The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat is pleased to announce that on 4 th March 2012, its world leader, the Fifth Khalifa, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad inaugurated the new Baitul Aman Mosque in Middlesex. This was the third in a series of mosques being opened by His Holiness in the UK this year.
The opening of the Mosque was also attended by a number of local dignitaries and guests, including John McDonnell, MP for Hayes & Harlington and Virendra Sharma, MP for Ealing Southall.
Upon arriving at the premises, His Holiness officially inaugurated the mosque by unveiling a commemorative plaque and offering a silent prayer.
His Holiness then held an audience with local Ahmadi Muslims in which he said that it was not enough to simply build a mosque, but that it was essential that it be filled with people who entered with a pure heart and who held a desire to please God and to serve humanity. He said that all Ahmadi Muslims should strive to become ambassadors for true Islam.
Following a private meeting between His Holiness and a number of local dignitaries, the official reception marking the opening of the Mosque began at 7pm.
In his welcome address, a local Ahmadi leader, Mr Abdul Latif Khan spoke about how the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat had existed in the UK for almost a century and throughout that period it had shown an absolute commitment to spreading a message of peace and inter-faith harmony.
John McDonnell MP called the opening of the mosque a “truly historic occasion” and said that it was a privilege for him to attend. He also said that all parties should support the work of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and strive to help them in parts of the world where they are persecuted. He also thanked the community for making a donation to his nominated charity.
Virendra Sharma MP congratulated the community on the opening of the mosque and also its continued efforts to bring communities together. He also said that there was a “moral duty” to help all peaceful communities who suffer persecution.
The event was concluded with an address by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, in which he called for the establishment of peace and justice in all parts of the world. He also used his address to call upon the media to utilise its vast influence in a responsible and fair manner.
His Holiness began his address by stating the need for mutual respect amongst all people. He said:
“It is surely our duty to care for and respect one another. And the best way to practically demonstrate this esteem is to consider the feelings and sentiments of each other, because that is the primary way to establish good human values. And, it is the only way to develop an environment filled with peace, justice, reconciliation and brotherhood. It should be our goal to establish such high values in every village, every town, every city, every country, every society and indeed every part of the world.”
His Holiness said that the modern world had come to resemble a global village where news could be relayed globally within seconds but that such advancement had both benefits and drawbacks. Giving the example of the media, His Holiness said that where the media reported upon natural disasters, famines or social deprivation, such information ought to lead to an effort to help and support those in need. Apart from immediate relief, long-term planning was also essential.
His Holiness said:
“Through our official representatives and through our governments we should seek to find long term solutions that will allow the deprived nations to ultimately stand upon their own feet. We should devise plans whereby such countries are able to utilise their own resources and assets for the betterment of their people, so that they are able to become self-sufficient and truly independent.”
Continuing, His Holiness said that all humanitarian service ought to be rendered selflessly rather than by self-interest or greed. He explained that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat was constantly engaged in an effort to help deprived and impoverished peoples and nations and had launched projects designed to provide health and education services to those in need regardless of social or religious background.
His Holiness continued by saying that one significant issue facing the world today was the way in which many Western media outlets had been unjust in their portrayal of Islam. The merciless behaviour and tyranny adopted by rulers in some Muslim countries was being portrayed as being sanctioned by Islam. This was leading to a fear and even hatred towards Islam in the West.
His Holiness said:
“For a long time the media has particularly highlighted the problems faced in many Muslim countries. However, when giving such coverage the media should also display a sense of perspective or context and sadly on many occasions this has been lacking. The truth is that Islam has strictly forbidden terrorism or extremism of any form. Islam’s teachings in this regard are absolute and without exception.”
His Holiness concluded his address by predicting that the inauguration of the Baitul Aman Mosque would itself lead to a change of perception in the minds of local people about Islam. He said:
“ I am confident that the distorted image of Islam that currently exists in the minds of some people, will soon be replaced by a truly beautiful picture portraying the immaculate teachings of Islam. Such a picture will shine forth ever more brightly and so our mosque will become a true beacon of light that illuminates its surroundings. And, certainly, God Willing, I believe that our heartfelt message of love will come to win the hearts of those who oppose us. And may all of you come to join and help us in our mission to establish peace in the world and to serve humanity.”