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24 February 2024 / 14. Shabaan 1445

Navy Leadership visits Muslim Centre in Fareham

Rear Admiral Alex Burton, Commander United Kingdom Maritime Forces & Rear Admiral Surface Ships, accompanied by other Royal Navy personnel visited Al Mahdi Centre. Wessex Jamaat were delighted to welcome Rear Admiral Alex Burton and his group at the Friday congregational prayers.


The purpose of this visit was for the Rear Admiral to view the new state-of-the-art eco-friendly purpose built Centre, join in the prayer and familiarize with members of the Wessex Community.


Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo, the Imam of Wessex Jamaat said: “This is a unique opportunity for the Naval leadership to visit a mosque especially as Muslims observe the holy month of Ramadhan.  Wessex Jamaat is proud to host this event as it marks an opportunity to bring communities together.” 


Herebelow is report of the visit:


Visit to Al Mahdi Mosque by Rear Admiral Burton, Rear Admiral Surface Ships

On Friday 10th June 2016, RAdm Burton, the Royal Navy’s Rear Admiral Surface Ships and his team had the privilege and honour of visiting the Al Mahdi Centre for Friday prayers.

Driving along a country road in the middle of Hampshire and turning onto a driveway, they were greeted, not by an imposing, iconic building, but by bright green lawns with oriental trees and shrubs, with the single story building of the Al Mahdi Centre.

On arrival they were greeted by the local congregation who attend the Centre for prayers and to break-fast in the evening and were given a comprehensive tour of the centre.  After the tour, they joined the local congregation in the main hall for the start on Friday prayers and were given a few pamphlets in order to follow the prayers.

The text on front of the Service Pamphlet advised the congregation to “Keep Calm & Pray On” - a nice lift and shows that even in this important prayer there was a sense of humour and a touch that was appreciated by the visitors.

There were two sermons held by the Imam / Resident Alim, followed by a chance for the Admiral and his team to observe the Friday Prayers.  Sat at the back of the Congregation Hall watching the rest of the congregation carry out the Friday Prayers there was still a moment for peace and refection.


LStd Ben Goss: “You rarely get such a fantastic opportunity to look around a Mosque - this was a real privilege and we all enjoyed the visit very much.”

Lt Frances Bond: “It was a pleasure to visit the Mosque and particularly nice to be included in the Prayer of Unity.”

Lt Cdr Neil Caswell: “I felt privileged to have the opportunity of sharing Afternoon Prayers, and also being able to accept the warm and fabulous hospitability shown by the Muslim community of the Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat.”

RAdm Alex Burton: “ I wish the Muslim community Ramadhan Mubarak and am most grateful for your kind hosting for congregational prayers”


P B Hannaby

Lt Cdr RN

Military Assistant to Commander UK Maritime Forces and

Rear Admiral Surface Ships


About Al Mahdi Centre:  The Al Mahdi Centre was formally established in 1992 .  The centre caters for the religious, educational, social, spiritual and intellectual enhancement of all its community members.  The Al Mahdi Centre is actively engaged in Interfaith dialogue and local community relief projects.It has a well organised Madrasah (Supplementary Islamic School) for the children of the community.

For further Information please contact:

Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo

Imam, Al Mahdi Wessex Jamaat Community.

([email protected])

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