The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat is pleased to announce that on 17 March 2012, its world leader, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Fifth Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat inaugurated the new Baitul Atta Mosque in Wolverhampton, which is a major city, in the West Midlands.
Upon arriving at the premises, His Holiness officially inaugurated the Mosque by unveiling a commemorative plaque and then offering a silent prayer in thanks to God Almighty. Thereafter a tree was planted by His Holiness to further mark the occasion.
After offering prayers in the Mosque, His Holiness held an audience with local Ahmadi Muslims, in which he said that Ahmadi Mosques were built to spread the true and peaceful teachings of Islam. He also prayed for all those who had made financial sacrifices in an effort to fund the Mosque project.
After a private meeting between His Holiness and local dignitaries, the official reception marking the opening of the Mosque began at 7pm. In his welcome speech, a local Ahmadi Muslim official, Dr Muhammad Ashraf informed that Baitul Atta had previously been used as a church before being converted into a Mosque by the Ahmadiyya Community. He added that people of all religions would always be welcome in the Mosque.
Councillor Bert Turner, Mayor of Wolverhampton, welcomed Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad to the city and said he had been particularly struck by the fact that the Ahmadiyya Community had opened the doors of its Mosques to people from all backgrounds.
Pat McFadden, MP for Wolverhampton South East, said that he was not only the local Member of Parliament but also a neighbour to the new Mosque as he lived very nearby. He also said that the Ahmadiyya Community’s motto of ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’ was a ‘ lesson’ for people.
Paul Uppal, MP for Wolverhampton South West, said that all people should focus on the many common beliefs and practices they shared, rather than the few differences that set them apart.
Also taking to the stage were Reverend John Bernard, who read a message from the Bishop of Wolverhampton and Councillor Elias Mattu who both congratulated the Ahmadiyya Community on the opening of the Mosque.
The highlight of the evening was the keynote address given by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
His Holiness used his address to refute the belief that Islam encourages extremism in any way or shape. He said:
“All forms of extremism run completely contrary to the real teachings of Islam. A true Muslim can never even contemplate the thought that the use of force or extremism to compel others towards Islam could ever be a means of attaining God’s pleasure.”
His Holiness went on to say that not only were Muslims commanded to act in a fair and just manner when dealing with all people, but that the Holy Qur’an actually taught that Muslims should not bear hatred or enmity towards anyone. He said it was this teaching that inspired the Ahmadiyya Community’s motto of ‘ Love for All, Hatred for None’ .
Speaking about the true purposes of Mosques, His Holiness said that Mosques were designed to bring people closer to God Almighty and as a means to serve humanity. He said that true Mosques were those filled with a spirit of mercy, forgiveness and compassion. He said:
“I am sure you will agree with me that if, what I have described is the purpose of a Mosque and this is the true Islam, then it is a beautiful purpose aligned to a beautiful teaching.”
His Holiness concluded by speaking about the escalating levels of conflict in various parts of the world. He said:
“These days we find that widespread conflict and hatred has permeated all parts of the world and so there is an urgent need for mutual love, affection and mercy to be spread so that the world can be saved from the horrific and terrifying destruction that is fast approaching in the shape of a world war.”