“Tahir Mosque will be a place of peace” said Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the worldwide leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, at the opening of Tahir Mosque Catford, London.
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 urged them to always remember the true purposes of a mosque. He reminded them that a mosque should be a place of inner and outer purity. And he said that Ahmadi Muslims should always maintain an atmosphere of mutual love and affection and thus illustrate Islam’s peaceful teachings to the world.
After a private meeting between His Holiness and local dignitaries, the official reception marking the opening of the mosque began at 6.40pm. In his welcome speech, a local Ahmadi leader, Mr Naseem Butt spoke about how the mosque had been funded entirely by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat itself. He said a number of women had even donated their jewellery whilst young children had offered their pocket money to help fund the mosque.
The opening of the Mosque was also attended by a number of dignitaries and guests, including Heidi Alexander, MP for Lewisham East and Sir Steve Bullock, the Mayor of Lewisham.
Heidi Alexander MP, congratulated the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat on the opening of the mosque. She wished the Jamaat well and said that she looked forward to working with the community in future.
Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, said that he was familiar with the building already, as before being converted to a mosque, it had served as offices for the local Council. He congratulated the Jamaat and said that having a home for any community was very important and was a means for its growth.
Both Heidi Alexander MP and Sir Steve Bullock also thanked the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat for making donations to their local nominated charities as a further means to mark the opening of the mosque.
The function was concluded with an address by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, in which he said that all Ahmadi Mosques were built to worship Allah and to serve humanity.
Speaking about the importance of the latter, he said:
“It is essential that a Muslim should never usurp the rights of others and instead he should cast aside all differences of religion, nationality or ethnicity and seek to become the means of support and love for all others. If someone comes to a Muslim for help, then it is the duty of the Muslim to try and fulfil that need.”
His Holiness also spoke about the fear some people held of mosques and of Islam itself. He said such fear was justified because of the acts of extremists who were destroying the peace and security of society at large. However he counselled that such acts were perpetrated by a small minority and were not at all in keeping with the real teachings of Islam. He added:
“Peace in society is a two-way process and can only be established if all parties work together towards mutual reconciliation.”
His Holiness concluded by calling for peace to be established in the world. He said:
“Today we, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, are trying to bring peace in the world. We are playing our role and trying to fulfil our responsibilities in this regard. And so I would request all of you to join us in this task…
We must set aside our own personal desires and instead be concerned for the future existence and well-being of our next generations. We must adopt selflessness rather than selfishness. When we all join together and come to respect each other’s feelings and sentiments then and only then will an atmosphere of mutual love develop. It is then that we will truly see the beautiful society that all peaceful people desire.”