There are various beautiful mosques around the world which are famous. Every mosque has its own specialty. Some have high-quality minarets, others have magnificent domes. Some other have a unique architectural design, and some mosques are famous for their material used in its construction.
1. Sheikh Zayed Mosque is named after the first president of U.A.E. and his burial was placed beside the mosque.
2. It is, located in Abu Dhabi, UAE is considered to be the best mosque architecture in the world. The main architect behind the design for this beautiful mosque is Yousef Abdel Ky, who is a Syrian architect.
3. The main idea behind this beautiful mosque was to build a place, which combines all the diversity of the Islamic world as well as the modern and historical architectural values of Islam. This mosque covers over the area of 30 acres.
This area excludes the car parking area and beautiful landscaping near the mosque. A huge amount of 2 Million Dirhams, (545 million US Dollars) was spent on the construction of this mosque.
4. The mosque was the dream project of Late President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan with a moto to ‘unite the world’ by using special material and calling artisans from around the world to build this beautiful place.
5. It was built as a monument to consolidate Islamic culture and a prominent center of Islamic sciences. According to his wish, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is also last resting place of its name giver, who sadly passed away in 2004.
6. It is known as “Grand” for a reason. It is the largest Mosque in the United Arab Emirates covering approximately 30 acres and took 11 years to build.
7. The carpet in the main prayer hall is the largest handmade carpet in the world, covering around 67,570 square feet.
With a total of 2,268,00 knots in the carpet, it is the largest in the world. Its estimated worth is about 30 million.
Colored in 25 natural colors, the green color is predominant as it was the favorite color of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. They have included into the carpet horizontal lines that are slightly raised over the primary carpet-height.
These are for their worshipper's alignment. The effect of the special knotting-technique is that the lines are not visible from a distance, but only for the worshippers.
In August 2007, the Iranian masterpiece was analyzed and brought to Abu Dhabi, where it was fixed together again in the mosque.
8. The Mosque has seven chandeliers, which are made out of crystals and Italian glass. One of these seven chandeliers is the second largest in the world.
9.After the first phase including foundations and the concrete structure, the mosque was finished with a decoration of Italian and Greek white marble, which is considered to be among the purest of the world.
10.In the interior design, calligraphers from the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Syria supervised the work of artists from all over the world. Verses from the Holy Quran are written in three different types of Arabic calligraphy.
The mosque's spectacularly decorated interior has unique plants designed specifically for the mosque, as well as verses for the Holy Quran.
In addition, the designers have also used mosaic to cover the entire courtyard of 17,000 square meters and thus it is considered among the largest open spaces in mosques worldwide.
11.Major international companies specialized in the manufacturing of crystal chandeliers decorated the mosque with seven gold-plated chandeliers in different sizes, made of Swarovski crystals. The largest of the lusters is also the largest in the world.
12.The chandelier present in the main prayer hall weighs about 12 tons and is one of the largest chandeliers used in a mosque. All chandeliers are made up of gilded stainless steel and brass using approximately 40 kg of 24 karats galvanized gold.
13.There are 96 marble pillars placed in the main prayer hall and each pillar has a floral design that is beautifully detailed with mother of pearls.
14.The courtyard of this mosque is one of the largest marble mosaics of the world and its entrance is jaw-dropping.
15.Artisans and material came from all over the world like the Marble came from Italy, and India and Macedonia. The Carpet was brought from Iran and New Zealand, Swarovski crystals came from Germany to build the chandeliers, and craftsmen were brought from Morocco, Algeria, India, and Pakistan.
The mosque holds the largest carpet in the world, which was built by Iranian Company and the wool came from New Zealand.
16.There are seven chandeliers hanged inside the mosque all made of Swarovski crystals. The largest chandelier of the mosque is the third largest chandelier in the world, made by a German company.
17.Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world. The building complex of the mosque covers an area of more than 12 hectares and measures about 290 meters (960 Ft) by 420 meters (1,380 Ft).
18.About 41,000 worshipers can worship at the same time in this mosque. The main prayer hall can accommodate approximately to 10,000 people.
19.The beautiful design of Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque minarets combines Ottoman, Mamluk, and Fatimid architectural styles.
20.There are 82 domes of different sizes at this mosque, with the largest one located in the center of the main prayer hall. The inner side of these domes contains traditional Moroccan artwork.
21.Sheikh Zayed Mosque has a unique lighting system designed to reflect the phases of the moon. There are 22 light towers which project soft clouds of a ‘bluish gray’ color in the exterior of the mosque. This light changes according to the moon phase every night.
22.The design of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque has been greatly inspired by Persian and Mughal architectural styles. The building is also influenced by the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque in, Egypt and Alexandria.
23.The complex covers an area of about 22,412 m2.
24.33,000 tons of steel and 250,000 m3 of concrete were used during construction. They lay on 6,500 foundation piles
25.The courtyard has a total of about 1,048 columns.
26.The mosque is always open for prayers all day long. For the non-muslim visitors, the visiting time is from 9 AM - 10 PM every day except Friday mornings. Visit timing can change during the holy month of Ramadan.
Guided tours are also organized by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA).
27. The pools along the arcade show the columns and compounds to its beauty. They look even more beautiful at night.
28.There is a prayer hall for ladies too, with a capacity of holding more than a thousand.
GENERAL TIPS FOR VISITING THE GRAND MOSQUE
29.The Grand Mosque is open for the public seven days a week from 9 am (except Fridays) until 10 pm – get in as early as possible in the day to avoid the heat and inevitable crowds.
30..Entrance is FREE of cost, you must only pass through security screening to enter.
31.The respectful dress must be properly worn inside the Grand Mosque grounds at all times. For everyone, this means long trousers and for women, your arms and head must also be covered.
32.If you are not well enough covered, there is a changing room available at security before entering the Mosque grounds. Women can rent abayas (full-length robes) or shayla's (a head covering only) free of charge here. Men with shorts above the knee may also be asked to rent a Kandura – white long-sleeved robe.
33.Try and arrive on time for a free guided tour. Conducted in English or Arabic by fabulously well versed Emirati volunteers, they will talk you through many of the important architectural features of the building and answer any of your questions.
34.You should be present before the tour start time to receive your headsets so arrive in plenty of time – you can freely tour the rest of the Mosque and grounds after your tour.
35.If you don’t take a guided tour, there is very few other signed information around the Grand Mosque. The few facts above will take you through with some basic knowledge if you’ve just come in for a lightning visit, but it really pays to do some research beforehand to get the most out of your trip and fully appreciate it’s grandeur.
36.The Grand Mosque is closed until 4.30 pm on a Friday as this is the holy day of the Islamic world.
37.There are a small coffee and gift shop on the grounds, but no other food or drinks are allowed inside the Grand Mosque itself. Feeding children outside the main courtyard are fine.
It is a must to visit the mosque, and it has a nostalgic feeling about it. All the above-mentioned features have made this mosque “The Best Mosque Architecture in The World”.