Dhanipur mosque to have five minars signifying basics of Islam

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 02-01-2024
The model of the proposed  Muhammad Bin Abdullah Mosque at Dhanipur
The model of the proposed Muhammad Bin Abdullah Mosque at Dhanipur


Mansooruddin Faridi/New Delhi

There is a change in the design of the planned Muhammad Bin Abdullah Mosque to be built at Dhanipur in Ayodhya; instead of being an ultra-modern mosque without a dome and minarets, traditional elements of Islamic place of worship, the redesigned mosque will have five minarets jetting in the sky and visible from 11 km, each symbolizing five pillars of Islam.

​This was disclosed by Haji Arfat Shaikh, who was appointed the Chairman of the Muhammad Bin Abdullah Mosque Development Committee in December 2023.

The new design will stand for the unity of Indian Muslims and their pride in their country. It will house the world's largest copy of the Holy Quran and the largest fish aquarium, to be installed in its washroom area.

Haji Arfat Sheikh is the former chairman of Maharashtra Minorities Commission. He has also been chosen as a trustee and advisor for the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation which is in charge of building the mosque-hospital complex on the land given by the government on the mandate of the Supreme Court,

Speaking with Awaz-the Voice on the phone from Mumbai, Haji Arafat said the money for the project will be raised through online donations only.


The prototype of the planned mosque at Ayodhya

The foundation stone laying ceremony is likely to be held in February-March and it will be a mega show with some 100 Sufi saints accompanying bricks donated by people from Mumbai in a special train.

Haji Arfat Shaikh said that a convoy of 100 Sufi scholars will leave from Mumbai by train for laying the foundation stone of Muhammad Bin Abdullah Mosque. During the journey, flowers will be showered and perfume sprinkled on these bricks at every station.

While it is final that the mosque will be named after the Prophet of Islam, Haji Arfat Shaikh said that the date of laying its foundation stone is yet to be finalized mainly because of the approaching Ramazan.

It is noteworthy that the planning for building a mosque on the five acres of land allotted under the direction of the Supreme Court in the Babri Masjid case remains bogged in technical problems and elaborate paperwork.

Haji Arfat Shaikh

It may be recalled that two years ago when the design of the Dhanipur Mosque was made public, it was to be built as per modern designs based on the futuristic trends from European architecture.

However, Arfat Shaikh says that a new design is ready. Its special feature is that it has five minarets with one dome, which symbolize the five pillars of Islam.

This will be the first mosque in India with five minarets. The first minaret will be named Minar-e-kalma (opening sentence of the Holy Quran) the second Minar-e-Dua (Prayer Minaret) the third Minar-e-Din (Religion Minaret), the fourth one Minar-e-Zakat and the fifth one Minar-e- Haj.

All these minarets will be visible from a distance of 11 kilometers and the mosque will be like the Taj Mahal, Shaikh said.

“Our goal is to make it better and better, so everyone's suggestions and suggestions will be considered,” he said.

Haji Arfat Shaikh is the President of Maharashtra Khattak Samaj i.e. Qureshi Brotherhood as well as the President of All India Sufi Board Pirdal. He is also the president of the Nav Bharati Shiv Vahak Sangathan Transport Wing, which has 7.5 lakh members.

The proposed mosque at Dhanipur will be part of a complex with a cancer hospital, law college, dental college, international school, a library, an old-age home, and a langar (community kitchen).

Haji Arfat Shaikh said that the name of the Old Age Home is being kept a secret for the time being and he is sure as and when it is revealed people will appreciate it.


A Bird's eye view of the proposed mosque at Dhanipur

The 500-bed cancer hospital will offer free treatment. Babul Khora Kiwala who is in charge of Waghyard Hospital, will head it.

The community kitchen will serve only vegetarian food. All the services and admissions into colleges will be for people of all faiths.

Haji Arfat Shaikh claimed that once the cancer hospital is built, patients from neighbouring states will also go there instead of going to far-off places like Mumbai. The cancer hospital will not only give relief to the patients, but it will also evoke respect and love for the founder of Islam.

On raising funds for Dhanipur's Muhammad bin Abdullah Mosque, Arfat Shaikh says it will be kept transparent and all the donations will be accepted from a website online through a QR code. He said people should know that there are no physical receipts in online donations and therefore people should be beware of those seeking donations in person.

“We will make an arrangement in which the money given for a specific part of the project will be utilized for that only. If someone donates to the mosque, it will be used for the maintenance of the house of God. If someone donates to the hospital, college, or langar, money will automatically go into that particular account.

On the proposed plan to keep the world's largest Holy Quran in the mosque, Haji Arfat Sheikh says that it be 21 feet long and when it is opened, its size will be 18 by 18 feet. The Holy Quran will be read during the month of  Ramazan. The last prayers of the Quran will be held on Friday.

He said that this Holy Quran has a saffron cover, which Sufis and mystics prefer and it’s also called Chishtya color after the Chistiya Sufi order founded by Khwaja Moinuddin Chisty whose Dargah is at Ajmer, Rajasthan.

Usually, the manuscripts of the Holy Quran last for a thousand years. The Quran to be kept in the Dhanipur mosque is being written by famous calligraphers of Maharashtra.

Due to the use of solar power, Haji Arfat Shaikh says that when the sun sets in the Muhammad bin Abdullah Mosque, the lights will automatically turn on till morning.

Interestingly, the Maghrib prayers will begin with the water fountain becoming active. The aquarium to be installed around the washroom area will be a center of attraction for children and tourists.​

Arfat Shaikh took over as the trustee and advisor of the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation in Mumbai a month ago. He said the work on the mosque will start in two months. He says the idea behind his nomination to the Muhammad bin Abdullah Mosque Development Committee is to expedite the Rs 300 crore project.

The other trustees of the mosque

Haji Arfat Shaikh has also been elected as a trustee and advisor of the Indo-Islamic Culture Trust. A member of the trust said that Haji Arfat Sheikh is a knowledgeable young man and all the members have confidence in his capabilities.

Athar Hussain, secretary and spokesperson of the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation, said that the Mosque Development Committee was established in December, and its command is now with Haji Arfat Shaikh.

The process of fund collection is very important for which Haji Arfat Shaikh has started making efforts. Speaking to Awaz-the Voice, Athar Hussain said that funds are the biggest problem at the moment. So far surprisingly 70 percent of the donations for the mosque are by non-Muslims. “It is a beautiful message,’ he said.

Athar Hussain said people were generally cynical when they were acquiring the land and doing other formalities for the mosque in Dhannipur, but in three years the situation has changed. “The same people who used to ask why to build a mosque are now wanting to know when will the mosque be ready.”

ALSO READHindus contribute 70 pc funds for Ayodhya mosque

He said that Muslims are gradually realizing the ground reality, hence the thinking in this regard is also changing. “The attitude of the government and administration has been positive and we are investing time in the basic work of this project. This will also strengthen the slogan of unity of New India.”