Muslims from around the UK including Lancaster and Morecambe will be heading for Hampshire next month to attend the counctry’s biggest convention of Muslims.
Around 35,000 people from more than 100 countries are expected to converge on a farm in Alton from August 2 to 4 to enjoy a weekend with a festival atmosphere.
Activities will include an on-site bazaar, exhibitions (including one on the Turin Shroud) and a bread making factory, and many youngsters from the north west will be helping run the event as volunteers.
During their stay, attending Muslmims will pledge their allegiance to an Islamic Caliphate.
This is the UK’s largest and oldest Muslim conference, also known as Jalsa Salana UK, and one member who will be making the trip south is Lancaster resident Dr Muhammad Saqib Ghumman, who will be attending the three days and volunteering in the first aid department.
Dr Ghumman said: “It’s such a vibrant and spiritual event which brings the best out of people. A 205-acre farm land becomes truly a global village for three days with participants from different cultures, creed, race and background from over a hundred countries converging.
“The objective of the event is purely our social, moral and spiritual reformation and to learn about service to God and the rest of mankind.
“This is the true and peaceful message of Islam. We wait for this in anticipation throughout the year.
“Many of us do not just simply attend but also volunteer in the build-up to and during the event; be it in the car park or the kitchens or setting up the big marquees or volunteering in the first aid department as I do.”
Speaking about the highlight of the event, Dr Ghumman said: “The highlight of the event is the last day, the pledge of allegiance at the hand of the Caliph, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
“We will form a human chain of 35,000 plus people leading to the hand of the Caliph and pledging to live by the peaceful teachings of Islam at his hand and under his leadership.
“We have loyalty to loyalty our faith and also to the country and nation in which we live, so we raise the flag of the community at the event alongside the Union Jack!
“We cannot forget one of the mottos of the community which is ‘Love for all, Hatred for none’, a motto which I feel should be for the world to adopt and adhere to.”