Prayers of worship are sacrosanct. The atmosphere of calmness and peacefulness that they generate is incomparable, aided immensely by the ambience which ensures that one leaves all tensions and worries far behind. As if, allowing the higher power – God – to take it all away…
Centred in the heart of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one such magnificent place of worship. The Mosque is also unique in that it welcomes believers from all religions, without any barriers. As a result, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has come to be regarded with an unparalleled singularity across the world with more and more people coming to seek heavenly solace within its doors.
Opened in the year 2007, the glistening white structure has quite an interesting constructional tale behind it. Each of its constructional elements – exterior as well as interior – bears the touch of diverseness.
Sheikh Zayed: A Leader Par Excellence
But while this may seem to be too marvellous, considering the iconic figure in whose memory this mosque has been built, nothing else can be imagined.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan is the founding president of the region of Abu Dhabi. But way before he became the Emirati’s founding president in 1966, he was the tour de force in uniting the region’s Bedouin tribes in the 1940s that not only fostered peace in the region, but brought a never-before-seen period of stability and unity. Over the course of years, it was Sheikh Zayed’s initiative and nurturing vision that oversaw Abu Dhabi’s prosperity through the global ranks.
Sheikh Zayed commissioned the construction of the mosque – with a view to ensure integration and fusion of cultural heritages from across the world – in 1996. However, his unexpected death in 2004 meant that he was unable to see his vision being completed to fruition. His body was entombed in the mosque itself as a fitting final resting place.
Symbolism of Islam and Cultural Influences
The mosque has taken architectural inspiration from almost every country in the world with its three leading architects hailing from Italy, Britain and the UAE. There is something unique that has been provided by a different country of the world, be it architectural styles or artistic presentations that has contributed to a distinct type of constructional process of the mosque.
But more important than its cultural influences and inspiration, is the fact that the mosque embodies the true spirit of Islamism with regard to welcoming everyone, irrespective of one’s religious disposition and beliefs.
‘O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honoured of you in God’s sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware’(Qur’an 49:13)
This is the message that the mosque has been giving out to the world, a beautiful emphasis of the true values and principles that the religion stands for…