In November 2011, to celebrate Woking Inter Faith Week, Surrey History Centre was delighted to host a display featuring the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

The free display was organised by Monevra Syed and her father Ahmad Syed, members of the Woking Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. An impressive collection of over 30 translations of the Qur’an were on view, including all European languages and more diverse ones, such as Igbo and Kikuyu! The beautifully bound volumes were accompanied by colourful, informative display panels featuring prominent themes in Islam, including loyalty, women’s rights, tolerance and equality. Brochures and pamphlets were also available for the public.

The late Mr Ahmad Syed, of the Woking Ahmadiyya Muslim Community with the display of Qur’an (Photo: Di Stiff)

The late Mr Ahmad Syed, of the Woking Ahmadiyya Muslim Community with the display of Qur’an (Photo: Di Stiff)

Positive comments from members of the public sum up how well the display was received:

‘Masha’ Allah! Beautiful exhibition, very inspiring for the Muslim Community’

and

‘It’s wonderful to see the way the Muslim community is spreading the message of peace’.

The exhibition gave an insight into the history of Islam, the Ahmadiyyat and their Qur’anic teaching. For over a century, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community feel they have been at the forefront of promoting peace, tolerance and establishing the true teachings of Islam. They pride themselves in promoting free and open dialogue irrespective of race, religion or creed.

As part of an ongoing commitment to community engagement Surrey Heritage have been working with the Woking Ahmadiyya Muslim Association throughout 2011 to secure their archives for posterity and develop community links. In May, members of Surrey Heritage visited the Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden, to learn more about the largest purpose-built mosque in western Europe and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Following the visit, the Woking branch deposited their records with Surrey History Centre. This has since been followed by an outstanding collection of sound recordings of local Friday prayers and sermons and video footage of community events, the first of its kind for Surrey History Centre (SHC ref.8859).

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