The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat is pleased to announce that on 18 January 2014, its world leader, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Fifth Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, inaugurated the Noor Mosque in Crawley in West Sussex.
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.
His Holiness then held an audience with local Ahmadi Muslims, in which he deemed the new Mosque to be a “gift from God”.
He said it was up to the local Ahmadi Muslims to “enlighten the Mosque” with the worship of Allah and their good conduct.
Later in the evening, a special reception, attended by more than 200 dignitaries and guests, was held to mark the opening of the Mosque. Those attending included Henry Smith MP for Crawley, Councillor Bob Burgess, the Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Brenda Smith and the Queen’s representative, Dr John Godfrey.
The highlight of the event was the keynote address delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad during which he explained Islamic teachings in relation to the rights of neighbours and the true purposes of Mosques.
Speaking about the relationship between the local Ahmadi Muslims and the neighbours of the Mosque, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“More and more people will be introduced to our Community through this Mosque and so the responsibilities of the Ahmadis towards them will continue to increase and we will be duty-bound to fulfill the rights of all people around us… As this spirit and relationship develops and the rights of neighbours are fulfilled, it will give birth to a bond of such love, unity and brotherhood which normally only exists amongst blood relatives.”
The Khalifa went on to speak about the purposes of Mosques. He described a Mosque as a true ‘House of God’ with two underlying objectives – a place to worship God Almighty and a place to serve humanity.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Allah has very clearly commanded that when you enter a Mosque or when you enter any House of God, your purpose should be to worship Him and to bow down with sincerity before Him. When you enter a Mosque, not only should you pray for your own success and betterment, but also for the benefit and progress of the society in which you live and for others.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad also spoke of the significance of the name of the new Mosque.
His Holiness said:
“This Mosque has been called the ‘Noor Mosque’ which literally means a Mosque from which light emanates. It means it is that Mosque which is itself illuminated and which will illuminate others so that the darkness of the world can be transformed into a shining bright light of peace and prosperity.”
His Holiness said that various forms of ‘darkness’ threatened the world, whether spiritual darkness, emotional darkness or the darkness of terrorism and extremism.
He said it was the task of true Muslims “to dispel every form of darkness from the world”. He said the way to do this was “for mankind to recognise and remember its Creator and to follow His teachings.”
Later in his address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad further outlined the entirely peaceful teachings of Islam and spoke of how the Quran had deemed Islam to be a “perfect and complete” teaching.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“How could it be that a religion deemed to be perfect and for the entire world could convey a message of hate, rather than a message of love and kindness? How could such a religion be spread through force rather than through compassion?
In fact the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has been declared the ‘mercy for all of mankind’ by Allah the Almighty – that is the person whose mercy and compassion extends to the entire world, who spreads Allah’s blessings to all people, who loves all others, cares for their feelings and develops the love of God in their hearts.”
Concluding, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad once again sought to reassure the local people about the new Mosque.
His Holiness said:
“We Ahmadi Muslims desire and seek only to help and remove the pain of the people of the world and to fulfill their needs. We seek to give peace of mind to those who are restless…
We seek to alleviate the suffering and anguish of mankind as though their problems are our problems and their grief is our grief. This is the teaching that compels me and every Ahmadi Muslim to raise slogans of love and compassion loud and clear throughout the world and to remove all forms of hatred.”
His Holiness added:
“Rest assured that this Mosque will never be a source of creating disorder or strife. Rather, this Mosque will become a beacon of light illuminating its surroundings and the society at large. This Mosque will be a means of eliminating all forms of darkness.”
Earlier in the evening a number of dignitaries addressed the event.
Henry Smith, MP for Crawley, spoke of his admiration at the spirit of forgiveness he had witnessed amongst the Ahmadiyya Community. He said:
“One of the things that has struck me is the sense of forgiveness that you have shown… I think the belief in forgiveness and the practice of forgiveness is very powerful indeed because when we put hate away and turn to forgiveness that is the greatest service to God.”
Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Bob Burgess, said:
“Your saying is ‘Love for all, hatred for none’ and surely this is a philosophy we can all learn from and adopt in our lives.”
Councillor Brenda Smith praised the message of peace delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad throughout the world by saying:
“Your Holiness – your work in the world, your devotion and your humanity precede you and that is why it is a true honour to have you here in Crawley.”
Dr John Godfrey, Deputy Lord Lieutenant and representative of the Queen offered congratulations on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community upon the inauguration of the Noor Mosque.
Upon the conclusion of the event all of the guests had the opportunity to personally meet Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.