There are now more than 50 Ahmadi mosques in Germany and every fifth mosque now being built is by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Germany. These mosques are part of the 100-Mosque Scheme launched by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh as part of the Ahmadiyya centenary celebrations in 1989.
“I announced yesterday that to commemorate the hundred years of the Jamaat, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Germany should plan a scheme to build a hundred mosques”, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh said in his address to the Jalsa Salana Germany in 1989.
Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Germany feels fortunate to have been picked by the Khalifa of the time for this blessed cause. Setting off in 1989, one mosque after the other was built with the financial sacrifice and dedication of the German Jamaat. The majority of these members are those that had fled the infamous constitution and the subsequent persecution in Pakistan to settle in Germany as refugees. They had arrived with little or no money at all.
With the scheme came a revolutionary change and these families that contributed towards making mosques – houses of Allah – eventually became capable of acquiring homes for themselves. Their children got the opportunities of the best education and have been able to prosper in all walks of life as German Ahmadi citizens of the country.
The scheme had been working in full swing and had started to bear fruits. Then started the era of Khilafat-e-Khamisa – the fifth Caliphate of the Promised Messiahas.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa encouraged the German Jamaat in their pursuits in every way, especially by personally visiting Germany whenever a mosque or few mosques were ready to be inaugurated or even to lay foundation stones of mosques that had gone through the planning permission stage and its paraphernalia. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa advised the Jamaat in Germany to raise their goals and now aim for at least one mosque in every city of Germany. Members of the Jamaat took it upon themselves readily and the scheme entered a phase where it was to see new heights.
The history of mosques in Germany goes a long way when Noor Mosque was built in Frankfurt. With its very humble, yet prestigious character, this mosque always stood tall in the cultural and religious skyline of the country.
“There was a time when Masud Jhelmi Sahib [then Ahmadiyya missionary in Germany] would lead more than one congregational prayer on Eid,” recalls Dr Abdul Ghaffar Sahib who now serves as missionary in Germany. “This was so because this was the only mosque in Frankfurt and a huge number of Muslims, regardless of sect or denomination, would assemble at Noor Mosque. Humble as it is in its size, it could only hold a small number of worshippers at a time. People would wait outside the mosque for one congregational prayer of Eid to end before another congregation could be led.”
The Ahmadiyya mosques have carried this message of peace and harmony to this day and continue to do so. Missionaries posted at various mosques still have interesting stories to tell of how a Muslim person or family, driving past the mosque, felt compelled to stop and offer prayers. They find it fascinating to be able to pull over at a German roadside and be able to offer prayers in congregation.
“The doors of our mosques are open for all,” says Abdullah Wagishauser Sahib, the national president of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Germany. “We feel happy in inviting Muslims and non-Muslims to our mosques. Our mosques have become a great source of introduction to the Jamaat, working as tabligh centres.”
Now that Ahmadiyya Muslim mosques have been built in a great number of German cities, schools and colleges are becoming more and more interested in visiting these mosques and rectifying their fears that are based on false propaganda against Islam.
“It is heartwarming to hear mayors of various cities referring to Ahmadiyya mosques as ‘our mosques’. It shows the acceptance of the German nation towards Islam,” Amir Sahib continued. “Our mosques have given us identity and we have become an integral part of the German society.”
The German Jamaat is proud to be steadily progressing in this project and attribute this success to the prayers and guidance of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa. It is not that Huzooraa only comes in the picture when a foundation stone is to be laid or an inaugural plaque is to be unveiled; every step of every phase of every mosque receives thorough and detailed guidance and blessings of Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa.
Huzoor’s physical presence however is the greatest blessing that these mosques have been able to obtain. Every new mosque gets blessed with Huzoor’s physical presence at least twice – when the foundation is laid and when it is inaugurated. Receptions held on such occasions attract dignitaries, members of local authorities, neighbours and local residents. Those attending have always gone back with a clear mind, rather feeling delighted to have heard the message of the mosque directly from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih.
It is faith-inspiring to hear Ahmadis of the German Jamaat how they had never imagined having a mosque in their town and how this dream miraculously materialised and how it has led to their collective and personal wellbeing. They are delighted to have an abode of faith in their own town where they have felt their connection with the Jamaat grow stronger. In a society that is rapidly growing irreligious in its character, what could be better to have a lighthouse of faith at every few miles.
Whilst launching the scheme, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh had acknowledged the financial burden that it could entail on German Ahmadis. He said:
“I am aware that you are already offering great financial sacrifices and also that most of you struggle to make ends meet already … but I also know that our tasks have always been fulfilled by Allah the Almighty. He only makes us just touch [the surface], and He carries the whole burden Himself, just as a parent asks their child to lift a heavy object but then very cleverly assists in a way that the child still takes credit for lifting the whole weight. Similarly, if you make a firm decision to bear this burden in the way of Allah, then He who is far more loving and caring than a parent will take it upon Himself to carry this burden while you will still continue to consider it your effort.”
With this, the German Ahmadis came forward and contributed whatever they possibly could to make this desire of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih come true.
If you speak to the organisers of the 100-mosque scheme, they fail to hold back their astonishment about how men, women and children have leapt forward to offer sacrifices. They have stories to tell; a woman, not too wealthy, pledged 20,000 euros not even knowing where it would come from; some women presented all their jewellry; children saved up their pocket money to help build mosques in their areas. There are some individuals who, in their mulaqats with Huzooraa, offered to pay the whole amount required for building a mosque. A young boy of 15 told his local missionary that he wished to contribute 5,000 euros to the scheme. “Where will this come from?”, the missionary naturally asked. “You don’t worry. I will do it somehow!” was the boy’s reply. The boy was soon seen delivering newspapers door to door to generate the amount he had promised. Isn’t it incredible that he actually managed to save up and offer the whole amount towards the mosque funds!
A gentleman had only just saved up to buy his dream car that he heard a speech about the mosque scheme. He pledged 5,000 euros immediately for the scheme and in a day or two, had handed in the money to his local Jamaat. The dream of buying his favourite car had to be put aside. In less than a month’s time, the organisers relate, he came back to them, his face glowing with delight and joy. He couldn’t wait to tell them how, weeks after he had donated the funds, he got promoted to a post at work and the company had given him the same car that he had always desired to own.
The stories go on, and so does the amazing scheme of building mosques all over Germany; so do we continue to witness the awe-inspiring fruits of these sacrifices.
Isn’t it unbelievable that you are travelling on a German autobahn and your host asks you, “It’s almost time for Asr Salat. Shall we get off at this exit to get to the closest mosque? Or shall we carry on as there is another mosque near the next junction. And if we carry on another couple of junctions, we will still be in time to make it to another mosque which is near that junction. Or actually, shall we wait and Masjid Noor is also a few junctions away?”
Before you answer the question, you hear yourself say: “Masha-Allah! Alhamdolillah!”