The Baitun Nasir Mosque in Sharon is one of just 60 or so mosques in the United States in the Ahmadi tradition, a branch of Islam controversial among Muslims and often completely unknown among non-Muslim Americans. In Pakistan, where the largest number of Ahmadis live, the constitution defines them as non-Muslims. They are targets of deadly violence and their graves vandalized.
Pictured: Chapter President Amer Malik listened to talks at the Baitun Nasir Mosque. Next
The divergence stems chiefly from the belief by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, one of two Ahmadi subgroups, that a man born in 1835 in India, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was a prophet and messiah. This contradicts the fundamental view in the dominant branches of Islam that Muhammad was the last prophet of God.
Pictured: Hood Ahmad sat on the lap of his father Maqbool Ahmad during talks at the Baitun Nasir Mosque. Next
The branch claims 15,000 US members. Harris Zafar, a spokesman for the national organization, said American membership has jumped 50 percent in the last five years due to conversion, migration, and population growth.
Pictured: Amer Chaudhry sat on the floor during a talk at the Baitun Nasir Mosque. Next
Ahmadis emphasize a peaceful concept of jihad, the internal and external struggle that includes the defense of Islam.
Pictured: Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community listened to a talk at the Baitun Nasir Mosque. Next
The Boston Ahmadiyya chapter was founded when a handful of families began meeting in the city in the 1960s, according to chapter literature. Years later, at the urging of their spiritual leader, they began looking for a suburban location about 20 miles from Boston. They found land in Sharon and built their two-story worship center in 1997.
Pictured: Akash Mian, 6, stood beside his father Adil Mian during a talk at the Baitun Nasir Mosque. Next
Starting in 2011, for the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the group has held annual blood drives under the banner “Muslims for Life.” In its first year, the drive aimed for 10,000 pints of blood — enough to save 30,000 lives, according to Naseem Mahdi, the community’s US national imam — or about 10 times the number killed on 9/11. The group reports that more than 11,800 pints were collected the first year.
Pictured: Nasir Rana and his daughter Anaya, 8 months, listened to a talk at the Baitun Nasir Mosque. Back to the beginning
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