Of the 1,300 mosques in Britain, the Shah Jahan Mosque stands out. That
northern Europe's first purpose-built mosque is to be found in Woking
will surprise many; that it is still flourishing today would once have
seemed equally improbable.

The mosque's 120-year history mirrors some of the complexities in the
variable relationship that Britain and Islam have enjoyed in the same
period. It was founded in 1889, flourished for a decade, then fell into
decay. Twenty years later it was restored and until the construction of
the East London Mosque in 1940 it was the only building of its kind in