On the 4th of October 2012, it was the official opening of the Nizamiye Complex in Midrand, Johannesburg,South Africa.
The Nizamiye Masjid is a replica of the Selimiye Masjid in Turkey, an Ottoman Masjid that is built in the city of Edirne.
The Nizamiye Masjid is currently the largest Masjid in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the largest on the continent of Africa.
It was the inspiration and brainchild of 74 year old, Ali Katircioglu, a prominent Turkish businessman, who came to South Africa four years ago.
Although he wanted to build it in America originally, a friend advised him to build it in South Africa instead.
The Nizamiye Complex consists of a masjid, a school, health center and shops, opened officially on the 4th October 2012 with President Zuma cutting the red ribbon.
An Islamic University and a hostel is also currently being built.
The Masjid has a large dome and ceilings which was hand painted by Turkish artisans flown in. The ceiling patterns are replicas of the custom made carpets installed throughout the masjid’s floors.
The wide round chandelier lights glint softly, enhancing the beauty of the dome.
The entire Masjid is well ventilated and has windows that open facing the inner courtyard as well as the outside of the building depending which side of the masjid you are on.
The peace and tranquility of being inside this masjid was awesome and the coolness inside was a blessing from the heat we experienced on the day.
My sister, Mas-oodah, and I were blessed to be able to not only read our Zuhr (midday) prayers inside but we were gifted with the rare opportunity of listening to the Imaam recite the Quraan afterwards.
The only thing that spoiled the recitation were the South African women having a jolly old conversation and disrespecting the Imaam as well as the Quraanic words being read.
Not only that, but we had women screaming to their children below in the courtyard to make wudhu downstairs…
I cannot explain the embarrassment my sister and I felt as we witnessed these ladies behavior.
I now know our women should NOT be allowed in Masjids… And I agree fully with that as they simply donot know how to behave in it.
Nonetheless, the opening of the masjid and complex was great, and something all who attended will never forget.
Attached are photos my sister and I took on the day personally.
I hope to be a regular at the Masjid, إنشاء اللّهُ (God willing)