Malik Imran Ahmad, General Secretary, Australia
It was the blessed day of 30 September 1983 when Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV, may Allah have mercy on his soul, laid the foundation stone of the first Ahmadiyya mosque on Australian soil – Baitul Huda, in Sydney. Hazrat Maulvi Muhammad Hussainra, a companion of the Promised Messiah, peace be upon him, also accompanied Huzoorrh on this historic occasion.
It took almost 6 years to build this mosque and during the centenary year, on 14 July 1989, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh officially inaugurated Baitul Huda Mosque – the first Ahmadiyya mosque in Australia. It was also Eid-ul-Adha that day.
To celebrate its 30th Anniversary, a programme was held on Saturday, 23 November at Baitul Huda Mosque which was attended by over 350 guests from different walks of life.
The event highlighted how mosques play an important role in building peace with various communities and establishing strong and sustainable relations with the broader community. An exhibition highlighting the history of the mosque was also displayed. In his opening remarks, Amir and Missionary-in-Charge Australia said:
“Our mosques are built with the purpose of bringing people together and serving our neighbours and the local community. Our mosques are beacons of light radiating peace, love and humanity. We, the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, teach our children our motto, ‘Love for all, hatred for none’.”
National General Secretary, Malik Imran Ahmad provided a presentation on the history of the community and the Mosque in Australia. He said:
“In Australia, the community was formally formed in 1979, but the history goes back to early 1900 with arrival of Afghan cameleers.”
He further said:
“Today, we are not merely celebrating the 30 years of the building itself, rather those core values on which it stands. Those are the values that the Holy Quran teaches us and has two aspects. One to worship God and bring people to their Creator and the other is to serve mankind. We are celebrating 30 years of promoting peace, love, brotherhood, community engagements, harmony, unity, inclusiveness and mutual respect. And these celebrations mark our commitment, that we will uphold these values in the future too.”
Many federal and state members and the local mayors were among the speakers who addressed the audience and congratulated the Ahmadiyya Community in Australia on celebrating the 30th anniversary of its first mosque. They also appreciated the wide range of activities held by the community to serve the broader Australian community.
Blacktown City Mayor, Tony Bleasdale said:
“The Muslim community has made many contributions in the development of the Blacktown city. Together we have planted thousands of trees, participated in clean up Australia day and worked on many community projects.”
The Mayor of Hornsby Shire, Philip Ruddock said:
“…The organisation like yours has gone well and beyond its responsibility to raise money for so many charities … I am deeply proud of the Ahmadiyya Community. Your community is the best example of multiculturalism and integration in Australia.”
The Shadow Minister for Communications and Federal Member for Greenway, Ms Michel Rowland said:
“The words, ‘I shall carry thy message to reach the corners of the world’; indeed that is what this mosque has symbolised. Over the past three decades, we have seen the Ahmadis continue to maintain their sense of purpose through their hospitality, inclusiveness, innovation, leading interfaith dialogues, patriotism and living by their words – they have adapted to our country through clean up Australia, blood drives and supporting charities but also by being part of the democratic process and getting involved in the democratic process of our country.”
She further said:
“When we say God bless Australia, we also say God bless the Ahmadiyya Community.”
The Shadow Minister for Human Services and Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy, Mr Ed Husic said:
“When I was first elected, we had a very terrible disaster in the face of Cyclone Yasi in QLD. The Ahmadiyya Community in Sydney approached me and offered $25,000 for the people affected by floods in QLD. They don’t do this once, they do this time and time again. They do this as a gratitude to this great country which has provided them a better life.”
Member of the Legislative Assembly from Riverstone, Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Mr Kevin Conolly said:
“You have given so much to this community over the last 30 years. Thanks for sharing the good will, openness and being welcoming. I want to thank you tonight for all the wonderful work you do and will continue to do.”
The community especially thanked the NSW Fire Services for attending the event and having an exhibition to educate members and encouraging the youth to become regular volunteers of NSW Fire Services. The National External Affairs Secretary, Mirza Ramzan Sharif stated:
“At the time of severe persecution faced by our community, our third Caliph instructed the community that we must respond hate with love, his message was ‘love for all, hatred for none’. This is the gift we would also like to give you all tonight. Please take it and pass it on to others”.
Imam Kauser concluded the event by thanking the congregation for attending and then led everyone in silent prayer.
“Every worshipper has a profound responsibility to fulfil the rights of all other members of society. Consequently, a true mosque is both a symbol and manifestation of compassion, benevolence and unity. The history of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community testifies to the fact that wherever in the world we open mosques, our members who worship there increase their standards of love, sympathy and loyalty towards their fellow citizens.”
He further stated:
“Let us all pray that we all become the perfect citizens of this country! We truly love this country which has given us so much! Wherever we are, we respect and love one another!”