Qadria Trust was established as a small Mosque and community centre for the local Sparkbrook community (Birmingham) in 2005 by Pir Mohammad Tayyab ur Rehman Qadri. Since then, as the size of the congregation grew the Mosque was expanded accordingly. Currently, Qadria Trust provides education to over 200 children (with a long waiting list), employing over 20 staff, and during Jummah the Mosque is overflowing despite two Jamaats. Due to its geographical location, further expansion is not possible. Therefore, a plan was made to build a new Mosque, community and education centre, called Masjid Rahmania. However, for Pir Sahib’s dream to be realised, free land at a suitable location would need to be found, and funds would need to be raised to purchase it.
Almighty Allah showered His bounties on Pir Mohammad Tayyab ur Rehman Qadri and in 2010 a pious and God-fearing person offered just over a ½ acre of land for this purpose, for a token sum of £1. That person, may Allah bless him in this world and the hereafter, also pledged £50,000 towards the project. The blessings of Allah continued, it so happened that soon after this a ~1.5 acre area of land was also being sold by Birmingham City Council that was in prime location for this project (at the junction of Highgate and Stratford Road). Despite competing bids, the council chose to sell this land to Qadria Trust in 2014 due to the merits of the proposed project.
Now work on the new project is ongoing and Insha’Allah very soon the Muslims of Sparkbrook, of Birmingham, and indeed of the whole of the United Kingdom will be blessed with a grand and auspicious seat of religious learning. A question we are commonly asked is why does Birmingham need yet another Mosque, especially in Sparkbrook where there are already so many Mosques, and of this size?
When the Prophet ﷺ migrated from Makkah to Medina, the first thing he did was build a Mosque. This Mosque was a place where not only the 5 daily prayers were performed in congregation, but it was a true community centre:
- It was a place of education, where the companions would learn at the feet of the Prophet ﷺ, and themselves teach in after his passing.
- It was a place where the Prophet ﷺ governed the new Muslim state, making decisions about treaties, meeting with foreign dignitaries.
- It was a court, where people would come with their arguments and differences, which would be resolved by the Prophet ﷺ.
- It was a place of interfaith dialogue, Christian and Jewish leaders and their followers would visit the Prophet ﷺ and his companions.
- It was the place where the poorest members of the community would stay, would eat, would receive charity.
So, what we learn is that the Mosque in the time of the Prophet ﷺ was in constant use, by the young and the old, the rich and the poor, for religious, education and community purposes.
Given this is the model established by the Prophet ﷺ of the functions a Mosque should fulfil, how do the mosques we have today compare? Unfortunately most fulfil only one purpose, the congregational prayer, and apart from for Jumma, they are mostly empty even for that. It is also very clear there is a disconnect between the youth (our future generation), and the Mosque and therefore our religion, Islam.
There is no doubt this is a contributing reason why so many of our youth are involved in criminal and Haraam activities, and why the population of Muslims in prison is disproportionately high. This is why it is so important to re-establish the Prophetic model of what a Mosque is meant to be; to create an organisation which serves as a hub for the community, which helps to reconnect our next generation with the Mosque, with their religion, and with the wider community.
Masjid Rahmania is such a unique project, this will truly be not only a Mosque, but also an education and community centre. It will contain:
- Separate prayer halls for men and women
- Community centre, catering for:
- Multi-functional conference rooms with state-of-the-art audio/visual capabilities, for weddings, funerals, special events, etc.
- Advice bureau, advising on:
- Marriage counselling, divorce
- Education centre, providing:
- Full time school and supplementary after-school classes for children
- Library of Islamic literature
- Youth hub, including:
- Sports and recreational activities
- Mentoring services
- Women’s centre
- Day centre for the elderly
- Food-bank and emergency shelter for the homeless
- Matrimonial and funeral facilities
- Retail outlets and apartments (to generate income for the centre)
This means we, the local Sparkbrook community and residents of Britain, have a unique opportunity; to be part of the revival of the Prophetic model of what a Mosque is meant to be. As we learn from the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet ﷺ, by spending our God-given wealth on this most worthy project, Insh’Allah we will be investing in not only the future of Muslims in this country, but also our own future, in this life and the next.