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21 Historical Pictures Of What Life Was Like For Muslims In London That Will Make You Say “Wow”

A look at the historical photos and documents in the UK's first archive dedicated to British Muslims.

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The first ever British Muslim Archives will be opening this week at the East London Mosque Archives, with a collection dating back to 1910.

It features records of Muslims in Britain from the early 20th century, including documents of the "Indigent Moslem" Burial Fund founded in 1925, letters about rations, and newspaper cuttings, in an attempt to chart the campaigns and efforts of Muslims in east London, and the history of establishing the East London Mosque on Whitechapel Road. Here are some of the highlights:

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1.

East London Mosque Trust Ltd

Here's the London Mosque Fund Minutes Book, with its first meeting recorded in 1910. On 9 November, dignitaries met at the Ritz Hotel under the chairmanship of the Sir Sultan Mohammad Shah Aga Khan III, the first president of the All-India Muslim League, and resolved to establish a fund for the purpose of building a Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre in London.

2.

East London Mosque Trust Ltd

A sketch of the Shah Jahan Mosque in Oriental Road, Woking, England, the first purpose-built mosque in the UK, built in 1889. The management of the Shah Jahan Mosque was taken up by some of the trustees of the London Mosque in 1912.

4.

East London Mosque Trust Ltd

On 19 November 1926, a "Declaration of Trust" for the London Mosque Fund was officiated and signed by dignitaries for the “erection and maintenance in London of a fitting Mosque to be used by Moslems in London and Moslems visiting London from any part of the world for worship according to the religion of Islam".

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6.

East London Mosque Trust Ltd

This is Imdad Ali Kazi, who chaired the Jamiat ul Muslimin, a society that promoted Islam, and was founding father of the University of Sindh. The Jamiat grew as an organisation and established numerous Islamic centres around the UK. As more and more Muslim sailors settled in east London, Friday and Eid Prayers moved to the larger venue of Kings Hall on Commercial Road.

7.

East London Mosque Trust Ltd

Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall (1875-1936) was the first native speaker of the English language to translate the Qur'an, for an edition published in 1931. Pickthall was appointed acting Imam of the Notting Hill Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre, sponsored by east London's London Mosque Fund. He was also a published novelist.

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9.

East London Mosque Trust Ltd

In 1940, three houses were purchased in Commercial Road, London E1. The converted houses opened as the East London Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre on 1 August 1941. Around 400 worshippers would use the prayer hall, with other spaces being devoted to use as a hostel for Muslim sailors.

10.

East London Mosque Trust Ltd

The official opening of the East London Mosque took place on Friday 1 August 1941, for Jumu'a (Friday) prayer. Pictured: Hassan Nachat Pasha (1888-1969), the Egyptian ambassador to the UK (standing); Sheikh Hafiz Wahba, the ambassador of Saudi Arabia (seated left); and Sir Ernest Hotson (seated far left), who had previously been an administrator in India during the British Raj.

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17.

East London Mosque Trust Ltd

Hajja Mariam, who provided much social care at the East London Mosque. She was married to Haji Taslim Ali, careatker of the mosque and founder of the oldest Muslim funeral service in the UK on Commercial Road in the1950s.

18.

East London Mosque Trust Ltd

Two men talking outside the East London Mosque on Commercial Road, 1972. The Greater London Council, under compulsory purchase order, acquired the three mosque buildings on Commercial Road and in return provided land and temporary buildings (45 Fieldgate Street E1) until a permanent Mosque could be built on Whitechapel Road.

20.

East London Mosque Trust Ltd

Locals marching against an order to secure the land adjacent to the mosque that was intended to create room for a planned extension for the mosque.

Find out more at eastlondonmosquearchives.org.uk.

Aisha Gani is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Aisha Gani at aisha.gani@buzzfeed.com.

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