Hassan II Mosque
28 February 2006
Last Updated on 28 February 2006
ast year we travelled through Morocco. We landed with our plane in Casablanca. In this city the Hassan II mosque is situated. It was designed by the French architect Michel Pinceau and is the second largest in the world (after the Shah Faisal Mosque near Islamabad). It is sited on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic, which can be seen through a gigantic glass floor with room for 25,000 worshippers. A further 80,000 can be accommodated in the mosque’s coutyard. Its minaret is also the world’s tallest at 210m. Work on the mosque was commenced in 1980, and was intended to be completed for the 60th birthday of the former Moroccan king, Hassan II, in 1989. However, the building was not inaugurated until 1993. It was built on a reclaimed embankment, inspired by the verse of the Koran that states ‘the throne of God was built on the water’. It is the only mosque in Morocco open to non-Muslims, for a fee. A mosque is a place of worship for followers of the Islamic faith. Muslims all over the world often refer to the mosque by its name in Arabic, masjid (pl. masajid) (Arabic: ????—). It is important to note that mosque in English encompasses both masjid and j?mi`, the latter referring to bigger mosques, minarets usually being used as a distinguisher.
Play video made while visiting the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca :
osques were known to the English-speaking world well before the word to describe them was established. The Mezquita of Cordoba was one of the first mosques to attract Western attention; it’s name is simply one of many possible European transliterations for the Arabic masjid, or place of kneeling (in ritual prayer). However, in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, variations of the word began to be used. Moseak, muskey, moschy, and mos’keh were just some of the variations that came into use until it was decided that mosquee, imitating Middle French, Italian, and Old Spanish, would become the standard . In the early eighteenth century, the modern spelling became the most popular and standard spelling of the word. The Arabic word for mosque, masjid, means temple in the language. This comes from the Arabic root sajad which means to prostrate (from the prostrations performed during Islamic prayers). Chinese Muslims refer to mosques in Chinese as roughly “pure conversion (Islamic) temples” (Chinese: ???; Hanyu Pinyin: q?ngzh?nsì).