The Salam Mosque inaugurated by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is pleased to announce that on 6 September 2016, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad inaugurated the Salam Mosque (Mosque of Peace) in the German city of Iserlohn.
Upon arrival, His Holiness officially inaugurated the Mosque by unveiling a commemorative plaque and offering a silent prayer in thanks to God Almighty.
His Holiness then led the Zuhr and Asr prayers at the new Mosque and later planted a tree at the Mosque premises to further mark the occasion.
Thereafter, a special reception, attended by more than 40 dignitaries and guests, was held to mark the opening of the Mosque. Various dignitaries attended including the Mayor of Iserlohn.
The National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Germany, Abdullah Wagishauser gave a welcome address, followed by comments from guest speakers.
Mayor of Iserlohn, Peter Paul Ahrens said:
“This Mosque is called ‘Salam’ and this means it is a Mosque of peace and certainly the Ahmadi Muslims in this area have always lived in this way. I also greatly appreciate that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community opens the doors of its Mosques to all people.”
Commissioner, Thomas Gemke said:
“I take this opportunity to congratulate you on the opening of the Salam Mosque here in Iserlohn. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has and continues to show its commitment to peace in this country.”
Thereafter, the keynote address was delivered by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad in which he addressed and explained various issues according to the teachings of Islam.
Speaking about how the Islamic greeting of ‘salam’ was a means of peace in society, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“When a Muslim greets anyone, whether Muslim or not, he greets them with a salutation of peace. If a Muslim understands the wisdom underpinning this greeting then it is impossible that he or she could ever seek to cause harm to anyone, whether Muslim or not.”
At a time when Islam was commonly portrayed as an extremist religion and Muslims were branded as disloyal citizens, His Holiness said that Ahmadi Muslims were faithfully serving the nations in which they lived according to the teachings of their religion.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“There are Ahmadi Muslims serving in the German army and other offices. For example, there are Ahmadi Muslims involved in research projects. They are serving the nation and working towards its betterment and progress with the intention of serving it in the best way. However, they are not doing any favour upon this nation because serving your country is a necessary part of the Islamic faith and so it is their religious duty and obligation. Every Ahmadi Muslim living in Germany, no matter where they are from, must become a loyal member of this nation and serve it with sincerity.”
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:
“In a couplet, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community wrote that serving humanity was amongst his foremost objectives. This is in fact the teaching of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him). Hence, serving others, irrespective of their faith or beliefs, is a fundamental task and purpose of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.”
His Holiness said the new Mosque would prove to be a symbol of peace and security and would be a means of peace for the local society and neighbours.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Islam has established and enshrined the rights of one’s neighbours and according to its teachings the scope of one’s neighbour is extremely vast. It includes work colleagues, those who travel with you, your acquaintances and all those who live nearby. Hence, in essence all of the people of this city are our neighbours and so it is the duty of the local Ahmadi Muslims to serve and care for all members of the society.”
His Holiness said that selflessness was a key component in the development of peace. He said Islam taught that people should forsake their own rights for the sake of others.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“A while ago someone asked me how we could establish peace in society and what my definition of peace was. I answered by saying that in my opinion the definition of peace was to seek to fulfil the rights of other people, rather than to demand or seek your own rights. If all people fulfil the rights of others then conflict or discord is impossible. Certainly, this is the type of society Ahmadi Muslims desire and strive for.”
Reflecting upon the sudden influx of refugees into Germany during the past year, His Holiness said that both the host nation and the refugees should respect one another.
His Holiness said that immigrants should seek to integrate and contribute to the local society. He said that learning the German language was extremely important and that he had instructed Ahmadi Muslim Imams to deliver sermons in the local language.
His Holiness said that the vast majority of Ahmadi Muslims living in Germany had learned German and that the Ahmadi Muslim youth living in the country spoke it as their first language.
Earlier in the proceedings one of the guest speakers had spoken of the fact that Muslims preferred not to shake the hands of people of the opposite sex.
During his address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad responded directly to these comments.
His Holiness noted that the issue of the handshake was not something that defined integration and that in a free society people should have the right to greet others according to their customs and beliefs. He said that a woman ought not be forced to shake the hand of a man and vice versa.
His Holiness said this was part of Islamic faith and it would be entirely wrong to claim that it was a sign of inequality. His Holiness pointed to the fact that Islam had established the rights of women from the outset and far earlier than in the Western world.
His Holiness also referred to unjust ‘double standards’ in such matters. He noted that there were people of the Jewish faith who did not shake hands with people of the opposite sex but no one dared to criticise them out of fear of being branded anti-Semitic.
He said that integration was not defined by handshakes or other minor issues, but was defined by a desire to serve one’s nation and to work for its progress and to be peaceful and law abiding citizens.
Concluding, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“I hope and expect that now this Mosque has been built the local Ahmadi Muslims will convey the true message of Islam and where they will fulfil their obligations of worship, they will also fulfil the rights of their neighbours. They should serve them even more than previously and fulfil the rights of both the women and men in this region. May Allah enable them to do this.”
The formal session concluded with a silent prayer led by His Holiness followed by dinner.