Ahmadiyya Muslims from around the country have gathered in Sydney for their annual youth summit.
Hundreds came from around Australia to attend the 2018 Ahmadiyya Muslim National Youth Conference, comprised of three days of sport, food and prayer.
National Youth President of Australia’s Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Waqas Ahmed, said the definition of “youth” is flexible.
“For people all the way to 40 years of age, here we can maximise youth and physical strength as much as possible for the good of humanity,” he told SBS News.
The 2018 Ahmadiyya Muslim National Youth Conference marks the event’s 35th anniversary.
This year’s theme is “self-reformation”.
“Whether you’re old or young you can still improve yourself, spiritually and physically,” another attendee, Ata-ul-Karim Gohar, told SBS News.
“This event helps our spiritual and physical training, and through this we can get a spiritual revival.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim sect, considered unorthodox by many mainstream Muslims, makes up only a small percentage of Australia’s overall Muslim community.
It is estimated there are only a few thousand Ahmadiyyas practising in Australia.
The Ahmadiyya motto is “love for all and hatred for none”, something conference attendee Ata Ul Hadi said has been extremely evident at the event.
“It’s been so friendly,” he told SBS News.
“All you really need to do to make a new friend is say ‘salam’ to someone (a Muslim way of greeting which means “peace”) and then from there, on to an everlasting friendship.”
Mr Ahmed said he hopes people take what they learn at this year’s conference out into the world.
“Islam is not just about within the religion. It’s also about making sure the good that you do happens outside the mosque as well.”