Jamia Masjid DPL Srinagar
‘A GIFT FROM MUSLIM COPS FOR BROTHERS IN ISLAM’
AS the Muezzin pronounces Azan, one common call for congregational Salah world over, a beeline of cops makes it to this Masjid in conflict-zone, often to outnumber others, the civilians to be precise. Hanging their boots, guns and batons, though temporarily; these men-in- Khaki join the assemblage. Even though Masjids have always been about the venue where followers join the gathering irrespective of individual ideologies, here the scene is a bit different. And, reasons more than one.
Unlike most other Masjids in Kashmir, this four-storied concrete structure is a magnificent blend of traditional architecture and concepts imported from the Middle East. As about the financial resources, from procurement of private land to the construction and maintenance, all is being done by the Muslim staffers of Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) out their pocket money. Hundreds of them do it on monthly basis since genesis of the plan last year.
And location wise, the Masjid lies just next to what has fetched it a suffix –the District Police Lines(DPL) Srinagar –a Khaki stronghold from where strategically crucial summer Capital gets its policing of sorts.
The central Masjid also offers spiritual classes where apart from regular Imam, prominent Islamic scholars deliver lectures on topics including day-to-day life and the Hereafter.
BEGIN WITH ABLUTION
Welcome to Jamia Masjid DPL Srinagar. Here the first impression a visitor gets is that performing ablution does not take much time. The entire ground floor –spanning over 3000 square feet Masjid –is a Wuzu Khana.
Tastefully decorated chandeliers add colors to sparkling waters of the centrally located fountains. Around this aqua oval beauty, are ablution points where some 30 odd people can make Wuzu at a time.
Towards three sides are cluster of urinals and bathrooms. For those who may have to wait for their turn for a minute or two, sofas are there to give a comfortable sitting.
The eye-catching Wuzu Khanas are more so in news since noted Islamic scholar, Mufti Nazir Ahmed Qasmi appreciated the facility during his recent visit to the Masjid for a lecture while many visitors don’t miss to captuer its picture in their mobile phones.
Staircases leading to upper floors are made of prized Deodar covering the concrete beneath.
NO POLICE CADRES, PROTOCOLS
Typical police protocols like giving lead to superiors or greeting them with salute, end, exactly where the Masjid premise begins. Inside, there are no official protocols, no cadres either. “Here we have no IGs, DIGs, SHOs or constables… All including civilians are equal because all come for one purpose, to pray before the Almighty,” clarifies a cop while responding to a query.
INSPIRATION FROM MEDINA
A challenge to construct this building on mere half a kanal rectangular land was its basic architecture because the Qiblah didn’t come towards wall but corner meaning that some of the precious space could go waste while lining up for the prayers.
“But this free space in the form of triangles, we used to raise wooden blocks where copies of Holy Quran are kept for recitation on all the four sides, something typical of Masjids in the Holy City of Madina,” says a police official who has been to the Middle East. But in the same breath he adds a disclaimer that he isn’t speaking because of his rank “but like any other Muslim helping Masjid work”.
The Masjid pulpit has been traditionally carved in walnut wood, while the ceiling is Khattam Bandh getting an extra glow from lights mounted on the sides. The wood panelled walls host Air Conditioners and also hangers for remote controls while the windows are replica of traditional arch-style Taakhs in old Kashmiri buildings including shrines. The upper two floors are getting finishing touches while officials frequently monitor the work as they throng for prayers.
EXAMPLINARY WORK CULTURE
The work culture for this Masjid construction could serve an eye-opener for the state government, which years on, has failed to evolve a double shift system than to talk of three. The construction of the Jamia has been going on round-the-clock since its start in June 2011 while cops not only monitor the progress but have worked as labor, mason and carpenter in shifts whenever they had spare time. “Many of us have ourselves worked for this Masjid,” says a cop.
CLOSER TO DPL
Insiders say cops would at times face inconvenience because of security reasons in this trouble-torn region in making it to Masjid for prayers in time. “So many had been desirous of having the facility nearby,” they say. Their dream realized last year when cops procured two small residential houses of four-five Marlas each, in the rare of the DPL.
“As the deals realized for around Rs seven million, all of us at once pooled money and paid the sum to the sellers in one go,” recaps a source privy to the deal.
This was how the pooling of money started. By next month cops again donated some amount from their salaries. Within days the backyard compound wall was razed to ground and Masjid work started.
In the ongoing Ramazan, around a thousand odd people including civilians break the fast at the Masjid as conventional Dastarkhwan is spread across the wfloors with devotees sitting face to face. “This again is a scene typical of the Middle East that hundreds eat together, pray together,” says a cop sitting next to a Batamaloo local as the duo relished Iftaar feast comprising dates, traditional milk drink and other refreshment.
While the main entrance is towards the DPL, a gate towards the rare gives easy access to civilians living in the Mohallas on the back side while those working at nearby offices including the Civil Secretariat and the SMC have found it a preferred access. For those coming from the Secretariat, where a makeshift Masjid was closed some three decades back never to be reopened, the DPL facility has come as a blessing.
But then given the “security threat”, anyone entering the Masjid has to undergo frisking. The cops on duty, however, rule out any deliberate attempt to put Musalees to inconvenience.
To plead this they refer to a Hadith by Prophet Muhammad (SAW). “The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions,” the cops sums up as the Muezzin pronounces Azan, a call that is made from every Masjid world over, 5-times a day, everyday for the past over 1300 years!
Lastupdate on : Thu, 2 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 2 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 3 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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