Story by Saleema Imam | Photos by Carl Rose.
Messenger volunteers visited our newest purpose-built mosque at Petre Street, joining the largest congregation of the week for Friday prayers. The project received its first building permit in 2008 and has been funded by many donors in the UK, Kuwait, Qatar and other Middle Eastern countries.
After consultation with the community, it was designed by Mark Bonham to meet all accessibility needs. Other than the five daily prayer times the mosque offers many other facilities – In the basement there is a multipurpose hall for sports and conferences, a creche, youth club, gym and wudu facilities. The ground floor holds the men’s masjid, reception, library, information centre and restaurant. Above on the first floor is the sisters’ masjid and a school with 7 classes. An accommodation block occupies the second floor. All floors can be reached by lifts.
The centre is designed to be used by the whole community in the area regardless of age, gender, religious or non-religious affiliation. All are welcome to use the centre for social activities, advice and counselling, education courses and wedding services. The beautiful minbar (pulpit) was created as a labour of love by builder Khaled Al Jeblawi. The Syrian refugee carved the Islamic patterns, by hand, to match the roof tiles in the prayer hall.
Many thanks to Abdul Qadir, Ahmed, Mustapha and Hameed for their hospitality and sharing the information.