Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad is hosting an-all-Muslim, sect-free mosque where discrimination along sectarian lines is not allowed. Darul Iman Jamia Masjid Qurtuba is the newly built mosque in Islamabad’s Margalla foothills where the call to prayers is not restricted to a particular sect, rather this first ever sect free mosque of Pakistan has put an end to sectarian divide among Muslims by opening its doors to every Muslim. The Mosque calls upon the followers of Islam to be united under one roof irrespective of their sects, to pray to one God, in whichever way they like.
Zahid Iqbal, the man behind such a noble cause, is a local businessman who not just envisioned the idea of a sect-free mosque in 2010 but also went to all lengths in order to turn this revolutionary idea into a reality. The task he took over was in no way an easy one, since the opposing forces were strong and resourceful, but there surely is a way when there is will. And Iqbal was downright determined to make this happen. After Iqbal bought the plot for the mosque in E-11 sector, he had to get permission for a sect-free mosque but it was an unprecedented ask. Initially authorities declined to accept the idea and refused to register the mosque as a sect-free mosque as ‘Under Capital Development Authority rules, every mosque has to declare its sect following, before being granted permission to build the mosque’. So in order to get around the complication Zahid Iqbal registered a trust, and then sub-registered the mosque under the trust’s banner: The Al-Kitaab Foundation Trust.
The administration and staff for the mosque are also a sign of change and new hope as educated and intellectual personnel have been engaged to be a part of this revolutionary idea. Qari Jehangir, a learned individual, who is currently doing his Master’s degree from the Islamic University, is the Imam of this mosque and the coordinator of the mosque is doing his MBA from Preston University. Two young men have been honored with this responsibility that is not just promising but is highly inspiring. The Imam and Khateeb are both from different sects setting up a practical example of tolerance and unity. The mosque administration says it will have no problem if a Shia Imam leads prayers.
Article by : Maliha Naveed