Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (atba) arrived at Darul Barakaat (“Abode of Blessings”) on the evening of Thursday 30th September. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (atba) was greeted by a crowd of hundreds before being given a detailed tour of the site. This was followed by Maghrib and Isha’a prayers at 8:45pm – the first congregational prayers to be offered in the new mosque.
The main inauguration event was to be the Jumu’ah prayers held the following day. Approximately 1,500 Jama’at members from both within and outside Midlands attended the service. In the first ever Khutbah to be broadcast live from the region, via MTA International, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (may Allah protect him) gave a brief history of the project, spoke on the purpose of a mosque, emphasised the importance of worship and also stressed to the local Jama’at that if they intensified their efforts in Tabligh, this mosque would also become too small very quickly.
Following Jumu’ah, all guests received sweets and were served lunch before dispersing and returning home.
Preparations were then made for the evening inauguration dinner, to which many leading local political and faith figures, and professionals, were invited. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (atba) met a number of these dignitaries in his office a few minutes prior to the function.
The event, which took place in a marquee adjacent to the mosque, started at 6pm with Tilawat. There was a welcome address by Dr Syed Farooq Ahmed, Regional Amir and Chairman of the Darul Barakaat Mosque Committee. This was followed by a speech from the Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor John Alden, who expressed his delight that the Jama’at had chosen Birmingham for its first regional centre in the Midlands.
The next speaker was Steve McCabe, Labour MP for Hall Green, who praised the Jama’at for transforming the site from such a derelict to a now glorious state. Philip Bushill-Matthews, Conservative MEP for West Midlands, then spoke of his immense privilege at being present at the function. He also mentioned that some years ago his own daughter embraced Islam and how proud he was to have three Muslim grandchildren.
Speeches from the guests were followed by a short history about the Jama’at by Amir Sahib UK. Amir Sahib also offered a brief introduction to Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (atba) before Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (atba)graciously took to the podium and delivered an inspiring address.
In his speech Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (atba) stressed the need for mosques and reminded about their true purpose. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (atba) also invited followers of other faiths to make use of the centre and cited the instance of a Christian delegation that prayed in the mosque of the Ho Holy Prophet (saw) in Medina. Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (atba) further advised Ahmadis to uphold the principles of love and service to humanity. After his speech Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (atba) led a silent prayer which was followed by dinner. Begum Sahiba also participated in the inauguration dinner in the ladies marquee.
No fewer than 90 non-Ahmadi dignitaries were present with a further 100 attendees being special Ahmadi invitees from either the National Amila or Midlands Jama’at.
At 7:45pm, just before setting off for Scunthorpe, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (atba) shook hands with some of the local members and guests and led another silent prayer.
The visit of Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih V (atba) to Birmingham and the mosque inauguration were covered extensively by both the national and local media including BBC TV Midlands Today, British Satellite News, BBC Radio West Midlands, The Birmingham Post and The Sikh Times. The Birmingham Evening Mail also published a major story on the event and ran an editorial which praised the Jama’at’s achievement and proudly stated “We welcome the Abode of Blessings”.
May Allah enable the Darul Barakaat mosque to herald a bright and wonderful era in the history of Islam in the Midlands, Ameen.