The National Tabligh Department organised the Big Iftar on Wednesday 23 May 2018 at the Baitul Futuh Mosque, London. This was the first of two events organised by the National Tabligh Department in this year’s Ramadan. The second was held on Saturday 2 June 2018.
The purpose of this event was to spread the message of the true Islam. All local presidents were requested to publicise the event locally and regionally and invite tabligh contacts, academics, dignitaries, neighbours, friends and work colleagues.
The Big Iftar was heavily promoted on social media. Thousands received the message through post-event coverage on three mainstream Pakistani channels, namely Geo TV, Aaj News and C44 as well as on social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
The planning for the event started in mid-April with the formation of the organising committee comprising of, Nadim Vanderman, Raja Ataul Mannan, Bilal Mahmood, Nadim Baig, Khalid Khan, Rehan Syed, Dr Pannu, Faiz Ahmad, Shahzad Ahmad, Ibrar Ahmad and Danayal Zia.
The major task ahead of the committee was to reach out to as many people as possible. For this purpose banners were put up in Baitul Futuh Mosque, flyers were distributed after Friday prayers, invitations were sent out to close to 80 local churches, local presidents, regional missionaries, regional Amirs and tabligh secretaries were requested to invite their contacts and finally, the event was heavily promoted on Social Media such as Twitter and Facebook.
By the grace of Allah we had a good turnout and participants were predominantly indigenous English people.
The programme comprised of a tour of the mosque, talks with regional missionaries Naseem Bajwa Sahib and Mansoor Clark Sahib followed by the iftar. For those interested, special arrangements were made to view Maghrib prayers from the gallery.
A separate seating area was arranged for guests invited by Lajna Imaillah.
An exhibition of the Holy Quran as well as other Jamaat books was also arranged. More than 70 books were given to guests on request.
A team of 8 tour guides under the guidance of Waleed Ahmad Sahib took the guests around the Mosque and exhibition area. These sessions were interactive as guests were actively encouraged to ask questions.
Visitor feedback was very positive. Some of the comments are as follows:
“I am a Christian, but I have come here to find out more about the Muslims and I must admit that it has been a bit of an eye opener to me. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself and that includes the meal that we finished up with.”
“I came to this beautiful mosque to join lovely people. It all brings us together. It’s nice to be open and friendly and bring peace to everybody.”
“I felt very welcomed. It was amazing to learn about fasting and to see people, no matter where they are from, to be so accepted and to experience the visit to a mosque as I had not been to one before.”
“I have been very surprised today with the conversations ... I also felt the calmness (the serenity) here; I liked very much the call to prayer and the breaking of the fast.”
“Very interesting, it’s the first time I came to visit a mosque. The event was amazing; I am always interested to learn more and to understand what the difference is between what we hear in the media and what the reality is, and I am impressed in many ways.”