On 23rdFebruary 2020, hundreds of people, guests and members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community gathered in Southall, UK, to attend the opening the Darus Salaam (Abode of Peace) Mosque by His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. After the opening of the mosque, His Holiness (aba) delivered the keynote address to those in attendance. The Review of Religions presents a very brief summary of this, in which His Holiness (aba) said:
‘With the grace of Allah, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is inaugurating its first mosque in Southall, but the presence of the Community here has been around for approximately 60 years prior to this.
If we look at the history of Southall, there were periods of racial tension, but it is now an example of diversity and tolerance. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to thank the local people, of all faiths and backgrounds for cooperating with us and enabling us to construct this mosque.’
His Holiness (aba) then said, ‘The Prophet (sa) of Islam formed a covenant of peace after migrating to Madinah, in which the rights of all people were protected, no matter if one was a Jew, Christian or adherent to any other faith. Not once did he abuse his authority in any way or manifest any form of injustice of discrimination towards non-Muslims.
Throughout his life, the Holy Prophet (sa) set an ever-lasting example of tolerance and peace. Moreover, the Holy Qur’an instructs to show mercy and compassion to all of creation.
The Holy Qur’an asserts that God Almighty is the Rabb, and takes care of all His creation. Hence, only when Muslims fulfil the rights of others will they be able to fulfil the rights of God.
In short, we believe that one who is respectful and considerate to others is accepted by God Almighty. Therefore, it is a religious duty to fulfil the needs of humanity and show love and affection. In this regard, serving mankind is the hallmark of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.’
His Holiness (aba) also mentioned, ‘The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is engaged in many charitable missions to help alleviate suffering all around the world. Building the mosque goes hand in hand with this as it fosters the spirit of love and tolerance in society.
It is not enough to merely refrain from hate, rather it is the duty of Muslims to proactively use the mosque to forge plans and schemes to serve the creation of God and fulfil the needs of members of society.’
Whilst concluding the address, His Holiness (aba) said, ‘I hope and pray that all the Ahmadi Muslims will live up to these standards and I am sure the local members of society will respond to our love and kindness. May Southall always be seen as a symbol of peace and harmony and where all people are able to practise their faith freely. Ameen’