“Our community stands for love for all, hatred for none.”
That was the 2024 message from one Huddersfield Muslim community group as members welcomed the New Year with a day of action to help homeless and vulnerable people in the town centre. As Muslims and Christians gathered in Huddersfield’s Market Place on New Year’s Day morning, the town’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, which organised the day of action, said they would continue to follow their by their ‘love for all, hatred for none’ slogan during 2024.
Members spent several hours picking up litter in the town centre and handing out coffee and curry to the cold and hungry. Fatihul-haq, the external affairs secretary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Huddersfield, took part in the litter-picking and said it was important to ‘give something back’ and to express ‘gratitude’. “Islam puts so much emphasis on cleanliness; cleanliness is half of your faith. At New Year we come together to raise awareness and to collect rubbish, so that when people visit town on January 2 they will find the town free of rubbish.”
He added: “We live here, we enjoy peace and freedom and all sorts of facilities. It’s a little bit that we give back. We will continue during 2024 feeding the homeless, planting trees and doing good deeds. We want to instil good qualities at an early age in our youth, so they can become good citizens of this country. We want to keep Huddersfield clean and tidy.” Fatihul said that members had been offering special prayers in recent days for ‘world stability and peace’. Adding: “Our community motto is love for all, hatred for none.”Fatihul, who lives in Huddersfield, said: “We have been doing this New year cleaning for the last 10 years. We personally think this town has given so much to us and, as an expression of gratitude, we aspire to give something back to the town.
“We are collecting all the rubbish and then feeding homeless people. A donation can put a smile on their face. We have given food to homeless people and have been trying to help people as much as we can. Aamir Shazad, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Huddersfield South, also took part in the day of action, which has been an annual event in Huddersfield for many years.
He said: “Cleanliness is part of our faith so we should look after our community. If the community needs anything we help them across the year. When there was flooding we helped people.”