Browsing through the archives of Al Fazl Rabwah, many headlines tend to catch your attention. For instance, the issue of 8 November 1959 has a headline saying “A space station will soon be established on the Moon”.
The story goes on to relate how humans would soon gain access to the Moon and Mars.
Turn a few pages and you find yourself struck by another headline:
“Our great mosque in Frankfurt, West Germany”
If one is acquainted with the humble, yet marvellous history of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, this news should be almost as tantalising as the one about the Moon and possibilities of human access.
Next to none resources and a mosque in the heart of European mainland! But here we are. As Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah help him at every step, is in Germany inaugurating mosques in different cities, it is faith-inspiring to see how it all started.
There existed an Ahmadiyya mosque in Hamburg since 1957, but this new mosque was built in Frankfurt – the heartthrob of the German nation. This was the magnificent Noor Mosque – small in appearance but tall in character; and now, rich in its contribution towards propagation of Islam on the soil of Germany.
The report that follows the headline explains how the inaugural reception of the mosque – held on 12 September 1959 – unfolded.
Chaudhry Abdul Latif Sahib, then missionary-in-charge of Germany, reports that the evening started with a message from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra being read out, followed by a message from the Wakilut Tabshir (then Mirza Mubarak Ahmad Sahib).
Ahmadi delegates from other European countries had travelled to attend the historic event among whom were Hafiz Qudratullah Sahib, Sheikh Nasir Ahmad Sahib, Abdul Hakim Akmal Sahib, Kamal Yusuf Sahib and Bashir Ahmad Rafiq Sahib.
Hazrat Sir Zafrulla Khanra – then vice president of the International Court of Justice – had travelled from The Hague to deliver the keynote address that evening.
The excitement and happiness of German Ahmadis was evident from the zeal and enthusiasm with which they attended the event; naturally so as they were the actual hosts in every sense of the term.
The press, with their cameras and spiral notebooks, showed special interest in covering the event; it made it to the headlines of most newspapers the following morning. A number of officials from Frankfurt authorities were invited and had gladly attended the event. The chief mayor of Frankfurt was unable to attend but had sent Mr Albrecht as his representative.
Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrulla Khanra in chair, the event started with recitation of the Holy Quran by Hafiz Qudratullah Sahib and followed by a welcome note readout by Chaudhry Abdul Latif Sahib. Abdul Shakoor Kunze – a German Ahmadi Muslim – delivered a speech and explained with great eloquence what it meant to be a Muslim.
Mr Albrecht took it to the dais and expressed his pleasure in being present on the important event and that too as the representative of the chief mayor of Frankfurt. He said it was his hope that the mosque would play its role in establishing peace and harmony in the city. He expressed full support from the local authorities for the mosque.
Hazrat Chaudhry Zafrullah Khanra then delivered his presidential address, highlighting the global character of the message of Islam. Chaudhry Sahibra led everyone in silent prayers and the event came to its end.
But with this end opened a chapter of religious history in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Who would have known that the seemingly small Jamaat that had erected this mosque with their humble financial contributions would one day be building mosques in all major cities and towns of Germany? And not only major cities.
They aim to do so in every city or town. This achieved, every town and every city will become a major one.
Long live the Ahmadiyya Jamaat that strives to establish peace and harmony through mosques!!