The Grand Friday Mosque in Male is one attraction that, with its towering golden dome, gathers the attention of all visitors. The mosque is part of the Islamic Centre which is at the Male's centre and is located right next to the main jetty of Male, thus making it easy to spot, even from the sea.
Opened in 1984, the Grand Friday Mosque, as well as the Islamic Centre, was named after Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu-Al-Auzam of the Maldives who built the architectural masterpiece. The Islamic Centre consists of a three-storey building, the main block of which holds the mosque which in turn can accommodate around 5000 worshippers. The mosque is considered the biggest in the Maldives and was built with the help of various places which brought in their own speciality. These places included the Gulf States, Pakistan, Brunei and Malaysia.
Many believe that the Grand Friday Mosque is of great religious and cultural importance to the city and the country and hence have deemed it to be the golden symbol of the island. The locals also celebrate and respect this place of worship by believing that it is not only a symbol of the island but also of the Islamic religion as a whole.
The architecture of the Grand Friday Mosque is considered incredibly unique not due to its intricacies but because the mosque is made in such a plain and simple way with modest white marble that it seems to stand out. The huge golden dome that towers the main square called the Jumhooree Maidan is also a great source of architectural pride. What makes the mosque more fascinating is the fact that it is built by several places which seem to have contributed to its design in some unique way.
Aside from this, the interior of the Grand Friday Mosque holds a stark difference to its exterior as the walls of the interior are covered in detailed designs and wooden carvings. The walls also seem to be covered in Arabic Calligraphy whereas the floor is spread wide with carpets from around the world. The chandeliers on the ceiling give it a truly grand feeling that adds to its aura. The Islamic Centre, aside from the mosque, also houses an Islamic Library and conference halls that have held meetings of utmost importance such as the SAARC Meetings.
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