Cambridge: Europe’s first eco-friendly Masjid is likely to open in 2019 in Cambridge. It will be a place not only for prayer but also for teaching. It will welcome people of all religions.
It may be mentioned that as per the census of 2011, there are around 8000 Muslims in Cambridge. Number of masjids in Cambridge is five. However, they are very small which forces worshippers to offer prayers in rented halls.
According to the report published in Arab News, Tim Winter (57), a lecturer in Islamic Studies at Cambridge University who had reverted to Islam established Cambridge Mosque Trust 10 years ago. This trust was meant to raise funds to construct a masjid. He also wanted the masjid to promote a green environment.
Winter trains Imams who are born in British. Many times, his name was found in the list of 500 most influential Muslims published by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.
In 2008, the trust had acquired one-acre land at the cost of £4 million in Mill Road. The international architectural competition was held in 2009 to come up with perfect design. A design by London architects Marks Barfield was selected.
Despite the construction is not yet completed, the under-construction masjid looks awesome. Curved timber which is shaped like a tree gives support to the ceiling.
There will be a garden at the enterance of the masjid. Prayer hall will have a capacity to accommodate nearly 1000 worshippers. There will be a restaurant, teaching spaces, wedding room etc. Prayer hall also has spaces for women. There will be a provision for recycling of the water. Heat pumping system will maintain temperature after identifying the heat of the air packet.
In the new masjid, both Sunnis and Shias will offer prayers together and Imam of the masjid will be selected carefully, Arab News reported.
Funds were raised by crowdfunding, private donations, a donation from a Saudi princess, an Emirati and Muslim group in Hong Kong.
It may be noted that Muslims started migrating to Cambridge in 1950s and 60s. Many of them are from Bangladesh and Pakistan. However, Cambridge has a long association with Islam.