LONDON – Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, Imam and Khateeb of the Holy Mosque of Makkah, launched the second expansion of the East London Mosque in the presence of thousands of worshippers on Wednesday. “I volunteer for the second extension of the East London Mosque,” said Al-Sudais while unveiling the plaque of the foundations for the second phase of the mosque which is located in Whitechapel, London.
After unveiling a plaque, the Imam of the Holy Mosque of Makkah, led the Maghreb prayer and gave a short speech to a congregation of over 5,000 people.
In his speech he mentioned among other points that Muslims should be proactive positively in their communities and work for all humanity. He also mentioned that they should work to look after their families and that the community at the East London Mosque should trust the committee to build a community for the future.
The East London Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in London. In 1910 some notable Muslim figures decided to build a mosque in London and established the London Mosque Fund. Initially, a small room was hired for Friday prayers. However, in 1926 the Fund had grown to a sizeable amount and a ‘Deed of Declaration of Trust’ was made.
In 1940 three houses were purchased in Commercial Road, London E1 and converted into a Mosque. It was opened on Friday 1 August 1941. Lt. Col. Sir Hussain Suhrawardy, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the London Mosque Fund, welcomed worshippers into the newly established East London Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre. The first Jumaah prayer was led by the then Ambassador for Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Sheikh Hafiz Wahab in 1941.
Over the years many distinguished personalities have been associated with the London Mosque Fund. Among them, the Rt. Hon. Syed Ameer Ali, the first Indian Privy Counsellor, who was the Chairman of London Mosque Fund Executive Committee until his death in 1928.
The construction of the present structure of the mosque was completed in 1985. The opening ceremony was led by Imam Muhammad Subayil, the then Imam of the Masjid Al-Haram. King Khaled of Saudi Arabia promised and then King Fahd donated 2.1 million pounds sterling for the construction of the mosque.
The first extension of the East London Mosque was completed in 2004 and King Fahd donated one million US dollars for the construction of its first extension.
The opening ceremony was led by Imam Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, the Imam of the Holy Mosque of Makkah. – SG