History of SCMA

2012 – Acquisition of the Court House

A great deal of work went into arranging the purchase of the Court House on the part of the whole community. We were expertly advised and led and as a community we all united to make this dream a reality. Major fundraising initiatives meant that we were able to purchase the property outright without the need for a commercial loan. Allah swt granted us this great blessing as a result of our duas and unity and Inshallah this will be a centre for Deen for our future generations. Ameen.

2011-2012

After the sale of the Station Road property Dr Agour kindly offered continued use of a room in the house for daily prayers for whoever was interested. He also facilitated meetings between trustees and other interested individuals. The search for an alternative prayer facility began in earnest and once again several potential properties were considered but not found to be suitable for various reasons. Br Shazad Majid, a local financial consultant and property developer with contacts in the field, was asked to take a lead role in the project. For this reason Dr Agour and Br Shazad were asked to join as sub-committee members during this transitional process. This was in full compliance with the existing constitution.

2006-2011

There were problems with the Station Road property from the outset. Once it began to be used for prayer there were complaints from local residents and the planning department clamped down on its use. Although formal planning application had been submitted immediately for change of use this was rejected, and again rejected on appeal. It was taken to appeal to the Home Secretary but this was not successful. It became clear that there was not going to be a positive outcome and it was decided to eventually put the property on the market for sale as it was costing too much in mortgage payments. Unfortunately the property market had crashed and it was difficult to find a buyer. Eventually Dr Maged Agour, who was looking to buy a house after relocating to the area from Cambridge, offered to buy the property and it was agreed to sell to him. During this period Hafiz Salim and Dr Arshad Bhatti resigned as trustees. Dr Mirza resigned as president but agreed to carry on his duties until further elections were held. Children’s classes and Taraweeh prayers continued at various locations.

2006 and purchase of Station Road property

The search for a permanent ‘home’ and prayer facility was ongoing and several properties were looked at but not found to be suitable. When the property at Station Road came on the market the advice of independent planning advisors was sought who were confident that planning should not be an issue. It was decided to go ahead and despite generous  donations from many community members there were not enough funds and a loan was required. With the help of HSBC Amanah Bank, a Shariah compliant mortgage was taken. There was not anyone available to share the burden of the mortgage and Dr Masoud Rashid (son of Muhammad Rashid) volunteered to help. The property was bought jointly in the names of Dr Ahmed and Dr Rashid. It was a prerequisite that he be taken on as a trustee for this reason as a non trustee would not have been allowed to have a property in his/her name. Thus the trustees once again were increased to eleven in number.

2005 and elections

It was decided that an election should be held to formally elect office bearers to comply with Charities Commission guidance and to adhere to the Association’s original (1993) constitution. There was no formal membership of the Association and all people on lists were invited to attend. The election was held in accordance to the existing constitution in June 2005. No amendments were made to the constitution and the following positions were elected:

Dr Mirza (President), Dr Ahmed (Vice president), Rafiq Ahmed (General secretary), Muhammad Rashid (Assistant secretary), Sulaiman Simjee (Treasurer), Dr Irfan Qureshi (Assistant treasurer), Muhammad Sultan and Sister Nafesa Moola (working committee members).

2000-2005

During this period the community grew and the Association organised teaching for children and adults, Taraweeh prayers at Mere Green community centre, Eid functions and interfaith events. The local MP and Lord Mayor were invited to some events. The original aim of establishing a prayer facility was still a priority and various options were considered during this time, without finding a suitable solution. Dr Cader resigned from his position as trustee due to ill health. The Association adopted the name Sutton Coldfield Muslim Association (SCMA).

2000

Meetings were organised by Hafiz Salim, Dr Mehboob Mirza, Dr Abbas, Sulaiman Simjee, Faruque Zaidan and a few other people to discuss how a prayer facility could be established in Sutton Coldfield. A list of Muslim households in the area was compiled by going through the electoral register. Volunteers went door to door to invite Muslims to the cause. A few families became involved and started attending the meetings. A core team was gathered and it was decided to reinstate the existing SEMWA charity. There were only a small number of individuals involved at the time. It was not possible to have an election process and all those who expressed interest were included as trustees of the Association.

The trustees were Hafiz Salim Moolla, brothers Sulaiman Simjee, Dr Mehboob Mirza, Dr Cader, Dr Arshad Bhatti, Muhammad Rashid, Dr Ahmed, Rafiq Ahmed, Dr Irfan Qureshi, Dr Khalid Cassam, and sister Nafesa Moola. None of the trustees were related to each other. There were no formal roles although Sulaiman Simjee took on the role of acting treasurer informally.

Pre 2000
In 1986 the first Jumua prayer took place in Sutton at the house of Dr Marouf, organized by Hafiz Salim Moolla, Dr Abbas and other doctors from Good Hope, Lichfield and Tamworth. Sutton and Erdington Muslim Welfare Association (SEMWA) set up as a charity by a group including Hafiz Salim, Maulana Garda and his son Aftab, Mr Arif and Sulaiman Simjee with the aim of establishing prayer facilities in the wider Sutton/Erdington area. Original constitution written and submitted by Hafiz Salim and Aftab Garda. The association became dormant after a prayer facility was acquired in Erdington. Regular Jumua has taken place at Good Hope Hospital ever since.