President Bhaloo, Members of the National Council for the United States, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I would like to take this occasion on behalf of my wife, my brother and myself to express to you a very warm thanks for this wonderful evening and for the way in which you have welcomed the Imam and members of his family on my Jubilee visit to the United States.
Here assembled this evening are people from many different countries. People whose parents I have worked with, whose children I am working with, Inshallah, whose grandchildren I will work with. And, I think it is appropriate that I should express, in my office as Imam, my happiness and my gratitude, my pride, in working with such eminent leadership, with leadership which is committed to
honourary service taken out of their daily lives which require of them hard work, commitment to their families, but on top of that they have found the time in the past, find the time today, Inshallah, will continue to find the time in the future, to serve the jamat around the world. I think this is a source of unlimited strength and I believe that it is one of the most fundamental, one of the most important, one the strongest pillars on which we can build our future, and sometimes people who are not members of the Jamat ask me where the strength of the jamat comes from and it is very difficult for me to explain to them that the strength of the jamat, in many ways comes from this spirit of brotherhood, the spirit of service, the spirit of concern for people of the same faith, the same family. And I hope that this new and young Jamat in the United States, and the new and young Jamat in Canada, and the slightly less young Jamat in the United Kingdom and Western Europe will succeed in maintaining this tradition, strengthening it and making available to the Jamat around the world not only the traditional service, but that that traditional service should grow, that which is strong and that which is desirable from western society, from western technology and from western know-how.
As we move towards the end of the 20th century and into the 21st century, I say to myself that much must change but at the same time, little should change on the fundamentals of the unity of the Jamat and the service the leaders of the Jamat offer to the jamat and to the Imam and I hope, therefore, that this young Jamat in this country which, after all, today represents the greatest concentration of human know-how in any part of the world, I hope that this young jamat will be strong in its tradition, strong in its service and strong at what it can do for our Jamat around the world. This is the reason why this visit, this Silver Jubilee visit to the United States is so important to me and, Inshallah, will clarify for my Jamat questions which you may have had about your future in the western world, about your future in the United States and let's hope that as we move to the year 2000 and onwards, we will build on a strong jamat, which is not only as it was in the past located in the developing world, but which is strong and united in the developed world, in the United States, in Canada, in Western Europe.
I renew my gratitude to the leadership of the United States, past and present, to the leadership of the Jamat in the western world generally, and I hope that they realize that in the year of my Silver Jubilee, I look to them with much hope, much confidence and much trust.
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