ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia will build the King Salman bin Abdulaziz Mosque along with a research and cultural center at the new campus of the International Islamic University (IIU) in Islamabad, the institute’s rector told Arab News on Saturday.
“The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has decided to build the King Salman bin Abdulaziz Mosque with a capacity of 12,000 worshippers at the new campus of the International Islamic University,” Dr. Masoom Yasinzai said.
“This is not just going to be a mosque but will have a huge complex with a research and cultural center for scholars and students,” he continued, adding that there would also be a library and museum along with an auditorium named after Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.
Yasinzai said the project was another evidence of the strong Saudi-Pakistan relationship.
“The research center will focus on Arabic language, Islamic culture and heritage. The center will be equipped with digital technology to provide online Arabic courses from Islamabad to the whole world,” the IIU rector said.
He also informed that researchers from other Muslim countries would also make intellectual contributions to the center.
“Initially, the construction of the mosque was going to cost Rs500 million,” Yasinzai said. “But now the research and cultural center has also been included in the project which will raise its cost.”
He added that the proposed model of the mosque was an exceptional representation of Islamic art and architecture.
In addition to that, the IIU official said Saudi Arabia would send 15 professors from some of the top universities in the kingdom to teach Arabic, Shariah and other Islamic subjects.
“They will come to Islamabad on deputation and will be financed by the Saudi government,” he continued. “The Saudi authorities have also announced 250 fully funded scholarships for needy students in Pakistan.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s adviser on religious harmony Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi said that people of Pakistan were thankful to the Saudi government for deciding to build the mosque.
“This grand mosque will have the capacity to accommodate 10,000 men and 2,000 women,” he told Arab News. “It will be yet another monument of the Saudi-Pak friendship and lead to better progress in the bilateral relations of the two countries.”