170 model mosques to be opened in ‘Mujib Year’

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by Syed Altefat Hossain back from Sirajganj, Rangpur

DHAKA, Feb 2, 2021 (BSS) – Around 170 model mosques, out of total
560, would be inaugurated across the country in three phases by
December this year marking the ‘Mujib Year’ aiming at preaching the
true message of Islam to eliminate religious misconceptions.

“A total of 170 model mosques will be inaugurated across the
country in three phases by December this year coinciding with the
birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur
Rahman and the celebration of the golden jubilee of country’s
independence,” Project Director of the Construction of 560 model
mosques and Islamic Cultural Centers Md Nazibar Rahman told newsmen.

Of those, 50 mosques would be inaugurated in the first phase before
the upcoming Ramadan while 60 more are being prepared for inauguration
in September and another 60 in December, he said.

During a field visit to Sirajganj and Rangpur this correspondent
found that over 80 percent construction work of the 4-Storiey District
Model Mosque and Islamic Cultural Center in Sirajganj has already been
completed.

Sirajganj Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr Faruq Ahammad said that the
reaming work of the mosque will be completed before March 17 and it
will be inaugurated in the first phase on the occasion of the ‘Mujib
Year’.

Besides, five model mosques are being prepared for inaugurating
those in the first phase in Rangpur district.

“About 91 percent of construction works of the 4-Storiey District
Model Mosque and Islamic Cultural Center in Rangpur have already been
completed. We hope to complete rest of the work before Bangabandhu’s
next birth day,” Executive Engineer of Public Works Department,
Rangpur, Abdullah Al Mamun told BSS.

He said that a total of five mosques, out of nine, will be
inaugurated in the first phase.

Imbued with the spirit of Islam and following the footsteps of
Father of the Nation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has come up with
the idea of constructing the 560 model mosques across the country
involving Taka 8,722 crore, Project Director Nazibar Rahman said.

It is the second largest project after Padma Multipurpose Bridge,
which is being implemented with own funding, he said, adding “It is
the first ever in the world that any government is building such a
large number of mosques at a time”.

The purpose of the project are publicity of Islamic brotherhood and
its values as well as to disseminating the true essence of Islam
against extremism and militancy as the religion never support those,
Nazibar said.

Noting that Bangabandhu had established the Islamic Foundation (IF)
and enacted Islamic Foundation Act, 1975, the project director said,
in line with Bangabandhu’s thinking, the project also focused on
building a strong Islamic organizational structure by setting up
mosques and Islamic cultural centers across the country.

It would also put concentration on creating awareness against
terrorism and violence against women along with disseminating
development activities of the government, he said.

The project director said construction works of 420 model mosques
and cultural centers have started while the construction of the
remaining mosques would start soon.

Describing the project details, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Md
Tofazzel Hossain Miah said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced for
building 560 model mosques-cum Islamic cultural center across the
country and gave three models — A, B and C— for the mosques to be
built.

She (the Prime Minister) selected one model for district and city
corporations and other two for upazilas and coastal areas, the PMO
secretary said, adding that Taka 15.61 crore has been allocated for
each mosque to be built in district and city corporation areas, Taka
13.41 crore for upazila and Taka 13.60 crore for coastal area mosques.

Under the category A, he said, some 69 four-storey mosques having
the elevator facility are being constructed in 64 districts and city
corporation areas. Each floor of a mosque will have a space of
2,360.09 square metres.

Under category B, 475 mosques are being built with a floor space of
1680.14 square metres each, while 16 mosques under C category in
coastal areas will have a floor space of 2,052.12 square metres each.

Terming the model mosques as complete ones, Tofazzel said, “The
uniqueness of the mosques is that the Imam training programmes will be
conducted and the Hajj pilgrims will be imparted training on religious
matters by the mosques across the country”.

Each district and city corporation mosque would accommodate 1,200
people for prayers at a time while 900 people can offer prayer at a
time in each upazila and coastal area mosque, he said, adding that in
these mosques, some 4.94 lakh men and 31,400 women will be able to
offer prayers together.

The PMO secretary said the model mosques will have the facilities
such as Islamic research and Din-E-Dawah activities, Quran Hefzkhana,
children and mass education system, accommodation facilities for both
local and foreign tourists, arrangement of bathe and burial for
deceased, enrollment and training of hajj pilgrims, car parking, and
accommodation for Imam-Muazzin and officials and employees of the
cultural centers.

These mosques would have library facilities, where some 34,000
people would be able to read the holy Quran and other Islamic books
simultaneously, he added.

Besides, there will be arrangements for conducting research on
Islamic affairs for some 6,800 people, while some 56,000 people will
be able to offer doa and munajat, and count in tasbih round the clock
in the mosques once the project is completed, Tofazzel said.

There would be arrangements for imparting primary education to some
168,000 children every year apart from other religious activities.
Some 14,000 Hafez-e-Quran (people who memorize the whole Quran) will
come out from these mosques every year, he added.

Besides, there would be arrangements for the accommodation of some
2,240 local and foreign guests alongside facility for digital
registration of the holy hajj, the PMO secretary said.