1950 – 1970s
After WW2 there was a huge demand for workers in Watford. Immigrants from sub-continent, Africa and West Indies arrived in Watford. Many from Muslim backgrounds with no place to worship. Muslim people generally prayed at home. Friday, Eid, and Funeral prayers were held in rented halls.
As the Muslim population increased, especially with the arrival of families of the workers, a more permanent solution was required. A campaign of fundraising was started by many of the older generation.
Money had been raised by the Muslim community to buy a house on Queen's Road, which was converted into a Mosque. However, the number of worshipers had increased rapidly which resulted in an alternative premise to be acquired.
1983 - Watford Jamia Mosque
1985 - opening
On 25th April 1985, the first congregational prayer was held with a population of 300 Muslims on the day. Many years later the Saudi businessman who donated vast majority of the money visited the Mosque for Friday prayers, to his shock he found the Mosque was completely full and he had to pray on the footpath.
1992-1993 - extension
The land on Cambridge Road was purchased with the support of Lord Tristan Garel-Jones, (Former MP of Watford).
The newly acquired land, development of the Mosque on Cambridge Road, at the time costed approximately £350,000.
Majority of the cost was met by a Saudi Businessman who was traveling through Watford whilst he was driving on Exchange road, he saw the Mosque walls half incomplete. He stopped and had a look around where he met members of the mosque committee. After enquiring as to the status of the construction, he asked the mosque committee members to meet with him and his bank manager in London. From there on the cost of materiel and labour until completion was paid for.
Since 1983, the number of worshipers had continued to increase rapidly. This required a further expansion of the Mosque. By 1992-1993, a proposal of the first & second floor of the building was permitted.
A substantial amount of contribution was made by a London based Saudi businessman and a Pakistani businessman also a senior Pakistani politician. Their generous donations allowed Watford Jamia Mosque to be fully developed with a total capacity of 550 people.
2000 - North Watford Mosque
By 2000, it was apparent that the first purpose-built Mosque in Watford on Cambridge Road was unable to provide enough space for the Muslim community to pray, due to an exceeding number of worshipers growing significantly.
Therefore, a new plot of land was acquired on North Western Avenue with yet again the support of Lord Tristan Garel-Jones and the Labour Council at the time.
2000 - 2003 - construction
As the construction work of the 2nd purpose-built Mosque began, a generous contribution of over half a million pounds was donated by a Middle Eastern established IT entrepreneur. This resulted in the development of North Watford Mosque to be fully completed.
2003 - Opening
The North Watford Mosque was opened on 18th April 2003.
2003 – Queens Golden Jubilee Award
In June 2003, the Watford Mosque Association became one of the first religious organisations in the UK to be presented with a prestigious Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award.
Watford Mosque Association was one of only a handful of voluntary groups to receive the honour, which recognises the achievements of organisations who work to improve the quality of life for local communities.
The Award was presented by Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Mr Simon Bowes-Lyons alongside local dignitaries including Watford MP Claire Ward, Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill and former MP Lord Tristan Garel-Jones.
2004 – Home Secretary Visit
On the 14th January 2004, David Blunket the Home Secretary at the time visited the Mosque and laid the foundations for the Mortuary and the Community centre project.
2015 – Deputy Prime Minister
On 12th March 2015, Nick Clegg visited North Watford Mosque to address local and global issues at the time.
The Watford Mosque Association is a self-sustaining Trust in which the rental income is enough to cover its expenditure, the land and the properties belonging to the trust are today worth millions. The Mosque trustees have worked tirelessly over the last 40 years for this charitable cause without any monetary reward. This trust belongs to the Muslim community of Watford not forgetting the few people who donated generously towards this great cause.