Jalsa Salana 2018: Hundreds gather from Redbridge's Ahmadiyya Muslim community to reaffirm values of love and peace
PUBLISHED: 09:26 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:26 09 August 2018
More than 500 people from the borough's Ahmadiyya Muslim community joined 35,000 worshippers from across the world at an event to pledge allegiance to their Caliph.
People travelled from more than 100 countries to Jalsa Salana at a 200-acre farm in Hampshire between Friday, August 3 and Sunday, August 5.
Trainee Imam Mustafa Siqqidi, from Monkswood Road, Clayhall, has been attending the annual event for as long as he can remember.
He said that the aim of the event was to reaffirm the values of love and peace and brotherhood which are the key tenets and principles of Islam.
Guests took part in the Al-Qalam project – the first crowdsourced Holy Qu’ran where each of the book’s 6,348 verses is penned by a different writer.
“It was really special,” said the 22-year-old. “The prophet said that seeking knowledge is compulsory for both men and women.”
He added: “International experts attended the Turin Shroud exhibition to speak of its importance as a relic of the time of Jesus.”
The shroud is a length of linen cloth bearing the negative image of a man who many devotees consider is Jesus of Nazareth, although this is disputed by scientists.
Mustafa also hailed the efforts of the event’s 7,000-plus volunteers who cooked more than 300,000 slices of naan bread.
“We had doctors, engineers and politicans in the kitchen cutting onions,” he said.
“The prophet said that your shoulder should be touching so that there is no distinction between rich and poor and strong and weak.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was established in 1889 in India and is led by a spiritual caliphate.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the fifth Caliph and worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Community, delivered five speeches on topics from nuclear disarmament and the role of women in the 21st century.
Speaking on the dangers of modern electronic devices, he said: “ The unity of family life is facing a grave crisis and so it is necessary for parents to maintain close relations with their children and to take them outdoors for recreational activities and to encourage them to read and study things that can benefit them and society.”