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Makkah Imam accorded warm reception on first visit to Philippines
Saturday November 1, 2014 11:39 PM, IINA

Thousands of Filipino Muslims turned out on Friday in Manila to welcome an Imam of Makkah's Grand Mosque to their country. Sheikh Maher bin Hamad Al-Muaiqely delivered the Friday sermon at Manila's Golden Mosque.

This is the first visit of an imam from the Grand Mosque to the Philippines.

Al-Muaiqely is on an official weeklong propagation mission organized by the Philippine branch of the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance.

He will travel to various Muslim-dominated cities in the country, including Marawi City, Cotabato and Davao City to deliver lectures. Lanao Governor Mamintal "Bombit" Adiong is handling the preparation for Al-Muaiqely's visit to his province, according to Musa Diamla, provincial cooperative officer in the governor's office.

Al-Muaiqely is expected to arrive on Saturday to spend two days in the city and give a lecture at the provincial capital gymnasium. He will also meet the governor, mayors and Filipino foreign graduates and scholars.

Diamla said he is expecting 10,000 people at the first lecture, and also big crowds at various mosques in the city, including the King Faisal Mosque, where he is scheduled to offer Isha prayers.

An organizer, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Arab News over the telephone that Islamic scholars based in the Philippines had taken the initiative to invite Al-Muaiqely, to remind local Muslims of their faith.

"That was the salient sermon of Al-Muaiqely at the Golden Mosque in Manila on Friday. He called on Muslims in the country to return to their strong faith, and showed the real picture of Islam as a peaceful religion," the official, who is accompanying the imam, said.

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