Surrey History Centre, in Woking, holds historic archives and published sources relating to the Shah Jahan Mosque and its use, including the following items, all of which are freely available to view in our public search room during normal opening hours.

Archive collections

Few original records for the Mosque survive but Surrey History Centre holds the following items. Full archive catalogue lists for each collection can be viewed using our online Collections Catalogue at

Our online research guide to the Shah Jahan Mosque can be found at

Woking Muslim Mission and Literary Trust, Shah Jahan Mosque, Woking: correspondence and publications, 1920-2002 (SHC ref 7831)

This collection contains some of the earliest known material from the Shah Jahan, dating from 1929 and comes from the papers of S. Muhammad Tufail, Imam at the mosque between 1956 and 1966. Tufail was editor of the Islamic Review, also published from the mosque, and copies of this journal feature in the collection, along with pamphlets written by Marmaduke Pickthall and publications by the Woking Muslim Mission & Literary Trust (see also SHC ref 7831). These give a useful insight into the work of the mosque, demonstrate its identity as the pre-eminent centre of the Islamic faith in the UK at that time, and show the importance of the Trust in disseminating Islamic texts locally, nationally and internationally over several decades. There are also several publications from The Basheer Muslim Library which functioned from the mosque. Our research guide to Woking Muslim Mission and Literary Trust can be found at

Shah Jahan Mosque publications and papers, 1920-1985 (SHC ref 8382)

This collection comprises papers and correspondence from the mosque, dating from 1949 to 1985. These papers were discovered in an outbuilding on the mosque site and primarily relate to the activities and membership of the Islamic Review, including correspondence from subscribers to and distributors, mostly in Urdu. One whole file relates to the International Muslim Society, New York, USA, whilst another deals with the English translation of the Holy Qur’an, which featured an introduction and commentary by Maulana Muhammad Ali, Iman at the Shah Jahan. There are a number of pamphlets by Marmaduke Pickthall, Khwaja Kamal-Ud Din and Lord Headley. There are also fundraising posters, and blank marriage solemnization certificates, declaration forms, and questionnaires completed by those intending to become members of the Islamic faith, which show the mosque’s key community role in the lives of its new members.

Papers of Mahrup Shah, Sepoy, 129th Duke of Connaught’s Own Baluchis Regiment, who was buried at the Muslim Burial Ground, Woking (SHC ref Z/632)

Mahrup Shah, Sepoy, served with 129th Duke of Connaught’s Own Baluchis and was wounded during the First World War. He died and was interred at the Muslim Burial Ground, Woking, in September 1915. This collection comprises copies of items owned by a local military enthusiast who used to play at the Muslim Burial Ground as a child in the 1970s (SHC ref Z/632). Our online guide to Mahrup Shah’s papers can be found at Our research guide to Woking’s Muslim Burial Ground, now a Peace Garden, can be found at

Papers of Cllr Mohammad Ilyas Raja, trustee of the Shah Jahan Mosque, relating to Woking’s Muslim community, 1980s-2018 (SHC ref Z/454)

Cllr Mohammad Ilyas Raja came to Woking from Kashmir in the 1980s and is now a trustee of the Shah Jahan, and a local Woking Borough councillor. He has established a growing collection of personal papers at Surrey History Centre reflecting the vibrancy of the local Muslim community and the role of the Shah Jahan Mosque. Among the records is the Raja family’s ancient eighteenth century Qur’an, a rare manuscript volume which was passed down to Cllr Raja’s father, Major Alaf Khan. Many of Cllr Raja’s papers are in Urdu. Our online research guide to Cllr Raja’s papers can be found at

Published works

The following books are just a few of the works available for study at Surrey History Centre. Further books and articles can be found by searching the Surrey Libraries Online Catalogue

  • Brigadier M P Salamat, A miracle at Woking: a history of the Shah Jahan Mosque, 2008
  • M Ikram Chaghatai; Sang-E-Meel, Writings of Dr Leitner, 2002
  • Nasir Ahman, Dr Gottlieb William Leitner (1840-1899), 2003
  • Tina Cockett, The Muslim Burial Ground: Horsell Common, Woking, Woking Galleries, 2004. Contains useful information about the Indian army and the names of the soldiers who are buried at Horsell.
  • K Humayun Ansari, The Woking Mosque: a case study of Muslim engagement with British society since 1889, 2002
  • Islamic Society of Britain, Muslims in Britain: a brief history, 2006
  • H Ansari, The infidel within: the history of Muslims in Britain, 2002
  • Nasir Ahmad, Eid sermons at the Shah Jahan Mosque, Woking, England 1931-1940, Aftab-ud-din, 2002. Includes useful chapters on the early history of the mosque.
  • Shahed Saleem, The British mosque: an architectural and social history, 2018
  • Our ‘Mosque Information File’ contains newspaper cuttings and articles about the history of the Shah Jahan Mosque (SHC ref 942.2 WOK).
  • Zahid Aziz, Woking Muslim Mission Centenary, 2013 and Islamic Review magazines, Mar, Jun, and Nov-Dec 1965 (SHC ref 9201)

Illustrations and newscuttings

We hold numerous postcards and illustrations of the Shah Jahan Mosque, and newscuttings relating to events there. These can be found by searching our online Collections Catalogue using the term ‘mosque’, at Surrey History Centre also holds back issues of many local newspapers on microfilm, for a full list please see our online guide