During his tour of Germany, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community who is also the Fifth Khalifah (Caliph), inaugurated two mosques in Friedberg and Munich mosques as well as laying the foundation stones of a further two mosques.
We present here a glimpse into the events that took place to celebrate the new mosques. The Ahmadiyya Muslim way, which is of integration, interfaith dialogue, love and compassion is further highlighted in the manner that the Community has embarked on this new phase of mosque openings.
The Mosque of Blessings – Wiesbaden Mosque Foundation Stone Laid
4 June 2014
His Holiness laid the foundation stone for the first Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosque in the historic German city of Wiesbaden and named the mosque the Mubarak Mosque (The Mosque of Blessings). More than 400 guests attended the ceremony, including various dignitaries such as Hans Peter-Schickel, Deputy President of the City Parliament and Joseph Dreiseitel, Secretary of State Ministry for Social Affairs & Integration, Hessen State Parliament. A number of visiting dignitaries took to the stage to offer their congratulations to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Hans Peter-Schickel, Deputy President of the City Parliament said, ‘The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community continues to serve the local community in an excellent fashion. You always make it clear that Islam is a religion of peace and against all forms of extremism.’
The keynote address was then delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba who said it was imperative that the people of all religions and backgrounds were able to live side by side in peace and harmony and that this had always been the message and belief of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. His Holiness said, ‘When this Mosque is built you will come to witness that true mosques are not a place to spread evil or hatred, but rather serve only to spread peace, love and unity throughout the world.’
The Mosque of the Truthful – Karben Mosque Foundation stone laid
7 June 2014
His Holiness laid the foundation stone for the first Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosque in the German town of Karben and named the mosque, the ‘Sadiq Mosque’ (The Mosque of the Truthful). Brief remarks were given by Phiip von Leonardi, Councillor for Culture & Integration and Mario Schafer, Leader of the Green Party (City Parliament). The keynote address was delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba during which he praised the local citizens of Karben for creating an environment in which people of different ethnicities and backgrounds were living together peacefully. His Holiness said that this was a sign of the ‘loving and caring’ nature of the local people. Referring to the name of the mosque, His Holiness said:
“This Mosque has been called the ‘Mosque of the Truthful’ and so the qualities of truth, honesty and integrity must be visible in every word and every act of an Ahmadi Muslim. Indeed, when the Mosque is complete the local people will come to see that Ahmadis practice what they preach and spread truth in all directions.”
Regarding the importance for Muslims to show loyalty to their country, His Holiness said, ‘We believe that loyalty to one’s country should be a distinguishing feature of a true Muslim and if this is not the case then he or she is not being true to their faith.’
The House of Peace – Friedberg Mosque inaugurated by Khalifah
7 June 2014
His Holiness inaugurated the Darul Amaan Mosque (The House of Peace) in the German city of Friedberg. Around 200 guests attended the ceremony, including various dignitaries such as Peter Ziebarth, City Councillor, Joachim Arnold, District Commissioner and Jorg-Uwe Hahn, ex-Provincial Minister for Justice, Europe & Integration. Peter Ziebarth, representing the City Council said:
“It is a great honour for me to represent the City at the opening of the new Mosque here in Friedberg. The fact you have built a place of worship here shows that you consider this city to be your home and this is a very positive example of successful integration.”
Joachim Arnold, District Commissioner said:
“It is essential that all people respect the religions and beliefs of each other and I know that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is well-known for promoting and practicing such mutual respect. You have proved yourselves as a peaceful and tolerant group who seek to integrate in the local society.”
Jorg-Uwe Hahn, ex-Provincial Minister for Justice, Europe & Integration said:
“It is an honour for me to be here at the opening of this House of God. I wish to acknowledge the great role the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community plays in our society. Certainly your community is a very welcome part of Hessen and of Germany.”
In the keynote address by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba he said that the Mosque had been named ‘The House of Peace’ and so like all Ahmadi Mosques it would guarantee peace and security to all those who entered it:
“Indeed, this Mosque does not just guarantee peace to those who enter it, but it will also prove to be a source of peace for all members of the local society, no matter whether they are religious or not.”
Regarding integration His Holiness said:
“In my opinion, integration requires for a person to truly love his new country and so he or she should sincerely strive for its progress and success. He or she should use all of their faculties and capabilities to support their new country. Certainly, this is the example of the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.”
His Holiness concluded by speaking about humanitarian projects and said:
“Whenever there are any humanitarian projects run by members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community from Germany we make it clear to the local people that it is a German project and this is greatly appreciated by the them. Thus, in this way we are acting as Germany’s ambassadors and illuminating the name of this country far and wide.”
Al Mahdi Mosque, Munich Inaugurated
9 June 2014
His Holiness inaugurated the Al-Mahdi Mosque in the German municipality Neufahrn, 20km from Munich. More than 260 guests attended a special reception held at the Oskar-Maria-Graf School including various dignitaries such as Franz Heilmeier, Mayor Neufahrn, Erich Irlstorfer, Member of the Bundestag Freising and Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion at the United Nations. 12 white doves were also released into the sky marking a local Bavarian tradition.
Franz Heilmeier, Mayor Neufahrn said:
“Today is a very significant day whereby we are all joining together to inaugurate this new Mosque. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has made a home for themselves here and I hope and pray that you live here in peace and harmony.”
Joseph Hauner, District Commissioner Freising said, ‘It is a great honour that His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has come here to Bavaria and I thank him for this. Certainly, you preach the values of tolerance and mutual respect.’
Reiner Schneider, ex-Mayor Neufahrn said:
“Today is a very significant day not just for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community but for the city of Neufahrn and its people because His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has come to this area… This Mosque is not just for you but for all people.”
Heinz Grünwald, Regional President, Lower Bavaria said, ‘I have known the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for more than 20 years and from the outset I have developed great respect for you and considered you as a friend.’
Tobias Eschenbacher, Lord Mayor Freising said, ‘The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has always excelled in terms of promoting dialogue through which the fears or reservations that are caused by a lack of understanding are removed.’
Erich Irlstorfer, Member of the Bundestag Freising said, ‘Your new Mosque is a source of pride not just for you but to all people in this country. I wish you peace and prosperity.’
Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion at the United Nations said:
“Whoever believes in freedom of religion must know about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community because they are the most persecuted religious community. In Pakistan their members are killed or jailed. Pakistan is no longer the Pakistan of the late Zafrullah Khan (ex-Foreign Minister, an Ahmadi Muslim) but rather what we see today is extremism and terrorism.”
During his keynote address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba spoke about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s continued commitment to promoting interfaith dialogue. His Holiness said that the Community organised events across the world in an effort to foster mutual understanding amongst the people of all beliefs. As a recent example, His Holiness cited the Conference of World Religions, organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which took place in February at Guildhall in London:
“During the Conference the representatives of various religions spoke about their respective faiths in front of an audience of around 1,000 guests and I also got the opportunity to speak about Islam. The Conference took place in a very peaceful and cordial atmosphere.”
Continuing, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba said, ‘The Holy Quran says that there should be no compulsion in religion and so no one has the right to speak ill of any other person’s belief or faith.’
His Holiness also responded to a small local protest comprising a handful of people against the building of the Mosque that was taking place simultaneously. He said that Ahmadi Muslims would not respond with counter protests or rallies but only by peacefully raising its slogan of Love for All, Hatred for None.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba said, ‘Islam has taught us to respond to curses with prayers; it has taught us to respond to those who grieve us only with love and care and it has taught us to respond to arrogance only with humility.’
During his address, His Holiness also spoke of the recent martyrdom of Dr. Mehdi Ali Qamar, a US-Canadian citizen in Pakistan. His Holiness informed the audience that Dr Mehdi had travelled to Pakistan to volunteer his services at a hospital but had been target killed only because he was an Ahmadi Muslim.
His Holiness said that the body of Dr Mehdi was flown to Canada where it was draped in both the American and Canadian flags before burial and members of both Governments paid great respect and honour to the deceased.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba said:
“When Dr Mehdi Ali Qamar was killed we Ahmadi Muslims did not protest or take to the streets and nor will we ever stop serving humanity. Rather more than ever before we will seek to help those in need or those who are vulnerable. Wherever Ahmadi Muslims exist they seek only to serve mankind. This is our spirit and this is our way.”
This article is based on the official press releases by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community International Press & Media Office. For more information visit: www.pressahmadiyya.com