The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Newham welcomed people to The Froud Centre in Romford Road, Manor Park, on Saturday last week to view more than 50 translated Qur’ans and complementary information stands.
The minority Muslim sect, whose followers are persecuted as apostates in Pakistan, is known for its peaceful ethos and branch leader Basharat Ahmad Pir said the translation epitomised the group’s outward looking philosophy.
“We wanted to convey the true message of Islam to the wider community,” the 55-year-old said. “It tells us how to live within the community peacefully like a brotherhood and be nice to our neighbours.”
Visitors to the exhibition ordered translated Qur’ans in Bengali and Romanian and asked Basharat about the controversial notion of jihad – or struggle – which is often associated with terrorism.
Though jihad has become synonymous with armed struggle, Basharat explained the difference between violent or “lesser” jihad and greater jihad in which Muslims struggle toward a better relationship with God.
“One person asked me about jihad and its meaning in Islamic terminology,” he said. “I said it’s the full reformation in which you submit to God’s teachings and be nice to humanity – that’s the main jihad.”