Eid will be celebrated in London on Saturday, 16 June. Being the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, and with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa residing here, London is the centrepiece of the whole community.
While dates of Eid can vary with the sighting of the crescent of Shawwal, Eid day in London holds a significant meaning for the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.
The revolution brought about by MTA means that each and every member of the Jamaat can celebrate their Eid with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih even if their Eid is scheduled for a different date or a different time, subject to their time zones.
The opportunity to listen to Huzoor’s Eid sermon is what completes the joys of Eid; the cherry on the cake being the “Eid Mubarak” that Huzoor conveys with great love and affection to the worldwide Jamaat at the end of his Sermon.
MTA International begins its live broadcast with Huzoor’s Eid Sermon which is expected at around 9.30am GMT tomorrow, Saturday 16 June.
Huzooraa delivers his Eid sermon at Baitul Futuh Mosque – the central mosque of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, UK – situated in Morden, Surrey. It is in the Greater London area and very easily accessible from all parts of the city – a characteristic that adds to the desire of every Ahmadi to say the Eid prayers behind the Imam and listen directly to his sermon.
The Baitul Futuh mosque, when inaugurated in 2003, was taken to be a huge mosque which not only adequately fulfilled the demands of a rapidly growing Jamaat but was also sufficient for the many years to come. We as humans have our own plans that we think are grand, but the grandeur of Allah’s design is beyond the grasp of human faculties. As with all Jamaat facilities, it took less than a couple of years for the mosque to become just sufficient and another couple of years for it to become insufficient. The adjacent halls that were once thought to be more than sufficient for an overflow (should the need have ever arisen) soon started to function as annexes accommodating the turnaround. Marquees appeared in the car park for overflow but that meant providing parking facilities elsewhere.
The Merton Council (the local authority of the London Borough that houses the Baitul Futuh Mosque) has to be contacted to hire parking facilities in nearby parks and paid car parks on occasions like the Eid and even for the Friday congregations.
This shrinking space is never seen by the Jamaat as a problem; it is a blessing of Allah and we remain ever thankful to Him for making us a witness to the ever-rising trajectory of the Jamaat’s success. Such has been the case from the time of the Promised Messiahas and the Jamaat has witnessed this prosperity with every passing day; Baitul Futuh being no exception.
Mohammed Nasser Khan sahib, Naib Amir UK, is responsible for the logistics of events of this scale in the UK Jamaat. We spoke to him to see how Jamaat UK sees these challenges. Nasser Khan Sahib said, “This is all down to the blessings of Allah. It is very challenging but there are other challenges that entail the attempts to resolve them. By the Grace of Allah, the council allows us to hire the park right opposite the Baitul Futuh Mosque, which means we have 73 acres at our disposal. This park has – for the past several years – provided parking facilities for those attending which helps in moving away the motor-traffic from the site. We have had overflow arrangements in a marquee in this park but this year we are having 4 marquees which will accommodate up to 6,000 persons; almost the same number as in the mosque.
“As the park is just across the road, connectivity becomes easier and we are able to have large screens and speakers relaying the Eid prayer and sermon.
“Every passing year has been a learning experience for us and now, the massive operation has become more systematic and organised. The police are always here to help with controlling the traffic and keeping the roads around the mosque moving. This is all by the sheer Grace of Allah and the prayers of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih.”
All this was to give our worldwide readers a feel of Eid in London. Eid Mubarak from Al Hakam!