MKA Germany’s team arrived in Fazl Mosque at 10am on 29th of January, where they had breakfast & then offered Friday prayers in Baitul Futuh behind Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (atba).
The first match was scheduled for 8:30pm on Friday 29th of January, which was attended by Sadr Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK Sahibzada Mirza Waqas Ahmad Sahib and members of National Amla Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK. The match consisted of 5 sets and 25 points in each set. The first set was won by Germany, England made a comeback in the second set to level at 1 set all, but then Germany won 2 consecutive sets to win the first match 3-1.
The second match was scheduled for 6:30pm on 30th of January, which was attended by Respected Rafiq Hayat Sahib, National President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK and Sadr Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya UK Sahibzada Mirza Waqas Ahmad Sahib as well as members of their respective National Amilas. The match consisted of 3 sets and 25 points in each. The first set was won by England and then Germany won 2 consecutive sets to win the second match 2-1.
As Germany had taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3 match series, the winners were declared as Germany. A special dinner was then held for members of the Germany Volleyball team, the Germany Jalsa Salana team as well as the UK team.
Al-Furqan FC: A formidable force to be reckoned with
The title to this article should actually read, ‘Al-Furqan FC: A formidable force to be reckoned with, unless of course, you are ze Germans’. However, due to publisher guidelines we had to settle for the former. Let me explain.
Over the weekend of the 12th May 2023, the inaugural International Football Tournament organized by Majlis-E-Sehet was held in the UK. As the host country, the UK registers several teams and in previous years at similar tournaments have submitted a ‘UK A’ and ‘UK B’ team alongside others including, Fazl-e-Umar (formed of Jamaat workers), Jamia UK, and Spain. Yes, Spain. The majority (if not all) of the Spanish team was made up of British players. I’m putting it down to potential ‘ex-pat’ participation or issues with getting travel visas since Brexit*.
Due to what some people consider selection bias and the north-south divide**, this year’s tournament organizers approved the formation of a UK South and UK North teams instead of A and B. Quickly, some people attached a somewhat derogatory label of A and B to the South and North team which may have upset lesser individuals, but couldn’t shake the South team***. Foreseeing this, the organisers promoted both teams to rename and avoid connotations to the regional differences.
*a calamity for the British people in the UK and overseas.
**a variation of accents and local lexicon.
***DISCLAIMER: Yes, I played for the ‘North’ team this year but have played for the ‘South’ team in the past so I’m sure they won’t mind the jibe. Hopefully.
Shazil Lone – Manager – United Kingdom (previously UK South).
“We wanted to keep UK in the name as we felt without it, it would disregard UK’s history of reaching the European finals twice and winning it back in 2018. We kept it simple and stuck to United Kingdom.”
The UK team kept their name simple, but further north, things were going in a different direction. Head Coach of UK North, Waseem Hussain (or ‘Waz’ as he is lovingly referred to as), was instrumental in the northern outfits name change. After getting to know Waz over the past 3 months, I can confirm that this guy lives and breathes football. He’s the kind of guy you wouldn’t recognise if he wasn’t in a full tracksuit. When speaking to him about why the name change occurred, Waz said:
“When I suggested Al-Furqan, I did so because it was never about just naming a football team. It had to be special and make a difference. Something long lasting. The Furqan Force has always resonated with me as they were few in numbers. Self-funded. Small but tough group. That’s what I wanted our squad to be, an army. It was meant to be. I believe this was the way forward. This was so much bigger than football, it needed that spiritual and historical context. From the organisation sides of things, the management team threw a few names into the hat. Murabbi Sahib was intent on the name having an Arabic and Islamic context. He made the final call – he was the main man and everyone accepted that from bottom to top.”
Conversations with the Murabbi Kurshid Sahib, manager of UK North, confirmed Waz’s vision for the team.
Muhummad Kurshid Sahib – Manager – Al-Furqan FC:
“I loved the name straight away, as a tribute to the Furqan force. The youth should know about the sacrifices they made. A team talk was specifically planned in regards to what it means. To be able to differentiate between right and wrong. After this tournament ends, we will form our own team in a local league and so it will be an avenue for tabligh. As well as this, I felt the tournament would be an avenue to connect the northern boys to Marqaz. That was one of our goals.”
So it began. The UK North team was renamed after the Furqan Force; a volunteer corps established by the Jamaat that fought in Kashmir alongside the Pakistan army during the partition of Pakistan and India. ‘Al-Furqan’ itself derives from the Quran (Chapter 25: Surah Al-Furqan), meaning those who can distinguish between right and wrong.
Al-Furqan’s Team Badge
The team was founded, but now the players had to be selected. A rigorous process of multiple trials held in various corners of the north, followed by weekly squad training (even through Ramadan), meaning players had to travel hundreds if not thousands of miles in the 3-month period to get ready for the tournament. Although it seems far, it was no further than one particular player, Jahja, our 36-year-old semi-professional footballer from Pakistan. A week before the northern trials took place, he had arrived in the UK on asylum due to persecution for being an Ahmadi Muslim in his home country. In fact, he was representing the Pakistan National Football team until they found out about his faith. In our eyes this was a huge loss for Pakistan but a massive gain for Al-Furqan! Alongside him, players from Manchester, Bradford, Birmingham, Leicester, Stoke, Hartlepool, Sheffield and Glasgow made the final squad. Distances stretched, but players united over this unique period of time.
Momentum gained in the build up to the tournament as the squad prepared, but in an unfortunate turn of events, the passing of Manager Kurshid’s father meant he had to leave northern UK for Pakistan. All of a sudden, the progress of the group under the guidance of the manager seemed to be coming to a halt.
“I left camp and went to Pakistan for 2 weeks. I was thinking of stepping back. But then in my mind I thought, if this is jamaat work, how can I say no? This became a personal journey for me. If it was just football, I would have dropped out immediately.”
In the intermediate, Waz would look after things with the help of his assistant coach and son, Amaar Hussain alongside captain Atta Khan and vice-captain Abdul Ghalib. The training continued and increased in intensity as players looked to get match fit. With multiple games being played across each day of the tournament, fitness was paramount to any success. Players were promoted to train multiple times a week together, take part in friendly matches and complete a minimum of 2km run everyday in the fortnight leading up to our first fixture. Upon Manager Kurshid’s return, the squad felt as ready as they could be.
Australia arrive in the UK for the tournament, met by tournament chairman, Nisar Orchard Sahib.
Ismail Ahmad – Central Midfielder and Captain – Team USA
“On arrival, I was shocked by how many teams there were. Previous tournaments have been on a much smaller scale but this was another level. Organisation was really well done. The way this tournament brought so many people from all parts of the world together with key common interests; Jamaat and football.”
At the outset of the tournament, a dinner was hosted at the new Baitul Fatuh complex where teams got to meet one another and eat together. This was the beginning of attaining one of the key purposes of this event, to develop bonds between Ahmadi brothers from far and wide. With teams arriving from as far as the USA, Canada, Australia and across Europe – this truly was an international tournament. The following morning, the group stage games began.
Teams gather for the tournaments opening session in Baitul Fatuh
FLYING START FOR AL-FURQAN
Al-Furqan vs Holland – Group Stage Game 1 – Friday 12th May
Al-Furqan announced themselves on the world stage with a solid performance against the resolute Netherlands. Led by the ‘Flying Dutchman’ Ibrahim Ahmad, Holland dominated the first 10 minutes of the game with the majority of possession and attempts at goal but with little fortune. Steadily, Al-Furqan grew into the game and after having shaken off some early nerves, showed Holland their quality with a quick breakaway play that lead them to a 2-0 lead at halftime. Late into the second half, Holland managed to pull one back through a superb penalty taken by their number 9 but the spark of hope was quickly diminished as Al-Furqan responded with attacking midfielder Rayyan Hussain grabbing a brace before the final whistle.
The final score was 4-1 to Al-Furqan.
AL-FURQAN TEACH JAMIA CANADA A LESSON
Al-Furqan vs Jamia Canada – Group Stage Game 2 – Friday 12th May
The final game of the first day for Al-Furqan was against underdogs Jamia Canada. In their first fixture, they challenged group favorites Canada A, only losing by a goal in a tightly contested match finishing 3-2. Al-Furqan took no chances and played strong starting eleven and soon found out why Jamia had put up such a good fight against their counterparts. Jamia’s central midfielders were quick and tricky, finding pockets of space to run into and doing so with confidence. Alongside this, they had a back four who put everything on the line not to concede. But unfortunately for them, neither of these strengths could stop a sublime freekick by set-piece specialist Jajha from looping over the keeper from 25 yards. The game then opened up and Al-Furqan sent wave after wave of attacks, breaking through the heart of defence to score a second with captain Atta adding another to his tournament tally.
The final score was 2-0 to Al-Furqan.
FURQAN FORCE THEIR WAY INTO THE QUARTER-FINALS
Al-Furqan vs Canada A – Group Stage Game 3 – Saturday 13th May
The match against Canada A was arguably one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament and the biggest threat Al-Furqan had faced so far. With the match taking center stage at the Xcel stadium, a crowd of several hundred spectators took to the stands to cheer on the teams. A chorus of narays echoed around the pitch throughout the match as the ebbs and flows of the game took the audience on a thrilling ride. Some dubious defending (not naming any names but it starts with M and ends in E) led to Canada taking the lead as the left winger beat the offside trap to slot it home. This got the Canadian management team and bench off in a frenzy which only added to the exhilarating atmosphere. Al-Furqan pulled one back with a penalty as our right winger, Bash, was too skillful for the fullback and was taken down in the box. Cool-headed Jajha converted from the spot. At the beginning of the second half, Canada’s striker was fouled on the edge of the box. He then went on to perfectly place the ball into the top corner just out of the reach of goalkeeper Haris. With the wind in their sails, Canada held onto possession, playing the better football out of the two teams, and pushed for a third. Haris was once again called into action on a couple of occasions but Al-Furqan weathered the storm and pushed on the counter. As the intensity of the atmosphere around the ground increased, Al-Furqan did what they could to break down a solid Canadian defense. With not long left in the game, Al-Furqan settled for a corner which was whipped in, and with Canadian bodies doing everything to dampen any attempt at goal, a wayward shot hit the hand of a player in the box, and another penalty was awarded to Al-Furqan. Tempers flared on and off the pitch at the decision but this didn’t hinder Jajha, as once again, he stepped up and hammered it home. A rapturous crowd responded, expecting the last few minutes of the game to be nothing less than end-to-end action – and both teams delivered but to no avail.
Final score, was 2-2.
Al-Furqan vs France – Quarter Final – Saturday 13th May
France’s team included the tournament’s top goal scorer and were a team to watch according to many spectators who had been keeping a close eye on them. Al-Furqan started the game strong, as did France who were keen to prove to people they were not to be underestimated. As the first half ended at 0-0, you couldn’t pick a favourite between the two. However, in the second half, Al-Furqan took it up a gear and showed their quality by taking a hold of the game. Two goals including Atta’s audacious chip on the half volley over the keeper followed by winger Toyyub’s pop from close range that crepe-d into the far corner put the game to bed. Hopefully our paths will croissant again. In the meantime, Al-Furqan had baguette-d themselves a place in the semis. Ok, I’ll stop now. Apologies.
Final score, 2-0 to Al-Furqan
Al-Furqan huddle prior to kick off
Muhummad Ehsan Ahmad – Right Back/Captain – Jamia UK
“This was the first time that Jamia had taken a team to a tournament since corona. The highlight for us was playing Germany A who went onto win. We didn’t get much prep time. We were a small team playing the favourites. We were winning 1-0 and looking on the side-lines we had all of the other teams supporting the underdogs! They scored in the last kick of the game. What a match.”
DEUTSCHLAND DISMANTLE AL-FURQAN
Al-Furqan vs Germany A – Semi-Final – Saturday 13th May
With only a half an hour break between the quarters and semis for Al-Furqan, the players were straight back in at the deep end. This time against the reigning champions. We knew they had been pushed to the brink by Jamia UK in the group stages – which gave us motivation that we could go one further. The magnanimity of the occasion gave Al-Furqan the adrenaline they needed to be the better of the two sides in the first half, playing some high tempo football and creating a couple of chances. With the scores level going into the break, key players and management motivated players with inspiring team talks to get them towards a potential illustrious final against the UK held in Islamabad the following day. However, fatigue had started to set in. Al-Furqan became sluggish and struggled to keep up with the pace of the game. Smelling blood, Germany took advantage and started to play a more fluid and attacking style, finally getting on the scoresheet with 10 minutes to play. Germany added two more before the final whistle as Al-Furqan struggled to break their back line and conjure up anything special to test the German keeper. A flat finish to what had otherwise been an exceptional first tournament for the newly founded team.
Final score, 3-0 to Germany A.
Abdul Lohdi, Attacking Midfielder – Al-Furqan FC
“I was so exhausted in that last game. For most of it I was just thinking… I can’t wait to get into bed.”
Post-game, our despondent team reflected upon their performance and overall weekend. Nothing but positives was to be taken home with the squad, considering how in many people’s opinions, we had overachieved. Nevertheless, as a defeated player, you can’t help but focus on the negatives. Things that could have gone better. No doubt some of the younger players in the squad who were competing in their first tournament, would feel this loss for a while. Some of the senior players in the dressing room told them that it would soon pass – you get used to it. These games come and go and you learn more from a loss than you do from a win. That kind of thing. Who knows how much of that advice they took on board. Either way, they’ll get over it. Especially when we come back and win it next time… InshAllah!
Zafir Malik, Central Defensive Midfielder – Fazl-e-Umar:
“The most memorable take away for me was getting to meet with my Khuddam brothers from all parts of the world. Winning and losing is one aspect of the game, but getting together to compete, or raise slogans, singing Durood and getting the crowd involved, that’s what it’s all about. You can’t put a price on that kind of atmosphere. The battle on the pitch and the love off the pitch. That’s the beauty of tournaments like this one. That’s how Ahmaddiyat works. The only thing that can bring people together like this is Khilafat.”
On exiting the venue, the pick-me-up that everyone needed was announced; Huzoor (aba) would be taking team photos in Islamabad after the final. All of a sudden, the pain of the loss was washed away with this wonderful news!
Al-Furqan FC Team Photo with Beloved Huzoor (aba)
Stood there with Huzoor (aba) sat alongside made us all feel like winners. The highs and lows of the weekend were superseded by this brief moment. The click of a lense, a quick Salam and JazakAllah. I’m sure I speak for everyone that was fortunate enough to be beside beloved Huzoor (aba) for their team photos; this was the real trophy.
Once the photo was taken, we were swiftly moved on by amoomi who directed us towards the masjid. We walked slowly, reflecting upon the awe of the moment that had just occurred. Members of the squad scuttled towards Manager Kurshid Sahib who spoke directly to Huzoor (aba) when he arrived.
“What did Huzoor say to you?”, we all gestured in our own ways as the entire squad huddled around him. He went on to eloquently repeat what Huzoor (aba) had said to him, including his own personal request of prayers for his late father.
“Weren’t we lucky to be the first team to have our picture taken! If it wasn’t for the name ‘Al-Furqan’, alphabetically we could have been anywhere on the list!”
If it hadn’t been for the name, we wouldn’t have been the first team stood ready when Huzoor initially arrived. He spoke with us for a slightly longer period of time than others as he walked over to take his seat at the centre of the team. Once again, the name of this team seemed to solidify itself as something that had brought us additional blessings.
Although the majority of us were huddled closely with a feeling of glee illustrated across our faces, near the back of the group was Jajha, tears streaming down his face, completely overcome with emotion. His first time seeing Khalifatul Masih in person, especially considering the journey he had been on to get here was reflected in his eyes. We all gathered around him to share one last hug before departing for the masjid.
Al-Furqan walk to namaz after having their team photo taken with Huzoor (aba)
There were many unique highlights at this tournament. If I wrote about them all they could easily fill an Al-Hakam newspaper front to back. I guess if I had to pick one, it would be the overhead kick to seal the win for Germany A against Jamia UK in the last second of the game. Or maybe it was Australia’s 40-yard screamer of a freekick against UK in the Quarter finals? But, then again, that did lead to the sudden death penalties where Australia had 4 separate match winning penalties that they missed or had saved by UK’s hero goalkeeper! No. No. Wait. PAAMA Stars walking out to their quarter final singing Durood. Actually, it could have been the pitch invasion after Germany beat UK in penalties (deja vu) in the final. Anyway, regardless of which highlight tips the others for top spot I don’t think any written word would do justice to these moments. You just had to be there.
In loving memory of the late, Maulana Munawwar Ahmad Khursheed Sahib, father of Murabbi Muhummad Kurshid – Manager of Al-Furqan.
“…I told him that I had been appointed as manager of the UK northern team. He said ‘MashAllah, very good.’ with a beaming smile.”
Maulana Munawwar Ahmad Khursheed Sahib
London Book Fair: Islam in the Media Panel Discussion
The London Book Fair 2023 is ago! Which means that thousands of publishers, printers, literary agents and authors are convening in Kensington, London to talk about books. AMYA UK is, for the first time, exhibiting at the Fair—the exhibition is centred around the Sunday Times bestselling book The Great Western Revival, the new edition of Life of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and a general introduction to the Jama’at.
Other than the exhibition the Isha’at department’s main objective is public engagement: talking to people in the book industry about Islam and what type of books would interest them.
The first day of the three-day Fair began today (18 April 2023) with a lecture arranged by AMYA UK entitled Islam in the Media: Freedom of Expression. Three panelists were requested to host the 45 minute long talk. Leaflets about the discussion were given out by Khuddam around the conference room which resulted in many people attending the talk.
The talk began with the host (Ataul Fattir Tahir: lecturer Jamia Ahmadiyya UK) introducing the panelists and asking that freedom of speech is accepted around the world. Are there any limits on it?
Atif Rashid (Jounralist and Editor in Chief the Analyst News): Yes it does. You cannot go around openly abusing and causing harm to people in the name of freedom of expression or speech. There is a fine line between criticising genuinely and trying to inflame the sentiments of others. No one would like their parents abused and everyone has feelings that ought to be respected.
Amer Safir (Editor in Chief Review of Religions): You don’t go around abusing people and the Islamic teachings on this are so beautiful that it says in the Holy Qur’an that do not ridicule the gods of others lest they ridicule Allah out of ignorance.
Host: Both of you are Muslims, you’ve worked on a lot of stories covering Islam in the media. How do you see Islam’s representation in the media today?
Atif Rashid: 0.5% of journalists are Muslims. How many stories of Islam are there? Quite a lot. How can there be a fair representation if it’s the case where there are so many stories on Islam yet the actual number of Muslim journalists are only a few?
I’m going to defend editors a bit. As a Muslim it is our job to put ourselves out there. How are editors going to get the idea as to what Islam is? Which editor has read the Qur’an front to back? We cannot expect the editor to know the ins and outs of religion. We have to approach them and correct their misconceptions. There was a study that ¾ of people in the West get information via the media. Everyone has unconscious bias which you should try to rid yourself of in journalism. But Islam is complicated today so editors do not always know what the true Islam is until and unless we as Muslims go out there and tell them.
Amer Safir: Whilst the media have a responsibility, we have a responsibility to get the message out. We have a responsibility to get out there. Most people are genuine law-abiding citizens they just have normal questions. I have read all of Suleman Rushdie’s books. I would not respond violently. It’s about how you respond as well. There is no justification for what’s happening in some muslim countries, but at the same time there are academic muslims who are not really promoted even though they are at the apex of their fields. There is a question of consistency as well that the negative view of Islam should not always be promoted.
Host: What do you think the role of social media is in challenging perceptions of Islam?
Atif Rashid: Muslim voices need to be amplified on social media. Muslim Communities should active on social media. For example, AMYA UK did flood relief efforts. I wrote the Daily Mail a letter saying this is a positive story that should be covered and explained how this represents the true Islam that most Muslims recognise. They covered the story and gave it a lot of publicity (which was surprising to me) but it goes to show if you approach the media and are continuous and don’t give up you will break through and be able to challenge the negative perceptions of Islam.
Amir Safir: So social media is really powerful. I did a tour of America where me and my team took a board out onto the road that said “I am a Muslim ask me anything” and recorded the responses and interactions that people had with us. That turned into an amazing Youtube video that had over a million views. Similarly close to the Westminster Bridge attacks, we got 300 t-shirts made that said the same words on them and we along with AMYA UK went to Central London. This was a really successful initiative and it went viral and people on the ground approached us and asked questions and we had the opportunity to have genuine conversations with people. That was well promoted on social media as well.
Host: Why is it that Muslims are the most sensitive people when it comes to Freedom of Speech?
Atif Rashid: I would not accept that premise. If you look at anything like the Jewish community they will speak up about anything that is against them and they actively and rightfully fight their corner. Editors are scared to get something wrong. There is an effort to ensure the truth gets out. All communities push for their voice to be heard and it’s not just Muslims.
Amir Safir: Most Muslims are peace loving. Just like Christianity, in Islam there are lots of different sects. Muslims should respond through the pen, by writing not through violence. As long as they do that and do not cross the bounds of tolerance and respect, it is fine. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was founded for this very purpose to bring back the version of Islam that is truthful, logical, spiritual and scientific. There’s a saying that swords can win territories but pens can win hearts. [Shouted out by a member of the audience!] It is a complete misconception that Islam was spread by the sword. There is a revision of history as to how Islam has been depicted. That is what the Review of Religions is trying to resolve.
Host: How can people criticise Islam?
Atif Rashid: I think it comes down to intention. There is a fine line between criticism and mockery. There was a case in Austria where a woman hurt the sentiments of Muslim and she was punished by the courts even after appealing to the European Court of Human Rights which said that her statement was designed to cause pain, so she was punished. This shows that if you go out offending then you cannot live in a society with others. Why do something to upset people and to abuse them. There is a responsibility there.
Amir Safir: As a Muslim you have a right to freedom of speech. You have responsibility as well. Islam does not ordain any punishment for such things. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) was cursed and abused and had to face all sorts of slander but he never responded in kind. Whenever he responded with the sword he did it to protect all religions. There is a different between freedom to insult and freedom to express. You can criticise all you want but what purpose does it serve.
At the end of the panel discussion the floor was opened for questions. The first question came from a lady who asked: what advice would you give to authors about Islam and how do we challenge that negative narrative?
Atif Rashid: I had this dilemma when I was growing up. The only way to respond is to start writing. Everyone can write a blog. Try to get into academia and journalism. In a lot of organisations there is a lot of talk about diversity and inclusion. There are opportunities there. We live in great country, we have really good freedom of speech and are lucky here. Talk to other people who have done it. Muslims should be helping each other as well.
Amir Safir: Don’t give up. You might not get it in the first attempt. Some of the most influential people today are those who have created their own content. Whilst you are exploring the traditional side of things you can create a forum to bring out your own content. If you keep going to different places you will get noticed. Don’t give up. There are opportunities available now.
Question: Tiktok, when it comes to social media, is usually the first port of call, then traditional media catches up. What is the role of traditional media in the next generation?
Atif Rashid: I think traditional media is late around the curve. They are understanding they are loosing audiences and they are moving up slowly towards catching up with others. But definitely they have realised now that they should be ahead of the curve and really embrace new platforms.
This ended the discussion owing to time.
Feedback: a number of people spoke to the team and panellists at the end:
- A lady said that she wished there would have been more time given to this topic as it was so interesting.
- A young man came to meet the panel at the end and said he was writing a novel on the Iraq War and wanted help on how to publish and how Islam should be portrayed.
- A lady (Second year university student) said: the point that it is not just the Muslim Community which is overly sensitive when it comes to freedom of speech and that we should not get defensive about this. All communities raise their voices when they are hurt.
- Another lady who was a Muslim said that it was really good to see Muslims tackling this topic. She expressed that she was a Muslim but did not like to tell people as she felt uncomfortable, but seeing young Muslims openly wearing it on their sleeve was motivating.
MKA National Ijtema 2022
At a time when everyone is feeling the blues after the success of Jalsa Salana UK 2022, the perfect antidote is just around the corner. The National Khuddam and Atfal Ijtema 2022 will be taking place on the 9th, 10th and 11th of September 2022 at Old Park Farm in Kingsley.
This is a perfect opportunity for all Khuddam and Atfal across the country to come together and enjoy the extensive array of academics, activities, discussion and food planned for the entire weekend. Additionally, it’s a great way for Khuddam to rekindle lost friendships after the pandemic.
Our world has taken a turn towards mischief and society is increasingly moving further away from their Lord. The responsibility of bringing the world back to God rests on the shoulders of the youth of today. This duty is arduous and cannot be undertaken unless self-reformation is brought on first. The National Ijtema is a means of directing the Ahmadi Youth of today towards their duties and responsibilities as Ahmadi Muslims.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (aba) said on the occasion of the National Ijtema in 2013,
“It is the Ahmadi Muslim youths who will be the means of leading others towards success and true freedom. To do this, you must learn about your faith so that you can display the highest moral standards in all aspects of your lives. Only when you strive for such high standards will you be able to paint the true picture of peaceful Islam for the people of the world.”
And the statement of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) – who founded Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya – that “Nations cannot be reformed without the reformation of their youth” sets forth such a profound philosophy for all Nations to come. And it is at Ijtema that the youth of Ahmadiyyat can foster these qualities within themselves to become the guiding forces for the future generations.
This year we have a lot to offer all attendees including the academic competitions, exhibitions, indoor and outdoor competitive and non-competitive sports, interactive discussions on hot topics and inspiring talks on the issues that are affecting our young people across the whole country. And of course, National Ijtema would not be complete without The Hub. This year, we have lots of fun and engaging activities taking place in The Hub, and we’re not just talking about the café with Waffles, Ice Cream and Milk Shakes… come and test your mettle with the Scalextric F1 racing challenge and the PlayStation racing experience. Ask a Murabbi your burning questions or take a seat and Chit Chat Chai about Islam, metaphysics and other contemporary issues.
We have all of the usual outdoor team sports taking place such as Football, Volleyball, Cricket, and Tug of war, as well as individual sports competitions such as 100m race and Strong man competition. For indoor sports competitions, we have Weight Lifting, Basketball, Table Tennis and Armed Forces Activities just to name a few.
Unlike last year when we couldn’t offer accommodation to all Khuddam and Atfal due to Covid restrictions, this year we are making necessary arrangements with necessary amenities for our Khuddam and Atfal brothers to stay on-site if they wish to do so. Sanitised mattresses will be provided and those wishing to stay overnight must bring their own bedding.
Due to the still prevalent Covid pandemic, we are still keeping in place some measures to keep all of the attendees safe during the weekend. Wear a mask, keep a safe distance and try to refrain from handshaking and hugging. On arrival, you need to provide proof of a negative LFT no less than 24 hours old so please register your negative LFT on NHS Website before you leave for the Ijtema. We will put a sticker on your AIMS card, and this will give you access to the Ijtema site for the next 3 days.
One of the highlights of the National Ijtema is to spend time in the company of our Beloved Imam, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) so we can elevate our spirituality and increase our love for Khilafat. We were blessed to have the blessed company of Huzoor (aba) in last year’s Ijtema. This year again we are fortunate that InshaAllah Huzoor (aba) will be gracing us with his presence and we can once again benefit from the blessed company and guidance of Beloved Huzoor (aba).
We look forward to welcoming you to the National Ijtema in less than 24 hours! Please visit mka.uk/ijtema-reg to register today and visit ijtema.org.uk for more details about the Ijtema and to access the interactive academic syllabus. Please reach out to your local/Regional Qaid Sahib if you have any questions or email [email protected].
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