The streets and parks of Aotearoa take a significant beating with the New Year’s Eve celebrations – but a group of Ahmadiyya Muslim youths have decided to remedy that by taking to the streets at dawn and helping the local council clean up the mess.
“This is part of our regular New Year’s Day clean-up initiative”, explains Mansoor Ahmad Cheema, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association’s New Zealand chapter. “It’s a long-running tradition for us and the other branches of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth across the world, and the aim is to give back to and serve our communities. As Muslims, we follow the Islamic teachings of not only serving and loving our country, but also keeping the environment and surroundings clean and safe for our fellow countrymen to use.”
The day began at 4:00 am at Baitul Muqeet mosque in South Auckland for special morning prayers to supplicate for peace, harmony, and co-existence in the world.
From there the group of 30 youths made their way to the city centre, equipped with rubbish bags, gloves, and rubbish pickers, and worked for several hours in Albert, Myers, and Victoria parks.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association is an auxiliary organisation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a dynamic and fast-growing international revival movement within Islam. Founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Qadian, India, the movement now spans over 210 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions. Its motto of “Love for All, Hatred for None” is evidenced through the peaceful actions of its millions of followers. The New Zealand branch of the community was established in 1987, and is a registered charitable organisation which strives to be an active, integrated community within New Zealand society.