Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, delivered his Friday Sermon from the Baitur Rehman Mosque, Silver Spring, Maryland earlier today. The sermon, as usual, was broadcast live via MTA across the globe. Huzoor is on his fourth tour of the USA during which – as the second leg of his tour – he had travelled to Guatemala to inaugurate the Nasir Hospital (reported in previous issue).
Huzooraa travelled back from Guatemala to Houston and later to Silver Spring in Maryland where he has been engaged in a busy schedule – classes with Waqifeen-e-Nau, amins, family mulaqats with American Ahmadis and receiving dignitaries that have been coming to visit him. Al Hakam will continue to report the details of these engagements in the upcoming issues. Last week’s Friday Sermon was delivered from Baitus Sami Mosque in Houston, Texas. Before his visit to Guatemala and his arrival back in Houston, Huzooraa had inaugurated the Baitus Samad Mosque in Baltimore on 20 October 2018.
Upon arrival in Baltimore, Huzooraa officially inaugurated the Baitus Samad Mosque by unveiling a commemorative plaque and offering silent prayer in thanks to God Almighty. Thereafter, Huzooraa led the Zuhr and Asr prayers at the mosque and inspected the new premises.
Later, around five hundred people, including 320 dignitaries, attended a special reception held at the Hilton Hotel, Baltimore to mark the inauguration of the Baitus Samad Mosque. Some of the dignitaries in attendance spoke on this occasion before the keynote address by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa.
During his address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa explained the objectives of mosques and said that true mosques were centres of peace, where Muslims joined together in order to worship God Almighty and to serve humanity, irrespective of faith or belief. Huzooraa called on mankind to unite and to foster peace in society, rather than exacerbating tensions and conflicts that have ignited in much of the world in recent times.
At the beginning of his address, Huzooraa said that it was not surprising that some people feared mosques or harboured concerns about Muslims due to the incessant negative portrayal of Islam in the media.
“Many people fear”, said Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, “that a mosque will provide Muslims with a centre to isolate themselves from the rest of society and to undermine the peace and well-being of the local town or city or even of the nation itself.”
Huzooraa, acknowledging that there existed a fear about Islam in the Western world, continued:
“I have personally seen that such fears do exist amongst many people in the non-Muslim world and regrettably, such angst and suspicion of Islam and its followers continues to rise. Nevertheless, the truth is, and will always remain, that Islam is completely opposed to all forms of extremism, terrorism or violence.”
Huzooraa alleviated fears associated with the building of mosques by clarifying objectives of all true mosques. Huzooraa said that where mosques allowed Muslims to congregate for prayers and strengthen ties of kinship and unity with one another, mosques also served as a means of “introducing non-Muslims to the teachings of Islam and to fulfil the rights of the wider society.”
Huzooraa reassured that local residents around the mosque would soon see that his words about the mosque were not “sugar-coated words masking a bitter pill,” but that they actually “represent the honest truth.”
Earlier in the evening, before Huzoor’s address, a range of dignitaries also addressed the audience, whilst the National Amir of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya USA, Dr Mirza Maghfoor Ahmad Sahib introduced Huzooraa prior to the keynote address.
United States Senator Ben Cardin said:
“Your Holiness, we welcome you to Baltimore. You honour us with your presence and you inspire us by your leadership. The community that you lead has helped build a stronger and more peaceful Baltimore, Maryland and America, and your leadership has been global in communities around the world. Your message of peace and love are just what we needed now more than ever before, and you inspire us by your presence and your words here in Baltimore that we all can do better.”
The event concluded with a silent prayer led by Huzooraa.
Before the event, Huzooraa met with a range of dignitaries privately, including Honourable Ben Cardin and Honourable Catherine Pugh, Mayor of Baltimore. Huzooraa also answered questions during a press conference with representatives of various media outlets.