World’s Most Beautiful Mosques

Middle East Contributor

Mosques are not only beautiful, sacred places for Muslims to pray and worship, but they also feature stunning and majestic architecture. While every mosque is designed differently by mankind, essentially one would find its facades dressed in crowning domes, mosaics, and spiraling towers. Ceilings are usually decorated in gorgeous kaleidoscopic colors.

Historically speaking, the first-ever mosque was the mosque of Quba’ in Madeenah al-Munawwarah, built by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his Companions.

Since then, the mosque offers prayers to Muslims. The Prophet (PBUH) made it a habit to come to Quba Mosque every Saturday on foot or by riding his camel to offer two rak’aat prayers. In the past centuries,  the mosque has been renovated by a number of caliphs. The Quba mosque today has been expanded to fully equip four minarets, 56 domes and adjoined to it is the residence of Imams and muezzins, a library, commercial center with 12 shops, and has built 64 toilets for men, 32 toilets for women and 42 units for ablution.

The spread of Islam has fostered the proliferation of mosques around the world. When traveling across the world, make time to visit some of the most exquisite mosques in the world as these holy marvels offer incredible insights.

Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca

This is the largest mosque in the world. The Great Mosque of Mecca also known as the Al-Haram Mosque becomes the destination for millions of Muslims to perform the pilgrimage or Hajj, known as the fifth and final pillar of Islam. This stunning mosque is said to be able to accommodate up to three million of worshippers in one sitting! The most sacred Kaaba, a 49-foot tall cube covered by a black silk cloth can be found in the rectangular courtyard of the mosque.

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Al-Masjid an-Nabawi Mosque in Medina

This mosque was also built by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which is located in Medina, Saudi Arabia. This mosque holds a special place in the hearts of Muslims because this is the second most important holy site, after Al-Haram mosque. The original Nabawi mosque was an open-air building made with only palm trunks, beaten clay and palm leaves. In 1909, it became the first place in Saudi Arabia to have electricity. Now the mosque has a flat paved roof topped with 27 sliding domes.

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Sultan Ahmed Mosque (The Blue Mosque) in Istanbul, Turkey

Equally stunning inside and out, the design of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is said to be the culmination of two centuries of both Ottoman mosque and the Byzantine church developments. The mosque faces Hagia Sophia and is famous for its intricate blue tile work. There are some 20,000 blue tiles that feature various abstract patterns.

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Nasir Al Molk in Iran

Travelers have described the mosque as one that appears as a traditional house of worship from the outside. But visitors will likely be surprised by the gorgeous colorful secret it hides inside the mosque. There is a multitude of stained glass in the mosque, which turns it into a breathtaking colorful sight when sunlight hits it. One should visit the mosque in the morning to witness the brilliance of this light.

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Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

This mosque was constructed in 2007 and was named after the former ruler of Abu Dhabi.  The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque stands out as one of the world’s largest mosques and one that captures unique interactions between Islam and world cultures. This mosque is also home to the world’s biggest chandelier and carpet, both of which were both meticulously handmade by 1,200 artisans.  The mosque’s open-door policy invites tourists from all around the world to witness the spectacular architecture.

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Shah Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan

The shape of this mosque is pretty unique as it can pass for a launchpad for space exploration. The design of the Shah Faisal Mosque is actually inspired by a Bedouin’s tent. Nestled at the foot of Margalla Hills situated in the north of Islamabad, Pakistan, the main prayer hall and courtyard is said to hold around 100,000 people. Non-muslim visitors are welcome to visit.


Crystal Mosque in Malaysia

Located in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, this grand structure is made of steel, glass, and crystal. Its overall design gives the mosque a futuristic appearance. The mosque was constructed between 2006 and 2008 and can accommodate over 1,500 worshippers at a time. The best time to visit the mosque is in the evening when it lights up in different colors. The mosque has an open-door policy, attracting tourists from all over the world. Just be sure to put on the robes and scarves provided, and remove your shoes before entry.

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