Top Ten Mosques

Top Ten Mosques
Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca3

  1. Al-Haram Mosque and the Kaaba, Mecca, Saudi Arabia
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           Regarded as the holiest place on Earth by Muslims, the Al-Masjid Al-Haram Mosque, “The Sacred Mosque” the largest mosque in the world. Located in the city of Mecca, it surrounds the Kaaba, the place which Muslims worldwide turn towards while offering daily prayers and is Islam’s holiest place. The mosque is also known as the Grand Mosque. The current structure covers an area of 4,008,020 square m (990.40 acres) including the outdoor and indoor praying spaces and can accommodate up to 4 million Muslim worshippers during the Hajj period, one of the largest annual gatherings of people in the world.
    Links: Top Ten Saudi Arabian Attractions, Top Ten Spiritual Destinations on Earthhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Haram_Mosque,
  2. Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

           The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is a historical mosque in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and the capital of the Ottoman Empire (from 1453 to 1923). The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built between 1609 and 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. While still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction.
    Links: Top Ten Turkish Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan_Ahmed_Mosque,
  3. Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

           Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the 8th largest mosque in the world. It is named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and the first President of the United Arab Emirates, who is also buried there. The mosque was officially opened in the Islamic month of Ramadan in 2007.
    Links: Top Ten UAE Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheikh_Zayed_Mosque,
  4. Omayyad Mosque

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  5. Masjid Nabawi. Medina, Saudi Arabia

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    Links: Top Ten Saudi Arabian Attractions, 
  6. The Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain

           The Cathedral and former Great Mosque of Córdoba, in ecclesiastical terms the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption), and known by the inhabitants of Córdoba as the Mezquita-Catedral (Mosque–Cathedral), is the cathedral of the Diocese of Córdoba. It is located in the Andalusian city of Córdoba, Spain. The site was originally a pagan temple, then a Visigothic Christian church, before the Umayyad Moors at first converted the building into a mosque and then built a new mosque on the site. After the Spanish Reconquista, it once again became a Roman Catholic church, with a plateresque cathedral later inserted into the center of the large Moorish building. The Mezquita is regarded as the one of the most accomplished monuments of Islamic architecture. It was described by the poet Muhammad Iqbal: “Sacred for lovers of art, you are the glory of faith, You have made Andalusia pure as a holy land!” Since the early 2000’s, Spanish Muslims have lobbied the Roman Catholic church to allow them to pray in the cathedral. The Muslim campaign has been rejected on multiple occasions, by both Spanish Catholic authorities, and the Vatican. In 2010 there was a violent incident over the matter.
    Links: Top Ten Spanish Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Mosque_of_C%C3%B3rdoba,
  7. Cairo Mosque

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  8. Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, Pakistan

           The Badshahi Mosque or the ‘King’s Mosque’ was commissioned by the 6th Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671 and completed in 1673. Epitomizing the beauty, passion and grandeur of the Mughal era, it is Lahore’s most famous landmark and a major tourist attraction. Capable of accommodating 5,000 worshippers in its main prayer hall and a further 95,000 in its courtyard and porticoes, it remained the largest mosque in the world from 1673 to 1986 (a period of 313 years), when overtaken in size by the completion of the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. Today, it remains the 2nd largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia and the 5th largest mosque in the world after the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) of Mecca, the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Prophet’s Mosque) in Medina, the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca and the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. To appreciate its large size, the four minarets of the Badshahi Mosque are 13.9 ft (4.2 m) taller than those of the Taj Mahal and the main platform of the Taj Mahal can fit inside the 278,784 sq ft (25,899.9 square m) courtyard of the Badshahi Mosque, which is the largest mosque courtyard in the world.
    Links: Top Ten Pakistani Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badshahi_Masjid,
  9. Al-Azhar Mosque, Cairo, Egypt

           Al-Azhar Mosque (“mosque of the most resplendent”) is a mosque in Islamic Cairo in Egypt. Al-Mu‘izz li-Dīn Allāh of the Fatimid Caliphate commissioned its construction for the newly established capital city in 970. Its name is usually thought to allude to the Islamic prophet Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah, a revered figure in Islam who was given the title az-Zahrā’ (“the shining one”). It was the first mosque established in Cairo, a city that has since gained the nickname “the city of a thousand minarets.” After its dedication in 972, and with the hiring by mosque authorities of 35 scholars in 989, the mosque slowly developed into what is today the 2nd oldest continuously run university in the world after Al Karaouine. Al-Azhar University has long been regarded as the foremost institution in the Islamic world for the study of Sunni Ash’ari theology and sharia, or Islamic law. The university, integrated within the mosque as part of a mosque school since its inception, was nationalized and officially designated an independent university in 1961, following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. Over the course of it’s over a millennium-long history, the mosque has been alternately neglected and highly regarded. Because it was founded as an Ismā’īli institution, Saladin and the Sunni Ayyubid dynasty that he founded shunned al-Azhar, removing its status as a congregational mosque and denying stipends to students and teachers at its school. These moves were reversed under the Mamluk Sultanate, under whose rule numerous expansions and renovations took place. Later rulers of Egypt showed differing degrees of deference to the mosque and provided widely varying levels of financial assistance, both to the school and to the upkeep of the mosque. Today, al-Azhar remains a deeply influential institution in Egyptian society and a symbol of Islamic Egypt.
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Azhar_Mosque,
  10. Shāh Chérāgh
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          Shāh Chérāgh is a funerary monument and mosque in Shiraz, Iran, housing the tomb of the brothers Ahmad and Muhammad, sons of Mūsā al-Kādhim and brothers of ‘Alī ar-Ridhā. The two took refuge in the city during the Abbasid persecution of Shia Muslims.
    Links: Top Ten Iranian Attractions, Top Ten Dome Interiors, Top Ten Domeshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sh%C4%81h_Ch%C3%A9r%C4%81gh,
  11. Salimiye Masjid

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  12. Faisal Mosque, Islamabad

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  13. Imām Ridhā Mosque

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  14. Bonus: Malacca Straits Mosque, Malaysia
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           The Malacca Straits Mosque is a mosque located on the man-made Malacca Island near Malacca Town in Malacca state, Malaysia. It looks like a floating structure if the water level is high. Construction cost of the mosque is about MYR10 million. The Opening Ceremony was on November 24, 2006 by the Supreme Ruler of Malaysia (Yang di-Pertuan Agong) Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail.
    Links: Top Ten Malaysian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malacca_Straits_Mosque,
  15. Khatem Al Anbiyaa Mosque

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  16. Nur-Astana Mosque

           The Nur-Astana Mosque, is a mosque located in the city of Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. It is the largest mosque of Kazakhstan and the biggest mosque in Central Asia. The 40-meter height symbolizes the age of the Prophet Muhammad of when he received the revelations, and the height of the minarets is 63 meters, the age Muhammad was when he died. The mosque is located at the left riverbank in the city of Astana, construction first started in March 2005. The mosque was a gift in accordance with the agreement of the Kazakhstan President, Nursultan Nazarbayev and the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa. It has a capacity of 5,000 worshipers inside the mosque, including 2,000 for worshippers outside the mosque.
    Links: Top Ten Kazakhstani Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nur-Astana_Mosque,
  17. Kiarong Mosque

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  18. Bonus: Great Mosque Samarra

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  19. Bonus: Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Brunei

           Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque is a royal Islamic mosque located in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of the Sultanate of Brunei. The mosque is one of the most spectacular mosques in the Asia Pacific and a major landmark and tourist attraction of Brunei. Named after Omar Ali Saifuddien III, the 28th Sultan of Brunei, the mosque as a symbol of the Islamic faith in Brunei dominates the skyline of Bandar Seri Begawan. The building was completed in 1958 and is an impressive example of modern Islamic architecture. The mosque unites Mughal architecture and Italian styles. The plans were done by Booty and Edwards Chartered Architects according to designs by the Italian architect Cavaliere Rudolfo Nolli, who had already for decades been working at the gulf of Siam. The mosque is built in an artificial lagoon on the banks of the Brunei River at Kampong Ayer, the “village in the water.” It has marble minarets and golden domes with courtyards and lush gardens full of fountains. The mosque is surrounded by a large number of trees and floral gardens which in Islam symbolize heaven. A bridge reaches across the lagoon to Kampong Ayer in the middle of the river. Another marble bridge leads to a structure in the lagoon meant as a replica of a 16th Century Sultan Bolkiah mahligai barge. It was built to commemorate the 1,400th anniversary of Nuzul Al-Quran (coming down of the Quran), completed in 1967 and used to stage Quran reading competitions. The mosque’s most recognizable feature, the main dome, is covered in pure gold. The mosque stands 52 m (171 ft) high and can be seen from virtually anywhere in Bandar Seri Begawan. The main minaret is the mosque’s tallest feature. In a unique way it mixes Renaissance and Italian architectural style. The minaret has an elevator to the top, where one can enjoy a panoramic view of the city. The interior of the mosque is for prayer only. It has magnificent stained glass windows, arches, semi-domes and marble columns. Nearly all the material used for the building has been imported from abroad: the marble from Italy, the granite from Shanghai, the crystal chandeliers from England and the carpets from Saudi Arabia.
    Links: Top Ten Bruneian Attractions, Top Ten Architectural Works by Booty and Edwards Chartered Architects, Top Ten Architectural Works by Cavaliere Rudolfo Nolli, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan_Omar_Ali_Saifuddin_Mosque,
  20. Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (The Prophet’s Mosque)
  21. Quba Mosque (the first mosque in Islam’s history)
  22. Masjid al-Qiblatain (the mosque where the qibla was switched to Mecca)
  23. Links: Architecture, Top Ten Holiest Islamic Destinations, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosque,

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