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Thousands visit Blue mosque on first day

Shafaat Ahmed / 30 July 2011

DUBAI ó Dubaiís latest architectural marvel welcomed its first visitors on Friday afternoon as thousands of worshippers packed into the Al Farooq Omar bin Khattab Mosque in Al Safa.

One of the largest mosques in the country and the only mosque in Dubai with four pencil-shaped minarets, the replica of Istanbul’s legendary Blue mosque had thousands of worshippers come to see the mosque and offer the Friday prayers on the sprawling premises.

Kuwait’s young scholar, Mashari Al Kharraz, delivered the Friday sermon as he urged believers to prepare themselves for Ramadan by cleansing themselves spiritually and seeking Allah’s pardon.

He said in this way, the believers would be able to embellish themselves with the blessing of Allah Almighty during the holy month of Ramadan.

The man behind the mosque, Khalaf Ahmed Al Habtoor, founder of Al Habtoor Group, also paid his tributes to Allah Almighty, the mosque and the attendants in his short prepared speech.

Attended by worshipers from far and wide, who had spilled over outside the 2000-capacity mosque, people seemed more than impressed by the tranquil atmosphere and magnificent architecture. Also present were dignitaries and diplomats from different emirates and countries.

The mosque’s sombre inauguration ceremony was fittingly marked by the verses from the Holy Quran’s Chapter of Light recited by Shaikh Shehzade Abdur Rahman, Imam of Shaikh Hasan Mosque Al Tawar, followed by an inspiring opening speech by Dr Hamad Ahmed Al Shaibani, Director-General of the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai.

Housing a library, a lecture hall and a madrasa, Al Farooq Centre intends to play a role of a community centre, trying to bring forth the original concept of mosques.

Opening close to the beginning of Ramadan, the mosque will host an Islamic festival throughout the month, lining up an array of star scholars and reciters for special Taraweeh prayers. The line-up includes the famous Abubaker Al Shatri, Adel Rayyan, Jasim Mohammed Al Amiri, Ismail Hasan Ismail, Mohammed Mubarak Abdullah, Ebrahim Jassim Al Mansoori and Mohammed Al Wasel among others.

shafaat@khaleejtimes.com

 
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