For Muslims at the Wyndham, the new Melbourne Grand Mosque in Tarneit is not just a place to pray.
The $ 8.5 million center was funded by the community, took nearly 14 years to complete, and has the capacity to accommodate more than 2,000 worshipers.
The mosque also offers an assembly hall, a youth center, a sports stadium and childcare facilities.
“You can pray anywhere, even if you’re on a plane, but it’s a center of education, discipline, positivity, responsibility, and productivity,” said Wyndham resident Saied Altabaa.
“The bigger picture of meaning comes from the word ‘jaame’e’, which aims to bring hearts and people together into unity, mutual respect and a core element of learning.”
Before the new mosque opened, many residents of the Wyndham were confined to a mosque with room for 400 people in a municipality with a population of more than 16,000 Muslims.
Despite being a sacred place of worship for people of the Islamic faith, Mr Altabaa said everyone is invited to attend.
“Mosques have always been and will always be open to everyone, regardless of their background, religion, race or skin color.”
President Rifai Abdul Raheem said the place of worship had received the attention of interested visitors across the country.
“A lady called from Alice Springs to congratulate us and said ‘I want to visit Melbourne, so I will definitely visit your mosque,'” Abdul Raheem said.
An elderly couple, they came from Frankston, and the gentleman asked us ‘can we visit again?’ and we said you can visit every day. “