Ahmadiyya History

A Short Introduction to Waiblingen

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Ansar Bilal , Frankfurt, Germany & Tariq Mahmood, Toronto, Canada

A picturesque old town with half-timbered houses and castles lies deep in the south of Germany. Its name is Waiblingen, and though it has just 56,000 inhabitants, this small town with deep roots has recently grown another branch.

The town of Waiblingen is located in the state of Baden-Württemberg and is northeast of the city of Stuttgart, the sixth-largest city in Germany. The city itself has a history dating back to the Middle Ages.

Waiblingen’s Ahmadiyya Community was founded in 1988 by ten members who had left Pakistan because of religious persecution. That community now has 400 members. For the first four years, Friday Prayers and meetings were held in the asylum centres where the members were living at the time. Humble beginnings soon changed into beautiful friendships, as the Catholic Parish nearby allowed the community members to hold their prayers and meetings on their premises without payment.

During this time, the Ahmadiyya Community began helping out their local town in all sorts of ways. They began holding charity runs and fed the homeless. They would donate to food banks and donate blood in an effort to save lives. They would visit retirement homes to spend time with the elderly. They followed the traditions of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Community by holding clean-ups on New Year’s Day, picking up litter in the streets.

They would plant trees in a global effort to help reduce the impact of climate change. Above all, they would hold interfaith dialogue events in an effort to understand their fellow town members, and to spread the beautiful teachings of Islam so that disinformation would be tackled. All these civic duties and more continue to this day.

But as the Community in Waiblingen grew, so did their need for a permanent home.

The Nasir Mosque

As the members desired a place to congregate and pray, they searched for a suitable plot of land. They found a property in a more remote industrial area in 2006, and submitted a building application for it. However, before the application was approved, the newly-elected mayor and city’s construction manager visited and encouraged the community to find land closer to the city centre and heart of the city. Thus, the application was withdrawn and the search continued. 

In 2015, the Community was finally able to acquire a 575-square-metre property near the railway station. The foundation stone was laid a year later, and the mosque’s construction was completed in 2021. In total, the mosque cost over 1.5 million euros, which was raised by the Ahmadi members of the city themselves. It was named the ‘Nasir’ Mosque, or the ‘Mosque of the Helper’.

With the Nasir Mosque in the city centre, the citizens of Waiblingen have another point of contact for dialogue and exchange. The doors of the mosque are open to everyone, regardless of origin or faith.

The mosque has prayer rooms for both men and women so that all can come and worship Allah the Almighty. It also contains a multi-purpose room, a kitchen, and was designed to be accessible for those who are physically disabled. Though mosques have their own style dating back thousands of years, this mosque has also incorporated modern design in a melding of Islamic and Western architecture.

Above all, the Nasir Mosque provides a place for the citizens of Waiblingen to connect with Islam, engage in peaceful dialogue and worship their Creator. The doors of the mosque are open to all, regardless of background or faith, adding to the rich culture of Waiblingen.

About the Authors: Ansar Bilal Anwar is a graduate from the Ahmadiyya Institute of Languages and Theology UK and is currently serving as an Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Germany. He is the chief Editor of the German edition of The Review of Religions.

Tariq Mahmood is an Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Canada and serves as Secretary of The Existence Project Team for The Review of Religions.