السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ
It’s Sunday 8th May/ 7 Shawwal 1443H.
My visit to Masjid-e-Quwwatul Islam, Preston
We started our charity in the year 1992 and ever since then we have had the honour and privilege of visiting Masjids up and down the country, to raise awareness about the plight and condition of our Albanian brothers and sisters. It has been nearly 30 years now.
On Friday 29th April, we had been allocated an opportunity to collect donations at our Quwwatul Islam Masjid in Preston. It was the 29th night of Ramaḍān and the khatam of the Holy Qur’ān was scheduled for the same night. There was a special buzz in the Masjid, which was absolutely packed.
Upon the completion of the Holy Qur’ān in Tarāwīḥ, my very close friend Mufti ‘Abdul Ḥamīd performed a very emotional dua, bringing the audience to tears. Thereafter, Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Ismā’īl Ḥāji Ṣāḥib, the lead Imām, who has served the Masjid for over 40 years, gave a very moving account of his time as Imām of the Masjid.
Once Mawlānā finished his speech, it was my turn to make the appeal for Albania. I must have spoken for a few minutes, when I was interrupted by a musalli from the back, who requested I shorten my announcement. Unfortunately this moment was captured on camera and seems to have gone viral via social media platforms.
My message today is to clarify that this interruption was not specifically targeted at me. The evening had gone on long enough and maybe I was the wrong person at the wrong place at the wrong time. Regardless of what happened, many of the musalli came and apologised to me and some were close to tears.
From my side, everything was forgiven and forgotten there and then. I have received messages in which my well wishers have given me their words of support, but at the same time, criticised the Masjid management for letting such an incident take place.
Let me assure each and every one that there is no one to blame here. Even the musalli who spoke up did it not out of enmity or spite, but out of sheer frustration, due to it getting quite late. مَا شَآءَ الله, the musallis of Masjid-e-Quwwatul Islam have always welcomed us, respected us, and always donated very generously towards our Albania projects.
I do not want this wonderful legacy to be tarnished by this one-off unfortunate incident. My ‘Ulamā colleagues in Preston, especially my very close friend Mawlānā Farook Kāzi, may have spoken out against this incident, due to the respect we have between ourselves.
However, rest assured, Mawlānā Farook has no hatred or malice against anyone at Quwwatul Islām. Let’s move on please and put this matter to rest.
Almighty Allāh unite all our hearts and minds and make us from those who forgive and forget, Āmeen.
جَزَاكَ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا
Request for Du’ās
وَالسَّلَامُ Hanif Dudhwala (CEO, Muslim Welfare Institute, Blackburn, UK)