Convention, Trinidad and Tobago
August 18-20, 2000
Report sent by Roger Bissessar, Trinidad
The International Ahmadiyya Convention 2000 was held in the Caribbean
island of Trinidad and Tobago, during the period August 18-20, 2000.
The highlights of the convention included the Silver Jubilee Anniversary
celebration of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-I-Islam Inc. Trinidad
and Tobago, the formal opening of three new mosques associated with
the Anjuman and discussions on plans and projections for the propagation
of Islam in the twenty-first century.
The theme of the Convention was "Living the Qur'an in our Daily
Lives." Representatives from Pakistan, United States of America,
Guyana, Suriname, Canada and The Netherlands were in attendance,
and were actively involved in the programmes.
The opening session of the Convention was held at the Arouca Mosque,
from 7:00 p.m. on August 18, 2000. The Convention was formally opened
with a message from Hazrat Ameer, presented
by Colonel Shaukat of the Central Anjuman, Lahore, Pakistan.
Mr. Raqib Joeman of the Netherlands read
greetings on behalf of the foreign jamaa'ats. The feature address
entitled 'Living the Qur'an through the medium of the Mosque' was
presented by Maulana Mustapha K. Hydal.
Formal opening of the mosque involved the joint unveiling of a plaque
by Sister Samina Malik (USA) and Imaam
Usman Ali of the Arouca Mosque.
The second session of the Convention was held on August 19, 2000,
from 10:00 am, at the Ahmadiyya Anjuman's Mosque, Fireburn. This
session was chaired by Dr. Hamza Rafeeq,
Honourable Minister of Health of Trinidad and Tobago. Sister
Zubeida Ahmad of Pakistan brought greetings, and a lecture
on the topic 'Living the Qur'an through Inter-Religious Harmony'
was delivered by Maulana M.K. Hydal. The
feature address was presented by the Prime Minister
of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Honourable Basdeo Panday.
The unveiling of the plaque by two elder members of the jamaa'at
(one male and one female) signaled the formal opening of the Anjuman's
Mosque, headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-I-Islam Inc.
of Trinidad and Tobago.
Session three of the convention, held on August 19, 2000 from 3:00
p.m., featured the formal opening of the third new mosque, that
of the Cunjal Islamic Association. Lectures presented included 'Living
the Qur'an through Scientific Knowledge' (Dr.
Khaliel Ghafoerkhan - Suriname), 'Living the Qur'an through
Service to Man' (Moulvi Muhammad Rasheed - Guyana)
and 'Living the Qur'an through Political Activity' (Dr.
Hamza Rafeeq - Trinidad).
On August 20, 2000, from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00a.m., a business session
was held at Ahmadiyya House which comprised Heads of Foreign Delegations,
two representatives per country and the executive of the Ahmadiyya
Anjuman Isha'at-I-Islam Inc. Trinidad and Tobago. Plans and projections
were reviewed, with emphasis on training of missionaries, establishment
of Islamic Education Facilities and propagation of literature with
From 9:00 a.m. on August 20, 2000, the youth session commenced
with a parade and procession through the streets of Gasparillo,
to the Gasparillo Mosque. The theme of the youth session was 'Taking
Control of Our Destiny'. The programme, held at the Gasparillo Mosque,
featured youths from seven local jamaa'ats and three foreign jamaa'ats.
The youths presented short lectures, songs, drama, cultural items
and a mini fashion show with locally designed Islamic wear. Mr.
Wilton John, Director of Youth Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago,
delivered the feature address at this session.
The Women's session was held at the Iere Village Mosque on August
20, 2000 from 2:00 p.m. The programme highlighted the empowerment
of women by the Ahmadiyya Movement, and was run by the women of
the Anjuman. The lectures presented were 'Living the Qur'an in the
Workplace' (Mrs. Nasreen Muhammad - Trinidad)
and 'Living the Qur'an through Marriage' (Mrs.
Maryam Ghafoerkhan - Suriname).
The closing session of the Convention was held at the New Grant
Mosque from 5:00 p.m. on August 20, 2000. This session featured
lectures by Mr. Ahmad Hosein of Canada,
on the topic 'Living the Qur'an through Family Life' and by Sister
Samina Malik of USA, on the topic 'Living the Qur'an through
Service to Islam'. The session was closed with reflections from
representatives of all the foreign jamaa'ats.
A special closing reception was held for all delegates on August
22, 2000, at Ahmadiyya House and was hosted by the
Honourable Dr. Hamza Rafeeq, Minister of Health and Executive
Member of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at-I-Islam Inc. Trinidad and
Tobago. The evening took the form of dinner and an evening of songs
The Convention was a tremendous success. May Almighty Allah continue
to guide all the members of the International Ahmadiyya Community
in the propagation of the Noble Religion of Islam.