THE global head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, leader of tens of millions of followers around the world, paid a special visit to Haslemere last Saturday.
His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, presided over the fifth convocation ceremony of the Muslim community’s only UK Jamia Ahmadiyya College, which opened at Branksome Place, Hindhead Road, in 2012.
More than 500 students, staff and guests from around the world attended the ceremony at which 14 graduates from the Haslemere college and 11 graduates from Jamia Ahmadiyya Canada were presented with their ‘Shahid Degree’ certificates by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad and were thus enrolled as official missionaries and imams of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
In an interview with The Herald before the ceremony, the Caliph spoke of the reasons for selecting Haslemere as Jamia Ahmadiyya UK’s base.
He also stressed the importance of forging closer community links and of spreading the faith’s central message of ‘Peace for All, Hatred for None’ to counter the false preachings by Islamic terrorists. We were trying to find a large place to open our missionary training college,” he said.
“This was a big place and it seemed as if it was built for our requirements.
“Ever since we have been here, we have felt ourselves to be part of the community. Students and staff are trying their best to be a part of the community.
“I have always believed in multi-faiths and multi-religions and I respect all of them. I believe there have been prophets in all nations.
“We should try to live together amicably and respect each other.
“The foundation of our community is to bring people closer to their creator and to understand the duties they owe to their fellow beings.
“The graduates of this college will not only work here in the UK but are appointed to work in many other countries, so the message is spread all across the world.
“People come to know these missionaries are from the UK and they graduated from the Haslemere college in the UK, so they not only come to know about Jamia Ahmadiyya, but also the UK.
“It is important in these times when so much energy is being directed against one another to spread the message of peace, love and harmony everywhere.”