Jamia professor SM Akhtar to design Ayodhya mosque, complex: Report

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Updated: Sep 02, 2020 12:28 PM

The 5-acre land had been allotted to the Sunni Waqf Board in Dhannipur village. The board has announced plans to build a mosque, Indo-Islamic research centre, library and hospital.

Jamia Millia Islamia’s Architecture Department dean Professor SM Akhtar.

The Jamia Millia Islamia University has informed that its Architecture Department dean, Professor SM Akhtar, will design the mosque and its surrounding complex that will come up on five acres of land in Ayodhya. The land was awarded to the Sunni Waqf Board by the Supreme Court in November 2019 in lieu of the demolished Babri Masjid.

“Professor Akhtar will design the mosque in Ayodhya, to be constructed by the Sunni Waqf Board on alternative land given by the (Uttar Pradesh) government on SC’s order,” The Indian Express quoted Jamia PRO Ahmed Azeem as saying on Tuesday.

The 5-acre land had been allotted to the Sunni Waqf Board in Dhannipur village. The board has announced plans to build a mosque, Indo-Islamic research centre, library and hospital. It has set up Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation to oversee the construction works. The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board was one of the main litigants in the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid case.

Speaking to The Indian Express, SM Akhtar saud that foundation’s secretary Athar Hussain informed him about being selected to design the complex.

“I will design the whole complex; the masjid will be a part of it. It has not yet been decided what all will be in the complex, but hopefully there will be a hospital. The basic concept is to serve humanity and the society. For that, we can construct anything,” he said.

Akhtar said that the work has just started, adding that “it will definitely take a long time”. He promised to keep all aspects in mind – the bylaws, the location, and what people want.

“But I am clear about the basic objective. The conception is to have a centre which can serve the society, with human values, Indian ethos and Islamic spirit,” the Jamia Professor said.

When asked whether any elements of Babri Masjid will make it to the design, he said, “We will work for a contemporary design because in my view architecture is never replicated — it gets evolved according to the contemporary society.”

“The present consideration is environment and energy, so if some element of the past is relevant to conserve the energy for today, that can be adopted. There is no harm in that,” Akhtar said.

Meanwhile, the foundation will open two separate bank accounts to start collecting funds for the construction. While one account will be for donations for the mosque, the other will be for the remaining structures.

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