Thursday, October 25, 2012

Al-Masjid Al-Haram | The Biggest Mosque on The World

The mosque that stands majestically in the city of Mecca is the largest mosque in the world. Standing on an area of ​​598,657 m2. Grand Mosque can accommodate more than 900,000 pilgrims from around the world. The mosque was built in 638 AD when the reign of Umar bin Khattab is regarded as the holiest shrine for Muslims because in it there is the Ka'ba Qibla direction throughout the Muslim world as well as the main purpose of worship Hajj.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tokyo Camii | Tokyo

Tokyo Camii (Japanese 東京 ジャーミイ, Tōkyō-Jamii, also Tokyo Mosque (東京 モスク, Tōkyō-mosuku), full name: 東京 ジャーミイ · トルコ 文化 センター, Tōkyō-Jamii · Toruko-bunka-Senta, in German as much as: "Tokyo Mosque and Turkish Cultural Center") is a mosque with adjoining Turkish cultural center in the district Oyama-cho (大 山 町) of Tokyo's Shibuya district.

The mosque was with a school on 12 May 1938 (Mawlid an-Nabi of the year) of the municipality "Mahalle-i İslamiye", Kazan Tatar emigrants from Russia after the October Revolution, under Abdürreşid (the first Imam of the mosque) and Abdülhay Kurban Ali Ibrahim in the quarter Yoyogi Uehara (代 々 木completed 上原) of Shibuya. At the opening ceremony were senior military commanders and politicians from Japan (including the founder of the ultra-nationalist Gen'yōsha Toyama Mitsuru and Admiral Ogasawara Naganari) and abroad present.

In 1986 the mosque was demolished because of severe structural damage. Under the auspices of the Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı 1998 a new building was then begun, which was completed in 2000 and was its cost to about 1.5 billion yen came and architect Muharrem Hilmi Senalp. The construction is based on the ornamentation of Ottoman religious architecture. The inauguration ceremony was hosted on 30 June 2000, held at the Turkish Ambassador in Japan, Yaman Başkut a speech. At the opening ceremony were also the State Minister Fikret Ünlü and the Chairman of the Presidium for Religious Affairs, Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz, present.

In 2003, the then Turkish Parliament Speaker Bulent Arınç said during a visit to the mosque, "I hope those who come and see this, should be converted to the true religion." [6] One day later, he explained that he had been misunderstood. He had asked the Japanese never to repent. In 2004, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited as part of a state visit to the Tokyo Camii. He was accompanied by the then State Minister Ali Babacan, the Ministers of Health and Tourism, a group of MPs and the Turkish ambassador in Tokyo, Solmaz Ünaydin.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Palermo Mosque | Argentina

The largest mosque in South America is improbably located across the street from the gambling mecca of the Hippodrome and right next to the shopping center containing Easy and Jumbo in Palermo and the train station, 3 de Febrero. This impressive but hauntingly empty complex is the King Fahd Islamic Cultural Centre. It houses the mosque, a library, the Colegio Rey Fahd for young students, with beautiful manicured lawns and fountains. Saudi architect Zuhair Faiz  designed the beautiful geometric buildings and complex. The grounds cover 3.5 hectares between Avenidas Bullrich, Libertador, Dorrego and Cerviño.

There are estimates of some 700,000 Muslims in Argentina, mostly descended from Syrian and Lebanese immigrants who came over in the late 1850s. There are only two mosques in Buenos Aires, the other being part of the Organización Islámica Argentina. There is also a strong historical link between Muslims and Spain, so it doesn’t seem too out of place that there should be such a large community here in Argentina.
Non-Muslims in Argentina don’t seem to know much about this complex other than that former President Carlos Saúl Menem (himself of Syrian descent) was responsible for it. This is somewhat true. King Fahd of Saudia Arabia financed the construction, which totaled some U$15m. Menem’s contribution was arranging the donation of the land, which has been valued at around U$10m. Congress passed a national law in 1995, giving the land to the cultural centre. The first stone was laid on 7th December 1998, not without some slight controversy: neighbours were unsure about the increased traffic and architectural disharmony, among other issues. But the centre opened on 25th September 2000 with much fanfare as King Fahd himself and 250 other dignitaries came from Saudi Arabia to celebrate the opening.

I arrived for a guided tour on a clear crisp Tuesday afternoon, just as things were getting started. After providing some identification, I joined the group together in the front courtyard by the fountain. Our guide explained in Spanish that our tour would last about an hour and where photos were and were not allowed. We were led through to the back plaza overlooking the train station. It was the school courtyard, but the students were inside and not visible.
In fact, not many people were around at all. We were then led to the anteroom of the mosque where we were shown a short video about the centre and all that it has to offer. I was surprised about all that was available. There is a library, a radio station on FM 93.9, Arabic language classes and of course the mosque itself. We were able to peek in from outside, but were not allowed inside. I was expecting a hub of activity for noon-time prayer, but there was really no one around. I also realised that I hadn’t heard the call to prayer that one would expect five times a day. Maybe the neighbours put the kibosh on that.
Finally, we were led to a beautiful display of Muslim art with its abstract geometric designs across the hall from the library where I could finally see some people who were looking through the books.
When I first inquired about the guided tours available, I was given a brochure about the wonders of Islam with a title “¿Has Descubierto su Verdadera Belleza?” (Have you Discovered his True Beauty?). This put me off a bit as I was worried about people trying to convert me to Islam, but I was relieved to find that this wasn’t the case at all.
The guide at the end of the tour did explain the Five Pillars of Islam which every Muslim must adhere to but there was no pressure to convert. The first pillar is that Muslims must accept Allah as the one true God and Muhammad as His messenger. The second is that each Muslim must pray five times per day. The third is that alms must be given to the poor based on each believer’s ability. The fourth speaks to fasting. Fasting is obligatory during Ramadan and can be done at other times as penance. The fifth is the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) that every Muslim must make at least once in their lives if they can afford it. But there is no pillar requiring people to try to convert people to their faith, unlike other religions.

The tour guide stressed the fact that this cultural centre is open and available to the general population at large and yet at the same time he sometimes seemed reluctant to go into much detail and stuck to his script when answering questions. For example, he excitedly and proudly told us that he had been to the Kaaba – Black Cube – in Mecca, yet when asked, said he couldn’t remember what it was like inside and suggested that it was made out of brick when the black sheen is really silk that is replaced yearly. Maybe he misunderstood the question… But overall, this was an interesting tour. Your Spanish should be up to snuff as there isn’t an option in English, although he doesn’t go too fast and is happy to explain – as long as he sticks to the script.

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The mosque is located at Av Bullrich 55 in Palermo. There are guided tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon, to which you must bring identification. You can find more information (in Spanish) at

Photo by Beatrice Murch

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Auburn Gallipoli Mosque

The Auburn Gallipoli Mosque is in Auburn, New South Wales, Australia.

The first mosque on the present mosque site was opened for worship in 3rd of November 1979. It was a house with internal walls removed to generate open space. The construction of the present mosque structure began in 1986. Its construction and external finishes were completed and officially opened on 28th of November 1999, twenty years after the first opening.

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The mosque is 16 kilometres due west of the south end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Masjid Omar Kampong Melaka

Masjid Omar Kampong Melaka (or Omar Kampong Malacca Mosque; Chinese: 奥玛甘榜马六甲回教堂) is a mosque in Singapore, and is located at Keng Cheow Street in the Singapore River Planning Area, within the Central Area, Singapore's central business district.

The first mosque to be built in Singapore, Masjid Omar Kampong Melaka was established in 1820, just a year after the British set up a trading post on the island. Since then, the mosque has been rebuilt twice; once in 1855 and again in 1981-1982. The mosque is owned by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura.

Situated on the southern bank of the Singapore River, Kampong Malacca was designated for Muslims by Sir Stamford Raffles in his 1822 Town Plan. As a result, Arabs, Jawi-Peranakans, Indonesians and Malays gravitated there. Its heritage is reflected in the colourfully diverse architectural styles that can be found in the area, some of which are still evident today.

Syed Omar bin Ali Aljunied, an Arab merchant from Palembang, was the mosque's founder. His son, Syed Abdullah bin Omar Aljunied, was responsible for the 1855 rebuilding of the mosque. The Aljunied family's contribution to Singapore was not insignificant. Among the three wealthiest Arab families in Singapore — the other two being the Alkaffs and the Alsagoffs — the Aljunieds were philanthropists, generously supporting schools, hospitals and mosques, as well as sponsoring religious events. Their contributions are recognised not only in the naming of Masjid Omar Kampong Melaka after its founder but also in the naming of Syed Alwi Road in Serangoon and Aljunied Road in Aljunied.

The original structure was a temporary timber building, which was torn down and replaced by a brick mosque in 1855. This reconstruction coincided with the laying of a new road through Kampong Malacca which brought worshippers from the surrounding area. With a bigger congregation, the timber mosque became insufficient and a larger, sturdier brick structure was built to better serve the mosque's growing needs.

In 1981-1982, after almost a hundred years of use, the 1855 mosque was in great need of reconstruction. All this time, Masjid Omar Kampong Melaka, unlike other mosques in Singapore, had no minaret. It was only in 1985 that a tall minaret with a small roof dome was added at the entrance of the mosque.

Today, the mosque is in much the same state as it was after the last reconstruction — a simple building that is well complemented by its surrounding space. With a capacity to seat 1,000 people, it is the focal point for office workers during daily and Friday prayers.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Great Mosque of Djenné

The Great Mosque of Djenné is the largest mud brick or adobe building in the world and is considered by many architects to be the greatest achievement of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style, albeit with definite Islamic influences. The mosque is located in the city of Djenné, Mali on the flood plain of the Bani River. The first mosque on the site was built around the 13th century, but the current structure dates from 1907. As well as being the centre of the community of Djenné, it is one of the most famous landmarks in Africa. Along with the "Old Towns of Djenné" it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.

The walls of the Great Mosque are made of sun-baked mud bricks (called ferey), a mud based mortar, and are coated with a mud plaster which gives the building its smooth, sculpted look. The walls of the building are decorated with bundles of palm tree sticks, called toron, that project about 60 cm (2 ft) from the surface. The toron also serve as readymade scaffolding for the annual repairs. Ceramic half-pipes also extend from the roofline and direct rain water from the roof away from the walls.

The mosque is built on a platform measuring about 75 m x 75 m (245 ft x 245 ft) that is raised by 3 metres (9 ft) above the level of the marketplace. The platform is accessed by 6 sets of stairs, each decorated with pinnacles. The main entrance is on the northern side of the building. The outer walls of the Great Mosque are not precisely orthogonal to one another so that the plan of the building has a noticeable trapezoidal outline.

The prayer wall or qibla of the Great Mosque faces east towards Mecca and overlooks the city marketplace. The qibla is dominated by three large, box-like towers or minarets jutting out from the main wall. The cone shaped spires or pinnacles at the top of each minaret are topped with ostrich eggs.[15] The eastern wall is about a meter (3 ft) in thickness and is strengthened on the exterior by eighteen pilaster like buttresses, each of which is topped by a pinnacle. The corners are formed by rectangular shaped buttresses decorated with toron and topped by pinnacles.

The prayer hall measuring about 26 by 50 meters (85 ft x 165 ft) occupies the eastern half of the mosque behind the qibla wall. The mud covered wooden roof is supported by nine interior walls running north-south which are pierced by pointed arches that reach up almost to the roof.[17] This design creates a forest of ninety massive rectangular pillars that span the interior prayer hall and severely reduce the field of view. The small irregularly positioned windows on the north and south walls allow little natural light to reach the interior of the hall. The floor is of sandy earth.

In the prayer hall, each of the three towers in the qibla wall has a niche or mihrab. The iman conducts the prayers from the mihrab in the larger central tower. A narrow opening in the ceiling of the central mihrab connects with a small room situated above roof level in the tower. In earlier times, a crier would repeat the words of the imam to people in the town. To the right of the mihrab in the central tower is a second niche, the pulpit or minbar, from which the iman preaches his Friday sermon.

The towers in the qibla wall do not contains stairs linking the prayer hall with the roof. Instead there are two square towers housing stairs leading to the roof. One set of stairs is located at the south western corner of the prayer hall while the other set, situated near the main entrance on the northern side, is only accessible from the exterior of the mosque. Small vents in the roof are topped with removable inverted kiln-fired bowls, which when removed allow hot air to rise out of the building and so ventilate the interior.

The interior courtyard to the west of the prayer hall measuring 20 m x 46 m (65 ft x 150 ft) is surrounded on three sides by galleries. The walls of the galleries facing the courtyard are punctuated by arched openings. The western gallery is reserved for use by women.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Masjid Dian Al Mahri | Golden Dome

Masjid Dian Al Mahri or known as Golden Dome Mosque is an imposing mosque standing in the city of Depok, West Java Province, Indonesia. The characteristic of this masjid is located on the roof dome is made of 24 carat gold. The building of this mosque has a width of about 8 hectares and occupies an area of 60 hectares of "hot. It is said, because the grandeur, the mosque is often referred to as the most magnificent mosques in Southeast Asia, exceeding Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta.

This mosque was inaugurated on December 31, 2006 with the name of Dian Al-Mahri Mosque. This opening date coincides with the Feast of Idul Adha 1427H According to stories circulating, materials mosque was directly imported from European countries and Brazil, such as gold, lighting, and granite from Italy, as well as some other materials from Spain, Norway, and Brazil. Its construction was carried out by qualified professionals from overseas and a cost of billions of rupiah.

Golden Dome Mosque was built by a businessman named Hajj-ah Banten. Dian Djuriah Al Rashid. Wealthy businessman has bought the land in the Depok area since 1996 and started building since 2001. Development mosque completed in late 2006 and opened to the public precisely at 31 December 2006.

Masjid Roma | Grand Mosque of Rome

The largest mosque in Europe is standing in the center of the Catholic world in which the Vatican is episentrumnya.Precisely in the area of Islamic Cultural Center in Rome. Rome mosque stood gracefully, careful research and a mature architectural concepts. The mosque is the main prayer hall contains 40 x 60 square meters which can accommodate 2500 audience, smaller prayer room capacity of 150 worshipers and spacious ablution space below the main prayer room.

Rome mosque domes covered with 20 meters in diameter and 16 more in the surrounding domes. Building support in the form of the letter H, the library comprises an area of 4000 m2, a classroom, conference room capacity of 400 people and exhibition space. On the plus 2 apartments for the priests, mosque officials, guests and visitors.

Mosque development which is dominated with yellow color is lasted from 1984-1992. King of Saudi Arabia, the late Faisal bin Abdul Azis assumed 40 thousand Muslims in Rome (in 1970) it was time to have their own mosque to quiet worship. This idea was presented at that time the Italian president, Geovanni Leone, during a visit to Saudi Arabia. The mosque can also be a medium of dialogue between religions and remove sentiment against Islam. In Rome there was a Jewish synagogue big enough. Leone received the proposal and they will provide the land. King Faisal provide funds approximately 30 million USD.

Building committee was formed immediately. Rome city council to ensure its location in the foothills of Monte Antenne area of 7.5 hectares. Italian Islamic Cultural Center held a design competition for architects. The winner, Paolo Portoghesi and Vittorio Gigliotti from Italy who worked on the interior and Sami Mousawi of Iraq, working on the exterior. In 1976 the plan has matured, but some Italian groups opposed its construction. They are not psychologically prepared to accept the presence of a mosque in their city. The issue of environmental sustainability, the Italian government issue of money pouring oil from Saudi Arabia was widely circulated in the media. Rolled into racial sentiments and death threats for Portoghesi and the mayor of Rome. Tensions subsided only after the Vatican declared full support that mosque construction. The Vatican called the Mosque of Rome is the catwalk stairs to the unification of the religion of Abraham in the world.

What's Mosque?

A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word entered the English language most likely through French (mosquée), from Spanish (mezquita), from Berber (tamezgida), ultimately originating in Arabic: masjid مسجد‎ — Arabic pronunciation: [ˈmæsdʒɪd].[1] The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration.

The word "mosque" in English refers to all types of buildings dedicated for Islamic worship, although there is a distinction in Arabic between the smaller masjid dedicated for the daily five prayers and the larger masjid jāmi‘ (مسجد جامع) where the daily five prayers and the Friday congregation sermons are held with a high volume of attendance. The masjid jāmi‘ also plays more roles such as teaching Qur'an and educating future imams.