We are all familiar with the word “mosque” which originated from the Arabic word “masjid”; however, we are not all aware of the biggest mosques in the world. Accommodating thousands of followers in one single prayer and with wide spread compounds these places are centres that have become quite famous in the world for religious trips. Let us have glance at the list of top ten largest mosques in the world.
So with out further ado, here’s the list:
1. Masjid al-Haram
This is the largest mosque in the world and is situated in Mecca. It covers 99 acres or 400,800 square meters. This area includes both the indoor as well as outdoor spaces which are occupied by the people during prayers. It can accommodate at least 4 million people.
2. Al-Masjid al-Nabawi
Al-Masjid al-Nabawi is often referred to as the Prophet’s Mosque, is a mosque situated in the city of Medina. As the final resting place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, it is considered the second holiest site in Islam by Shia and Sunni Muslims (the first being the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca) and is the second largest mosque in the world.
The site was originally adjacent to Muhammad’s house. It is believed that he settled there after his Hijra to Medina in 622. The original mosque was an open-air building. The basic plan of the building was adopted in the building of other mosques throughout the world.
The mosque is also a community center, a court, and a religious school. There was a raised platform for the people who taught the Quran. Subsequent Islamic rulers greatly expanded and decorated it. In 1909, it became the first place in the Arabian Peninsula to be provided with electrical lights. The mosque is under the control of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
3. Istiqlal Mosque
This mosque is also known as Masjid Istiqlal and is located in Jakarta. It is the third largest mosque in the world and the largest in Southeast Asia. It was built to mark Indonesia’s independence.
4. Hassan II Mosque
This mosque is situated in Casablanca and is the largest in Morocco. It was designed by Michel Pinseau- a French architect. It is built on a peninsula overlooking the Atlantic which is visible through the massive glass floor. The mosque can hold 105,000 people and its minaret is 689 feet tall.
5. Faisal Mosque
The Faisal Mosque was built by Vedat Dalokay- a well-known Turkish architect. The design is very unique and the elements that are used merge the traditional and contemporary style. The Mosque has four minarets which are very thin and a triangular prayer hall. Unlike other Mosques, it does not have a dome.
6. Badashahi Mosque
This mosque is also known as the King’s Mosque and is located in Lahore. It is a very famous landmark and is visited by tourists from around the world. The Mosque is said to stand for the passion, grandeur and beauty of the Mughal era. It can accommodate over 100,000 people and the four minarets are all 13.9 feet tall.
7. Sheikh Zayed Mosque
This Mosque is situated in Abu Dhabi and was built to honor the first president of the U.A.E who is buried in the Mosque. The Tourism Authority declared recently that everybody, even non-Muslims, can visit the Mosque. The aim here is to promote cultural understanding amongst different religions.
8. Jama Masjid
This Mosque is located in Old Delhi and was commissioned by Shah Jahan. It was fully built in 1656 AD and is very popular in India. The Mosque can accommodate 25,000 people at a time.
9. Baitul Mukarram
This Mosque is located in Bangladesh and was built during the 1960s. It can hold over 30,000 worshippers which is why it gets overcrowded very often. Since the situation would become difficult to handle during Ramadan, the Government extended the Mosque which can now hold at 40,000 people.
10. Imam Reza Shrine
This Mosque is located in Iran and holds the tomb of Imām Ridhā. The Mosque also contains a museum, the Goharshad Mosque, a library, a cemetery, a dining hall, four seminaries and the Razavi University of Islamic Sciences along with other buildings. It is visited by tourists from around the globe and covers 6,443,890 square feet.