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Hospitality at Jalsa Salana UK [Annual Gathering, Spiritual Moral Benefits] Instructions & Reminders


Peace be upon you.
Peace and mercy of Allah be on you… The Jalsa Salana [Annual Convention] UK is Insha Allah Ta’ala going to start from the coming Friday. By the favour of Allah the Exaltedthe arrival of guests from other countries has begun, to participate in the Jalsa. As the days of Jalsa will come near, the number of guests from near and far countries will increase. Likewise, guests from other cities of UK will begin to come.

Now non-Ahmadis and non-Muslims guests from UK and other countries come to Jalsa to have blessings. Among them representatives of some countries, governmental officials, influential literate people are included. Now people related to press and media are increasing too. All these non-ahmadis watch everything of us with deep sight and usually they get impressed, especially when they see our system which is all volunteer. This thing opens further ways of Conveying the Message, more introductions is done, they make effort to know more about Ahmadiyyat. Thus, during these days, our volunteers consisting of men, women, girls, boys and children do a silent conveying of message.

And through the press, the introduction of Ahmadiyya-Islam spreads across the length and the breadth of the world on a very vast scale. Now, in common days, the attention of press is drawn to Jama'at due to certain events. For example, after the events of terrorism in Europe, Ahmadi men and women made effort to deliver true message of Islam to the world, our press section played a great role and interviews of Murabiyyan came up. In reference to peaceful teaching of Islam, the world press has introduced the Jama'at vastly in world. As these events are increasing, the introduction of Jama'at is increasing more. Anyway, Allah the Exalted is providing vast means of introduction of Jama'at by this medium, during Jalsa days.

Through programs and speeches of Jalsa, Ahmadis come to learn and make effort to get progress in ruhaniyyat (spirituality).. The guests from outside of Jama'at and the press listen to our teaching regarding knowledge and faith. They make practical observation of beautiful teaching of Islam in general environment of Jalsa, by observing Ahmadi men and women working with full passions of hospitality…..It is great means of conveying the message.

Thus there is very large role of volunteer workers. Workers, serving at any place and position, have their own importance. Every common helper and officer should keep this importance before them. The attitude and selfless service, even by a drinking-water-presenter child, makes him gainer of pleasure of Allah the Exalted. It impresses the non-Ahmadis too. Guests mention it too.

Officers too should remember that they should not get services of helper-workers only by considering them serving persons, but they too should make effort to serve with humility and like common helper-worker. They should keep their attitudes soft and supportive with their workers and other guests too. Impressions of humbleness and kindness on face should be visible. Language should be soft and high levels of morals should be set.

It should be always be remembered that hospitality is an important department. Hospitality is not only the name of organizing food, water and living place. Rather each department of Jalsa Salana is hospitality regardless of its title. Whoever attends Jalsa is the guest, and it is essential for every person who is appointed for any duty of Jalsa Salana, to take care of guests’ needs with available resources. That is why Hazrat Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) once expressed his passions, which is principle of charter of action for us: He (a.s.) said on an occasion: I am always concerned that no guest experiences trouble. Rather, I always emphasize that the guests should be provided with as much comfort as possible………..The heart of a guest is fragile like a mirror and breaks from slightest hurt.

With regards to this, the Promised Messiah (as) expressed his sentiments at one place, which are a guiding principle for us. On one occasion the Promised Messiah (as) said, "I am always concerned that no guest experiences trouble. Rather, I always emphasize that the guests should be provided with as much comfort as possible………..The heart of a guest is fragile like a mirror, and breaks from slightest of hurts.

Thus, we should remember this thing and we should push ourselves at times, if ever such circumstances arise, to make effort to provide comfort and ease for the guest.

Hazrat Khalifatul Messiah V (may Allah be his Helper) said: I say to the supervisors of every department that if their conduct is gentle, their morals are good, they are patient and they have plenty of courage to tolerate unpleasant words, subsequently, their helpers and assistants will also demonstrate and manifest such conduct with the guests and will establish excellent examples of hospitality.

But if there is tenseness is on the faces of officers, there is harshness in words, and they have the habit not to listen with attention and to tolerate, then their assistants and helpers will also demonstrate same attitudes.

Thus, in order to establish the highest standards of hospitality, the officers in each department should continuously assess their state and make effort to take their humbleness to the extreme.

As mentioned earlier, not only one or two departments come under the category of hospitality. Rather, every department is a department of hospitality at Jalsa Salana whether it is department of lodging, cooking food or presenting food, or system of transport, or system of cleaning and cleaning of washrooms, or nizamat which consist of doctors and paramedics, or path-guides (khuddam on duty or others), department of security and other sections. Each is host in their respective circle.

The organizers of individual, collective and tent living should take special care of beddings of ladies and children. No doubts it is summer but the weather can become cool suddenly. In Hadiqatul Mahdi, where Jalsa will take place, temperature is 4 or 5 degrees less that London. Thus those who bring tents etc with them for sleep, they should be watchful that they should have good arrangement of beds for night. The experience of last year is that people with children became worried at night because of cold.

Likewise those who serve food, they have direct contact with guests, I always remind them, Huzur (a.s.) said, that while they put food in the plate, they should consider the like of guest. Though it is difficult, but consider it as much possible. If there is some problem then answer the guest in polite manner, instead of harsh words, with which, the passions of other are not hurt.

This year, plates for food are changed. The plates which were in use previously, it is said about them that food at specific high temperature should not be offered in those because coming of certain poisonous chemical. Our food is quite hot (temperature-wise). Officer Jalsa has showed Huzur (a.s.) the plates which will be used this year, they are made by a special type of paper, that is why people who will put food in them should be careful. Perhaps these will be felt thin, then use in double. In this regard, food distributing workers should be correctly guided.

The system of transport is an important system. This time, due to parking at far, mostly the shuttle busses are arranged. This system should have to be maximum active so that people should reach at Jalsa in time.

The guests coming in car should be mindful that they might get parking at far, might be at large distance from Jalsa-Gah (Jalsa-area). That is why they should start their journey with proper margin of time.

Likewise, there are other departments. Each one of them should make the methods of their work and the training of their workers by the thinking to provide maximum ease to guests…. The workers of khidmat e khalq (serving people) and security shall have to work with more alertness than before, in view of current situation of the world. All this work has to be done by taking care of self-respect and passions of guests.

In checking of card and other checking and scanning etc, full attention will have to be paid from day one to final day. Every time a person goes out, he will have to be checked again. Care has to be taken such guest should not feel only he is being watched or mistreated.

Anyway, the arrangements of Jalsa are such that we do them temporarily. Huzur (a.s.) said he is well aware that it cannot be fully clear of mistakes and shortcomings. Rather mistakes and shortcoming get developed in permanent arrangements too. But we should make effort we should provide ease to guests by using our faculties and capacities as much possible.

Each person attending Jalsa is a guest of Hazrat Promised Messiah (a.s.). And due to them being guest of Hazrat Promised Messiah (a.s.), we have to consider each guest the special one and have to do full effort for his hospitality.

Though, under the arrangement of Jalsa Salana, there is a department of overseeing, its workers see the shortcomings in workings of various departments and through their supervisor, they inform the management of Jalsa Salana, But the supervisor of each department should place some people at duty they should check the shortcomings of their own department and report to him in evening…..It will help to have improvements during Jalsa and for next year too. Hazrat Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) drew attention to this and said at an occasion: The Mohtamim of langar should continue to review the needs of guests. But since he is alone person, that is why it not kept in mind and some matters are not seen, that is why the other person should remind him.

The best way for reminding is that officer themselves appoint some people for reminder so that he keep making review where is shortcoming.

Hospitality of poor and rich should be same.

For our guidance, Hazrat Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has guided us in little matters too, and has taught method to do hospitality fine ways. He (a.s.) said on an occasion about naive guests (e.g. who come from other countries) : It is our duty that we should keep every need of them in view. Sometimes, one does not know way to washroom, he feels severe trouble, that is why it is essential that lot of care should be exercised for the needs of guests….The people who are made substitute about such works, it is their duty that they should not let arise any kind of complaint, because people come with reality and sincerity to search the truth, by traveling from hundreds and thousands of miles.

Though he (a.s.) mentioned these words regarding non-ahmadis, his advice are present about hospitality for Jama'at too.

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Peace be upon you.
The guests from outside Jama'at and people from press, who join our Jalsa, they keep overview our general attitudes. So the level of good morals of workers of each department should be very vast.

On an occasion, Hazrat Promised Messiah (a.s.) said: According to my principle, if any guest come and it so happens that situation reaches to name calling then it should be tolerated.

So the harsh attitude of the guest should be tolerated too, regardless they are from Jama'at or not.

A writer once wrote about the level of hospitality of Hazrat Promised Messiah (a.s.) that The Great Hazrat, Hazrat Hujjatullah Messiah Mo’ud (on whom be peace) is great and live model of hospitality of Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). The people, who had the opportunity to live with him a lot, they well know that a little trouble to any hospitable, whether he is in Jama'at or not, makes Huzur restless. For sincere dears, even more excitement and affection is present his soul.

Thus we should show this excitement and affection at maximum for the guests who come for Jalsa.

What did Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) told us about the importance and respect of guest. Regarding this, it is mentioned in a tradition that he (s.a.w.) said that, For the Eman at Allah and Last Day, three things must have to be done. That is, say good thing or remain silent, respect neighbour, and third is to respect your guest.

Thus respect of guest is one of the condition among the conditions for Eman on Allah and Last Day. There are more conditions. We can say that for the high standard of Eman, hospitality is a condition.

Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) used to care about betterment of religious state and tarbiyyat. It is stated in a tradition that, after presenting meal to guests, he (s.a.w.) sent them, according to their desire, to mosque for sleep, then woke them for Fajr Salaat at dawn.

In Jalsa, department of tarbiyyat is made for it, that they should keep drawing attention of guests to offer Salaat and wake them for Fajr Salaat and Tahajjud Salaat, but with softness and love.

Hazrat Khalifatul Messiah V (may Allah be his Helper) said: Anyway these were few things which I said regarding guests. May Allah the Exalted enable all workers to serve guests of Hazrat Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) in best manner.

Reference: Based on Friday sermon (July 21, 2017) by Hazrat Khalifatul Messiah V (may Allah help him with His Mighty Help) , UK, alislam.org -- mta.tv