10 ways to (spiritually) prepare for Jalsa Salana 2013
With only a few days left until Jalsa Salana 2013, preparation is vital, especially if you’re camping out through the cold nights! Sleeping bags, tents (you can hire them) and your toiletries are essential.
Bringing a spare tyre for your car would definitely help and extra nappies for the kids would certainly come to use. Don’t forget to bring a hat or cap and a prayer mat just in case the marquee is overcrowded! However, if you’re not physically coming to Jalsa, you can still participate through MTA and Jalsa Connect of course.
With all these material checks in place, our focus can turn now to the most important preparation; our spiritual one. Here are 10 ways to prepare, spiritually:
- 5 daily prayers (Essential) - This goes without saying. In order to fully experience the spiritual sense of Jalsa we must pay full attention obligatory prayers. After all the 5 daily prayers are meetings with Allah the Almighty.
Concerning prayers Khalifatul Messih Al-Khamis (atba) as said:
“… A vital purpose of Jalsa is to establish a relationship with God. So, it’s imperative for those who participate in Jalsa Salana, both guests and workers that they remember in order to establish this relationship they must pay full attention to their prayers and nawafil. Because through these (prayers) our problems will be resolved…” (Friday sermon – July 22nd 2011).
- Extra merit (Nawafil) – From hadith it’s clear that nawafil are a means of attaining special nearness to Allah, so increasing your nawafil will certainly develop the soul for Jalsa. Tahajjud is a also a very unique form of nawafil, as God says:
“And wake up for It (the Qur’an) in the latter part of the night supererogatory service for thee It may be that thy lord will raise thee to an exalted station” (Qur’an 17:80).
The Holy Prophet(saw) has stated “The best prayer after the obligatory prayers is the night prayer.” (Muslim) , if you’re having trouble waking up (don’t we all) then why not read the ‘Jalsa Connect’ blog : “Tahajjud: 13 ways to wake up without an alarm clock”.
- Give generously (sadqah) - Apart from Zakat (which is obligatory), sadqah should be given. This is a voluntary contribution. The Holy Prophet saw has said the following about sadqah.
“Save yourself from the fire even if it is by offering a fragment of a date (as sadqah) and for one who does not even have that much , by saying a kind word” (Bukhari).
- Self control (fasting) – Almost every religion emphasizes on fasting, but Islam is at the forefront. In hadith it is reported that the Holy Prophet (saw) would fast on Mondays and Thursdays as these are the days when our deeds are shown to God (Abu Daud) . Our beloved Huzoor (atba)has also advised the Jamaat to keep at least one voluntary fast per week for those suffering in Pakistan for being Ahmadi
(There’s still one Thursday left before Jalsa Salana).
- 10 conditions of bai’at – some questions to ask yourself before coming to Jalsa are “Why am I Ahmadi?” and “What makes an Ahmadi?”. It may sounds obvious but often we forget the actual conditions the Promised Messiah (as ) set out for being a true Ahmadi.
Visit this link for the 10 conditions of bai’at: http://www.alislam.org/r.php?q=10%20conditions
- Zikr (remembrance) – Remembrance of Allah is an essential part in preparing spirituality for Jalsa Salana. For a list of useful prayers why not read the ‘Jalsa Connect’ blog : “Don’t waste your breath say a prayer”.
- Durood – sending blessings down on the Holy Prophet (saw ) is also vital as God The Almighty says,
“Allah and his angels send blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe you too should invoke blessings on him and salute him with the salutation of peace” (Qu’ran 33:57).
The Holy Prophet (saw) has said:
“He who recites a single Durood upon me, Almighty Allah blesses him ten times and ten of his sins are forgiven …” (Mishkat Al Misabih).
So in the end you’re only benefiting YOURSELF by reciting durood, what’s there to lose?
- Weights for the soul (Istighfar repentance) Man is weak and often falls prey to Satan. To protect yourself from sin why not perform istighfar, which the Promised Messiahas has described as ‘weight training’. He states,
“Sufis say that just as taking exercise with the help of some heavy things gives strength to the body, so is the case with Istighfar i.e. it gives strength to the soul and also grants steadfastness to the heart. Whoever wishes to get strength should do Istighfar (Ask for forgiveness)” (Malfoozat vol. 2, pg. 67-68).
Now there’s no excuse to be spiritually fit before Jalsa!
- Serve! (The guests of the Promised Messiah (as) -Huzoor Anwar (atba) in his last Friday sermon highlighted the importance of serving the guests of the Promised Messiah (as) who come to attend Jalsa Salana. Besides, getting prayers from a traveler is beneficial as the following hadith points out.
The Holy Prophet (saw) said:
“The supplications of three people are accepted (by God), and there is no doubt concerning their acceptance: the supplication of a parent, of a traveler and of one who has been wronged.” (Abu-Dawood).
Next time you see a Jalsa guest struggling with their luggage, give them a hand !
Gratitude (Al-Hamd) - Giving thanks to Allah. The first reminder which Allah gives man in the Holy Quran is that “All praise belongs to Allah”. Every breath you take is leased to you through God’s mercy and compassion.
Give thanks and you shall receive more!
There you have it, 10 ways to build your spirituality before attending JALSA SALANA 2013 (where you can enhance your spirituality even further!)