The 25th National Annual Gathering (Ijtema) of Lajna Imaillah (Women's Auxiliary) Australia was held on 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of August 2008 at the ‘Bait ul Huda' Mosque in Sydney. By the grace of God, members from all over Australia attended this event with immense enthusiasm and zeal.
This is an event held every year, and it is aimed at educating and increasing the knowledge of Lajna and Nasirat about Islam in an enjoyable manner. The purpose of this annual gathering is achieved through a competition-based program whereby all members have a chance to perform in front of an audience, to the best of their ability. Not only does it benefit individuals by gaining knowledge but it also encourages and teaches them techniques for public speaking, proper language/writing proficiencies, and social skills.
Friday, 22nd August 2008.
The day started promptly at 2.30pm, with the recitation of the Holy Quran, followed by the Lajna Imaillah pledge, and a traditional poem (Nazm). In keeping with the celebrations of this most blessed year, the theme of this year’s Ijtema was Khilafat Ahmadiyya Centenary – Celebrating 100 years of Khilafat (Successorship).
The competitions commenced immediately, and both Lajna and Nasirat (young girls) proceeded to their respective areas. The competitions for young girls aged 7-15 were held separately in the upstairs hall of the mosque, whilst the bottom hall catered for the Lajna who were split into two main groups for competitions; one consisting of women aged 25 and above (Level 1) and the other of women aged 16-25 (Level 2).
The first competition of the day was the Tilawat competition (recitation of the Holy Quran) for level 1 Lajna. There were approximately 10 participants and the competition was of a very high standard. The placeholders of this competition were as follows:
1st Place – Sister Najma Shaheen (NSW)
2nd Place – Sister Fazilat Islam (QLD - Brisbane)
3rd Place – Sister Mansoora Sajad (VIC)
The next competition held was the Nazm Competition for Level 1 Lajna. It was a tough competition with eight participants, all of whom had prepared so well. As is the case however, winners had to be selected and the prizes were distributed as follows:
1st Place – Sister Mehwish Choudhry (NSW)
2nd Place – Sister Ayesha Rashid (NSW)
3rd Place – Sister Qanita Ahmad (NSW)
After the competitions for Day 1, the National Majlise Shura (Assembly for mutual consultation and advice) was held. This assembly is held to discuss a number of important issues present across the entire Lajna Imaillah Australia body. The election for the National President of Lajna Imaillah Australia was also held, and Sister Tamseela Saleh has been re-elected as President for a second term.
At approximately 7.30pm the first day of National Ijtema 2008 came to a close with evening prayers followed by Dinner.
Saturday, 23rd August 2008
At approximately 8.00am, Day 2, Session 1 of the Lajna Imaillah Ijtema commenced with the Inter Majalis (Branch) Sports Competition. Members from the various branches all across Australia took part in these competitions. Due to the wet grounds, many sports were restricted to indoors, despite this, there was a healthy turn out and all the ladies were excited and energetic.
At 10:00am, the religious phase of the Ijtema started in the traditional manner with a recitation of the Holy Quran followed by a beautifully presented Nazm. The morning was a bit cold in the hall but due to the excitement and anticipation of the day’s proceedings, no one seemed to notice.
The National President of Lajna Imaillah Australia then addressed the gathering. She spoke on the blessings of Khilafat and how lucky we all are to be part of and witness the Khilafat Centenary as it is for many, a once in a lifetime event. This projected a feeling of inspiration and emotions were running high. The National President then concluded her address by giving the Lajna a message from the Fifth Caliph and current Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Worldwide, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba.
Following her address, the competitions were then underway, with the first competition of the day being the Tilawat competition for Lajna Level 2. The girls had prepared very well for this competition by putting emphasis on their pronunciations and tone of the Tilawat. By the end of the Tilawat competition, all girls did very well and it made it difficult for the judges to decide who will be the winners.
The English Speech competitions were next and approximately six members took part in the Level 2 competition and 10 in the Level 1 competition. All participants had presented astounding speeches on topics such as the ‘Role of Khilafat-e-Ahmadiyya in our present time’ and ‘Ahmadiyyat – the only assurance for world peace’. Due to the quality of all the speeches, the judges once again found it difficult to allocate positions.
questions that were posed to them and overall the participants had prepared extremely well for this competition.
The first session for Saturday 23rd of August, 2008 thus came to an end followed by afternoon prayers and lunch.
The second session started on time at 3.00pm in the traditional manner with a recitation of the Holy Quran and a beautiful Nazm.
The first program in this session was a prize distribution ceremony for the competitions that had taken place during this session. Prizes were distributed as follows:
Tilawat Competition - Level 2
1st Place: Rana Nouman (NSW)
2nd Place: Rushda Jat (QLD - Brisbane)
3rd Place: Najm-ul-Sehar (NSW)
Speech Competition - Level 2
1st Place: Maria Khanum
2nd Place: Rafia Ahmedi & Farhat Khurram (NSW)
3rd Place: Bushra Khalid
Speech Competition - Level 1
1st Place: Embreen Khan (NSW)
2nd Place: Faiza Muzaffar (NSW)
3rd Place: Rozia Sharif and Noor Nisha (NSW)
1st Place: Branch Al-Fatima (NSW)
2nd Place: Branch Al-Amina & Al-Khadija (NSW)
3rd Place: Branch Mariyam Sadeeqa (NSW)
After the prize distribution, the Urdu speech competition was held for Lajna level 1 and 2. Participants had prepared their speeches with great care, where the main focus of topics was on the celebrations of Khilafat Centenary. All speeches were presented in an impeccable manner, clearly depicting the time and effort participants had put in. The confidence and the enthusiastic attitude of the speakers made this event a very enjoyable one.
The next even to take place was perhaps the most anticipated event of the day. To celebrate the Khilafat Centenary Year, a Musha’irah (poetry contest) was held for the very first time.
wonders and prepared an outstanding stage that set the scene impeccably. They created the perfect backdrop to a wonderful event.
The President of the Brisbane Lajna Branch, Sister Abida Mubashar was the hostess of the Khilafat Centenary Musha’irah. She started the program with a brief introduction of the event and recited a bit of her own poetry, after which other participants shared their own literary talent. All the participants recited their written poetry with such a passion that it brought a tear to ones eye and was a true testament to the talent held by Lajna Imaillah Australia.
Sunday, 24th August 2008.
The final day of Ijtema started very early in the morning for some Lajna taking part in the Inter Majalis sports competitions. It was a very cold and crisp morning, but participants put that behind them and showed immense strength by going to the sports field and playing for their respective branches.
things, this competition too had to come to an end. Luckily the next competition was equally as entertaining being the Extempore Speech Competition. This event was really interesting because both participants’ knowledge and confidence was tested. A number of contestants did get confused and forgot what they wanted to say, but their courage must be applauded.
The Lajna Bait Bazi (Urdu Poetry) competition was next. The competition was very tough this year with all participants being so well prepared and none being ready to give up. Eventually there were two first positions, Sister Rana Nouman and Sister Hinna Munnaza both from NSW.
To close the first session, the gathering was then addressed by the respected Missionary of Brisbane Mr Shahid Masood and the President and Missionary in-charge (Ameer) of Australia Mr Mahmood Ahmed. The respected Missionary was first to address the Lajna and started his speech by speaking on the blessings of the Institution of Khilafat. He said that we are very fortunate to have the blessing of Khilafat and he also stressed upon the need of Khilafat in this era. He then went on to talk about the importance of obedience saying that obedience does not end with the love for Khilafat, we need to be obedient not only to Khalifa of the time but also to the people appointed by him namely the duty holders in the Ahmadiyya Organisation, in short we must respect the entire system of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat.
success does not start at this occasion but have been very active through out the year. Their preparation for the exams and all other events held during this year shows how much this Khilafat Centenary means to them. He also stated that in Australia, we are a very small Jamaat but still Lajna has made remarkable contributions in all fields. He reminded all Lajna that the best gift given to the Jamaat this year by the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad aba is the Spiritual Education Program.
Session Two – Concluding Session
After lunch, session two started as usual in the traditional manner. The National General Secretary of the Women’s Organisation, Mrs Farhat Khurram, then presented the Annual report of the Women’s Auxiliary of Australia. This gave everyone an overview of the work and progress of each department over the year (2007-2008).
The much awaited prize distribution ceremony was next in line. Awards were handed out to individuals, sports teams and also best branch in each department.
2007-2008 Best Nasirat of The Year Award
2007-2008 Best Lajna Branch of The Year Award
First Place: Queensland – Brisbane
The National President of Lajna Imaillah Australia, Mrs Tamseela Saleh then concluded the program with some final remarks and thanked everyone for their efforts and led a silent prayer to close the 25th Annual National Ijtema 2008.
The organizers, and participants of this Ijtema have worked extremely hard to make this a successful event, but their efforts would have been fruitless without the participation of each and every single member of Lajna Imaillah Australia.
Jazakomullah (May Allah reward you) to everyone who worked hard to ensure that the program was a success and may Almighty Allah enable us all to increase our efforts and improve ourselves even more in the future.
Be sure to visit the Image Gallery for more pictures from the 25th Annual National Ijtema 2008 – Coming Soon.
Edited by: Embreen Khan – Editor In Charge Ladies and Families
Reported & Written by: Rafia Ahmedi, Ayesha Rashid & Embreen Khan