Editorial: Annual Jalsa and Spiritual Elevation
The Light (Pakistan), 8th January 1984 Issue (Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 3 and 5)
The 69th Annual Jalsa of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement concluded successfully at Darus Salaam, Lahore on 25th December 1983. Members from all over Pakistan attended the important Annual Gathering with usual enthusiasm and religious fervour. Prominent among them were delegates from Fiji Islands, United Kingdom, United States of America, Suriname and Kashmir. Some of the important topics discussed during the three-day sessions were, “Islam and Communism”, “New Trends in Present-day Christianity”, “Penal System of Islam”, “Role of Religion”, “How to Propagate the Message of Islam in the World” and “Our Accountability before Allah”. The highlight of the Jalsa was the generous response by members of the Community to the appeal for distribution of sets of eight books on Islam to libraries all over the world.
The most important aspect of the Annual Gathering was, and has always been, the spiritual elevation of the members. During the three days, Tahajjud [pre-Dawn] prayers and Dars-i-Quran [discourse of the Holy Quran] in the morning provide spiritual sustenance to the participants. Acts of devotion performed in a congregation instil unusual strength, zeal and spiritual ecstasy into the hearts. Individuals of a community who have dedicated themselves to practise and propagate Islam to the world need a spiritual calibre of a very high order. That is why the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement frequently exhorted his followers to follow finer ways of taqwa [piety]. In other words, it means to observe commandments of Allah in all sincerity and devotion. It is the inner illumination which brings about spiritual revolution as envisaged by Islam and its Holy Founder, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Muslims today need the force of spiritual illumination more than armament and armed forces. The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement foresaw spiritual needs of the time and initiated a spiritual Movement for saving Muslims from the evil designs of the West. The idea has not so far been generally appreciated by the Muslims. It is high time that they should objectively study their political and military failures in the light of international machinations. Muslims need reorientation of their religious and political thinking. If Islam means, “peace within and peace without”, then the whole fabric of our thinking and action should be based on “persuasion” and not on “force and coercion”. The Ahmadiyya Movement stands for universalism of the teachings of Islam and has presented Islam to the enlightened people of the West with commendable success. If we are eager to relive Islam in the present time, it should be a rational Islam, a progressive Islam and an Islam which stands for freedom and human dignity.