East London Mosque

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from London Muslim Centre)
Jump to: navigation, search
The East London Mosque
& London Muslim Centre
Aerial view of East London Mosque complex - Feb 2014.jpg
View of the mosque and centre on Whitechapel Road
Basic information
Location United Kingdom Tower Hamlets, London, United Kingdom
Geographic coordinates 51°31′03″N 0°03′56″W / 51.5176°N 0.0656°W / 51.5176; -0.0656Coordinates: 51°31′03″N 0°03′56″W / 51.5176°N 0.0656°W / 51.5176; -0.0656
Affiliation Sunni Islam
State  England
Year consecrated 1910
Leadership Chief Imam & Khateeb:
Sheikh Abdul Qayum [1]
Chairman:
Muhammad Habibur Rahman[1]
Executive Director:
Dilowar Hussain Khan[1]
Website www.eastlondonmosque.org.uk
Architectural description
Architect(s) Webb Gray and Partners Ltd (2011-2013)
Studio Klaschka Ltd (2002-10)
John Gill Associates (1982-85)
Architectural type Mosque
Architectural style Modern
Capacity 7,000
Dome(s) 1
Minaret(s) 3

The East London Mosque, situated in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets between Whitechapel and Aldgate, serves the United Kingdom's largest Muslim community.[2] It lies near the edge of the City of London and a couple of miles from London Docklands. Combined with the adjoining London Muslim Centre and Maryam Centre, it is one of the largest mosques in the Europe, accommodating more than 7,000 worshippers for congregational prayers. It holds the United Kingdom’s largest Friday congregational prayer service and hosts weekly attendance exceeding 35,000 worshippers.[3]

Building details[edit]

Construction of the three-storey East London Mosque began in 1982 on land left empty after bombing during World War II, and was completed in 1985. The architect was John Gill Associates.[4] The exterior is a distinctive brick pattern in two colours, with the front facing Whitechapel Road and the rear on Fieldgate Street. The mosque is capped with a golden dome of about 8.5m diameter. The minaret rises to about 22m above ground level, and the main entrance is finished with two smaller copies of the minaret. The mosque has two large halls, a gallery, classrooms, offices and a retail unit.

Colour photograph of the mosque interior
Mosque interior

Construction for phase 1 of the mosque's expansion, called the London Muslim Centre, began in 2002 and was completed in 2004. Adjoining and connected to the mosque, it is a six-storey building with a prominent entrance featuring a sweeping mosaic pattern. The centre has two multipurpose halls, a seminar suite, a nursery, classrooms, a fitness centre, a small Islamic library, a radio station, retail units and offices. It was designed by Studio Klaschka Architecture and Design.[5]

In 2009 phase 2 commenced,[6] a nine-storey addition on the Fieldgate Street side to be known as the Maryam Centre, on a site originally used by the mosque's funeral services,[7] designed by the same architects.[8] The Maryam Centre opened to the public on 4 July 2013, adding a new main prayer hall, improved funeral services, a visitor centre, and over five floors of facilities for women including prayer spaces, education facilities, a fitness centre, and support services.

History[edit]

Black and white photograph of kneeling men
The prayer room of the original East London Mosque during the Eid ul Fitr celebrations in 1941

1910–1939: The London Mosque Fund[edit]

At the beginning of the 20th century, London was the capital of the extensive British Empire, which contained tens of millions of Muslims, but had no mosque for Muslim residents or visitors. On 9 November 1910, at a meeting of Muslims and non-Muslims at the Ritz Hotel, the London Mosque Fund was established with the aims of organising weekly Friday prayers and providing a permanent place of worship for Muslims in London.[9]

People associated with the London Mosque Fund over the years include:[10]

1940–1974: The original East London Mosque[edit]

From 1910 to 1940 various rooms were hired for Jumu'ah prayers on Fridays. Finally, in 1940, three houses were purchased at 446–448 Commercial Road in the east end of London as a permanent place of prayer. On 2 August 1941 the combined houses were inaugurated as the 'East London Mosque and Islamic Culture Centre' at a ceremony attended by the Egyptian Ambassador, Colonel Sir Gordon Neal (representing the Secretary of State for India). The first prayer was led by the Ambassador for Saudi Arabia, Shaikh Hafiz Wahba.[14] From the late 1950s the local Muslim population began to increase due to further immigration from the Indian subcontinent, particularly from Sylhet in East Pakistan which became Bangladesh in 1971. The migrants settled in areas already established by Sylheti expatriate community working in the local docks and Jewish tailoring shops brought over in the days of British India.[15] During the 1970s, this immigration increased significantly.

The ELM front entrance from Whitechapel Road


1975–1984: Preparing for a purpose-built mosque[edit]

In 1975 the local authority bought the properties in Commercial Road under a compulsory purchase order, in return providing a site with temporary buildings on Whitechapel Road next to the Fieldgate Street Great Synagogue. The local community set about raising funds to erect a purpose-built mosque on the site. King Fahd of Saudi Arabia donated £1.1 million of the £2 million fund,[16] and the governments of Kuwait and Britain also donated to the fund.[17] Seven years later, the building of the new mosque commenced, with foundations laid in 1982 and construction completed in 1985.

1985–2000: The new East London Mosque[edit]

It was one of the first mosques in Britain to broadcast the adhan (call to prayer) from the minaret using loudspeakers. Some local non-Muslim residents protested it as noise pollution, leading to coverage by the Daily Mail, Daily Star; in response, local Church of England clerics gave their support for the adhan in a letter to the East London Advertiser.[16] It had a capacity of 2,000, with prayer areas for men and women, and classroom space for supplementary education. However, by the 1990s the capacity was already insufficient for the growing congregation and for the range of projects based there. The land next to the mosque had been left vacant after bomb damage during World War II, and was used as a car park. The mosque launched a campaign to buy the land, and the purchase was completed in 1999.

2001–2008: The London Muslim Centre[edit]

London Muslim Centre front entrance

In 2001 Prince Charles launched the project to build the London Muslim Centre (LMC).[18] Construction began in 2002, and the new centre opened on 11 June 2004, with over 15,000 people attending the opening prayers.[19][20] The prayer capacity of the mosque and centre rose to about 5,000, with a greatly increased range of services. City Hall contributed £1.3 million to the projected, £500,000 came from the London Development Agency (LDA) to build the London Muslim Centre. Most of the rest of the contribution came from the Ways to Work programme, a jobs creation scheme. According to LDA meeting minutes from 2008, the mosque placed 31 people into work, far below the contracted 140 persons. The target was adjusted and extended for another two years.[21] The building had cost over £10 million, more than half of which had been raised by Muslims.[22]

London Muslim centre rear view

On the opening day Sheikh Abdur Rahman Al-Sudais, Imam of the Kaaba in Makkah, led the Friday prayer. Amongst the guests were Racial Equality Minister Fiona Mactaggart, the chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Trevor Phillips and senior officials from the Muslim Council of Britain. Prince Charles, who was in Washington for the funeral of former US president Ronald Reagan, sent a video message of support.[22]

In July 2004 the Malaysian prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, visited the mosque and centre.[23]

In November 2004 Prince Charles returned to see the centre.[24] The following month Elizabeth II featured excerpts of his visit in her Christmas message.[25][26]

Following the 7 July 2005 London bombings, on the 22nd of July, the mosque was evacuated due to a bomb hoax. The hoax was blamed on extremist Muslims after it condemned the 7/7 bombings and opposed extremist teaching.[27]

In July 2008 the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, delivered a speech on "Equality Before The Law" at an event highlighting the pro bono legal service at the LMC.[28]

In October 2008 the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre won Islam Channel's Super Model Mosque award presented at the Global Peace and Unity event at the Excel Centre.[29][30]

In December 2008 the East London Mosque planned to allow Noor Pro Media to hold a conference on 1 January 2009 which would include a videotaped lecture by Anwar al-Awlaki; former Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve expressed concern over al-Awlaki's involvement A spokesman for the mosque said that "Mr Awlaki has not been proven guilty in a court of law. Everyone is entitled to their point of view.” And that "We didn't organise this event, they are just using our facilities." .[31][32]

From 2009: The Maryam Centre[edit]

17 Apr 2009: launch of UK's first signed khutbah (Friday sermon) in partnership with local charity Al-Isharah.[33][34]

19 Jun 2009: construction began of the mosque's Phase 2 expansion, the 'Maryam Centre'.[6]

4 Sep 2009: the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, visited the mosque and centre in Ramadan, commending its projects and urging people to try fasting for a day.[35][36]

4 Mar 2010: hosted 'The BIG Read' in partnership with IF Charity, Islamic Forum Europe, Muslim Aid, and Tower Hamlets Council, a successful attempt to break the world record for 'Most children reading with an adult', when 3,234 children listened to readings from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.[37][38]

5 Mar 2010: hosted the BBC's weekly live topical debate Any Questions?, chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby and with panellists Ken Livingstone (former Mayor of London), Shadow Business Secretary Kenneth Clarke, Mehdi Hasan (senior politics editor at the New Statesman) and Julia Goldsworthy (Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Communities and Local Government).[39]

25 Aug 2010: subject of a BBC documentary, Middle EastEnders, that "chronicles the setbacks and triumphs of an institution which has shaped the identity of a corner of London", timed to anticipate the centenary of the mosque.[40]

4 Sep 2010: the mosque raised over £1.1 million in one night in Ramadan on Channel S,[41] breaking the record for ethnic television for the third year in a row, in an appeal for the building of their Phase 2 expansion.[42]

24 Jun 2011: first beehive installed on roof of London Muslim Centre.

3 Sep 2011: the English Defence League (EDL), which opposes Islam, wanted to march past the mosque, but after widespread opposition[43] Home Secretary Theresa May banned the march. The EDL instead held a static demonstration in Aldgate, prevented by police from entering Tower Hamlets, whilst a larger 'United East End' counter-demonstration was held by an alliance of groups and organisations.[44]

20 Jan 2012: the President of the International Court of Justice, Hisashi Owada, delivered the keynote speech at Evolving World at the London Muslim Centre.[45]

4 Jul 2013: the Maryam Centre opens to the public, increasing the capacity for prayers to over 7,000 people.[46]

28 Oct 2013: the President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegović visited the Mosque and Centre for an evening dinner reception. He delivered a key note speech to guests and dignitaries in attendance.[47]

Management[edit]

Colour photograph of the mosque and neighbouring buildings on Whitechapel Road
The East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre in their wider setting on Whitechapel Road

The East London Mosque Trust Limited is a registered charity[48] (previously registered as The London Mosque Fund)[49] and a private company (limited by guarantee, no share capital).[50] The mosque is managed by trustees who are elected each year by its members at the Annual General Meeting.[51] As of 2013 the Khatib and primary Imam of the mosque was Sheikh Abdul Qayum, the Chairman was Muhammad Abdul Bari and the Executive Director was Dilowar Hussain Khan.

External relations[edit]

The mosque is a member of the Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum,[52] a founding member of The East London Communities Organisation (TELCO),[53] and an affiliate of the Muslim Council of Britain.[54] The Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) and the mosque are very closely intertwined,[55] the organisation was created in 1989 by Muslims involved in the running of the East London Mosque.[56] Some of the mosque's practices reflect the Hanafi school of law.[57] According to Delwar Hussain it shares the ideology of the Jamaat-e-Islami, and the Muslim Brotherhood.[58]

Gay rights campaigners accused the mosque of having "hosted numerous hate preachers who have promoted the most vicious homophobia imaginable over the years",[59] although the mosque had earlier condemned homophobia,[60] and went on to "ban homophobes".[61]

Prominent visitors[edit]

Prominent imams who have visited the mosque: Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais Saud Al-Shuraim, Sheikh Salah Al Budair, (imams of Masjid al-Haram),[62] Adel Salem Al Kalbani (former Imam of Masjid al-Haram), Hazrat Allamah Delwar Hossain Sayeedi (world's famous Ulama and one of the leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami),[63] Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi (world's famous islamic scholar), Sheikh Qari Abu Saad Nomani (world's famous Quran reciter), Mufti Ismail Menk, Yusuf Estes, Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, Dr.Kamal Uddin Zafree, Qari Abu Bakr Ash Shatri, Hussain Yee, Abdullah Hakim Quick,[64] Mustafa Cerić (Grand Mufti of Bosnia).

Politicians who have visited the mosque: Mike O'Brien (former Minister of State), Fiona MacTaggart (former Home Office Minister), Stephen Twigg (former Minister for Schools), Stephen Timms (Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury), Dominic Grieve (Attorney General),Abdur Razzaq, Sadiq Khan (former Minister of State for Transport), Boris Johnson (Mayor of London), Ken Livingstone (former Mayor of London), Baroness Uddin, Robin Cook (former Foreign Secretary).

Other notable visitors: Prince Charles, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (former Prime Minister of Malaysia), Lord Phillips (former Lord Chief Justice), Sir John Stevens (former Metropolitan Police Commissioner), Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (former President of the Maldives), Brendan Barber (Secretary General of TUC), Riah Hanna Abu El-Assal (former Bishop of Jerusalem), Louis Susman (United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Hisashi Owada (President of the International Court of Justice), Bakir Izetbegović (President of Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Services[edit]

Dome of the mosque viewed from the rear
The interior of the dome in the mosque

The mosque has a stated mission to:

… serve, educate and inspire.

—Annual Review 2012-13, East London Mosque Trust [65]

As the community base changes, so do the services offered. Previously sermons or announcements were given in Bengali only; later sermons came to be delivered in Arabic, Bengali and English.

A number of services are provided to the community including:[66]

  • ICT Training and English classes
  • ISAP — Improving School Attendance in Partnership, a scheme in partnership with the local authority, to raise attendance and attainment in school
  • Junior Muslim Circle (JMC) — Recreational activities for children
  • New Muslims' classes — Islamic teaching for new converts to Islam
  • ELM Evening Madrasah — after school education for children
  • ELM Women's Link — support services for women
  • Faith in Health — health awareness and lifestyle facilities
  • Way to Work — a project assisting people to enter training and employment (2006 - 2010)

The mosque also runs Muslim Community Radio (MCR), in partnership with the Islamic Forum of Europe, which started to broadcast in 1998 through an RSL, then through Spectrum, and since 2001 acquired the rights to broadcast 24 hours a day across east London during the month of Ramadan. In 2005 it moved into a new studio in the London Muslim Centre. It is run by volunteers at the mosque, and provides programmes for women, children, fiqh sessions, taraweeh prayer, and shows such as Daily Halaqa, Qur'anic class, Easy Talk, Drive Time and many more, all in English and Bengali.[67][68][69]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Management". East London Mosque. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Census 2001 Key Statistics, Local Authorities in England and Wales Office for National Statistics
  3. ^ "Religious Figure 2014". BRITISH BANGLADESHI POWER INSPIRATION. Retrieved 2014. 
  4. ^ "A Century of Service". Emel Media Ltd. January 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Project page for the London Muslim Centre Studio Klaschka Architecture and Design
  6. ^ a b Phase 2 East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre
  7. ^ The East London Mosque: 100 years of co-operation BBC London
  8. ^ Project page for the East London Mosque - Phase 2 Studio Klaschka Architecture and Design
  9. ^ Humayun Ansari, ed. (30 June 2011). "The Making of the East London Mosque, 1910-1951: Minutes of the London Mosque Fund and East London Mosque Trust Ltd (Camden Fifth Series)". Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  10. ^ The Times 2 August 1941
  11. ^ History of East London Mosque East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre
  12. ^ East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre. History display at their premises at 46-92 Whitechapel Road, London as seen on 28 April 2011.
  13. ^ Visit the City – East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre City of London
  14. ^ FAQs about the mosque and centre. East London Mosque. Retrieve on 2007-09-12.
  15. ^ Strangers, Aliens and Asians: Huguenots, Jews and Bangladeshis in Spitalfields 1660–2000 Anne J. Kershen, 2005, ISBN 0-7146-5525-2
  16. ^ a b Metcalf, Barbara (1996). Making Muslim Space in North America and Europe. University of California Press. p. 219. ISBN 0520204042. 
  17. ^ Kibria, Nazli (1996). Muslims in Motion: Islam and National Identity in the Bangladeshi Diaspora. Rutgers University Press. p. 103, 223, 224. ISBN 0813550556. 
  18. ^ Prince joins Ramadan ceremony BBC website
  19. ^ Crowds flock to new Muslim centre BBC website
  20. ^ New Muslim centre opens its doors BBC website
  21. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/7386900/Islamists-got-voters-out-for-Livingstone.html
  22. ^ a b Annual Report 2005-06. East London Mosque Trust Ltd. Retrieved on 2007-09-13
  23. ^ British Prime Minister Blair praises Malaysia The Star, 24 July 2004
  24. ^ Royal seal of approval for centre BBC website
  25. ^ Queen calls for tolerance in UK BBC website
  26. ^ Video of Queen's Christmas message 2004 requires RealPlayer
  27. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1494649/Mosque-punished-by-the-extremists.html
  28. ^ Equality Before the Law
  29. ^ Model Mosque Competition Global Peace and Unity
  30. ^ Britain's Muslims Vote their Best Mosques IslamOnline (5 Nov. 2008), by Emdad Rahman.
  31. ^ Muslim groups 'linked to September 11 hijackers spark fury over conference' Gordon Raynor, The Daily Telegraph, 27 December 2008
  32. ^ http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/news/councillor_slams_muslim_lecture_new_york_in_flames_poster_1_667219
  33. ^ London Khutbah Service al-Isharah
  34. ^ Friday prayers translated into British Sign Language The Muslim News, Issue 241, 29 May 2009
  35. ^ Mayor calls for greater understanding of Muslim communities Greater London Authority
  36. ^ Boris Johnson: 'fast during Ramadan to understand Muslims' The Telegraph, 4 September 2009
  37. ^ The Big Read IF Charity
  38. ^ Case Study - Most children reading with an adult Guinness World Records
  39. ^ Any Questions - 5 March 2010 BBC Radio 4
  40. ^ Middle EastEnders BBC
  41. ^ Record-breaking Ramadan fundraising at East London Mosque East London Advertiser
  42. ^ £1.1m record-breaking success for the East London Mosque! East London Mosque
  43. ^ 21,000 oppose EDL march that will 'target mosque' The London Evening Standard
  44. ^ EDL London march halted by police The Guardian
  45. ^ Evolving World - Owada details vision for future world of international law East London Mosque
  46. ^ New East London Mosque development opens doors before Ramadan East London Advertiser
  47. ^ [1] East London Mosque
  48. ^ The East London Mosque Trust Limited Charity Commission
  49. ^ The London Mosque Fund Charity Commission
  50. ^ The East London Mosque Trust Limited Companies House
  51. ^ 51st AGM elects Trustees - updated East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre
  52. ^ Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum
  53. ^ TELCO
  54. ^ Muslim Council of Britain
  55. ^ Telegraph.co.uk 28 Feb 2010. Retrieved on 2010-09-12.
  56. ^ Exposing 'Dispatches'
  57. ^ Muslims in the Diaspora: The Somali Communities of London and Toronto (page 38) Rima Berns McGown, 1999, ISBN 978-0-8020-8281-7
  58. ^ Bangladeshis in east London: from secular politics to Islam openDemocracy. Delwar Hussain, 6 July 2006. Retrieved on 2010-09-12.
  59. ^ Butt, Riazat (9 June 2011). "Ban homophobic clerics from mosques, gay rights campaigners urge". The Guardian. 
  60. ^ "East London Mosque and mayor condemn anti-gay stickers". Pink News. 17 February 2011. 
  61. ^ "East London Mosque bans homophobes". Time Out. 21 June 2011. 
  62. ^ Al-Sudais launches second expansion of London mosque Saudi Gazette. Retrieved on 2010-09-13.
  63. ^ The Times July 14, 2006. Retrieved on 2010-08-22.
  64. ^ Friday Khutbahs ELM & LMC. Retrieved on 2010-09-13.
  65. ^ [http://www.eastlondonmosque.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/Artwork-A4-AnnualReport2012-13-lowres.pdf Annual Review 2012-13
  66. ^ ELM News. East London Mosque. September 2007.
  67. ^ MCR Radio
  68. ^ Islamic Forum of Europe
  69. ^ MCR Programs

External links[edit]