Fanar, as it is known and loved by the people of Qatar, is one of Doha’s prominent landmarks and can be seen from afar, especially in the evenings, when its lights highlight the unique minaret of this beautiful centre. Fanar was the biggest mosque in the country till the Imam Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab Mosque took its place.
Did you know the Fanar Centre is actually called the Sheikh Abdulla Bin Zaid Al Mahmoud Islamic Cultural Centre? However, it is commonly known as ‘Fanar’ or even the ‘spiral mosque’.
In case you’re wondering who Sheikh Abdulla Bin Zaid Al Mahmoud is, let us shed some light on him for you. He was a famous Qatari Islamic scholar and was also the founder of Qatar’s judicial system. Fanar was named after Sheikh Abdulla by the Amir to honour his many achievements when he was the Supreme Judge of Qatar.
Fanar is a Qatari state initiative; it has been constructed so the beauty of Qatari Culture can be shown to the world. Through a number of different mediums, it presents a number of different themes and ideas to the community in Qatar and hopes to engage guests that visit the Centre in a dialogue of perceptions, regardless of whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims, and show them the world of Islam in a number of different languages by rationalising it for them.
Fanar is well-known in Qatar for playing host to a number of religious, education-related and social, activities along with being a mosque.
For non-Muslims who want to learn more about Islam and Islamic culture, Fanar is the ideal place to go. There are workshops on Islam and Fanar also operates tours to the Katara Mosque to learn more about the Islamic religion, to see what a mosque looks like from the inside and experience what takes place there.
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The Centre is also known to publish many Islamic studies. There is also a library and a permanent exhibition that provides details on the basics of Islam.
The Friday Khutba (sermon) just before the Friday prayers is in English, and along with Muslims who want to listen to this sermon in the English language, non-Muslims and tourists are more than welcome to come and attend.
Fanar is a great place to learn the Arabic language with courses that range from learning the basic Arabic alphabets to reading and writing the language proficiently in an interactive environment.
The Arabic course is split into five levels starting from the very basics of the alphabet, and progressing to a stage where the learner is proficient in speaking, reading, writing and listening. Designed to be simple and clear, the syllabus builds up the knowledge and ability of the learner in gradual phases, progressing to understanding all aspects of the language, by looking at conversation, verbs and their formation, and vocabulary
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Along with a mosque, Fanar also houses a cultural centre where women can come to enjoy the Traditional Arabic Coffee morning where the talk centres around Qatari lifestyle, its rich culture and heritage amongst other things.
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Fanar is located in the Corniche area of Doha, adjacent to Souq Waqif, and this beautiful iconic landmark of Qatar can be seen from afar.
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