So I recently had the blessing of visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. It is indeed an amazing architectural piece of work and has a capacity of about 40,000. It has 83 Moroccan domes of varying sizes and 4 minarets. The mosque is indeed a wonder with modern and classic Islamic artistry.
It is the largest mosque in the UAE and the 8th largest in the world. The beauty was constructed over a span of 11 years from 1996-2007 at a cost of about 2 billion dirhams…
I was in complete awe of the structure from the Iranian carpet to the amazing chandeliers with its million Swarovski crystals to the beautiful pools.
This piece of work was the dream of the late sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan. He imagined a place of worship where people would come together and understand Islam as a religion of peace, tolerance and diversity and still see the art, history and philosophy of the deen.
So as I walk through this mosque that reminds me of the castle of princess jasmine in the cartoon Aladdin and looks up into a dome and sees the words of Allah, reminding you of his graciousness (Surat Rahman) I feel my heart ease up. Then I see non-Muslim families in their hijabs, abayas and full Islamic regalia full of excitement as they take pictures in awe of it all…the mosque, their Islamic attire and the crowd of people, I can say his dream came true indeed.