Ramaḍān and The Night of Power

السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ

It’s Wednesday 13th May 2020. Let’s focus on ‘Ramaḍān and The Night of Power’ today.

In the late 1990s, I was bestowed with an opportunity to teach children in a small North Lancashire market town called Clitheroe, 10 miles from Blackburn. An hours drive from the stunning Lake District, it is famous for its Norman Castle and Pendle Hill, not forgetting the Trough of Bowland.

Muslims had settled here in the 1960s, working in the famous Castle cement factory and the textile mills. A small corner house on 26 Holden Street was purchased by Hāji Riāz, who now lives in Pākistān, and has family here in Blackburn. Hāji Riāz donated this house to the Muslim Community to use as a Masjid and Madrasah, سُبْحَانَ الله. So this is where the story begins.

There were only a handful of Muslim families back then and even today, it is estimated that maybe 60 Muslim families reside in Clitheroe. When I first set foot in Clitheroe some 20 plus years ago, little did I know that I was embarking on a journey of a lifetime.

My colleague Mawlānā Yūsuf Hajāt and I taught children in Clitheroe for a few years. The Muslim Community made 12 applications to the local authority seeking planning permission for a Masjid. All were rejected.

On the lookout for suitable premises, they came across one of the most remarkable buildings in Clitheroe, known as ‘The Mount‘. Built as a Methodist Church, serving as a munitions factory during World War 2, the building was not in use.

It was the masterpiece of Clitheroe, belonging to Lappett Manufacturing. Wasting no time, our Muslim brothers sent off a letter to Lappett, and lo and behold, the owner turned out to be an Arab businessman residing in Saudi Arabia, سُبْحَانَ الله.

A meeting was arranged with the locals, during which the Arab owner, ‏,مَا شَآءَ الله agreed to gift the property as a Masjid to the Muslims of Clitheroe and the wider community, اللّٰهُ أَكْبَر. Now that the Muslims had ‘The Mount’, planning permission would not be so difficult, اِنْ شَاءَ الَّلهُ. The historical day engraved on the hearts of every Muslim of Clitheroe is 21st December 2006, when the local council voted in favour of the Muslims by just one vote, ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ.

Although grand looking on the outside, the building had lately been used to manufacture the chequered scarves that Arabs wear and had been closed for a while, so it needed some work, including building a new entrance hall, etc. Once again, our Arab benefactor came to the rescue with a very generous £100,000 donation.

In the presence of Mawlānā Rafīq Ṣūfī of Blackburn, the Masjid officially opened in 2012, ‏مَا شَآءَ الله. Since then we have gone from strength to strength, ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ. Imāms from Blackburn were appointed, who made the necessary efforts with the locals, and approximately another £100,000 was raised from the Muslims of the UK.

From the 3 storeys of The Mount, only the ground floor is in full use at present. As we were about to renovate and decorate the first and second floors, the local authority stepped in once again. It was the building regulations department this time that insisted on the installation of a lift, which would cost an estimated £50,000. Yā Allāh, what now?

Coming to the main point now, as Maghrib approaches, we are about to embark on the last 10 days (ꜤAsharah) of Ramaḍān, اِنْ شَاءَ الَّلهُ. During the last 10 nights, we have ‘Laylat ul-Qadr‘ known as the ‘Night of Power’. The worship of this night is better than the worship of 1,000 months, سُبْحَانَ الله.

In this message, I want to take the opportunity to request each and every reader to donate at least  £10 towards this lift every night over the next 10 nights, at least £100 over the 10 nights. One of the nights is guaranteed to be ‘Laylat ul-Qadr’, so you will get the reward of donating £10 every night for 83 years & 121 days, اللّٰهُ أَكْبَر.

Almighty Allāh has blessed us in Clitheroe with an immaculate building. From that first day in the late 1990s till today, my heart has been set on Clitheroe. ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ, I have been managing the Masjid with the support of locals and my colleagues Mawlānā Rafīq Ṣūfī, Mawlānā Shafīq and Mawlānā Yūsuf Hajāt.

A street in Clitheroe, LS Lowry

The famous Northern Artist LS Lowry painted ‘A street in Clitheroe‘ in the 1960s, whilst trying to catch the scenes of the Northern mill towns during the industrial period. Our Masjid is the most outstanding building in this famous portrait.

Please watch the 2 minute video of ‘The Mount’.

Almighty Allāh take us to our target of £50,000 Lillāh during the next 10 nights. Almighty Allāh reward our Saudi benefactor and our Hāji Riāz with Palaces in Jannat ul-Firdaus in return for gifting us ‘The Mount’ and 26 Holden Street, Āmeen.

Donation methods are mentioned at the end of the 2 minute video. Almighty Allāh accept all your donations, Āmeen.

جَزَاكَ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا
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وَالسَّلَامُ Hanif Dudhwala