Mosque tour insight for Probus members
East Kilbride Probus Club enjoyed a visit to Glasgow’s Central Mosque.
A contingent of 14 was met by guide Jawad Khursheed, a dentist when not on mosque duty, who told them that there were two imams based at the mosque, properly known as Deobandi, beside the River Clyde.
Probus members had previously visited a Sikh gurdwara and a synagogue and this was an opportunity to extend an understanding of another religion.
The mosque was built in 1983. Retired businessman Muhammed Tufail Shaheen MBE, president of the Glasgow Central Mosque, played a key role and it was formally opened in 1984.
The preferred design meant that the architect had to travel to Turkey and Jeddah but it is built in local red sandstone.
Inside it is very plain to avoid distraction during prayer but outside is a different matter.
The courtyard of the mosque is in the traditional arabesque style and it is enclosed on one of its sides by gardens and on the other by a long facade of arched windows. The main entrance is arched, with etched glass doors.
In the courtyard one of the most noticeable features is the minaret (tower), where traditionally the muezzin recites the call to prayer.
A recess called the mihrab shows the direction of Mecca.
The building can accommodate 2500 worshippers in the prayer hall, making it Scotland’s largest mosque.
There is now a new Islamic Centre adjacent to the main building, serving as a hall for public events and also providing sports and changing facilities, meeting rooms, library, cafeteria and facilities to offer education and welfare support to the community.
The centre also serves nonMuslim community groups and educationalists from various institutions.
As the formal part of the tour ended, there was a discussion that included the five pillars of Islam, the history and architecture of the mosque, minarets and the call to prayer (azaan).
Mr Khursheed encouraged the members to enquire about any aspect of the religion they wished to discuss. Many questions were asked, ranging from why women cover their faces and men have beards to the fighting in Syria.
Members felt that they had gained not just a glimpse of a religion but some better understanding.
Drew Kean thanked Mr Khursheed for his excellent tour.
Guide Jawad Khursheed showed the club around