London’s largest mosque is found at the heart of Whitechapel on its busy high street.

A tour of the most notable mosques that adorn Whitechapel

Being home to the famous East London Mosque, mosques in Whitechapel contribute to the area’s diverse urban architecture.

Whitechapel is home to the largest community of British Bengali citizens in the country, according to the 2011 Census. Creating a cultural hub in the area since the 1970s, the influence of the Bengali community can be seen in its many mosques, also known as masjids.

Some mosques have been ingeniously adapted from former schools, community centres and even churches and shops. Others have been purpose-built and feature the signature flourishes of the Islamic faith: domes, minarets, and storey-spanning arched windows. All contribute to the melting pot of Whitechapel’s gloriously diverse architecture.

The East London Mosque

The East London Mosque on Whitechapel Road, East London.
London’s largest mosque is found at the heart of Whitechapel on its busy high street.

Sited on Whitechapel Road, the East London Mosque was built in 1982. Its towering architecture topped by a dome and minarets is one of Whitechapel’s most familiar landmarks. The mosque was one of the first in the UK to be allowed to use loudspeakers to broadcast the adhan. Combined with the adjoining London Muslim Centre and Maryam Centre, it is also one of the largest mosques in Europe.

Brick Lane Jamme Mosque

The Brick Lane Jamme Masjid is located on Brick Lane, Whitechapel, East London.
The entrance of the masjid from Brick Lane Road with passers walking by.

Found on one of Whitechapel’s busiest streets, this fascinating building can be found amid the curry houses and storefronts of Brick Lane. Housed in a historic Georgian building, this mosque once served as a French Protestant Church and a Synagogue reflecting the waves of immigration in the neighbourhood of Whitechapel. The mosque can hold up to 3,200 and is most crowded during the jummah (Friday) prayers, which are held on… Friday.

BBC Community Centre Mosque

The BBC Community Centre building on Toynbee Street, Whitechapel, East London.
This community centre is situated in a quiet, residential area behind Commercial Street.

Located on Toynbee Street, the BBC Community Centre Mosque (not that BBC) is an example of one of the mosques in Whitechapel that functions as a community centre too. Its distinguishing features include contrasting brickwork and circular windows, an architectural feature found on many mosques.

East London Markazi Mosque

The Markazi Masjid is located on Christian Street, Whitechapel, East London.
The sign of the masjid’s name falling vertically along the building gives it a sleek touch.

The gold lettering down the side of this mosque lights up at night, guiding people to prayer. Open since 1980, this mosque on Christian Street is one of the most well-established in the area. Can you spot the two minarets on each corner?

Darul Ummah Mosque

The Darul Ummah Masjid mosque is located on Bigland Street, Whitechapel, East London.
Partly obscured, this mosque is accessed through the school gates.

Darul Ummah Masjid occupies a former Church of England Victorian school premises. It has kept its educational purpose and is now an independent boys’ secondary school combining the National Curriculum and Islamic Education.

Esha Atul Islam Mosque

The Esha Atul Islam Mosque is located on Ford Square, Whitechapel, East London.
Esha Atul Islam Mosque is just behind the Royal London Hospital.

Also known as the Ford Square Masjid, due to its location on Ford Square, this mosque is known for its high-quality Arabic language and grammar education. It was founded in 1983 and gained popularity in the 1990s for its famed maktab (evening school) services among the borough.

 


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