Mosque opens doors

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - HERALD & POST -

IT has taken 12 years to be built, and cost £2.2m.

And Teesside’s big­gest mosque opened its doors to the whole com­mu­nity on Satur­day.

Stock­ton’s Fa­rooq-E-Azam Mosque and Is­lamic Cen­tre can hold 2,500 peo­ple.

And peo­ple of all faiths at­tended Satur­day’s open day to take a look inside.

“The whole point of do­ing this is to get peo­ple who are scep­ti­cal,” said mosque vice-chair Sha­keel Hus­sain, 39.

“But they leave more open-minded. “If they are closed-minded it’s be­cause they don’t know (about Is­lam), but even if they ar­rive closed-minded they are be­ing brave by tak­ing the time and ef­fort to come and learn more.”

The mosque took so long to build, not only due its scale, but also be­cause the funds were raised en­tirely within the com­mu­nity.

And their gen­eros­ity didn’t just stop there.

A cheque for £3,000 – raised in just a mat­ter of days – was do­nated to James Cook Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal’s In­ten­sive Care Unit.

The mosque opened dur­ing Ra­madan, and among the sub­jects guests learned about on Satur­day was the pur­pose of fast­ing. “Not ev­ery­one un­der­stands that it is not just food and water that you give up,” added Sha­keel.

“You have to try and re­frain from sex, swear­ing and bad lan­guage.

“It is about con­trol­ling them­selves.”

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