The Faisal Mosque (Urdu: فیصل مسجد, romanized: faisal masjid) is the national mosque of Pakistan, located in the capital city, Islamabad. It is the fifth-largest mosque in the world, the largest mosque outside the Middle East, and the largest within South Asia, located on the foothills of Margalla Hills in Islamabad. It is named after the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. The mosque features a contemporary design consisting of eight sides of concrete shell and is inspired by the design of a typical Bedouin tent.

A major tourist attraction in Pakistan, the mosque is a contemporary and influential piece of Islamic architecture.

Construction of the mosque began in 1976 after a $28 million grant from Saudi King Faisal, whose name the mosque bears. The unconventional design by Turkis...Read more

The Faisal Mosque (Urdu: فیصل مسجد, romanized: faisal masjid) is the national mosque of Pakistan, located in the capital city, Islamabad. It is the fifth-largest mosque in the world, the largest mosque outside the Middle East, and the largest within South Asia, located on the foothills of Margalla Hills in Islamabad. It is named after the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. The mosque features a contemporary design consisting of eight sides of concrete shell and is inspired by the design of a typical Bedouin tent.

A major tourist attraction in Pakistan, the mosque is a contemporary and influential piece of Islamic architecture.

Construction of the mosque began in 1976 after a $28 million grant from Saudi King Faisal, whose name the mosque bears. The unconventional design by Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay was selected after an international competition. Without a typical dome, the mosque is shaped like a Bedouin tent, surrounded by four 260 feet (79 m) tall minarets. The design features eight-sided shell shaped sloping roofs forming a triangular worship hall which can hold 10,000 worshippers.

Combined the structure covers an area of 33 acres (130,000 m2; 1,400,000 sq ft), the mosque dominates the landscape of Islamabad. It is situated at the north end of Faisal Avenue, putting it at the northernmost end of the city and at the foot of Margalla Hills, the westernmost foothills of the Himalayas. It is located on an elevated area of land against a picturesque backdrop of the national park. Faisal Mosque was the largest mosque in the world from 1986 until 1993 when it was overtaken by the mosques in Saudi Arabia. Faisal Mosque is now the sixth largest mosque in the world in terms of capacity.

 
Aerial view
 
View from Faisal Avenue in Islamabad

The impetus for the mosque began in 1966 when King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz supported the initiative of the Pakistani Government to build a national mosque in Islamabad during an official visit to Pakistan. In 1969, an international competition was held in which architects from 17 countries submitted 43 proposals. The winning design was that of Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay. Forty-six acres of land were assigned for the project and the execution was assigned to Pakistani engineers and workers.[1] Construction of the mosque began in 1976 by National Construction Limited of Pakistan, led by Azim Khan and was funded by the government of Saudi Arabia, at a cost of over 130 million Saudi riyals (approximately 120 million USD today). King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz was instrumental in the funding, and both the mosque and the road leading to it were named after him after his assassination in 1975. King Faisal bin Abdulaziz's successor King Khalid laid the foundation stone for the mosque in October 1976[2] and signed the construction agreement in 1978. Basic information about the mosque can be found written on the foundation stone. On 18 June 1988, the first prayer was held, although the mosque was completed in 1986. The mosque grounds along with being a building for prayer also used to house the International Islamic University some years ago but has since relocated to a new campus in 2000. Some traditional and conservative Muslims criticized the design at first for its unconventional design and lack of a traditional dome structure.[3][4]

^ Rengel, Marian (2004). Pakistan: A Primary Source Cultural Guide. Rosen. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-8239-4001-1. ^ Mujtaba Razvi (1981). "PAK-Saudi Arabian Relations: An Example of Entente Cordiale" (PDF). Pakistan Horizon. 34 (1): 81–92. JSTOR 41393647. ^ Cite error: The named reference HOP was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Cite error: The named reference archnet was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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