Manchester Central Mosque and it’s history
Manchester Central Mosque has been known by several names over the years some of which include ‘Victoria Park Mosque’, ‘Jamia Mosque’ & ‘Jamiat ul Muslimeen’. It is located in the Victoria Park district which is a suburban area of Manchester, England.
Victoria Park lies approximately two miles south of Manchester city centre between Rusholme and Longsight and is a stone throw away from the famous curry mile (Wilmslow Road).
Manchester Central Mosque (MCM) began as two adjacent houses, one owned by the Syrian Textile Merchants operating in Manchester since the early 1900s, and the other owned by the Indian community living in the nearby areas of Rusholme and Longsight.
In 1971, mosque commenced work on a purpose built mosque in Victoria Park and the two houses were demolished and the “new look” Mosque took its current form. Several expansions and modifications have taken place over the years.
It is interesting to note that the Muslim Students in Manchester used to celebrate Eid at Britannia Restaurant, opposite the BBC television building, every year. In 1948 a meeting was arranged at Manchester University to discuss purchasing a property for the mosque. A semi-detached house at 22-Upper Park Road, Victoria Park, Manchester was then bought for £2,250. Jamiat ul Muslimeen (Manchester Central Mosque) was already in existence and had £550 on account.
A sum of £1,000 was kindly donated by Mr Ahmad Dawood (Dawood Textile Pak). Mr M.Hanif and Mr M.Ismail, both from Memon families, contributed £750 and £500 was collected from the rest of the Muslim Community. A sum of £550 was spent to make a room for prayer, a room for meetings and a room for sports.
There were 10/15 regular Juma Namazi and the first Eid was Celebrated by 50 Muslim, Hindu and Sikh community members in the mosque. Food was also served. In December 1968 it was decided to build a new mosque, an architect was appointed and a collection was started. A semi-detached house next door which belonged to a Syrian Brother was donated towards the new project in 1970.
The first Imam and President of the Jamiat was Mr Abdullah Kasas and the Secretary Mr Akbar Ali O.B.E. who is an Engineer by profession currently lives in Liverpool. All the Muslim student’s union i.e. Egyptian, Indian, Pakistani and Syrian had their offices at the mosque and used to hold their meetings at the mosque.
The address of the mosque is ‘ 20 Upper Park Rd, Manchester M14 5RU’ and the co-ordinates are ‘53.457191, -2.220343’.