Richmond Jamea Mosque is the first and the biggest mosque in British Columbia. The land was purchased in 1973 for $122,000 and was paid in full the next year. After seven years of struggling to secure land, the BCMA had its first property with a verbal commitment from the municipality of Richmond.
On February 26, 1978, a month after obtaining the special land use permit, the BCMA established a Mosque Project Committee. Their first order of business was to successfully obtain a release from Arthur Erickson. Once this was obtained, they were able to carry on. At their first meeting, they formed three sub committees: (1) planning, (2) screening and (3) fundraising.
The Mosque project committee continued searching for an architect through the early part of 1978. At first, a letter was circulated to various architects to come forward with proposals. Some members of the committee suggested that an architect with a Muslim background would be most suitable, due to their knowledge and understanding of the function of a Mosque and the role it plays in the lives of Muslims. As a result, another circular went to various Muslim organizations in Canada.
There was one architect, identified only as “Brother Razik” who was registered in BC and locally based. However, he was unable to undertake the project but offered his assistance. Another Muslim architect, Liaqat Ali of Edmonton expressed interest as well. Attaullah H. Hai also gave a quotation on his services to the committee.
After looking at all the proposals and quotations, as well as conducting personal interviews, the Mosque project committee decided that Alexander Resanovic would be the architect of the first Mosque in British Columbia: the Richmond Jami’a Masjid.