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17 Absolutely Stunning Mosques From Around The World

Simply beautiful.

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The Masjid al-Haram houses the Ka’bah, which is the holiest site in Islam. It is also the location of the hajj and umrah pilgrimages.

The Masjid al-Nabwi, or the Prophet’s mosque, is located nearby in Medina and was originally built by the Prophet Muhammad.

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The Nasir ol Molk mosque, also known as the “Pink Mosque,” was built in 1888 by the order of Qajar ruler Mirza Hasan Ali Nasir al Molk in Shiraz, Iran. The masjid is notable for having a stunning kaleidoscope effect in the morning light.

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The Dome of the Rock was built in the 7th century A.D. by Umayyad caliph ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. The famous mihraj, or ascension, of the Prophet Muhammad is said to have happened here, as well as the sacrifice of Abraham’s son. The site was built over the Temple Mount and is considered sacred to all three Abrahamic faiths.

Wazir Khan Mosque is located in the old city of Lahore and was built in the 17th century during the reign of Mughal emperor Shahjehan. The mosque is named after Shahjehan's trusted aide, Hakim Shaikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari, who was also known as Wazir Khan.

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The first mosque in the complex was built in the 13th century, while the current mosque dates back to 1907 and is the largest earthen mud building in the world. The Great Mosque was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988 and is considered by many architects to be one of the greatest achievements of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style.

The Nizamiye mosque opened in 2012. Though located in South Africa, it is built by Turkish investors in the Ottoman style. The mosque complex also has other attractions, including a clinic which was added by request of then-president Nelson Mandela.

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The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque was first declared to mark Sultan Qaboos’ 30th year of reign and was completed in 2001. The mosque is so large that it can accommodate upwards to 20,000 worshippers in the main prayer hall, while the enormous Persian carpet inside took 600 women four years to weave.

Built in the late 8th century, the Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba is one of the oldest structures that still remain from Islamic Iberia — a medieval Muslim territory that occupied much of today’s Spain and Portugal.

The Ottoman Mosque of Muhammad Ali is one of Egypt's most prized historical landmarks, finished in 1848 under the patronage of Muhammad Ali Pasha. He is buried at the mosque in a tomb situated in the southwest corner of the grounds.

Built on top of where two previous mosques once stood, the Great Mosque of Herat began construction in 1200 AD under the Ghurid ruler, Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad. Construction continued well after his death and was completed in 1220. After a series of pilagings and earthquakes, the mosque was rebuilt in 1498 to its current state.

This piece is part of a series of posts and essays celebrating Ramadan.

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