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Building history of Islamic Centre Hamburg
In June 1953, some Hamburg-based merchants got together to found an association for building a mosque after consulting their spiritual leader Burujerdi who lived in Qum province. After Ayatullah Mohagheghi had arrived Hamburg, the construction was started. At the suggestion of Ayatollah Burujerdi, they accumulated a fund for expenses. In October 1957, a plot was purchased in Alster.
One of the drafts drawn was selected and carried out by a group of eminent architectures. In the the presence of many Muslims, city representatives and Hujjet al Islam Mohagheghi the foundation Stone was laid in 13 February 1961.
In May 1963, the building shell completed. 1 million mark had already been spent for the project. Upon A. Burujerdi’s death and H. Mohagheghi’s return to Iran, the construction suspended temporarily until arriving of Behesti. With generous donations of Iranian businessmen, some parts of building could be completed.
Although the Iranian Embassy in Bonn (then under the Shah's regime) blocked the bank accounts of the Mosque, the initiative succeed in completing some other parts such as lecture room, facade and floor between the years 1969-1979.
In the period of Hüjjet al Islam Moghadam’ service, kitchen, washroom and dining room were set up. Moreover, the well-known artists Meshkat and A. A. Sadeghian from Mashhad began to decorate prayer room with mosaic tiles. İn summer 1992, the tile work was finished under the direction of Hujjet al Islam and an excellent mihrab, a gift from Gobarshad Mosque in Iran, was established. In 1996, a new library, parking area and offices were added because of the increasing activities of the centre.
There is one of biggest hand-woven carpets of the world in the İmam Ali Mosque. İt s features are:
Diameter: About 16 m
Area: approximately 200 m2
Weight: 1 ton
Number of nodes: About 80 million
Time: 22 workers have worked 3 years.
Muslim groups of different nationalities get together for regular meetings, prayers, lectures, seminars, readings, Islamic festivals, funerals, etc. For interested people there is always opportunity to learn Arabic. Under Islamic rules, marriages are implemented. There are experienced theologians dedicated to help people who have psychological or family problems as well as those who have been newly converted to Islam. The Islamic Centre is regularly visited by schools, church communities and other interested groups from Hamburg and the nearby towns. Lots of organisations, lectures and discussions have been held to get rid of prejudices about Islam and to develop a better understanding of Islam. Our centre and Mosque may be visited at appropriate times.
Prayer and Dialog
Every Friday, a great number of Muslims gather for Friday Prayer. There are different nationalities. Shiite and Sunnite Muslims listen to Friday sermon together on Arabic, German and Persian. This make the unity of Muslims get strengthen. Muslims of different nationalities and faiths consider the Islamic Centre as their own place where there brotherhood and unity among themselves are sustained. Furthermore, the dialogue with other religions is a tradition. Representatives of the Islamic centre are often invited by many different groups so that they have opportunity to explain the rudiments of Islam. On the other hand, the representatives of other religions explain their faiths in the centre. As well as taking part in the events of dialogue among religions and church days we publish a leaflet series called ‘Muslims in dialogue’ in which is given short answers about Islam. In addition to that, we publish a bimonthly magazine called ‘Al Fajr’ (dawn) that has gained great respect. Students and members of various religious communities get together regularly for scientific meetings in the Imam Ali mosque. Also non-Muslims are may take part in those events.
For our kids, religious instructions both in German and Persian are offered regularly. Besides, offering basic knowledge of Arabic to them, we bring in the essential beliefs in a amusing way. In the fests different organisations are held. Especially for Muslim youth who grew up in Germany, a bimonthly journal called ‘Salam Kinder’ (Hello Children) is published. Because there is a serious lack of that kind of magazines and books in Germany.