Masjid an-Noor in Ombadah , on the outskirts of Khartoum, was built in 2011 as part of the Muslim H ands Special Programmes scheme, which facilitates large scale projects funded by a single donor or a group of individuals.
Before the mosque was built, locals used basic shelters for communal prayers, but now the Masjid an-Noor provides them with a space to pray, learn and socialise.
Built from brick, cement, zinc and iron, the mosque was designed by architect, Mahmood Ahmad to be practical and low maintenance. It was built by just four people and the only maintenance required is a paint job every two years, carried out by the locals.
Sheikh Nasri, the Imam for Masjid an-Noor, oversaw preparations for a big feast to welcome the visitng Muslim Hands team.
The Muslim Hands team were welcomed by 60 local villagers, performing the traditional Sudanese Hadra.
Serving a congregation of 3,000, the mosque serves as a hub for the community, bringing together the sporadic settlements that are sprawled out across this vast stretch of land.
Students will travel from as far as two kilometres away to attend the lessons that the masjid offers. Here, they still teach Qur’an using traditional methods. The students use boards called lahw to write on. The mosque also runs a three year hafiz programme. So far, 50 children have completed the programme, alhamdulillah.
As well as Islamic studies, the mosque offers adult literacy classes for men and women in the community.
As well as providing year-round services, the mosque, which has a 300 person capacity, is also a centre for Ramadan activities. During the month of Ramadan, Muslim Hands holds community Iftars here.
Demand for mosques in Sudan is high and in this year alone, five mosques have already been built through our Special Programmes scheme.
Masjid an-Noor is at the heart of the community in Ombadah. Funded by just one donor, the mosque unifies settlements from all over the area. Providing much more than just a place to pray, Masjid an-Noor is proof of the difference that just one person can make to the lives of thousands.
By Tijen Horoz, Senior Communications Editor