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This Hyderabad mosque is more than a place of worship

Sunday August 12, 2012 12:53:13 PM, Mohammed Shafeeq, IANS

Hyderabad: In this historic city where minarets of hundreds of mosques dot the sky, one mosque stands out as more than a mere place of worship.

Besides the five-time prayers a day, the mosque is playing a significant role in addressing issues of health and education. It even offers interest free gold loans to the needy and pensions to the widows and the elderly.

What makes Masjid-e-Azizia popular among the young and educated sections of Muslim community is its wide array of activities offering them the best of both the worlds.

While hundreds flock to the mosque every day and thousands during the holy month of Ramadan for spiritual fulfillment, one also hears lectures on current affairs and personality development.

The mosque also displays on its notice board announcement of job vacancies and notifications of government departments.

Located in the busy Mehdipatnam area close to PVNR Expressway, the mosque has first aid facility to attend to medical emergencies. The managing offers free sugar and blood pressure checkup for 'namazis' every Sunday.

"Masjid-e-Nabawi (Prophet's mosque in Madina) had the medical facility," explained Sheikh Imaduddin Madani, imam of the mosque.

"The mosque should not mere be a place of worship. It should serve as a platform to solve the milli (community) problems, train the people in developing their character and personality for the success in this world and the hereafter," the imam, an alumni of Madina University in Saudi Arabia, told IANS.

It is the soulful recitation of the holy Koran by Sheikh Imaduddin and the soul stirring Friday lectures by president of the managing committee and 'khateeb', Moulana Aijaz Mohiuddin Waseem, which attract people to the mosque, which is noted for its cleanliness.

The students, professionals, businessmen, Non-Resident Indians and a sizeable number of Africans living in the city throng the three-storied mosque, which can accommodate 10,000 people.

The lectures by Moulana Waseem are so popular that they are not only made available in the form CDs and DVDs but also posted on Youtube.

Some students have even opened a Facebook account in the name of the this mosque to propagate its activities.

The mosque invites scholars and prominent personalities from various walks of life to deliver lectures on current affairs, personality development, health and socio-economic issues.

"All the activities here have the basic idea of spreading the message of Quran and highlighting the solutions it offers to the problems faced by not just the Muslims but the entire humanity," said Mohammed Arif Hussain, an associate professor in an engineering college.

A huge hoarding is put up outside the mosque highlighting the message of Quran, mainly for non-Muslims.

The speakers emphasis the need for the Muslims to not just recite Quran but understand, practice and spread its message. As part of this effort, Moulana Waseem reads out the summary of Quran during 'taraveeh' (special prayers offered every night during Ramadan).

"This is in practice ever since the mosque was inaugurated," pointed out Sajid Hafeez Khan, whose grandfather Abdul Azeez Khan laid the foundation stone of the mosque in 1966.

The mosque runs a school of 'Hifz' where the imam trains young students in memorizing Quran. It conducts summer classes for boys and girls to teach them the holy book.

Realising the importance of women in building the society, the mosque has earmarked a portion for them to meet and offer prayers. Hundreds of women offer 'taraveeh' and 'tahajjud' every night during Ramadan.

The managing committee and Jamat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) have plans to further expand the community service activities and as part of these efforts an adjacent property has been acquired for over Rs.90 lakh to set up an Islamic Centre.

The centre will hold inter-faith dialogues and interact with non-Muslim religious groups for amity and religious harmony. The proposed activities include a school for slum children and to train


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