Mosque or Masjid is a vivid instance of Islamic architecture. It is a symbolic sacred place where all the followers of Islam gather to offer prayer to their Allah. The main significant characteristic of a mosque is a huge dome on the top and numbers of slim towers which are known as minarets, the Mihrab (the ornamental arch in the prayer hall that point out the direction of qibla), an elaborated prayer hall where hundreds of devotees can sit on the floor.
Apart from this, there is a Minbar, which is a high platform from where speeches are delivered. So a mosque is a combination of art and culture that represent the Islam religion on the whole. Mosques were first to get it shape in Arabian Peninsula, but now it can be found in most of the countries of the world. Here we are going to discuss some of the beautiful mosque, which is not only a place of worship, but it has architectural values.
12. DOME OF THE ROCK MOSQUE, JERUSALEM
Dome of the Rock is a noteworthy shrine for Islam religion at Jerusalem. This beautiful mausoleum can be viewed from all parts of the Jerusalem. The golden dome looks like a crown of this edifice. Though it is a holy place for Muslims, it is not a mosque. It was built in between 685 and 691 CE; this was considered as the first piece of art work. The curved wooden dome is 20 meters in diameter, and it is located at the height of 30 metres from the stone platform. There is a circular arcade of four pillars and 12 columns. The exterior is beautifully decorated with blue and gold tiles.
11. Faisal Mosque Islamabad – Pakistan
Situated at the foothills of Margalla Hills in Islamabad, Pakistan the design of this mosque represents contemporary architecture which comprised of eight side concrete shells. The design resembles like a Bedouin tent-like structure. It is the biggest mosque in South-East Asia and counted as the fourth largest mosque in the world. The total area covered by the structure is almost 54,000 sq.ft, and the mosque has created a beautiful landscape view. It was built by King Feisal Bin Abdul-Aziz, and the architecture has been designed by a Turkish architect.
10. The blue mosque, Istanbul
The Sultan Ahmed mosque is popularly known as blue mosque, which is situated in Istanbul. This mosque is still working condition, and many Muslims devotes gather here to offer their prayer. It was constructed between 1609 and 1615 at the ruling period of Sultan Ahmed 1. The mosque got its name as, “blue mosque”, as it has been adorned by hand painted blue tiles in the interior. There are five main doms, which has been decorated with lights and during the night, it turned into magnificent bluish colour with the lighting. Apart from this, the mosque has six minarets and eight secondary domes to support the whole construction. Inside the mosque, there is a Mihrab, which has been curved and sculpted from marble. The architecture of this mosque has been made in a way that each and everyone can hear and see the imam, even at the most crowded time.
9. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
It is situated in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of United Arab Emirates, this mosque require a special mention in this list according to its architectural value and beautiful construction. The total area covered by this grand mosque is 30 acres. The design has been built with the concept of Mughal, Persian and Moorish architecture. With marble stones. There is a decoration of ceramics, gold’s, and precious crystals in the exterior and interior part of this mosque. Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque has the largest carpet in the world, which is a special feature. Over 7000 person can sit together at a time for prayer in the big prayer hall, and 1500 men can sit here at the same time in the two smaller halls. So this mosque can make space for 40,000 worshipers. There is a unique lightning system that has made it even more beautiful.
8. Al Farooq Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque and Centre – Dubai
Located in Dubai, in United Arab Emirates, this Mosque has been named after Sultan Umar Bin Al Khattab. He was the companion of Prophet Muhammad and became the second caliph after Abu Bakr. The mosque was renovated in 20o3 and 2011 and opened for the all to meet up the gap between visitors and local publics. This mosque is serving a great lesson of harmony, peace, modern and old values, tolerance and creativity. In short, it is a great place to learn about Islamic culture. The total area covered almost 93,400 sq.ft, and the capacity to accommodate people at a time is 2000. Inspired by the design of Blue Mosque, it has 21 domes, 124 stained glass windows and four minarets in the exterior side. There is hand sculpted inscription can be seen inside the mosque walls, which has been created by 60 Moroccan artists. Moreover, there are a library, youth club and lecture hall, where Arab lessons are given at free of cost.
7. BURSA GRAND MOSQUE, TURKEY
One of the splendid Mosques which has been built in Seljuk architecture style. It is situated in Bursa, Turkey and the foundation stone laid in order of Ottoman Sultan Bayezid 1. The mosque gets constructed in the year 1396 and 1399. The outer shape is rectangular with 20 domes placed in four or five rows, supported by 12 columns. There are two minarets and 192 walls inside the mosque. On the wall, there is inscription written by Ottoman Calligraphers. This Mosque is one of the instances of Islamic Calligraphy in the world. The design was the brainchild of an architect, Ali Becker. Inside the Mosque premises, there are two fountains where the worshiper can perform Ablution, before prayer. The spacious design of the Bursa Grand Mosque and the faded interior lighting enable the worshiper to pray in a peaceful ambiance.
6. AL AQSA MOSQUE – JERUSALEM, PALESTINE
Al Aqsa mosque is recognised as the third holiest site in Islam Religion. The Muslims believed that Their Prophet Mohammed came here on his way to Mecca during the night journey. It is located in Jerusalem, Palestine. In the beginning, it was small premises, but after getting renovated, it expands and gets its reformed shape in 705 B.C. It is rectangular and covers 380,000 sq.ft. Area. It can hold space for 5,000 worshipers at a time. It was damaged by several earthquakes. So the original architecture had to be rebuilt repeatedly. The dome which we can see now on the top was built by Az-Zahir, made of wood with enamel work on it in 1969. Inside the mosque, there are 21 stained glass windows and the whole structure is supported by 45 columns. The main ablution fountain, called Al-Kas (the cup), situated to the north of the mosque facing the Dome of the Rock. This mosque has been considered as the second holy place for Muslims.
5. HASSAN II MOSQUE – MOROCCO
The world famous Mosque is known as HASAN II MOSQUE or GRANDE MOSQUE HASAN II. It is located in Casablanca, Morocco. Being the largest Mosque in Morocco and 13th largest in the world, it has the tallest Minaret, (689ft). The mosque got its full shape in 1993, and it was designed by Mitchell Pinseau. There is laser light fitted on the top of the Minarets (60 stories height) and the direction of the direction of light facing the Mecca. The walls of this mosque are hand crafted from Marble with a retractable roof. Almost 1, 05,000 devotees can assemble for prayer. The construction has been built on land and over the Atlantic Ocean. The mosque was built in 191 after the death of King Mohammad V when King Hassan II wished to all the artisan to design a mausoleum.
To show honour to their beloved King. It is no doubt a landmark monument in Morocco.
4. SULTAN OMAR ALI SAIFUDDIN MOSQUE – BRUNEI
It is an Islamic Mosque, and it is located in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city of Sultanate of Brunei. The mosque is named after Omar Ali Saifuddin III, who was the 28th Sultan of Brunei. He took all his initiative to construct the mosque, which is now the symbol of Islamic faith in Brunei and prevails over the skyline of Brunei. The design has been outlined by architect and sculptor Rodolfo Nalli. We can see the combination of Mughal and Malaya style in the architecture of the mosque. There are marble minarets and golden domes, a country yard and surrounded by abundant greenish. The most important feature of this mosque is the main dome, which is made of pare gold.
3. ZAHIR MOSQUE – KEDAH, MALAYSIA
The Zahir Mosque situated at Kedah, Malaysia, comes in the list of beautiful Mosques as it is the oldest mosque in Malaysia. It was built in 1912 in the city of Alor Setar, the capital city of Malaysia. Inspired by the concept of design introduced by the Late Sultan MUHAMMAD Jiwa Zainal Abidin II, this is one of the examples of distinct architecture and sculpture work of Malay-Islamic Art style. There are five big black domes on the top, symbolise the five pillars of Islam religion. It is considered to be the official Mosque of Malaysia and venue for the local Muslims to offer their regular prayers. Every year an annual Coran reading competition held here, where lots of competitors take part. Moreover, it is the Burial site of the warriors of Kedah, who lost their lives when protecting the country from the Siamese in 1821.
2. AL NABAWI MOSQUE, MEDINA, SAUDI ARABIA
Coming to the second of the list, here we are going to talk about the Al Nabawi Mosque, Medina, Saudi Arabia, Which is the Second holiest shrine for the followers of the Islamic religion. This is world famous as it was established and lived by the Prophet Mohammed himself. One of the important facts about this mosque that it remains open all the year round. The site of this mosque is just beside Mohammad’s home, and he lived there after getting his emigration to Medina in 622 CE. It is said that he had given labour in this construction work. It’s a pilgrimage for HAJJ GOERS. The mosque is two tired rectangular. There is south facing prayer hall and flat on the roof top with 27 sliding dome shape architecture. The sunlight gets through the holes of the domes and lightened the interiors. In the centre, there is a green dome where the tomb of Prophet Mohammad situated.
1. AL HARAM MOSQUE, MECCA
On the top of our list we have the world’s most beautiful mosques, there is a place of holiest shrine for every Muslims, and is the AL HARAM MOSQUE, MECCA. In the centre of this mosque, there is a building known as KABBA. The sacred site in ISLAM is considered as the “HOUSE OF GOD”. The Muslims used to face to Kabba from where they are praying. The direction that is facing to Kaaba is known as Qiblah. During the annual pilgrimage held at Mecca, known as Hajj millions of Muslims gathered here from different parts of the world. It is a dream of a Muslim to perform Hajj at least once in a lifetime.
WE have tried our best to represent some of the world’s most beautiful Mosques, which has cultural and architectural value. All of the above mentioned Mosques has secured a special mention in Islamic Culture.