Kenya: Jamia Mosque Opens Its Doors to the Public on 94th Anniversary

26 October 2019

Jamia Mosque on Saturday opened its doors to the public regardless of their faith on its 94th anniversary.

Jamia Mosque is located between Banda Street and Kigali Road which is the "Jama Masjid" of Nairobi and is the largest mosque in the country.

According to the Muslim tradition, the Jama Masjid is the main mosque of a city, town, or village and is usually the place of gathering for Eid and Friday prayers.

Saturday marked the day Jamia Mosque was founded in 1902 by Syed Maulana Abdullah Shah of the Sunni sect, but construction did not begin until 1925 due to an edict prohibiting Indians and Arabs from owning land in Nairobi.

Although it was spearheaded by the Punjabi Muslims, by far the most populous Muslim group in Nairobi, everyone pitched in and the Aga Khan was a major contributor, but also Hindus, Sikhs and Parsees, and it was completed in 1933. Jamia Mosque has remained an icon until recently when it was overwhelmed by modern skyscrapers in the city.

During Friday Prayers, Banda Street is usually teeming with large number of worshippers.

Jamia Mosque made history recently when, for the very first time, it hosted nine Christian clergy for Friday prayers on September 18 last year in a bid to strengthen inter-faith harmony that has been harmed by terrorist attacks on Westgate Shopping Mall in 2013 and Garissa University College in April.

In May, President Uhuru Kenyatta made history by becoming the first sitting President of Kenya to visit a mosque for prayers.

The President joined worshippers at the mosque in breaking their fast during Ramadhan.

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