MAHATMA Gandhi once said “Unity, to be real, must stand the severest strain without breaking.”
Born on October, 2, 1869 and raised in a Hindu family in coastal Gujarat, he was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist and political ethicist who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule.
Last week, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Tanzania held its 52nd National Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which was held at Msongola Ward in Ilala District in Dar es Salaam and one of the item underscored was Unity and solidarity.
Following this, without a doubt, it shows that the Ahmadiyya community remains dedicated in its commitment to peace and harmony and its motto of ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’.
During the assembly, Deputy Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office (Union Affairs and Environment), Khamis Hamiza Khamis has underscored the need for Tanzanians to preserve the national unity and solidarity.
Mr Khamis argued that doing so enables the country to foster peace and contribute to development.
He made statement when he represented Vice-President, Dr Philip Mpango at event which blossomed nationally and attended by Ahmadis all over Tanzania and witnessed the presence of the Missionary-in-charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana, Maulvi Mohammed Bin Salih among others.
According to him, Jalsa Salana is the spiritual convention of the Jamaat that takes place every year, with thousands of people convening from distant locations to attend the three-day retreat.
“I should also underline the unity and solidarity which Tanzanians have, as I previously stated, we, Muslim leaders must be at the forefront to encourage unity among ourselves, regardless of our tribal and religious differences,” he noted.
In essence, his words served as an illustration of why Tanzania and the entire globe should stick together and support one another.
As a reminder, In May 2016, the International Republican Institute (IRI) organized an event, the Dar es Salaam Unity Festival, which attracted more than 5,000 Tanzanian youth, to share peace messages as a way of unifying over cultural, religious or political differences.
The event included a wide range of activities including peace messages from religious and political leaders, a soccer match between Tanzania Police and the Boda boda riders (commercial motorcycle taxi), motorcycle races, art painting competition, live music performances and lots of dancing.
It is clear that Unity is sung and will in continue in the country because it is the largest nation in the East African Community, is an incredibly diverse country.
It is home to approximately 125 different ethnic groups, large Christian and Muslim communities and more than 100 spoken languages.
Moreover, Tanzania is an incredibly youthful country, with majority of the population younger than 30 years. Engaging this diversity of interests, particularly youth, to collectively and peacefully participate in the country’s political processes is critical to a functional and harmonious democracy.
On the particular day the Jalsa Salana event was led by Amir and Missionary Incharge of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Tanzania, Tahir Mahmood Chaudhri who among other things he preached on love and solidarity.
For his part, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Tanzania Deputy Head (Naib Amir), Abdulrahman Mohamed Ame, noted that religious leaders have the power to use their positions to denounce the deterioration of morals in society and to make sure that they take a lead in protecting morals, especially for children.
He asserted that religious authorities must condemn behaviours that are against both culture and religious norms
Speaking about the purpose of the assembly, Mr Ame said it is intended to enable Ahmadiyya Muslims in particular and foreign masses in general to use the event for spiritual and moral advancement, beneficial social interaction, and most importantly, to increase personal relationships with God.
He said that the main goal of this Convention is to make it possible for every sincere person to individually profit from religious benefits, as they may increase their knowledge and, thanks to Allah’s blessing and facilitation, as their perception may advance.
“One of its other advantages is that this congregational gathering is to encourage mutual introductions amongst all brothers and to fortify the bonds of brotherhood within our community.” he explained
According to him, Jalsa Salana is the spiritual convention of the Jamaat that takes place every year, with thousands of people gathering from far and wide to attend this three-day retreat.
This annual gathering of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community initiated by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who was an Indian religious leader and the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam. Usually, the gathering spans over three days, beginning on Friday after the Friday Sermon.
Officially, the Ahmadiyya movement got access to all of British-East-Africa since 1934.