Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated with great joy and dignity in the Markaz here in London. The hallmark of the day was the Eid Sermon delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa from Baitul Futuh Mosque in the Greater London area of Morden.
This sermon was broadcast live via satellite all around the world through MTA International. Now that MTA International is available to be viewed live on the internet, hundreds of thousands of Ahmadis tuned in to watch Huzoor’s sermon on www.mta.tv or the YouTube channel of MTA, “mtaonline1”.
“The availability of MTA on the internet is no less than a revolution”, says Adil Mansoor Sahib, Director of IT at MTA International, London Headquarters. “This means that people with smartphones, tablets and laptops are able to watch MTA wherever they are; in their office, on the move, during their commute or just anywhere they may happen to be.
“Where people had to watch recordings of the Friday or Eid sermons of Huzoor due to being at work or in a different time-zone, MTA online has enabled them to listen to Huzoor’s words as they are being delivered. This year’s Eid sermon was watched by thousands live as it was being delivered by Huzoor here in London and our stats showed people tuning in all across the globe, from East to West, North to South.”
A representative of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK spoke to Al Hakam about the event: “Although we encourage people to attend their local mosques or nearest Salat centres, everyone has the desire to say their Eid prayers behind Huzooraa. So, we have people coming from not only London but from other parts of the country also.
“The greater the number of people, the bigger the challenge of managing the event smoothly especially, because the Mosque is on the main road, so it has to ensure that the smooth flow of traffic is maintained and neighbours and other road-users have no difficulty.
“Police have always been very cooperative, and we have had them assisting us with the smooth running of the operation but the spirit of the Khuddam on duty is absolutely commendable; marshalling the traffic, guiding the pedestrians and ensuring that security is primarily looked after by Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya.”
Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya UK, as always, played a pivotal role in the smooth-running of the operations on Eid. MKA UK sees the safety of everyone attending as paramount. Where there are such large gatherings, Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya has to ensure that everyone is safe in all regards.
From about half a mile away from the mosque, Khuddam marshal the traffic towards makeshift carparks and Khuddam in those carparks ensure that cars are parked in a way that vehicles remain safe and easily accessible when their owners return from the mosque.
With around 12,000 men and women attending, the Khuddam in the carpark had to manage around 4,000 vehicles as they arrived. But what can be more demanding is the safe exit with no difficulties in the carpark and on the roads as the Eid traffic joins the mainstream traffic. The Khuddam were able to clear the carpark in approximately 90 minutes, which is a very reasonable time.
Then there are arrangements to enable everyone in the congregation to feel safe and this is done in collaboration with other auxiliaries and the police.
Khuddam from various Qiadats actively took part in Waqar-e-Amal sessions to set up Tahir Hall in the Baitul Futuh Complex and also in erecting the marquees in the ground opposite the Mosque. While the marquees in the opposite park create convenience for those attending, it also means another site to be attended to with equal care and attention. Alhamdolillah, all went well. It always does.
It is estimated that 12,000 worshippers attended the Eid congregation in Baitul Futuh Mosque.
The Fazl Mosque on Gressenhall Road maintains its historic importance by attracting a significant number of worshippers. The Mosque and the adjacent prayer halls can accommodate around 550 worshippers. Those who attend the Fazl Mosque listen to the Eid sermon of their beloved Imam via MTA and then offer the Eid prayer locally.