Saturday February 20th marked the inauguration of the Ahmadiyya communities Baitul Ikram Mosque located in the diverse area of Clarendon Park, Leicester.
The new mosque has been entirely self- funded by the Ahmadiyya members as well as members of the community.
People have donated parts of their wages and even children have saved up and donated their pocket money for the new mosque.
His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad was the guest of honour at the Baitul Ikram mosque a spiritual leader to millions of Ahmadiyya Muslims around the world.
The visit marks years of work from every member of the Ahmadiyya community.
Also in attendance were High Sheriff of Leicester Gordon Arthur, Lord Mayor of Leicester Councillor Ted Cassidy, Cheif Constable of Leicestershire Police Simon Cole and MP Keith Vaz.
The community have had a residence in the centre for around 20 years but as its numbers increased to around 100 families in Leicester they’d become too big for the centre they called home.
Dr Habib Akram, President of the Leicester Ahmadiyya Muslim Society, said: “Everything you see around here has been through the hard work and sacrifice of the people who will god willingly be using the mosque in the future.
“The Baitul Ikram mosque is a realisation of a dream of all the local community members here and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community around the UK of having their first purpose built mosque in Leicester.”
The opportunity rose for the community to buy the next door building in order to create a larger mosque with more facilities.
Members have actively been involved with the decorating of the new mosque.
The new Mosque will allow Ahmadiyya Muslims to utilise the larger space 5 times a day for their prayers, for meetings and events held throughout the year.
A young attendee of the Baitul Ikram Mosque shared her thoughts and feelings of the opening of the new mosque: “It feels amazing I’ve been waiting for this for so long.
“It feels like it’s our own place and more homely.”
The mosque is seen as a second home for its attendees and will be a positive and unforgettable reminder for them of what they have come together and wholeheartedly created.
By Jessica Sterland