The Umar Farooq Mosque in Kandahar was recently inaugurated by high-ranking officials of the Afghan government.
Among those attending the ceremony were Kandahar Governor Dr Toryalai Wesa, advisor to the President on religious affairs Naimatullah Shahrani, chairman of cleric’s council Maulvi Qiamuddin Kishaf, Minister of Hajj and Auqaf Dr Muhammad Yousaf Niazi, as well as government ministers, Wolesi Jirga members, provincial officials and tribal elders. The project is one of the largest of its kind in the country and another sign of Afghanistan’s growing importance and development.
The Umar Farooq Mosque is the biggest mosque in Afghanistan. The foundation stone was laid 15 years ago during the regime of civil conflict, however only 10% of the work was complete when President Hamid Karzai came into power. Since construction restarted several years ago, onlookers have marveled at the workmanship with great interest.
The mosque has three sections: the mosque, the religious seminary and a trading center. It has a two-story parking lot and entertainment park. Construction work on the seminary and trading center is still in progress, although officials anticipate its completion soon. According to project overseers, the total cost of this project was 16 million dollars, which includes the mosque and other investments in community improvement.
Advisor to the President on religious affairs, Naimatullah Shahrani, told Sada-e Azadi, “It was important for Kandahar to have such a mosque because there are so many people with the love of Islam, especially Afghan religious students, we thought it was time Kandahar had a special place for them to pray and study. Now thousands of Afghans will be able to study in Kandahar Jami-Umar.”
Shahrani explained the advantage of including a trading center in the mosque complex. “When we finish all construction, we believe that the income from the trading center will be able to support the mosque and the religious seminary.”
Kandahar Governor Toryalai Wesa looks forward to the unity that the mosque will bring. “The Umar Mosque will allow nearly fourteen thousand people to pray at the same time. Wish such a large number, we hope people will also come to care for their new mosque. We are pleased to have this project funded thus far by GIRoA, Kandahar Municipality and Kandahari traders.”
The Umar Farooq Mosque is not only the biggest Mosque in Afghanistan where thousands of people can pray and get Islamic education, but also it seems to have brought the people of Kandahar happiness with the government for investing in such a large and important project in their province.