History of Chesham Mosque

Chesham Central Jamia Mosque was opened in 1960 by the first Muslims who had arrived here. At that time it was a small room within a warehouse, in Waterside with no permanent Imam or services. As the Muslim population grew, a house was purchased in the late 1970’s on Bellingdon Road, with a view to creating a new Mosque which was large and more central to many Muslims. The house next door to the mosque was later purchased in the late 1980’s and Chesham Mosque eventually became spread over two houses.

However by 1999 the Muslim population of Chesham had outgrown this mosque and after much deliberation and discussions within the Muslim community, it was announced in January 1999 that a multi-functional, purpose-built Mosque will be constructed from the foundations. After many years of continuous struggle and raising money, a plot of land was bought, plans drawn up and the foundations were laid on 20th February 2004. All the money raised had been from Muslims in Chesham and around the country, just giving what they could. In total, over £1.6 Million was raised.

The opening of the new Chesham Mosque was held in August 2005, which includes its own prayer halls, library, kitchens, office areas and a dome and minar. This mosque is the only religious and welfare organisation for Muslims in Chesham and is managed by the Anjuman-ul-Muslimeen.

Allama Arif Hussain Ashrafi Saeedi
(Imam of Chesham Mosque since 1985)

In 1975, at the age of 15, he joined the prestigious Jamia Naeemia in Lahore, and received religious education for 10 years. During this time he completed the Faazil Arabic, F.A and B.A as well as Dars-e-Nizami. At the age of 25, Allama Arif Hussain started his imamat in Chesham Masjid. For the last 25 years, Allama Arif Hussain has been serving the Muslims of Chesham as a Imam.

Imam Arif Hussain devotes most of his time outside his normal duties to make sure there is better cohesion within communities. He does this by working closely with the local Christian and Jewish leaders, the local MP, Police, and councillors, by inviting them to all the mosque open days and meeting with them privately whenever they need to discuss how better there can be unity between the public. This was recognised in an Award that Allama Arif Hussain received in 2008 for services to the community from the Town Mayor.