First opened in 1975 and extended with the minaret in 1981, Birmingham Central Mosque is the city’s largest centre for Islamic worship.
Located in the Highgate area of the inner-city, where a substantial number of Sunni Muslims of predominantly Pakistani origin began to settle in the 1950s, the Mosque was only the second purpose built Islamic place of worship in the UK when it opened. Planning for the mosque began in the 1960s, with a fund raising drive that attracted donations from both the Muslim and the non-Muslim community. The site was purchased from Birmingham City Council in 1969 with planning permission being granted in the same year.
In keeping with Islamic architectural tradition and beliefs about images and ostentatious decoration the mosque building is simple and geometric in form. Inside, whilst not lacking in colour or intricate pattern, it is quite austere and utilitarian, clearly designed for functional worship, religious study and wider community usage.
The Central Mosque’s Main Hall can accommodate 3,000 worshipers at any one time, whilst the separate Women’s Gallery can host 400 worshipers during prayers. During major religious festivals such as Eid the Central Mosque hosts up to 20,000 worshipers a day, with multiple prayer sessions being held to accommodate all of the worshipers that wish to attend.
Worship and Reflection at Birmingham Central Mosque