The Shah Jahan Mosque, built in 1889 by Dr Gottleib Wilhelm Leitner, was the first mosque to be built in the UK and Northern Europe. The mosque is situated on Oriental Road in Woking, about three quarters of a mile from the railway station and town centre.
Today the mosque has the honour of being listed as a historical Grade 2 building and is also a registered charity. Since 1995, the local community has renovated the mosque and restored its original elegance.
In addition to the five daily prayers, the Shah Jahan Mosque is a focal point and continues to play a pivotal part in the life of the local Muslim community. Another important function of the mosque is to support and promote religious education and it provides regular classes for children and adults for this purpose.
Individuals and groups especially primary and junior schools are able to organise guided tours of the Shah Jahan Mosque, which provide an ideal opportunity for school children and adults to gain a better understanding of both Islam and the mosque.
The mosque and its members have always been keen in supporting victims of natural disasters around the world through raising funds and collecting donations.
Serving the Community
The original mosque can hold up to 60 worshippers and continues to be utilised for daily prayers. However since the weekly congregations far exceed this capacity the mosque was fortunate to be able to redeem the lease on a number of buildings which it had leased to James Walker in 1994.
The largest hall has the capacity to hold up to a 1000 individuals and is utilised by male worshippers primarily for Jumma (Friday), Taraweeh congregations during Ramadan, Eid congregations and other important religious celebrations.
The middle hall is allocated for the use of female worshippers and it has the capacity to hold up to 600 worshippers. The third hall is available for use for various functions by the local community. This hall has an attached kitchen and additional washroom facilities and is available to hire for weddings and other gatherings. The hall is also used as a sports hall on a few days during the week.
The Mosque also has a fully equipped Ghusal facility for receiving and washing of the deceased. There are two local funeral organisations that are available by request to assist and support individuals and families with organising funeral and burial arrangements.
The Mosque has gratefully received help from the BBC Southern Counties Radio who supported a special project in 2001 for a creation of a garden built along an Islamic theme on the South side of the original Mosque. It greets visitors to the Mosque as they enter the grounds.