Source: Religion & Politics
By Aysha Khan
Hania Mansoor drove for more than 10 hours to catch a glimpse of her caliph.
As members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Michigan, the 23-year-old graduate student and her family have spent years listening to the live Friday sermons of His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad and writing letters to him asking for prayers. It wasn’t even the first time she had seen the fifth caliph, or khalifa—she’s met him in his office in London, where the Ahmadiyya movement’s international headquarters are located, and she’s seen him during his previous three U.S. trips.
But each encounter with her spiritual leader, she says, feels like the first. “For us, missing a few days of school or work is nothing compared to the chance to meet our beloved khalifa,” she said, standing outside of Bait-us-Samad mosque near Baltimore, Maryland. Just hours before, Masroor Ahmad had inaugurated the mosque with a formal opening ceremony before a crowd of around 1,000 of his followers. “God willing, this mosque will prove to be a symbol of peace, radiating nothing but love, compassion and brotherhood throughout the city and far beyond,” he told guests during his keynote speech at a reception downtown. “We strive for interfaith dialogue. We value and cherish our neighbors.”
Masroor Ahmad’s three-week U.S. tour, which ended November 5, gave him a chance to meet his American followers, particularly African American Ahmadis, new converts, and recently resettled refugees.