The Shah Cheragh mosque translates to English as ‘King of the Light’, a fitting name for a place of worship and mausoleum that reflects so much of it. Stepping inside of what appears to be the standard architecture of many masajed in the area, one is transported to a realm of light, sparkling gems, and reflective rainbows.
The Shah Cheragh Mosque is both a place of worship, and a mausoleum of sons of Mūsā al-Kādhim, Ahmad and Muhammad. It is now an important place of pilgrimage within the Shia tradition.
The mosque was constructed around the burial site around 1130 AD, after the tombs of the brothers were discovered, unearthed, and said to be shining. Queen Tash Khātūn ordered the mosque to be repaired and expanded from 1344-1349, and by her orders a college was also built there. Under the construction and design of Queen Tash Khātūn, the interior of the mosque was decorated in an intricate mosaic of thousands upon thousands of shards of glass and mirror, giving the mosque its iconic look. Her intention was to reflect and intensify any light a thousand times over.
Subsequent repairs were also made in 1506, 1588, 1827, 1852, and 1958. Famously, Elizabeth Taylor had a photo shoot there as well.
The mosque is open to non-muslims, though the sites of pilgrimage remain restricted. Visitors are paired with a tour guide and given appropriate clothing, all free of charge. The mosque, a site of religious importance and cultural and architectural heritage, is said to be one of the most beautiful in the world.
Gaza: Land of 1,230 Mosques. Its people are begining to question why.
Gaza, an area 25 miles long and 8 miles wide has 1,230 mosques, many ornate and extravagant.
The people of Gaza are begining to ask why.
Imam al-Shafei Mosque in the al-Zaitoun neighborhood of Gaza was built at a cost of $3.5 million.
Imam al-Shafei Mosque in Gaza
Al-Hassayna Mosque in Gaza City cost over $2 million.
Al-Hassayna Mosque in Gaza
The Al-Khalidi and Salim Abu Muslim mosques in Gaza were built at a cost over $1 million each. More lavish mosques will be opening soon.
Gaza's Al-Khalidi Mosque
In improverished Gaza, citizens are begining to question the wisdom of such lavish expenses.
Mohammad al-Khalidi, a citizen from Gaza, poured out his resentment of such luxury mosques. “The Ministry of Endowments claims that the donors funding the construction of the mosques want to spend this much money on them. But why would it [the ministry] not inform the donors that there are other fields in Gaza where the donations could be more useful? Mosques can be built at a reasonable cost and the remainder of the donations could be used to build hospitals, schools or residences, for example.
Al Khalidi questioned these priorities:
“The opening of the Khalil al-Wazir Mosque in the coming months will stir an uproar among Gazans due to the large number of mosques already present in Gaza, in the absence of development projects, hospitals and sewage networks. For example, in the Beit Lahia area in northern Gaza, the Salim Abu Muslim Mosque was built at a cost of $1 million, while a nonregulated landfill in the area is endangering the health of the locals and the environment.”
The construction of these lavish mosques in Gaza is yet another indication of how out of touch the Hamas leadership is to the needs of its people and how misplaced its priorities have been.
Read more here:
Gazans outraged over millions of dollars spent building mosques
Places of Worship Around the World: Edmonton, Canada
Al-Rashid Mosque is the first mosque ever built in Canada.
It first opened in December 1938, when Canada's Muslim population totaled about 700 people (nowadays it's estimated that there are around 1,053,945).
If you're looking at that mosque and thinking "Huh. That's a weird-looking mosque..." you're not wrong, and there's a reason behind the unorthodox shape of the building: it wasn't designed/built by a Muslim.
It was designed by Ukrainian-Canadian contractor Mike Drewoth, who modeled the architecture after the Eastern Christian (Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox) immigrant churches of the time.
Here's what it looked like upon first opening:
The building shown above is now mostly unused for worship and is maintained for historical purposes, as the Muslim Edmontonian population has long grown too large to be accommodated in the original building. The primary building that's used nowadays looks like this:
From Soviet monumentalism to mosques, take a peek inside the first architectural guide to Chechnya and the North Caucasus
Saint George the Dragon Slayer Monument built in 1995 in Tamisk (Ossetia). Saint George is locally knows as Uastyrdzhi. The project of sculptor Nikolai Khodov, it was produced as a gift to the people of Ossetia. Today it is the largest equestrian monument in the world. Historically, this was where travellers once stopped and asked for help from higher powers; so the sanctuary of Uastyrdzhi Nykhasa was created.
Pray for kandahar 💔
Today more than 100 people were killed and injured in an explosion in the city of Kandahar,
The explosion occurred while prayers were praying inside a mosque in Kandahar city.
We are with you kandahar stay strong this pain is shared between us
Pray for Afghanistan stand with Afghanistan
کندهار موژ له تاسو سره په غم کی شریک یو
Lauded as one of the most unique, sustainable, and eco-friendly mosques in North America, Dar al-Islam sits on a thousand of acres of breathtaking hills and valleys. The mosque itself is situated atop a plateau that overlooks the dramatic landscape, and many trails and hiking paths have been carved into the land.
The mosque and madrassa were designed by Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy and were constructed primarily of adobe, both in respect to local architecture and a nod to the traditional North African influence. Fathy arrived in Abiquiú in 1980, and was joined joined by many who came from around the USA and Mexico to help build the mosque and learn the traditional art of Egyptian mud-brick building.
The original intention of the building project was to supply a place where American Muslims could live in a residential community. The plans included a campus composed of a central mosque, school, dormitory, housing for the community, a women’s center, hotel, public bath, and an art’s center. And though not all of the original dreams were achieved, the community today still functions as an active mosque and spiritual retreat center, as well as an educational hub and retreat center for inter-faith events and those wishing to learn more about Islam. It is open to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, who enjoy the community, education, and surrounding nature.