Correspondence: Mosque in Berlin
by Maulana Muhammad Ali, M.A., LL.B.
The Light (Pakistan), 1st February 1923 Issue (Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 2–3)
اِنَّمَا یَعۡمُرُ مَسٰجِدَ اللّٰہِ مَنۡ اٰمَنَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ الۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ
“Only they build the mosques of Allah who believe in Allah and the latter day” (The Holy Quran, 9:18).
“Whoever builds a mosque for Allah, Allah builds for him a house like it in Paradise” (Bukhari and Muslim).
Dear brother in Islam,
Towards the close of the last year, the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-i-Islam, Lahore, resolved to extend its work of the propagation of Islam to Germany, and the small community of Ahmadis belonging to the Lahore section was able, by the grace of God, to make arrangements for the sending of two missionaries to Berlin. One of these, Maulvi Abdul Majid, M.A. is already in Berlin, and the other, Maulana Maulvi Sadr-ud-Din, B.A., B.T., whose work at Woking as the Imam for about three and a half years is too well-known to need any mention, has recently sailed for Germany.
The chances for Islamic propaganda in Germany are very favourable, but without a mosque, and a permanent mission office attached thereto, there is very little hope of the work making a satisfactory progress. Moreover, on account of the great fall in the value of the mark [German currency], houses can be purchased in Berlin at the present for comparatively low prices. It is estimated that a moderate-size house can be got for about Rs. [Rupees] 30,000, and perhaps another Rs. 10,000 would be required to convert it into a mosque with the necessary office and accommodation for missionaries. A subscription totalling about Rs. 15,000 has already been promised and the present appeal is therefore only for the remaining sum of Rs. 25,000.
There is no doubt that a mosque costing about Rs. 40,000 would not in the long run answer the needs of the Muslim community or be compatible with the grandeur of Islam, but in the absence of a munificent gift, say of a lac [100,000] of rupees, by some generous well-wisher of Islam, we should be content with a humble building which would answer the purpose for the present.
Anyhow, a mosque in Berlin is an immediate and urgent necessity not only for the new converts to Islam, but also for the present Muslim population of Berlin. You are perhaps aware that nearly fifteen thousand Muslims live in Berlin. This fact was brought to the notice of Indian Muslims by the publication of an account of ‘Id [Eid] in Berlin last summer. Now this large population has no mosque in such a vast and important centre as Berlin to which Muslims must continue to flock from every part of the world.
The ‘Id prayers were said at a place about 35 miles from Berlin, where a mosque was built by the German Government during the Great War. But even if ‘Id prayers could be said there, it is evident that the Berlin Muslims could not go over this long distance every week for their Friday prayers. A mosque in Berlin is therefore the first need of the Berlin Muslim population. There they can gather on Fridays and these weekly gatherings would bring about a closer union among the Muslims coming from different parts of the world. A mosque is thus not only required to enable Muslims to perform a great religious duty, but also to make their union closer and stronger.
For fifteen thousand Muslims to live without a mosque only shows how indifferent they have become to their spiritual needs and communal interests. Had there been as many Christians, nay even a tenth of that number, in a Muslim city, they would not have passed a day without a church. What is more humiliating for Islam than that thousands of Muslims are living without a single mosque for them? A mosque in such a centre would moreover be a source of immense strength to the cause of the propagation of Islam in Christendom. In fact, the preaching of Islam could not be carried on for a sufficiently long time at a place which had not even a mosque for the new converts to Islam.
The Muslims have spent liberal sums on the building of mosques, but India at present stands more in need of worshippers than places of worship. Our charity should assume the right direction, and mosques in Christendom are an imperative need of the Muslim community.
I therefore appeal to every Muslim brother who has the welfare and progress of Islam at heart to take part in the building of a mosque at Berlin. If only 250 men could come out with a donation of Rs. 100 each, the balance of the sum required would be made up.
All donations should be sent to the Financial Secretary, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat-i-Islam, Ahmadiyya Buildings, Lahore, who would issue the necessary receipts.