Finally, before leaving the city, the Qafila drove to the seaport where Mufti Muhammad Sadiq sahib, the first Missionary of the United States, had landed almost a century earlier in 1920.
The next morning, several groups, including the local Amila, had the opportunity to have their photo taken with Huzoor.
Huzoor said: “Someone had told me that the minaret was too wide but I think it is very attractive and appropriate.”
Another person attending was Senator Sharif Street, a member of Pennsylvania’s State Senate.
Amongst the people I met, one person I will not forget was a middle-aged African-American lady, a practicing Christian, called Anetta Curry.
Speaking about the Baitul Aafiyyat Mosque itself, Huzoor said: “It will prove a beacon of light and hope to all peace-loving people, irrespective of their caste, creed or colour.”
Rather unbelievably when the person due to give Tilawat was called to the podium he did not come forward and for a few moments there was a lot of confusion.
A journalist from the Philadelphia Inquirer asked Huzoor if he had been able to sample any of the local food.
At exactly 5pm, Huzoor came to his office and noticed that the chairs were arranged in the same way they would be for a ‘family Mulaqat’, with Huzoor sitting at his desk across from the guests.
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.
With the Grace of Allah, later that day, Huzoor inaugurated the Baitul Aafiyyat Mosque in Philadelphia with his Friday Sermon.
Our first few hours in Philadelphia were somewhat confusing and there was a degree of disorganisation.
Huzoor had only been in the United States for around 36 hours but his itinerary was such that the following morning, on 17 October 2018, Huzoor departed from Baitur Rahman and travelled to Philadelphia.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad’s USA Tour Update – 20th October 2018
In all respects, dialogue is crucial to breaking down barriers and increasing mutual understanding and knowledge.