Jalsa Salana: Muslims from across Wales celebrate at UK's largest Islamic Convention

The event usually attracts 35,000 people but last year it was scaled back to 4,000 invited guests each day due to the pandemic. Credit: Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK (AMA UK)

Muslims from around Wales have joined others from across the UK for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic at the UK's longest running Islamic convention.

The convention, known as Jalsa Salana, has attracted around five hundred Muslims from around Wales to come together and connect with others from across the nations.

It concludes today after three days of prayer, discussion and spiritual rejuvenation on 200-acres of Oakland Farm in Hampshire.

Jalsa Salana has been running for over 50 years, and is organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC). Credit: Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK (AMA UK)

Khalil Yousuf is one of the organisers of the convention. He said it's been a great opportunity for people to come together and connect after the Covid-19 pandemic.

"People haven't been able to connect with each other for such a long period of time" he said. "Even though you have had other events like Glastonbury, this is a very different type of event. I would probably say this is the most peaceful place on earth where 30,000 Muslims are you.

"You see police officers walking round not in riot gear or with vans trying to ensure that they control the crowd, but actually with cups of tea and pieces of cake, it's a really friendly environment and people are very much enjoying the opportunity of being together again after so long."

It is the first time they have been able to meet fully since the Covid-19 pandemic. Credit: Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK (AMA UK)

Sajeel Ahmad Malik has been volunteering at the event, he said: "After three years, for me, I have to say being able to get an opportunity to meet friends again, old friends and making new friends is really great."

Organiser, Farhad Ahmad, explained that the main purpose of the convention is to highlight what the true message of Islam is.

He said: "A lot of the time Islam is misunderstood, so it's an opportunity not only to learn and practice the teachings of Islam, but also to actually show the world that Islam is a religion of peace and Islam is a religion that teaches that you have to look after your neighbour, you have to look after one another."