Illustrated picture. Photo: Mixi
Illustrated picture. Photo: Mixi

Muslims in the past and even today have made use of local artisans and architects to create beautiful, magnificent mosques. The architecture of mosques depends on where you are and when the mosque was built, and there are many different styles.

The List of 10 Most Beautiful Mosques in the World

1. Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Brunei Darussalam

2. Malacca Straits Mosque, Malaysia

3. Al Haram Mosque – Macca, Saudi Arabia

4. Al Aqsa Mosque – Jerusalem, Palestine

5. Masjid Nasir Al Mulk, Iran

6. Masjid Sultan Qaboos, Oman

7. Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, Saudi Arabia

8. Sheikh Zayed Mosque, United Arab Emirates

9. Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, Pakistan

10. Ubudiah Mosque, Malaysia

Which are the Most Beautiful Mosques in the World?

1. Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Brunei Darussalam

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

Named as a major historic site and tourist attraction in Brunei, this beautiful architectural masterpiece is located in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei. It is named after the 28th Sultan of Brunei, who also requested its construction. Its construction was completed in 1958 and it serves as the Islamic symbol of Brunei, dominating the city’s skyline.

The mosque is built on an artificial lagoon, on the banks of the Brunei River, at the very famous Kampung Ayer, Brunei’s very own “village in the water”. The mosque features marble minarets (towers from which the faithful are called to prayer), pure golden domes, and a large courtyard that includes water fountains. It is surrounded by trees and floral gardens. Visitors can access the top of the minaret by elevator, from where they can enjoy panoramic views of the city.

The interior of the mosque is used for prayer only and it features stained-glass windows, arches, semi-domes, and marble columns. Non-Muslim visitors can look inside from just inside the doorway, outside of prayer times, and suitable clothing (cloaks and headscarves for females) is provided. There is no charge. The mosque, which is visible from almost everywhere in Bandar Seri Begawan, was named as the most beautiful mosque in the Asia-Pacific region.

2. Malacca Straits Mosque, Malaysia

Photo: Thrillophilia
Photo: Thrillophilia

The Malacca Straits Mosque hosted its opening ceremony in 2006 and, since then, has been a major tourist attraction not just in Malacca but throughout the whole of Malaysia as well. It is situated on the man-made Malacca Island. It is more commonly known to locals as Masjid Selat Melaka, and it was constructed by the State Government of Malacca.

What makes this mosque beautiful isn’t just its stunning architecture, which combines both Middle Eastern and Malay craftsmanship, it is also the fact that it is built on the shoreline of the Strait and, when the water level is high, the mosque looks like it’s floating above the water! The most prominent feature of the mosque is its 30-metre-tall (98-foot-tall) minaret, along with a majestic arch with blue trims that curves gracefully over the entrance. The mosque is especially beautiful under the night sky when its entire premises light up, offering a breathtaking and picturesque view.

Non-Muslims are allowed to look inside as long as they are dressed appropriately, although many people come to simply admire the religious building from outside.

3. Al Haram Mosque – Macca, Saudi Arabia

Photo: Park Inn by Radisson Blog Park Inn by Radisson Blog
Photo: Park Inn by Radisson Blog Park Inn by Radisson Blog

The Qur’an said that this was the first house built for humanity to worship Allah. The most famous monument in the world, Al Haram mosque or “Grand Mosque” is located in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the largest mosque in the world and surrounds one of Islam’s holiest places, the Kaaba. The mosque is also known as the greatest Mosque.

The current structure covers an area of 400,800 square meters (99.0 acres), including outdoor and indoor praying spaces and can accommodate up to 4 million people during the period of the Hajj, one of the largest annual worship of the Muslim in the world.

4. Al Aqsa Mosque – Jerusalem, Palestine

Photo: Muslim Marriage Guide
Photo: Muslim Marriage Guide

Al-Aqsa Mosque also known as Al-Aqsa and Bayt al-Muqaddas. It is the third holiest site in Islam. Also an Islamic shrine located in the Old City of Jerusalem. In the mosque itself is part of Al-Haram ash-Sharif or “Sacred Noble Sanctuary” (together with the Dome of the Rock), a site which is also known as Temple Mount as the holiest site in Judaism, because it is believed to be The Temple of Jerusalem once stood.

Muslims believe that the Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was transported from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca to the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Night Journey. Islamic tradition states that Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) led prayers toward this mosque until the seventeenth month after the emigration, when Allah ordered him to turn to the Kaaba.

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5. Masjid Nasir Al Mulk, Iran

Photo: Bored Panda
Photo: Bored Panda

The original name of the mosque in Persian is Masjed-e Naseer ol Molk. It may seem like an ordinary Iranian mosque from the outside.

However, the interior hides within it breathtakingly colorful architecture and design.

Built by one of the lords of the Qajar Dynasty, Mirza Hasan ‘Ali Nasir al-Mulk, the mosque took 12 years to complete in 1888.

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque has two eastern and western shabestans. The eastern shabestan has a gorgeous tiled altar and twelve columns along with stained glass windows. The arts of tiling and painting in shabestans, and beautiful decorations of Mihrab have extraordinary beauty. The harmony among columns, fantastic geometric patterns, the play of light and colors, and the splendid Muqarnas all dazzle the eyes of visitors and photographers. The mosque has great elements of traditional architecture such as a central fountain, an iwan, panj kāseh-i (five concaves), faience, and plaster-works.

6. Masjid Sultan Qaboos, Oman

Photo: Destination KSA
Photo: Destination KSA

Located in Muscat, Oman, this is the main mosque in the Sultanate of Oman. It is also one of the most beautiful and extravagant modern mosques in the world.

Featuring a blend of Islamic, Middle Eastern, and Omani architectural styles, the mosque was first opened in 2001 and took six years to build.

Moreover, it hosts one of the world’s largest handmade Persian rugs and one of the world’s biggest crystal chandeliers.

7. Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, Saudi Arabia

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest

Originally built by Prophet Muhammad, the Al-Masjid An-Nabawi Mosque is located in Medina, Saudi Arabia. Medina is the second holiest site in Islam, right after Mecca. It was also the second mosque to be built in the history of Islam. Today, it stands as one of the largest mosques in the world. It was originally located adjacent to the Prophet’s house, where he settled after his emigration, or Hijra, to Medina in 622 CE. In fact, the name of the mosque translates to the Prophet’s Mosque.

The original architecture of the house, which the Prophet himself took part in constructing, featured an open-air building and served as a community centre, a court, and a religious school. Today, it serves as a major pilgrimage site for Muslims, with many visiting after performing Hajj at Mecca. It is revered due to its connections with the life of Muhammad. The mosque’s prominent feature is the Green Dome, which is located in the southeast part of the mosque. The Green Dome is at the site of Aisha’s house, the youngest wife of the Prophet. Today, the tomb of the Prophet lies there. The dome was actually added in 1818 by the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II and got its current name after it was first painted green in 1837.

Non-Muslims cannot enter the mosque. Indeed, obtaining a tourist visa for Saudi Arabia is very difficult, and entering the central part of Medina is forbidden.

8. Sheikh Zayed Mosque, United Arab Emirates

Photo: Trip.com
Photo: Trip.com

Boasting stunning exteriors and interiors, Sheikh Zayed Mosque is located in the UAE’s capital of Abu Dhabi. It was launched by the country’s late president, after whom the mosque was named, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. His resting place is located on the grounds beside the mosque. It is the largest mosque in the UAE. It is also considered as the main place of worship in Abu Dhabi.

Because of Sheikh Zayed’s plan, the construction of the mosque included materials from all over the world, including from countries such as India, Morocco, New Zealand, and Malaysia. The mosque features architectural designs that combine inspirations from Persian, Mughal and Moorish mosque structures. Also, it is reported that the carpet used in the prayer hall is the world’s largest carpet! The seven chandeliers in the mosque, which were imported from Germany, are the third-largest chandeliers in the world, and the second-largest chandeliers in a mosque.

Non-Muslims can visit the mosque independently, outside of prayer times, or there are also guided tours each day. Tours last for around 45 minutes and are conducted by volunteers. There is no cost to join an informative tour. Visitors must be dressed appropriately, and women must wear headscarves.

A GUINNESS WORLD RECORD FOR THE CARPET

The Persian carpet in the main prayer hall of Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the largest hand-knotted carpet in the world. It covers an area of 5,700 square metres and took two years to be completed, trimmed and transported to the mosque. Around 1,200 artisans worked on the carpet, creating 9 different parts that were later assembled and weaved together into one piece. This gorgeous Persian carpet is made of 70% wool and 30% cotton. Most people want to offer prayer in this gorgeous hall of the mosque. If you too want to perform salah here, keep a track of prayer times in Dubai.

9. Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, Pakistan

Photo: nusagates.com
Photo: nusagates.com

The Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, commissioned by the sixth Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671 and completed in 1673, is the second largest mosque in Pakistan. Its beauty makes it one of the top things to do in Lahore.

It used to be the largest mosque in the world till 1986 when the Faisal Mosque was constructed in Islamabad.

One cannot escape the sight of the grand red-bricked Badshahi Mosque on entering the historical city of Lahore which links Pakistan’s northern and southern regions.

10. Ubudiah Mosque, Malaysia

Photo: TripAdvisor
Photo: TripAdvisor

The Ubudiah Mosque in the royal town of Kuala Kangsar is considered to be the most beautiful place of worship in Malaysia. It is comprised of four minarets and a golden dome, designed by British architect Arthur Benison Huback at the command of Sultan Idris Mushidul Azam Shah.

The Sultan vowed to build a mosque of great beauty as thanksgiving for recovery from an illness. Today, it is a symbol of great pride to all Muslims in the state of Perak.

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