The East London Mosque was given the best possible grass-roots support on Saturday night, when thousands of people helped break the fundraising record for the third year in a row, on Channel S. The generosity and enthusiasm of donors helped us reach a total of £1,125,725 on the night!

This was followed the next evening by collections in a packed mosque and centre that brought in a further £449,859.

Encouraged on by the mosque’s excellent track record, ordinary Muslims showed their commitment to the current expansion work that will bring even more prayer space and services. The mosque has been busier than ever this Ramadan, with the total number of people taking part in congregational prayers set to pass the quarter of a million mark before the end of the month of fasting.

“It is truly uplifting to see this level of commitment and support from across the Muslim community, who time and again exceed all expectations,” commented mosque chairman, Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari. He added: “We thank Allah for all the success He has given us, and for making our mosque close to the hearts of the Muslim community.”

The record-breaking success was all the more impressive in a time of economic downturn, which has seen most of the daily appeals bring in less support than in the past.

Executive Director, Dilowar Khan, said: “The Muslim community is always generous in donating to charity, and this month has already seen tens of thousands of pounds raised for good causes such as the Pakistan Flood Appeal.”

Every day the mosque accommodates over 500 people for a light Iftar (breaking of the fast) – over 15,000 meals will have been served by the end of Ramadan. Then, in common with all mosques, special optional prayers are held every night lasting for two hours, with congregations filling both mosque and centre with an average of around 4000 people, though on some mights reaching the maximum capacity of 5000.

In the last ten days there are further optional prayers before dawn, attracting thousands more. The evening and night-time prayers are led by guest Imams renowned for their beautiful recitation.

With just a few days of Ramadan left, we are waiting to see if Eid will be on Thursday or Friday. The East London Mosque will be holding five Eid prayers to cater for the huge numbers expected.

To celebrate Eid in style this year there will be a special East London Eid Festival, marking the beginning of the centenary celebrations of the East London Mosque; a day of fun-packed activities such as a bazaar, funfair and exhibition.

There was a note of sadness on the fundraising evening, when our Imam, Shaikh Abdul Qayum, made an emotional announcement to say he had received news his mother had passed away in Bangladesh. Our beloved guest reciter from Egypt, Shaikh Ahmed Amer, immediately made a special prayer for the deceased, echoed by the entire congregation.

> East London Advertiser: Record-breaking Ramadan fundraising at East London Mosque