The Shah Faisal
Masjid in Islamabad, Pakistan, is one of the largest mosques in
Asia. It is a state National Mosque. It is a well-known masjid in the
Islamic world and is renowned for both its immense size and its
architecture. It holds the title for being the largest mosque in the world,
in terms of area.
It is located at the end of Shaharah-e-Islamabad,
putting it at one end of the city and in front of a magnificent backdrop
provided by the Margalla Hills. It is a focal point of Islamabad, and likely
the most famous and recognized icon of the city.
The masjid has an area of 5,000 square meters and can hold about 300,000
worshippers, including those in the adjacent grounds. It is one of the
largest mosques in the world, its relatively unusual design fuses
contemporary lines with the more traditional look of an Arab Bedouin's tent,
with its large triangular prayer hall and four minarets. However, unlike
traditional masjid design, it lacks a dome, and like a tent, the weight of
the main prayer hall in the center is supported by the four minarets. The
minarets borrow their design from Turkish tradition and are thin pencil
like. The interior of this prayer hall holds a very large chandelier and its
walls are decorated with mosaics and
calligraphy by the
famous Pakistani artist
Sadeqain. The mosaic
pattern adorns the west wall, and has the 'kalima' writtern in early kufic
script, repeated in mirror image pattern.
masjid's architecture is a departure from the long history of south Asian
muslim architecture, however in some ways it makes a bridge between Arabic,
Turkish and Pakistani Muslim architectural traditions.
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