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Mosque History

Inspiration

As early as 1968/69 a few people were contemplating setting up a masjid to cater for the small but growing population of muslims in Luton. There was already a masjid in 1971 but due to the Bangladesh/Pakistan war and the friction this caused it was decided that it was best for the two communities and social cohesion if they went their separate ways.

In 1974 Haji Abdul Bari, a local businessman and (MashAllah) a pious person, had a nephew from Mecca visit him here in England. Abdul Qadir Miski, the nephew, was originally from India though then based in Mecca. Abdul Qadir Miski invited Haji Bari to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage. Haji A. Bari and a friend accepted his request/invite and went to Mecca to perform the Hajj which in those days had far fewer people present.

In front of the Kaaba door (Multazim) the nephew, Abdul Qadir Miski, said to Haji Bari that “uncle we are in a special place so may i say something; When i came to Luton i could see that there is a need for a masjid in Luton and i am giving you £5 in front of the house of Allah so let us all pray together and make an intention that when you go back that you will start making an effort to build a masjid in Luton”. That was the initial inspiration for the Masjid.

When Haji Bari came back to Luton he started organising people and collecting funds for the new masjid. Everyone knew Haji Bari was an honest and honourable man and contributed generously towards his efforts. Practically all the funds were collected locally from the resident community.

Beginning

In 1975, number 25 Bury Park Road was purchased for a sum of approximately £5500. Thereafter, further adjoining properties were purchased over time. Number 21 was purchased from Haji Yusuf; 23 from Abdul Azim and 27 from Haji Shonawar Ali, may Allah reward them all abundantly.

The first of the houses, number 25, was bought under 3 trustees; Late Haji Bari, from Karimganj in India; Late Haji Abdul Wahid (also known affectionately by many as ‘Boro Mesab’) from Gulapgonj and thirdly Abdul Malik Choudhury from Beani Bazaar.

Prior to this masjid the Bangladeshi Muslim community used to pray the two Eid prayers in different halls; Beech Hill High School or other local halls were hired, including a small social club that used to be located at 13 Leagrave Rd (adjoining Dunstable Rd) called RAOB club.

The first Jumma prayer, in 1975, led by Qari Abdul Musawwir, who still resides in Luton, was of a 30-35 strong congregation.

The very first prayers/salah in the new Masjid were 2 rakahs of nafl (voluntary prayers) by the late Haji Mukaddas Ali and his son, Haji Abul Hussain, who came to the UK in 1970 and is now the serving Masjid President. Haji Mukaddas Ali, who did a lot of khidmat (services) for the Masjid, passed away in 1989.

Initially there was a lot of struggle maintaining the Masjid as it was a small community and they could not even afford an imam for about 3 years. They collected contributions from the local community who, we should remember, in those days used to earn about £15/20 wages. The local Bangladeshi Muslim community consisted of about 50 houses in those days in contrast to a community of about 15000 today.

 A lot of people did not even open their wage packets; For example one brother who used to work six nights and earn £12 pounds a week donated his entire weeks wages without even opening the packet. This was just one example of the many sacrifices made by the community to setup and establish this Masjid, especially remarkable, when you consider that these were tough times when most people were not established and very few families had settled here. Most of the community were single men trying to raise enough money to either send back to or bring their families over.

          

Imam

During those initial three years prayers were led by different people. Haji Abdul Wahid was one of the regular Imams, unpaid, who also taught children. Other notable mentions during this stage were Haji Abdul Mukaddas and Haji Bari and also his business partner Haji Jalal Choudhury from London.

The Late Hafiz Luthfur Rahman Saheb who used to be the imam of a Masjid in Nottingham was then hired to lead prayers but soon after he suddenly passed away.

The trustees of Bury Park Masjid then wrote a letter to Kakrail Masjid in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which is one of the oldest masjid’s of Dhaka City. This masjid is famous for organizing Tablighi activities all around the country and worldwide. A request was made for a senior scholar to be recommended as the imam in 1982/1983 and soon after we received Mufti Abdul Hannan, who was an imam of Kakrail Masjid, as their recommendation.

Many were interviewed for this position and he was shortlisted specifically for this job as he was a Hafiz, A’lim, Mufti and Qari.. His teachers and associates included; Shaikh Attaullah Shah Bukhari and  Mufti Taqi Usmani amongst many others. He also helped in the translating and writing of the tafsir of  1/3 of Maariful Quran, the famous work of Mufti Shafi Usmani.  Moreover, he also had spent time in the company of many distinguished scholars of our time, such as; Maulana Zakariyya Khandelwi, the author of Tablighi Nisab, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Yusuf Binori, Attaullah Shah Bukhari and Hussain Ahmed Madani (May Allah shower his blessings upon them all) amongst many other renowned ulama.

The Present

Bury Park Masjid today has grown to a capacity of over 2000 and has regular Jumma congregations of over a 1000 worshippers. The masjid has also expanded to include both a boys and girls school and college. Other then the religious duties and educational activities the masjid continues to be a hub for various other religious activities, e.g., Tablighi work, annual Ijtema of 5/6000 people, after school classes, health visits, seminars and presentations, language classes,  etc.

Addendum:

Haji Bari and Haji Abdul Wahid are buried in the 2nd section of the muslim graveyard in Luton.

Some other people worth mentioning are:
Late Haji Shamsul Haq Saheb who led the Islamic Society
Haji Attar Ali from Bangi
Lati Haji Bashir Miah from Fenchugong
They collected about £400 pounds and donated it to the Masjid fund for its initial purchase.

 

 

Prayer Timetable
Salah
Begins
Jama’ah
Fajr5:317:00
Zuhr11:561:00
Asr2:153:00
Magrib4:094:09
Isha5:247:30
View Monthly Timetable

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