After tashhud, tawwuz and recitation of Sura Al-Fatiha, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V (may Allah strengthen him with His Mighty Help) recited verse 18 of Sura Al Tauba, Chapter 9 of the Holy Quran:
He alone can keep the Mosques of Allah in a good and flourishing condition who believes in Allah, and the Last Day, and observes Prayer, and pays the Zakat, and fears none but Allah; so these it is who may be among those who reach the goal.
Today, by the Grace of Allah, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaâ€™at of British Columbia has been blessed with the ability to build a mosque. Some of the Ahmadi families have been living here for the last 40 and perhaps even 50 years. Many have certainly been here for at least 25 or 30 years but you have been able to build the mosque here only now.
A center did exist and a hall where prayers were offered and people could meet and perhaps this was the reason why you were not able to devote full attention to the work of building a mosque proper.
To some extent the needs of meeting together, and training members were being met, yet a mosque has its own importance and significance. The minarets, the dome and the very shape of a mosque leaves an impress on the members of the Jamaâ€™at as well as on the surroundings and the rest of the members of the society also.
Where a mosque comes into being, new avenues for the introduction of Islam to others are opened up and new opportunities arise for conveying the message of Islam to the broader society. This is the reason why the Promised Messiah (as) has so strongly drawn our attention to the building of mosques and said that in this way not only the unity of the Jamaâ€™at would be promoted but also the work of conveying the message of Islam would be greatly enhanced as a result.
It is true that he has said that it does not matter if the mosque built is a humble and simple structure but it is important that a mosque be built.
Some people may be thinking, therefore, what is the need for us to build such grand mosques especially as the demands from many Jamaâ€™ats are coming that mosques should be built there also and some of them do not have the capacity to do it on their own and so the national headquarters has to help them. So the thought might come that if smaller mosques are built then in the same amount of money more mosques could be built. But if we keep in mind a fundamental principle then perhaps this question would not arise and that principle is enshrined in the saying of the Holy Prophet (sa):
Inna mal aâ€™maalo bin-niy-yaat; meaning that the reward of any deed is based on the intention behind the action.
Vancouver is the biggest city of British Columbia and this is where the largest number of Ahmadis of BC live and based on the number of Ahmadis living in BC this is not really a very big mosque. And then, when we look at the Grace of Allah, the Exalted, and the manner in which the avenues for conveying the message of Islam-Ahmadiyyat are being opened up, they also demand from us that our places be large and spacious. Then our places need to be expansive also on the basis of this revelation of the Promised Messiah (as), â€œwas-say a makanaka,â€ in which Allah directed him to expand his house and make it more spacious.