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How Britain's first purpose-built mosque was built by a Hungarian Jew

by Delila Preciado (2020-03-14)

elite <strong>call<\/strong> girls services in delhi - sexy female delhi escortsThese incredible images show the religious celebrations that defined the early life of Britain's first ever purpose-built mosque.

Stunning pictures show worshippers and guests dining at the Feast of Sacrifice at the Mosque in 1916, a British soldier attending the Festival of Eid in 1917 and The Begum of Bhopal visiting with her granddaughters in 1925.

Other striking shots show Lord and Lady Allenby visiting the mosque during a festival in 1928, the veteran Lord Headley who was the most celebrated English convert to Islam at that time celebrating the end of the month fasting for Ramadan alongside Persians, Arabs and Afghans.

The Shah Jahan Mosque was built in 1889 in Woking, Surrey, by the Jewish Hungarian Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner. He came to the UK to study at King's College London and after graduation he was appointed Professor in Arabic and Muslim Law there, he then became Principal of Government College University in what is now Pakistan.

Field Marshal Viscount Allenby joins Viscountess Allenby during a visit to the mosque, which was built in Surrey during the Victorian era. They are pictured being welcomed for a garden part at the place of worship in Woking, which attracted both converts and those curious about the religion after it was built by a Hungarian Jewish student of King's College London 

Two Indian boys are pictured wearing turbans during the festival of Eid, which marks an end to the fasting month of Ramadan, during celebrations at he Woking mosque in July 1917. The building was a high society hangout after being built toward the end of the previous ceremony and sparked curiosity in Britain's upper classes when it became the first ever purpose-built mosque in the country 

Children sit among the worshippers at the mosque to mark the end of Ramadan in one of the incredible images that shows the Shah Jahan Mosque during its infancy. The UK's first official mosque reached across cultural divides to attract visitors that included British soldiers as well as peers and royal guests that included the begum of Bhopal 

Women gather at the entrance to the mosque. They are pictured during the 1917 celebration of Eid, which is a festival that marks the end of a month of fasting. Indians as well as Afghans and Arabs would gather at the Woking mosque to mark the religious celebrations of Islam alongside British people. The mosque was the creation of Hungarian Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner, an expert on Middle Eastern culture 

The mosque is pictured today in Surrey. It has stood since 1889, when it offered a chance for non-Muslims to learn more aout the religion as it became a bigger part of British life 

Emperor Haile Selassie joins Sir Abdulah Archibald Buchanan Hamilton (appearing here in highland dress) w in August 1936 as they joined the ranks of high-profile visitors to the mosque following its construction during the previous century. People from across different cultures descended on the building in Surrey to mark the most important dates in the Muslim calendar 

Worshippers lie prostrate outside the mosque during prayers in 1960 as others stand gathered outside the Woking hub of Islamic culture to dine and socialise. The mosque drew inspiration from hallmarks of Middle Eastern architecture to provide a place for both British converts and new arrivals to the country to come together 

The Saudi Arabian Minister in London, Sheikh Hafiz Wahabn, addresses crowds during a ceremony at the Festival of Eid. Persians, Arabs and Afghans sat alongside Englishmen at the ceremony, which the Sheikh led as an experience Imam. This picture was shot in 1935

Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner (pictured) built the mosque after coming to King's College London where he became an expert in Middle Eastern culture 

Doors open up into the garden of the Woking Mosque, where crowds would gather for religious festivals at Britain's first ever official place of Islamic worship. The site became a meeting hub for people curious about the religion after its construction in 1889 when it was built by a Jewish Hungarian who became involved in the project after studying at King's College London

Lord Headley is pictured alongside fellow Muslims at the mosque in Surrey celebrating the festival of Eid in 1932. He is one of the most celebrated British converts to Islam and as such relied on the place of worship for religious instruction and celebration after it became the country's first and only purpose-built mosque during the previous century 

Diners sit alongside one another at the Feast of Sacrifice during celebrations in 1916. Crowds of Muslims and non-Muslims alike would come together for religious festivals at the building in Surrey when it reached across cultural boundaries to provide a hub for the faithful 

Begum of Bhopal is pictured walking at the head of the crowd as she visited the mosque in 1925, adding her name to the long list of high-profile visitors to attend celebrations at the mosque. She is here pictured alongside her two granddaughters during the October visit 

In 1881 he returned to England to found a centre for the study of oriental languages, culture and history. He found a suitable building and for the benefit of Muslim students he had the mosque built in the grounds.

The mosque was designed by architect William Isaac Chambers, Chambers incorporated elements of Middle Eastern architecture - including a dome, minarets and a courtyard. 

It was partly funded by Sultan Shah Jahan, Begum of Bhopal, from whom it takes its name. Shah Jahan was one of four successive women rulers, Begums, of Bhopal between 1819 and 1926.

Women embrace at the festival of Eid as men look on in the background following a ceremony by Sheikh Hafiz Wahabn, an experienced Imam who was serving as the Saudi Arabian Minister in London at the time. Here Lady Cudir is pictured (right) hugging a Mrs Mohammed (left) after the ceremony in 1935 

Servicemen would also visit the mosque in Woking, Surrey. This shot shows a soldier being greeted to mark the festival of Eid in July 1917. The happy occasion offers the chance for Muslims to come together following a month of sacrifice and daylight fasting known as Ramadan 





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One of the first mosques in Europe, it was used as a place of worship by Muslim members of Queen Victoria's household, including Abdul Karim, the subject of the 2017 film, Victoria & Abdul.

When Leitner died in 1899 the mosque became disused. The founder of the Woking Muslim Mission repaired and reopened the mosque in 1913. 

Indian women are pictured in the mosque's gardens in 1917, call girls bhopa when crowds of British people joined with Muslims to mark an end to a month of fasting. The thanksgiving occasion featured Persians, Arabs, Afghans and English people joining together to mark what many regard as the most important date in the Muslim calendar 

Two men arrange prayer mats ready to accommodate the faithful at the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking, Surrey, in 1916. The gardens would feature as both a site for the religious to join in prayer and as a place for visitors to deepen their understanding of Islamic culture by coming to mark the religion's festivals throughout the year 

Lord and Lady Allenby visit the Shah Jahan Mosque in 1928. They were among the many high-profile visitors to be welcomed to the site following its construction in the Victorian era. Striking shots show how the upper classes of England mingled with the faithful to experience their culture 

Muslims gather on prayer mats, joined by English women and servicemen in 1916 to mark the festival of Eid at the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking, Surrey, which was the brainchild of a Hungarian Jew who used his expertise and knowledge of Middle Eastern culture to provide a place of worship for followers of Islam living in Britain. It was one Europe's first purpose-built mosques, beaten only by those built during Spain's Islamic period

It was supported by prominent British converts to Islam and attracted royal visitors. During WWI the imam petitioned the government to grant land near the mosque as a burial ground. 

This was granted and in 1917 nineteen British Indian soldiers were buried there. The Islamic Review was published from here as well as English translations of the Quran and other scholarly publications.

After the 1960s more mosques were built in Britain and the Woking mosque made the transition from being the centre of Muslim worship to being a focus for the local Muslim community

The Begum of Bhopal is pictured at the front of the crowd during her visit to the Shah Jahan Mosque in October 1925. Persians, Indians and Arabs would regularly visit the place of worship, which was also a place at which Britons could learn more about the religious festivals of Islam 

Muslims are pictured at the Woking Moqsue in 1929, sat on the grass outside as they gather in celebration. They would be joined by high-profile Brits and servicemen keen to learn more about the religion on many occasions following the building's construction in 1889 

Khadir Bux is pictured with his two sons during worship at the Woking Mosque  in 1929 as they sit in the gardens of the Surrey site, which was a popular hub of Islamic learning for both the faithful and non-faithful