Grand Mosque Dargah Allahabad, Kandyaro, Sindh, Pakistan
The inspiration for the design of Grand Mosque Allahabad has been drawn from the most traditional Islamic Architectural sites such as Masjid Nabvi (PBUH), Madina Munawwarah, Imam Ali Raza Mosque, Mashhad, Iran. Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey. Shah Jahan Mosque, Thatta and Khudabad Mosque Dadu, Sindh.
The Grand Mosque Allahabad, a one of its kind where fair finish concrete technique is implemented with enhanced concrete life, simultaneously blended with porcelain Kashi tile work.
A unique design and a piece of art at preserving Kashi heritage of Indus valley civilization by using most efficient method of fair finish concrete. Indeed, it is an addition in Islamic Architecture.
It is an expression of devotion to Almighty Allah for His blessings for all people who will come to visit while passing by and offer prayers at this beautiful Mosque.
Holy Quran reveals that the first builder was Prophet Adam, who built the Kaaba, later on Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail rebuilt it once it suffered colossal damage.
Subsequently, some 800 years later Prophet Suleiman rebuilt Masjid-e-Aqsa which is considered in some popular writings as the origin of architecture. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also participated in the construction of a mosque by carrying bricks, he also helped in construction of dwellings of some of his followers, in one of his sayings he emphasized that whoever built a mosque , with the intentions of seeking Allah’s blessings, Allah will build for him a similar place in paradise. (Sahih al Bukhari, 1994, p.181.)
During the last sermon our Prophet (peace be upon him) informed the Ummah that after his departure and till the day of judgement Allah will send His best men for you who will continue to preach His message in the light of Quran to provide guidance. In my view Hazrat Muhammad Tahir Bakhshi also known as Sajjan Saeen, is one among them.
Original mosque of Allahabad extended by Hazrat Tahir Bakhshi. (1989 to 2004)
Khawaja Muhammad Tahir Bakhshi has followers in Pakistan and all over the world. His preachings are based on love and presents a true picture of following the life of Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him). Khawaja sahib’s teachings focus on devotion to Allah and love with each other. He prefers direct method of remembering Allah in Zikr e qalbi and collective Zikr or meditation or Muraqba. It is a matter of great satisfaction to observe Khawaja Sahib welcoming people from all walks of life and faiths. He is a true believer and practices to promote interfaith harmony.
His father, Khwaja Allah Bakhsh known as Sohna Saeen, was the spiritual leader of Naqshbandi Jamaat and every day he received a large number of devotees who came to pay their homage to him regularly but there was no place to offer congregational prayers. He decided to build a Mosque adjacent to his place of residence and he founded Allahabad Mosque in 1978 which could accommodate around 400 worshippers. Later on his son Khwaja Tahir Bakhshi rebuilt and extended structure of Mosque in 1989 comprising one main hall (90×90 feet) for prayers with a dome at the height of 55 feet. But the mosque structure could not be completed due to his busy schedule of preaching engagements.
He had visualized and foreseen that this gigantic task would require greater amount of funds but was confident that Allah’s help would be imminent as no single individual could support a project of such a magnitude in one’s personal capacity and he guided that Jamaat would approach the philanthropic individuals and make a coalition of Allah loving individuals who would make generous donations to meet the financial needs of the project. It was his guidance and Allah’s blessings that funds continued to pouring in and above all at the annual gatherings of Jammat at Allahabad, devotees donated generously every year from 2004 onward. Subsequently a Trust was established to mobilize and manage the financial matters pertaining to construction of Mosque project. The entire effort was aimed at creating a piece of important cultural heritage which could be remembered in the times ahead as a cultural heritage and a monument of Sindh.
Shrine of Khawaja Allah Buksh Sohna Saeen
Modified version of Allahabad Mosque 2006. (Initial uplift of the mosque).
Main Hall entrance of Allahabad Mosque from courtyard surrounded by covered verandah
Courtyard of Allahabad Mosque.
Architectural details of Allahabad Mosque
Grand Mosque Allahabad has been under construction since 2004 and presently its entire civil structure has been completed. It is conveniently located on National Highway at around 415 km from Karachi. Allahabad Mosque is a complex of various activities and structures, comprising of School, Madrassa, Hospital, Old age residence, Orphan house, shrine of Khawaja Sohna Saeen and a Residential colony. The Mosque has separate structures for ablution and lavatory block. The entire complex comprises 60 acres of land owned by Jammat, out of it 20 acres of land is dedicated solely for Mosque and garden or landscaping purposes.
In the field of Construction, besides, expressing artisanship and high degree of engineering skills; arches, domes, columns, calligraphic illustrations and geometrical patterns create a continuous sense of peace, contemplation, symmetry and harmony.
Kashi pattern of Allahabad Mosque (under finishing).
The main features of the Mosque are 101 domes of various heights and sizes with only one symbolic minaret at the height of 120 feet. The main dome of Mosque, designated as Allah’s dome at the height of 115 feet from ground level, the second dome is for our beloved Prophet Mohammad ( peace be upon him), at the height of 78 feet, remaining 99 domes are for each attribute of Allah. The various heights and sizes are designed in such a way to create sky line of signal story structure. The mosque has a built-up area of 80,000 sq. ft. and capacity to accommodate 10,000 people to perform prayers at one time with imam.
During the analysis of the Mosque design, the whole perspective of the surrounding area was reviewed and decisions were taken with the concurrence of Khawaja Tahir Bakhshi and jammat to relocate the old Madrassa in a new building adjacent to the Mosque and dismantle the previous Madrasah building for the purpose of landscaping. The intention was to equip the Madrasah with all modern facilities, which has been completed on two acres of land comprising Ground plus one story with covered area of 70,000 sq. ft while the foundation provides construction of an additional floor for future extension. The Madrasah building has capacity to accommodate 300 boarding students, 20 class rooms, administrative block for teachers and management, auditorium for 500 people, a library, computer laboratory and all required facilities for residential as well as teaching needs.
Front view of the madrasah
A detailed study was carried out to determine the kind of construction materials to be used which could facilitate minimum maintenance and provide longer life to structure. After careful study and research on existing structures of mosques and other old structures of historical importance it was found that materials used in all such religious buildings are mostly red bricks, stones or lime mortar which are still in good conditions and functional for the past 500 years.
Isometric view of a Allahabad Mosque with details of domes in fair finish concrete, having special features to allow Air and Light under the domes on the brackets of various heights.
Thorough scrutiny was made to examine strength of available construction materials to select for their use in Allahabad Mosque. Special analysis was arranged to assess strength and durability of concrete and a comparison was also made with the materials used in historic buildings which are still existing and functional after centuries of constructions. A select team of professional civil and structural engineers along with architects concluded that to enhance the life of normal concrete, admixtures shall be used in Allahabad Mosque from the beginning, so that it can sustain all weather conditions for centuries ahead. Though it is expensive but use of admixtures in concrete is an established method to enhance and improve the life of structure. The manufacturer guaranties that its use enhances eleven times life of concrete than normal one. Danish engineers used admixtures to improve the quality of concrete for such structures which always remained submerged in water.
Frontal view of Allahabad Mosque with fair finish concrete
Details of the fair finish concrete of the inner domes of Allahabad Mosque
New Madrasah building of Allahabad Mosque
View of Allahabad Mosque complex Madrassa
Typical detail of 99 domes of Allahabad Mosque
Covered veranda of Allahabad Mosque at all four sides
Various Kashi patterns and typical details designed , manufactured by team of Artist for Allahabad Mosque only
…more kashi patterns
Typical kashi patterns for fair finish concrete columns of Allahabad Mosque
Google view December 2016 showing Allahabad Mosque Complex.