All in­vited to mosque’s open day

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ANNA LOREN

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.

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