The Mosque

# Welcome

The board of Trustees purchased the property of 8,300 square meters from the municipality of Vienna. The celebration of laying the foundation stone took place on February 29, 1968, was attended by H.E. the Minister of Austrian Foreign Affairs Dr. Kurt Waldheim, His Eminence the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Dr. Franz König as well as the Ambassadors of the Islamic countries in Austria. Engraved on the foundation stone was a religious text in Arabic to commemorate this celebration during the Holly Month of Ramadan 1387 H. The start of construction had to be postponed for lack of money until 1975, when the late King of Saudi Arabia, Faisal Ibn Abdul Aziz, commissioned his government to take over the financing of the construction project for the mosque. The management of this was entrusted to the Saudi Ambassador to Austria, Sheikh Farid Y. Basrawi. Several Austrian construction companies were invited to submit their construction proposals and ultimately the Viennese construction company Ing. Richard Lugner was entrusted with the overall execution of the project. Construction began on July 1st, 1977. On November 11, 1977, the call of the Muezzin was heard for the first time from the minaret decorated with a crescent moon. On April 26, 1979, a gilded crescent was lifted into position over the dome of the mosque.

The construction of the Islamic Centre of Vienna serves the ever-increasing number of Muslims in Austria as a religious and cultural meeting place. These include diplomats, businessmen, students, workers and some people who left their country for various reasons, such as the Albanians and Bosnians, as well as those who found themselves separated by the First World War from their homes in the former Ottoman Empire, as well as inhabitants of regions which became part of the communist rule after the Second World War. According to Austrian laws, Muslims share the same rights and advantages as other religious communities in Austria, they have the same employment opportunities, in private and public fields since no distinctions are made in Austria in religious, political or Ideological grounds. There are Muslims in Austria holding senior positions in the public service. The centre has a large mosque, a library, an event hall, offices, classrooms for teaching Arabic and Qur'an, and apartments for the staff.

The minaret is 32m high, the dome is 16m high and 20m in diameter. The cost of the interior as well as the decorations as well as the auxiliary facilities were generously financed by the Muslim states and the Austrian government. On the first day of Moharam 1400 A.H., which corresponded to November 20. 1979, the inauguration of the Vienna Islamic Centre took place, in a ceremony in the presence of the Austrian Federal President Dr. Rudolf Kirchschläger, the Austrian Federal Chancellor Dr. Bruno Kreisky, the Mayor of Vienna Leopold Gratz, the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Education Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Khuwaiter as representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the ambassadors of the Muslim countries accredited in Austria and other Muslim and Austrian dignitaries, representatives of political parties, associations, unions as well as thousands of Muslims living in Austria.