Almere, the Netherlands, Tuesday, 01 October: Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his helper, attended the inaugural ceremony of Baitul Afiyat Mosque, Almere, the Netherlands.
The inaugural session started with the recitation of the Holy Quran with Urdu translation, chapter 2, verses 128 to 130.
A member of the Socialist Party was then invited on stage in which he welcomed Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa and the congregation to the city. He thanked Huzooraa for adding “this beautiful project in this wonderful city”. He also recognised the strains upon Ahmadis in Muslim countries. However, he said, the motto, “love for all hatred for none” would ultimately dispel the hatred.
Next, a member of the political party “Respect Almere” spoke to the congregation. He said that “freedom of religion is for everyone” and also congratulated the community for the new mosque.
After this, a member of the Sikh community congratulated the Jamaat for “this holy day”. The Sikh gentleman spoke of his visit to Qadian and the honour and respect he has received from the members of the Jamaat. He said that “I have deep respect for Hazrat Sahib, His Highness, who has come all the way from England”.
Next, Amir Sahib Holland welcomed Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa to the inauguration. Amir Sahib thanked the government for allowing Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya the Netherlands for building this mosque. A brief history of the Jamaat’s progressions in the Netherlands was also given by him.
A Dutch politician from the Labour party also spoke before the congregation. He spoke of the new city of Almere and welcomed the Jamaat’s mosque in Almere.
Thereafter, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa addressed the congregation. After Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and the recitation of Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa thanked the guests for accepting the invitation to the opening of the new mosque.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said that many people living in the western world harbour suspicion about Islam and Muslims. Huzooraa said that it was no exaggeration that many people fear the religion of Islam and its followers. Despite this, the fact that the guests had accepted the invitation to the opening of the mosque proved that they are “open-hearted people”. Further, Huzooraa assured the guests that religion is a “matter of the heart” and everyone is free to follow what they like.
Referring to the Holy Quran, Huzooraa said that it clearly states that there should be no compulsion with matters of religion. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa told the congregation that Ahmadi Muslims have a deep connection with their mosque and on the other hand the guests had no such emotional bond to the mosque. Noting this, Huzooraa said that this proved that the guests were “kind, generous and tolerant people”. Huzooraa said, “I also commend you, because taking the time to learn about the faith and beliefs of others’ is a crucial way of knocking down the barriers that divide us and exposing those myths that often cultivate unnecessary anxiety…”
Huzooraa said that it is a cause of extreme regret to him and to all peace loving Muslims that in non-Muslim countries there is the “widespread fear of Islam”. Many people believe that mosques only disrupt the peace within society. However, the reality is opposite to this, Huzooraa said.
With this in mind, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa mentioned the core purposes of a mosque so that everyone could also understand the purpose of the new mosque in Almere.
“Mosques are a place where Muslims join together to bow down and prostrate before God Almighty”, Huzooraa explained.
The second crucial purpose of a mosque is to be a place for Muslims to strengthen their relations and unity. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa explained that the third objective for any mosque “is to be a means of introducing non-Muslims to the teachings of Islam and to fulfil the rights of the wider society”. Huzooraa said that mosques provide a platform to fulfil the rights of the wider society, regardless of creed or colour.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa made it clear that any mosque that does not serve as a beacon of peace and sympathy for mankind and neither fulfils the rights of God and man are nothing but a “hollow and empty shell.”
A mosque that was built to divide Muslims and promote hostility during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was referred to by Huzooraa. The mosque, from the commandment of Allah, was demolished by the Holy Prophetsa.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said that a mosque’s objectives can only be fulfilled when worshippers enter to worship Allah the Almighty and to work for the betterment of humanity. Huzooraa said that “a mosque’s purpose can only be fulfilled when the worshippers are infused with a spirit of selflessness, humility and true sympathy and love for all mankind”.
Another aspect Huzooraa made clear was that a mosque is a purely spiritual place that should be kept clear of worldliness. Mosques are only permitted to hold such events or gatherings that encourage the worship of the One God or which peacefully convey Islam’s teachings or serve the needs of humanity.
With the grace of Allah, the Jamaat has been able to establish an international charity, Humanity First. At a community level, various charity events are also carried out all across the world. Huzooraa spoke of the charitable works of the Jamaat in Africa and the schools, hospitals and clinics that the Jamaat builds. This is all for serving humanity.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa detailed the humanity relief project of the Jamaat that provides clean and potable water to local people across Africa. Huzooraa said “You cannot imagine, until you see it with your own eyes, how the local people who had no concept of clean water are overcome with emotion and are bridled with joy when they see it flowing from their taps, for the very first time”. Huzooraa said that when such desperate people received clean water “it is as if they have received all the treasures of the world”.
Huzooraa explained that “If a Muslim causes pain and distress to other people and fails to show compassion, then even if they are regular in the worship of God, their prayers and supplications are futile and utterly worthless.”
Referring to chapter 107, verses 3 to 7 of the Holy Quran, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa explained that serving humanity was essential for prayers to be accepted. If the rights of the weak and needed are not fulfilled by someone, their prayers shall not be accepted.
“The holy Quran is very clear that their prayers are meaningless and their hypocritical ways will lead only to their humiliation and despair.”
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa explained that a mosque draws a Muslim’s attention to not only worship God but also to serve humanity. With this in mind, there should be no reason to fear a mosque.
The definition of a neighbour in Islam is extremely vast and concludes a huge sphere of society. “It comprises the entire neighbourhood” Huzooraa said. Quoting the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said that a person’s neighbours included 40 houses around them. In such a manner, it can be said that all the people of Almere are the neighbours of the new mosque.
“Regardless of whether our neighbours are Muslims or non-Muslims, it is our religious duty to care for them; to fulfil their rights and to ensure we do not cause any problems or difficulties for them”, Huzooraa said. Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa said that this was no favour, rather it is “our basic religious duty”.
The local Ahmadi Muslims consider all people of Almere as their neighbors. Huzooraa said “I am confident that the local Ahmadi Muslims will take, extremely seriously, their obligations towards the local society and will always strive to contribute positively to the city…”
Local Ahmadi Muslims must always display the highest moral standards and display the true teachings of Islam. Ahmadi Muslims should remove any fears or misconnections about Islam that may appear among the locals.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa was confident that through the will of God, the relationship between the Jamaat and the wider local society with strengthen. Huzooraa said that at this time, more than ever before, it is incumbent to unite and strive to bring peace to the world.
Huzooraa prayed that the mosque “proves to be an everlasting beacon of light, radiating peace, love and humanity in all directions”.
Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa thanked, once again, all those who attended the opening of the Mosque.