The East London Mosque (ELM) hosted a successful open day on Saturday, as part of the annual Visit My Mosque (VMM) initiative. Now in its eighth year, the national event spearheaded by the Muslim Council of Britain, the largest umbrella body representing Britain’s Muslim communities, has become an annual fixture in the British calendar. Over 250 mosques and Islamic centres take part in the initiative, opening their doors to members of the British public.

“The doors of ELM are open to our neighbours and others in the local community and beyond every day,” said ELM chairman, Abdul-Hayee Murshad, while launching the event. “ELM provides courses on key aspects of Islam to professionals and managers from different fields, including government departments. Each week hundreds of school children visit the Mosque to learn about Islam. Today is special as there are hundreds of mosques inviting people of other faiths or those with no faith to visit their mosques. The main aim is to build an understanding, a harmony that allows us to celebrate what we have in common as human beings and be less concerned about our differences.”

Faith, Food, and Friends

Visitors to the open day were able to view a central display of fruits and vegetables mentioned in the Qur'an and stop by the Tea and Cake Corner for refreshments. The theme for 2023 is ‘Faith, Food, and Friends’. 

ELM Scouts offered freshly squeezed lemonade and children were invited to try their hand at calligraphy on tiles. The ELM Archives collection was also on display, including the visitors book, for guests to peruse. An area was designated for faith talks centred around the theme of food. Guests were also able to view a Bee Exhibition complete with a live beehive. Tours of the mosque were given throughout the day along with talks on the sweetness of bees and the miracle water Zamzam.


The ELM chairman was joined by the deputy mayor of Tower Hamlets, Councillor Maium Talukdar and various other dignitaries from the local community. Hosting the event, Sufia Alam, Head of Programmes and Maryam Centre, said: “Of course our mosques are always open and today is a very special day because we along with hundreds of mosques up and down the country open their doors to our friends and neighbours, our community.”

Photo credit: Abdulmukith Ahmed