Islam is the second major religion of the world after Christianity. The Saudi twin cities are regarded as the heartland of Islam where the enormous Muslim crowds are gathered mainly to perform their mandatory annual religious ritual known as Hajj through different cheap hajj packages.
As per the UK, about 12% of London’s population is Muslim, with almost 423 Mosques. Do you know that who built the first mosque in London? Where is this? What were the activities of the founder? How he died? No? Let me enlighten you.
I was reading through the article by Abdul Malik Tailor. He is Britain’s first professionally qualified Muslim tour guide and the founder of Muslim History Tours.
I am also a Muslim history tourist, so his valuable research on the London Muslim tourism places created a sort of relief. Tailor is the man who even discovered the first and the oldest mosque of London.
So I ended up thinking that there is where I have to land now. After getting on the Mosque’s details I just said, Allahu Akbar! It was a feeling of thankfulness and best wishes for him which just generated in my heart.
For my enthusiast Muslim globe roamers, this is a must-read to plan your next Islamic historical destination
After thorough authentic searching, the new Muslim convert tour guide Tailor found out that the name of London’s first-ever mosque was named as Regent’s Mosque. It was made by a Muslim man named Haji Mohammad Dollie, in 1895.
This Mosque is located in Albert Street, near Regent’s Park.
How Dollie made the Regent’s Mosque?
Dollie was the true Muslim who had been asked by the Muslim community of London who perhaps numbered 200-300, to teach their children the Holy Quran. He readily agreed and finally decided to turn his drawing-room into a Mosque.
Within his house turned Mosque, regular prayers were organized including the Eid Prayers where the Muslim locals came in eye-catching Eid Special attires.
Who was Haji Mohammad Dollie?
Haji Mohammad Dollie was the son of a Scottish father and a Malay mother. He was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1895.
He arrived in London in 1895 with his two sons and started living in Albert Street. It is said that getting higher education in South Africa was difficult. He was deeply concerned with his sons’ education. That’s why he moved to London with them.
Once a reporter located this first built mosque and he was amazed to know that there were no signs of any sort of “Eastern Decorations”. It was just a simple drawing-room.
Haji Dollie Contributed to the Muslim Communities?
Not very much is recorded in history about Dollie’s life. But it’s quite true that he was one of the very influential leaders of the Muslim community. He was a Hafiz (the person who memorizes the Quran). It is also said that he had also previously built a Mosque in Cape Town.
Some historians also say that later on he also opened up another purpose-built Mosque in west London when he moved to West Ealing at that time)
A Guide for the Non-Muslims
When he arrived in London, the Muslim population in London was very few and far between. Moreover, he was deeply concerned with the religious education of the new convert Muslim Londoners.
During his time it’s reported that there was no proper worshipping place for the Muslims. They used to gather together in public buildings and restaurants like the Holborn restaurant). So he made up his mind sketching up the proper worshipping site for his few fellow Muslims.
The history reported that Dollie was much worried about the newly Muslim Youth who were arriving in the UK. He was afraid of the worrisome impacts of negative vibes of society on the innocent mindsets of the younger Muslims.
For the complete, convenient and authentic guidance of the Muslim Youth, in particular, he decided to have a purpose-built mosque to provide a solution for the young Muslims to receive guidance from the elders.
His Views on Promoting Islamic Education in London
His meticulousness for Islamic education among Muslim Londoners is clearly felt in his interview in which he said “If a boy of seven has little knowledge of his faith, it is sad. But when a man of forty has forgotten how to say his prayers — Ah!” and he raised his hand expressively”
How did he die is still not known. It is said that he worked as a coachbuilder in 1902in Shepherd’s Bush Arches and passed away on 18th Feb 1906 at his last house in West Ealing aged 60. He was buried at New Willesden Cemetery, Brent, London.