Masjid At-Taqwa was first established with the purchase of an end terraced house in the summer of 1995. The Masjid was conceived with a vision to provide a place of worship for all Muslims regardless of their gender, race or ethnicity. Through this vision the Masjid was the first of its kind in Leicester to provide a dedicated prayer space for Women, a basic necessity previously long neglected.
The first congregational prayer was on the eve of Ramadaan and was lead by Sheikh Sami Al Harbi from Makkah - The same Imam who lead the first prayer in the new premises 16 years later.
The initial congregations very quickly outgrew the 40 man capacity and in what was to set the trend for the coming years the community took the necessary steps to accommodate the growth through various expansion projects. Year on year the Masjid would reach max capacity through Muslim worshippers from all walks of life attracted by the warmth and unity of brotherhood they would experience.
The primary purpose of the Masjid was to facilitate the 5 daily prayers however by Allah's permission and the active involvement of the community many more services were provided. A madrasah education system was established for the children of the community ranging in all age groups. This was followed closely by adult classes teaching
Tajweed, Quran memorisation and the Arabic language. The Masjid also provided regular study circles and seminars teaching the principles of the Islamic faith.
Over time the services provided by Masjid At-Taqwa evolved to cater for the needs of the community through various means ranging from youth activities to open sessions for mothers and toddlers as well as keep fit and martial arts classes.
Eventually the Masjid property reached its physical limit despite all its extensions and floor space spread across 5 halls. Inevitably this had an impact on the services and limited the scope of any new community engagements. The madrasah programme which taught around 300 children every year would resort to teaching several groups in the same hall.
New students could not enroll. Jumuah also became a difficulty where worshipers would have to pray elsewhere due to lack of space.
The commercial property with an adjoining warehouse located literally opposite the street was approximately 10 times the size of the Masjid. The prospect of acquiring the commercial property was a mere dream. However the needs of the community were real and so the people turned to their Lord for assistance. The dreams lead to sincere supplications that ascended the heavens - It was only a matter of time that Allah subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa answered the prayers of the community.
In April 2011 the commercial property went up for sale and Masjid At-Taqwa was able to secure a successful bid to purchase. What followed was an extraordinary effort by all members of the community who tirelessly rallied together to raise the money. In the space of 5 weeks Â£300,000 was raised through various fund-raising initiatives including food fairs, charity bazaars and community appeals. It was a remarkable achievement that drew the community closer together.
In June 2011 the long held dreams of the community became a reality when the keys to the property were under their possession. A new momentum of energy surged through the people as Work on the new premises was immediately under way. It was another extraordinary accomplishment by the selfless members of the community who worked relentlessly to rapidly transform the office spaces and shop front to one very large hall. Masjid At-Taqwa opened its new premises in August 2011 during the last 10 days of the holy month of Ramadaan.
Today Masjid At-Taqwa has prayer space for over 500 men and 300 women with ample space for overflow. The Masjid has a heightened vision to serve the religious needs of the community as well as provide social welfare that is inclusive and open to all members of society, regardless of gender, race or religion.
Masjid At-Taqwa aims to fulfill the true role and purpose of a Masjid in a community by illuminating the message of peace and justice through a centre that is free from extremism, intolerance and injustice in all forms and by encouraging and empowering its members to be morally upstanding citizens.