Mosque tour in­sight for Probus mem­bers

East Kilbride News - - CLUBS NEWS - Ken Law­ton

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

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