In spirit of the past Charity Art Gala hosted by MSA’s Submissions and Hope team, I wanted to highlight a type of art we could not bring to the gala. And when I mean could not, by any laws placed on us, physically impossible. So I dedicated my time to bring forth this underrepresented art, Islamic architecture. Unfortunately I am not majoring in architecture but I believe these masjids do an amazing job of attesting for themselves. Since the inception of Islam, Islamic architecture has been dosing people with domes, minarets, intricate motifs, tiles and calligraphy. Through this short list I would like to remind myself and others of the beauty of  Islam and its influence on different cultures. The splendor of  the following pictures does not fully capture the magnificence of each masjid. One of the hardest tasks of appreciating eclectic masajid from around the world was creating a concise list to share. Next time you go on vacation, make sure to put these destinations on your list.  

  1. Masjid Al-Haram

As always the most wonderful place, and most near and dear to the Ummah’s heart is Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. If any of you have ever visited (may Allah make it possible for all of us to visit inshallah), you will understand how this masjid takes the top prize.

2.  Masjid Al-Nabawi

A 4 hour drive from Mecca to this resting place of Prophet (SAW). Every part of this masjid vibrates radiance. The calligraphy within the walls delicately intertwining in the ceilings. The green dome standing tall and proud within the most beloved part of the masjid. Outside magnificent umbrellas open to shade the devout Muslims from Saudi Arabia’s basking sun. It is one of the most serene and pristine places in the world.  

(Photo by Danish Razvi) 

3. Great Masjid of Xi’an

Easily one of the oldest masjids in China, this architectural piece integrates Islam into the vast country. Gardens and courtyards surround this place of worship. A Chinese pavilion stands proud in tall, welcoming people to the prayer. Summer of 2016 is not coming fast enough.

(Photo by Isaac Torrontera) 

4. Taj Mahal Masjid

This masjid gives you another great reason to visit Taj Mahal. Created as a compliment to the massive edifice, this masjid serves to bring elegance to observing prayer.  

(Photo by Nik Daum)

5. Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Masjid

Sitting on its own lagoon, this masjid in Brunei does not allow one enough breath to even say breathtaking. If you want a stunning view of Bandar Seri Begawan, take the elevator in the minaret to the top. To top off this masjid is a dome of pure gold.

(Photo by Yasir HMAD)

6. Masjid Al-Aqsa

Found in the historic world of Jerusalem, Masjid Al-Aqsa is an integral part of Islamic history. There is no better way to appreciate the vast history of this holy site then going.

(Source: Lost Islamic History)

7. Al-Saleh Masjid

Please procrastinate and enjoy this 3D tour of this modern masjid.

(Photo by Fatima Almutawakel)

8. Sultanahmet Masjid (The Blue Masjid)

Turkish architecture can parallel to no other art. Sultan Ahmed Masjid sits within the cross-continental city of Istanbul. Blue mosaic tiles give it the nickname of the Blue Masjid.

(Source: Best Photos Ever)

9. Jami Ul-Alfar Masjid

Tall in the city of Colombo is this red and white patterned masjid. Integrated within the lively streets, Jami Ul-Afar blends Moorish and Russian architecture.

(Photo by Unknown)

10. Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid

Claiming its spot as the largest masjid in the Phillipines, this masjid attracts a large amount of tourists from all over the world. This masjid was funded by Hassanal Bolkiah the Sultan of Brunei, mimicking some of the style of Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Masjid.

(Photo by Mohamad Calolong)

11. Shah Cheragh Masjid

In order to visit, one must be warned by the amount of luster contained within this architectural wonder. Nicknamed the Mirrored Masjid, almost every inch of this masjid is covered with reflective surfaces, dazzling any person to come and worship.  

(Photo by Unknown) 

12. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Masjid

This masjid speaks for itself.

(Photos by Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center)

13. Masjid Kristal

Another contender for the  most astonishing masjid is this one made from steel, crystal, and glass. It sits on the island Wan Man of Malaysia, a part of the vast Islamic Heritage Park.  

(Photo by Wan Taquddin)

14. Badshahi Masjid

The second largest masjid in Pakistan, this masjid was once the biggest in the world. Red stone adorns the outside with sophisticated carvings surrounding the building. A courtyard helps to hold overflow of tourists and locals during prayer times.

(Photo by Muhammad Ashar)

15. Masjid Raya  

Octagonal in shape, this masjid is influenced by Moroccan, European, Malaysian, and Middle Eastern architecture.

(Photo by Unknown)

Honorable mentions:

  • Nasir Al-Mulk Masjid
  • Sheikh Lotfollah Masjid
  • Jumeirah Grand Masjid
  • Sabancı Central Masjid
  • Agha Bozorg Masjid
  • Masjid-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan (lowkey the Hogwarts of masajid)
  • Akhmad Kadyrov Masjid
  • Al Noor Masjid
  • Şehzade Masjid
  • Nur-Astana Masjid
  • Mecca Masjid
  • Sultan Qaboos Grand Masjid

I apologize if I did not bring justice to any of your favorite masajid. Inshallah after looking through endless photos I am making sincere du’aa that we can all see and pray in these masajid within our lifetime.

–Fiha Abdulrahman

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