Joy as Notts’ first minaret installed at Sneinton mosque.

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minaretGENERATIONS of Muslims gathered in Sneinton to witness the first minaret in Notts raised and a £1.2 million “landmark” created in the city’s skyline.

The 500-strong congregation at the Jamia Masjid Sultania mosque, in Sneinton Dale, received the final touch to its place of worship on Tuesday.

Dozens of community members met at the site to watch builders install the 14.5-metre green and white structure, which will be topped with a gold crescent and based on traditional Islamic designs.

“It’s a landmark,” said mosque secretary Taleh Mehdi, 70. “Along with the windmill, it will mark Sneinton when you look across Nottingham.

“Everyone here today is so proud of this project. The minaret is the final touch and now it all feels complete. We have a great mosque that everyone in the community, Muslim or not, can be proud of.”

The mosque was built in 2011, but the fibreglass minaret is the first of the religious structures of its type in the county.

Before moving to the Jamia Masjid Sultania, the congregation were meeting at a much smaller site in Thurgaton Street.

“It wasn’t big enough,” added Mr Mehdi. “On Fridays we couldn’t get everyone inside. We had people praying out on the street because they couldn’t get inside.”

The Thurgaton Street building – a terraced house converted in 1985 – will now become an education centre for religious school to adult education and Urdu classes.

Imam Maulana Mohammad Aslam Rabbani will be preaching at the mosque under the new minaret.

He said: “We are so proud of the minaret. It will be a privilege and an honour to preach to the people from under the first minaret in Nottinghamshire.”

His thoughts were echoed by mosque chairman Aurangzeb Khan, of Carlton, who said: “We are very excited, which you can see from the faces of the people here. I personally want to say a big thank you to everyone who donated. The money all came from donations from the people. Without them it wouldn’t have been possible.

“The minaret is a symbol of the Muslim community’s spirit and shows what the neighbourhood can do when people work together.”

Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, 80, is the oldest member of the mosque and has lived in Sneinton for more than 50 years.

His family donated around £200,000 between them.

He said: “I’m so proud to see the minaret in place. It’s the final touch of the mosque and makes it complete.

Councillor Gul Khan, who represents the Dale ward, added: “It’s a landmark and a symbol of the Islamic community in the Dales, in which there are around 1,200 or more Muslims.

“With the minaret in place it gives the mosque an authentic feel and a sense of completion. I’m happy for the mosque and proud of the community.”

Source: notinghampost.com

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