Shah Jahan Mosque, Woking

The Shah Jahan Mosque is the oldest purpose built mosque in Europe outside Muslim Spain. It was built in 1889, and the story of its building is an intriguing one.
  The builder was an Oriental scholar, Dr Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner, who was, surprisingly, of Jewish ancestry. He was a brilliant man who spoke 15 languages by the time he was 17, and was a professor by 21.
  After working abroad he came to England and in 1883 established the Oriental Institute in Woking, funded by Shah Jahan, the Nawab Begum of Bhopal.
  The original intention was to build a synagogue, a Hindu temple and a church alongside the Mosque, but this never materialised.
  By 1900 the institute had closed, and the abandoned mosque was in danger of demolition.but was rescued and in 1912 restoration began.
  The mosque, and associated buildings, now serve the local Muslim community.


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