×
FREE ASSISTANCE FOR THE INQUISITIVE PEOPLE
Tutorial Topics
X
softetechnologies
Great Mosque of Kairouan, Tunisia Saint Petersburg Mosque, Russia
London Central Mosque, London - Famous Mosques
415    Dibyendu Banerjee    20/08/2023

The London Central Mosque, designed by Sir Frederick Ernest Gibberd and located on the edge of Regent’s Park in central London, is also known as Regent Park’s Mosque and is considered to be the most splendid mosque in the city. Although initial attempts had been made to build a mosque in central London since 1900, the strikingly beautiful mosque, topped with a glistening golden dome and equipped with a tall minaret was completed only in 1977.

softetechnologies

Strangely, the Islamic Cultural Centre, which would later form part of the mosque complex, was opened much earlier, during the Second World War by King George VI in 1944, constructed on the plot of land donated by the King to the Muslim community of Britain, in concurrence to the donation of land in Cairo by King Farouk of Egypt and Sudan, for the construction of an Anglican cathedral.

london central mosque

Although there have been Muslims in Britain since the 16th century, the community started to develop in the port cities of the country from the late 1900s and several efforts were initiated by the community to build a mosque in Central London between 1900 and 1930. One such effort was initiated by Lord Headley, an Irish peer. Born in London in 1855, he was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge and subsequently became a civil engineer by profession, a builder of roads in British India. For reasons best known to him, he embraced Islam later in his life, on 16 November 1913, adopted the Muslim name of Shaikh Rahmatullah al-Farooq and in the following year, established the British Muslim Society in 1914.

softetechnologies

He died at the age of 80, on 22 June 1935 and two years after his death, the project Nizamia Mosque, later changed to its present name, was funded by the Nizam of Hyderabad, India in 1937. The foundation stone of the proposed mosque was laid in the same year, on the auspicious Friday of 4 June 1937, by Azam Jah, the eldest son of Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last ruling Nizam of Hyderabad, the largest Princely State of India. However, the project of constructing the Nizamia Mosque never took shape and the project was replaced by the plan which materialized many years later to the construction of the present-day Central London Mosque in Regent’s Park.

london central mosque

Finally, it was in1940, when Lord Lloyd, the then Secretary of State for the Colonies, sent a memo to Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, in which he specifically mentioned that London contains more Muslims than any other European capital and they should have a central place of worship in the city. He also explained the practical side of the proposal by commenting that the gift of a site for the proposed central mosque would serve as a tribute to the loyalty of the Muslims of the British Empire and would have a positive effect on the Arab countries of the Middle East. The move persuaded the British Government to gift a site in London to the Muslim community of Great Britain for the construction of a mosque and on 24 October 1940, the Churchill War Cabinet authorised an allocation of £100,000 to the community for the acquisition of a site in London to build a mosque and an Islamic Cultural Centre, so they could conduct affairs about their faith.

softetechnologies

At the same time, a prime site adjacent to Hanover Gate in Regents Park, almost 2.3 acres in size, was presented to the Muslim Community as an unconditional gift by the British Government.

london central mosque

Although the Mosque Committee, with seven representatives from six Muslim countries acting as Trustees, registered the London Central Mosque Trust Limited as a Trust Corporation in September 1947, it took more than two decades to get the necessary approval for an acceptable design and despite several designs were considered for the mosque between 1954 and 1967, the necessary planning approval was not granted. Finally, an Open International Competition was held in 1969, for the selection of the design of the proposed mosque, in which more than a hundred designs were submitted, from both Muslim and non-Muslim applicants, among which the design submitted by the English architect Fredrick Gibberd got the nod. His design of the Mosque Complex can be broadly divided into two parts, the main building comprised the two prayer halls, housed under a striking gold dome and the three storey wings, containing the entrance hall, library, reading room, administration areas and a minaret. The construction work began early in 1974, with the Main Mosque Building Complex, comprising Men's Prayer Hall, large enough to accommodate almost five thousand worshippers and a separate space for women to pray on a balcony, overlooking the main prayer hall, a Library, Administrative Block and the Residential Quarters. Construction of the London Central Mosque was eventually completed in July 1977 at the cost of £6 million, with a generous donation from HM King Faisal of Saudi Arabia and later by His Highness Sheikh Zayed of the United Arab Emirates.

london central mosque

The interior of the Central Mosque has minimal furnishings, with a stunning chandelier as the centrepiece, but its cavernous spaces create a meditative atmosphere for prayer. The interior of the golden dome is decorated with geometric designs in traditional Islamic shapes and is equipped with small stained glass windows around its base, adorned with turquoise coloured 16-pointed stars. The mosque, containing a small bookshop and a café on the premises, has been given Grade II listed status in recognition of its historical, cultural and architectural importance.

Great Mosque of Kairouan, Tunisia Saint Petersburg Mosque, Russia
softetechnologies
Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
Enter New Comment
Comment History
No Comment Found Yet.
Sri Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
All troubles come to an end when the ego dies
Sri Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
486
50.7
Today So Far
Total View (Lakh)
softetechnologies
26/05/2018     41364
01/01/2018     35770
28/06/2017     33774
25/06/2018     32831
02/08/2017     32142
06/07/2017     26594
01/08/2017     26559
15/05/2017     26214
14/07/2017     21527
21/04/2018     20512
softetechnologies