Atif Ahmed Zahid, Regional Missionary, South Australia
On 3 October 2021, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Adelaide West was blessed with an opportunity to visit the regional town of Port Broughton to preach Islam Ahmadiyyat.
11 members of the Jamaat gathered at Mahmood Mosque for the Fajr prayer. After Fajr, I gave some advice to the members on various matters related to tabligh. After silent prayer, we began our journey for Port Broughton.
Port Broughton is a coastal town and is situated about 200 kilometres northwest of Adelaide, Australia. The total population of the town is 1,034, but during the holiday season, it attracts a lot of tourists from around the state and the population goes up to 4,000.
Port Broughton seaside community market is held twice a year on the long weekends and is very famous. On average, it attracts more than 2,000 people. This was the first time that Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Australia organised a stall in this market. The exhibition and bookstall was set up at a very prominent place in the market and was visible from all directions.
In the exhibition, translations of the Holy Quran in eight different languages were displayed along with the variety of literature, such as Life of Muhammadsa, The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace, Islam’s Response to Contemporary Issues and The Economic System of Islam. In leaflets, we had “Muslim for peace”, “Muslim for loyalty”, “Muhammadsa in the Bible” and “Messiah has come”.
The marquee with the Jamaat’s logo and a message of peace was a source of attraction for many people. More than 2,000 people from different parts of the town looked at the Quran exhibition and the books. Detailed discussions were held with more than 60 people on various topics related to the teachings of Islam and the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa.
The most common topics of discussion were jihad in Islam, freedom of religion, women rights in Islam, the Bible and the Holy Quran and the life of the Holy Prophet, Muhammadsa.
The organiser of the market, Mr Ben Irvin was very happy with the Jamaat’s message of peace and was very grateful for bringing diversity to the community. He said:
“It’s great to have the Muslim community for the first time in the markets, and it’s great to have the message of peace around in this community, so thank you.”
By the grace of Allah, the Holy Quran exhibition and bookstall was very successful. Some of the comments of the visitors are given below.
A school teacher and local resident said:
“I know there’s a lot of misconceptions about Muslims, and I’m pleased you’ve come here to explain the difference between extremists and fundamentalists, and just ordinary people. I’ve been talking about this for years, all religions have their fanatics, and fanatics often end up doing the wrong things and you shouldn’t lump everyone together […] Well what you’re doing is spreading the word that the Islamic people generally are peaceful and are good Australians.”
Luke, a local resident, said:
“I think this stall is good, and I like to comment about always keeping the Holy Quran in Arabic, so you can have these other versions but you’ve always got Arabic there, so that it doesn’t change, it doesn’t delete, or do away with, or water down the word that you’ve got there […] The message of peace. How beautiful. If we could all live in peace that would be so wonderful.”
During the same trip, Jamaat members visited the regional town of Bute which is close to Port Broughton and distributed leaflets to the local population by house visits. A total of 600 pamphlets and four books were distributed during this trip.