Mosque in Ayodhya likely to be named Masjid Dhannipur
A proposed mosque coming up on a five-acre site outside Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh is likely to be named after the village of Dhannipur where it is located, and not Babri Masjid, senior officials overseeing the construction of the complex announced on Friday.
Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF), the 15-member trust in charge of the mosque and other utilities, said the name Masjid Dhannipur was at the top of the list of proposed names. Other suggestions included Aman (Peace) Masjid and Sufi Masjid.
“We are getting suggestions regarding the name of the mosque. But, of the many, the name ‘Masjid Dhannipur’ tops our priority list. Most probably, the mosque would be named ‘Masjid Dhannipur’,” said Athar Hussain, spokesperson for Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF).
The complex is likely to include a mosque, a hospital, a community kitchen, and an educational centre.
The Uttar Pradesh government handed the plot, currently occupied by rice fields 20km from Ayodhya town, to the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board (UPSCWB) earlier this month in accordance with the Supreme Court’s November 2019 verdict that cleared the way for the construction of a Ram temple at the 2.77 acre site in Ayodhya. The court also ordered the government to award five acres of land at an alternative site for the construction of a mosque.
But the trust, helmed by the UPSCWB, made it clear that they didn’t want to associate the new mosque to the disputed 16th century structure that was demolished by a mob on December 6. 1992. “The board has maintained its stand since Day One that the mosque would not be named after Mughal emperor Babur,” said Hussain.
A senior official of the trust explained that the trust wanted to steer clear of any controversy and therefore was not in favour of naming the mosque after any emperor. “In any case, it is an established tradition that mosques are often named after the locality or region,” said Hussain.
The trust has received a number of pledges for donation and other commitments, and specifications and dimensions of the mosque would be decided in the days to come, he said. “So far, we have only invited applications from architects all across the country to help with the design of the mosque that would be on the Indo-Islamic theme,” added Hussain.
The trust has faced significant opposition from within the Muslim community with a section of people saying that a mosque cannot be constructed on land given by the government. On Friday, the All India Muslim Women’s Personal Law Board joined the ranks of those against the construction of the mosque. Shaista Amber, AIMWPLB chief, said, “I truly respect the Supreme Court verdict, but I personally believe that a place of worship should not be on disputed land or on given land. I don’t think the mosque should be constructed on the allotted five-acre land.”