By Stany D'Souza, Bajpe, Mangalore
In all religions devotees have built many churches, mosques, temples.... This denotes the belief of the faithful that the Creator exist. This is the place of worship and to unite with Him. One feels he gets mental peace and assurance being in this world because of Him.
The places of worship are primarily built by the donations. But in some places these places of worship are built by the rulers. In this context, one of the mosque is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi, in UAE.
Recently, I had an opportunity to visit this mosque in Abu Dhabi and also see other Arab's prestigious monuments, landmark buildings ...etc also in other places of UAE.
For a moment, if one could be able to keep aside one's God, Bhagwan, Allah .... and the money power ..... and just concentrate on an 'artists' creation of art and architecture, I think, in my opinion, one could fully enjoy it on a visit to this mosque. This is complete and majestic in its form and symmetry.
This magnificent mosque is the pride of a nation. A work of art. The facts illustrates the hours of dedication and attention to detail that went into the creation of this stunning structure. The idea of having such a grand mosque came to the late Sheikh Zayed two decades ago. Now that dream has been materialised as The Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque.
Although this mosque is built primarily for Muslims, any one irrespective of their religion can take a tour of this mosque. There is a dress code to visit this mosque. Females are provided black abayas to wear and once inside its difficult to pinpoint one's religion. This mosque is open daily to visitors except on Friday mornings.
01. Artists from Germany, Morocco, Italy, India, Turkey, Iran, China, Greece and UAE, more than 3000 employees, 38 contracting companies have participated in the construction of this mosque.
02. This mosque was thought to be built in Moroccan design but later on it was built on various designs and outer wall in Turkish design.
03. The total area of this mosque site is equivalent to five football fields.
04. This mosque can accommodate 40960 worshippers, that is 22729 worshippers in the open courtyard, 7126 in the main prayer hall, 1980 in the open prayer hall, 980 female worshippers, 784 in the main hall entrance and 682 in the main prayer hall entrance.
05. The worlds largest chandelier can be found in the main prayer hall. It measures 10 metres in diameter, 15 metres in height and weighs more than 9 tonnes.
06. The worlds largest hand-knotted carpet consisting of 2268000 knots designed by an Iranian artist Ali Khaliq featured in the main prayer hall. The value of this carpet is $8.2 million.
07. 1000 columns in its outer areas are clad with 20000 marble panels.
08. The four minarets standing on four corners of the mosque are 107 metres in height.
09. The mosque has 82 domes of Moroccan design.
10. The Quibla wall is 23 metres high and 50 metres wide.
11. 99 names of Allah on the Quibla wall have rendered in traditional kufi calligraphy, designed by prominent UAE calligrapher Mohammed Mendi.
12. The main dome is largest in the world and 87 metres high.