A Historic Convention
The community was founded in 1889 in Qadian India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The first Jalsa was held soon after the community was founded, in December of 1891 and had an attendance of 72 members of the community. The next year, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad decided to hold a similar convention, thus named Jalsa Salana, the second Annual Convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community had 327 attendees.
No Ordinary Gathering
A great importance was placed on the attendance of these Jalsa Salana's by its founder, who said "It is essential for all those who can afford to undertake the journey, that they must come to attend this Convention which embodies many blessed objectives. They should disregard minor inconveniences in the cause of Allah and His prophet [Muhammad] (peace be upon him). Allah yields reward to the sincere persons at every step of their way, and no labour and hardship, undertaken in His way, ever goes to waste. I re-emphasize that you must not rank this convention in the same league as other, ordinary, human assemblies. This is a phenomenon that is based purely on the Divine Help, for propagation of Islam." (Ishtihar 7 Dec. 1892, Majmoo'ah Ishtiharat Vol. I, Page 341).
The Oldest American Muslim Community
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community United States was founded in 1920 by Mufti Muhammad Sadiq. The first Jalsa Salana United States was held in 1948 in Dayton, Ohio and has been held for over six consecutive decades. In 2008 and 2012, the Ahamdiyya Muslim Community United States was honored by the presence of His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the fifth Khalifa of the community, who attended the conventions held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center. The conventions drew an attendance of over 10,000 delegates, including approximately 1,000 special guests and friends of the Community. Many senior political leaders welcomed His Holiness, including several members of U.S. Congress and officials from the White House and U.S. State Department.