Largest mosque in Canada opens in Calgary to political fanfare
Congratulations to the Ahmadiyya Muslims of Calgary for building the Mosque, a community center. I hope it will thrive and become a center for learning and peace making.
I am surprised at Stevenson’s comment that “But unlike mainstream Muslims, the Ahmadiyya believe that Muhammad was not the final prophet.” I have read and heard differently than this or perhaps I am mistaken that the group believes in Prophet Muhammad as the last prophet and that HH Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the promised Messiah.
We have always included Ahmadiyya into the fold of Muslims, however, the statement made by Imam Suharwardy that the Ahmadiyya are to Muslims, what Mormons are to Christians makes an interesting comparison.
I strongly urge the Ahmadiyya community to refrain from saying this particular phrase “… we do not believe in violent jihad ..” These are not the peace making words, the sentence alludes that other Muslims believe in violent Jihad. I have dealt with the same issue on local level at least on two occasions. One does become good on his or her own merit and not others perceived demerits.
I urge the few fanatics among us to leave the Ahmadiyya alone, let them practice their version of the faith as it works for them. After all, on the Day of Judgment, each one of us is accountable for our own deeds and not our kids, parents or community’s deeds. We are individually responsible for our actions and words, and we are certainly not responsible for what others say or do.
Largest mosque in Canada opens in Calgary to political fanfare
July 5, 2008 at 3:26 PM EDT
CALGARY — Calgary's Ahmadiyya community, an offshoot movement of Islam persecuted in some countries, was to officially open what is believed to be Canada's newest and largest mosque Saturday.
The country's top political leaders, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Opposition Leader Stéphane Dion, were expected to attend the ceremony.
The mosque complex covers more than 4,300 square metres and includes a community centre, classrooms, office space, children's area, kitchen, dining room and a multi-purpose hall.
The main outward features are its massive steel dome together with a steel-capped minaret tower.
When construction plans for the mosque started 14 years ago, there were no plans to make it Canada's largest, said Safeer Kahn, a spokesman for Calgary's Ahmadiyya community.
“We did not have intention on make it the biggest one. But when we started looking at our needs, we decided to make it for the future, not for the past,” he said.
About $8-million was raised by local Calgarians. Ahmadiyya from all over Canada also chipped in.
“People sold their houses and children broke their piggy banks and actually this was a great example of sacrificing,” Mr. Kahn said, adding the mosque complex will be open to everyone, whether they belong to Ahmadiyya or not.
“We welcome everyone here, and this mosque will be a symbol of peace. I assure you, Calgarians will be proud of having this building in their city.”
Members of the Ahmadiyya faith, which began in India and is now estimated to have about 70 million followers worldwide, call themselves Muslims and follow Islam's main tenets.
But unlike mainstream Muslims, the Ahmadiyya believe that Muhammad was not the final prophet. Instead, they maintain that he was followed by another prophet in the 19th century called Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who came in the spirit of Christ.
Just last month, thousands of Indonesian Muslims took to the streets of Jakarta calling for the government to ban Ahmadiyya.
The faith is considered non-Muslim in Pakistan's constitution and some consider it heretical.
Mr. Kahn said the discrimination in other parts of the world is precisely why the Ahmadiyya are thriving in Canada, where religious freedom is tolerated. “Anybody can have their own opinion and it does not affect us. We have our own goals and we do not believe in violent jihad and we believe that we are always open to discuss this issue.
“Religion is a personal matter and a person has the right to declare his religion so that's the right that Islam gave us.”
Calgarian Imam Sayed Soharwardy, founder of Muslims Against Violence and the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, said he respects the Ahmadiyya's right to religious freedom, but does not consider them to be Muslim.
“A lot of Muslims do not concede that they are Muslims,” he said recently. “They pray like us, they fast, they do everything except this one particular belief.
“They are our Mormons. I call them our Mormons because the Mormons had Joseph Smith and they had Mr. Ahmad. Some people express hate about them, but in my book there is no word ‘hate.' ”
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SUCCESSFUL NAATIA MUSHAERA ON 2.21.14
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August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas
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Mirza A Beg
PLANNED MUSLIMS RESPONSE TO QUR'AN BURNING BY PASTOR JONES ON 9/11/13 IN MULBERRY, FLORIDA
We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.
Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”
God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.
We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration (www.UnitydayUSA.com) held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.
Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.
As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.
We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.
We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.
We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.
Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.
Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.
We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.
The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.