All invited to mosque’s open day
The country’s largest purposebuilt mosque is throwing open its doors.
The Baitul Muqeet mosque in Wiri is holding an open day this Saturday and everyone, regardless of religion, is welcome.
Central missionary Shafiq Ur Rehman is keen for people to learn more about the Ahmadiyya Muslim faith.
‘‘People belonging to other faiths are all our neighbours and are welcome to come and see what true Islam is,’’ he says.
Ahmadiyya is an Islamic movement founded near the end of the 1800s.
It has about 400 followers in New Zealand but millions around the world.
The movement differs from other Islamic sects in that followers see the Indian prophet Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who lived from 1835 to 1908, as their messiah or saviour.
‘‘Other Muslims are still waiting for their messiah,’’ Mr Rehman says.
The Wiri mosque was officially opened in November last year and hosts prayer sessions and weekly religious services for its members.
But it’s much more than a place to worship, Mr Rehman says.
‘‘It’s the centre for many Muslims’ social lives and cultural lives. It is the house of almighty God but it also teaches equality of humankind, tolerance and harmony.’’
That tolerance even extends to allowing people of other faiths to worship in the mosque.
It’s a tradition that was begun by the prophet Muhammad and the only requirement is that worshippers be of monotheistic faiths, Mr Rehman says.
‘‘If it’s for the worship of one God, the creator, then the doors are open for everybody.’’
The Ahmadiyya Muslim community hopes to hold an open day every few months.
Welcome all: Shafiq Ur Rehman is inviting everyone to the Baitul Muqeet mosque’s open day on March 1.