mr. khairul called it the white mosque. made of white marble, i guess it is pretty fitting. looking so majestic from far away, made more resplendent with the sun shining. the sunlight, reflecting upon the snow white marble gave it an illusion of an arabian castle built on white clouds.
with my eldest son khaleef in front of sheikh zayed grand mosque. stunningly beautiful! amazing! gorgeous! I’m gonna be lost for words after this – I need a thesaurus!
fun facts about sheikh zayed grand mosque :
- can fit 40,000 worshippers
- it features 82 domes, and over a 1,000 columns
- the outside columns are decorated in a floral design with semi-precious stones, and 96 columns in the main prayer hall, each inlaid with pearls
- it has 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers decked in swarovski crystals
- the floors in the prayer hall is covered with the world's largest hand knotted carpet;designed by iranian artist ali khaliqi and hand crafted by 1,300 artisans
- the main prayer hall is dominated by one of the world’s largest chandeliers –10 metres in diameter, 15 metres in height and weighing 12 tonnes
- the mosque's first ceremony was the funeral of its namesake, Sheikh Zayed, who is buried at the site. sheikh zayed is the late president of UAE (some say bapa UAE, macam tunku abd rahman kita)
me, khairul’s mom, khairul’s aunt maklang & sis tina
the first time I was here was with my mom-in-law (in salmon-colored tudung) when she was here in 2009 after I delivered my 2nd son kahfi. I’ve also taken my abah and umi to perform prayers here.
fast-forward to 2014, now again with my mom-in-law and her sis maklang and my sis-in-law. khairul’s aunt saw a recording of the eid prayers held in sheikh zayed grand mosque, and has been wanting to come see for herself ever since. alhamdulillah, a dream come true!
the car park of the mosque is like the underground park to a shopping mall! here we are walking from the lift towards the prayer halls.
entering the courtyard of the mosque – a picture from the outside, and another one from the inside.
the mosque courtyard is covered with flowery mosaic; easily one of the largest marble mosaic in the world. such amazingness to step on!
4 very tall minarets on the 4 corners of the mosque and bulbs of domes - 57 domes of 7 different sizes to be exact, covering the outside yard and the main building. standing at the courtyard, i can really see the domes popping out on top of the majestic mosque, like cendawan lepas hujan!
those long rows of columns? this is what they look like close-up. embedded with gorgeous flower motif lingering upwards towards bunches of gold-plated leaves.
me on the path towards the place for ablution
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to go to the place of ablution, you need to go down the escalator, where the ceiling design is no less impressive. so pretty! look at that green tiles! the washroom is tiled like that too!
and this is where worshippers purify themselves with wudu’ (ablution). abu hurairah said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say, ‘on the day of rising, my community will be called ‘those with white blazes on their foreheads and limbs’ from the effects of wudu’. so whoever of you can increase the extent of whiteness, should do so.’”
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time to pray. only with mr. khairul’s mom, sis and aunt. mr. khairul took the boys to the main prayer hall to pray. this is where we can keep our shoes. if I’m not mistaken, if you’re skeptical in leaving your shoes here, the officers around the mosque can provide you with a plastic bag to keep your shoes. but insyaAllah, your shoes are safe in UAE!
this is not the main prayer hall, but my, it’s already SO stunning. I was dumbfounded for a few seconds, starring at the ceiling.
this cute arab girl kept looking at us getting ready for prayers, especially mr. khairul’s mom. probably not used to seeing our white prayer garments – ye la mak dia dah pakai jubah, pakai tudung tu cukup lah kan! actually, that’s the truth – as long as you cover your aurah, it’s acceptable. like my sis syida said, ‘when you go out no matter where, if you’re not dressed ready for prayers (covering aurah properly) then you’re not really dressing properly.’ snap!
the place where the Qurans are kept is so pretty and elegant. even the clock on the wall too – that reminds us of the prayer times.
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this is the wall outside of the main prayer hall that has the biggest carpet and the biggest chandelier in a mosque. it’s quite a magnificent sight! I wanna have this in my bedroom! bunga-bunga tu timbul tau!
to see how big and high up the pretty wall is, here’s my sis-in-law tina with her nephew khaleef standing by the side.
look at that chandelier. I actually prefer this design than the celebrated ‘world’s biggest chandelier in a mosque’. sigh. so beautiful. and we’re not even inside the prayer hall yet.
and here we are, inside the main prayer hall. covered with the world's largest hand knotted carpet; designed by iranian artist ali khaliqi and hand crafted by 1,300 artisans. the main prayer hall is dominated by one of the world’s largest chandeliers –10 metres in diameter, 15 metres in height and weighing 12 tonnes.
the world’s biggest chandelier in a mosque – here in the main prayer hall of sheikh zayed grand mosque.
the marble floor inside the main prayer hall is also adorned with lingering flower motif. love it so much!
this is just breathtaking. the 99 names (qualities or attributes) of Allah are featured on the kiblat wall in traditional kufi calligraphy. you can’t help but stand there for few moments; not only to admire the beauty of the wall but especially to reflect on the great attributes of our Creator.
the columns inside the prayer halls are 96 altogether; each inlaid with pearls. amazing.
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oh my. even the place for ‘drinking water’ is so lovely.
unlike other mosques in abu dhabi, the sheikh zayed grand mosque is open daily to visitors, muslims or non-muslims; except on friday morning, which is for worshippers only. this leniency is given in order to promote cultural and religious understanding. it is also an architectural marvel that should be shared irrespective of religion.
remember to dress respectfully, covering your body appropriately. however, black abayas are available (and kandoora for the men) for guests to wear if they came unprepared.
the sheikh zayed grand mosque is really an amazing mosque with magnificent persian and moorish architecture. there’s a certain tranquility as you take the long walk across the beautiful floor with the flower mosaic; or sit staring at the beautifully lined columns while waiting for the call for prayers; admiring the magnificence of the white marble domes as they glistened in the sun. even for non-muslims, this should be a spiritual experience that will – I promise – bring you peace.