The history of the Abuja National Mosque began when the Federal Government of Nigeria, under His Excellency, President Shehu Aliyu Shagari made its intention to effect an early return to the new Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in 1981. Some prominent Muslims from all walks of life in Nigeria suggested that the Muslim community should organize themselves and solicit for and collect contributions from both domestic and foreign sources to erect a mosque edifice for a place of worship ? named the Abuja National Mosque? that would serve as a National Institution and a symbol of unity for the Nigerian Muslim Ummah. This idea was widely accepted and supported by the Nigerian Muslims. To pursue this noble goal and objective, the Abuja National Mosque Council was inaugurated under the distinguished chairmanship of the late Sultan of Sokoto, President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and Amirul-Mumunin,Sir AbubakarSaddiq III, GCON.
On 16th May, 1981, His Eminence, the late Sultan of Sokoto, Sir Abubakar Saddiq III, launched a formal appeal to raise funds for the construction of the Abuja National Mosque, at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos. Dignitaries including Honourable Ministers, Emirs, Obas, Chiefs, Members of the Diplomatic Corps and other distinguished personalities were present at the launching and the Federal Government was represented by the then President of the Senate, Dr. Joseph Wayas.
Construction work on the Abuja National Mosque began in 1982, with the former President, Alh. ShehuShagari, GCFR,TurakinSokoto, laying the foundation stone. And in 1991, the Mosque was formally commissioned by President Ibrahim Babangida, GCFR. The Mosque is comprised of the Main Mosque Building, Conference Hall, Library Complex, Offices for Principal Officers, Clinic and some limited accommodation and a Guest House for visiting scholars.
Executive Committee of the Council
The Abuja National Mosque Council, with representation from each State of the Federation, delegated the day-to-day running of its affairs for the implementation of this gigantic project to an Executive Committee under the chairmanship of late Maj. Gen.Shehu Musa Yar?adua (rtd) GCON, TafidanKatsina. A Committee of Scholars (the Ulama) to advicese on religious issues that may be referred to it from time to time was also established at about the same time. This Executive Committee served up to 8th September, 1990 when it was replaced with Abuja National Mosque Management Board.
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs during one of its NEC meetings, constituted the Abuja National Mosque Management Board to run the affairs of the Abuja National Mosque complex. The Board is made up of members representing the different geo-political zones of the Federation and Abuja. Three Ex-Officio members, a Chairman and four other appointed for their professional and technical expertise.
The Board was formally inaugurated by His Eminence, Alh. (Dr) Ibrahim Dasuki, the then Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs on 12th April, 1992.Presently, the Abuja National Mosque Management Board is under the chairmanship of His Royal Highness, Alh. Dr. YahayaAbubakar, CFR, EtsuNupe.
After the general renovation/rehabilitation of the Abuja National Mosque Complex, the focus of the Management Board shifted to finding ways of developing its landed property which will eventually be the source of revenue for the continued sustenance of the Mosque. Pursuant to the above, the Abuja National Mosque Management Board drew up a Developmental Plan as follows:
Discussions on the development of an Abuja City Plaza on Plot 99, have reached advanced stage. The proposed plaza is a 15-storey building to comprise the following:
(i) a Mall;
(ii) a 600 capacity Car-Park;
(iii) an Office Tower;
(iv) an Events Centre; and
(v) a Garden.
The Management Board identified a Developer, Archi-Hives Architect and Planners, with whom the Technical and Maintenance Committee of the Board held several meetings before the Board?s decision to consider their proposal on a Build-Operate-and-Transfer basis.The proposal is now being further discussed by the ANM Ltd., a subsidiary company of the National Mosque for all formalities and commencement of the project. It is our hope that as soon as praticable, work will commence on the site.
The above plot was allocated to the Mosque for the purpose of constructing a School. As part of its effort to encourage learning the Management Board has been working towards the actualization of having a school constructed on this plot, and towards this end, the Management Board has been discussing with a Developer. The proposed school will have a Nursery, Primary and Secondary education and will form the nuclea for an Islamic Research Institution
The Management Board submitted the necessary forms to the FCT Administration, to obtain a parcel of land for the purpose of participation in Mass Housing Scheme. Messrs Assets Management & Securities Services Company Limited, AMSSCO, have been discussing with the Management Board for the actualization of the project along with ANM Ltd as partners. The proposed 198 housing-unit project is broken down into the following units:
(i) 60 units of 4 bedroom Duplex
(ii) 80 units of 3 bedroom Duplex
(iii) 58 units of 3 bedroom Bungalow
As part of our plan to make the Mosque Self-reliant, the Management Board intends to construct modern Multi-Storey Corner shops within the Mosque premises to comprise the following:
iv. Business Centre;
v. Supermarket; and
In order to satisfy the travelling needs of people, the Management Board has registered a Travel Agency called ALMASJID Travel Agency and arrangements are being concluded for the take-off of the Agency. As a National Mosque, we are aware that a lot of Muslims would patronize the Travelling Agency when in full operation.
The Mosque is aware that the large population of Muslims in the FCT do not have adequate social places for holding religious activities, such as seminars, conferences, walimas, religious competition like recitation of the holy Qur?n, etc, hence the need for a large hall that can cater for this social occasions for the Muslim Ummah. The Mosque has a main Conference Hall of 600 participants and another of 200 participants strictly for Islamic religious activities/occasions at N160,000.00 and N100,000.00 per occasion respectively. This also assists as a source of revenue for the Mosque.
As part of effort to encourage learning, for Muslim brothers and sisters, the Mosque has established a library with a capacity for 120 readers which consists of both conventional and electronic sections. Donations of books and other library materials were received from some embassies and other individuals. A lot of readers have been benefiting from this Library, including University students, despite the fact that it is newly established. The library has both Male and Female sections. We want to use this medium to appeal for more of such donations.
In line with what is applicable in other International Mosques, the Abuja National Mosque has commissioned its own website: www.abujanationalmosque.com
This website grants access to our e-library and other activities of the Mosque
The Management Board is putting in place machinery to start a Newsletter that will only make publicits activities, but would also be an avenue for teaching and learning. Similarly, activities of other Islamic organizations would be carried by the newsletter.
The Mosque, apart from the routine religious activities, do receive many visitors, these include Christian Clerics and Muslim brothers/sisters from both within and outside the country. Prominent among them were the August Visitor from the Vatican in the person of Jean Cardinal Tauren, the Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria, Dr. Michael Spindelegger, Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Germany and Italy among others, who visited the Mosque in 2012. These visits contributed immensely in projecting the image of Islam and Nigeria positively in the International Community. A number of social activities such as marriages, special prayers for national and international events, local and international lectures and conferences including funeral prayers for the demised are conducted in the National Mosque on routine basis.
The Mosque has been contributing immensely in forging for understanding, dialogue and religious tolerance among people of different faiths. Towards this end, some Muslim and Christian faithful formed the Abuja Inter-Faith Peace Building Forum, with John Cardinal Onaiyekan andAlh. Ibrahim A.Jega the Executive Secretary of the Mosque as co-Chairmen. Furthermore, the Mosque has been coordinating other Islamic activities along with other organizations, such as Ufuk Dialogue Foundation towards peaceful co-existence through lectures and dialogues at both local and international fora. This forms the basis for the reversion of many non-Muslims to Islam.
As an annual event, the Mosque plays host to series of activities during the holy month of Ramadan, which include Tafsir for male and females, Taraweeh and Tahajud prayers, Iftar (breaking of fast) programmes, in collaboration with other Islamic organizations and philanthropists, such as Ufuk Dialogue Foundation, Maryam Babangida Foundation, the first Lady, Dame Patience Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the wife of the Vice-President, Hajiya Amina Namadi Sambo among others. Similarly, other Embassies/Missions sometimes participate in the gesture.
The Mosque as a centre of learning conduct series of programmes towards the teaching and learning of Islam. On daily and weekly basis Ta?lim (learning of religion) takes place in the Mosque, in the main Mosque and Library Hall respectively. On monthly basis, the Mosque collaborates with the Muslim Consultative Forum in organizing monthly lecture on topical issues that take place in the Conference Hall. Similarly other distinguished scholars such as Sheikh Ibrahim Saleh, Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi, Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Zak-Zaky, Sheikh Khalid Yasin and other international Scholars contribute to promote learning through their lectures.