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ADDALAICHENAI GRAND MOSQUE King Vijaya Bahu who was not opposed to the Portuguese establishing a trading post, was alarmed at their  effrontery in trying to dominate the sea-board by building a Fort. He, therefore, launched an attack on the  Portuguese in 1520. Thosugh the Portuguese garrison was small their superior arms and training kept the King at  bay and he was ultimately compelled to withdraw.. De Queyroz says, "The King himself abandoned the camp  despairing of success against the Portuguese, and our people on the following day, again, burnt the town  (Colombo) along with the two large Mosques built by the former Moor's who had lived there."    The continued friction between the Sinhalese and the Portuguese, and, the latters inability to compete with the  Moor's in trade in the interior parts of the Island made their position in Colombo rather precarious. Hence, when  Vasco da Gama came to India (second Viceroy in 1524) he had orders from the King of Portugal to dismantle the  Fort of Colombo, leaving only a factory there. The Fort was, therefore, razed to the ground and the garrison and  artillery were moved to Goa in India. This was an occasion of great joy for the Moors, who, in gratitude to Almighty  Allah, re-built a small Mosque in Colombo. COLOMBO GRAND MOSQUE  The Colombo Grand Mosque occupies a unique place in the life of the Muslim community in Ceylon from the times  of ancient Sinhalese Kings. Its early origins are hidden in the dim past where legend and tradition are interwoven  with history. Its significance and position for the Muslim community has been such that even today it takes a  leading role in all the religious activities of the community. The decisions made by the Mosque committee on  various religious issues based on the consensus, deliberations and agreement of the various Trustees, Imams of  the many Jumuah Mosques in Colombo, and the Ulema, held regularly within its auspices and premises have,  generally, been accepted by most of the Muslims in the whole Island.    The origin of the Mosque can be traced to the adventurous and pious Arab traders who used to carry on a lucrative  trade between the Orient and the European ports in the Mediterranean in elephants, pearls, gemstones and spices  during the period between the first and sixteenth centuries. This was a period when the Arabs had established  lucrative trading posts on the Western coastal belt of Ceylon from Puttalam, in the North West, to Hambantota, in  the South, as evidenced by the large number of Ceylon Moors, descended from them, living in these parts of the  Island. It is hardly necessary to mention that the Arabs of that era were pioneers, not only in trade, commerce and  accounting but also as skilful navigators and geographers, carrying this vast knowledge to the then known parts of  the civilized world.    King Vijaya Bahu who was not opposed to the Portuguese establishing a trading post, was alarmed at their  effrontery in trying to dominate the sea-board by building a Fort. He, therefore, launched an attack on the  Portuguese in 1520. Thosugh the Portuguese garrison was small their superior arms and training kept the King at  bay and he was ultimately compelled to withdraw.. De Queyroz says, "The King himself abandoned the camp  despairing of success against the Portuguese, and our people on the following day, again, burnt the town  (Colombo) along with the two large Mosques built by the former Moor's who had lived there."    The continued friction between the Sinhalese and the Portuguese, and, the latters inability to compete with the  Moor's in trade in the interior parts of the Island made their position in Colombo rather precarious. Hence, when  Vasco da Gama came to India (second Viceroy in 1524) he had orders from the King of Portugal to dismantle the  Fort of Colombo, leaving only a factory there. The Fort was, therefore, razed to the ground and the garrison and  artillery were moved to Goa in India. This was an occasion of great joy for the Moors, who, in gratitude to Almighty  Allah, re-built a small Mosque in Colombo.   Father S.G. Perera has recorded that,"The population of the town was largely Muslim and there was a Mosque  together with a Muslim cemetery and a Court of Justice to settle disputes according to Muslim Law."    There is also a strong tradition to show that the new Mosque was built on the identical spot where the demolished  ones stood thus implying that the present day Colombo Grand Mosque must have a history of more than 450 years  today (2002).  COLOMBO - THE RED MASJID It is our pleasure in presenting this message about the JAMIUL ALFAR JUMMAH MASJID a centre for common  prayers, a place of worship, a place to feel our nearness to Almighty Allah SWT   Your time in reading this information will go along way in the development process of this place of worship. As  reading information about a place of worship itself will credit a lot of merit onto you.   This historical place of worship known as JAMIUL ALFAR JUMMAH MASJID is referred as SAMMAN KOTTU  PALLI in pure Tamil, RATHU PALLIYA in Sinhala and RED MASJID in English is situated in the Muslim  concentrated business area of PETTAH (PURAOKOTTAI - Second Cross Street) Colombo.   If necessity is the mother of invention, so be it with the establishment of this MASJID. The devout Muslims needed  a place to pray five times a day, this brought about a construction of a common place of worship in 1908, the  traveling business Muslims, our forefathers from India realized the need came forward to fulfill this by building the  MASJID in the area. It is important not to forget our forefather's dedication and contribution towards building a  place of worship which till date has only increased the number of fellow Muslims in the area and the spirit of Islam  almost making a stamp of our religion in the area. We pray to Allah to take these pioneers our ancestors into the  heavenly aboard Aameen, Aameen Ya Rabbal Aalameen.   THE UNIQUENESS OF JAMIUL ALFAR MASJID - Jamiul Alfar MASJID is one kind of architectural monument in  the country, it has enriched in itself the Islamic Culture along with its majestic colonial English looking structural  detailing with its vibrant color of red with its close proximity to the Colombo Ports forms a scenic yet a very spiritual  environment. Also showing it's solidarity with standing the test of time, these features attract many businessman  and tourists as well to this MASJID.   Words may fail us in delineating the godliness, peace and integration with Allah, once inside this place of worship.  1920, 1933, 1950 and 1976 were special years to mention, the sight of thousands of Muslims devotees, praying  while the Holy Quran was recited entirely by a Hafiz in just two "rakaths" was something to be seen to be  delivered. Such events have only brought more devout Muslims youths to take to the recital of the Holy Quran.   Besides being a centre for spiritual embellishment the MASJID also has been playing its role in the social fabric of  life. It has been a place of protection during the troubled times, such as communal disturbances and war threats.  We were the first to lend a hand after the tsunami disaster and during the times of war.  GALLE - FORT MEERAN MOSQUE Meeran Masjid (Masjid is the Arabic word for mosque) is the biggest and best known mosque in the Galle fort. We  made a visit and it's pretty beautiful on the inside, with colourful floor tiles and stained glass work.  We were told by the Imam, or the head of the mosque, that the place is about 300 years old, although refurbished  only 120 years ago. Galle has a large Muslim population (especially in the Fort), to whom this mosque is quite  important. Mosques, unlike some other religious spaces are big on gender segregation, providing different prayer spaces for  men and women. Some places do this in the same hall, while others divide it by floors (women on an upper floor),  while a few like Meeran Masjid have a separate room altogether. This is unfortunate in this case because women  miss out on the beautiful architecture and interior of the Meeran main hall - their room is elsewhere, but the ladies'  section was only built ten years ago, before which there was none, so it's some improvement.  The idea that mosques are only male spaces is a misconception. Although men are obligated to go to mosque on  Fridays, women have no obligation - however they do go, especially when they need to pray while travelling or  during Ramazan when women go in large groups for late night Tarawih prayers. While some mosques have no  female sections more due to cultural reasons than religious ones, many like in Wellawatte and Dematagoda and  especially abroad have segregated but equal accommodation for women.  
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