Sitting in the heart of the Capital, Faisal Mosque is the largest mosque in South Asia and the sixth-largest in the world. This marvel of modern Islamic architecture has a history as old as this city, serving as a symbol of the ideals this nation was based on.
In this blog, Graana.com features everything you need to know about the history of Faisal Mosque.
History at a Glance
Despite being constructed in 1986, the history of Faisal Mosque spans over a few decades. The Mosque’s history dates back to the visit of Saudi Arabia’s Late King Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz in 1966. During his visit, he supported the notion of building a national mosque in the country’s capital.
In 1969, an international competition was held for the architectural design of the mosque. Proposals for the design were submitted by architects from almost 17 countries. After an extensive evaluation, the design submitted by a Turkish architect was accepted, with construction starting in 1976.
The construction of Faisal Mosque Islamabad was funded by Saudi Arabia, with the costs totalling up to $120 Million. The mosque serves as a gesture of goodwill for the people of Pakistan by the late King Shah Faisal. To honour his contributions, the mosque was named after him, as well as the road leading to the mosque.
Location of Faisal Mosque
Sitting at the foothills of the Margalla Hills, the Mosque boasts a unique location right in the centre of Islamabad. The mosque is situated between Sector E-8 and E-7, however, it comes under the boundaries of Sector E-7.
One of Faisal Mosque’s unique features is its location, as the backdrop of the picturesque Margalla Hills adds to the beauty of this architectural wonder. Moreover, the Mosque has been built on an elevated area, presenting the Mosque as even more majestic.
Built on the designs of the Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay, the Mosque’s architecture resonates with Islam’s deep-rooted history in the Arabian Peninsula, with a slight contemporary touch. The eight-sided main hall of the mosque is inspired by Bedouin tents, a common sight in the deserts of Arabia. Moreover, the four minarets on each corner of the main hall pay tribute to Turkish architectural designs.
The Mosque’s design represents much more than what meets the eye. Dalokay’s design is believed to represent the shape of the Kaaba, but abstractly. The four Minarets on each corner are said to represent the cubic shape of the Kaaba, with the apex of each Minaret completing the invisible cube.
The interior of the Faisal Mosque has been inspired by both local and foreign traditions. The mosaic and calligraphy etched throughout the interiors of the main hall give a touch of Indo-Islamic roots, while the Qibla wall was purely decorated by a Turkish artist.
Faisal Mosque lives up to the title of being the sixth-largest mosque in the world as it can accommodate almost 300,000 worshippers. The main prayer hall and inner courtyards can hold approximately 74,000 people, while the Mosque’s grounds have a capacity of almost 200,000 people. To put these numbers into perspective, a third of Islamabad’s population can pray within Faisal Mosque’s boundaries simultaneously.
The Mosque’s Minarets are the tallest in all of South Asia, reaching up to 79 meters or 259 ft. The circumference measure 10 x 10 meters. These Minaret define Islamabad’s skyline, as they can be seen from almost every corner of the city. Speakers for prayer calls are mounted atop these pillars.
Apart from serving as a prayer area for residents, the Faisal Mosque is also known as a major tourist attraction in Islamabad. People flock from all over the country to experience the breath-taking view and inspiring history of this architectural wonder.
The Mosque offers several tourist-draws within its grounds such as a library, museum, lecture hall, and café. Moreover, the burial site of the late General Zia-ul-Haq is also located within the grounds of the Mosque. The site receives a considerable number of visitors daily, along with a massive influx of mourners on his death anniversary.
Being in the centre of Islamabad, several landmarks and famous areas surround the Mosque. The most prominent attraction right next to Faisal Mosque is the Margalla National Park. This serene attraction serves as an addition to the Mosque already picturesque backdrop. The national park consists of several hiking trails that are quite popular among the city’s residents.
With such an extensive history in such a short time span, Faisal Mosque has become a site of considerable importance. The history of the Faisal Mosque, coupled with its roots in several Islamic cultures and traditions, serves as a symbol of unity for the Muslim world.
Today, the mosque has become much more than simply a prayer area or a tourist attraction for the city as it serves as a reminder of the bond that Pakistan shares with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
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Here are some FAQs about Faisal Mosque:
Why Faisal Masjid is famous for?
Faisal Masjid is famous for its stunning architecture and grandeur. It is one of the largest mosques in the world and is a major tourist attraction in Islamabad, Pakistan. The mosque was built to honor the memory of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, who provided funding for its construction.
Its unique design, inspired by a Bedouin tent, makes it stand out among other mosques. The grand prayer hall can accommodate up to 100,000 worshippers at once, making it a popular place for Friday prayers. The mosque also has a beautiful courtyard and offers spectacular views of Islamabad.
What is Faisal Mosque and where is it located?
Faisal Mosque is a famous mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan, located at the foothills of the Margalla Hills.
Who designed Faisal Mosque?
Faisal Mosque was designed by a Turkish architect named Vedat Dalokay.
When was Faisal Mosque built and how long did it take to complete?
The construction of Faisal Mosque started in 1976 and was completed in 1986, taking a total of 10 years to build.
What is the architecture style of Faisal Mosque?
Faisal Mosque has a unique and modern Islamic architecture style, with a design inspired by a Bedouin tent and the shape of a desert Bedouin’s cap.
What is the capacity of Faisal Mosque?
Faisal Mosque can accommodate around 100,000 worshippers at a time.
What is the height of the minarets of Faisal Masjid?
The height of the minarets of Faisal Mosque is 88 meters, which is one of the highest in the world.
What is the material used in the construction of Faisal Masjid?
Faisal Mosque is constructed using white marble, which gives it a magnificent look.
What are the visiting hours of Faisal Masjid?
Faisal Mosque is open for visitors from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week.
Is there any entry fee to visit Faisal Masjid?
No, there is no entry fee to visit Faisal Mosque. It is open to the public and visitors can enter without any fee.
Are there any dress code requirements to visit Faisal Masjid?
Yes, visitors are required to dress modestly and cover their heads before entering the main prayer hall. Scarves are available at the entrance for visitors who do not have head coverings.
What are the special features of Faisal Masjid?
Faisal Mosque has several unique features, including its modern architecture, the beautiful Turkish-style chandeliers, and the beautiful garden outside the mosque that offers a breathtaking view of the city.
Can non-Muslims visit Faisal Masjid?
Yes, non-Muslims are allowed to visit Faisal Mosque and can take a guided tour to learn more about the mosque’s architecture and history.
Is Faisal Masjid a popular tourist attraction in Pakistan?
Yes, Faisal Mosque is a popular tourist attraction in Pakistan, and is visited by thousands of tourists every year, both domestic and international.