Best Mosques Around The World – With so many mosques all over the world, most of those that we are used to seeing have the same architectural design, with minarets and other symbolic traditional elements.
However, all around the world, the thought put into designing mosques are ever-changing – some with out-of-this-world creative outcomes, while others are beautiful mixes of old and new.
Here is a list of some of the best mosques from around the world.
1. King Abdullah Financial District Mosque, Riyadh
An architectural centrepiece located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah Financial District Mosque functions as a public space and, when necessary, an outdoor prayer area.
Inside the large column-free area, 1,500 prayer spaces are available across two levels. Inspired by the shape of the desert rose, the building sits atop an urban plaza and is brought to life by filtered light through crystalline window slots of varied compositions.
2. Nasir Al Molk Mosque, Iran
Located in one of the oldest Iranian cities, Shiraz, Nasir Al Molk Mosque is a spectacular architectural wonder, tastefully decorated with rich-coloured stained-glass windows and walls painted vibrantly with geometric tiles.
Almost like stepping into a kaleidoscope, the gorgeous rainbow of colour will inspire you.
The best time to visit the mosque is in the wee hours of the morning, when the sun reflects the stained glass patterns onto the floor. The arabesque arches adds to the beauty of the light show, almost transporting you into a new fantasy world.
These stained-glass windows are relatively rare. Only Masjid al-Aqsa and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul have similar designs.
3. The Great Mosque of Xi’an, China
One of the oldest, largest and best-preserved Islamic mosques in China, The Great Mosque of Xi’an was first constructed in 742 AD and additions were made throughout the following dynasties, making the ancient architectural complex representative of many periods of time.
The mosque was built to honour the founders of Islam in China and since then, many other mosques have been erected across the country.
The whole complex can also be divided into four courtyards – one with a wooden arch, one with a stone arch, one with a hall that contains steles from ancient times and one with a big prayer hall that can accommodate over 1,000 people.
An incredible combination of traditional Chinese architecture and Islamic art, this impressive complex stands tall throughout the years.
4. Al Dana Mosque, Abu Dhabi
Built last year, the Al Dana Mosque sits by the seaside promenade facing the marina, boasting an unparalleled view.
Sitting in harmony with its surroundings, this avant-garde building reinterprets traditional Islamic structure and is truly a one-of-a-kind mosque.
The learning dome was inspired by the shifting sand dunes of the desert and plays a role in showcasing the mosque as an urban lantern in the evening.
5. Ibn Tulun Mosque, Egypt
Possibly the oldest mosque in Egypt, Ibn Tulun Mosque is the largest one in Cairo in terms of land area, covering over six acres.
Completed in 879 AD, the structure was built around an open square courtyard, which allows natural light to travel through. Similarly, the interior arched windows provides natural light against the hollow dome – it is decorated with a plain geometric design.
6. Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque, Sri Lanka
Located in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque is a historic mosque that was completed in 1909 and was commissioned by the local Indian Muslim community.
The hybrid architectural mix of native Indo-Islamic and Indian will surely take your breath away – especially with its unusual coloured patterns.
The minarets tower over the building and can be seen from almost every street corner making it a landmark for sailors approaching the port of Colombo.
The distinct red-and-white pattern is not only mesmerising, but beautiful for anyone who visits!
Also Read: 10 Largest Mosques in The World to Visit
7. Valiasr Mosque, Tehran
Located in the cultural heart of Tehran, Valiasr Mosque challenges traditional Islamic design and eliminated stereotypical elements of the traditional mosque.
This structure focuses on its horizontal base, opposing the idea of vertical structures of classical mosques – sending a messages of peace and equality.
This mosque was also the 2018 winner of Middle East Architect Awards Cultural Project of the Year.
8. Qolsarif Mosque, Russia
Previously located in Kazan Kremlin during the 16th century, Qolsarif Mosque was named after the leading teacher in the mosque who later died alongside his students while trying to save the mosque from the Tsar’s forces.
It destroyed in 1522 and for centuries the site remained empty. In 2005, it was rebuilt and now stands as a prominent symbol of the city.
While it largely functions as a museum, thousands of Muslims do gather here to pray on major religious holidays.
9. Dandaji Mosque, Niger
A newly-repurposed building, the Dandaji Mosque located in a rural village in Niger has been transformed into a library and community centre.
A new mosque was also designed and built opposite the new library. This represents the link between Islam and the pursuit of knowledge.
The new mosque has been specially designed to interact with the library – imitating natural movement while encouraging habit of combining education and prayers.
10. Hazrat Sultan Mosque, Kazakhstan
Known as the largest mosque in Central Asia, Hazrat Sultan Mosque in Kazakhstan was constructed using classical Islamic designs, complete with traditional Kazakh ornaments.
Covering an area of over 11 hectares, the mosque is able to accommodate 5,000 worshippers, and on holidays, up to 10,000 people.
Here you can also find the largest dome in the country, standing at a height of 51 metres!
Within the premises, the building provides space for bathing rituals, weddings, Quran recitation and sitting group prayers.
11. Crystal Mosque, Malaysia
Mosques in Malaysia are aplenty due to Islam being the country’s official religion, but one of the most outstanding mosques is the Crystal Mosque.
Located in the Islamic Heritage Park in Wan Man Island, off Terengganu, the mosque took two years to build and is coated with steel, glass and crystal – the three main materials in the development of this structure.
From the inside, the illumination makes it look as though the glass domes are shining. Be ready to be dazzled by this impressive architectural feat.
12. Mashkhur Jusup Central Mosque, Kazakhstan
Taking just a year of construction, the Mashkhur Jusup Mosque is one of the largest mosques in Kazakhstan and can accommodate 1,500 worshippers.
The minarets run to a height of 63 metres, symbolically corresponding to the age of Prophet Muhammad.
The structure is designed to resemble an open heart, echoing the notion that the building is for good and open to the world.
The mosque is also home to a museum of Muslim culture, in addition to prayer halls, madrasahs, a library and offices.
Also Read: What Type of Muslim Traveller Are You?
13. Amir Shakib Arslan, Lebanon
Completed in 2016, the Amir Shakib Arslan Mosque is an impressive display of interweaving designs, putting together a new white steel structure onto an existing building of cross-vaulted masonry.
Bringing forth the contrast between the modern design of the mosque and the usual traditional representation, this contemporary structure is distinctive.
The mosque was built for Muslims to gather to pray, learn and debate.