Hundreds see spiritual leader lay foundation stone at new mosque
By Walsall Advertiser | Thursday, April 19, 2012, 09:20
HUNDREDS of people gathered together to welcome the spiritual leader of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Association as the foundation stone for Walsall's new mosque was laid.
Local children await the arrival of His Holiness.
His Holiness is presented with a bouquet of flowers by a young member of Walsall's Ahmadiyya Muslim community.
The spiritual leader of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Association in Islam addresses the audience.
His Holiness lays the first foundation stone for the Bait ul Muqeet mosque, in Vicarage Place.
His Holiness Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad leads the prayers after laying the foundation stone.
Dozens of local children from the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Walsall waved flags to welcome their worldwide leader, His Holiness Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who was in the borough to bless and lead prayers at the new mosque in Vicarage Place.
The historic visit saw more than 200 people turn out to the mosque, named Bait ul Muqeet by His Holiness, which means 'House of the Sustaining God'.
Planning permission for the new mosque, which has replaced a disused warehouse, was originally rejected in 2009 on the grounds of it being in an unsuitable location and the impact it would have on traffic congestion.
The plans were met with a wave of controversy which saw more than 800 people sign a petition against the proposals. Following an appeal in 2010, permission was finally granted.
The renovated building will include prayer halls, a community hall, offices and a number of multi-purpose rooms, including facilities for youth activities.
Dr Azher Siddiq, president of the Walsall branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association which is behind the project, said: "This is the fulfilment of a lifelong dream for our members who have strived for 13 years for this moment.
"We are immensely humbled and deeply privileged to have been blessed by the presence of His Holiness.
"We can now finally look forward to building a mosque in our hometown which will not only be a centre of worship, community centre and educational centre for our community, but also a base for our ever-expanding community services and charity work which is such an integral part of our faith."