Prayer Vigil at Baitur Rahman Mosque

Written by Dudley Ritchie.

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Three members of All Saints Parish attended the Prayer Vigil last Saturday evening remembering those lost in the massacre in the Mosque in New Zealand when they attended the Bairtur Rahman Mosque on River Road in Delta.

We were greeted by a young man as we entered the court yard of the Mosque. He took us on a short tour of the interior of the Mosque. He pointed out the large assembly area where the men worship. He indicated that down a long hall there was a room for the women, and nearby a large gymnasium for sports.

A large group of about 150 men gathered with visitors around a table and two large flag poles outside in the courtyard. The table was draped with the flag of New Zealand and the flag poles had the Canadian flag and the flag of New Zealand. Everyone was handed a white rose with a long stem for easy handling.

The Muslim men wore hats, some black and some white. The women gathered together off to the side separately.

Our guide introduced us to Tariq Azeem, the Iman. He willingly explained his role and function. A Secretary opened the proceedings with some welcoming comments and an outline of the purpose for the prayer vigil. He then introduced various speakers for individual comments. The speakers included a representative of Delta’s Member of Parliament, Carla Qualtrough, and the MLAs from Delta, Mayor George Harvie and the Delta Fire Chief.

A moment of silent prayer was observed. The Iman ended the ceremony with a prayer and blessing.

There are 2,000 members of the Bairtur Rahman Mosque. In conversation with the Iman he indicated he would be very willing to visit All Saints Church and talk to those who wanted to learn more about Islam. I indicated to the Iman that he would very welcome to visit our church and enter into some dialogue about our Faiths. We felt warmly welcomed by our visit and it was a helpful learning experience.