NO longer is the Border's Muslim community worshipping in an old home with a rusty roof and paint peeling off its weatherboard exterior.
That makeshift mosque in Wagga Road, Lavington, has been replaced with a custom-designed house of worship that cost $700,000 to construct.
It has a kitchen, female prayer room and male prayer hall which has eye-catching minaret-styled green carpet laid on a diagonal so it faces towards the sacred site of the Kaaba in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Islamic Society of Albury Wodonga past president ASM Asaduzzaman said a precise angle is used.
"From Australia it is 278 degree north west, where Kaaba is, that is the calculation," Dr Asaduzzaman said.
"We place our carpet in a way so that when we will be standing we will be standing towards Kaaba."
Two Friday prayer sessions are being held with a cap of 40 men and the mosque is open on other days for those wanting to use it for their five daily prayers.
The erection of the mosque follows a long process with Albury Council having approved its construction in October 2015.
Islamic law forbids borrowing money for such a project, so funds had to be raised before building and that process was hampered by COVID travel restrictions.
Money needed to flow from across Australia with the 90 to 100 Muslim families in the Twin Cities unable to bankroll the project alone.
"The community is over the moon seeing this mosque," Dr Asaduzzaman said of the end edifice.
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"It's good to be in a purpose-built mosque.
"This dream started at least 15 years ago, if not more, some of them who started thinking about having a mosque they have passed away...we wanted to materialise that dream."
The property, between Vickers Road and Thurgoona Drive, was bought in 2013 because it was easily accessible to Hume Freeway exits and Dr Asaduzzaman expects Muslims travelling through will stop to pray at the mosque.
He also expects it will make the Twin Cities a more desirable place to move to for Muslims.
"I'm hoping that more Muslim will now come to the Albury-Wodonga area because we've got a beautiful mosque here, it will be an attraction because for Muslim the mosque is our hub, a religious hub, community hub," Dr Asaduzzaman said.
The mosque was handed over to the society from the builders on April 8 but Dr Asaduzzaman said a subsequent focus on Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, had meant there was yet to be a grand opening.
However, he hopes that will occur under a new committee and it will involve an open day for the community.
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