• Nizamiye Turkish Masjid, Johannesburg, South Africa

    Nizamiye Turkish Masjid, Johannesburg, South Africa

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    Nizamiye Musjid, often called the Nizamiye Mosque, is a mosque situated in the city of Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. It is the biggest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere, occupying 10 hectares of land.The plans for the mosque were originally designed in Turkey. However, a South African architect adapted the design to South African building standards. Construction began in October 2009 and was completed in 2012.

    Ali Katırcıoğlu, a Turkish businessman, planned to build Ottoman-styled architecture in places where it was absent. Failing to acquire a suitable location in the USA, the project was moved to South Africa. This move was advised by Fethullah Gulen.

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    Work began on the project on 1 October 2009 and was officially inaugurated by the South African President Jacob Zuma on 4 October 2012.

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    The Nizamiye Complex (Turkish: Nizamiye Külliyesi) has several institutions besides the masjid and serves as a community center with its several halls and facilities.

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    Musjid

    Construction on Nizamiye Masjid began in October 2009 and was completed in 2012. The basic plan of the masjid was adopted from the 16th-century Ottoman Selimiye Mosque. This mosque, located in Edirne, Turkey was designed by Mimar Sinan. Nizamiye Masjid was scaled to the Selimiye Mosque by a ratio of 80%. The plans for the mosque were designed in Turkey and adapted by a South African architect to South African building standards.

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    The Mosque has a main dome that is 31m high and 24m wide. There are an additional 4 half domes and 21 smaller domes. The main dome is covered with 48 tons of lead. Inside the mosque are authentic Turkish ceramics on the walls and calligraphy on the ceiling. The dome is patterned with Turkish art and the custom-made carpet below is a reflection of it. There are 4 minarets that are 55m high, which have stairs that go up to three platforms. There are 232 stained glass windows.

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    Up to 6000 people can be accommodated per service within the facilities of the central prayer hall for men and the prayer gallery for women. There are five wudhu facilities in one of the court yards. On special occasions the mosque is lit up in luminescent green and purple at night.

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    Schools

    Nizamiye School was opened in January 2012 and can accommodate up to 850 pupils.The school’s curriculum offers Islamic studies which are incorporated in the South African secular education syllabus.The classes are given in English but Arabic and Turkish are also taught. The school is open to the general public, but advises that scholars observe Islam due to its curriculum. A renowned educator, Isakh Turan, has been appointed as the school’s principal.The school has boarding facilities for around 300 boys.

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    Clinic

    Nizamiye Clinic offers health care services in 10 different areas for those without the need for an overnight stay. It is open to the general public. Ali Katircioglu, financier of the Nizamiye complex, added the clinic to the property on the request of Nelson Mandela.

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    Market

    The bazaar section of the complex has 13 shops, whose revenue is used in part for expenses of the mosque.

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    University

    Nizamiye University (Nizamiye Medresesi in Turkish) will be a home of Islamic higher education. Currently, the facilities are under construction.

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    Cemetery

    Nizamiye Cemetery is a private cemetery governed by the complex foundation. It is situated at a corner of the mosque, which can be viewed from inside. The remains of Mehmet Remzi Efendi (a decorated Ottoman Turkish diplomat appointed to the Ottoman Embassy in South Africa in April 1914 and died under British arrest in 1916) was moved to the cemetery and became the first person to be buried there.

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