1. Sacred Destinations
  2. Pakistan
  3. Islamabad
  4. Faisal Mosque

Faisal Mosque, Islamabad

Faisal Mosque from the main courtyard. Photo © Hemanshu Kumar. View all images in our Faisal Mosque Photo Gallery.
View of Faisal Mosque from the hills at night. Photo © Jawad Zakariya.
Performing ablutions before prayer at Faisal Mosque. Photo © Muslim Photos.
Faisal Mosque by night. Photo © Jawad Zakariya.

Completed in 1986, the Faisal Mosque (also known as Shah Faisal Masjid) is an exceptionally large and unique mosque in Islamabad. Designed by a Turkish architect who won an international competition for the honor, Faisal Mosque is shaped like a desert Bedouin's tent and functions as the national mosque of Pakistan.

History

King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia both suggested (in 1966) and largely funded the Faisal Mosque, which is named in his honor.

Ever since its conception, the mosque has been regarded as the national mosque of Pakistan, and as such it symbolizes the hopes and aspirations of the new nation.

The architect was Vedat Dalokay of Turkey, whose design was chosen in 1969 after an international competition. Constructed was completed in 1986.

What to See

The Faisal Mosque is located on an elevated area of land against a picturesque backdrop of the Margalla Hills. This enviable location represents the mosque's great importance and allows it to be seen from miles around day and night.

The mosque's architecture is strikingly modern and unique, lacking both the traditional domes and arches of most other mosques around the world.

The shape of the Faisal Mosque is an eight-sided concrete shell inspired by a desert Beduoin's tent and the cubic Ka'ba in Mecca, flanked by four unusual minarets inspired by Turkish architecture. The architect later explained his thinking to design school students:

Entrance is from the east, where the prayer hall is fronted by a courtyard with porticoes. The International Islamic University was housed under the main courtyard, but recently relocated to a new campus. The mosque still houses a library, lecture hall, museum and cafe.

The interior of the main tent-shaped hall is covered in white marble and decorated with mosaics, calligraphy by the Pakistani artist Sadeqain, and a spectacular Turkish-style chandelier.

The prayer hall can accommodate 10,000 worshippers. (There is room for an additional 24,000 in the porticoes and 40,000 in the courtyard.)

The mausoleum of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, whose 1988 funeral at the site was the largest in the history of Pakistan, is located adjacent to the mosque.

Quick Facts on Faisal Mosque

Site Information
Names:Faisal Mosque; Faisal Mosque, Islamabad; King Faisal Mosque; King Faysal Mosque; Shah Faisal Masjid; Shah Faisal Mosque
City:Islamabad
Country:Pakistan
Categories:Mosques
Faiths:Islam
Feat:Largest in the Country
Styles:Modern
Dates:1986
Status:active
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Islamabad, Pakistan
Coordinates:33.729756° N, 73.038644° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Faisal Mosque

Below is a location map and aerial view of Faisal Mosque. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. Faisal Mosque - ArchNet Digital Library
  2. Shah Faisal Mosque - Islamic Architecture

More Information

  • Aqil, Tariq. 1995. Islamabad The Beautiful. Islamabad: The Directorate of Public Relations, Capital Development Authority, 16.
  • Shaw, Isobel. 1989. Pakistan Handbook. Hong Kong: The Guidebook Company Limited, 213.
  • Faisal Mosque, Islamabad - Go Historic
  • Photos of Faisal Mosque - here on Sacred Destinations

Article Info

Title:Faisal Mosque, Islamabad
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:01/28/2011
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/pakistan/islamabad-faisal-mosque/pakistan/islamabad-faisal-mosque
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/pakistan/islamabad-faisal-mosque/pakistan/islamabad-faisal-mosque">Faisal Mosque, Islamabad</a>