A Nelson mosque opened its doors to the public in the spirit of community cohesion.
Minhaj-ul-Quran Mosque in Brunswick Street held a Visit My Mosque open day as part of a pro-active response from the Muslim community to the fact that most local non-Muslims have never visited a mosque.
The mosque extended an invite to the general public in a bid to counter these negative stereotypes about Muslims and Islam in general against a backdrop of ever increasing hostility towards the religion.
The event provided an important opportunity to build a spirit of local solidarity and show that Minhaj-ul-Quran Mosque is more than an Islamic faith centre, it is a community hub open to people of all faiths or none.
Visitors poured in from various backgrounds, including local residents, religious leaders and community figure heads. They met face-to-face and got to know each other better to tackle and dispel a range of misconceptions.
The visit proved popular to those who visited.
One of the members of the public who attended said: "Thank you for providing a much needed opportunity for the whole community to visit your house of faith and allowing us to see and experience the true face of Islam. Wishing you all the best in the future."
Attendees were given a guided tour of the mosque, viewed exhibitions detailing Islam's many positive contributions to society and younger visitors enjoyed the dedicated ‘Kids Corner’. Guests also observed a live prayer demonstration and visited various stalls organised by Minhaj Sisters.
An extensive collection of literature covering various aspects of Islam was available to freely take away.
Imam Muhammad Nouman Al-Azhari thanked the guests for taking the time to visit and re-iterated the mosque's open door policy. He spoke of the mosque’s desire to work closely with the local community in an effort to lead to people of different faiths to better understand Muslims and vice versa resulting in a far more integrated community.
Among other key messages the Imam emphasised that Islam does not permit Muslims to cause any harm or distress to others. Rather, Islam commands Muslims to live peacefully with their neighbours in a harmonious society.
For those who wish to receive updates regarding future open days, please e-mail your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org