Sunday, February 17, 2013

Abu Dhabi's Grand Mosque is a monument of Great Beautu

I spent the last month on a holiday at Abu Dhabi and I was impressed by the strides in development made by the small Muslim state. The best part was the complete absence of any Wahhabi concept and one could sit in luxury bars and enjoy a peg of scotch at any time. There was freedom of dress and no signs of any repression. There is also a large Gurudwara and Church plus a Hindu temple in existence and thousands flock for worship. But the place that caught my attention was the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Built of white marble with gold plated domes the mosque shines in the sunlight and at night it is flood lit, creating an aura of a place out of this world. the mosque is huge and can at one go seat 41000 devotees for prayers. It is modeled on the Badshahi mosque of Lahore and is a monument of great beauty. The Mosque has the worlds largest hand woven carpet, which the guides tell you took 2 years to knit. Inside the mosque there are lovely chandeliers and motifs on the walls. The mosque is testimony to the ruler of Abu Dhabi who conceived the idea and commissioned it in 2007. there is no doubt that it's a mosque that has been built with love and care. It is also extremely well maintained and for non Muslims a burkha is available to don before entering the mosque. I can say that no visit to Abu Dhabi can be complete without paying a visit to the Grand Mosque.