This event was part of the nationwide centennial celebrations held across all chapters of the US Jamaat on the same day. Year 2020 marked the hundred years of the arrival of Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq (ra) to the US soil and thus the formal beginnings of the US Jamaat.
Due to the ongoing pandemic across the US and statewide restrictions on gatherings, the program was held virtually. By the Grace of Allah overall attendance was very good with more than 300 people in attendance.
This year’s program was kicked off by Sec. public Affairs, Nasir Bukhari sahib who provided details of the evenings program and introduced the interfaith speakers.
The formal program proceedings started with the recitation from the Holy Quran by Shifa Ilahi sahib.
Following the recitation of the Holy Quran Sadr Jamaat Maqbool Tahir Sahib welcomed the guests and Jamaat members to the program.
“Exactly hundred years ago, our community’s foundation was laid in this very state in the city of Highland Park” said Maqbool Tahir sahib. He then went on to provide a brief summary of the accomplishments and services of the Jamaat in the United States including blood drives, and other disaster relief services through Humanity First.
Following the opening remarks, a short video on Jamaat centennial celebrations was played that showed the US Jamaat journey from the arrival of Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiq (ra) sahib to the current day progress of the Jamaat in the US.
Nasir Bukhari sahib then invited representative Elissa Slotkin, US Congresswoman of MI 8 district to provide her comments. Rep. Elissa thanked Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Michigan for organizing and inviting to the centennial Iftar. She provided details of the efforts she has been involved in regarding Covid 19 pandemic relief.
Then Barb Annes, democratic candidate of the Michigan 45th district provided her comments.
His Excellency Sidique Abou-Bakarr Wai Ambassador of Sierra Leone spoke briefly about Jamaat services in his country and thanked him for the invitation and the Jamaat services for his country.
Rev. Eric M. Williams of the St. Philip’s Episcopal Church of Rochester Hills spoke briefly and thanked Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for organizing such a wonderful interfaith event. He provided prayers from the scripture for the times such as the Covid 19 pandemic.
Rev. Melissa DeRosia of Westminster Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor commented that she was delighted to be part of the Virtual program and would love to be part of the interfaith diallogue with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
The Jewish faith was reprepresented by Edward Chezick who thanked for the opportunity to be part of the Ahmadiyya Muslimc Community’s network of friends and prayed that May God remove the situation created by the current pandemic.
Few other guests who spoke during the program included Padma Kuppa, Michigan State representative, Narayanaswamyof Bhartia Temple Troy, Mohamed Kondeh, Imam of Sierra Leone Muslim Community of Chicago and Lamin kondeh of Sierra Leone community of Maryland joined and provided brief comments.
Hon Siddiqu Abu -Bakker Ambassador’s of Sierra Leone was also invited to speak, he praised the Ahmadiyya Muslim Comunity in Sierra Leone for its service and appealed to continue special help in this critical time.
Regional Missionary, Murabbi Shamshad Nasir sahib spoke as a keynote speaker. He thanked all the guests and members for joining the interfaith Ramadan event.
“We are facing a great challenge this time due to COVID 19, and this is not our normal practice to hold this event virtually”, said Murabbi Shamshad Nasir.
During these difficult times, we need to turn to God. In all the holy scriptures brought by the reformers, it is clear that they all came to bring mankind closer to God, Imam Shamshad Nasir Continued. God listens to prayers and we need to turn to no one else but the only one God. He listened to the prayers of Jesus while he was put on the cross where he prayed “oh my Lord take this cup of death from me” and his prayers were heard and he was delivered from the cross.
In this age, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) has appeared according to the many prophesies foretold by every religion as the Messiah to reform, unite and bring mankind closer to God.
“Spiritual head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) has been promoting peace through his many efforts of outreach to various heads of the states. He has addressed the US Congress, Canada, UK Parliament and has written to many other world leaders to come together for world peace” said Imam Shamshad.
At the conclusion, Imam Shamshad requested all to pray for all the front line workers including doctors, healthcare and other workers that May Allah protect them all in these difficult times. He then led the attendees for silent prayers.
Overall feedback from guests and Jamaat members was positive. Below feedback comments were provided by one of the speakers Rev. Melissa DeRosia of Westminster Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“Dear Muhammad, thank you for the invitation to be part of such a monumental celebration in the life of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. It was an honor to share words of peace and prayer during this holy season of Ramadan. I have been so blessed in my relationships of interfaith partnerships in the past and pray this is the first of many opportunities to work together. If at any time an opportunity arises for further conversation and collaboration, please do not hesitate to reach out. Ramadan Mubarak.”
May Allah Bless all who worked hard to make the program a success. Aamin