Keighley Ahmadiyya community in clean sweep to welcome 2024

MEMBERS of Keighley’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Association made a clean sweep to see in the new year. After pre-dawn prayers, a team of volunteers – armed with litter pickers and bin bags – targeted areas across the town centre. The clean-up was part of a national initiative, involving more than 2,000 Ahmadiyya community members in 50 locations. Abdul Hadi Masood, Imam for the Ahmadiyya community in Keighley, says: “New Year’s Day offers a splendid chance to kickstart the year positively by giving back to our cherished local communities.

“Our street-cleaning endeavours not only enhance the area aesthetically, but also aim to inspire community pride.” It was a busy 2023 for Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Keighley, with members focusing on helping those in need. Items such as long-life milk, potatoes, rice pudding and baked beans were donated to Keighley Salvation Army, which has seen a surge in demand for its services during the cost-of-living crisis. The donations further cemented a long-standing relationship with the High Street centre. And Ahmadiyya Women’s Association presented £200 worth of essential goods to Keighley Women’s Aid, which provides refuge to those fleeing domestic violence.

Two GPs from the Keighley community helped in disaster and conflict zones around the world, with the charity Humanity First. Dr Aziz Hafiz was helping Ukrainian refugees in Poland, and following an earthquake in Turkey formed part of medical camps there – which included GPs, A&E consultants and hospital doctors. And Dr Adeem Rubani, of Ling House Surgery, also headed to Turkey, where a 7.8 magnitude quake had hit the south-east of the country near the Syrian border. Community members ended the year by volunteering their services at a tree-planting scheme.

They assisted with the creation of a two-acre woodland and planted around 200 metres of native hedgerow, off Blackmoor Road, Oxenhope. It was the latest in a series of planting schemes the association has supported over the years. “It’s a cause close to our hearts because Islam places enormous emphasis on taking care of the environment and particularly on the planting of trees,” said Idris Edalere, one of the volunteers on the day. This year, the association is planning to hold a Voices for Peace event in Keighley, in response to the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza. Members have held social media campaigns and raised thousands of pounds to support families and individuals affected by the conflict, and written to the MP.