Jalsa Salana, Australia
The Annual Convention
History in the making - Huzur's Visit to Australia 2006
Day 9 - 19/04/06 - Trip to Canberra
Newspaper Articles: 1 | 2
Photogalleries: Huzur's(aba) visits Canberra Part 1 | Part 2
On the 19th of April 2006, another chapter was written in the historic tour of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad to Australia.
Travelling to and Arriving in Canberra
- Huzur (aba) led silent prayers in front of the mission house at 9:10am before his entourage left with him for Canberra, the nation's Capital.
- At 10:40am, Huzur (aba) stopped for a coffee break around 50kms away from Goulburn. Huzur(aba) very kindly advised his Private Secretary to arrange a cup of coffee for all the members traveling with him.
- After more than 3 hours since the departure from Sydney, Huzur (aba) arrived in Canberra at 12:30pm, where he directly checked into the Saville Park Suites. His Holiness had a short rest on the 6th floor and enjoyed some lunch as well.
- He then led Zuhr and Asr prayers at 1:35pm on the ground floor of the Hotel in the 'Russell Drysdale Room.'
Tour of The National Museum of Australia
- At 2:40pm Huzur (aba) arrived at the National Museum of Australia, where he was greeted by the Director of the Museum, Craddock Morton. The National Museum of Australia discovers the land, nation and people of Australia and celebrates the social history of Australia in a unique manner. It is a major tourist attraction and has won the Australian Tourism Awards in 2004/05.
- Apart from our Ahmadiyya Muslim Camera Crew, a photographer from the Canberra Times was also present. The religious reporter from the Canberra Times, Graham Downie was also there and had a long conversation with Huzur (aba) while walking towards the starting point of the Museum tour. Mrs. Helen Musa, a member of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat who resides in Canberra and is also an editor for the Canberra Times introduced Huzur (aba) to the tour guide and then the tour commenced.
- The tour started with information on the Tasmanian tiger, a species that is now extinct.
- Then Huzur (aba) was shown the First Wheat Fleet to come to Australia. There was also information on the father of the wheat industry, William Farrer who was from Australia. Huzur (aba) was quite interested in this wheat display as his educational and work background was in the field of agriculture.
- The tour guide then showed Huzur (aba) various displays and exhibits of the first Australians (Aborigines). This included a map of the trading routes and exhibits of the various materials that used to be traded. Different types of stone tools used by the Aborigines were also exhibited. Huzur (aba) enquired from the tour guide if these were used as spearheads. The tour guide answered that they were used for a number of different purposes and one of them was a spearhead.
- An interactive historical timeline was then shown to Huzur (aba), which highlighted the large amount of time it took for the whole of the nation to be explored.
- Various other displays and exhibits of the history and culture of Australia were also shown to Huzur (aba) and the tour came to an end at 3:15pm.
Afternoon Tea Reception with the Diplomats and the Govt. Officials
- Huzur (aba) then had a short break before entering the 'Friends Lounge' in the upstairs section of the National Museum for the Afternoon Tea Reception at 3:45pm.
- The Director of the National Museum welcomed Huzur (aba) all the guests present at the reception. He them mentioned a few of the tours and exhibitions currently on-going at the Museum. He further highlighted that the Museum prides itself on portraying the multicultural & diverse society in Australia and the role, faith plays in the society as well.
The Welcome Presentation
- After this Musa Bin Masran recited a few verses of the Holy Quran and then presented the English translation.
- National Ameer and Missionary In-Charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Australia, Maulana Mahmood Ahmad then addressed the audience with a brief introduction of his Holiness. He began by wishing peace and blessings of Allah on everyone and thanked everyone for coming to the reception.
- He then began introducing Huzur (aba) by mentioning that he is the great grandson of the Promised Messiah (as) and founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam.
- His Holiness was born in 1950 in Rabwah, Pakistan and later on he completed his Masters Degree in Agricultural Economics.
- He devoted his life to God and humanity since his early age.
- He then served in Ghana for 8 years making a special contribution in the field of agriculture. He further developed methods of growing wheat, which was a significant step Ghana in attaining self-sufficiency. This was acknowledged by the President of Ghana.
- He then later on served in Pakistan as well, where he was also arrested on charges including blasphemy. This was under a wave of persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan. However, he was released after 10 days.
- Huzur (aba) was elected Khalifa and the 5th Successor of the Promised Messiah (as) on the 22nd of April 2003 in London.
- Worthy Ameer mentioned that the supreme concern for Huzur (aba) is that his followers can attain closeness to Allah, worship Him in the right manner and serve humanity.
- Maulana Mahmood Ahmad also highlighted that Islam teaches love and affection for other people as well as teaching to uphold and abide by the law of the nation where they live at all times.
- He then mentioned the recent protests against the Danish cartoons and stated that such acts of violence are truly condemnable and the response that true Muslims should show is that of patience and protest through strong and wise arguments.
- He said that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat was fortunate to have him in our country and he ended his address by praying that May Allah grant Huzur (aba) success in his mission of peace with God and human beings.
Huzur(aba) addressing the audience
- Huzur (aba) then commenced his speech at 4pm by wishing peace and blessings of Allah upon the audience.
- His main theme of the speech was how to establish peace and mutual cooperation in the society, with reference to the teachings of the Holy Quran and the practice of the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him).
- Huzur (aba) mentioned the notion existing among the majority of the Non-Muslims that Islam teaches force and violence in order to keep its social standing.This is totally false and Huzur (aba) gave proof of this from the Holy Quran, which holds the solution for all social, economic and religious issues.
- The religion of Islam is always targeted, but when some Non-Muslims attack and bombard innocent people, religion is never attached to their actions.
- Huzur (aba) also mentioned that the Promised Messiah (as) highlighted the true teachings of Islam through the example of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
- His Holiness then quoted a few verses of the Holy Quran that teach moral values to establish peace and justice in the society.
- Next, Huzur (aba) talked about Islamic history and Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) life. Throughout his life, he under went persecution and suffering along with his companions, hence he eventually migrated from Makkah to Medina.
Huzur(aba) addressing the audience
- Then Islam started to spread among the Arabs. A very vital point and fact mentioned by Huzur (aba) was that Islam spread faster through the peaceful years, hence defying the allegation that Islam was spread through force and violence.
- The Quranic teaching of not letting enmity make you transgress is a beautiful teaching. Huzur (aba) advised the audience to examine this teaching and observe how much effort Islam makes to establish peace.
- Turning to the concept of Jihad, Huzur (aba) highlighted that the Holy Quran only permits fighting for self-defence in the cause of Allah, but does not allow you to transgress.
- The Holy Quran teaches us to fight until there is no persecution and religion can be practiced freely. This teaching is for governments and not for any group or association.
- There is no hostility allowed unless you have been transgressed and war causes nothing but disorder.
- Huzur (aba) highlighted from the Holy Quran that there is no compulsion in religion.
- Equal justice is vital to create peace and to establish justice; one has to act in equity and in fairness to your enemy.
- Huzur (aba) explained the above point with reference to the Holy Prophet's (PBUH) teachings.
- His Holiness concluded his speech by mentioning that the World stands on the face of destruction, so he prayed that this beautiful World can be saved.
- Huzur (aba) finally thanked all the dignitaries for attending the reception.
Exchange of Souvenirs
- The Director of the National Museum, Craddock Morton then presented a traditional boomerang to Huzur (aba).
- Huzur (aba) also then presented commemorative shields to the Director of the Museum and to Hon. Andrew Robb, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration & Multicultural Affairs.
Meeting the dignitaries
- At 4:30pm tea and refreshments were served and at this time Huzur (aba) met all the guests and dignitaries present at the reception.
Huzur(aba) meets French Ambassador, John Lepi Lanyasunya
- There were a number of dignitaries present apart from Hon. Andrew Robb which included Leanda Kitchen, Director National Museum of Australia, Mr Francois Descouyete, French Ambassador, John Lepi Lanyasunya, High Commissioner Kenya, Excellency Ashraf-Ud-Doula, High Commissioner Bangladesh, Kofi Sekyiamah, High Commissioner of the Republic of Ghana, Gary Humphries, Senator for ACT, Bishop George Browning of the Anglican Church, Archbishop Francis Carroll of the Catholic Church, Brendan Smyth, Leader of Opposition ACT, Evisaki Druadrua Raratabu Kedrayate and Counselor Fijian High Commission, Susan E. Andrews, Embassy of USA, Mr Sharifuddin SHAARIN Counsellor, Malaysian High Commission, Mr GONG Bao First Secretary, Chinese Embassy, Mr Alain-Denis Henchoz, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland, Mr Reto Picenoni, Embassy of Switzerland, Mr Gary Humphries, Senator for ACT, Professor James Haire Australian Centre for Christianity & Culture, Mr Bernard Collaery, Mrs. Hildegard Dunkl, Cultural Attaché, German EmbassyACT human rights lawyer, Mr Domenic Mico, Director National Multicultural Festival, Mr Graham Downie, Ms Alanna Maclean and Ms Lyn Mills of Canberra Times, Dr Thu Nguyen-Hoen, Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Dr Rapin Quinn, Officer in charge of Muslim schools Federal Department of Education, Science and Training.
Huzur(aba) with Australian leaders of different faiths
- A power point slide show was being displayed on a projector in the background highlighting some brief information and history about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
- Brother Musa Bin Masran and Sister Helen Musa were the organisers of this very accomplishing event in Canberra. They and Jamat Canberra put in a lot of effort to make this visit a success, Jazahomullah!
Departure back to Sydney
- Huzur (aba) left the National Museum of Australia at 4:55pm to return to Sydney.
- His entourage stopped over at 6:35pm for a coffee break and then finally arrived back at Bait-Ul-Huda Mosque in Sydney at 8:20pm, where after he led Maghrib and Isha prayers at 8:30pm to end a long and tiring day for his Holiness.
Signing off for today, the 20th of April 2006,10:40am
Ahmadiyya Australia Team