Fazl Mosque, London
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Front entrance of the Fazl Mosque
|Architectural style||Indo Style|
The Fazl Mosque, also known as The London Mosque is a mosque in Southfields, in the London Borough of Wandsworth. Inaugurated on October 23, 1926, it is the first purpose built mosque in London. At a cost of £6,223, the construction of the mosque and the purchase of the land on which it sits, was paid by money contributed by Ahmadi Muslim women of Qadian, India. Since 1984, the mosque and its surrounding buildings have been the residence of the caliphs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and therefore, the international headquarters of the Community.
The design of the mosque is credited to Thomas Mawson. The plans form part of the Mawson archive held by the Cumbria Archive Service. The foundation stone was laid in 1924 by Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad, the second Khalifa, who was visiting London as the representative of Islam at The Conference of Living Religions that was being held at the Imperial Institute in South Kensington. The foundation ceremony was attended by 200 guests. The construction of the mosque started in September 1925 and ten months later the work was completed. It was named the Fazal Mosque by the Khalifa (Fazal meaning Grace). Khan Bahadur Sheikh Adbul Qadir, ex-Minister of Punjab Legislative Council, formally opened the Mosque in October 1926. Six hundred distinguished guests who were representing numerous countries, as well as local MPs and other dignitaries attended the ceremony and the function was well reported in the press.
The mosque accommodates 150 worshippers and is also known colloquially among Ahmadi Muslims as the London Mosque. Its first Imam was Maulana Abdur-Rahim Dard, and since 1926 The London Mosque has had eleven Imams; the current being Maulana Ataul Mujeeb Rashed who has been serving as its Imam since 1983.
In addition to the regular flow of MPs, Mayors, Councillors, scholars and students, The London Mosque has been host to a number of distinguished visitors from far and wide. The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, visited the mosque on several occasions and made his famous speech in its grounds when he decided to return to India to represent the Muslims in the sub-continent. The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Faisal Bin Adbul-Aziz also visited the mosque in 1935 as did his predecessor, King Saud.
Sir Chaudhry Muhammad Zafrullah Khan - the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan, a President of the International Court of Justice and President of the UN General Assembly - lived at the premises for many years. In July 2011, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex of the United Kingdom also visited the mosque in his capacity as a Patron of ‘The London Gardens Society’ and thus took the opportunity to inspect the gardens of the Fazl Mosque, which have won numerous awards over the past few years. The Earl was also able to view a small exhibition about the history of the mosque.
In 1955, the second Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya movement returned to the mosque when he visited Europe for further medical treatment following an attack on his person back in Rabwah, Pakistan. In London, he also held a conference of all missionaries stationed in Europe. The third Khalifa also visited the mosque many times.
As the range and frequency of activities in the mosque progressively increased there was need for more space. This increase saw the construction of the multi-purpose Mahmood Hall, as well as the Nusrat Hall, in the grounds of the mosque. From Sunday school classes and school visits, to Question and Answer sessions and international meetings, The London Mosque has been and continues to be a hive of activity promoting education and religious awareness.
Since 1994 the Mosque has also been involved with the world's first global Muslim television station, Muslim Television Ahmadiyya International. MTA broadcasts 24 hours a day and is run entirely by volunteers.
With the expansion of The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the capacity of The London Mosque has become insufficient and further premises in Surrey and Morden were acquired for the Baitul Futuh mosque. However, the historic significance and role of The London Mosque continues to ensure its special and indeed unique position for both the global Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as well as Britain.
The mosque is the residence of the Ahmadiyya's Khalifatul Masih since April 1984. The mosque was the main venue for the Friday Sermon delivered by the Khalifa for many years until the completion of the Baitul Futuh mosque in 2003.
- "A history of mosques in Britain". Architects' Journal. 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2015. (subscription required)
- "Islam In London Version 1 Of 2 & Cuts (1926)". Retrieved 3 February 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fazl Mosque.|
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- List of Missionaries: The U.K. Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission
- Building of Mosques Worldwide an Ahmadiyya Priority