Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim. Allahu Akbar! We are pleased to announce that as of Thursday 7th August 2014, Croydon Islamic Community Trust is officially the owner of 89 London Road, Alhamdulillah. All praises and thanks are due to Allah who has blessed us with this favour, and we make dua that His House will always be a place of immense goodness and guidance, ameen. Watch the video of our announcement on 8 August 2014 below >>
“The Masajid of Allah shall be maintained only by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day; perform As-Salat (perfect prayers), and give Zakat (alms) and fear none but Allah. It is they who are on true guidance.” Al Qur’an, Surah At-Tawbah, 9:18
On Friday 27th March 2009, a group of Muslims who had been learning the deen, building a wonderful, motivational, young and passionate community, and praying in whatever conditions possible, were blessed with the ability to begin occupying 89 London Road, having scraped together enough money to start paying the rent over the course of two hard years of fundraising!
Alhamdulillah, over the past 5 years Croydon ICT has developed as a beacon for the community, a place to learn, worship and to build capacity. We have facilitated the Shahadahs and correct Islamic instruction for over 700 individuals, male and female, Alhamdulillah and established a buddy system to support these new Muslims. With a focus on developing and guiding our future generations, CICT youth programmes have been very well received and will be refreshed to ensure that we continue to nurture our youth in the most holistic way possible.
Whilst establishing the congregational five daily prayers and the Jummuah and Eid prayers, Croydon ICT has always been focussed on going beyond the stereotypical Masjid, and as such continues to deliver quality Islamic and Arabic courses, seminars on pertinent topics, social services such as marriage counselling and dispute resolution, Nikkah and Walima services, babies and toddlers groups with parental support and advice, a rigorous Dawah programme as well as our ever popular Qur’an School, which has now extended to weekdays due to high demand.
However, this has not been an easy journey. To meet our ever rising rent and service charges, the Trustees, Staff and Volunteers of the Masjid have worked tirelessly over the past 5 years to create sources of income and have been fundraising within our community as well as up and down the country and abroad, at other Masajid, organisations, exhibitions, bring and buy sales, food sales, at fundraising dinners organised by CICT, on satellite TV fundraising shows, from businesses and business people, and even our young sisters who MashAllah baked cupcakes and performed door-to-door sales to help us raise funds – we have been as resourceful and innovative as possible to generate this income, and we thank Allah for never letting us down, Alhamdulillah.
Throughout this time, we have also been actively engaged in humanitarian aid projects, such as raising almost £19,000 for the ongoing Syrian crises and a truck load of essential supplies, over £16,000 raised for the current Gaza crises, 3 years of Zakat al Fitr delivered to Multan, Pakistan to an impoverished community and general Zakat work to assist the most needy and vulnerable in our community, Walillahilhamd!
Crucially, whilst engaged in all of this work and more, it became very apparent to us that our rent situation was untenable, and that we needed to work towards securing this or another building for our community, permanently. So the Trustees of CICT negotiated a deal with the then landlords, providing an opportunity to purchase the building for £1.35mil by April 2014. After this date, the price would almost certainly rise to double or thereabouts; the challenge was now on!
By Allah’s Grace and Mercy, we were able to extend this deadline by a few months in order to be financially ready, and we engaged in full drive fundraising initiatives. Our community was generous and helped us to raise a significant amount, as well as many generous people and organisations up and down the country. Ultimately, we fell short of our target substantially – we still needed £815,000 and had just months left to meet our target!
So once again, we turned to our community, but this time to ask for Qard Hasanah loans that would get us to our target. MashaAllah £265,000 was loaned to Croydon ICT for various periods of time. These loans must now be repaid at various times over the next 3 years. See our LOAN REPAYMENT webpost for more details >>
The remaining £550,000 deficit required us to engage in a business arrangement, whereby a loan for the full amount (£550k) in return for a lease of our ground floor was agreed with a business – the Trustees of CICT were steadfast in negotiating a beneficial deal for the Masjid and our community, in terms of good value whilst ensuring our Islamic values were not compromised. This arrangement has given us till 2019 to raise the £550k, in which time we will not benefit directly from the rental income of the ground floor, which was an initial and integral part of our plan for long term self-sustainability.
Whilst this is not the ideal situation, it is a time to celebrate our collective achievements, Alhamdulillah, and the fact that we no longer have to pay rent for our building. We have reached the start of a new era for Croydon ICT, we have and always will be transparent with our community, and we look forward to developing our established good work to further serve and nurture the community at wide, InshaAllah.
Please remember that we still need your help to repay these loans that we had to take in order to secure the building, so please continue to donate generously – if 737 community members set up a standing order of just £10 per month for the next 3 years, we will InshaAllah pay back our Qard Loans on time. We are continuing to seek alternative methods to repay the major loan that we have been forced to take, and ask for your support with this also.
JazakAllahukhairan, Croydon ICT Management.