1. MASJIDIL HARAM, SAUDI ARABIA
- The Masjid al-Haram “The Sacred Mosque” or the “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. Muslims face in the direction of the Kaaba while performing formal worship. One of the Five Pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform the Hajj pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime if able to do so, including circumambulation of the Kaaba. The current structure covers an area of 356,800 square metres (88.2 acres) including the outdoor and indoor praying spaces and can accommodate up to four million worshipers during the Hajj period, one of the largest annual gatherings of people in the world. Unlike many other mosques which are segregated, men and women worship at Masjid al-Haram together.
2. NABAWI MOSQUE, MADINAH
- Al-Masjid al-Nabawī (Arabic: اَلْمَسْجِد اَلنَّبَوِي “Mosque of the Prophet”), often called the Prophet’s Mosque, is a mosque built by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad situated in the city of Medina. It is the second holiest site in Islam (the first being the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca). It was the second mosque built in history and is now one of the largest mosques in the world. After an expansion during the reign of al-Walid I, it also now incoporates the site of the final resting place of Muhammad and early Muslim leaders Abu Bakr and Umar. The site was originally adjacent to Muhammad’s house; he settled there after his Hijra (emigration) to Medina in 622. He shared in the heavy work of construction. The original mosque was an open-air building. The basic plan of the building has been adopted in the building of other mosques throughout the world.
3. Sultan Faisal Mosque, Pakistan
- The Faisal Mosque is the largest mosque in Pakistan, located in the national capital city of Islamabad. Completed in 1986, it was designed byTurkish architect Vedat Dalokay to be shaped like a desert Bedouin’s tent. It is situated at the north end of Faisal Avenue, putting it at the northernmost end of the city and at the foot of Margalla Hills, the westernmost foothills of the Himalayas. It is located on an elevated area of land against a picturesque backdrop of the Margalla Hills. This enviable location represents the mosque’s great importance and allows it to be seen from miles around day and night.
4. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque
- The Sultan Ahmed Mosque has one main dome, six minarets, and eight secondary domes. The design is the culmination of two centuries of both Ottoman mosque and Byzantine church development. It incorporates some Byzantine elements of the neighboring Hagia Sophiawith traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period. The architect, Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa, synthesized the ideas of his master Sinan, aiming for overwhelming size, majesty and splendour.
5. Cordoba Mosque
Córdoba was the capital of the Spanish Muslim dynasty of the Ummayads (756-1031). The Great Mosque of Córdoba (La Mezquita) was founded 785 CE. It was added to and expanded over the next two hundred years to make it the third largest structure in the Islamic world. The prayer hall (23,400 square meters) is filled with almost 500 hundred slender columns and superimposed striped arches; a forest sprouting from the marble floor. Previously the site had been occupied by a Christian church dedicated to Saint Vincent that had been built by the Visigoths around 500 CE. Before that, when Córdoba was a provincial capital in the Roman Empire, the site was occupied by a temple dedicated to Janus, the double-headed god of doorways and gates.
6. Masjid Brunei
The mosque is built in an artificial lagoon on the banks of the Brunei River at Kampong Ayer, the “village in the water”. It has marble minarets and golden domes with courtyards and lush gardens full of fountains. The mosque is surrounded by a large number of trees and floral gardens which in Islam symbolizes heaven. A bridge reaches across the lagoon to Kampong Ayer in the middle of the river. Another marble bridge leads to a structure in the lagoon meant as a replica of a 16th Century Sultan Bolkiah mahligai barge. It was built to commemorate the 1,400th anniversary of Nuzul Al-Quran (coming down of the Quran), completed in 1967 and used to stage Quran reading competition.
7.Great Mosque, Xian, China
- It is the oldest and one of the most renowned mosques in the country, founded in 742.It was built and renovated in later periods (especially during the reign of Emperor Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty). It remains a popular tourist site of Xi’an, and is still used by Chinese Muslims (mainly the Hui people) today as a place of worship. Unlike most mosques in Middle Eastern or Arab countries, the Great Mosque of Xi’an is completely Chinese in its construction and architectural style, except for some Arabic lettering and decorations, for the mosque has neither domes nor traditional-style minarets.