Vistas of al-Jami al-Anwar in all its breath-taking glory never fail to inspire!
An appreciation of this glory increases when we remember that His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA, ably assisted by his successor, His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS revived and restored this historic masjid, formerly ravaged by man, natural calamity and time, in a mere 27 months. “Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA categorized the many facets of restoring al-Jami al-Anwar into seven stages.
1. Cleaning and excavation
2. Recording and documentation
3. In-depth research
4. Survey of architectural development
6. Construction and completion
7. Ornamentation” (extracted from ‘al-Jami al-Anwar- the Luminous Masjid’, page 56)
Achieving this result in the best of circumstances would be considered miraculous. Hence, this outcome was all the more incredible when we consider that the restoration was such a monumental task that not even national or international organizations with vast resources considered undertaking. Negotiating permissions, conducting meticulous research, garnering human and material resources and removing almost 29000 cubic metres of sediment and earth from the masjid premises were just some of the works to be accomplished before construction could begin. Furthermore, all of this needed to be achieved in the challenging, relatively unfamiliar at the time Egyptian socio-administrative context.
Even today, this momentous achievement has the potential to inspire all who feel they face insurmountable odds while trying to achieve their goals. Especially, in present times, when there is hardly an individual whose life has not been complicated by new challenges, the 27 months in which al-Jami al-Anwar was restored to its original grandeur motivate us all to strengthen our resolve, reorient ourselves to our goals and unceasingly persevere until we reach them.
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