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Woking mosque upgraded to Grade I listed building

Shah  Jahan  Mosque  Woking

3:03pm 13th March 2018

Woking's Shah Jahan Mosque has been upgraded to a Grade I listed building by English Heritage.

It has been elevated to this status as part of the public body's work to improve understanding, recording and protection places of worship.

Built in 1889 on Oriental Road, the Shah Jahan is the country's earliest purpose-built mosque.

Its new status means it is the only Grade I listed mosque in the England and gives it the same standing as buildings such as Buckingham Palace and Brighton Pavilion.

Elsewhere, Britain's first functioning mosque, 8 Brougham Terrace in liverpool, has been upgraded to Grade II.

Meanwhile The London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre in Regent’s Park and The Fazl Mosque, Southfields, have both been listed for the first time today - also at Grade II.

Heritage MinisterMichael Ellis, said: “Our historic buildings tell the story of Britain’s past and the people, places and events that shaped them.

"By listing these beautiful mosques, we are not only preserving important places of worship, but also celebrating the rich heritage of Muslim communities in England."

Imam

Head Imam at Shah Jahan, Hafiz Hashmi

The Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking was originally commissioned by Dr Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner, a Hungarian-Jewish linguist who converted to Islam after working in British India.

It was initially only intended for visiting Muslim students at the institute, rather than the general public.

William Isaac Chambers designed the building, a Woking based architect known for his expressive style. It was partly funded by the female ruler of the Indian princely sate of Bhopal, the Sultan Shah Jahan Begum.

After Dr Leitner died the mosque fell out of use, but it was restored and revived by an Indian lawyer called Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din.

To this day it is still used for daily prayer.

Shah Jahan

Historic England's CHief Executive, Duncan Wilson, added: "I’m proud to be shining a light on these exceptional places of worship established by Muslim communities in England.

"Through listing we are celebrating some of our most significant examples of Islamic heritage from the stunning Shah Jahan in Woking, the first purpose-built mosque in the country, to the landmark London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park."

 

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