Shah Faisal Masjid: The National Masjid of Pakistan

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Shah Faisal Mosque Islamabad, hailed as the national mosque of Pakistan, held the distinction of being the biggest mosque in the world from 1986-1993. The mosque is a major tourist attraction of the Pakistan capital and is recognized for its unconventional and contemporary Islamic architectural design.

Location

With its grandeur, it seems that the mosque couldn’t have been better located as it goes on to dominate the landscape of the second most capital of the world, Islamabad.

Located at the foot of the Margalla Hills, the mosque is located at an elevated land area against the backdrop of the national park.

Design

Designed by the Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay, the mosque boosts an unusual and unconventional design for a mosque. Unlike the traditional and conventional mosque design which features dome, the mosque has been designed to look like Bedouin tent with four tall minarets.

The minarets it seems have borrowed more from the Turkish tradition than the conventional mosque designs in Pakistan as these are quite thin and pencil like. Similarly, the roof of the mosque is equally unconventional and constitutes 8 sided shell shaped sloping roofs which go onto form a triangular hall.

Capacity

The covered area of mosque is 5,000m2 and the mosque can house 10,000 worshipers in its main prayer hall while it can further accommodate 40,000 in its courtyard, 24,000 in porticoes and 200,000 in adjourning grounds. Owing to its spacious capacity Shah Faisal mosque is regarded as the 4th largest mosque in terms of capacity.

Named after Saudi King Shah Faisal

Since Shah Faisal, the king of Saudia Arabia was the instrumental figure behind funding of this mosque the mosque as acknowledgement of his endeavors, interest and funding was named after him after his assassination.

 

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