More than 2,000 people attended the official opening of a £2.5 million mosque in Bradford.
The Al Mahdi Mosque, in Rees Way, Undercliffe, took two years to build and is the brainchild of the Bradford branch of the UK Ahmadiyya Muslim Association.
It was officially inaugurated by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Supreme Leader of the world-wide Ahmadiyya community today.
Coverage of the ceremony and a sermon was broadcast across 200 countries on Muslim Television Ahmadiyya.
The centre is one of the largest purpose-built mosques in the city and can accommodate more than 2,000 worshippers. The mosque features an eight-metre dome and a huge hall where it is envisaged community groups from all communities will meet.
It has been funded from donations made by Ahmadi Muslims living in Bradford and across the country.
Dr Bary Malik, president of Bradford’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, said: “The doors of the mosque are open to everyone. We want to do as much as we can for the community and for Bradford.
“The opening went very well; people came from all over the country and from as far away as Pakistan, Canada and Germany especially for the occasion.
“It was a day of joy and celebration for everyone and now we have a beautiful mosque, which can be seen from all over Bradford. People were chanting, welcoming our leader who had come to open it for us.”
Rafiq Hayat, national chairman of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, said: “The Prophet Muhammad taught us that one who helps build a mosque in this life, God will build a house for them in Paradise.
“Ahmadiyya Muslim mosques, wherever based in the world, reach out to the community they are in – equally this new mosque in Bradford will work towards interfaith dialogue, understanding and harmony.
“Peace conferences will be held here, school visits will be invited, and the doors of this mosque will be open to all.”