Renowned international speaker Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan has been a welcome visitor to Australia over recent weeks, drawing massive gatherings to the various religious events he has addressed.
Officials of the Lebanese Muslim Association were ecstatic at the amazing response from the community for Ustadh Nouman’s two appearances at Australia’s most famous and most recognisable masjid, Lakemba Mosque on Friday 27 October.
“Friday khutbah generally draws around 1,000 worshippers to Lakemba Mosque and there is no doubt that Ustadh Nouman’s attendance led to a congregation of at least three times that amount,” LMA Religious Affairs Administrator Salim Allouche told AMUST.
“There wasn’t an empty square of carpet on the main level of the mosque for Jumu’ah prayer, both of the women’s areas were overflowing and the men’s downstairs area was also extremely busy.”
Following Jumah prayer, Ustadh Nouman then enjoyed a special lunch in his honour in the LMA Events Hall, hosted by the Association’s board of directors.
Even more remarkable scenes followed Ustadh Nouman’s return to the masjid later the same day for another speaking engagement, again addressing the community at the monthly LMA Lakemba Mosque Youth event, programmed between Maghrib and Isha prayers.
“Maghrib was timed to start at 7:20 PM but literally thousands of people had arrived at the mosque a good hour prior,” Mr Alloushe reported.
“We were expecting large numbers for the Youth Night and our pre-event registrations exceeded all expectations when they reached 4,500 earlier in the day.”
“Our experience has been that to obtain a ballpark estimate of what a crowd will be like for a major event, you multiply the pre-event registration by two or even three times, to allow for the ‘walk ups’.”
“Crowds of 3,000-5,000 are not uncommon here for Taraweeh during Ramadan and even 8,000 for Laylatul-Qadr but tonight was even larger….definitely 9,000-10,000 would be closer to the mark.”
“Some of our elders who have been praying at the current Lakemba Mosque since it opened in 1977 have been telling me that this is the largest night time gathering they can ever recall at the masjid.”
“As for the man himself, Nouman Ali Khan is an absolute gentleman, obviously a passionate, inspirational and world class speaker who was absolutely loved by the congregation, including the masses of young people who clambered through the massive crowds to meet him afterwards.”
“May Allah the Almighty reward him for his efforts.”
“On behalf of the LMA directors and Lakemba Mosque, I’d like to thank Ustadh Nouman for giving us his time not once but twice on the same day and for his inspirational messages, MATW for their sponsorship and also WhiteFlame Strategic for their help in putting this memorable day together.”
“Also a sincere thank you to our wonderful sponsors Kahil Meats, Fettayleh Smallgoods and Abu Salim Grocers in Greenacre – and of course not forgetting our wonderful community who joined us in their thousands for this amazing gathering.”
While it was billed as a Youth Night, the LMA left registrations open for the entire Muslim community and the event was extremely well patronised by hundreds if not thousands of families including three-generation family groups.
Large numbers of tertiary students from all over Sydney also streamed into the mosque to listen to the influential Pakistani-American guest speaker and instructor and founder of the famous Bayyinah Institute for Arabic and Qur’anic Studies in Texas, who has a Facebook following of more than 2.8 million.