The story of the arrival and setting of Islam in Newham is clearly seen in the key dates as local directories and national census record the dates and details. In the 1960s and 1970s Newham began to develop a significant Muslim population, initially comprising single working men who subsequently brought over their wives and children in the 1970s and 1980s. The majority were of South Asian origin (Pakista, Bangladesh, India) and African (Somali, Nigerian, Tanzanian). The Canning Town Mosque was listed in 1964.
In the 1970s Newham saw the first emergence of the mosques. In 1974 mosques appeared in the Newham Voluntary Agencies Council Directory. The first three mosques recorded were:
CANNING TOWN, Star Lane, E16
DURNING HALL, Forest Gate, E7
EAST HAM, Caulfield Road, E6
The Newham Voluntary Agencies Council Directory 1977-78 listed the following additional Mosques and organisations in Newham.
AGAKHAN ISLAMIA COMMUNITY, E6
ANJUMAN I ISMAILA (EAST HAM), E6
MADRESSA ISLAMIA TALIMMUDIN, E6
NEWHAM NORTH ISLAMIC ASSOCIATION, E12
THE MUSLIM LEAGUE, E6
UK ISLAMIC MISSION, E12
In 1986 the Newham Voluntary Agencies Council added:
CANNING TOWN MUSLIM WELFARE ASSOCIATION E16
ISLAMIC ASSOCIATION [EAST HAM] Manor Park E12
ISLAM CENTRE [EAST LONDON] East Ham E6
ISLAMIC VOLUNTARY SERVICE Manor Park E12
ISLAMIC CENTRE [UPTON PARK] E13
MANOR PARK ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTRE E12
MUSLIM WELFARE ASSOCIATION [NEWHAM] E7
MUSLIM WELFARE ASSOCIATION [PLAISTOW] E13
MUSLIM WOMEN’S WELFARE ASSOCIATION E13
NEWHAM MUSLIM CITIZEN’S ASSOCIATION E6
NEWHAM MUSLIM COUNCIL E15
NEWHAM WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION E7
NEWHAM NORTH ISLAMIC ASSOCIATION
The Muslim Directory 1998-99 listed 12 Mosques in Newham. Only Tower Hamlets had more among the 80 Mosques in the 32 London Boroughs.
ANJUMAN-E-ISLAMIA MOSQUE 266-268 High Street North, Manor Park E12
EAST HAM [MARKAZ_UD_DAWAT WAL IRSHAD] 177-179 Plashet Grove, East Ham E6
FOREST GATE MOSQUE 449-451 Romford Road, Forest Gate E7
IBRAHIM MOSQUE, 721-723 Barking Road, Plaistow E13
IDARA MINHAJ-UL-QUARAN [LONDON} 292-296 Romford Road, Forest Gate E7
IMAMIA MISSION MOSQUE 328 Romford Road, Forest Gate E7
ISLAMIC CENTRE UPTON PARK 72-74 Selwyn Road, Upton Park E13
MADINA MASJID [& MUSLIM CULTURAL CENTRE] 225 High Street North, East Ham E6
MASJID BILAL & ISLAMIC CENTRE 295 Barking Road, East Ham E6
NEWHAM NORTH ISLAM ASSOCIATION 88 Green Street, Forest Gate E7
SHAH JALAL MOSQUE 722-724 Romford Road, Manor Park E12
UPTON LANE MOSQUE 62-66 Upton Lane, Forest Gate E7
Some Background on Islam
In 1992 the first edition of the Newham Directory of Religious Groups had an explanatory preface.
Islam is generally dated as beginning in AD622 with the flight of Muhammad [peace be upon him] from Mecca. It rapidly spread around the Arabic and North African world and as far east as Indonesia. It is probably the largest and certainly the fastest growing religious community in Newham today. Most local Muslims have family origins in Pakistan, Bangladesh or India, although there are many others from African countries such as Nigeria and Somalia. Individuals from most of the countries in the Islamic world and British converts may also be found at worship in local mosques.
In 2001 the National Census recorded the following split of religions in Newham. Muslims were a quarter of the population.
The expansion of Islam is noted in the 2006 Directory of Religions. Muslim Organisations are grouped under 6 headings; muslim community centres & groups/advice centres, educational organisations, mosques, umbrella organisations, worship groups and unknown types.
Under each heading addresses, past history, strength, aims etc are noted.
Here are some examples giving some details:
Newham North Islamic Association Sunni
Mosque/Community Centre 88 Green Street E7
Claim 1974 founded - religious instruction, daily prayers, Friday meeting - 100 members, 250 at service ‘to serve the religious needs of Muslim community, but to work closely with all sections of community for sake of harmony and community’ Urdu/Arabic.
‘we provide facilities for religious, cultural and social needs of Muslims. Moreover, in broader terms, we work closely with statutory and voluntary agencies for common good’
Anjuman Raza Mustapha
198 Shrewsbury Road E7
Claim 1992 start 'to preach the word of Islam to young generation and to practise life of Islam with teachings of Iman Ahmed Raza of Barelvi, India’ Urdu/Gujariti Quaran class Teaching Islam
Ibrahim Mosque and Community Centre
721/3 Barking Road E13 ‘to serve the Muslim community. To establish new mosques. To run Islamic schools. To give information and invitation of Islam to non-Muslims’ building reconstruction under way.
Imamia Mission Mosque E7
328 Romford Road E7 owned building ‘4 storey building with its own car park’ - ‘to promote Shia faith amongst Muslims’ 1,200 heads of families. Urdu/Punjabi.
New London Markarz
Abbey Mills, Riverine Centre E15 Claim start 1998 - ‘to cater for the Muslims and to call the non-Muslims to the beauty of Islam, and the worship of the one solitary Creator, Allah’ Quran classes Scripture study.
London School of Islamic Social Psychotherapy
63 Margery Park Road E7 ‘help with social, emotional, personal and educational issues and problems. Provision of marriage guidance and counselling’ for muslim people.
UEL Islamic Society
Romford Road E15
‘to call the people, students and others, to the worship if Allah, and not to associate anything with him in anyway’ Wed 2.00 Thur 1.30 In prayer room in UEL.
In 2008, Ms Kaveri Harriss produced a 33 page-long paper for COMPAS, University of Oxford, entitled Muslims in the London Borough of Newham. The paper gives details of the ethnic diversity, different denominations, community involvement together with a full listing of mosques and organisations in 2008. Click here to download view the paper from COMPAS' site.
In 2011 the National Census recorded the following split of religions in Newham. The data clearly indicates the rapid growth of Muslims (now a third of the population) alongside the settling of Hindus and Sikhs.
By 2019, Muslims in Britain produced a map of 52 mosques in Newham...
The Newham Mosques (www.newhammosques.com) produce pictures of some of the current mosques in Newham in 2019.