Thursday, August 4, 2011
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: Crown Jewel of Abu Dhabi (Part II)
Before entering the Grand Mosque, one must dress appropriately. For male tourists, this means pants and shirts with a sleeve. Female tourists must wear the traditional abaya and shayla.
Caitlin and Jill will model for you . . .
Since most tourists do not have their own, the mosque provides you with a complimentary outfit.
After you have appropriately covered, you must then remove your shoes before passing through to the reception room.
From the reception room, visitors are able to enter the Main Prayer Hall.
The Qibla wall (the main wall facing Mecca) has been decorated very simply so as to not distract during prayer. It displays the 99 names (or qualities) of Allah. Head here to read the full list.
You can also see the minbar (pulpit) where the Imam leads the prayers and delivers the Friday sermon.
If you look closely you can see a faint "line" under my foot. These markers were woven into the carpet to help all of the worshipers organize themselves into lines.
In addition to the main prayer hall, there are also a few other rooms open to visitors:
The Washroom for ablutions
The Women's Prayer Hall
In the words of Sheikh Mansour, "The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque represents great sentimental and moral value for the people of the UAE, and their leadership. It reflects the spirit of diversity in culture, thought and civilisation. It aspires to be a welcoming, humanitarian space open to all visitors who wish to acquaint themselves with the intricacies of Islamic civilization, arts and architecture." Yes, I would say it is all that.
And even more.
P.S. Some of these photos may be from Caitlin.