Five times prayer to gym to healthcare: Hyderabad mosques are emerging as community centres
What is it like to have mosques that will offer physical wellness along with spiritual wellness? Over 25 mosques in Hyderabad have left their floors for physical fitness and educational classes to both women and men.
A small initiative to develop mosques as a community centre that started with Alamgir Masjid in Hyderabad in 2019 has now grown into 26 mosques and is hoping to increase the count to 100.
It all began with a medical camp at Alamgir mosque. People came up with the request to set up a permanent clinic. The masjid committee welcomed the idea and provided accommodation.
Soon the necessity to have an education centre came. A centre to help boys and girls clarify doubts and gain general knowledge in times of online education is a great blessing that would show results in the coming years.
“We select the mosques that are surrounded by slums and below middle-class habitats,” said Mujtaba Hasan Askari of Helping Hand Foundation to 'The Federal'.
The free medical and educational facilities are being run in collaboration with various NGOs and other institutions like Sultan-ul-Uloom Educational Society, which provide free teachers, counsellors and doctors. Mosques only have to provide accommodation for these facilities.
Medical facilities are mostly availed by women and children. Gym and wellness programmes are helping women to fight diseases like polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Services like cancer screening and referring to big hospitals in case of need have also been introduced in health care. While in educational programmes career guidance, IT coaching centres and training programs for recruitment to various government jobs are being conducted.
Mosques have had a history of being the centre of social welfare and education. There was a gradual decline in this phenomenon and mosques limited itself to only prayers. Hyderabad is now witnessing a revival in this great tradition and transforming its mosques as social and educational hubs not only for Muslims but is also welcoming other communities.