By Wahab Abdullah
Last Friday, about 37000 Muslims gathered at the Hadeeqatul Mahdi (Oakland Farm), Green Street, East Worldham, Alton, Hampshire, London, for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s annual convention.
The 200-acre-farm venue of the event which turned into a global village in two weeks prior to the event and taken down within a week hosted visitors from 100 countrires to discuss “Global Justice and Peace”
The world leader of the community, His Holiness, Hazrat Masroor Ahmad addressed participants on each of the three-day event emphasising on global peace and justice.
The facilities include accommodation, kitchens that produced meals for the guests, international bookshop, and a media centre. Over 5,000 United Kingdom voluntary workers were everywhere rendering various humanitarian services to guests.
It was important to note that all the cooking was done by on-site volunteers. This includes the running of a bread factory that produces 300,000 rotis (slices of Asian bread) daily, at a rate of 10,000 an hour. The kitchen, we gathered cooks 270,000 meals (South Asian and European cuisine) across the three days of the event.
Another side attraction of the event included exhibition of a life-size replica of the Turin Shroud and the Sudarium of Oveido and the International Conference on the Turin Shroud. One of the things on display was the Islamic calligraphy, which explained how calligraphy formed an integral aspect of Islamic culture for the past 1400 years. In Islam, calligraphy represents a medium to convey the word of God. This exhibition examined how calligraphy is used, its very essence, and as act of devotion.
The pledging of allegiance to the Caliph was done on the third day with over 30,000 peace taking the traditional bait via satellite and webcast on Sunday.
Participants attend from more than 100 countries across the world (North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, South & East Asia, and Australasia)
The Jalsa was broadcast live on Muslim Television Ahmadiyya (MTA) on Sky Channel 787, the internet and translated into dozens of languages, including – English, Urdu, Arabic, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Turkish, Bosnian, Albanian, Bulgarian, Indonesian, Tamil, Malayalam & Swahili