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|1872 31 May
||Birth of Thomas Breakwell, considered the first English Bahá'í, in Woking, Surrey, England.
||Woking; Surrey; England
|1913 18 Jan
||`Abdu'l-Bahá received guests from the Muslim Community of Britain and was asked to speak at the Shah Jehan Mosque at Woking, one of the two mosques in England at the time and the first built in England and perhaps Western Europe. He spoke on the subject of the Unity of Religions and translation was done by Mírzá Ahmad Sohrab. [CH152, AB370, BW3p278-279, BW4p377]
- Note ABTM303 reports that this event took place on the 17th of January.
- Dr. Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner (1840–1899) was the builder of the Oriental Institute, founded to train Asians living in Europe for the learned professions, to the study of linguistics and culture, and for the teaching of languages to Europeans who wished to travel to the East. To cater for the spiritual needs of students of all major faiths and to provide for any who lived within reach, Dr. Leitner intended to build a synagogue, a church, a temple and a mosque. Only the Shah Jehan Mosque was completed. (Oct-Nov 1889). The Institute relied too heavily upon Dr. Leitner’s personal enthusiasm and wealth and it did not survive his early death in March of 1899. The Mosque was closed and practically empty between 1899 and 1912. Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, a prominent Kashmiri lawyer and founder of the Woking Muslim Mission, worked to repair and re-open the Mosque in 1913. It was the first formal place of Islamic worship in England and became a centre of Islam in the UK. [Dr. Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner]
- For a photo of the gathering see BW3p280 or BWNS818.
|Woking; Surrey; United Kingdom
||Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Mosques; Unity of religion; Interfaith dialogue; BWNS