Kobe Mosque serves the Muslim community of Kansai. It is open for the five daily prayers, and the two Eid prayers. Muslims can contact the mosque office regarding Zakat, Islamic marriage, funerals, and advice on Islamic matters. There is a childrens school and there are also classes for adults.
The Japanese name Kobe can be translated into English as Gate of God, so it is no wonder that the first mosque to be built in Japan was established in the city of Kobe.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, especially after the First World War, many Muslim traders set up offices in Kobe. They wanted to establish a place where they could worship together, and in 1928 they formed the Islamic Committee for Kobe. Mr. A. K. Bochia went to India to collect donations so that a mosque could be built. The Muslim community increased in size during this time, due to the many Turkish Muslims who emigrated from Russia to escape the negative effects of the Russian Revolution.
The Muslims of Kobe received permission from the Japanese Emperor to build a mosque and construction began, to a design by an Indian architect, based on a traditional Turkish model. The Kobe Mosque was completed and officially opened for prayer in October 1935. The opening ceremony was attended by the mayor of Kobe, who in his address to all the Muslims of Kobe gathered there referred to Kobe Mosque as the Mecca of Japan. This description is most appropriate as the Kobe Mosque is gathering place for Muslims traders and mariners from all parts of the Muslim world, and continues to this day to serve a wide spectrum of Muslims of all nationalities.
Today, the resident population consists of diplomats, businessmen, university professors, and company workers. In addition, the Muslim population has been greatly augmented by the many students from Muslim countries enrolled in universities, or attending training courses.
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