive measures should be observed in this regard and those on duty and the guests should all be particularly mindful about this. Do not throw any inflammable items or anything with a spark on the ground. Since this is the reality and it should be mentioned to ensure we avoid any harmful situations, therefore if anyone is a habitual smoker they should smoke outside the premises of Hadiqa tul Mahdi anyways but do not consider this as a permission from me to smoke or that I do not consider smoking as a bad thing. It is a bad habit and one should endeavour to quit smoking and to abstain from it. I have delivered sermons on this topic. The Promised Messiah (as) has not adjudged it as forbidden but he did not approve of it as well. In fact, he has expressed his dislike regarding it at certain times and has instructed to refrain from it. Some youngsters add certain drugs in cigarettes whilst socializing with the wrong crowd in the society. Such things are wrong and are forbidden and considered sinful.
Then from a security point of view you must keep an eye on your surroundings. Whether you are in the Jalsa Gah or outside anyone can cause mischief so one must remain vigilant of this. If you see anything suspicious or anyone acting suspiciously then you must immediately inform the nearest people on duty.
Similarly, there is also the complaint from the ladies that during the speeches in the main marquee some women continue to chat amongst themselves and address those trying to keep them quiet in an incorrect manner by answering them inappropriately, and this is not acceptable.
May Allah enable us to reap maximum benefit from the Jalsa and to follow the instructions which I have just given, and which have been outlined in the programme booklets given to you. Pray especially that out of God Almighty’s grace alone this Jalsa remains blessed in every respect and He protects us from all evil and that we all partake of the blessings for which we have gathered here today.
Likewise, I would also like to tell you that as always, this year The Review of Religions have the Turin Shroud Exhibition in their marquee and there is the Al-Qalam Project running adjacent to it. Similarly, the Archive Department also have an exhibition which should be visited and is a source of increasing one’s knowledge. This time the Tabligh Department have setup a Quran exhibition which I hope will be very informative for everyone, that too should also be visited. Likewise, two websites will be launched – True Islam and Rational Religion. The Tabligh Department have also held an online speech competition on the topic of the life and character of the Holy Prophet (sa) in which people are taking part. So this too is a new feature for this Jalsa which they have introduced today. As it were, these are extra programmes and exhibitions which are running on top of the programme in the Jalsa Gah in these days, so you should try to take benefit from them. May God Almighty make all the participants of the Jalsa recipients of the prayers of the Promised Messiah (as).