The photo is of our visit last week to London Central Mosque, on the left-hand side is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors serving President Ann Gray, FRICS.
Ann asked to visit the mosque, which I organised with our hosts, the London Central Mosque.
I invited a few others, including the Muslim Council of Britain.
As well as a few organisations that have supported the Association of Muslim Surveyors Initiative from the outset, Rider Levett Bucknall and the Valuation Office Agency.
Some people that came had never been in a mosque before, in line with one of our aims to bridge divides in society, we are pleased we enabled them to, it was not an easy thing to organise.
The Association of Muslim Surveyors Initiative
Our other Aims are:
"to Pave the Way into Professional Real Estate, Built Environment, and Construction Professional Institutions and to Raise Awareness of the Professions in Communities, as We All Count”.
More information on the visit can be found here: https://www.surveyorstore.co.uk/portfolio-collections/my-portfolio/amsi-rics-president-visit-to-london-central-mosque.
The National Mosque
The Mosques Director General Dr. Ahmed Al Dubayan explained there have been calls for the mosque to be named the "National Mosque," which feels appropriate.
However, the Mosque and Centre we see today have been a one-hundred-year project.
Talk of a Mosque first started in the 1920s, it was in Winston Churchill's time and after the Second World War that the land was transferred, about 1950, and construction started in the 1970s.
50 years on Dr Ahmed explained how the centre served the community of London and welcomed worldwide dignitaries.
Governed by the principles of Islamic values, it has no dominance of another country's culture.
A World Centre.
As someone who frequents the mosque, I like that you find people from all over the world.
From the people that you meet, you learn what it means to be truly rich, as the mosque is in the UK's most exclusive and expensive location, Mohamed Al-Fayed had his funeral here two weeks ago.
Also what it means to be truly poor, and destitute.
I have had to learn to manage my response, as it is hard not to feel sad, but I am not skilled in the areas in which people need help, this is where Dr. Ahmed explained his team can help.
The Mosque and its Centre is a big community hub, with something for everyone, young and old, rich and poor, and for people from all over the world.
With an operation of the size of the mosque, where upto 5-7,000 have been known to worship at one time, it is not surprising that up to after 50 years, its building and infrastructure are dated.
Time has also moved on and modern standards today are different from what they were in the past.
So like many mosques and centres of this age all over the place, there is a need for much investment.
The Mosque faces the difficult daily choice of providing essential services, such as hardship assistance and support, and the expense of running its basic services.
Or the choice to invest in its infrastructure.
Like many public services I have worked in and during my time in Local Government, I saw this challenge all the time.
The Month of Rabbi Al Awwal
The start of the month of Rabbi Al Awwal, is a reminder of the life of the Prophet Muhammad.
Rather than copy someone else's word a link to an article that explains the month is here: https://www.muslimaid.org/islamic-calendar/rabi-al-awwal/.
When I reflect on the Prophet's life and then his death, it is a reminder of the need for a greater vision, one that is beyond what you seek today.
While all over the World there are now Mosques thanks to the work of our Prophet SWS, in his lifetime He, his Family and his Followers endured much hardship.
The Prophet himself on his death had six silver coins left, he would not rest until his wife Ayesha gave them to the poor and then he let the Angel of Death come in and take him.
The work I do was always meant to be a well-intended thing, and last week it was nice one young person I platformed told me he got a job.
He contributes and has been a regular volunteer on the AMS initiative.
I am keen to increase the impact of our work and welcome new contributing members who can sign up here: https://www.surveyorstore.co.uk/plans-pricing.
After last week's industry Diversity Equity and Inclusion in the Built Environment Event at the RICS, it is important that we as a community are able to stand on our own.
People who are with me say we get more value from you than we do from others we pay each month, but do join us and we seek corporate partners as well, it is a good thing I started.
Sarah Chaudhry MBA FRICS
The AMS Initiative
Surveyor Store Ltd