Records of the Shah Jahan Mosque

Scope and Content

The Shah Jahan Mosque was built by Gottlieb Wilheim Leitner in 1889 and is the oldest purpose built mosque in the country. The mosque was built to serve the adjacent Oriental Institute founded in the former Royal Dramatic College. Sadly Leitner died in 1899 and the mosque later became derelict. In 1912 the mosque started to be used again by Khwaja Kamal-Uddin, a London Lawyer who managed to attract a number of converts to Islam, mostly from the upper classes, such as Lord Headley, Archibald Hamilton and Lady Irene Wentworth-Fitzwilliam.

Between 1913 - 1971 the mosque became the headquarters for the publication of the Islamic Review - the first Islamic magazine in the world. The records which the mosque holds mostly relate to the publication of the Islamic Review. Other items within the archive include records relating to the property, religious ceremonies, correspondence of the imams of the mosque, education and a small collection of images of the mosque. The majority of the collection has been catalogued down to file level but there are some collections which have been catalogued down to item level.

Among the records which can be found at the mosque are the following:

  • The second minute book of the Muslim Society of Great Britain from 1936 to 1955
  • Papers and architectural plans relating to the restoration of the mosque c.2006
  • Architectural plans relating to additions and new builds to the mosque and its associated structures 1965 to 2014
  • Papers relating to the sale of the Islamic Review and other publications
  • Postcards and photographs of the mosque dating from 1900 to 1990

Access Information

Access is open to all researchers. Please apply in advance.

Other Finding Aids

It is hoped that finding aids will be developed once the collection has been catalogued down to item level. The catalogue which has been produced can be used as the main finding aid and is kept with the archive.


There will be no further accruals