Southfields Fazl Mosque Gains Grade II Listed Status

Constructed in mid 1920s with funds raised by the Ahmadiyya Community in India and supported by voluntary labour

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An iconic Wandsworth building has been given special listed status in recognition of its architectural and historic importance.

The Fazl Mosque in Southfields has been listed as a Grade II building by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The mosque is the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community and was London’s first purpose-built mosque when it opened in 1926 at a cost of £6,223.

It was constructed between 1925-26 with funds raised by the Ahmadiyya Community in India and supported by voluntary labour.

It is described as a fusion of Indian Mughal architectural forms and contemporary British trends, with the spherical dome on the buttressed square base resembling the 1923 twin towers at the Wembley Stadium.

Rafiq Hayat, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, said: “It is a great honour for the capital’s first purpose-built mosque to be Listed. The Fazl Mosque – also known as The London Mosque – has served the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, as well as the wider community, for nearly a century and it is fitting that its importance has been recognised.

“The Mosque provides a beacon of hope for the future. It served as a bomb shelter for local people during the Second World War and was the base from where the community launched its support for the Poppy Appeal which has spread to mosques across the UK.

“Recognising and preserving the mosque as a Grade II Listed building will help to retain its heritage and its unique place in British history. The mosque is an enduring testament to the peaceful ethos of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community: Love for All, Hatred for None – a message that is reflected in every aspect of the community’s work in the UK and across the world."

The special Grade II status is awarded to just 5.8 percent of approximately 500,000 listed buildings in England, marking them out as particularly important sites and giving them greater protection.

Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia said: ”We very much welcome this decision. The Fazl Mosque is a historic and important local landmark. It is a very unique and striking building, which represents the diversity of the borough, and deserves special protection and recognition.”

Michael Ellis, Heritage Minister, said: “Our historic buildings tell the story of Britain’s past and the people, places and events that shaped them. By listing these beautiful mosques, we are not only preserving important places of worship, but also celebrating the rich heritage of Muslim communities in England.”

Although there are around 1,500 mosques in Britain, fewer than 20 per cent are purpose-built according to Heritage England, which compiles the listings.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, the public body that champions and protects England’s historic places, said: “I’m proud to be shining a light on these exceptional places of worship established by Muslim communities in England. Through listing we are celebrating some of our most significant examples of Islamic heritage.

March 15, 2018