Faisal Mosque

By the Editors of the Madain Project

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The Faisal Mosque (Urdu: فیصل مسجد‎, romanized: Faisal Masjid) is a mosque located in Islamabad, Pakistan. It is the fifth-largest mosque in the world and the largest within South Asia, located on the foothills of Margalla Hills in Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad.

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The Faisal Mosque can accommodate about 300,000 worshippers. It was the largest mosque in the world from 1986 until 1993 when it was overtaken by the mosques in Saudi Arabia. Faisal Mosque is now the fifth largest mosque in the world in terms of capacity.

The mosque features a contemporary design consisting of eight sides of concrete shell and is inspired by the design of a typical Bedouin tent. Entrance to the mosque complex is from the east, where the prayer hall is fronted by a courtyard with porticoes. The entire mosque covers an area of 33 acres (130,000 m2; 1,400,000 sq ft).

The construction of the mosque costed some $45 million, of which $28 million was funded by the King Faisal after whom the mosque was named.

Exterior Architecture


Main Building
Instead of using traditional domes, Vedat Dalokay (architect of the Shah Faisal Masjid) designed an eight-sided main hall that looked like an Arab's Bedouin desert tent. Additionally, he added four minarets on all four corners of the main hall, which are of 80 m (260 ft) high, the tallest minarets in South Asia.



Prayer Hall
The main structure of the building is the main prayer hall, which is supported by four concrete girders. The interior of the main tent-shaped hall is covered in white marble and decorated with mosaics and calligraphy by the famous Pakistani artist Sadequain, and a spectacular Turkish-style chandelier. The mosaic pattern adorns the west wall and has the Kalimah written in early Kufic script, repeated in mirror image pattern.

Mausoleum of Zia ul-Haq


The mausoleum of general Zia ul-Haq is located in the southern courtyards of the Shah Faisal Masjid. It is a small octagonal structure built with marble and enclosed with a low marble grate.


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