By Eman Bukhari
Over the years, mosques have come to carry more than a spiritual value to society, with Muslims and non-Muslim looking at them in awe. They have become a reflection of society’s progress, creative energy and architectural skills, as well as historical narratives.
How and why mosques were built create captivating stories that draw attention from all over the world. If their walls could speak, they would have much to tell. The Quba Mosque was the first mosque built by the Prophet Mohammed PBUH in Medina. The Xi’an Great Mosque in China was completed in 742 AD during the Tang Dynasty, and since then has gone through at least four other great dynasties. The Umayyad Mosque also referred to as the Great Mosque of Damascus has legends surrounding it dating back to the 6th century. The Kol Sharif in Russia dates back to the 16th century.
Contemporary mosques do not fall behind the historically rich mosques. Exhibits all around the world have taken place to showcase the evolution of mosque designs, and architects are sought after for the latest design techniques. Completed in 1986 is Pakistan’s Faisal Mosque, the largest Mosque in South Asia, and until 1993 it was the world’s largest mosque, to be then replaced by the Moroccan mosque, Hassan II Mosque, and today Al Masjid Al Haram is the largest mosque in the world. Other mosques around the world with unique designs include, a mosque in Bavaria and Switzerland whereas the sunsets, the only visible aspect of the mosque is an outline of the marinate in lights.
Islam does not specify how a mosque should look like, it can be a simple room made out of palm leaves. No matter how bold or grand a mosque is, its purpose stays the same, it is a place of worship.