Mosque is a place of worship for Muslims. Mosque stems from the Arabic word masjid, meaning the place of worship. Any act of worship that follows the Islamic rules of prayer can be said to create a mosque, whether or not it takes place in a special building.
Other than Al – Aqsa Mosque, Nabawi Mosque and Masjidil Haram, below is the top 5 beautiful mosques in the world for you to visit!
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque stands out as one of the world’s largest mosques, and the only one that captures unique interactions between Islam and world cultures. Sheikh Zayed’s vision for the Grand Mosque was to incorporate architectural styles from different Muslim civilizations and celebrate cultural diversity by creating a haven that is truly diverse and inspirational in its foundation.
The mosque’s architects were British, Italian and Emirati, and design inspiration was parts of Turkey, Morocco, Pakistan, and Egypt among other Islamic countries, revealing a glistening architectural marvel with an astonishing capacity of 40,000 worshipers and visitors. The construction started in 1996 and took 12 years to complete at the reported cost of around $545 million. Now the third-largest mosque in the world at 22,412 square meters, it covers an area equivalent to nearly four football fields.
The open-door policy invites people from all around the world who can witness the spectacular onion-top domes, the reflective pools that engulf the courtyard and the iconic prayer hall. The design of this mosque which not only overflows with blissful sunlight, but also houses the world’s biggest chandelier and carpet, both meticulously handmade. Furthermore, calligraphy encircling the hollows of the domes, etched with verses from the Quran and painted with gold leaves in An-Naskh lettering.
The Sultanahmet Camii, Istanbul
The mosque also known as the Blue Mosque because of blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior design. It is the most important mosque of Istanbul standing next to the Byzantine Hippodrome in the old city center.
Mosque was built during the rule of Sultan Ahmed I, when he was only 19 years old. The construction of the mosque began in 1609 and completed in 1616 on the site of the palace of the Byzantine emperors, facing the Hagia Sophia and the Hippodrome, a site of great symbolic significance. The interior of the mosque is lined with more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles, which were produced in İznik, and represent the cultural and artistic zenith of the Ottoman Empire.
Qolşärif Mosque, Kazan
Qolşärif was a massive place of worship in the town and was famed to be the largest mosque in Europe. Qolşärif Mosque was first constructed in the 16th century in the Muslim-dominated Khanate of Kazan, different from ethnic Russians, and spoke the Tatar language and practiced Islam. Built early in the 16th century, the Mosque was a symbol of Tatar strength in the era. Unfortunately in 1552, Ivan the Terrible stormed the city and destroyed the monumental mosque and eventually conquered Kazan.
The reconstruction of Qolşärif began in 1996 and completed in 2005. Qolşärif is not a single building, but a whole complex, consisting of three parts; a mosque, a memorial stone and an administrative building. The total land area, which occupies the mosque is 19,000 square meters. The mosque is two-tiered, with the upper level reserved for worship, and the lower for museum excursions. The complex also has two pavilions and ornamental pools. With soaring teal-topped minarets and whitewashed arches, the new mosque connects the old Kazan Khanate with modern Russian and Islamic architecture, and serves to keep the memory of the 16th century mosque alive.
The Great Mosque of Córdoba
Known locally as Mezquita-Catedral, the Great Mosque of Córdoba is one of the oldest structures and one of the finest examples of Moorish architecture.Although the building was originally a 6th century Catholic church, when the Islamic world spread to Spain in the 8th century, it became one of 300 European mosques built to rival the splendors of Constantinople and Damascus. Divided into Muslim and Christian halves in 711, it was converted back into a Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century.
The grand mosque of Córdoba is most notable for its giant arches and its forest of over 856 of an original 1,293 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, and granite. These were taken from the Roman temple which had previously occupied the site and other destroyed Roman buildings. The famous alternating red and white voussoirs of the arches were inspired by those in the Dome of the Rock and also resemble those of the Aachen Cathedral, which were built almost at the same time.
In 1984, the historic center of Cordoba, including the Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, was made a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Mohamed Ali Mosque, Cairo
The great mosque of Mohamed Ali was designed by the Turkish architect Yousif Boushnaq, who designed it just like mosques in Turkey and was was established by Mohammed Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848. It is the largest Ottoman mosque to be built in the first half of the 19th century. It is also called the Alabaster Mosque reliance on the gorgeous alabaster stone quarried from Beni Suef.
The Mosque is composed of four stone facades. The northeastern facade is the main one of the mosque. The eastern section consists of the prayer hall and the western section of the mosque contains a courtyard, which is surrounded by four colonnades. The colonnades’ arches are supported by marble columns. The main material used in building this mosque was limestone. There is a central dome that has 6 medallions around it that has the name of Allah and his prophet Muhammed and four semicircular domes around the central dome, which are painted and gives the feeling of relief.
The eastern section is the part that was dedicated to prayer. It is square in shape, each side measuring 41 meters, and has a roof with a central dome resting on four large arches supported by massive piers. Surrounding the big central dome there are four half domes, while there are four more small domes covering the corners.
The western section is a large open courtyard is about 54 meters in length and 53 meters in width, surrounded by a single arched riwaq, and showcases naves raised on pillars and roofed with small domes. In the middle of the courtyard, there is the octagonal ablution fountain covered by a large leaded domed canopy resting on 8 pillars with natural ornaments. This type of fountain was created for sacred washing during religious ceremonies.