The Queanbeyan Masjid project was boosted by over $160,000 in a dinner to raise funds on Saturday 6 May.
Canberrans showed they are not weary of local fundraising events by packing the Dickson hall to hear inspirational talks, eat fine food and donate for the building of the masjid.
Imam Adama Konda from Canberra Islamic Centre and Islamic School of Canberra stressed the importance of the house of Allah being there to support the local communities.
Ex-President of IFAM-ACT and a senior member, Dr Saleem Alam stressed this point.
“There are over 1000 Muslims living in Queanbeyan. Many of them are working there,”he informed.
The site of the masjid, at 183-185 Gilmore Road, Queanbeyan, was purchased several years ago through local and interstate fundraising efforts. The mosque development application was approved in 2016.
See related story: Queanbeyan Mosque obtains historic DA Approval
The temporary building on the site was refurbished through voluntary hard work by community members to get it into a state where IFAM-ACT could hold meetings and pray.
“One of them was a software engineer, another mechanical engineer, a civil engineer, another an accountant. But on those days they became construction workers for the sake of Allah,” Dr Alam said.
Dr Alam paid special tribute to Zeeshan Akbar who was slain in an attack at the service station in Queanbeyan where he was working in April.
His last message to the masjid project was “Please note and accept my pledge of $150 per month on behalf of my parents.”
His pledge was to be until the masjid was built.
Guest speaker Sheikh Waseem Rizvi highlighted this request to inspire the audience.
“What an amazing intention! We should all follow his act. Pledge to give until the masjid is built,” he implored.
He stressed that the most effective sacrifice is when you give what is most valuable to you.
Members of audience, particularly the women, then started donating jewellery and gold which were then auctioned off.
Under his “threat” of no dinner until the target of $150,000 was met, the women and men ramped up the contributions and the figure rose dramatically.
More information can be obtained from the website http://www.queanbeyanmasjid.org.au/ and email address: [email protected]