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Friday, July 17, 2009

Completion Of Data Darbar Complex, Lahore. (1999-4)

Hazrat Syed Ali bin Usman al-Hajvery, popularly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh settled in Lahore during the eleventh century. Accomplished Sufi Master and revered intellectual, he propagated the religious, spiritual, moral and educational dimensions of Islam in South Asia.
The shrine or Darbar where Data Sahib is buried, is visited round-the-clock by the devotees from all over the country.

The Auqaf Department is the custodian of this sacred precinct. It has now completed this project begun in 1978 to provide better amenities to the devotees. During the first phase the large mosque was constructed in 1989 covering an area of 1,60,000 square feet.

Phase-II completes the master-plan of the mosque-shrine complex and further extends the mosque by 2,08,150 sqare feet to accommodate the growing congregation. This phase began in 1997 under the direction of the Prime Minister.

It now consists of three levels. The basement provides parking area for 200 cars. The inter-mezzanine floor consisting of a fully airconditioned sama hall, langar-khana/charity kitchen, separate rest-rooms for men and women, ablution areas, library research centre, facilities for bank, security personnel, administrative offices, conference hail and atrium.

The main, top floor is the extension and completion of Data Sahib Jam Ia Mosque. It comprises of a central green area in the Mughal Chahar Bagh division, which is enhanced with water-bodies such as a central fountain and ripplers running along the length of the arcade.
Spacious verandahs enclose this space emphasizing the traditional concept of inner court-yard in Islamic Architecture. The arches of the first phase were discontinued and replaced by those reflecting the arches of the original mausoleum and circum-ambulatory area around it. Thus a unified architectural statement have been achieved.

The 185 arches in this phase of the mosque, are embellished with pure white marble with the Names of Allah and of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Each has been scripted by calligraphers and calligraphy-artists of Pakistan.

The complex also has verses from the Holy Quran, verses in praise of the Holy Prophet and Data Sahib and name of holy persons in thulth and nastaliq styles. The complete Surah Rahman, on the facade of the mosque facing the Lower Mall, is 308 feet long in nastaliq script.

uch a long nastaliq script on a monument is a world record. Similarly, 108 feet long Durud Taj has been rendered in nastaliq at the entrance to the Sama Hall. Both inscriptions are a major achievement for Pakistan.

They have been rendered in nastaliq to make the text more accessible to the public. Beside these, a large calligraphy-art work by Sadquain has been executed in marble. All the calligraphy and calligraphy-art work in the exterior and interior has been scripted voluntarily and free of any charge by the Pakistan Calligraph-artists Guild.

The mosque is now spread over a total of 3,68,150 sqare feet and is the third largest mosque in Pakistan after the Badshahi Mosque, Lahore and the Faisal Mosque Islamabad. The mosque can now accommodate upto 52,600 devotees.

The Data Sahib Mosque Complex is being inaugurated by Mr Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan on 1st June 1999. Thus another great centre of religion and spirituality has been added to the historic city of Lahore.

To commemorate the occasion Pakistan Post Office is issuing a stamp of Rs. 7/- denomination on May 31,1999.

The stamp has been designed by Mr S. Ayyaz Ali of Auqaf Department. The design incorporates Data Darbar Mosque Shrine Complex in the miniature style in keeping with the centuries old tradition of Islamic painting. This is rendered by Mr Usman Saeed Akhtar.