The Fazl Mosque, also known as the London Mosque, is the first purpose-built mosque in London. Designed by Thomas Mawson, it was commissioned by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which spring out of Qadian in the Punjab region of India. By 1913 the community was established in the UK. Soon after the community began raising money to support the construction of a mosque. The Fazl Mosque was inaugurated in 1926. In "A History of Mosques in Britain," Saleem Shahed describes the structure "simple and carefully proportioned," with a 7 x 10 m prayer hall, 5.4 m in height, and capped by dome rising an additional 4.6 m. Shahed notes strong Mughal influence in features of the mosque such as the cupolas in each corner of the prayer hall, but he also argues the mosque is a "British Islamic building influenced by contemporary trends in Modernism and Art Deco."1
The white mosque with its green dome and tall, narrow, arched windows, is surrounded by grass and ornamental vegetation. It is the centerpiece of a complex that includes multipurpose assembly spaces, offices, and apartments. The Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has also resided on the premises since a 1984 law prohibited Ahmadi Muslims from openly practicing in Pakistan.
--Michael A. Toler, Archnet Content Manager
May 30, 2017
1. Saleem Shahed, "A History of Mosques in Britain," Architects' Journal 235, no. 14 (May 2012): https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/a-history-of-mosques-in-britain/8629263.article.