Mosque stands test of time
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THE old picture this week features the Queensbridge Masjid at 19 North Coast (today Chris Hani) Road and comes from the Facebook page, Durban Down Memory Lane.
The Queensbridge Masjid was established in 1900, but the current building was only built in 1937. The style is a distinctly Edwardian interpretation of Islamic architecture and is similar to that of the West Street Mosque. The mosque is now a heritage building for its prominent minarets and Moghul inspired architecture.
The first Imam was Amir Miajee, followed by Hafiz Ebrahim Kathrada and Imam Khan and, later, Imam Hasan Miajee, a close associate of Soofie Saheb.
For many years, the Masjid served a vibrant community from Sea Cow Lake, Briardene, Riverside, Newlands, Avoca and Springfield. The surrounding communities were forcibly evicted by the apartheid government, yet the mosque continued to draw worshippers.
It is one of the few open mosques which allows speakers from all schools of thought.
Dr Mahomed Khan, as chairperson of the trust board, oversaw extensive renovations to the building in the 1980s.
It was called the Queensbridge Masjid because it was originally facing the Queens Bridge, the first road bridge to cross the Umgeni River.
Built in 1864, it was washed away in 1868 and rebuilt. It was later replaced by the Connaught Bridge. This bridge survived the flood of 1917 and was later replaced with today’s multi-level viaduct.
Photographer Shelley Kjonstad’s picture taken last week shows the mosque dwarfed by its industrial setting.
The Independent on Saturday