Photo Credit: Ayah A.
10 Of The World's Most Beautiful Mosques
The world’s most beautiful mosques feature amazing architecture and details like intricate tile work, expansive domes, and towering minarets. Important centers of worship for Muslims worldwide, they attract visitors of all faiths who are awed by their rich histories and stunning design features.
1. Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Turkey
One of Istanbul‘s most popular tourist attractions, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque was built between 1609 and 1617 in Turkey’s Ottoman era. It is commonly known as the Blue Mosque due to the hand-painted blue tiles decorating its interior.
The Sultan Ahmet Mosque was constructed directly across from the Hagia Sophia Mosque in an attempt to rival it in beauty and size. Today it can host up to 100,000 worshipers.
2. Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Uzbekistan
Samarkand’s Bibi-Khanym Mosque is said to have been built by the favorite wife of Timurid Dynasty ruler, Timur as a surprise while he was away. A descendant of Ghengis Khan, it was named for the princess. Hundreds of architects and builders were brought to work on what was intended to be the greatest structure ever to be built in Uzbekistan. However, the innovative architectural feat proved to be too ambitious, and much of the mosque fell apart.
Throughout the years, it has been reconstructed and now is a favorite site among tourists to the Central Asian country.
3. Massalikoul Jinaan Mosque, Senegal
Built in Dakar in 2019, Massalikoul Jinaan (path to Heaven) Mosque is now the largest mosque in West Africa. In addition to being able to hold 30,000 worshipers, the mosque is also home to an Islamic Institute and a library.
The mosque pride’s itself on being constructed primarily by Senegalese natives, with more than 500 builders participating in its construction.
4. Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, U.A.E
The most recognized mosque in the world, Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an architectural masterpiece. It has 83 domes and is decorated with 30 different types of marble. It’s over 1,000 white marble pillars are decorated with semi-precious stones such as jasper, mother-of-pearl, amethyst, and lapis lazuli.
The mosque was built over a span of 11 years by more than 3,000 workers using materials imported from Italy, Morocco, Greece, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, China, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
5. Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, Iran
Nasir al-Mulk Mosque is located in Shiraz, one of Iran’s oldest cities. It is referred to as the Pink Mosque because its ceiling is decorated with pink tiles. The mosque boasts Persian rugs, arabesque archways, and a courtyard with a pool. But one of its most stunning features is the colorful stained-glass windows.
When visiting in the mornings, you can see the sunlight shining through, casting radiant rainbows of color onto the floors.
6. Great Mosque of Djenne, Mali
Djenne’s Great Mosque is a truly unique and magnificent structure, showcasing Sudano-Sahelian architectural style at its finest. Built with mud bricks and adobe plaster, the mosque is the world’s largest structure made from mud and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Every year a plastering festival is held in which the whole city participates in the re-plastering of the mosque in a great community effort. Typically, the women provide the water while the men do the mixing. The elders are also present to direct and advise. Despite outsiders’ attempts to change the mosque, the natives have preserved the mosque in its original form.
7. Mosque al-Haram, Saudi Arabia
Mosque al-Haram, also called the Great Mosque of Mecca and the Sacred Mosque, is the largest mosque in the world and the holiest site in the religion of Islam. It was built around the Kaa’ba, and is believed by many to be the world’s oldest mosque.
Mosque al-Haram is one of the few mosques mentioned in the Qur’an and is visited by millions of worshipers each year who come to complete the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.
8. Crystal Mosque, Malaysia
Located in Kuala Terengganu on Wan Man Island, the stunning Crystal Mosque was constructed from steel, glass, and crystal. With a sleek and almost futuristic look, the mosque reflects the water surrounding it.
An even more magnificent sight is when the mosque is illuminated from the inside and the glass domes sparkle and shimmer with light.
9. Mosque of Muhammed Ali, Egypt
Cairo is known as the city of 1,000 minarets. Two of them, the twin minarets of the Mosque of Muhammed Ali, are the most visible in the city. The mosque was named for the former ruler of Egypt and erected in the Ottoman architectural style using Turkey’s Blue Mosque as its inspiration. It features a large central dome surrounded by four smaller domes and four semicircular domes.
The mosque is primarily composed of limestone and alabaster with rich red carpets.
10. Hassan II Mosque, Morocco
The crown jewel of Casablanca, Hassan II Mosque sits on the city’s coastline, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Able to accommodate up to 105,000 worshipers, it is Africa’s largest in-use mosque. The mosque features ornate tiling, a retractable roof, handmade marble walls, and the second-tallest minaret in the world.