The Things You Should Know About Faisal Mosque In Islamabad, Pakistan
The national mosque of Pakistan is the rather unusual Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. The mosque and its architecture won a prestigious design award for its non-traditional shape. The mosque is shaped like a Bedouin tent and lacks the traditional dome that crowns most other mosques. Curious to know more about the sixth-largest mosque in the world? Here are some of the most interesting facts about the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan.
If you are planning a trip to Pakistan, Here are 7 interesting facts About Faisal Mosque In Islamabad, Pakistan
1. The Faisal Mosque is the largest mosque in Pakistan
Located in the national capital city of Islamabad, the Faisal Mosque is the largest mosque in Pakistan. You’ll find it at the north end of Faisal Avenue, at the northernmost end of the city and nestled at the foot of Margalla Hills, the westernmost foothills of the Himalayas.
2. The Faisal Mosque can hold 300,000 worshipers
Not only is the Faisal Mosque the largest mosque in Pakistan, but it is also the largest in South Asia and the sixth largest mosque in the world in terms of capacity. Combined the structure covers an area of 33 acres (130,000 m2; 1,400,000 sq ft), and can hold 300,000 worshipers. In fact, the Faisal Mosque was the largest mosque in the world from 1986 until 1993 when the newly completed Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco overtook it. Subsequent expansions of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (Prophet’s Mosque) in Medina, Saudi Arabia, during the 1990s relegated Faisal Mosque to fourth place in terms of size. Today, however, it ranks sixth.
3. The Faisal Mosque doesn’t have a dome
The Faisal Mosque takes its name from the late King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia, who supported and financed the project. King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz gave a grant of $28 million to finance the construction of the mosque, which is the national mosque of Pakistan. Construction of the mosque began in 1976 and it was completed in 1986. Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay designed the mosque which has an unusual design as it doesn’t feature a dome. The mosque is shaped like a Bedouin tent, and four 260 feet (79 m) tall minarets surround it. The design features eight-sided shell shaped sloping roofs that form a triangular worship hall which can hold 10,000 worshippers.
4. The Faisal Mosque is not just a mosque
The mosque houses a library, lecture hall, museum and cafe. The main courtyard of the mosque once housed the International Islamic University.
5. The Faisal Mosque’s design is award-winning
Turkish architect, Vedat Dalokay, won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the Faisal Mosque due to its modern and unique design lacking both the traditional domes and arches of most other mosques around the world. However, some conservative Muslims criticised the design at first because of its unconventional and non-traditional look, but most criticisms ended when they saw the completed mosque set against the Margalla Hills.
6. The Faisal Mosque’s interior is ornate
White marble and mosaics and calligraphy by the famous Pakistani artist Sadequain adorn the interior of the main tent-shaped hall. This hall also houses a stunning Turkish-style chandelier. The mosaic pattern also decorates the west wall and has the Kalimah written in early Kufic script. The Kalimah are six Islamic phrases recited by Muslims. Kufic script is a style of Arabic script.
7. The Faisal Mosque features Islamic architecture styles
Turkish artist Mengu Ertel designed the beautiful blue and white calligraphic tiles that adorn the Qibla Wall – the wall in the mosque that faces Mecca. The interior of the mosque uses Turkish and Pakistani-inspired decorations and combines contemporary and classic Islamic architecture styles.