From Arabic to Ottoman Style; Sharjah Home to Over 3,000 Stunning Mosques

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The mosques in the emirate are not merely places of worship offering peace and spiritual comfort to the faithful; they also reflect the emirate's approach to the faith, spreading the message of love and tolerance and building bridges of understanding between cultures.

SHARJAH — The number of mosques in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, long celebrated as the City of Minarets, has now reached 3,092, spread across the length and breadth of the emirate.

These include ancient heritage landmarks and modern mosques that have come to be recognised for their stunning engineering genius and architectural styles, ranging from Andalusian, Fatimid, and Mamluk to Ottoman, Moroccan and traditional Arabic ones.

The latest figures from Sharjah’s Department of Statistics and Community Development show that the city of Sharjah, including Al Hamriyah and Abu Musa Island, is now home to 2,380 mosques, while the Central and Eastern regions of the emirate respectively boast 448 and 264 mosques.

Guided by the vision and directives of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the emirate has ensured that every single part in it, feted as the Cultural Capital of the Arab and Islamic world, has a mosque to cater to the needs of the faithful. These mosques do not just serve as places of worship five times a day, all year round, but also work as centres of Islamic learning, knowledge and guidance for everyone.

Sharjah’s mosques are distinguished for their grand architectural splendour, boasting distinct styles of cavernous domes, pulpits, awe-inspiring arches and columns, complete with their charming calligraphic designs and complex and ornate inscriptions that celebrate the majesty and beauty of Islamic civilisation and teachings.

The Mosque Libraries Project

Under the guidance of the Sharjah Ruler, the emirate has been successful in its unique cultural project of “mosque libraries” covering several areas such as origins and history of Islam, study and interpretation of the Holy Quran and hadith (Prophetic traditions and guidance) Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), study of the Prophet’s life, Arabic language and literature, children’s books, books on society and religious sermons etc., to promote the true teachings of Islam and consolidate a culture of reading.

As the emirate once again celebrates its reputation as the “City of Minarets” that is now home to more than 3,000 mosques, it has stepped up efforts to preserve its ancient heritage mosques that represent rare models of Islamic architecture, engineering and culture. Some of the oldest and rare historical mosques in the UAE are to be found in Sharjah.

Building bridges of understanding

The mosques in the emirate are not merely places of worship offering peace and spiritual comfort to the faithful; they also reflect the emirate’s approach to the faith, spreading the message of love and tolerance and building bridges of understanding between cultures.

For example, the beautiful Al Noor Mosque is distinguished for its classical Ottoman style and facade that attracts attention with its slender minarets and domes defining the Sharjah skyline. The mosque is an architectural marvel and is truly breathtaking when lit up at night.

Sharjah Grand Mosque

The majestic Sharjah Grand Mosque that the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated in 2019 has come to represent a new landmark and architectural icon that sits right at the centre and top of the throne, as it were, of the Islamic Culture Capital.

The grand architectural edifice is a unique and ultimate example of modern Islamic art, including the creative use of woodwork and Arabic calligraphy, in addition to the distinct design of the mosque.

The mosque boasts as many as 81 domes and two minarets 75 metres in height. The height of the main dome reaches 45 metres in size with a diameter of 27 metres, making it a unique architectural masterpiece and a must-visit destination for all cultural tourists in the country.

The Sharjah Grand Mosque also houses a huge library with thousands of books covering various branches of Islamic sciences and the noble Sunnah of the Prophet. The mosque has two areas designated for ablution, with 352 ablution facilities and two external ablution facilities. Six water connections are provided in the parking area.

The mosque is equipped to receive hundreds of non-Muslim tourists and visitors daily, as well as all those interested in knowing and studying Islam. The Sharjah Grand Mosque also houses a museum, a gift shop, an outdoor walkway along the mosque’s external wall, and an Islamic garden with several fountains and waterfalls. There are enough open spaces for visitors and families to rest.

— WAM

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