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Al-Towbah Masjid

Whitfield Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 5AJ

Phone: 0113 2403901

Capacity: 120 (including women)
The five times daily salaah in public, in congregation, in the masjid, is enjoined on men, not on women. In orthodox Islam, women's salaah is expected to be discreet and private and therefore performed at home. About 72% of UK masjids make some provision for women, but many of these do so by allocating space only when specially asked for. Larger purpose-built masjids often have a gallery over the main masjid room, part or all of which is for women's use. (Excerpt from our book, Islam and Muslims in Britain - A Guide.)

Theme: Salafi
Salafi: Influenced by one or another of the various Salafi madhaabs, e.g. Al-Albani, Al-Madkhali, Sayyid Sabiq etc. and distinct from orthodox Hanbali application of Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawood sahih hadeeth collections. In the UK, the most popular of the numerous Salafi interpretations of Islamic practice is that of Muhammad Nasruddin al-Albani, primarily due to the availability of some of his work in English. However there are other varieties of Salafi practice extant in the UK e.g. the derivative approach of Sayyid Sabiq, and the Ahl-e-Hadith movement of Siddiq Hasan Khan. The latter applies to those masjids designated here as 'Salafi - Ahl-e-Hadith'.)

There is no basis for associating Salafi-ism in the UK with militancy, on the contrary Salafi masjids are usually among the most- and best-engaged with wider society. However their newness and the challenges their adherents present to orthodox Sunni Islam cause them to be treated with hostility by other groups, who take advantage of popular disquiet to brand them as extremist, fundamentalist, unjustifiably.

Masjid Theme is a contentious topic. Factionalism and sectarianism around mosques/masjids is widely recognised but treated by most masjid managements as a taboo subject, because every masjid will proclaim that it welcomes anyone of any persuasion, and this is manifestly true. Nevertheless, however welcome you are made to feel, every masjid will expect you to adhere to the practice that prevails in that masjid, and will treat you with hostility if you try and perform any other Islamic practice than that approved by the imam and committee even while claiming that their masjid is for the whole Muslim community and has no allegiance to any particular sect.
Sectarianism is the biggest problem facing Muslims in Britain, yet it is the one that few masjids acknowledge as their own, and none has a constructive strategy for tackling it. Yet its prevalence is the single biggest obstacle to tackling violent extremism in Britain's Muslim community.
There are three vital ingredients to tackling militant extremism in UK masjids:
(i) Masjid managements and imams must be transparent, accountable and inclusive of diverse factions.
(ii) This cannot happen while they and their congregations remain sectarian, because opening up of access to masjids and their management risks take-over by a rival, hostile sect. Therefore Masjid management, imams and congregations must learn tolerance and mutual respect of diverse sects among themselves.
(iii) Tolerance and mutual respect cannot occur while politicians and the media demonise ordinary, responsible and respectable sects such as Deobandis, Islamic Movement, and Salafis, or even politically challenging, but nevertheless tame, entities such as Hizb-ut-Tahrir. exists to address all three of these issues:-
(i) I publish 'Theme' and 'Management' ethnicity information even when masjid managements themselves object, because I need to break the pretend taboo and bring the issue into the open.
(ii) I publish information about sectarian activity and guidance on how to overcome it, to encourage tolerance and mutual respect.
(iii) I publish as the authoritative source of independent practical information about the UK Muslim community, to take apart government, politicians' and media misconceptions about extremist preachers and extremist masjids.

Further reading Theme and Management:

Management: Somali, Pakistani, Arab
It would be Islamically immoral to label masaajid as 'belonging' to a given ethnicity, yet this is the reality of most masaajid. Many were set up as centres for a particular community and it is important for that community to have somewhere where events, speeches and madressah teaching are in the mother-tongue. However it would be useful to have an 'ethnicity index', in which a masjid scores 1 for each committee member of a different ethnicity. Meanwhile we have highlighted masjid monoculture by naming the management's dominant ethnicity.

Further reading from our book, Islam and Muslims in Britain - A Guide: Mosque Organisation

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Formerly a Sunday School.
Premises was formerly: Terraced House
Most masjids are former terraced houses or commercial premises. A small number are former derelict churches. Since the issues of architectural styles and renovation of churches as masjids has become controversial, this website maintains statistics on the provenance of masjid sites.

Data Accuracy:
Reasonable (C): Masjid with a single reliable source of information to support our data.
Some of our address lists date back to the late 1970s and for some of those, even the street no longer exists! So we have started to include a Confidence indicator. This is rated A to F, with roughly the following meanings.

 Last Updated: 19/05/2011

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If you do find any omissions or inaccuracies in the information above, please use this form to tell us. Jazacullah-khairan.
Note that much of this information comes from publicly available sources including various directories (including ones whose data is supplied by the public on-line and not checked) and local authority published information about local minority-group facilities. The contributors have taken a lot of trouble to correct as much data as possible - you may have corrections for us, but you may find that our data is more accurate!

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