East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre Archive

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The fonds is arranged in series as follows;

  • ELMT/AD Governance and Administration of East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre
  • ELMT/CR Correspondence of East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre
  • ELMT/FI Finance records of East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre
  • ELMT/FU Fundraising campaigns and events of East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre
  • ELMT/CH East London Mosque Charities and Zakat funds
  • ELMT/BU Buildings and Estates records of East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre
  • ELMT/HR Staff records of East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre
  • ELMT/EX East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre community partnerships and work with external organisations
  • ELMT/WR Worship and faith records of East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre
  • ELMT/ED Teaching and Education at East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre
  • ELMT/P Press cuttings and media records of East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre
  • ELMT/MA Marketing and Publicity records of East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre
  • ELMT/EV Events at East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre
  • ELMT/LG Legal and arbitration records of East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1910 the ‘London Mosque Fund’ was established with the aim of building a mosque in London ‘worthy of the capital of the British Empire’. Some of the earliest Trustees and members of the Executive Committee included prominent Muslims and non-Muslims including the Aga Khan, Syed Ameer Ali, Lord Nathaniel de Rothschild and Lord Ampthill.

In 1940 three houses were purchased on Commercial Road in East London and converted into a Mosque. It was opened on Friday 1 August 1941 when Lt. Col. Sir Hussain Suhrawardy, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the London Mosque Fund, welcomed worshippers into the newly established East London Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre. The first prayer was led by the then Ambassador for Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Shaikh Hafiz Wahab. In 1948 the London Mosque Fund became the East London Mosque Trust.

In 1975 the Greater London Council acquired the premises in Commercial Road under a compulsory purchase order. Temporary buildings were provided at Fieldgate Street until the present mosque could be built in Whitechapel Road. In 1982 construction work on the new Mosque started and by 1985 the new East London Mosque was completed. On Friday 12 July 1985 Md. Suleiman Jetha, Chairman of the Council of Management of the East London Mosque, welcomed worshippers into the newly built mosque.

During the 1990s the East London Mosque ran a long and ultimately successful campaign to acquire land adjoining the Mosque that was then being used as a car park. The London Muslim Centre was constructed on this site and opened in June 2004.

Over the years many distinguished persons were associated with the London Mosque Fund and its predecessor the East London Mosque Trust. Among them, the Rt. Hon. Syed Ameer Ali, the first Indian Privy Counsellor, who was the Chairman of London Mosque Fund Executive Committee until his death in 1928. His Royal Highness the Aga Khan served as life President of the Board of Trustees. Both Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall, the famous translators of the Qur’an, were trustees of the Fund. There were also a large number of non-Muslims who realised that there was a pressing need for a Muslim place of worship in London and joined the struggle. Lord Charles Lamington became a Vice-Chairman of the London Mosque Fund. The famous historian, Professor T. W. Arnold, also became its Secretary and was later replaced by Sir Ernest Hotson, Sir John Woodhead became its Treasurer and the Rt. Hon. Earl Winterton was also a Trustee of the Fund.

Arrangement

The East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre archive remained largely un-catalogued until 2013/14. The current catalogue structure was drafted by project archivist Eilís McCarthy based on a survey of the collection and research into the Mosque history. Senior members of staff and stakeholders were also consulted and the final catalogue structure was approved by the Archive Steering Group.

The archive has been arranged to reflect the major activities of the Mosque and the London Muslim Centre, however at file level original order has always been maintained.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection can be viewed at the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre Archive by appointment. Please contact archives@londonmuslimcentre.org.uk for details.

Acquisition Information

Acquried by the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre, 1910 - ongoing.

Archivist's Note

Catalogued by Eilís McCarthy, October 2013 to September 2014, as part of a project funded by the National Cataloguing Grants Programme.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright owned by creators and East London Mosque Trust. Cannot be copied without rights owners' permission(s).

Related Material

  • JUM Jamiat ul Muslimin Archive
  • IMBF Indigent Moslems Burial Fund Archive

Corporate Names