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Jama Masjid Allah Wali Bohrapir, Karachi

1299 words - 6 pages

Jama Masjid Allah Wali is an old multistory mosque situated in the busy area of Bohrapir. This mosque was constructed before the partition of sub-continent, in 1897 A.D. Its renovation began on 24th May 1968, when its foundation was laid by the then president of Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Pakistan, Alhaj Maulana Shah Abdul Hamid Qadri Badayuni. Its minor renovations was recently carried out in 2009.
Allah Wali Masjid misses some major features and facilities which are found in a common mosque.
The connections between spaces are not defined. Transition between spaces can become difficult.
Its entrance gate doesn’t suffice for a small crowd to pass adequately.
The ablution area of Allah ...view middle of the document...

And how by offering prayers, observing and being the user of this mosque, has led me to incorporate certain elements in a mosque that I designed.

Allah Wali Masjid runs for a length of approximately 40’, and is 30’ wide. Its Façade contains Mughal architecture elements, i.e. Mughal Arches, Mughal style columns. It’s Façade is hidden by the surrounding buildings. The entrance to the mosque is accessed through a narrow street of about 10’.
Offering prayers for over 11 years in Allah Wali Masjid, one would get accustomed to any difficulties in the mosque. But I always used to think about the major flaws within the design and construction, by observance and personal experiences.
There are overall 3 Entrances into the mosque. Two are from the front side, and one from the back. The Main entrance is 6’ Wide. The 2nd entrance is to the left, which gives access to the upper levels of mosque.
A single entrance of 6’ is not enough for easy entrance and egress of a crowd. Especially in Friday congregations the crowd at the entrance lasts for long time.
The side entrance is immediately next to the toilets. Sometimes the odor from the toilets spreads around the area which is highly undesirable.
Ablution Area:
The major issue with the ablution area is that the flooring material has been laid of marble. When wet, the marble gets slippery, this can be dangerous. The ablution area is located outside the mosque, and in winter seasons ablution is performed in the cold outside. But, ablution areas are also available on 1st and 2nd floors.
Moreover, the ablution area is at a height of 1’6” from ground. The space between the ablution seat and the exterior side is 2’. This means that only one person can stand in that space. Anyone who has to move in the ablution area, he has to be extremely careful not to trip or slip while moving past any other individual.
The transition between interior spaces is difficult. There are blind corners and narrow pathways. The main prayer hall on ground floor is spacious.
Saff size is just at the borderline. Distance between two consecutive rows is 4’ which is insufficient. Often the head of preceding row’s prayer hits the ankle of succeeding row’s prayer.
Access to upper levels:
The mosque has 3 floors. The staircase leading to the upper levels has been designed poorly. The steps are covered with marble. The marble remains wet during congregation hours and has caused many people to slip on it. The riser of steps is 8” high, which is extremely difficult for the elderly to step on.
The width of the stairway is 3’. It is extremely small. In large congregations a crowd is created on the stairway and it can take about 5 minutes for a person to move from 2nd and...

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