Faisal Mosque - A Majestic Islamic Architectural Heritage
Once considered one of the biggest mosques in the world, Faisal Mosque is a beautiful place. It is shaped like a desert tent and it sits against hills that are green. You can see this mosque from all over the country because it's so big. People come to this mosque for many reasons, but also to take pictures.
The Faisal Mosque is one of the most visited monuments in the country. It has a beautiful landscape, awe-inspiring design, and elegant finishing with a concrete shell. The walls of the mosque have the Kalima written in Kufic script, repeated in mirror image pattern.
The angular main structure with tall minarets, well-manicured courtyards, and pools with fountains make it a perfect blend of traditional Islamic architecture and contemporary Islamic architecture. Its architectural mosaic pattern adorns the west wall designs and the traditional dome depicts Islamic culture.
This mosque is called the Faisal Mosque. It was a gift from the late King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia. The mosque was named after him because he wanted to build this beautiful masterpiece in the federal capital. The architect who designed it is Turkish. This is why it has spectacular Turkish-style chandeliers.
If you have visited the capital city before, you might have seen this building. If not, make sure to add it to your list of things to do when you visit Islamabad.
Here are some facts about the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. It is beautiful and people should learn more about it.
Historical Background of the Faisal Mosque, Islamabad
Shah Faisal Mosque is also called the national mosque of Pakistan. It was built in Islamabad. A Turkish architect won an international competition for it. The date when the late King Faisal visited Pakistan is 1966 and he wanted to build a mosque in Islamabad so people could pray there. There were 43 proposals for this mosque but finally, the Turkish architect won with his unusual design which was approved by people in 1967.
The Pakistani government gave 46 acres of land to the construction company. The company was National Construction Limited of Pakistan. The mosque cost over 13 crore rupees, which was paid for by the Saudi Arabian government.
The Saudi king was assassinated in 1975 and then some people decided to name a mosque and a road after the late King Faisal. Two years later, in 1978, they also signed an agreement between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The Mosque was finished in 1986 and the first prayer service was in 1988. Anyone can go to pray at the Mosque since then.
Architectural Design of the Faisal Mosque Islamabad
The Faisal Masjid is very different from most other mosques. It is very unique and has a triangle shape. The shape was inspired by the Bedouin tents that people use in the middle of deserts. Even though there is no dome like most mosques, it is still an interesting landmark
This mosque is different from all other mosques. It does not have a round dome that is surrounded by minarets. Instead, it has a tent-like structure that has sharp angles and eight sides made of concrete.
The mosque has eight matching minarets on the outside of the main building with a circumference of 10×10 meters each. The whole building is covered with white marble.
The area around the main structure is very nice. There are well-maintained green areas, a courtyard with porticoes, and fountains. This leads to a large pond with stairs for the main hall.
The Faisal Mosque is about 10 kanals big. It has an inside that is just as pretty.
The main prayer hall is about 40 meters high. It has a Turkish chandelier with smaller ones. The walls have the work of an artist that is famous in Pakistan. There is also a sculpture of the Holy Quran in the main hall.
The Faisal Mosque in Islamabad can hold 3 lakh people at a time. It is the biggest mosque in Pakistan. The Faisal Mosque has a prayer area for women too, with a large ablution area and museum and lecture hall and library. There is also the Quaid-e-Azam Auditorium on the grounds of the Faisal Mosque.
In 1988, after the death of former president General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, a mausoleum was built. His funeral prayers were also held at Faisal Mosque.
The architect of Faisal Mosque, Vedat Dalokay, received a prize for his design. It is an amazing design and is the best example of modern Islamic architecture in the world.
Visiting Faisal Mosque in Islamabad
There is no ticket or entrance fee to enter the mosque. The mosque is open day and night for all the visitors from the world since 1986. But you must follow some rules, which are as follows:
- Everyone must remove their footwear before entering the mosque
- The visitors must be dressed modestly
- Women must have their heads covered
- Eating inside the main hall is strictly prohibited
- One must refrain from making any loud noises
- Photography in the main hall is not allowed
- Non-Muslim tourists and visitors are not allowed to enter the main prayer hall
Location of Faisal Mosque in Islamabad
The Faisal Mosque is in Sector E-8 of Islamabad. It is interesting to know that the mosque was built on a piece of land on the foothills of Margalla Hills. This means you can see it from many different places in Islamabad, for example, Daman-e-Koh - one of the best picnic spots in Islamabad.
If you want to see it close up, then visit it!
Places Near Faisal Mosque in Islamabad
Here is a list of popular places near Faisal Mosque:
- Margalla Greens Golf Club: 3.3 kilometer
- Jinnah Super Market: 3.3 kilometer
- The Centaurus Mall: 3.5 kilometer
- Japanese Children Park: 3.8 kilometer
- Islamabad Zoo: 3.9 kilometer
- Fatima Jinnah Park: 6.8 kilometer
- Islamabad Marriott Hotel: 7.3 kilometer
- Daman-e-Koh: 7.6 kilometer
- Pakistan Monument: 8.2 kilometer
So, will you visit the Shah Faisal Mosque when you go to Islamabad?