Thousands of British Muslims from cities, towns and villages across the UK will next week travel to the Hampshire countryside where they will join Muslims from across the world in pledging allegiance to Caliphate and in seeking spiritual guidance.
More than 30,000 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC) will next weekend offer their pledges at a three-day international event, known as the ‘Jalsa Salana’, in Alton, Hampshire. The Jalsa Salana is the largest and longest standing Muslim convention in the UK, with 2014 marking the 48th year that the event has taken place in the UK.
Those attending the event will offer their pledge of allegiance to His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Worldwide Head and Caliph of the AMC. They will also listen to a series of speeches delivered by His Holiness on a variety of subjects promoting spirituality, peace and compassion.
The AMC is a peaceful Islamic movement, established in the UK for more than 100 years. Its founder, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, claimed to be the Mahdi and Messiah prophecised in the Christian, Jewish and Islamic scriptures. He stood against all forms of cruelty, reaffirming that true Islam is a religion of peace.
The event’s participants will travel from 89 different countries to attend the Jalsa Salana. Those taking part in the pledge of allegiance from the UK will be travelling to Hampshire from the following locations:
Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Forfar, Perth, St. Andrews, Stirling, Fife, Rosyth, Dunfermline, Glasgow, and Edinburgh.
NORTH OF ENGLAND
North West: Manchester, Stockport, Bolton, Liverpool, Rochdale, Stoke-On-Trent, Oldham, Blackburn, Preston, Blackpool, Bury, Salford, Wigan, Darwen, Chorley, and Accrington.
North East: Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees, and Darlington.
Yorkshire: York, Scarborough, Leeds, Bradford, Keighley, Huddersfield, Spen Valley, Barnsley, Sheffield, Rotherham, and Doncaster.
Humberside and Lincolnshire: Scunthorpe, Hull, Grimsby, and Skegness.
West Midlands: Birmingham, Halesowen, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Burton, Warwick, Coventry and Leamington Spa.
East Midlands: Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Northampton, Peterborough, Milton Keynes, and Cambridge.
Oxford, Reading, Luton, Watford, Langley, Slough, Maidenhead, Guildford, Aldershot, Farnham, Southampton, Bournemouth, Ashford, Crawley, Brighton, Gillingham, Rochester, and Canterbury.
Harrow, Greenwich, Lewisham, Wandsworth, Merton, Kingston, Croydon, Richmond, Walthamstow, Enfeild, Aldgate, Woodford, Redbridge, Newham, East Ham, Ealing, Southall, Housnlow, Slough, Greenford, Wembley, Feltham, Staines, Uxbridge, Hayes, Northolt, Langley, Maidenhead, Chiswick, Fulham, and Hammersmith.
WALES & SOUTH-WEST ENGLAND
Rhyl, Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Bristol, Cornwall, Plymouth, Gloucester and Cheltenham.
Key features of the event include:
30,000 people – Largest Muslim Convention in the UK
48 years – Longest standing Muslim convention in the UK
89 countries – Delegates attend from 89 countries across the world (North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, South & East Asia, and Australasia)
Pledge of allegiance to the Caliph – With a participation of 30,000 and tens of millions via satellite on Sunday
200 acres – The site is a Hampshire farm, which is turned into a global village in the two weeks prior to the event and taken down within a week. The facilities include accommodation, kitchen, food, bazar, library, book stalls, TV and radio stations
5,000 volunteers – The gathering is organised by volunteers from across the UK (2,000 women and 3,000 men)
80 million people – All proceedings are transmitted to more than 80 million people worldwide and simultaneously translated into more than a dozen languages
His Holiness delivers five speeches across the three days
Flag hoisting of the Union Jack by the National President of AMC UK
300,000 rotis (slices of Asian bread) – All cooking is done on-site by volunteers. This includes the running of a bread factory that produces 300,000 rotis at a rate of 10,000 an hour
Exhibitions on the community and human rights is held throughout the three days