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Mosque History

Beginning 

 All praise is due to Allah (SWT) the Lord of the Universe. We praise Him and we adore Him. We seek refuge in Allah (SWT), the creator of the Heavens and the Earth, from the mischief of our souls and wrong doings of all our actions and deeds. Whom-ever Allah (SWT) guides no one can misguide. And whom-ever Allah (SWT) leads astray no one can guide except by the will and permission of Allah (SWT).

We bare witness that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah (SWT). And we also bear witness that Muhammad bin Abdul Lahi (SAW) is Allah’s Messenger and the Seal of all Prophets. May the peace and blessings of Allah (SWT) be upon Him, His household, His companions and those who follow them on the proper path until the Day of Resurrection!

Over 15 years ago a group of three men with the same religious ideology were brought together through Allah’s Grace, to form the nucleus of the present day Jama-at-ul Islamiyya of Nigeria UK (JINUK). It all began back in the spring of 1996 while Engineer Abdul Fatai Babatunde Fashola was visiting the UK from Nigeria.

At the time, he met Alhaji Tajudeen A. Iginla, an old school mate at the house of late Alhaji Lawal Babatunde Martins in Elephant & Castle in London. On that eventful day, they shared thoughts on a number of issues.

Amongst the issues they discussed was the limited number of places of worship available for the practice of Islam in London. It was this casual meeting of minds of these compatriots already steeped in the traditions and practices of Jama-at-ul Islamiyya of Nigeria, it was logical that the JINUK became an affiliated member to the Nigerian organisation, and thus the formation and inauguration of the JINUK on the 28th of March, 1997 in London and had the full blessings of the Nigerian parent body.

In his inauguration address, the then National President of Jama-at-ul Islamiyya of Nigeria and overseas, late Professor Aliu Babatunde Fafunwa re-asserted the main principles and practices of the Jama-at which is that Islam is not only a creed to profess but also a way of life to live. He emphasized that it is not belief alone that matters, but also the practice of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith of the Noble Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

He reminded the gathering that women as well as men have a role to play in the general practice of Islam, after all Allah (SWT) enjoins both men and women to do good and to worship Him. The President urged all members to study the Jama-at’s constitution so as to familiarized themselves with its aims and objectives. He further enjoined the audience to live by the motto of the Jama-at, which says “Hold fast the chord of Allah (SWT) and be not disunited”.

After four years of existence, precisely on the 1st of February, 2001, the Jama-at-ul Islamiyya of Nigeria UK was granted full charity status with the principal aims being the advancement of Islamic religion.

Like any other new institution, the Jama-at had faced its ups and downs. In a major urban centre such as London, finding a suitable place of worship and Islamic Centre posed the greatest challenge. In the circumstances, the Jama-at has been meeting in temporary locations to conduct its affairs. In the course of its existence, the Jama-at has shifted base about three times.

However, we have been fortunate to remain in the same locality of Borough of Southwark in the neighbourhood of Elephant & Castle.

Alhamdulillah through the efforts of one of our missioners and some members of the Executive we were able to acquire a place of worship in January 2010. The acquired premise situated at 188 Camberwell Road London SE5 0ED was formerly a Pub, and through the efforts of the management and the community, the place was converted and made suitable as a place of worship.

Jama-at-ul Islamiyya of Nigeria UK (JINUK) - Camberwell Islamic Centre,  now caters for a large Muslim Community in Camberwell area with members originating from many ethnicities, such as Nigerians, Arabs, Somalians, Asians, Jamaicans, Sierra Leoneans, Ghanaians to mention but a few.

As a result of this, we are trying to establish a Community Mosque to meet the needs of those above mentioned minority communities. As we intend to use such centre to provide an invaluable resources to older people, as a place of worship, social engagement and activity, as well as counselling youths about morality, drug dealings, smoking and the likes. The centre will also be used for the youths as a place of learning cultural values and norms, place of instruction and recreation within a secure and controlled environment. We therefore enjoin all well-wishers to join us in this journey to further propagate Deen-ul Islam and assist us in achieving our aims.

Since January 2010, as a group we have been managing and sustaining ourselves as much as we could, however the management having the foresight and in line with the Islamic brotherhood of oneness, sought approval from Southwark Council to extend and re-build the premises to a place befitting the worship and glorification of Allah (SWT), in order to better serve the Muslim community in around the Camberwell area.

Alhamdulillah, our application to Southwark Council to rebuild the mosque was granted on 6th of October 2011. It is for this reason that we now seeking assistance to enable us to achieve this lofty aim.

The management having commissioned a firm of Architect and other professionals invited bids for the project to rebuild the mosque from external third party contractors. Three bids were received ranging from £700,000 to £1,000,000.

As the amount involved is quite substantial and the organisation does not have the resources to start the project( let only finish it) in the time given to us by Southwark Council(see attached approval), we require urgent assistance to ensure we meet the set deadline for the commencement of the project.

Indeed Allah has commanded us that ‘’Oh you who believe, spend of that which We (Allah) have provided for you ...’’ (V: 261-274).

Surely Allah will reward you all abundantly, that is his promise. Therefore, we implore you all to donate generously to this lofty aim when the appeal for donations commences. After all, who would not want to receive of the bounty and promise of Allah,(SWT)?

Furthermore, the history of Jama-at-ul Islamiyya of Nigeria UK (JINUK) will not be complete without mentioning the important role played in the progress of JINUK by our late Imam Alhaji Abdul Rasheed Balogun , may Almighty Allah grant him Paradise – Amin.

Jama-at-ul Islamiyya of Nigeria UK (JINUK) is now at the next phase of our development, and there is much for us to achieve as we strive to find a suitable knowledgeable Imam to replace our late Imam and rebuild our mosque to a place befitting of worship and glorification of Allah (SWT) Allah.

 

 By: Executive Committee

Mosque Design

From Pub to Mosque to Landmark

The Mosque design concept was developed by Makespace Architects.

The building was a former Public House, which was semi-derelict. The property was well located, on the junction of the busy Camberwell Road just to the south of the busy high street of Walworth Road, and provided two floors of around 160m2 per floor of adaptable accommodation, with the potential for open plans.

The plans for the interior of the building therefore were simply to open up the ground floor and first floor as much as possible, to provide a men’s and women’s prayer space. The existing Pub toilets were converted to provide ablution facilities.

Application to extend the mosque with a new third floor and a three storey front extension to provide a new circulation staircase for accessing all floors was granted by the Council. The proposal was to re-clad the whole of the building, both to integrate the new third floor and to re-signify the building as a new religious and cultural site.

The recladding of the building allows the whole of the external envelope to be insulated, which forms part of a retro-fit strategy which includes upgrading windows from single glazed steel framed, to double glazed units with U-values of 1.4W/mK2 or less. Solar thermal panels are to be installed on the large, exposed, flat roof to generate the hot water required for the ablutions. Overall the aim is to exceed the building regulation energy consumption requirement by 20%.

Through the cladding of the building we are re-inscribing it with a new visual language and symbolic value. As a mosque, there are customary expectations of certain motifs associated with traditional Islamic buildings, such as arches, domes and minarets. We wanted to steer away from this language, as did the mosque itself, and articulate this as a cultural building through a more abstract and striking materiality.

We have therefore chosen a palette of three materials for the cladding, concrete panelling, ceramic tiling, and metal mesh screening. The materials reflect the tough urban environment of the mosque, on a prominent location on one of south London’s main road connections into the city centre, it is an inner city site with little luxury. The re-cladding reflects this environment, and through its overt pattern work, brings some element of luxury and play into the locale.

Through the patterning we wanted to associate the building to an Islamic visual aesthetic, appropriate to the building as a mosque. However, we did not want to do this too obviously, with recognisable arabesque patters for example, but rather through a simpler graphic pattern that would be almost ambiguous as to whether it was a purely Islamic pattern or graphic derived from other sources. This ambiguity is something we see in late Victorian architecture and style, where geometry was used to generate architectural details and ornamentation resulting in decoration that overlapped with some elements of Islamic design.

We are therefore interested in a visual language for the mosque which is an interplay between indigenous and Other, Islam being largely a migrant religion which has become part of the British cultural landscape over the last half century.

The new cladding, therefore, is an Islamic pattern taken from a Persian tile in the V&A museum, chosen because it is two simple forms, a cross arranged diagonally corner to corner, and then the resultant space in between. A ceramic tiled screen of this pattern work is fixed proud of the main façade, in two large squares wrapped around the corner of the building fronting the junction. Being raised off the façade, this screen provides a further depth and dimensionality to the building, and ascribes a different role to each of the materials.

The main cladding material for the rest of the building is concrete panel, onto which are engraved the same Persian pattern, but this time at a larger scale. The concrete provides a tough contemporary language, echoing British modernism, but where the brutalism is tempered with the engraved decoration. Over the top of this concrete is fixed a metal mesh screen, which again layers the façade of the building to add depth and texture.

This mosque in Camberwell is part of a changing religious landscape in this part of south London, where religious institutions such as mosques are being established to cater for emerging communities.

As such the Camberwell mosque speaks a language that is contemporary, different, and representative of social change and the vibrancy that this change brings.