On Sunday, February 23rd, Tahir Academy Baltimore went on a field trip to Washington, DC. A group of fourteen female students and fifteen male students, along with fourteen adult chaperones attended this trip, the first of the nascent and evolving Sunday school. Initially, the group toured the National Air & Space Museum where they watched two feature films: “To Fly” in the IMAX and “One World” in the Einstein Planetarium. Afterwards, the students enjoyed the museum. Lunch was neatly sandwiched during the bus ride to one of the oldest American Ahmadiyya mosques in DC.
Established in 1950, The American Fazl Mosque was the first Muslim house of worship to be established in the DC area, making it a historic landmark both for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and for the United States. After offering Zuhr prayers, the students participated in an interactive discussion revolving around the history of the mosque and of the American Ahmadiyya Community.
Chaudhry Mohammad Zafrullah Khan purchased the mosque property and regularly attended Friday prayers during the weeks he served at the United Nations General Assembly, the students were told. When asked to lead Friday prayers, he would politely decline, instead requesting that he be treated as any other guest. The students also learned that the third, fourth, and fifth Khulafa have graced this mosque with their presence and prayers over the years. The students were inspired by one of the oldest members of the Jamaat, Ahmad Halim, who converted in 1953 who shared valuable insight regarding the changing demographics of the DC chapter.
They also got to meet three highly accomplished yet admirably humble members of the community: Ataul Qudus Malik, a multilingual graduate of Columbia Law School who has done invaluable work for the persecution of Ahmadi Muslims worldwide, Bilal Hayee, a member of the Pakistani Foreign Service, and Dr. Fizan Abdullah, a surgeon and scientist currently serving as an associate professor at Johns Hopkins.
The trip ended with Asr Prayers at Baitul Kareem followed by an impromptu snowball fight.
Shireen Younus, Perry Hall