Syed Tanveer Shah, Regional Amīr Prairie Region
Masjid Darur Rehmat located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan has been a long overdue project, which will Inshā’Allāh become a reality soon. It is truly a blessed project in many ways and there are many interesting facts about this Mosque.
This is the third Mosque in the history of the Jamā‘at so far, where one Khalīfatul-Masīḥ has laid the foundation, and another Khalīfatul-Masīḥ will inaugurate it, Inshā’Allāh! The first one is Masjid Basharat in Spain, and the second is Masjid Baitul Futūḥ in England.
Over the years we have received, and continue to receive to this day, countless blessings due to this project. The land upon which the Mosque is being built was purchased in 1989 as a gift for the Jubilee celebration of the Jamā‘at. That same year Hazrat Khalīfatul-Masīḥ IVrh visited Saskatoon to lay the foundation stone for the proposed Mosque. We had planned to build the Mosque soon, the architectural design was drawn up and everything was ready.
Back then, Huzoor’srh Friday Sermons used to be recorded on an audiocassette, or could be listened to via telephone or radio. Therefore, we had initially planned to build a transmission tower on the minaret of the Mosque so that we could transmit programs to other Jamā‘ats, and would thus be the first Mosque to have live transmission capabilities. Little did we know that God had a better plan for us in the blessed form of MTA.
Perhaps this was one of the reasons we did not start construction. If my memory serves me correctly, I remember that on three different occasions, it was decided to start construction of the Mosque, but other more important projects would come along, and this project kept going back to the end of the line. Another reason perhaps was that we already had a new mission house big enough for the current Jamā‘at in Saskatoon. At the time it was not seen as any kind of crisis situation. But maybe Allāh wanted more people to take part in this blessed project. Imagine if we had built the Mosque at that time, we would surely be looking for a second Mosque right now! The original plan was to build to accommodate 250 worshippers. We may not always see it immediately, however, there is always wisdom behind the ways of Allāh. And truly He knows what is best for us.
Time went by and the number of members of the Saskatoon Jamā‘at stayed the same. Kids grew up and members were getting old and grey, and still praying for the day when our dream of building our Mosque would come true. In those days, the population of Saskatoon was not growing as fast as cities like Calgary. In 1975, Calgary and Saskatoon had the same size in population, however, many more people moved to Calgary due to the oil boom.
By early 2000, we realized that the Saskatoon Jamā‘at was not going to grow by itself so we needed to do something about it. At that time, Maulānā Naseem Mahdi Ṣāḥib was Amīr Jamā‘at Aḥmadiyya Canada, and he asked the people of Canada Jamā‘at to move to Saskatoon for the purpose of expanding the Jamā‘at and to be able to build a mosque.
At first people were puzzled. The general impression of the Jamā‘at members from Eastern Canada regarding Saskatchewan was, “where is this place and why would anybody live there? A place where it is cold and snowy for more than half the year and the remaining months are too hot and mosquito ridden?” People were unsure if there were direct flights to Saskatoon, or whether we had a Wal-Mart, or if there were Pakistani grocery stores in the vicinity. One person even asked if we had traffic lights!
Little did they know that a surprise was waiting for them. We are the followers of the Promised Messiahas, the ardent servant of our beloved master the Holy Prophet Muḥammadsa. When appealed for the sake of Allāh, nothing can hold us back. Our Jamā‘at is made up of true believers.
Maulānā Naseem Mahdi Ṣāḥib had asked for 100 families to move to Saskatoon just for the sake of building a mosque. By the Grace of Allāh, it happened and the migration started. I remember that it was like the start of a rainstorm. First, a few drops of water and then before you could blink, a storm hit and it was a very exciting time!
Finally, we had more people to talk to and visit. We were instructed to accommodate and help settle the new families coming to Saskatoon and help in finding them homes, arrange for food, and help move their belongings. Every week a few new families would arrive. Most were excited and happy; some were surprised to find that it was a nice town to live in.
I would like to share some of the comments that I would often receive:
“We have so much more free time in the evening and don’t know what to do now.”
“People are so nice here.”
“For the first time it feels like we are in Canada.”
I would also like to mention some comments that I would receive after our new brothers and sisters were settled down, which shows the blessings that were bestowed upon them from Allāh for the sacrifices they had made in His Name. In their own words:
“We feel happier, I cannot contain my smile.”
“Finally, we are actually saving money.”
“We are living in better conditions than we were before.”
“We are able to buy nice cars and nicer clothing.”
Members have commented that if they were in Toronto, or Vancouver, or Calgary, they would not be able to afford a house. However, in Saskatoon our Lord has shown His Mercy and showered us with His blessings. I am proud to say that I would sacrifice everything in the Name of Allāh, who did not wait for His house to be built before giving everyone a house of their own to live in, especially those who migrated to Saskatoon for this purpose.
I urge my brothers and sisters to help us do this together. Take part in this blessed project! Join us in reaping more of Allāh’s blessings and stand with us to show the world the good that we, the blessed Jamā‘at of the Promised Messiahas, are capable of.
Compared to the numerous blessings we have been given by Allāh the Almighty, this is a small task. Think for a moment and reflect on your own personal history, your life, where you started your journey, what you had then and what you have been provided with now. Would it be possible to attain all this wealth and comfort on your own? Surely, it is only by the Grace and Benevolence of Allāh the Almighty that we have this wealth, this comfort, the comfort of our children, and everything one could ask for.
Despite these blessings of wealth and comfort, however, always remember that we will take nothing from this world with us when we are gone. If we can do an inkling of good now in our lives, we will be leaving something everlasting behind, which will be worth more to our future generations than the wealth of a thousand kings. They will remember us forever and they will thank us. And Allāh, in turn, will always reward us.
I conclude in the words of a wise man: “Value and appreciate the people who sacrifice their something for you, because maybe that something was their everything.” To those who have sacrificed their something for the cause of this blessed project, may Allāh become your everything! Āmīn!
The project team for the Masjid Dārur Rehmat project is as follows:
M.A. Rashid Malik Engineer - Project Manager
Shamoon Rashid Ṣāḥib - President Saskatoon North
Nasser Malik Ṣāḥib - President Saskatoon South (former)
Quorex Construction - Construction Manager
Maurice Soulodre Ṣāḥib, Architect - Consultant