The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ashburn opened its doors to their Muslim neighbors whose mosque is undergoing renovations for their Eid Ul Fitr worship service marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Joining in fellowship with Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Chantilly, church members welcomed Muslims from two congregations of the Mubarek Mosque to the Ashburn building in support of their ongoing interfaith collaboration.
“We’re so grateful for our good friendship with those of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community,” said President Michael Todd of the Ashburn Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “It’s a pleasure to partner with these faithful members, and we look forward to the continuing opportunity to serve the families of Loudoun County side by side.”
In recent weeks, the Mubarek Mosque hosted an Interfaith Iftar/dinner at which several prominent members of the community spoke, including U.S. Representative Jennifer Wexton, Imam Faran Rabbani, and Church leader Christopher Brinton. Future plans for collaboration include an interfaith basketball game between the youth of the two congregations, and the groups are exploring other ways to give back to the community with one another.
“The Eid Ul Fitr celebration of our Ahmadiyya Women’s Auxiliary was a great, enjoyable, and spiritually uplifting experience at the LDS Church in Ashburn hosted by a very warm, friendly and generous community,” commented Durr-e-Sameen Prapulla, who serves as president of the Women Auxiliary North Virginia Chapter of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. “They took care of the needs of our children and women and hosted more than 500 people on the day of our Eid Ul Fitr with all comfort and ease. We look forward to working with the members of the LDS community in Ashburn as we share the same spirit and love for serving humanity.”
Rebecca White, president of the Ashburn area women’s Relief Society organization of the Church, agreed. “What a wonderful experience it was getting to meet members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community; we hope to continue our interactions in the future,” she said, “We are always looking for opportunities to cultivate relationships with women of faith in Loudoun County as we serve together.”
The church has encouraged understanding between Latter-day Saints and Muslims to its members worldwide, and have highlighted that the two faiths share much in common such as sincerely held beliefs like faith in God, prophets, scriptures, and holy places. Shared values such as the importance of family and helping those in need, as well as lifestyles that include the practices of prayer, fasting, and protecting our physical health unite the faiths.
“The common beliefs, values and practices in both faiths extend beyond any political, ethnic or cultural boundaries,” said Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, one of the highest governing bodies of the Church.