November 11, 2019

Pictures at Gresham Street Hall

The trustees of Halls4Jumuah understands that some people are taking exception to the fact that the hall at 6 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7AD, has a number of portraits hanging on the walls and that this contradicts how a place of worship should be, in that it prevents angels from ascending in the hall.

They are quite right in their views and understanding in accordance with hadith and sunnat of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him).

The first point to note is that in the City of London it is very difficult to find places to hire that are suitable for the purpose of performing salaat. Many places would not consider any form of religious activity on their premises, and those that do charge either a daily or half day charge which is expensive and in any event not suitable. It is after a great deal of searching and persuasion (with Allah’s guidance) that we found and came to a hire agreement with the management of 6 Gresham Street. Our objective was to find a hall that was in a location suitable to a large number of Muslim brothers and sisters, working around the St Paul’s area.

When we started using the hall in October 2014, we aired our concerns about the paintings with the Beale (building manager) and that it was not permissible in Islam. He understood our predicament and agreed that if we supplied the cloths he would cover all the paintings before the jumuah salaat on Fridays. This worked well until just before December 2014 while covering the paintings before the jumuah salaat, the Beale (Stanley) fell off the ladder and broke his foot. The management of 6 Gresham Street, informed us that they would not be covering the paintings again due to the incident and also they would understand if we decided to vacate the use of the hall.

We then asked whether we could cover the paintings ourselves before Jumuah and this was turned down. We were told not to touch the paintings. We suggested a bigger ladder and again it was turned down.

We asked a few maulana’s what to do in the situation we faced, and they both agreed that salaat was paramount and that we should continue to use the hall and perform salaat. The trustees are of the same view and continue to believe the act of performing ones jumuah prayers at 6 Gresham Street overrides the presence of the pictures.

If brothers or sisters still feel that they are uncomfortable with the pictures, then please attend prayers at one of our other halls.