More than 500 Muslim men paraded through the streets of Bradford last weekend as they spread the message of ‘love, peace and harmony’.
The 15th annual Naqshbandia Active Development Association (NADA) parade was a huge success for all attendants as people marched through Manningham to honour a number of major occasions.
The event celebrated the birth of the holy prophet Muhammad, the fourth anniversary of NADA’s Jamia Masjid Naqshbandia Aslamia Islamic Centre, and the founder of NADA, Hazrat Khwaja Shaykh Sufi Mohammed Aslam, who sadly passed away in February 2013.
In addition the aim of the event was to promote community cohesion by showing that Islamic values and principles are compatible with modern contemporary Britain.
Following the procession, more than one thousand Muslims, gathered at a marquee outside the mosque to partake in a spiritual meditation programme, whilst a similar event was attended by 500 women in the Girlington Community Centre.
Speeches were delivered by respected scholars in both Urdu and English, whilst the recitation of nasheeds and food was also presented.
The event finished with a food delivery service whereby members of NADA handed out free curry to local residents on Tile Street and Holker Street.
Nazim Ali, general secretary for NADA, explained why it was so important to engage with the wider community during the group’s celebrations.
“At the culmination of the event as per is our tradition for the last three years we went out and gave free food to the local residents,” he said.
“Many are of Eastern European origin, which was not only a gesture of goodwill on our part, but also demonstrates that our event was not only for Muslims but for the whole community and we wanted to express this.
“Hence, the celebration not only touches Muslims but the wider community.”
The event was organised by the late Shaykh’s son, Hazrat Sahibzada Sufi Amjad Aslam, with people travelling from all over the country to take part in the processions.
Nazim added that the parade held significant meaning for the NADA representatives, as it helped spread their core messages to the wider community.
“NADA has organised this highly successful annual parade for the last 15 years to spread the message of peace, love and harmony; hence, celebrate diversity and actively promote tolerance,” he said.
“NADA are a progressive, solutions-based community organisation and a registered charity and this event is in line with the ethos of NADA which is ‘getting to the heart of issues’.
“I profoundly feel that these great events held by NADA were an opportunity to showcase, to external visitors from other cities, the positive work that is happening in Bradford in relation to community relations.”