VIDEO: SWLondoner speaks to one of Britains youngest Imams about his journey and Islamophobia

SWLondoner visited the largest mosque in Britain to talk to one of Britains youngest Imams about his journey and the help Ahmidiyya Muslims gave during the pandemic.

Adeel Shah, 26, is part of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which includes Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden, one of the largest mosques in Western Europe.

Ahmadi Muslims lead a peaceful revival of Islam and, since the time their movement was founded in 1889, have enjoyed an unrivalled record for peace and for its efforts to build cohesive societies.

This is demonstrated in the work Ahmadi Muslims do the for the local community, especially during the pandemic last year.

COVID-19 Response: Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association donate to the local community and NHS

Since March last year, the Ahmadiyya Community have delivered more than 673,000 pieces of PPE, as well as 10,036 food packages to front line workers.

Adeel said: “One of the fundamentals of Islam focuses on serving humanity.

“There are two rights we render. One is the right to our creator and the other is what we owe to mankind.”

Due to these focuses, Ahmadiyya Muslims take a lot of pride in helping and serving the communities they live in, and actively take part in humanitarian projects.

These include blood drives, tree planting, litter picking, charity walks, water-well projects and building schools in third world countries.

As part of Adeel’s training to become an Imam he visited Ghana to share cultures, spend time with communities and help the best way he could.

HELPING OUT THE LOCAL COMMUNITY: Adeel at a food-bank during the pandemic (Credit: Adeel Shah)

Adeel said: “The people who live forty doors down qualify as your neighbour, the people who you travel with their your neighbours, the people you work with they quality as your neighbours.

“So we try to play our part and contribute within the societies we live in.”

Adeel, who began his training to become an Imam of Islam at 17, added: “The Caliph promotes love, harmony, brotherhood regardless of class, colour, creed or race.

“We outright condemn extremism. The word Islam means peace. You can’t have peaceful terrorism.”

Adeel talked to SWLondoner about the Holy Book of Muslims, the Quran, that says there is no compulsion in religion.

“You can’t compel someone to accept what you believe. Everyone is free to believe what they want,” he said.

Adeel has helped the community during many tragic events in London over the years.

After the attack on Westminster Bridge in 2017, Adeel and around five-hundred Ahmadi Muslims went to offer aid during his Imam training, wearing blue shirts with the words: I’m a Muslim ask me anything.

Adeel said: “A lot of people walked passed and shook our hands and gave us hugs, while we were actively practising how we should be assets in our society.”

Adeel has carried this on throughout his time as an Imam, helping counter Islamophobia in any way he can.

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