Shah Faisal Mosque

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Located in Islamabad, Pakistan, the Shah Faisal Mosque, named after a Saudi king, was completed in 1988 and can accommodate 100,000 Muslim worshipers. AFP/Getty Images.

Shah Faisal Mosque (Pakistan)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The Shah Faisal Mosque, located near Islamabad, Pakistan, is the largest mosque in the world. The idea of building the mosque emerged as the new nation of Pakistan (founded in 1947) settled down after the turmoil of its independence movement. A site near the city was selected and the proposal presented to King Faisal of Saudi Arabia (1906–1975) when he visited Pakistan in 1966. Enthusiastic about the proposed mosque, he offered to underwrite it financially. In gratitude, the Pakistanis named the mosque in his honor, as well as the main road from the mosque to the city. The design by a Turkish architect, Vedat Dalokay, was selected.

The cornerstone of the mosque was laid in October 1976 by King Khalid (who had succeeded to the throne of Saudi Arabia following the assassination of Faisal in 1975). The building was completed in 1988. The finished complex covers 47.87 acres. The covered area of the prayer hall encompasses 1.19 acres. It can accommodate approximately 100,000 worshipers at any given time.

Rivaling the Pakistani mosque is the Hassan II Mosque, constructed in Casablanca, Morocco, to honor the Moroccan king on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday. It boasts enough space for 25,000 worshipers inside and another 80,000 outside. Attached is a 210-meter minaret, the tallest in the world. The Hassan II Mosque was constructed totally from local materials, including granite, marble, and wood.

As with some other modern expensive religious structures, the Hassan II Mosque was not built without controversy. Many questioned the use of the half billion dollars expended in its construction, as well as protesting the destruction of a large, poor section of Casablanca to make way for it. None of the displaced residents received any compensation for the loss of their homes.


Serageldin, Ismail, with James Steele, eds. Architecture of the Contemporary Mosque. London: Academy Editions, 1996.
Shaw, Isobel. Pakistan. Lincolnwood: Passport Books, 1996.
References in periodicals archive ?
The prominent tourist's attraction and places includes Margalla Hills, Islamabad Zoo, Shaker Parrian, Rawal Lake, Lotus Lake, Khanpur Dam Lake, Simli Dam Lake, Shah Faisal Mosque, Daman-E-Koh, Fatima Jinnah Park, Rose And Jasmine Garden, Japanese Park and Chattar Bagh.
Likewise, bus/wagon stands in G-10, G-11, I-11, G-6, G-8, Bari Imam, and Shah Faisal Mosque were also auctioned.
Responding to another question, he said it was not a fact that no proper arrangements for cleanliness had been made by the government in and outside the Shah Faisal Mosque.
He said this while talking to media men after attending special prayers in Shah Faisal Mosque here Wednesday.