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Jumu'ah Masjid (Jooma Masgid) Mosque, Kerk Street Mosque (Second)
Central Johannesburg, Gauteng

Style:Islamic Traditionalist
Status:Demolished 1989

'Jooma Masgid Mosque, the foundation stone was laid on 15 May 1918 by Syed Jammool Hoosain Mashade, an important religious man who happened to be visiting Johannesburg at the time. ... The remarkable feature of the building is the four identical minarets at each corner. They are three-storeyed with balconies around the upper two and delicate detailing. The minarets are scaled down to about one quarter of full size ..., they serve their purpose most successfully, in symbolically imparting a strong and traditionally Islamic character to the whole building.' (Martin & Cooke, 1984) See The Oldest Mosque in Johannesburg.

The Juma could accommodate 240 worshippers. It was located slightly behind the street boundary, the discrepancy between city grid and qiblah being resolved through the device of a high street wall comprising a series of three paired blind arches and a seventh which gave access to a side passage at the western corner. The walls were constructed on a stone plinth and plastered in broad bands with arched windows in bays between projecting pilasters. These are terminated above the open parapet balustrade in ball finials and the roof was thus virtually obscured, especially since the planned onion dome was never constructed. A portico with three arches across the width of the building and one to each side was attached to the high wall. These arches were scalloped and moulded and the roofline yet again constructed of prefabricated concrete elements. The distinctive feature was the deep projecting niche and identical miniature minarets at the corners of the main building. While rightly being considered a local variant of the typical and uniquely Indian precedent they were far too small to serve any practical function.The washing facilities were separate, the entire complex painted white. The interior, too, was of white plastered walls with projecting pilasters with capitals of Ionic derivation. Between were windows in plastered surrounds. Two bands decorated the interior — one a frieze in high relief which served as a cornice, the other a plain plaster band at the height of the rise of the arches over windows and doors and outlining them. The mihrab was within a richly modelled frame and embellished at the crown with a trio of urns with star and crescent motifs, repeated in the stained glass of the windows. Attention focused on the central niche placed between two windows. The building was exceptional in that the Sadr was shorter than the flanking walls and possibly not parallel to the back wall — a consequence of an unsuitable site form and corrected qiblah. (Le Roux, 1998,110-111)


Writings about this entry

LE ROUX, S. 1994Islam and conservation: The Juma Masgied as case study. Journal of the Institute of South African Architects in Jul/Aug