| Madina Masjid at Laban. Telegraph picture |
Shillong, Oct. 10: Enclosed with shades of glass and a touch of tiles and marble, Madina Masjid, the “largest” mosque-cum-library-cum-theological centre-cum-orphanage in the Northeast, will be inaugurated on October 18.
Union minority affairs minister Salman Khurshid will inaugurate the mosque building in the presence of Union minister of state for minority affairs Vincent H. Pala.
The three-storied building has been constructed at a cost of around Rs 2 crore under the supervision of the Shillong Muslim Union.
The construction of the mosque at the complex, located on the premises of the Idgah in Laban here, was completed in August 2008 while the rest of the construction culminated in August this year.
“It is a unique mosque building in the country and the largest in the Northeast,” union general secretary Sayeedullah Nongrum told The Telegraph.
Nongrum, who is also a Congress legislator representing Rajabala constituency in the West Garo Hills, said the building is 120-foot wide and 61-foot long.
According to Nongrum, there are around 51 children who are being sheltered in the Meherba orphanage here and are being inculcated with primary education. These children are being taught at a regular lower primary school inside the complex. The school was established in 1942.
“Earlier, we use to take orphans belonging to other places as well but now, we only take locals,” he said.
The Islamic Theological Institute (Markaz) will inculcate the basics of Islamic teaching while the Islamic library will have books on comparative religious studies, Nongrum said.
“This place will be opened for everyone, but one should bear in mind the importance of maintaining the sanctity of the mosque,” he said, adding that it could be a destination for the large number of tourists who flock to this city annually.
During the inauguration, a book on the history of the Shillong Muslim Union will also be released.
In 2008, the mosque became the “first” in the region to open to women.
Around 50 women from various age groups, including students, had offered the “Jummah Namaj” at the Idgah complex.