The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board (UPSCWB) on Saturday released the blueprint of the mosque and other structures of public utility that would come up on five-acre land at Dhannipur village on the outskirts of Ayodhya.
The mosque would be a zero-energy structure with modern design, to be established on around 3,500 square metre area, the board said, adding that it would have a dedicated section for female namaazis (worshippers) and a capacity to accommodate around 2,000 namaazis at a time.
Other than the Dhannipur mosque, the board also released the design of other structures including a super-speciality hospital, a museum, Indo-Islamic cultural and research centre and a community kitchen.
“The entire Dhannipur complex, including the mosque would be of a modern design, there would be no touch of traditional domes or arches. And above all, mosque and some part of the hospital would be a zero-energy structure,” said Professor SM Akhtar, the architect of the entire Dhannipur complex while releasing the drawings at a press conference on Saturday.
SM Akhtar is a Lucknow-based architect and town planner, who is also founding dean of the faculty of architecture, Jamia Milia University, Delhi. He has been hired by Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF)—the trust formed by UPSCWB to ensure construction of the Dhannipur complex —to design the mosque complex.
The complex would come up on five acres of land allotted to the board following the November 2019 order of the Supreme Court in the Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid case. The court ruled in favour of the Hindu parties to the case, and ordered the creation of a trust to build a Ram temple at the site. However, it also criticised the demolition of the Babri Masjid and said the Waqf Board would be given five acres in Ayodhya to build a mosque. The ground breaking ceremony for the Ram temple happened on August 5 this year.
UPSCWB, however, made it clear that since there is no concept of a ground breaking ceremony in Islam, there won’t be any such event, while laying the foundation of the mosque that is likely to be done on January 26, 2021 or August 15, 2021.
“There is no concept of ground breaking ceremony for a mosque, hence there won’t be any for the mosque. Only, the board members would formally lay the foundation of the mosque. But yes, in future, we may have ground breaking ceremony for other structures of public utility, including a hospital, community kitchen and research centre for which we can invite chief minister Yogi Adityanath,” said Athar Hussain, spokesperson for IICF.
The board maintained silence on the cost of the entire project, saying, “That there is no time frame or cost estimation in such kind of projects. It would be carried out as per the situation. ”
Noted Indian academician and food critic Pushpesh Pant, whom IICF has appointed as a consultant curator for the food archive section of the museum, was also part of the blueprint release. He said, “Nothing excites me more than the fact that a Hindu has been appointed to give shape to the museum that will be the part of the mosque complex,” said Pant, who retired as a professor of International relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, and is one of India’s leading experts on international relations as well as Indian cuisine.
Elaborating on the architecture of the mosque, Professor Akhtar said, “We have studied the designs of modern mosques across the world, including the one on the coast of Arabian Sea in Karnataka, after which we concluded to the point that the structure would be a modern one. Also, there is no point in restricting Islam to a certain structure or design as things must change as per the modern requirement,” said Akhtar. The architect further said the entire mosque would be solar powered and constructed using a special construction material that is known to last long, may be for 1000 years or more. Also, he said that there will be a separate space for the female namaazis and adequate green spaces.
As for the hospital and other structures of public utility, he said the other structures, too, would have a modern design. “The hospital would be around 300-bedded, four floor-super-speciality hospital that would be equipped with amenities of all sorts. It is going to be a state-of-the-art hospital since there is no good hospital in Faizabad or nearby. One has to travel to Gorakhpur or to Lucknow to avail proper health facility. I am sure this hospital would meet the requirements of the locals. We have allocated 500 square metre area for the hospital. The remaining area would be for other structures,” he added.
Professor Pant said the archive would be designed in a way to highlight the history not only of Lucknow but also of the entire Awadh region. Also, he said that the archive would not only be limited to food, but also feature costumes and fragrance, kisse, kahaani, embroidery, shayari (poetry) and the rarest of the rare dishes.
Mosque, Ayodhya, Dhannipur, Babri Masjid, India, Islam
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