The Preston Mosque is a mosque in Preston, Victoria, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. It was the seat of the late Muslim cleric, Sheik Fehmi Naji El-Imam, who was appointed as Grand Mufti of Australia from 2007 to 2011.
The formal name for the Preston Mosque is "Umar bin Al-Khattab Mosque" and the mosque is run by the (co-located) Islamic Society of Victoria Inc (ISV).
Before the mosque was built, Muslims would gather at a house that used to be on the property. In 1975 the building began and was completed the following year in 1976. The dome and minaret were added later. Most of it was funded by Bosnian Muslims and Arabs.
About 800 people pass through the mosque per day over the course of the five daily prayers. For the Friday Congregational Prayer, at least 1000 worshipers will attend, and if the Friday falls on a public holiday that number can easily climb to 1500 worshipers.
Memorandum of Understanding
In 2009, the Darebin City Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Islamic Society of Victoria (ISV). This was the first of its kind in Australia between a mosque and council, and has resulted in a strong and robust relationship between Council and mosque. The focus of the memorandum is that the council and mosque will work together on projects that have benefit to the community. The City of Darebin is home to people from 148 different countries, who speak 105 different languages.
After Sheikh Fehmi Naji El Imam died on 24 September 2016, the Sheikh for the Preston Mosque was Mohamad Mahmoud Abou Eid, until his suspension. The Executive committee is chaired by Ahmad Allouche.
- Five daily prayers and Friday Congregational Prayers
- Taraweeh (Night) Prayers during Ramadan
- Eid Prayers
- Burial service
- Mosque tours for schools and community groups
- Annual Hajj group
- Bookstore that has a range of authentic books and DVDs in Arabic and English
- An authorized marriage celebrant to officiate marriages
- Qurban / Udhiyah leading up to Eid al-Adha
- International Well projects
- International orphan sponsorship
- Evening Islamic classes
- Female-only classes (during the day)
- Weekend Arabic School
In the 1990s Islamist supporters of radical cleric Mohammed Omran engineered an election and amended the Preston mosque's constitution while the imam, Sheikh Fehmi el-Naji, was on the Hadj to Mecca. Supporters of Sheikh Fehmi worked hard over the next decade to regain ground, and by 2005 were claiming that they had achieved an uneasy balance within the congregation.
In 2012, a Preston mosque committee member advised wives to "fulfil the rights" of their husbands, by sharing him with other women. It was reported that this proposal outraged the local Muslim women.
In early 2017, police were called to the mosque following a serious altercation between factions. It was reported the conflict was over financial irregularities at the mosque. Sheikh Mohamad Mahmoud Abou Eid was suspended.
- Australian National Imams Council
- Criticism of Islam
- Gender segregation and Muslims
- Holsworthy Barracks terror plot
- Islam in Australia
- Islamic organisations in Australia
- List of mosques in Oceania
- "Obituary Notice: Shaykh Fehmi el-Imam". 2016-09-24. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
- "Board of Imams Victoria Press Release regarding Sheikh Mohamed Abou Eid's Issue". Board of Imams Victoria. 25 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- MacLaughlin, Sinead (25 February 2017). "Moment Muslims clash in mass brawl outside of a Melbourne mosque as tensions rise over a suspended Sheikh". Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
- Zwartz, Barney (August 3, 2005). "Hardliners target mosques". The Age.
- Murphy, Padric (12 July 2012). "Preston Mosque in strife over telling wives to share their husbands with other women". Herald Sun. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
- Bucci, Nino (24 February 2017). "Preston Mosque rocked by vicious infighting amid claims of missing millions". The Age. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
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