• Shah Jahan Mosque, Woking

    Welcome to the Shah Jahan Mosque. This is where Muslims come to pray to Allah and learn about the Qur'an. This is a very special place for Muslims. It is the oldest purpose-built mosque in Britain, built in 1889.

    Click on the hotspots to find out more about the outside of this beautiful mosque, or choose to visit the inside of the Old Mosque or the Prayer Halls.

  • The Old Mosque

    Click on the hotspots to find out more about the inside of the Old Mosque.

    Once you have looked at all the hotspots in this photograph, be sure to look at the photograph of the ceiling in the Old Mosque.
    Click here to view it.

  • The Old Mosque

    Click on the hotspots to find out more about the ceiling in the Old Mosque.

    Click here to return to the previous photograph.

  • Prayer Halls

    These prayer halls are where Friday prayers, or Jumm’ah, are held, and it means that up to 1600 people can worship together. Friday is a special day for Muslims, and many will try to get to the mosque to pray together. There are separate prayer halls for men and women, and washing facilities for performing wudu. This view shows where the men pray.

    Click on the hotspots to find out more.

  • What do Muslims believe?

    • Muslims believe in one God – Allah – who created everything and provides for everything.
    • Muslims believe that Muhammad (pbuh) is the last messenger of God.
    • Muslims believe that the Qur'an is the holy word of God.
  • Minaret

    Minaret

    Many mosques have minarets. In Muslim countries this is where the call to prayer, or adhan, is given.
    The call to prayer is sung by a man called the muezzin.

  • Crescent

    Crescent

    The crescent is a special symbol for Muslims and is often seen on the tops of minarets and on flags.

  • Door to Washroom

    This door leads to the washroom, where the men wash before going into the Old Mosque. They also remove their shoes as a mark of respect to God, whom they call Allah. This washing is called wudu and Muslims believe that they should be clean before praying, so that they can be pure before Allah. Each movement prepares them for prayer.

    Click here to see wudu being performed.

  • Wudu

    Wudu

    Muslims begin by saying ‘In the name of Allah’ (bismillah). Then they wash their hands, three times up to the wrists and ask Allah to cleanse them of any things they have done wrong…

    Next >

  • Wudu

    Wudu

    Then they wash their mouth…

    Next >

  • Wudu

    Wudu

    …and their nostrils. They pray to God that they will be pure enough to smell the sweetness of Paradise.

    Next >

  • Wudu

    Wudu

    Next they wash their face and ask that their face might display the light of God.

    Next >

  • Wudu

    Wudu

    After that, they wash their arms up to the elbows. They wash their right arm first. Then they wash their head and their ears, so that they may hear what is good.

    Next >

  • Wudu

    Wudu

    Finally, they wash their feet up to the ankles.

  • Rules

    Rules

    You have rules at school to help everyone get along. These rules remind Muslims how to behave inside the mosque. The writing you can see is Arabic and is read from right to left.

  • Dome

    Many mosques have a dome, so that they can be easily recognised as a mosque from a distance. This dome is on the old part of the mosque, which is quite small, but there are prayer halls where up to 1600 worshippers (1000 men and 600 women) can meet.

  • Mihrab

    Mihrab

    This alcove, called a mihrab, shows the direction of Makkah. When Muslims pray, they face the holy city of Makkah, the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Makkah is also the place where the first Muslim place of worship (the kab'ah) was established by Adam, who is also considered a prophet of Islam. The top of the mihrab is decorated with beautiful patterns. Mosques are only ever decorated with patterns or writing, never pictures of people or animals.

  • Prayer Times

    Prayer Times

    Muslims pray five times a day. These clocks show the times to pray. The sixth clock (bottom left) shows the time for the Friday prayers (Jumm'ah).

    You can find out more about Muslim prayer in the prayer halls. Click here if you want to do this now.

  • Minbar

    Minbar

    This is where the Imam stands to lead the prayers and to teach Muslims about the Qur'an, their holy book, and about Allah. It is called a minbar. The writing around the alcove is the first chapter of the Qur'an.

    The Qur'an is the holy book for Muslims and is written in Arabic. Arabic is read from right to left. The Qur'an is a holy book and is placed on a stand, to keep it off the floor. It must not touch the ground or get dirty. When it’s not bring read, the Qur'an is wrapped in a cloth and placed on a high shelf. Muslims believe that the Qur'an is the word of Allah himself and they must not eat, speak or smoke while the Qur'an is being read aloud. Many Muslims learn the whole Qur'an by heart. During Ramadan, the Qur'an will be recited in the mosque from beginning to end – all 114 chapters!

  • The Shahadah

    The Shahadah

    This writing is Arabic and is called the Shahadah. It explains the most important thing that Muslims believe 'I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is his messenger'.

  • Arabic Writing

    Arabic Writing

    This is Arabic writing, showing the name of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), messenger of Allah. Muslims always say 'peace be upon him' after they say his name, as a mark of respect.

  • Beautiful Names of Allah

    Beautiful Names of Allah

    In the corners of the mosque are some of the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah.

  • Arabic Writing

    Arabic Writing

    This is Arabic writing, showing the name of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), messenger of Allah. Muslims always say 'peace be upon him' after they say his name, as a mark of respect.

  • Arabic Writing

    Arabic Writing

    This is Arabic writing, showing the name of Allah.

  • Beautiful Names of Allah

    Beautiful Names of Allah

    In the corners of the mosque are some of the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah.

  • Arabic Writing

    Arabic Writing

    This is Arabic writing, showing the name of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), messenger of Allah. Muslims always say 'peace be upon him' after they say his name, as a mark of respect.

  • Cubicles

    Cubicles

    If people want to worship and pray in private whilst there are other things (such as the daily Islamic School), happening in the prayer halls, then they can draw the curtains around the cubicle. The Islamic School or madrassah for children is on Mondays - Fridays between 5pm & 6.30pm.

  • Carpet

    Carpet

    Prayer in Islam is called salah and is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. When Muslims pray, they kneel down to show that Allah is more important than they are. In a mosque, Muslims will kneel on the carpet, which is clean because everyone has taken their shoes off and washed before entering. At home, or in other places that may not be clean, they will use a prayer mat.
    Muslims face Makkah to pray. Makkah is the city where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was born and so is a holy place for Muslims. It is also the location for the kab'ah – the first place where Muslims believe that God was worshipped. Facing the same direction is one way that Muslims can be united in their prayers. Prayer for a Muslim involves the whole body, and there are set movements that they perform, called Rak'ah, that help them to focus on Allah.

    Click here to see pictures of the prayer positions.
    Click here to find out about the times for prayer at the Shah Jahan mosque.

  • Rak'ah - Takbir

    Rak'ah - Takbir

    Rak'ah begins by standing up to show that they are listening to Allah.

  • Rak'ah - Ruku

    Rak'ah - Ruku

    Then they repeat the words 'Allah is the Greatest' and bow to show God respect.

  • Rak'ah - Sujud

    Rak'ah - Sujud

    Next they touch the ground with their forehead, knees, nose and palms of their hands. They do this twice.

  • Rak'ah - Tashahhud

    Rak'ah - Tashahhud

    Then they kneel and pray.

  • Rak'ah - Peace to the left and right

    Rak'ah - Peace to the left and right

    Next, they turn their heads to the left and right and say 'Peace be on you, and Allah's blessings.'

    Muslims may also use prayer beads when they are praying.

    Click here to see a picture of them.

    Click here to find out about the times for prayer at the Shah Jahan mosque.

  • Prayer beads

    Prayer beads

    Muslims sometimes use prayer beads, or Tasbih, to help them concentrate whilst praying. 'Tasbih' means 'To praise God' and the beads help Muslims to keep track of their praise of Allah. They say 'Glory be to Allah' 33 times, 'Praise be to Allah' 33 times and ‘God is the greatest’ 33 times. There are usually 33 or 99 (3x33) prayer beads.

    Click here to find out about the times for prayer at the Shah Jahan mosque.

  • Minbar

    Minbar

    This is where the Imam stands to lead the prayers, and to teach Muslims about the Qur'an and about Allah. It is called a minbar. Muslims believe that the Qur'an shows them how to live their lives in accordance with the will of Allah.

    Click here to find out more about the Qur'an.

    This minbar faces the direction of Makkah, which is the most holy city of Islam. Many Muslims will travel to Makkah to perform Hajj – a pilgrimage. This is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

    Click here to find out more about the Five Pillars.

  • Five Pillars

    Five Pillars

    This poster has been made by some children who attend the mosque. The Five Pillars are not real pillars, but are the things that Muslims believe are important. They are:
    Shahadah – This is the Muslim statement of belief, which states that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.
    Salah – Muslims pray five times a day.
    Zakat – Muslims give money to people who are poor or in need. Click here to see a photo of the collection box.
    Sawm – Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. This means that they do not eat or drink during the daylight hours. People who are ill, or children under the age of 12 do not have to fast. During Ramadan, the whole of the Qur'an will be recited in the mosque.
    Hajj – Muslims should go on a pilgrimage to Makkah, the most holy city, at least once in their lifetime, if they can. Each year, around 2 million people go on the Hajj. They visit Makkah because it is the birthplace of Muhammad (pbuh) and the location of the kab'ah – the first place where Muslims believe Allah was worshipped.

  • Collection Box

    Collection Box

  • Qur'an

    Qur'an

    This is the special book for Muslims and is written in Arabic. Arabic is read from right to left. Before reading from the Qur'an, Muslims will wash their hands. The Qur'an is a holy book and is placed on a stand, as it must not touch the ground or get dirty. When they are not reading it, it is wrapped in a cloth and placed on a high shelf, above all other books. Muslims believe that the Qur'an is the word of Allah himself and they must not eat, speak or smoke while the Qur'an is being read aloud. Many Muslims learn the whole Qur'an by heart. During Ramadan, the Qur'an will be recited in the mosque from beginning to end – all 114 chapters!

  • Pulpit

    Pulpit

    Sometimes the Imam might stand here to teach from the Qur'an.

  • Prayer Times

    Prayer Times

    Muslims pray five times a day. The first time for prayer is shown by the clock in the top right hand corner, and they go in order from right to left to show the times of prayer – before sunrise (Fajar), noon (Zohar), afternoon (Asar), in the evening just after sunset (Magrib) and night (Isha), before midnight. The sixth clock (bottom left hand corner) shows the time for Friday noon prayers (Jumma).

    Click here to see photos of Friday prayers at the Shah Jehan Mosque.

  • Friday Prayers

    Friday Prayers

    Friday, or Jumm'ah, is the special day for Muslims to come together at the mosque for the noon prayers. There are separate prayer halls for the men, and the women and children. Girls and women cover their bodies and heads to pray, and men will sometimes choose to as a mark of respect.

    Can you see anyone using a prayer mat?

  • Friday Prayers

    Friday Prayers

    Friday, or Jumm'ah, is the special day for Muslims to come together at the mosque for the noon prayers. There are separate prayer halls for the men, and the women and children. Girls and women cover their bodies and heads to pray, and men will sometimes choose to as a mark of respect.

    Can you see anyone using a prayer mat?

  • Friday Prayers

    Friday Prayers

    Friday, or Jumm'ah, is the special day for Muslims to come together at the mosque for the noon prayers. There are separate prayer halls for the men, and the women and children. Girls and women cover their bodies and heads to pray, and men will sometimes choose to as a mark of respect.

    Can you see anyone using a prayer mat?

  • Friday Prayers

    Friday Prayers

    Friday, or Jumm'ah, is the special day for Muslims to come together at the mosque for the noon prayers. There are separate prayer halls for the men, and the women and children. Girls and women cover their bodies and heads to pray, and men will sometimes choose to as a mark of respect.

    Can you see anyone using a prayer mat?

  • Friday Prayers

    Friday Prayers

    Friday, or Jumm'ah, is the special day for Muslims to come together at the mosque for the noon prayers. There are separate prayer halls for the men, and the women and children. Girls and women cover their bodies and heads to pray, and men will sometimes choose to as a mark of respect.

    Can you see anyone using a prayer mat?

  • Friday Prayers

    Friday Prayers

    Friday, or Jumm'ah, is the special day for Muslims to come together at the mosque for the noon prayers. There are separate prayer halls for the men, and the women and children. Girls and women cover their bodies and heads to pray, and men will sometimes choose to as a mark of respect.

    Can you see anyone using a prayer mat?

  • Shahadah

    Shahadah

    This plaque shows the name of Allah and the name of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and, in the middle, the Muslim statement of belief, called the Shahadah – 'I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is his messenger'. It is the first thing that is whispered into a new-born baby's ear, and the last thing that a Muslim will say before they die. Here in the prayer hall, it is written in luminous paint so that it shows up in the dark!

    There are other plaques with Arabic on them around the room. If you find the one with the hotspot, you can see what some of the others say as well!

  • Arabic Writing

    Arabic Writing

    Around the prayer hall are many plaques with Arabic writing on.
    Click on the 'next' arrow to see more.

    This shows the names of two followers of Muhammad (pbuh) - Saad and Saeed.

  • Arabic Writing

    Arabic Writing

    Around the prayer hall are many plaques with Arabic writing on.
    Click on the 'next' arrow to see more.

    This shows the name of two followers of Muhammad (pbuh) - Abu Ubaida ibn Jarrah and Abdur Rahman Ibn Auof.

  • Arabic Writing

    Arabic Writing

    Around the prayer hall are many plaques with Arabic writing on.
    Click on the 'next' arrow to see more.

    This shows the names two followers of Muhammad (pbuh) – Talaha and Zubair.

  • Arabic Writing

    Arabic Writing

    Around the prayer hall are many plaques with Arabic writing on.
    Click on the 'next' arrow to see more.

    This shows the names of two followers of Muhammad (pbuh) – Osman and Ali.

  • Arabic Writing

    Arabic Writing

    Around the prayer hall are many plaques with Arabic writing on.
    Click on the 'next' arrow to see more.

    This shows the name of two followers of Muhammad (pbuh) – Abu Bakkar and Omar.

  • Arabic Writing

    Arabic Writing

    Around the prayer hall are many plaques with Arabic writing on.
    Click on the 'next' arrow to see more.

    This shows the name of Ali, one of the followers of Muhammad (pbuh).

  • Arabic Writing

    Arabic Writing

    Around the prayer hall are many plaques with Arabic writing on.
    Click on the 'next' arrow to see more.

    This shows the name of Omar, one of the followers of Muhammad (pbuh)

  • Arabic Writing

    Arabic Writing

    Around the prayer hall are many plaques with Arabic writing on.
    Click on the 'next' arrow to see more.

    This shows the name of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

  • Arabic Writing

    Arabic Writing

    Around the prayer hall are many plaques with Arabic writing on.
    Click on the 'next' arrow to see more.

    This shows the name of Allah.