THE HISTORY OF THE JUMA’ MOSQUE GOES BACK TO 1852
The need of a principal mosque in Port-Louis was deeply felt and hence in October 1852 some Muslim merchants (businessmen) purchased some plots of land in the City Centre where they hold their businesses and immediately arrangements were made to start performing daily prayers. One of the building was repaired, and converted into a House of Prayer, pending the construction of the Mosque
The need of a second Mosque was felt in Port-Louis as the small mosque in the Eastern Suburb, then known as Malabar Town (Camp des Lascars), could not accommodate more than one hundred persons and was about a few kilometers away from the centre of the town.
Ismael Jeewa, the son of Hajee Hafez Jeewa who arrived in the Colony in 1852 conducted the prayers in the provisional House of Prayer.
By 1853, a small mosque known under the name of “Mosquee des Arabes” erected on the new site was solemnly consecrated. That small mosque was the original Juma’ Mosque and it symbolised the faith, zeal and selflessness of those early pioneers of Islam, adequately versed in religion and high minded enough to think that no community could live without religion and no man without prayers.
As years rolled by and the Muslim Community increased, the small mosque which could accommodate 200 persons only became inadequate to its large congregation. The necessity of a larger building was keenly felt, but space could not be made available until 1859.
From 1859 to 1877 seven adjoining properties were purchased by a few Muslim merchants and handed over to the Directors of the Mosque.
Thus thanks to the generosity and devotion of those Muslim Merchants, the whole Mohamedan Congregation represented by the Board of Directors of the Juma’ Mosque became the owner of the quadrangle admeasuring a little over three quarters of an acre on which the Juma’ Mosque now stands. Probably it was little thought when the original property for the erection of the Mosque was purchased, that the movement would meet with such a response and would strike the imagination of the members of the Community to that extent. We should see here not a mere human effort crowned with success but rather the gradual unraveling of a divine design showing that those who have the fulfillment of His will at heart verily not only deserve His blessings but are also helped as promised by Him.
The place of worship was not built wholly at the same time, but is composed of the original Mosque extended and embellished when the adjoining properties were purchased. The skill with which the designer and artisans have made every part of the structure fit so remarkably well testifies to their outstanding ability, patience and personal devotion.
There is no doubt that the expansion work which was necessary to transform the “Mosquee des Arabes” into the present Juma’ Mosque entailed considerable expenses.
At first, it was agreed to raise the required funds from the Muslim Community at large, but it was soon found that no amount of goodwill on the part of individual subscribers would ever help in any appreciable degree. So a rate of 02 cents of a rupee was levied upon every bag of grain sold by the grain merchants to the general trade indistinctly. For many years all dealers in grain paid the rate ‘for the church’ as it was called, without demur, but the Government and several planters refused to pay it later. When this happened the vendor generally debited himself with the rate and paid it over to the president of the Mosque, in due course. The ‘church rate’ was in addition to the market price. The Managers of the Mosque deserve full credit for their intelligence and resourcefulness in creating this source of revenue for the Mosque. They managed things well in the interest of the Mosque and thus facilitated the successful completion of the work in hand.
From the year 1878 skilled Indian artisans at the head of whom was Ishaq Mistry, under the supervision of Hajee Jackaria Jan Mamode worked daily at the new edifice, living within its precints. The local workmen of that time had not the skill and dexterity of Indian workmen for that special kind of work. So skilled hands had to be employed for the plastering, the moulding of the sculpture work, the finishing and the ornamentation. At that time Indian labour could be transported here very cheaply as the members sitting on the Board of the Mosque were themselves owners of ships plying between India and Mauritius. The work was often interrupted by outbreaks of disease, shortage of hands or materials, but, eventually in 1895, the aggrandizement was completed, the Mosque occupying practically the whole block, save a fringe, leased to shopkeepers, for purposes of revenue
The first Mutawalli or President of the Mosque was Hajee Joonus Allarakia. He came to Mauritius in 1850 and by 1852 [/text]
SHAHEN SHAHE MAURITIUS
HAZRAT SAYYAD PEER JAMAL BIN MURTUZA SHAH (RA)
Hazrat Sayyad Peer Jamal Shah (ra) came to Mauritius from India in 1848. He may have been invited by a trader to Mauritius as that was the custom at that time.
He (ra) stayed at Jummah Masjid for some years and is an Allahwallah and a true Ashike Rasool (saw). However we understand from our Bouzourganedeen (ancestors) who have known Peer Jamal Shah (ra) closely, that every time Peer Saheb (ra) was in Zikru’Allah. One day He (ra) told before His death, He (ra) wished to be buried in the compound of the Jummah Masjid.
When Hazrat Peer Jamal Shah (ra) was intekal (died), the committee members of the Mosque approached the British Governor to have his permission to bury the Saint in the Mosque compound. By the time necessary measures were being taken, it was quite late and the burial was postponed for the next day. Strange that the next morning, early at dawn, an emissary of the Governor arrived from Reduit and advised that the Governor, who had refused to accept for the burial to take place in the Masjid compound, had agreed for the burial to take place at the desired place and also requested to be informed as to the time of the burial to enable him to personally assist. This sudden change of heart was later found from the Governor’s own words to the effect that he saw Peer Saheb (ra) in his dream and accepted to his request urgently.
Hazrat Peer Jamal Shah (ra) passed away on the 12th of August 1858, that is the 2nd Muharram 1275 Hijri, at the age of 45 years. The Mazar (shrine) of Hazrat Peer Jamal Shah (ra) is found at the Jummah Masjid, Royal Road, Port Louis.
The Mazar Sharif of Hazrat Peer Jamal Shah (ra) has been fully renovated .
Many people visit the Mazar Sharif and who come to the door of Peer Jamal Shah (ra) cannot go empty hand.
The URS Sharif is celebrated yearly , on the 2nd Muharram Sharif at Jummah Masjid Port Louis.