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Our History

The Foundation of Muslim Association of 1950 -1989 History and Achievements

The association started in United Kingdom as an informal group of Nigerian students in the 1950s, with a view to continue the practice of their religion, creating an avenue for coming together, and to further their religious awareness in a non-Muslim environment. The notable names in the 1950’s include:

  • Late Alhaji (Chief) A I Folawiyo, Baba Adinni of Nigeria 
  • Alhaji R.A. Folami
  • Alhaji A. R. Lawal
  • Alhaji R. A. Balogun
  • Alhaji A. Feyisitan
  • Alhaji R. O. Gaji
  • Alhaji M. Animashaun
  • Alhaji M. O. Oseni (Late)
  • AlhajiO. Agoro
  • Alhaji B. O. Daniju
  • Alhaji F. Asunni
  • Alhaji S. A. Dawodu
  • Alhaji S. Abino
  • Alhaji G. O. Nosiru and a host of others.

The sacrifices of the Islamic activities were tremendous up to late 1989 and that culminated in the enviable achievements, notably amongst which sustained Islamic awareness and practice of the deen. However, the achievements were soon lost as a result of their return to Nigeria upon the completion of their studies to take up appointments at home. Amongst the distinguished individuals of this period includes the following:

CHAIRMEN GENERAL SECRETARIES

  • Alhaji G. Olowu
  • Alhaji H.O. Ogunbambi
  • Alhaji R.A. Durosimi
  • Alhaji T.A.O. Lawal 
  • Alhaji K.A. Dabiri 
  • Alhaji M.O. Adesina
  • Alhaji M.K. Najimudeen
  • Alhaji B.B. Adekola 
  • Alhaji N.A. Mabinuori
  • Alhaji M.A. Abu 
  • Alhaji K. Saka
  • Alhaji M.A. Durosimi
  • Alhaji S.O. Daniju (Late)

GENERAL SECRETARIES

  • Alhaji A. R. Durosimi 
  • Alhaji G. B. Alabi-Masha
  • Alhaji R. O. Afuwape
  • Alhaji H.A.K. Oderinde
  • Alhaji B.O. Adisa
  • Alhaji R.K. Oluwo
  • Alhaji Sunmonu
  • Alhaji Danmba
  • Alhaji A.R. Oladosu (Late)
  • Alhaji Tijani
  • Alhaji Z.A. Akinpeju

IMAMS

  • Alhaji Moyosore Ameen
  • Alhaji T.A. Iginla
  • Alhaji Alawiye
  • Alhaji A.R. Salami

It is worth of mention that the challenges which the pioneers faced and made sacrifices for had to do with:

  • The education of children, youth and adults on the teachings of our religion, which also is guidance for successful life.
  • The mixing of male and female children on social activities has resulted in many un-Islamic marriages, such as muslim girls getting married to non-Muslims, in some cases without parental consent, which has left many parents disillusioned.
  • The inability of Muslim adults to get a place of solace in times of distress.
  • The practical difficulties of using temporary and rented accommodation for carrying out activities.

The above issues and others became the focus of the distinguished individuals that took responsibility for the direction of the association from 1990 onwards.

THE MAKING OF M.A.N. IN UK

The Muslim Association of Nigeria was formally established in UK in February 1961 as a branch of M.A.N in Nigeria by a group of Nigerian students.

The focus of the founding fathers was to encourage brotherly relations and Islamic social interaction among Muslim students of Nigeria most of whom were Yoruba. They were concerned to identify themselves as Muslims, while at the same time they vigorously pursued western education.

That was also the time when Muslims were generally looked down upon in southern part of Nigeria as second-class citizen, at a time when the Christian sponsored education system was blatantly engaged and hell bent in converting any prospective 1st school leaving certificate holder to Christianity and forcing them to change their Muslim names to Christian ones. It was time when the remark in vogue was 'Ha! I don’t know you are a Muslim because you don’t look like one' was prevalent.

The founding fathers tried hard to keep faith with Allah (S.W.A.) and the teachings of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) by facing squarely their studies so that they could return home to Nigeria to partake in the post independent development going on at the time. They also improved themselves as much as possible in the practice of Islam.

Hence a good number of their activities revolved round welcoming students from home and showing them the British system with a view to getting them settled in the shortest time possible.Thanksgiving celebrations were held for members for passing their exams as well as on send-off ceremonies for members returning home.

May Allah (S.W.A.) reward them abundantly in this world and the life hereafter.

Second Generation of Membership – 1970s to Early 80s

The focus of this generation builds on the structure established by the founding fathers by seeing themselves spending longer period in UK. They therefore set their programme of activities around

  •   Marriages
  •   Naming (Aqueeqah) ceremonies
  •   Funeral (Jannazah) rites
  •   Madrassah classes

They worked assiduously in achieving their objectives.May Allah (S.A.W) reward them richly for all their efforts and accept it all as Ibadah and grant them Jannah in the hereafter.

Current Generation of Leadership - Early 80s to Date

The current leaders of the association took over in the 80s under the distinguished chairmanship of Alhaji Misbau Durosimi. It was under his leadership that the association decided to properly establish as a UK registered charity with the Charity Commission.The charity status was granted in 1986.We pay special tribute to those of our elders who worked with him. They include the Late Alhaji AbdulRasheed Salami (The Imam), Alhaji Hamza Adeshanu, Bro. Tijani, Dr Imran Alawiye, Alhaji AbdulWahab Bolaji and Alhaji AbdulRafiu Oladosu.

This was in the realisation that the association had by now become a community organisation having to deal with all the needs of a community. These include catering not only for members but also for their:

  •  Children
  •  Wives
  •  Elders and the community at large

The areas identified for focus were in;

  •  Housing
  •  Education
  •  Welfare
  •  Relief of poverty and distress including
  •  Social security and well-being
  •  Marital harmonies and advice
  •  Madrassah classes for children

Since the founding of the association, its activities have been conducted from the London Central Mosque and for a brief period, Nigerian House Welfare section at the Inverness Terrace.

However, upon the identifications of the above activities, especially the establishment of Madrassah, it was decided to move the operations of the association program to the East London Mosque at Whitechapel.

LAUNCHING OF FUNDS TO ACQUIRE THE MOSQUE

It was from the East London Mosque that the urgent needs for the association to acquire its own property became more apparent. A committee was set up under the chairmanship of Late Alhaji Sadudeen Olasheni Daniju, who was then the vice chairman of the association, to address the issue of raising funds to acquire a befitting property for the association.

The fund was first launched in the summer 1989 at the London Central Mosque when a total sum of £13,500 was realised.

The main donors of the day were the late Alhaji (Chief) M.K.O Abiola, the Baba Adinni of Yoruba-land, and the 8th Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki. On that occasion, several distinguished Nigerians as well as members of the Association pledged a monthly contribution to the funds.

The second launching took place in Lagos 9th May 1991 at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs. A total sum of £32,000 was realised from the occasion.

Again, the main donor was the late Alhaji (Chief) M.K.O. Abiola. The occasion was chaired by Alhaji Dasuki (GCON), the 8th Sultan of Sokoto and supported by His Royal Highness Alhaji Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, the Alaafin of Oyo.

We seized this opportunity to express our profound appreciation to Chief S.L. Edu, who was the Chief Host, the Secretary General N.S.C.I.A. Alhaji Dr. Lateef Adegbite and M.AN National President Alhaji Sanusi. We extend our gratitude to all members of the fundraising committee under the chairman, Alhaji Saubana Bello, Alhaji Laguda, the Secretary Alhaji Otiti and Alhaji Arogundade, the joint treasurers, Prof. Nurudeen Alao, the then V.C. University of Lagos, Hon. Justice (Dr) Muri Okunola who inspite of his tight schedule took it upoin himself to personally conduct the delegates to various parts of Nigeria in meeting a number of important people to grace the occasion.A host of others we have not mentioned also gave a great deal of help.

May Allah (S.W.A) accept all these efforts for them as ibadah and grant them their desires in this world and in the hereafter. Ameen

ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY

By mid 1991, the total money in the coffers of the association was in excess of £70,000. We began in earnest the efforts of identifying suitable property to buy. This was an up-hill task as properties that could be considered suitable were selling in the region of £300,000 to £500,000.

There were pressures from the members and donors alike to promptly and properly tie the money to something tangible so that it would not be filtered away on other needs of the community. We had to balance the need to buy a suitable property within the resources available against the temptation to borrow more money which would involve ribah (mortgage interest) to augment the available funds such that it would be adequate for the going prices of such properties.

With painstaking efforts and prayers from our elder Alhaji (Prof.) D.O.S. Noibi and encouragement of people like Prof. S.A. Adetoro, Allah (S.W.A) blessed our efforts on  01/02/1993 with the mosque we have today. It was acquired in an auction with a strike price of £65,000.May Allah (S.W.A) reward abundantly all those who have contributed in one way or the other in making both the raising of the funds and the acquiring of the property a reality.

REFURBISHMENT

The building acquired was in a bad state of disrepair and neglect coupled with arson attacks which it suffered from the past squatters when the previous owners forcefully evicted them in order to gain a vacant possession of the property in readiness for its disposal.

The task of refurbishing the property became urgent for two main reasons:

To ensure that the building could immediately be put into use for the benefit of the community

To safeguard against squatters taking over the property or even the council classifying the building as a dangerous structure.

The refurbishment objectives were then determined and rendered into three phases.

PHASE 1:To physically secure the property from the roof to the basement, fortifying the floors and the ceilings and restoring the basic amenities such as toilets, bath, water, electricity and gas.

Within days of the acquisition of the property, the ground floor was rendered safe and tidy enough to conduct our tafsir (the Ramadan lecture). The community was very pleased with this and donations and pledges were coming through from every direction, even from sources from which we least expected any thing. Special thanks are due to the then chair of refurbishment committee Alhaji Muftau Ayo Ajibike, as well as Bro. T.K. Jinadu, Alhaji Bamgbola and Bro. Ganiyu Adamson who among others worked tirelessly for the next 12 months to conclude the first phase of the refurbishment.

The Mosque was then put in to use in April 1994. May Allah (S.W.A) reward abundantly those who contributed both in cash and kind in ensuring the successful conclusion of this stage of the refurbishment.

PHASE 2: The second stage of the refurbishment was aimed at revisiting all those temporary measures of the first stage and putting in their places, more enduring structures. These include;

  • Installation of new roof
  • Installation of new ceiling and floor board
  • Re-examination of the structural issues and permanently addressing them
  • Further sundry decorations

This was the focus of the refurbishment in the year 1994 to 1996.

PHASE 3: The last phase of the refurbishment was essentially focused on restructuring of the building to

  • Construct wudu and toilet facilities in the male and female areas.
  • Construction of an internal staircase at the men's area.
  • Installation of gas central heating.
  • Final internal and external decorations including: painting, calligraphy carpeting and lightings.
  • The constructions of dome and minaret.

The task was strategically planned and well executed by the President Alhaji Ibrahim Ayinde Adewusi and his executives. Special appreciation to all members of the Mission Board Alhaji Imam Tajudeen Salami, the deputy Imam Bro Nurudeen Ali and Bro Lukman Adeshina.

At this junction, it is pertinent to note that the Baba Adinni single-handedly bankrolled all the funding requirements in second and final phases of the refurbishment. We again beseech Allah to grant the Baba Adini all his prayers for himself and members of his household both in this world and the hereafter. 

In concluding the final phase of the refurbishment Alhaji Mustapha Babatunde Akande and his executive committee accomplished both the internal and external decoration of the building in a most impressive way. May Allah (S.W.A.) accept all our efforts as ibadah.

The records of the making of the assiocation will not be complete without mentioning the positive contributions and sincere roles of our mothers. They are always there to offer both moral and financial support as and when the need arises.

Particular mentioning has to be made of:

. Alhaji Khairat Sholeye (Late)

. Alhaji Taibat Onanuga

. Alhaji Afusat Elias (MBE)

. Alhaji Muibat Adefioye (MBE)

. Alhaji Sarah Adamson

There are host of others, sisters who are actively building up the sisters study circle, which we have not mentioned. May Allah (SWA) accept all their efforts as ibadah and grant them success in this life and in the hereafter (amin).

Conclusions.

We give special thanks to Allah (S.W.A.) with whose special mercy the association has made progress to its present stage.

We acknowledge our feebleness and lack of strength, as all power and wisdom are His. We beg him for increased vision and wisdom to move the association to greater heights with boundless frontiers, so that at the end of it all, we can bequeath to our children, a community well founded, well secured and structured such that they (our children), will find in it, an attractive way of life that would guarantee success in this life and in the hereafter.

May Allah (S.W.A) overlook all our shortcomings, forgive our sins, embrace us all with his special mercy, accept all our efforts as ibadah and grant us success in this life and hereafter. (Aameen)

May peace and the blessings of Allah be with the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) the seal of all prophets, his household, his companions and all those who follow his foot steps fromthe beginning of his message till the day of reckoning.

Wa Salam Alaekum, Warahamatulah wa barakutuhuh.

THE ROLES OF THE OLD KENT ROAD MOSQUE AND ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTRE

by Alhaji Yusuff Oluwa

The present defined roles of M.A.N are not different from the roles established by the founding fathers some forty years ago but they cover a wider scope of Islamic issues as dictated by new developments in the community.

It was gathered that despite enormous input of efforts in the 60s by the founding fathers, the association was not able to fulfil some of its aims simply because of inadequacy of facilities and resources coupled with this was fact that some of them went back to Nigeria after their sojourn in UK. This explained why the trend of co-ordination and significant achievement were lost between late sixties and late eighties.

The courage and banner were then picked up by the new generation of relentless and bold Muslim brothers and sisters. They built staunchly on the idea of acquiring an Islamic cultural centre where most of the problems confronting the association would be addressed.

In 1987 and 1989, fundraising activities were launched in London and in Lagos respectively and by 1991, Allah (S.W.T) provided a centre with the proceeds from the fundraising activities and other conditions.

Alhamdulillah, the arrival of Professor Dawud Noibi, (an outstanding eloquent Muslim scholar) occurred not too long before the purchase of M.A.N building. The combination of the two situations provided the association with a strong platform for carrying out its roles in the community. Since then there has been enormous influx of nominal Muslims coming to redefine their place in Islam and there were also the new converts. This has precipitated a wider scope of activities and at the same time, the association did not cease playing a central role in the spiritual, moral and social well-being of the Muslim community.

Out of many roles being played by this association today are:

  • Providing tuition of Arabic and Islamic studies for children and adults
  • This centre has at present about 350 students on its attendance register, attending classes at different times of the week. The centre has turned out more than 60 graduates since its inception amongst whom are Professor Moroof Adelekan, a psychiatrist who came to London for 18 months on a research work and was able to read and write in Arabic within the period of his sojourn in UK. Some of the old students are back in the centre assisting with teaching. The success of this project could be substantiated from the fact that parents of the students have seen changes in the lives of their children and information has reached many local Nigeria Muslims. The association is now making a contingency plan to cope with the increasing interest in its Madrassah services.
  • Advice and counselling sessions are being held on the association's premises. Advice and counselling are given free of charge on legal matters affecting individual Muslims. Also spiritual counselling and supplications for people faced with social problems of various kinds. Many problems have been solved in the recent times by the association's learned scholars.
  • The association also provides welfare projects for the benefits of the Elders Group, children's pre-school playgroups and supplementary education classes. Social outings are arranged on certain months of the year for elders to chosen areas of their choice.
  • Supplementary coaching classes are arranged for students taking GCSE every year and also youth camping at a chosen area. The Education Secretary of the association is organising the first sports event of the association in July this year.
  • Alhamdulillah, our mosque has now been approved as a Registry for marriages. The mosque performs religious services such as aqiqah (birth), nikkah (wedding) and or janazah for its members. 
  • Eminent Islamic scholars have been invited on many occasions to give lectures on Islamic matters. Lectures are delivered every fortnight in the mosque by Professor D.O.S. Noibi.

The association has affiliation with other Islamic organisations nationally and internationally through dialogues, conferences, seminars and symposia. The CNMO was facilitated by the association and is headed by Professor D.O.S. Noibi. All Nigerian Muslim organisations members of this body; this has made it possible for all these organisations to hold Lailatul Quadri and other Islamic Celebrations together.

The centre provides a mosque where five daily prayers are observed. Also a prayer of larger congregation comes up once a week (Friday). The Eid congregational prayers are observed in four shifts in order to accommodate the large numbers of Muslims who turn up from near and far. The congregation is now made up of Muslims all over the world including Turkish, Pakistanis, Moroccans, Algerians, indigenous British (whites) and, of course, Nigerians. The lectures for both Friday and Eid congregational prayers are delivered in English. The centre in addition to providing a lively environment during the month of Ramadan through Taraweeh prayers and Quranic study also provides food and drinks for the breaking of the fast.

One could now verify that the roles played by this association in creating Islamic awareness in London especially for Nigerian Muslim community is unquestionable. The fact is that the centre is not big enough now to hold the Friday (Jumat) and Eid prayers. A huge impact from the roles played by this association could also be evidenced by the huge difference in the number of students attending the centre now as compared to the number which attended eight years ago compared to present.

May Allah (SW) bless the founding fathers and all those who were involved in the success of these Islamic pursuits.

THE FUTURE ASPIRATIONS

The goal of the association that forms its future aspirations can be summarised as follows:

A. A continuously sustained Dawah programme through the accomplishment of

1. ESTABLISHMENT OF A CENTRE FOR ARABIC AND ISLAMIC STUDIES.

The Islamic school is to serve as an extension of the existing Madrassah classes. It is aimed at providing study facilities for further Islamic knowledge and exposure for those students who have completed the reading of the Holy Quran and basic knowledge of Islamic teachings. The goal is to help the students develop a committed Islamic personality through a greater understanding and application of the teachings of the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW). The centre intends to use the latest computer and video technology to enliven the learning process. It is the hope and aspiration of the centre to become a full-time school with the best library facilities, such that it would be able to offer GCSE examinations in Arabic and Islamic studies.

The centre would commence from September 1999 INSHA ALLAH!

2. ACQUISITION, DEVELOPMENT AND SET-UP OF A NEW BUILDING

It is the plan of the association to acquire, develop and set-up a new building such that would have ample space that are needed to ensure the smooth operation of such activities as the above Islamic centre and its supplementary education school. This has become necessary as a result of the limited space that is available within the 'OLD KENT ROAD MOSQUE' that we are opening officially today. It has also become non-economical to undertake further adaptation of the current building for any other use other than as a Mosque and Islamic Centre.

3. ENGAGING QUALIFIED AND COMMTTTED ISLAMIC SCHOLARS AND TEACHERS

It is the aspiration of the association to ensure that the teachers that teaches at the centre for Arabic and Islamic studies are highly motivated, including the administrative support staffs. It is hoped this would ensure that the students of the centre are given a balanced, comprehensive and interesting but challenging education. The centre is currently being served by teachers that are capable and committed to the goal of the centre, and the association would ensure that they are happy with their working terms and working environment.

4. MOBILISATION OF YOUTHS

It is our intention to ensure that our children are provided with all necessary support to become an adult that is confident in dealing with the challenges of life in manner that makes them happy within their hearts and satisfy with ALLAH. The association shall accomplished this through projects and activities that encourages:

  • Physical sports;
  • Leadership skills development;
  • Trips facilitating interaction with wider Muslim youths and those of other faiths; and
  • Mentoring that inspires and encourages development of skills and talents.

B. Improvements on Community Projects

5. ELDERS ACTIVITY PROGRAMMES:

Since inauguration of the project in June 1995, it has continued to be of an encouraging success in terms of the number of elders participating in its activities. It is the association aspiration to broaden the activities of the elders to include such as:

  • Luncheon Club;
  • Organised hospital and home visits for the sick and the disabled;
  • Organising seminars on health and food nutrition and on other useful matters affecting the elderly;
  • Teaching of social skills including arts and crafts; and
  • The provision of advice on such matters as welfare rights, safety at home, heating and keeping warm in winter, overseas trips and all other matters.

6. PLAYGROUP SCHEME

The operating principles and objectives are aimed at helping our children:

  • feel secured and loved;
  • enjoy the learning experience;
  • develop the skills that would be needed in the years ahead.

The expected benefits of the Playgroup Scheme include:

  • Promotion of learning across the curriculum that the children will encounter on transition to elementary school;
  • Provide an avenue for our children to become conscious of their Islamic identity, their cultural values and inculcate in them the spirit of sharing and caring; support the right of parents to participate in and, in part, to determine the course of their children's education;
  • Provision of a subsidised pre-school affordable by single and low income families.

A considerable effort is being made to set this project up and running.