LAHORE: Thousands, including women and children, gathered at Bahria Town mosque in Lahore as Imam-e-Kaaba Sheikh Khalidul Ghamidi led Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque.
Sheikh Ghamidi gave a sermon after leading the call for prayer (Azaan).
“Islam is a clear and open religion which teaches peace,” the Imam said in his sermon.
“Enemies are propagating against Islam." Further, he said, “Islam does not allow extremism or terrorism.”
“Islam cannot be imposed by force, the Prophet (PBUH) treated non-believers with respect and gave them their rights,” he said, urging Muslims to give minorities their rights.
Express News screengrab of Imam giving Friday's sermon
Before the Azaan, the Imam-e-Kaaba was introduced to the gathering.
“Sheikh Ghamidi hails from the family of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He is offering prayers and sermon in Kaaba for the past 8 years. He was born in Makkah and is a PhD doctor,” the announcement said.
The Imam-e-Kaaba was previously the Imam of Masjid-e-Quba and Masjid-e-Nabvi. He is also a professor at Jamiatul Qura in Saudi Arabia.
Strict security measures have been taken at the Grand Jamia Masjid. Bahria Town chairman Malik Riaz is also present at the mosque.
Imam-e-Kaaba arrived in Pakistan on Thursday on special invitation of the government and is scheduled to stay in the country for the next five to six days.
Read: Imam-e-Kaaba to visit Pakistan
Express News screengrab of worshippers at the Grand Mosque
A local news channel quoted highly-placed sources in the Saudi government as saying the Imam-e-Kaaba will visit the country to defuse tensions between the traditional allies, which developed following the Parliament’s resolution rejecting the Saudi request of personnel support in Yemen recently.
Express News screengrab of Malik Riaz at the Grand Mosque
The mosque is billed as being the seventh largest of its kind. The main hall of the mosque can accommodate 25,000 worshippers and it has a total capacity of 70,000. It has 21 domes and four 165 feet high minarets.
Express News screengrab of Grand Jamia Masjid
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