After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) said that recently, he visited the United States of America and by the grace of Allah this tour went well.
His Holiness (aba) said members received news through MTA and other electronic media, including various other news outlets as well. The blessings of Allah the Almighty were seen at every turn during this tour, bringing a positive impact not only on Ahmadis, but others as well. There was a youngster who told his friend that he was having some doubts regarding Ahmadiyyat and Khilafat which were completely removed due to this tour. His Holiness (aba) said that there were many similar examples like this.
Love & Sincerity of Ahmadi Muslims in the US
His Holiness (aba) said that in Zion, Dallas and Baitur Rahman, Maryland there would be large numbers of men, women and children gathered for the prayers. The emotions and sentiments they expressed as His Holiness (aba) walked to and from the mosque clearly indicated that they have true love for Khilafat in their hearts. People would line up for hours just to get into the mosque for prayers. This clearly indicates that by the grace of Allah these people have love for their faith and Khilafat. Children would stand in line for five to six hours as there would also be various checks, yet no one complained. A guest in Zion even commented how smoothly everything was running and despite the various checks in place, no one complained.
His Holiness (aba) said that the parents of an 11 or 12 year old told him that their son would line up hours before prayers, whereas he never paid such close attention to his prayers before. His Holiness (aba) said that he saw the great love and sincerity for Khilafat in the children as well. His Holiness (aba) prayed that may this fervour for prayers which was evident remain constant and may these mosques always remain populated.
His Holiness (aba) said that in a worldly place like America, people may think that there is no attention paid towards faith, however His Holiness (aba) said that he saw the opposite in the Ahmadis he saw during this tour. At every stop there would be more people present than expected. In fact, at Baitur Rahman in Maryland, sometimes the numbers exceeded even that of the Annual Convention (Jalsa Salana). His Holiness (aba) prayed that may Allah continue to increase the sincerity and devotion in the hearts of all Ahmadis.
Sentiments & Impressions of Guests
His Holiness (aba) said that he would present the sentiments of various non-Ahmadi guests from this tour.
His Holiness (aba) quoted the mayor of Zion Hon. Billy McKinney who said that it was his honour to welcome His Holiness (aba) to Zion. He said that the motto of Zion is ‘historic past and dynamic future’ and the Zion mosque is the perfect example of that. He said that with the inauguration of this new mosque, he has great hopes for the future of this city that are associated with this mosque and the Ahmadiyya Community. The mayor then also presented the key of the city to His Holiness. He also expressed that His Holiness (aba) left him speechless.
His Holiness (aba) said that Member of Illinois Assembly Hon. Joyce Mason said Alexander Dowie sought to establish a theocratic society, however today, Zion is home to people from diverse backgrounds epitomised by this new mosque. She congratulated the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for this great victory.
His Holiness (aba) quoted Dr Katrina Lantos Swett who said it was astonishing to hear how much attention the prayer duel garnered despite the fact that electronic media did not exist at the time. She said that the establishment of this mosque clearly shows who was victorious in the prayer duel, however this was not just a victory for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community but for all of humanity.
His Holiness (aba) quoted Dr Craig Considine – a Christian professor who has written about the Holy Prophet (sa) – who said that he was honoured to have met His Holiness (aba) and that he learned a great deal about Islam from His Holiness’ (aba) speech. He said that the manner in which His Holiness (aba) spoke on the topic of Islam was easy to understand for every person. He was also present to listen to His Holiness’ (aba) Friday Sermon and said that he had never heard a sermon like this before.
His Holiness (aba) presented the sentiments of various other guests from Zion, including elected officials, teachers, emergency service workers and others who expressed their awe of His Holiness (aba) and the message he presented, the unity and harmony which he promoted and the manner in which he presented the history of Zion and the teachings of Islam.
His Holiness (aba) said that the Baitul Ikram mosque was inaugurated in Dallas and the inauguration was attended by 140 guests. Member of the City Council of Allen, Carl Clemencich presented the key of the city to His Holiness (aba) and expressed his appreciation for the humanitarian work done by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He said that the city of Allen was fortunate that such a peaceful and humanitarian community has established itself in this city.
His Holiness (aba) quoted Prof Dr Robert Hunt, Director of the Global Theological Department at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, who thanked the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for inviting him and his colleagues. He appreciated His Holiness (aba) for promoting religious freedom and inter-religious dialogue.
His Holiness (aba) quoted US Congressman Michael McCaul (Republican-Texas) who said that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community shows how the Abrahamic faiths can live together harmoniously. He said he was in the process of reading the book Jesus in India and would conduct further research. He said that a lot can be learned from the Ahmadiyy Muslim Community about peace, kindness and love. He appreciated the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s efforts to spread peace, establish unity, and end extremism and poverty.
His Holiness (aba) quoted a guest from the North Presbytarian Church who said that she’s never seen anyone strive as much as His Holiness (aba) for the establishment of global peace. She said that if people were to listen to this speech rather than usurping the rights of their neighbours and their fellow beings then peace could certainly be established.
His Holiness (aba) presented the comments and sentiments of various other guests from Dallas who expressed their appreciation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s peace-loving efforts and the inspiring impact of His Holiness’ (aba) address which showed how true peace, unity and mutual love can be established.
His Holiness (aba) said that a complex was also inaugurated in Fort Worth, Texas where it is planned to build a dome and two minarets in order to turn it into a mosque. His Holiness (aba) said that it is a good building where one day he led the evening prayers.
His Holiness (aba) quoted the sentiments of a guest from Fort Worth who said that His Holiness (aba) presented an excellent message and particularly appreciated His Holiness’ (aba) warning that anyone who partook in a global war would certainly be ruined.
Reach & Coverage of Various Activities in the US
His Holiness (aba) said that there was an exhibition in Zion pertaining to the prayer duel. His Holiness (aba) said that the Promised Messiah (as) mentioned that he knew of 32 newspapers which mentioned the prayer duel, but said that he was certain that there were many more. After further research, the Community in the USA found 128 more news clippings from the time of the Promised Messiah (as) bringing the total to 160.
His Holiness (aba) said that the American media also covered the inauguration of the Zion mosque, including the Associated Press who wrote an article titled Two prophets and a century-old prayer duel inspires Zion mosque. According to their website its readership is about half the world’s population. This article was published in 412 outlets across 13 countries, including Washington Post, ABC News, Toronto Star, The Hill and many other prominent newspapers.
His Holiness (aba) said that 9 prominent newspapers, 6 online publications and radio stations in Canada also covered the mosque inauguration in Zion. This inauguration was also covered in the UK, Sierra Leone, Taiwan, India, Hong Kong, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania and Vietnam.
His Holiness (aba) said that MTA Africa also provided live coverage for the addresses by His Holiness (aba) from Zion and Dallas. Various news reports were also prepared for local channels in different parts of Africa. A new convert to Ahmadiyyat from Sierra Leone said that had he learned of the prayer duel with Alexander Dowie and the subsequent victory of the Promised Messiah (as), then he may have converted 20 years ago, however having learning of it now only further reassured him that 20 year search for the truth had not gone in vain.
His Holiness (aba) also mentioned his meetings with new Ahmadis and spoke of some of the struggles and opposition they have faced. Upon the request of a new convert, there was an initiation ceremony that also took place.
His Holiness (aba) said that by the grace of Allah, this tour was showered with His blessings and prayed that may Allah’s blessings continue to rain down.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions