On the occasion of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia on Friday, King Salman approved construction of the King Salman project at the International Islamic University (IIU) in Islamabad.
The $32 million project will be spread across 41,200 square metres. It includes a mosque overlooking an outdoor garden spread over 8,500 square metres, a library and museum named after King Salman, a conference hall named after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, an administrative area and car park.
The King Salman mosque will be located at the university's campus and will be able to accommodate up to 12,000 people, 4,000 in the men’s prayer hall and 2,000 in the women’s wing. The outdoor yard will accommodate groups of up to 6,000 people.
The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation said the King Salman mosque project "strengthens the historical ties between the Kingdom and Pakistan".
The president of the International Islamic University of Pakistan, Hathal Al Otaibi, said the project is "a continuation of the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's rulers throughout the years in supporting the Islamic world".
It will include a research and cultural centre for scholars and students according to Dr Muhammad Masoom Yasinzai, professor and rector of IIU.
The focus of the cultural centre will be on Islamic culture and heritage as well as providing online Arabic language courses.
Dr Yasinzai said Saudi Arabia would provide 250 scholarships for Pakistani students.
The mosque's design is unique and inspired by a chapter in the Quran, he said.
"The design is inspired by verse number 35 of Surat An-Nur in the Quran: 'God is the light of the heavens and the earth'."