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THOUSANDS of people helped break the East London Mosque’s fundraising record for the third year in a row, raising a total of £1,125,725 in one night.

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The success last Saturday was followed the next evening by collections in the packed Whitechapel Road mosque and London Muslim Centre which brought in a further £449,859.

Officials say the mosque has been busier than ever this Ramadan, with the total number of people taking part in congregational prayers passing the quarter of a million mark before the end of the month of fasting.

Mosque chairman Muhammad Abdul Bari said: “It is truly uplifting to see this level of commitment and support from across the Muslim community, who time and again exceed all expectations.”

He said the record-breaking success was all the more impressive in a time of economic downturn, which has seen most of the daily appeals bring in less support than in the past.

Executive director, Dilowar Khan, said: “The Muslim community is always generous in donating to charity, and this month has already seen tens of thousands of pounds raised for good causes such as the Pakistan Flood Appeal.”

Every day the mosque accommodates over 500 people for a fast breaking Iftar meal and special optional prayers are held every night lasting for two hours, with congregations filling both mosque and centre with an average of around 4,000 people.

But there was a note of sadness on the fundraising evening, when Imam Shaikh Abdul Qayum made an emotional announcement to say he had received news his mother had passed away in Bangladesh.

The mosque’s guest reciter from Egypt, Shaikh Ahmed Amer, immediately made a special prayer for the deceased, echoed by the entire congregation.

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