First mosque opens in Maple Ridge

The new mosque is located in the former Whonnock United Church

The first mosque has opened its doors in Maple Ridge.

Around 60 people attended the opening Sunday evening, including Coun. Ahmed Yousef.

Jamia Riyadhul Jannah British Columbia, which translates into Garden of Heaven Mosque, is located in the former Whonnock United Church, where limited renovations were done to the 125-year-old heritage site to fix wear-and-tear issues for use by the new congregation.

“I think it’s a history-making event,” said mosque chairperson Prof. Imam Syed Badiuddin Soharwardy, who is also a member of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, the umbrella group that opened this mosque along with 17 others across the country.

He is also the first Muslim Canadian to walk across Canada, leading the MultiFaith Walk Against Violence in 2008.

Soharwardy noted the mosque will not only help the Muslim community in this area, but also help “our non-Muslim friends and neighbours and colleagues to come and understand and learn about our faith, and we learn about their faith.”

The facility will be used for teaching, education, get-togethers, festivals, inter-faith dialogues, prayers and community events.

It will be run by local residents and management committees.

The three-quarters-of-an-acre property contains the main mosque building along with two additional houses, one of which Soharwardy is hoping to eventually house a resident imam.

Several services will be provided at the mosque, including five daily prayers, the Friday prayer – which is the Muslim Sabbath, Ramadan, where there will be the breaking of the fast and late night prayers – and two Eid prayers that Soharwardy compares to the Christian celebration of Christmas.

There will also be daily Qur’an classes about the teachings of the Muslim holy book, and Islamic classes.

Soharwardy said one of the most important activities that the mosque will feature will be inter-faith activities, where the mosque congregation will visit a church and share a meal and then the church congregation will visit the mosque to share a meal.

He is already buoyed by the initial reception the mosque has received from the community.

“Yesterday, we had the grand opening of the mosque and we had our Christian neighbours. They were sitting side-by-side in the church or mosque and we shared the meal, we shared our prayers with them and they listened, they watched and they were very excited,” he said, adding that they have a good relationship with the church next door.


Prof. Imam Syed Badiuddin Soharwardy is chairperson of the first mosque in Maple Ridge called Jamia Riyadhul Jannah British Columbia, which translates into Garden of Heaven Mosque. (Contributed)

(Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS) Prof. Imam Syed Badiuddin Soharwardy with Syed Rahan Ahmad and Muhammad Arjamand Khan at the new mosque in Maple Ridge.

Just Posted

Global 6K for Water held in Maple Ridge

Fundraiser benefits World Vision water projects

Kidney donor honoured by city committee

Maple Ridge realtor received surprise award

COLUMN: Enjoy your own artistic expression

Who cares if your work doesn’t belong in the Louvre

Car Free Day and more on Father’s Day

Things to do in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows this weekend

Pitt Meadows Brownie wins national award

One of four Change Makers in Brownies across Canada

VIDEO: First Nations, developer call for return and protection of sacred B.C. burial site

Dozens of First Nations leaders gather on grassy plateau to call on action by provincial government

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Teen stabbed after end-of-night limo dispute in downtown Vancouver

A young man, 19, is in serious condition following a dispute between two groups

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Convicted B.C. child abductor Randall Hopley back in custody 6 months after release

Correctional Services Canada could not provide further details due to privacy concerns

Most Read