“Victory to Ghulam Ahmad”: Foundation of new mosque complex in Zion, USA

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Dr Mahmud Ahmad Nagi, USA

Dr Alexander Dowie built the city of Zion in Illinois, USA. He aggressively started opposing Islam and Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah, may peace be upon him, after responding to him, and challenged him for a prayer duel. Alexander Dowie wrote in Leaves of Healing on February 1903, “I pray to God that Islam is destroyed from the face of the earth. O God! Accept my prayer. O God! Destroy Islam.” As a result of the prayer duel, Dr Dowie died a miserable death in 1907 at the age of 59.

The Chicago Evening American of 9 March 1907 summarised his life story in the following words: “Gigantic success and tragic failures punctuate his life. Here are some of the remarkable works and reversals that marked Dowie’s career: He built a creed; he was excommunicated. He built a city; he was expelled from it. He amassed a fortune of millions; he was reduced to virtual poverty. He elevated Voliva to great power; Voliva ruined him. He drew about him thousands who worshipped him; he died deserted by all save a handful of the faithful.”

Conversely, the disciples of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas are now building a huge complex for the propagation of Islam in Zion. The foundation stone of the Fath-e-Azeem Mosque (meaning the Grand Victory) and the adjoining complex was officially laid on 10 July 2021. Construction is expected to be completed by March 2022. The new site is about ten acres of land and is situated at the corner of Lewis Avenue and 27th Street. The project is expected to cost around $5 million. The structure of the building shall be a mixture of modern design and traditional mosque architecture and a total of roughly 13,000 sq ft in size. It will consist of a large prayer hall on the main floor with a community room and a kitchen in the basement. There shall be a minaret. Another key component will be an exhibition hall that houses items and historical documents that tell the story of Islam Ahmadiyyat. 

The foundation ceremony was hosted at Zion Benton Township School. National leaders from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, some members of congress, county officials and local law enforcement people were invited to attend the ceremony. Zion Mayor Billy McKinney presented a mayoral proclamation.

Sahibzada Mirza Maghfoor Ahmad Sahib, Amir Jamaat USA leads the foundation stone laying ceremony at the mosque in Zion

Sahibzada Mirza Maghfoor Ahmad Sahib, Amir Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya USA, was the keynote speaker at the ceremony. 

In his speech, he said: “The mosque is not only House of God in Islam where Muslims gather for congregational prayers, it is also a place for peace, harmony and human equality. The mosque reminds the Ahmadiyya Community of Zion of its obligations to worship one God and care for His creations.” 

The officials of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community highlighted the message of friendship, peace and harmony. 

Some guests also addressed the audience and later lunch was served. Selected individuals laid bricks in the foundation. In the end, the President of the Ahmadiyya Community Zion chapter, Mr Abu Bakr, thanked the team of men and women who tirelessly worked hard for the project to happen.

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