According to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, the total number of mosques in the country in 2017 has surpassed 2,000, with the old mosques renovated by Qatar Museums. The oldest mosque in Qatar is said to be Al Ruwais Mosque which was built in the 1940s on the ruins of an older one, thought to be from the 17th century. Among these thousands of masjids in Qatar, we rounded up the most awe-inspiring mosques in Qatar that you definitely have to see for their architectural beauty, Islamic art, and history as a sacred place of worship and as a cultural landmark. So scroll down to take a look at the most beautiful mosques in Qatar:
Reopened to the public in 2011, the magnificent Grand Mosque was named after Imam Muhammad Ibn Abd Al Wahhab (1703 – 1792), a well-known religious Muslim leader, reformer, theologian, and pioneer during the 18th century. Its façade is made up of sandstone and preserved traditional features of Qatar’s rich heritage and its prolific history. Imam Abdul Wahhab Masjid has a contemporary design with a traditional Qatari twist to its simple, yet elegant façade and its stunningly beautiful interior design and décor.
Learn more about Qatar's State Grand Mosque here.
Location: Al Mohandiseen Street, Doha
The stunning and modern Education City Mosque designed by Mangera Yvars Architects rests on five large columns representing the five pillars of Islam, with each featuring a verse drawn from the Holy Qur'an. Opened in 2015, Education City Mosque's two minarets points towards Mecca and are also embossed with verses from the Holy Qur'an. It can host 1,800 worshippers in its main prayer hall and another 1,000 in its exterior courtyard.
Aside from the prayer rooms inside the airport, travelers and employees can also pray at the public mosque located outside of the passenger terminal, within walking distance from the Departures Hall. The modern design of the mosque is inspired by the shape of a water droplet. Beside the Doha Airport mosque is a tall minaret and it overlooks the airport lagoon.
Location: Hamad International Airport
The Blue Mosque located inside Katara Cultural Village earned its name from its facade filled with turquoise and purple mosaic tiles. Designed by the renowned Turkish mosque designer, Zainab Fadil Oglu, the mosque's interior, and exterior architectural designs, together with the minaret, the dome, and the prayer niche (mihrab) are all inspired by several famous mosques found in various cities and capitals of the Muslim world.
Another notable mosque located in Katara is The Golden Masjid which is decorated with extremely small golden chips.
Location: Katara Cultural Village
The new Msheireb Mosque might look simple and modern but this mosque has earned accolades which include the prestigious ‘Abdullatif Alfozan Award for Mosque Architecture’ for its adoption of new technologies and meticulously planned architectural features. The design of the building is based on traditional Qatari mosques, which have for centuries used orientation, shading, natural ventilation, and water to create comfortable environments for prayer and worship, according to Msheireb Properties.
In addition, "The building has received the Gold LEED accreditation for its effective energy conservation, along with the quality of its design. It incorporates a tailored daylight design, to create dynamic sun patches inspired by Qatari motifs within the main hall during prayer hours, and needs no artificial lighting during daytime hours. Embracing key principles of Islamic art, geometric patterns, and designs, Msheireb Mosque fuses modernist ideas with a historically familiar arrangement of Islamic volumes, spaces, and thresholds."
Location: Msheireb Downtown
Used to be the biggest mosque in the country, Fanar remains to be one of Doha's iconic landmarks, especially at night. Also called the Spiral Mosque, it is named after Sheikh Abdulla Bin Zaid Al Mahmoud, a famous Qatari Islamic scholar and was also the founder of Qatar’s judicial system.
Aside from being a mosque, it is also a place where non-Muslims can learn about Islam and Islamic culture. It also offers a range of courses for those who want to learn the Arabic language. 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.
Click here to learn more about Fanar Qatar Islamic Cultural Centre.
If you plan on visiting any of these mosques, here's a short visiting guide for expats.
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