The word ‘Mosque’ originates from the Arabic word ‘Masjid’, meaning a place of worship for Islamic followers. The Islamic-style of architecture is best represented by these ancient structures which still stand tall in all their original glory. The beauty of these incredible architectural marvels is something to behold for every visitor. Check out these astonishingly beautiful mosques and I bet that even if you are a non-believer, your hands would magically rise up and unite in prayer while your eyes will be awestruck by the wonder in front of it.
Hagia Sophia Mosque
Where: Istanbul, Turkey
The Greek translation of Hagia Sophia is ‘Divine Wisdom’. One of the largest and most beautiful buildings of the world, Hagia Sophia has a gigantic domed selling with four minarets surrounding it which are visible for miles! The interior of the mosque is heavily covered with gold mosaic on the ceiling and is enriched with artistically huge marble pillar, walls, floors and columns. Beneath the dome are 40 windows that allow sunlight to peep through delightfully; giving it a beautiful look. Initially, utilized as an Orthodox Church in the 6th century, it later was converted into a mosque. In 1935 it was declared a museum by the first President of Turkey.
Malacca Straits Mosque
Where: Melacca, Malaysia
The Malacca Straits Mosque is located on Pulau Melaka, a man-made island, spread across 40 hectares. The best time to take in the sheer beauty of the mosque is at the end of the day where the contrast of the sky reflects off of the stained glass of the mosque. The doorway of Malacca Straits Mosque is lined with various delicate patterns while the minarets of the mosque have the architectural feel of a lighthouse. The dome of the mosque is not a massive one but is built marvelously nonetheless with the massive chandelier hung in the center of it, being a must see for all who visit. Malacca is considered one of the famous tourist destinations in the world. People of other faiths are also allowed to visit provided they dress in appropriate proper attire.
Where: Istanbul, Turkey
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, popularly known as ‘The Blue Mosque’ is an architectural marvel. Though, the exterior may not catch your attention in an instant, the interior is an absolute delight. It is filled with 20,000 pieces of blue tiles which look breath-taking. The central dome of the mosque is supported with 4 half domes that face 4 different directions. The beauty of the six minarets at night is also a sight to behold.
The Great Mosque of Makkah
Where: Mecca, Saudi
‘The Sacred Mosque’ or ‘The Great Mosque of Mecca’ or ‘Grand Mosque’, is the largest Islamic holy shrine in the world. The Sacred Mosque is built around the Kabba and has more than hundred gates and several huge minarets. Muslims pray facing towards the distinctive black cube known as the ‘Kaaba’ partly clad with marble and a 300kg heavy door which leads inside the room. During Hajj pilgrimage, it has one of the largest annual gatherings of Muslims in the world.
Nasir al-Mulk Mosque
Where: Shiraz, Iran
Nasir al-Mulk mosque is also popularly known as ‘The Pink Mosque’. The exterior looks like any other formal mosque, but the interior boasts of remarkable piece of architecture. The inner courtyard features the typical arch gates, synonymous with Islamic architecture but its unique blue glazed tiles, intricate carved ceilings and intricate Koranic inscriptions makes the mosque a sheer work of art. The interiors have ornate arches and chandeliers all dotted in an beautiful pattern of glazed tiles and fine Persian carpets that create stunning contrasts. Co loured glass adds myriad shades inside this beautiful mosque. At the crack of the dawn, the stained glass reflects on the surface forming a wonderful astonishing pattern.
Where: Putrajaya, Malaysia
The Putra Mosque, constructed with rose-tinted granite, combines Middle Eastern and traditional Malay design elements in its architecture. The dome of the mosque has exquisite features including the stunning illustrations on the rose-tinted stained glass windows beneath it. It has 3 main functional areas: the prayer hall, the courtyard, and various learning facilities and function rooms. It is one of the top tourist attractions in Malaysia!
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Where: Abu Dhabhi, United Arab Emirates
The magnificent Sheikh Zayed mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. Its courtyard has 82 domes, 1000 columns, 24 carat gold glided chandeliers and the world’s largest hand knotted carpet which will take your breath away. The mosque is decorated with Greek and Italian marble. The designers have used mosaic to cover the entire courtyard. The courtyard itself is noted as being is one of the largest among all the mosques in the world. A reflective pool surrounds the mosque, amplifying its beauty.
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque
Where: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Surrounded by artificial lagoon, the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque is among the most beautiful mosques in the world. The interior of the mosque is both pretty and lavish with the floor made from the finest Italian marble. The golden dome of the mosque has been created of pure gold and shines brightly in the night sky.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Where: Muscat, Oman
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. It is stunning piece of modern Islamic architecture, with the interiors of the mosque wall covered with light and dark grey marble. With more than 6,00,000 fine crystals, over a thousand halogen bulbs, and 24 karat gold plating on the metal bits, its magnificent chandelier took almost 4 years to complete. The carpet is also uniquely designed and is noted for being the second largest hand-woven carpet in the world!
Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque
Where: Putrajaya, Malaysia
Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque also known as the ‘Iron Mosque’ located in Putrajaya, Malayasia. More than 70% of the mosque was built entirely with stainless steel imported from Germany and China. The main entrance glass is made of reinforced concrete to increase the strength of the structure and fine glass has been used to create an illusion of a white mosque from afar.