Summary - The Inception of MCWAS
During the late seventies (1978-1979), the New Commonwealth (and Pakistan) NCWP community in the Borough of Sutton was less than 3% (Appendix 1).
The Muslim Community was estimated to be around 1%.
Muslim Households were mostly employed in the National Health Service as doctors and nurses. Very few Muslim households were in business, if so it was predominantly catering, although there was one household name “Alamo Printing Press” situated in Gander Green Lane, opposite the West Sutton Railway Station.
The Muslim community was young (mostly late twenties or early thirties) and had young families. The nearest Friday facility was located in Streatham SW16, within a Fire- brigade station converted to a Mosque with weekend religious education. A couple of families used to take their children to the Streatham Mosque for religious education. However, it was difficult for others due to inter alia their work commitments. These families contacted those who were able to take their children to Streatham Mosque to discuss their inability to help their children and to find a solution.
One fine August 1980 evening —Mr, Munir Sharief and Mr. Syed Abdul Waheed and six members of the community met and discussed the problem and took a decision to arrange a meeting with the Muslim families in Sutton, Cheam, Belmont, Banstead and adjoining districts. The names and addresses of Muslims were collected from the Telephone Directory and from the Council's Rate paying Household list.
A letter was sent to all the Muslim Households informing them of the meeting to be held on 30th November 1980, at 3.00 pm at the British Polio Fellowship Hall, West Street, Sutton. (Appendix 2). The response was overwhelming, around forty adults attended the meeting and it was resolved to form a Muslim Association in Sutton. The Meeting adopted the name MUSLIM CULTURAL AND WELFARE ASSOCIATIONOF SUTTON and selected eight office bearers. Among them Mr Munir Shariet President and Mr Syed Abdul Waheed as Secretary
The Committee negotiated with the British Polio Fellowship Hall (BPFH) Management to hire the hall on every Sunday between 10 am to 1.30 pm for the Madrasa to teach Quran and Islamic education and on Fridays and for Friday Prayers. The Madrasa began on the second Sunday of January 1981 and the first Friday Prayer was held in Sutton on Friday 30th January 1981 ( Appendix 3). The Metropolitan Police Commander, Sutton Churches Heads and most of the Sutton School Heads along with head of all the political parties were invited.
The first Seerat-un-Nabi Function (Prophet's Birthday Celebration) was held on 14th February 1981, at Sutton College of Liberal Arts Hall. The Mayor of LB Sutton, Chair Person of the Council.
The Local News Papers, Sutton and Cheam Herald and Sutton and Cheam Advertiser got hold of the news that the Mayor of Sutton was invited to the Milad Function and spread the news that Muslims planned to build a Mosque in Sutton (Appendix 4 and 5).
The Committee was very active during its first year in 1981. Apart from establishing the Week-End Madrasa and organising Friday Prayers and first ever Milad Function, it also organised the first Parent and Week-End school children excursion to Woburn Safari Park on 28th June 1981.
The first Eid-ul-Fitr Milap Party was on 15th August 1981 and a tour of Westminster Palace and Houses of Parliament was organised on 26th August 1981. Both were very successful, and the members wanted to continue such gatherings and excursions.
The first draft constitution was adopted on G'ih February 1982 and the final version in 1983. Some amendments were made to the Constitution in 1985.The important one was that Election of Office bearers to be held alternate year rather than every year.
In late 1983 a science teacher, who also has a photo printing business in 2 Meadow Close, SW20, joined the association. Mr. Lal Hussain brought with him teaching experience and experience of finance management. He was elected President of MACWAS in December 1984.
Since Mr. Lal Hussain became president of MCWAS (and later the long-standing secretary) the association took on a new lease of life which included arranging Saturday children Quran classes, Jummah Prayers, Tarawih prayers and annual prize giving for
best student of the year.
In 1996, MCWAS signed a 15 years lease to occupy Wentworth wall, Carshalton as the principal place of its activities. It later acquired a 125 year which led to its renovation and the existence of storeys.
Brother Lal Hussain’s contribution and his tireless work has now allowed the local community to 80 Ruskin Road on a daily basis for religious and educational functions.
This page is a work in progress and will be subject to change in the near future.
1. Page9 Of ”South London Three Borough Project Report” (a report on aspects of racial
equality in the London Boroughs of Sutton, Kingston and Bromley;
2 Copy of the letter sent to Muslim Households for the 30th November 1980 Meeting
3 Copy of the letter to Members to inform arrangements for Friday Prayers
4 Article in Sutton and Cheam Advertiser Dated 29.01 1981
5 News in Sutton and Cheam Herald dated 04.02.1981