With the Mosque officially now ‘open’, many of the local Jamaat members were overwhelmed and emotional, especially those who had worked on the project or who had observed first-hand the various obstacles that had delayed the process for many years.
No doubt, it had all been worth it, as their beloved Khalifa had travelled from London to be with them and to open their Mosque.
A friend of mine told me that two days before Huzoor’s arrival in Philadelphia he observed a devoted member of the Philadelphia Jamaat, Syed Fazal Ahmed sitting in the basement of the Mosque after midnight with tears in his eyes.
Upon being asked why he was crying, Syed Fazal Ahmed sahib responded:
“In my mind, I have dreamed a hundred times of the day when beloved Huzoor would walk into a new Mosque in the heart of this city and address our neighbours. Now we are 48 hours away and my only prayer is that Allah lets me live to see this happen. I do not want to leave this hall until it does.”
Then, when Huzoor had inaugurated the Mosque, Syed Fazal Ahmed said:
“My life is complete. The person I love more than anyone on earth has visited my city and my Mosque. I can pass away now and need nothing else more.”
His words were emotional and are even more poignant today, as Syed Fazal Ahmed sahib passed away in February 2019, Inna lillahey wa inna illahey rajeoon. Alhamdolillah, he was able to see the fruits of his prayers and the prayers of countless other Ahmadis last October.
Another person closely involved in the Mosque project was a Khadim called Niaz Butt. For the past two years, he was a member of the committee that was charged with delivering the Mosque project.
As he had a background in construction, Niaz arranged contractors and also physically did a lot of work himself. Now the Mosque was finally ready and opened by Huzoor, he was incredibly emotional and proud to have been part of it.
Explaining his own involvement, Niaz Butt said:
“For the majority of 2018 up until Huzoor’s visit, I spent three full days a week working at the Mosque and three days at my own personal job. Towards the end, right before Huzoor came, I spent almost no time at my job and was working at the Mosque almost every day. There was so much work to be done and I remember I felt as though a mountain was to be climbed when I found out Huzoor was coming in October.”
“We were working until the very last minute, for example the elevators stopped working just before Huzoor’s arrival. I called the company, who were not normally friendly, and they came immediately to fix it just two hours before Huzoor arrived. Overall, there were so many things that could and should have gone wrong but Alhamdolillah through Allah’s Grace we finished the Mosque preparations in time.”
Niaz further said:
“When Huzoor arrived, I saw him looking at the Mosque and I was overwhelmed with emotions. Even now remembering that scene brings tears to my eyes. I felt such honour that Allah enabled me to be part of a project that brought Huzoor to our city. There were many times when I thought that we cannot achieve our task and it was too difficult but then I would think of Huzoor’s schedule and that motivated me to work even harder. I feel like my whole life up to this point was for this project. I felt as though I was fighting in a battle for the sake of Islam and Ahmadiyyat and once the Mosque was built I felt as though I had been given a new life.”