Spirituality and Religion


Islam in Nederland

Mosques in the Netherlands
In 1970 there were only 8 mosques in The Netherlands. At present there are more than 450 mosques. Most of them are built and managed by the Turkish, Moroccan, Pakistani or Muslims of the Surinami community. You can find the guide to a few Mosques in the Netherlands at:

Mosques in the Netherlands

The mosque came to the Netherlands along with Muslim "Guest workers". In the beginning there were no mosques. As the need grew the local Muslim communities started with prayer-halls. 

In the initial stage it was nothing but a room set apart for the collective performance of the Salat or Namaj. Then the mosques were established in the Netherlands - first by renting accommodations for religious worship where the congregation was lead by an Imam. These were on temporary basis.

Before the World War II a few Muslim students from Indonesia studied in the Dutch universities. Indonesian Muslims must have settled in the Netherlands before the World War II.

According to a research carried out by Mr Johan Goossen the Ahmadiyya Qadian movement came to the Netherlands in 1947. In that year Q.U. Hafiz an Ahmadiyya missionary (Qadian group)from Pakistan arrived in the Netherlands. He opened an office in The hague for the Indonesian Muslims. (Het Parool 4-07-1947).[1]

In 1949 after the independence of Indonesia Muslim and Christian KNIL soldiers settled in the Netherlands. The Mobarak Mosque in The Hague built in 1955 by the Ahmadiyya's (Qadian group) is the first Mosque built in the Netherlands. This mosque was opened by Chaudhry Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan.(Het Parool 10-12-1955).[1] Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan was former President of the International Court of Justice.

The second mosque was built in 1956 in camp Wyldemerk in Kippenburg (Gaasterland), near the village Balk (Friesland). The Dutch government paid the cost of the construction. This mosque was meant for the KNIL soldiers. It was a small mosque 19.70x9.88m with a minaret of 8m. To call the believers for the prayer, it had a loudspeaker attached to the minaret ( Het Parool 07-04-1956).[1]

The second mosque to be built with government subsidy was the Yunus Mosque of Almelo, built in 1974. [2]

Later on the community started buying empty buildings, sometimes churches or old factories and converting it to a mosque and finally building proper mosques with minarets - the outward symbol of a mosque.

Until recently there were not many newly built mosques in the Netherlands. Over the last few years several larger mosques have been built while others are in process. The architectural styles of these new mosques have provoked public debate about whether architects should fall back on traditional designs of Mosques  or whether their designs should be more innovative and in fit into the local environment.

  • [1]Van Ahmadiyah tot Salman Rushdi: Moslims en islam in Nederland 1947 - 1992. Een verslag vanuit dagblad Het Parool door Drs. Johan Goossen in Begrip, November 2004, Jaargang 30 no. 4 en 5.
  • [2] De geschiedenis van de Yunus Emre Moskee