Culture and arts

Emir Abdelkader Mosque.. An architectural masterpiece and a mirror of the Algerian identity

Constantine (INA) – The Emir Abdelkader Mosque, in the city of Constantine (430 km east of Algiers), is considered one of the most important religious and scientific beacons in the African continent, and a masterpiece that combines Levantine and Maghreb architecture. It is classified as a mirror of the Algerian national identity. The Prince Abd al-Qadir Mosque (an Algerian political and military pioneer 1808-1883 and founder of the modern Algerian state) plays a distinguished role in spreading the legal sciences and the Islamic call. Since its opening 20 years ago, the mosque has attracted the most famous sheikhs and preachers of the Islamic world, led by Sheikh Muhammad al-Ghazali (1917-1996, an Egyptian Islamic scholar and thinker), Sheikh Muhammad Saeed Ramadan al-Bouti (1929-2013, a Syrian scholar specializing in Islamic sciences), and Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi (from Sunni scholars) and the well-known Saudi preacher, Ayed al-Qarni, who gave lessons in the mosque and supervised the training of hundreds of students. Abdallah Boukhalkhal, dean of Prince Abdelkader Islamic University, said: The construction of the mosque dates back to the first years after Algeria gained its independence (July 5, 1962), when the late Algerian President Houari Boumediene decided to start building it in 1969. Boukhalkhal added: Boumediene made his decision, after seeing a group of designs presented by a large number of Arab and Western architects, before choosing the design submitted by the Egyptian engineer Mustafa Moussa, who was working for the Algerian presidency. He continued, in the year 1984, the Islamic University affiliated with the mosque was inaugurated, and the delivery of the mosque for worshipers was delayed until 1994. Specialists in the field of urbanization classify the Prince Abdul Qadir Mosque, which extends over an area of ​​13 hectares, as a unique Islamic architectural beacon, given its distinctive geometric shape, as it is surmounted by two minarets, each 107 meters high, and a dome more than 65 meters high. In addition, its location, as it can be seen from anywhere in the city of Constantine, not to mention the engineering designs that adorn it from the inside and outside. Inside the mosque, it can accommodate about 19 male and female worshipers, in addition to the external arena that can accommodate thousands of worshipers. The mosque has five doors, leading to its interior, which is characterized by a wonderful oriental and Moroccan architecture, in the middle of which are pillars made of high-quality marble and fine wood, which are adorned with precious stones, and interspersed with arches that allow sunlight to enter through its glass windows in which the colors of the spectrum mix, in addition to the platform presented by the Moroccan king. The late Hassan II, a gift to Algeria before the opening of the mosque. The mosque includes a Qur’anic school consisting of seven departments, from which hundreds of memorizers of the Holy Qur’an and specialists in interpretation graduate annually. Regarding the humanitarian services it provides, Hajj Ibrahim, head of the mosque committee, said: The mosque plays a major role in the humanitarian aspect, as the committee that is active in it collects financial donations throughout the year, and during religious occasions, hundreds of needy and poor families are taken care of by giving them Subsidies, like orphaned children, and the needy who are clothed, especially on holidays. In addition to the role played by the mosque, the Islamic University affiliated to it, which was inaugurated in 1984, occupies a distinguished position as well, as thousands of Algerian students and others from various Arab and African countries graduate annually in various disciplines related to the Islamic religion and Sharia.

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