Our History

1983: The Mosque

This old engineering workshop, on Golden Hillock Road, was purchased by the Khulafa and followers of Ghamkol Sharif, in 1982.  It was refurbished by followers of Ghamkol Sharif and designated as a Mosque.

The engineering workshop was set back from the road, behind residential houses, and to it’s right (facing the picture), in the gardens were large old sheds, that were probably used for storage.  For the next several years these were utilized to cook and serve food at events.  By 1988 the gardens was cleared and as pictured above a community centre  was constructed.  The first floor was leased to East Birmingham College, now South City College Birmingham, and still is to this date used for further education provision for women.

Prior to the purchase of this site, the Khulafa and followers of Ghamkol Sharif, were serving the local Muslim community from Warwick Road, since the mid seventies as an unincorporated community group.  It was not long before the corner house had outgrown its purpose and could not accommodate the needs being placed on the organisation.

This community group was managed by three Khalifa, and followers of Ghamkol Sharif.  They made the decision to expand; and raised the required funds from the followers of Ghamkol Sharif, without the need for a public fundraising campaign. 

Shortly thereafter they acquired the disused engineering workshop and some derelict houses that were in front of the engineering workshop on Golden Hillock Road, Small Heath Birmingham.  By the mid-eighties the Khulafa registered the charity as a charitable trust.

The charity has gone from strength to strength working with local partners to deliver services, eventually in 1992, starting work on the new purpose built Masjid, across the old engineering workshop.  The new Masjid is named, as Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif, and was completed within 5 years, by 1997.

Darbar e Aaliya Ghamkol Sharif Khulafa in the U.K.

1950’s - 1980’s: Organic Growth

The development and growth of the charity was organic and not planned.  Its origins started when the Khulafa and followers of Ghamkol Sharif came together in the late fifties and early sixties to fulfil their spiritual responsibilities, such as Dhikr, various religious obligations and events.

The coming together of the first generation of Pakistanis and Kashmiris in East Birmingham, U.K., predominately for economic reasons, was challenging for a community that values highly its religious and cultural norms, as well as the need to bond.

For members of the community who were experienced in community leadership, especially those with religious learning and practise, like the Khulafa and followers of Ghamkol Sharif, facilitated a bonding of the community around essential religious practises.

By the late sixties, there were regular religious gatherings on Durham Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham, focused on the teachings, customs and norms of Darbar e Aaliya Ghamkol Sharif.  Such as zikr gatherings, Qur’an recitation, Praise of the Beloved Prophet Sayyiduna Muhammad ﷺ and serving the local community.  By the late seventies an unincorporated community group had established its foundations on Warwick Road, led by the Khulafa of Ghamkol Sharif and their followers.

By the mid-eighties the founders of this charity registered with the Charity Commission; of its four founding trustees, three were Khulafa and one was a follower of Ghamkol Sharif.  Today all the trustees are followers of Ghamkol Sharif.

These derelict properties on Golden Hillock Road, purchased around 1982, were given a facelift. Then were completely demolished in 2005, to build a Sure Start Centre and a further education academy, incorporating a nursery.

1980’s: Social and Economic Development

The economic recession of the eighties, was particularly hard-hitting for the Pakistani and Kashmiri community, who predominately occupied low skilled manual jobs.

Many members of this community had not had the opportunity to upskill, and English was a second language.

Members of the congregation and local people were struggling economically, as unemployment hit new records.  There were additional consequences, magnified by the recession, such as low educational attainment and aspiration, youth disengagement, and disenfranchisement.  Marginalization and inequality amongst the second generation of Muslim females was acute.  They were not completing their secondary education, going on into further or higher education, training or employment.  

The Charity proactively embarked upon meeting these community needs, with a focus on training and employment.  Working with public sector agencies, introduced a range of community projects.  These included vocational training in the textile industry and information technology sector, CV and job interview training, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and targeted job applications from the Employment Resource Centre, in partnership with Birmingham City Council’s Economic Development Department.  The Charity also established, female only provision, including a dedicated females training centre and the first female only Job Club in the country.

These and other services were targeted at trying to address the social and economic inequalities facing the local community.

During this period, the trustees also started working with mental health professionals and established specific services for the Asian community to address the taboo of mental health that was prevalent in the local community.

Mental health provision again was delivered with cultural and religious sensitivities in mind, catering for both females and males separately.

1990’s: The New Mosque

By the early nineties the Mosque, founded in 1982, had outgrown its physical capacity.  The Khulafa and followers of Ghamkol Sharif embarked upon an ambitious project, to build a new purpose built Mosque with a capacity of 5,000 worshippers.

The foundation stone was laid in 1992 and the Masjid was completed, within 5 years, by 1997, and named as Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif.  The use of the name (on trust) was given on the authority of Hadhrat Zinda Pir Sahib, رحمة الله عليه, in recognition of the work the followers of Ghamkol Sharif, carried out for the Muslim community in the UK.