Arab News
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: India's biggest mosque, bigger than Delhi's Jama
Masjid, is coming up in Kerala. Being built on the outskirts of Kozhikode, the
mosque will have a built-up area of 250,000 sq. ft., far out-sizing the 17th
century mosque commissioned by Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan in the
The mosque will be in a 500-acre self-contained township Markaz Knowledge
City accommodating a centre for Islamic learning, an information technology (IT)
hub, a medical college, an engineering college, schools, hospitals, shopping
malls and various other institutions, besides residential complexes.

"The mosque will reflect the universal brotherhood and spiritual
enlightenment that Islam stands for. There will also be a library for Islamic
research and a conference hall where both Muslims and non-Muslims can come in
pursuit of knowledge," said Abu Bakr Ahmed alias Kanthapuram Aboobacker
Musliyar, who heads the group of Islamic institutions, Markazu Ssaqafathi

"For this, we're receiving huge support from people from all walks of life,
especially the Kerala diaspora."

 Musliyar heads the popular social, charity and educational organization which
has in the past three decades educated more than 30,000, including a large
number of children from the displaced families of Gujarat and Indian part of

 The Sha'ar-e-Mubarak Grand Masjid is planned on a 12 acre plot of which eight
acres have been set apart for landscaping a Mugul-style garden and the entire
structures in the township will be environment-friendly with a lot of open space
and greenery.

"We are planning to start work in 250 acres already acquired for the project
in five months and the mosque will be ready in two years. The entire project
will be complete in another five years," said Riyaz Mohammed, the architect of
the project who is credited with building some half a million square feet of
public spaces including the Haj House, Karipur, Infopark, Koratty and National
Institute of Fashion Technology campus in Kannur.

The mosque with an open-sky courtyard is expected to be completed at a cost
of Rs. 400 million while the entire township project will cost around Rs. 12
billion. It will accommodate 25,000 people for prayer at a time.

"My effort is to blend the traditional Islamic architecture with the modern
technology adopting the green building concept. It will also employ a large
number of people in this backward area," said Mohammed, a graduate from the
National Institute of Technology, Kozhikode. "The built-up area will
harmoniously blend with the greenery around."

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