Amazing diversity of UK’s 1,500 Muslim places of worship are revealed

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    There are 15,000 mosques in Britain and the new book highlights a number of them
    12 March 2018 

    Book written by architect reveals the stunning diversity of mosques throughout Britain for the first time. The book, titled The British Mosque, is authored by Shahed Saleem:

    Pictured is the Aziziye Mosque in Hackney, east London. It actually started life as a cinema, which it remained for 70 years, despite a series of name changes. It first opened in 1913 as the Apollo Picture House, was reopened in 1933 as the Ambassador Cinema and from 1974 played martial arts films and softcore sex films as the Astra Cinema, before closing in 1983. The mosque was funded by the UK Turkish Islamic Association

    Pictured is the Islamic Cultural Centre near Regent’s Park, which is one of two London mosques that have been given protected heritage status to recognise their historic, architectural and cultural importance

    This beautiful structure wouldn’t look out of place in Asia but it is actually in Woking, Surrey. It was the first permanent, purpose-built mosque in Britain and is called the Shah Jahan Mosque. It was completed in 1889 and was founded by Dr Gottlieb Leitner. The mosque became the first formal place of Islamic worship in England. Queen Victoria’s Indian servants and her Indian secretary, Abdul Karim, used the mosque when the Queen visited Windsor Castle. The popularity of the mosque has waxed and waned since it first opened in 1889.

    Pictured is the huge Ghamkol Shareef Mosque in Birmingham. The mosque was opened in 1996 and can hold 6,000 worshippers at full capacity. Construction of the mosque began on 15 March 1992 during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan.

    Pictured is the huge prayer hall of the Birmingham Central Mosque. It is one of the earliest purpose-built mosques in Britain. After initially raising money to lay the foundations of the mosque, funds ran dry. The mosque trustees went to local businesses ― both Muslim and non-Muslim ― for donations. Money was raised to pay for the building and completion of the mosque in 1969. It was officially opened in 1975

    A number of Britain’s mosques are converted from former churches. Pictured is the prayer hall of the Didsbury Mosque in Manchester. The building was originally the ‘Albert Park Methodist Chapel’, which opened for worship in 1883 but in 1962 the chapel closed and was later converted into a mosque. It has an attendance of around 1,000 people.

    The Didsbury Mosque in Manchester is a beautiful structure with the washing and ablutions area pictured. The mosque broadcasts radio coverage over most of South Manchester. It broadcasts prayers, Friday sermons, and talks and lectures given in the mosque prayer hall. The Manchester Islamic Centre is registered as a charity with the Charity Commission

    Pictured is the Glasgow Central Mosque in the Gorbals, Glasgow. The Mosque was built in 1983 and cost around three million pounds. Retired businessman Muhammed Tufail Shaheen MBE, an active community leader and President of the Glasgow Central Mosque, was instrumental in its building. It was formally opened in 1984 by Abdullah Omar Nasseef, the Secretary General of the Muslim World League

    The Masjid e Tauheedul Islam was established in the centre of Blackburn in the 1960s. It caters to the high number of muslims in Blackburn, who are thought to make up about 20% of the total population. Nearly one million people per week visit mosques in Britain, with the northern town of Blackburn having a particularly significant proportion of mosques.

    Pictured is the Faizan E Madina Mosque in Millfield, Peterborough, not far from the City Centre. It is one of the largest mosques in Western Europe, with a capacity to accommodate approximately 3000 worshippers at any given time, over three floors. The mosque caters for a quarter of the city’s muslims and construction began on it in 2006

    This stunning modern mosque is the Baitul Futuh Mosque in leafy Morden in Surrey. Built 15 years ago, it is one of the largest mosques in western Europe. It cost £15 million to build and can accommodate up to 6,000 worshippers. On September 26, 2015, a major fire broke out at the administrative side of the mosque complex, causing widespread damage. Reconstruction began in January 2017

    The Madina Masjid is the first purpose-built mosque in Sheffield. After some problems with funding, the project was completed in October 2006. Users of the mosque raised several million pounds to pay for the new mosque and Islamic centre which includes 19 rooms and two large halls, a library and a day centre. The project is estimated to have cost £5 million

    One of the most interesting designs is the Masjid-e-Shah Jalal in Leeds, built in 2004 on the end of a row of terraced houses. As the local Bangladeshi Muslim population grew, the house mosque could not accommodate the congregation and it was replaced with a purpose-built mosque at a cost of £800,000

    Pictures is the interior of the Shah Jalaan Mosque in Manchester. In 1967, the Muslim community of Bangladeshi origin, then East Pakistan, living in Manchester and adjoining towns decided to establish the mosque. They wanted one of their own from donations and contributions from members of its own community

    Mr Saleem said: ‘There are many interesting mosques that have not been included in this book, but it is intended that the selection offered is diverse enough to provide a sense of the scope and character of mosques in Britain’.


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