What is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association?
Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya (MKA), literally meaning ‘Association of Servants of the True Islam’ and also known as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA), was founded in 1938 by Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) and is the youth section of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
MKA UK is a unique, dynamic and vibrant organisation serving not only the needs of its members but British society as a whole. It has over 80 local branches from Glasgow to Cornwall, with a membership of over 6,000. Members are aged between seven and forty and its headquarters are in London.
Having its own executive cabinet, with representation from all over the UK, MKA is led by the National Sadr (President).
One of its principal objectives is the moral and spiritual training of youth through a mixture of religious and secular activities. It is dedicated to ensuring its members develop and excel in qualities such as piety, honesty and fair dealing so that they can better contribute to the country in which they live.
The activities of MKA are not limited to the Muslim community. It serves the needs of all members of society irrespective of colour, race, religion or creed and promotes interfaith dialogue and co-operation in order to promote peace and harmony.
Service to Humanity
MKA UK has a longstanding reputation of working with British charities including Save the Children, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Humanity First. This work ranges from assisting the charities with fundraising to organising their charity events.
In recognition of its work, MKA has from time to time received various awards. In 2002 it was awarded the Princes Royal Certificate by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne for MKA’s support to Save the Children.
Regular homeless feeding sessions are also carried out throughout the UK. This activity reaches its height during both Ramadhan and Christmas when members intensify their efforts to help the needy and destitute.
Additionally, MKA UK has been working with the National Blood Service for several years and is now a regular donor provider throughout its branches in the UK. Blood donation sessions are now held at various mosques belonging to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. These are open to all.
Another prominent feature of MKA’s work is the annual Charity Challenge, usually a 10 kilometre run or walk, which since its inception in 1985 has raised more than £1million for British causes. The event is organised and run by the youth, who are unpaid volunteers, with every penny raised going directly to the charities.
Health and Fitness
Sports events such as football, cricket and badminton are held on a national, regional and local basis. At national events, which are rotated annually with different regions given the responsibility of organising them, regions compete against each other for the crown in that particular sport. Apart from the physical competitiveness of these events, and regional or local rivalries, members get the opportunity to meet, network and, most importantly, develop bonds of brotherhood with other members from all around the UK.
MKA is well known for promoting interfaith dialogue and works with faith groups and public sector organisations to promote peace, tolerance and harmony in society. Activities include holding peace conferences where members of different religions exchange views on promoting mutual respect, working on social projects to tackle problems facing youth such as bullying and drugs, and organising visits and open days to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s mosques to promote social cohesion.
MKA is actively engaged in presenting the peaceful message of Islam and removing common misconceptions and misunderstandings about the faith. It firmly believes that tolerance, engagement, interaction and debate are vital to understand the true teachings of Islam.
It is involved in a number of programmes ranging from providing Islamic training courses to schools, colleges, universities and organisations such as the Army and Police. Invitations are also extended to mosque open days, public lectures and question and answer sessions.
Annual Ijtema (Convention)
This is MKA UK’s flagship event of the year when thousands congregate for a three-day convention in Tilford, Surrey. Members participate in religious education and sporting competitions which add an extra element of healthy rivalry between members.
The Ijtema sees the culmination of a whole year’s work for the various regional and local branches of MKA with awards given to the most outstanding achievers. An opportunity is also taken to invite external bodies to present exhibitions such as falconry and clay pigeon shooting and presentations from the Armed Forces and the Police. More importantly this event enables members to strengthen and foster new relationships in the spirit of brotherhood.