The “Great Mosque” or “Mosque of Algiers” is one of the largest mosques in the world (Shutterstock)

Today, Sunday, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune inaugurated the “Great Mosque,” ​​which is one of the largest mosques in the world and the largest in Africa, with an area of ​​200,000 square meters and a capacity of 120,000 worshipers, while its minaret is about 265 meters high.

Algerian President #Abdelmadjid_Tebboune tours the #Islamic_Museum on the 23rd floor of #Minar, the third largest mosque in the world

- AL24news - Algeria International Channel (@AL24newschannel) February 25, 2024

The mosque was built in the Gulf of the capital, specifically in the municipality of Mohammedia, which was called “La Verge” in the French colonial era, after Cardinal Charles Marcial Allman La Verger, who founded the Society of Missionaries in Algeria.

The mosque includes a large prayer hall covered with turquoise blue carpets with floral designs, according to a local traditional character. The hall covers an area of ​​20,000 square metres.

In addition to the prayer hall, the “Great Mosque,” ​​also known as the “Mosque of Algiers,” includes 12 buildings that include a library containing a million books, a lecture hall, a museum of Islamic art and history, and a higher school of Islamic sciences for doctoral students.

The cost of completing the mosque, with all its facilities, amounted to 898 million euros, according to what was announced by former Finance Minister Ayman bin Abdul Rahman.

The Great Mosque

The construction of the “Algiers Mosque” began in 2013 during the era of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

In October 2020, Tebboune was unable to open the prayer hall in the mosque, due to his infection with the Corona virus, so the then Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad took his place.

Algerian newspapers say that it is “the third largest mosque in the world after the Two Holy Mosques in Saudi Arabia, while the height of its minaret reaches about 265 meters, which is the highest in the world,” while the authorities confirm that this mosque is a scientific and tourist center.

The building includes three underground floors with an area of ​​180,000 square meters designated for parking more than 6,000 cars, and two lecture halls with an area of ​​16,100 square metres, one with 1,500 seats and the second with 300 seats. It also includes a library with 2,000 seats and an area of ​​21,800 square metres. .

Since the laying of the foundation stone for the mosque in 2011 by former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, French and even local media launched a campaign against the project, to which current President Abdelmadjid Tebboune - when he was Minister of Housing during the Bouteflika era - responded to them by saying that his ministry was charged with supervising the project.

Tebboune considered at the time, during a press conference held in 2016, that “a French company is inciting some French media against Algeria after it failed to take on the project,” whose deal was won by a Chinese construction company.

In April 2023, Algeria experienced controversy over the mosque not being opened for Friday and Tarawih prayers during the month of Ramadan, despite the five prayers being held there since 2020 and the “Covid-19” pandemic having receded almost completely.

At that time, the mosque administration attributed its failure to open for Friday and Tarawih prayers to technical reasons, and said in a statement that the delay was due to “waiting for the completion of lifting the technical reservations recorded in various facilities, in order to expand the activity of the prayer hall.”

The largest mosques in the world

  • Sacred Mosque:

It is located in Mecca and surrounds the Holy Kaaba. It has an area of ​​400,800 square meters and can accommodate 2 million worshipers at the same time.

It has been expanded several times throughout history and the current structure was completed in 1998.

  • Prophet's Mosque:

It is located in Medina and has an area of ​​400,500 square meters, and can accommodate about one million worshippers.

The Prophet’s Mosque was exposed to a fire in the year 654 AH during the reign of the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mustasim, who sought to rebuild it. However, the Tatar invasion and the fall of Baghdad into their hands in the year 656 AH prevented this, and the restoration process was not completed until the Mamluk era.

The Prophet’s Mosque became the first place in the Arabian Peninsula to be illuminated using electric lamps in 1327 AH, corresponding to 1909 AD. It is one of the three mosques, along with the Grand Mosque and Al-Aqsa Mosque, to which the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, permitted travel.

Construction of the mosque began in 622, and it was expanded several times throughout history, and the current construction was completed in 2005.

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Al-Aqsa Mosque:

The area of ​​the mosque is 144 thousand square meters and occupies about one-sixth of the area of ​​​​the Old City of Jerusalem and can accommodate 250 thousand worshippers. Its shape is polygonal or semi-rectangular, and the length of its western side is 491 metres, the eastern side is 462 metres, the northern side is 310 metres, and the southern side is 281 metres.

At the top of the mosque is a dome. It also has 11 doors, 7 of which are in the north, one in the east, two in the west, and one in the south. There are 25 fresh water wells in Al-Aqsa Square, 8 of which are in the courtyard of the Holy Rock and 17 in the lower courtyards. There are also sites for ablution. .

It was built more than 2000 years before Christ. It is the second mosque built on earth after the Grand Mosque. Historians disagreed among themselves over who laid the first brick to build the mosque. Some of them said that the Prophet Adam, the father of humans, was the one who built it. Some say that it was Shem, son of Noah, and others. They believed that the Prophet Abraham was the one who deliberately built Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Ataba Razavi Mosque:

It is located in the city of Mashhad, Khorasan Province, Iran, on an area estimated at 600,000 square meters, and its prayer hall accommodates 700,000 worshipers. The name of the Razavi Shrine is given to the site of the shrine of Ali bin Musa al-Rida, the eighth Shiite imam.

Sultan Qaboos Mosque:

It is the largest of the mosques that the late Sultan Qaboos bin Said ordered to be built in 1992, and it is located close to the road leading to the heart of the capital, Muscat, on an area estimated at 416 thousand square metres.

The mosque was built on a spacious floor, 1.8 meters above the surface of the site. The total capacity of the mosque is 20,000 worshippers.

The main prayer hall, which can accommodate more than 6,500 worshippers, includes a square shape with its central dome, 50 meters high, decorated with mosaics, and from it hangs a chandelier that is considered the largest after the chandelier of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, as it is 14 meters high, 8 meters in diameter, weighs 8 tons, and contains 1,122 candles. .

  • Imam Ali Mosque:

Imam Ali Mosque is located in Najaf, Iraq. It has an area of ​​300,000 square meters and can accommodate up to 700,000 worshippers.

It was built by the Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid over the shrine of Imam Ali in 786 AD. It was rebuilt and expanded several times throughout history, and the current structure was completed in 2007 and is decorated with golden domes and Islamic architecture.

  • Al-Saleh Mosque in Sanaa:

It took 8 years to build and cost more than a hundred million dollars on an area of ​​224,821 square meters. It can accommodate about 45,000 worshipers at home and abroad, and its parking lot accommodates 1,900 cars, in addition to large areas of gardens, corridors and green belts.

The area of ​​the main prayer hall in the mosque is 128.83 square meters and can accommodate about 20,000 worshipers. Its marble floor is covered with blue carpets made of high-quality New Zealand wool, which were manufactured in Turkey according to the mosque’s special specifications.

The mosque has 6 minarets, 4 of which are 100 meters long, and two are 80 meters long, and it contains 23 domes of different sizes and heights, distributed in various corners.

  • Istiqlal Mosque:

Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia is located on an area of ​​97 thousand square meters and can accommodate up to 200 thousand worshippers.

The mosque was completed in 1978 and designed by architect Friedrich Silaban as a mixture of modern and traditional Islamic architectural styles.

  • Hassan II Mosque:

The Hassan II Mosque is located in Casablanca, Morocco, on an area of ​​​​90 thousand square meters and can accommodate up to 105 thousand worshipers.

The mosque was completed in 1993 and designed by French architect Michel Pinso as a mixture of Moroccan and Islamic architectural styles.

  • King Faisal Mosque:

King Faisal Mosque is considered one of the largest mosques in the world and is located on the outskirts of Margalla Hills National Park in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. It has an area of ​​54 thousand square meters and can accommodate about 300 thousand worshipers.

The idea of ​​building the mosque came during the visit of King Faisal of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Islamabad in 1966, where a competition was organized in which engineers from 43 countries participated.

Among the 17 projects submitted in the competition, the design of the Turkish engineer Widad Dalukay was chosen, as it resembles a Bedouin tent. Construction of the mosque began in 1976 and was completed in 1986, at a cost of 120 million dollars.

Source: Al Jazeera + Algerian press + websites