A new, big mosque on the Prairies is taking shape in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan province of Canada, and is on course to open by the end of 2016.
“It’s a very exciting time for the whole community,” Shamoon Rashid, a local Muslim leader, said Friday during a media tour of the construction site. “The community has waited a long time for this project.”
The main structure of the building is complete and construction of a minaret and interior finishing work is underway.
“The community started growing,” Rashid said, of the need for the new space adding that design plans evolved even after work began.
“We had to expand this mosque when construction already started,” he said.
Rashid said their current facility, which has been large enough for prayers, is too small to meet all their needs.
For some events, he said, they have been renting space — such as school gyms or community halls.
“This will be one of the hubs for the community in the prairie region,” Rashid said, noting that Saskatoon will become a focal point for some youth events.
The main prayer hall of the mosque will have enough room for 800 people. There is also room for another 1,200 people, for prayers, in the building’s gym and multi-purpose hall.
Funds for the new mosque, which is estimated to cost about $10 million, were raised in Saskatoon and beyond.
People were very generous with their support, Rashid said.
“There are members of the community who have taken part-time jobs for the purpose of earning from that job to donate to this project,” he said.
“We do try to make mosques beautiful, but at the same time we do not like to make it too fancy,” Imam Khalid Minhas said. “The real beauty is in worshipping God.”