High art: mosque gets new minaret and dome

2011-03-10 00:00

THE Soofie Mosque in Masukwana Street now boasts a 30-metre high minaret, complete with dome. Members of the mosque watched and boys from the neighbouring Islamic school popped their heads over the wall as the golden dome was lifted and placed on top of the minaret on Tuesday.

Minarets, the tall towers traditional ly attached to mosques, are a hallmark of Muslim architecture. This minaret, designed by architect Mohamed S. Sayed, is made of concrete and covered in white Turkish marble. The dome on top is made of stainless steel. Both the tower and the dome are fitted with lights.

The mosque is the biggest in Pietermaritzburg, with an attendance of 1 300 men at Friday prayers. Over 100 years old, it has also been declared a heritage site.

It was built by Hazret Soofie Saheb in 1909 as “a place of service, welfare and worship for the community at large, irrespective of religion, race or colour”, said mosque caretaker Goolam Mohamed Soofie.

He explained that minarets are designed to be visible from afar “so that people needing refuge in whatever form will know that there is somewhere to go”.

Various community outreach programmes are run by the mosque, including a feeding scheme on Fridays. The complex also houses an Islamic school and a community hall.

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