Adamjee Jame Mosque on the wane

Published : 05 May 2021 09:44 PM

Siddhirganj (Narayanganj) Correspondent

"Eighty years have passed, I have never called you Yet, you have not stopped feeding my hunger, oh God People claim, there is no God in your mosque and temple The mullah-priests have locked all His doors!”

The alacrity of Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam is preserved by Adamjee Jame Mosque built in the Pakistan period. The main feature of this mosque is the 19 entrances without doors and windows and the paved-gorge pond in front of the mosque. This traditional mosque was established at the Bihari Camp adjacent to Adamjee Sonamia Bazar in Siddhirganj when the largest Adamjee Jute Mill in Asia was established.

A tall minaret can be seen from a distance, which, on the side of the busy road seems to indicate that there is a mosque here. As approached nearer, greenery all around is observed. Seeing the eye-catching construction style, any passer-by has to take a break for a while.

One of the hallmarks of artistry is the mosque without doors and windows which is half a century old. It is known from history that during the establishment of Adamjee Mill in 1945, Gul Mohammad Adamjee, one of the then wealthy twenty-two families, built this mosque inside the mill for the workers and officials. Situated on an area of about 2 acres, the mosque stands on 12 delightful pillars, 90 feet long and 65 feet wide. There are wide verandas on all three sides except the west side. The three-sided porch roof, 60 feet long and 60 feet wide, is built on a total of 70 pillars.

At the top of the mosque is a large dome surrounded by eight small domes. There is a minaret located in the east-south corner, where the muezzin used to call for prayers empty-handed due to lack of electricity at decades ago.

At present, more than 3,000 worshipers can perform prayers together in this mosque. Earlier, the mosque had a Khatib, a Pesh Imam, two Muazzins, a Khadem, a gardener and a sweeper at the expense of Adamji Jute Mill. The manpower has been reduced to four people including Imam-Muazzin.

Hafiz Mohammad Solaiman, Khatib of the mosque, who has been the imam for 19 years, said, "The mosque was established around 1952 with the idea that a Muslim can prostrate before Allah at any time besides having to pray five times in the mosque. That's why this is a complete exception from other mosques. The most interesting thing is its entrance, which will never close."

This mosque is open 24 hours a day. That is why many people call this mosque an open (Shia) mosque. He said that no matter how hot it is, there is always a cool atmosphere in this mosque.

When the Adamjee Jute Mill was closed on June 30, 2002, Hakim Md Zainul Abedin, Headmaster of Adamjee Ummul Kwora High School, took the helm of the mosque with some local Muslim worshipers, and is continuing the development work of the mosque with the help of various people. He is currently the president of the mosque.

According to him, Adamjee Jute Mill had about 13 mosques, including this one, on its own 300 acres of land. After the closure of the mill, all the mosques except this mosque were closed. Not only that, after the closure of the mill, the mill authorities removed the mic, fan and sound box of all the mosques for fear of stealing. Therefore, the worshipers fell into extreme disarray.

At present, a water reservoir with a capacity of 20,000 liters has been constructed in the mosque with the cooperation of all. Deep tube wells have been installed to ensure clean water for the worshipers. The roof of the mosque, the garden, the electrical connection, from the verandah of the mosque to the gorge of the pond has been renovated.

In addition, tiles and paint work have been constructed inside and outside the mosque to enhance the beauty of the mosque. Sound systems have been installed inside and on the verandah so that the muslims can hear the Imam's speech and message clearly. At present, the Imam and other servants are being honored with tree fruits, fish in the pond and money donated by the devotees. A new 1,200-square-foot absolution place has been built for the worshipers.

Zainul Abedin added that Matin Pradhan had received a government grant to build the roof of the mosque when he was the mayor of the municipality. Since then, they have not received any government grants.

According to the locals, the mosque, which stands as a silent witness to the Adamjee Jute Mill, will disappear due to lack of renovations. If proper steps are not taken to preserve it soon, this ancient tradition will be lost.