An appeal to build the first mosque on the Isle of Lewis, a small island north of Scotland has raised £59,461.

The planning permission for the mosque was granted last year and the decision led to local opposition from the Free Church of Scotland.

Syrian refugees arrived in Scotland under the Government’s Resettlement Scheme in 2015. Stornoway now has six Syrian families and at the 2011 census there were 61 Muslims listed.

Businessman Aihtsham Rashid, from Leeds, set up the JustGiving crowdfunding page to raise £50,000 funds to build the mosque in the Outer Hebrides.

The page has already raised £59,461.

On the JustGiving page, Mr Rashid said, “There are just over 8000 people residing there. Amongst the 8000 people, there is a very small Muslim community including a small Syrian refugee community.

"The muslim community who have been resident from 1945 have been trying for a long time to get planning permission for their very own mosque."

He has since posted, "Salaam all , I wanted to say thank you so much for duas and support, it’s been so much I not slept! Do dua we have a big week for all of us and brothers need you with us in duas.

"I also want to say a special thank you to the local islander and business who I met , “you have been so nice and I’m happy you represent the locals as without you it would also be difficult so from bottom of my heart and the Muslim community thank you so much and Inshallah we will all have tea together in the mosque."

The Free Church of Scotland wrote on their website in 2017, “Our main concern is with the religion of Islam itself.

"If a mosque ever opens, Islam will be able to promote itself in our midst through public worship, despite its beliefs and practices being alien to the religious convictions of the vast majority of our community.

"Islam is wholly inconsistent with the teaching of the Word of God in Holy Scripture, which is the only rule to direct us.”

It goes on to say, “Fundamentally, Islam utterly denies the divine Person and redeeming work of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to satisfy the justice of God, that He might grant forgiveness to sinners.

“Since Islam has no Saviour, it offers no hope to guilty and hell-deserving sinners, for we cannot save ourselves by our own works.

“The Bible declares that, having paid the price for the sins of His people, Christ rose triumphantly from the dead, ascended bodily to heaven, and is now seated at God’s right hand. From there He will return to this world at the end of time as the infallible Judge of us all.

“Islam is also incompatible with, and indeed a threat to, our religious and civil liberties, as is very evident from the situation which prevails in those countries where it dominates. The oppression of Christians and the reduced status of women under Islam are well-known, as is the willingness of some of its followers to spread its influence by violent means.”