Eid Special: 10 most beautiful mosques in the world | Travel - Hindustan Times

Eid Special: 10 most beautiful mosques in the world

By, New Delhi
Apr 08, 2024 11:47 AM IST

As the world gets ready to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, let’s discover some of the most beautiful mosques in the world.

Moseak, muskey, moschy, mos’keh. This is how the word ‘mosque’ was spelt in English language between the 15th and 17th centuries. It was only in the early 1700s that the present spelling of mosque came into being - the word stemming from the Middle French word mosquee that had come by way of Italian and Old Spanish from the Arabic word masjid. (Also Read | Eid-ul-Fitr 2024 moon sighting date in Saudi Arabia, India: When is chand raat, Eid in Saudi, UAE, India, Pakistan, US)

As the world gets ready to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, let’s look at some of the most beautiful mosques in the world. (Unsplash, AP)
As the world gets ready to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, let’s look at some of the most beautiful mosques in the world. (Unsplash, AP)

As the world gets ready to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, let’s look at some of the most beautiful mosques in the world.

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10 Most Beautiful Mosques in the World

Masjid Al-Haram (Mecca, Saudi Arabia)

Built to hold the Ka’ba, the holiest shrine in Islam, the Al Haram Mosque (also called the Grand Mosque or the Holy Mosque) has a rectangular central courtyard that receives millions of pilgrims every year for Hajj and Umrah. The mosque has been developed over centuries but the oldest parts date back to 16th century. Currently, the Masjid Al-Haram is the world’s largest mosque and the world’s most expensive building.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Istanbul, Turkiye)

Mostly known as the Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles that adorn its interior walls, this early 17th century mosque has one main dome, six minarets, and eight secondary domes. A culmination of Ottoman mosque design, it has some Byzantine elements coupled with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the Classical period.

Masjid al-Nabawi (Medina, Saudi Arabia)

Situated in the city of Medina and known as Prophet’s Mosque, it was built by Prophet Mohammad in 622 CE after his arrival in Medina. In the beginning, Prophet's Mosque was not only used as a prayer house, rather as a community, social services and administrative centre, court house and a town hall. The Garden of Paradise and the Garden of Prophet are the oldest parts of the mosque. Today the main complex of the Prophet's Mosque has 42 gates and is known for its splendid green dome.

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque (Brunei)

Surrounded by an artificial lagoon that serves as a reflecting pool, the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque has a 52-high minaret, Italian marbles, scintillating chandeliers and a 3.5-million-piece glass mosaic with real gold leaf that comprises the main dome. Designed by the architect and sculptor Rudolfo Nolli, the mosque unites Mughal architecture and Malay styles.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (Abu Dhabi)

The country’s largest mosque, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a cultural collaboration - the grand structure was designed and built by skilled teams from all over the world, including 1,300 Iranian artisans who hand-knotted the main prayer hall's carpet - the world's largest. Through the marbled halls, there are one-of-a-kind treasures, including gold-plated Swarovski chandeliers, the courtyard's vast marble mosaic artwork and reflective pools that mirror some of the many amethyst-and-jasper-embedded columns and the four stunning minarets that proudly stand at 106 metres.

Bou Inania Madrasa & Mosque (Fez, Morocco)

The Bou Inania Madrasa holds the status of a congregational mosque, the only one in all of Morocco. The mosque has tiles up to two meters high on the wall, there’s marble on the floor, white stucco, wood in the upper areas of both floors and on the doors as well as the green tiles on the roofs. On way to the mosque, one has to cross a small bridge. This is one of the points in the city where the Fez river, which mainly flows underground, is visible from the surface.

Jama Masjid (Delhi, India)

One of the largest mosques in India, Jama Masjid is clad completely in red sandstone, with white marble employed in the domes, ceilings, and floor of the prayer hall. Black marble inlays further embellish this palette, the minarets are decorated with vertical white marble inlays. The interior surfaces of the prayer hall are decorated with fine inlay work and Arabic inscriptions. Its construction was started in 1644 and completed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. At the time of its construction, it was the largest mosque in the subcontinent.

Nasir-al-Mulk Mosque (Shiraz, Iran)

One of Shiraz’s oldest mosques, Nasir-ol Molk Mosque is often referred to as the Rainbow Mosque or Pink Mosque. The mosque is at its glorious best at sunrise when the sun rays create intricate designs through the stained glass windows. The pink and purple tilework that adorn the entryway and the muqarnas (a form of decorative vaulting in Islamic architecture) are the mosque’s most recognisable features. Interestingly, the mosque does not have a dome.

Cordoba Mosque (Cordoba, Spain)

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is arguably the most significant monument in the western Islamic world and is known for its architecture in its different sections, as well as the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles of the Christian part. The Mosque is made up of two distinct areas, the courtyard with its porticos where the minaret stands - nowadays, encased in the Renaissance tower - and the prayer hall that is made up of a forest of columns with red and white arches.

Tilla-Kari Madrasa and Mosque (Samarkand, Uzbekistan)

Completed in 1660, the Tilla Kari madrasa was conceived as the last, largest and most embellished structure of the famed Registan Square. Tilla Kari means ‘gold-covered', referring to the lavish gilt decoration of the mosque's domed chamber. The inner garden-like courtyard leads to the mosque that is intricately decorated with brilliant blue and gold colours and displays a magnificent illusion with its flat, tapered ceiling design actually appearing as a dome. The marble mihrab’s intricate multi-coloured and gilt motifs are magnificent specimens of the Mawara'u'n-nahr region's famed workmanship.

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