At 6am on December 25, 1888, the winter sun was yet to rise over the English city of Liverpool.
A Victorian terrace house was feverish with activity.
The soft glow of candlelight emanating from 8 Brougham Terrace revealed men and women busily putting up decorations and preparing food for the big celebration ahead, Christmas Day.
In one corner, a familiar Victorian scene of a woman playing the piano and directing hymn rehearsals, the singers’ voices muted by the howling of a bitter northeasterly wind as it rattled the thin panes of glass.
This was Britain’s first mosque and Muslim community preparing for their very first Christmas Day.
At 8am, having led the tiny congregation in the early morning prayer, the Imam finally opened the mosque doors.
Imam William Henry “Abdullah” Quilliam founded the mosque after embracing Islam in 1887, aged 31 years old.
He was greeted by more than 100 of the city’s poor, who had been invited to enjoy a charitable Christmas breakfast inside what locals called “Islam Church”.