Residents of the Muslim community in Timaru have started a fundraising drive on to buy a property and build the first mosque for the Timaru region.

The Timaru Muslim Education Trust, a non-profit charitable organisation, was created to raise funds to purchase the building, which is to be settled by September 1, 2019.

TMET entered into a six months contract earlier in March 2019 to purchase the building in Parkside, Timaru with a cost of $425,000. 

“The donation raised will significantly help to pay for the building, renovations, which is much needed to make it suitable as a place for prayer, to buy materials such as prayer mats, Holy Book of Quran and a few resources for community to use it as a reference in order to teach about Islam to the community,” the fundraising project on read.

The property which was earlier Sacred Heart Parish Centre, a Roman Catholic Church and community centre is a two-floored building which is constructed on 350 sqm and the total land size of the property is 1700 sqm.

The property can accommodate 200 people and 30 cars on its site.

Timaru is a small district located 165 km or just over two hours from Christchurch and is one of the most vibrant cities of South Island.

“Due to being just near to SH1 and within the town, this place is going to be very useful for the community to use as a masjid, an Islamic Education and Community Centre, a place for our children and the wider community to get to understand Islam better,” the page read.

The town has around 20 Muslim families or 65 individuals counting men, women and children. Timaru was recently selected as a refugee resettlement area and is expected to receive 20 more refugee families by 2020.

The Muslim members of the community in the town have been hiring community halls for Taraweeh prayers and iftar events until now.

“We are a small group and to help us realise the completion of the building purchase, we are humbly appealing to our fellow Islamic organisations and community members for your support and financial assistance,” the page added.

TMET’s funding page has raised just more than $9400 by over 300 donors (as of Thursday, July 11) and needs to reach its goal of $15,000 by 11 p.m. on July 19, 2019.

The community can come forward and donate their funds by contacting Timaru Muslim Education Trust on their Facebook page, email on or call Dr Ibrar Khalid on 0212156006 or Mubashir Mukhtar on 0223208861.

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