How I felt to be at Jalsa Salana of Ahmadiyya Muslim Germany

Source: Ms. Josipa Anđal

Ms Josipa Andal (Civil Engineering University Student) who attend the German Jalsa-2015 and gave this impression.

Ms Josipa Andal (Civil Engineering University Student) who attended the German Jalsa-2015 and gave this impression.

Note by the Editor: Ms. Anđal participated in 40th Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at (Community) held from 5-7th June 2015 in Karlsruhe, Germany and gave following impressions.

For a person like me, a religious non believer who has an incredible desire to get to know every religion and culture of the world, an opportunity to participate in the gathering of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community couldn’t be missed. Led by a great curiosity I travelled to the German city of Karlsruhe at that meeting as a part of Croatian group. Invited as guests by the Ahmadiyya Community, my colleague and friend Nikolina Hržić and I had a very unusual and ambitious plan- to make a documentary about the not-so-famous religious community with an intention to introduce the film to the Croatian public/media and introduce them to this unique group of people. Before this trip my knowledge about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat was boiled down to few read articles and books, so my guiding principle was that the making of the documentary was not only about the narrating of the story, but rather about the exploring of the story as well.
As a team of journalists, we had considerable freedom to capture individual events. Like any other big event, this event had a precisely defined schedule. The ceremony started on Friday by raising the flags of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Ahmadiyya community. The whole event was eagerly followed by the MTA (Muslim Television Ahmadiyya), a unique television channel of the daily broadcasts around the world. For me as a journalist and filmmaker it was a great opportunity to exchange experiences with the colleagues from the whole world who also came to cover the event.
During these three days there were lots of organized discussions and meetings in the complex. Certainly the biggest challenge was to attend every single one of them one and deftly navigate among        36 000 people gathered. Besides the believers themselves, lots of curious guests gathered whom the Ahmadiyya community expected with arms wide open. Personally, I was most impressed by the amazing kindness and goodness of our hosts. We received a very warm welcome.
During these three days I met many interesting individuals. Some conversations were recorded with a camera and some words will easily remain in my memory. It is a great privilege to speak to several fabulous women who mostly talked about their position in the family and community. All of them were highly educated and have tried to get us closer to their religion and culture. Our questions were mainly related to the status of women in Islam. Also, we had an opportunity to interview several important people from the community. It is particularly interesting to learn about the importance of education that comes from an early age. Moreover, we heard comments on the reasons of people who converted to this religion.
In the Ahmadiyya Community everybody is specifically oriented to help the others. Through Humanity First International they are operating around the world, and it is important to point out that during the last year’s floods that hit our region they helped us thanks to the organization Humanity First.
However, the greatest honor of this meeting was to be introduced to  spiritual leader and head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Caliph of the Promised Messiah Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad. On Friday the Croatian group had a meeting with him where we had a half-hour conversation asking him questions. Prior to this meeting, I thought Caliph would be very strict and serious. However, he delighted us with his accessibility, kindness and patience and he answered our questions. Also, in addition to the group meeting, I got a unique opportunity to take a 15-minute interview with Caliph. As a spiritual leader, in the interview Caliph pointed out that it was very disturbing that there were more and more people leaving God and religion. He also pointed out that through true faith in God the peace could be established in the world.
Being able to attend this event was a unique experience. I had an opportunity to develop personally as an individual, but also as a professional journalist and filmmaker. I was impressed by the sustainability of this community – each individual does what’s the best for the community and the community works for an individual. I learned a lot about this reformist community, but I think that some questions remain misunderstood. However, the best thing about this experience is that it gave me a lot of themes to think about. The plan is to continue to make movie in London at the next meeting of the Ahmadiyya Community. Also, it is necessary to find out more about the position of Ahmadiyya community in the future and how can they participate in establishing peace in the world. Moreover, I would like for them to share more stories about their traditions, humanitarian work  and the way they participate in society in general.
In the end, I think the most important thing you should know about Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat is their importance of promoting love, peace and good work. These are the values everyone should care about.
JOSIPA ANĐAL

1 reply

  1. It was a pleasant experience for her to be part of big Ahmadiyya gathering.