Shah Faisal Masjid, Urdu: فیصل مسجد is more commonly known as Faisal Mosque. It is located in Islamabad, the capital city of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It is Pakistan's national mosque, the largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia, and the sixth largest mosque in the world. It boasts of unique architectural style and rich religious history. The combined structure of the mosque covers an area of 54，000 squre ft. The mosque was designed by Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay and funded by a $120 million grant from late King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz, whose name the mosque bears. Faisal Mosque, a symbol of Pakistan, is not only a worship place for Muslims in Islamabad, but also the city’s most popular site for visitors.
Located in sector E-7, on the north end of Faisal Avenue and the foothills of Margalla Hills in northwest Islamabad, Faisal Mosque has the best location for erecting a mosque. The mosque is just a few minutes' drive from downtown area, making it very convenient to travel to and from the mosque. The mosque is also in close vicinity of the mausoleum of General Zia-ul-Haq, former president of Pakistan, making the place easy to find.''
The Faisal Mosque covers an area of 5,000 m2 (54,000 sq ft). It’s main prayer hall can accommodate 10,000 worshipers. It’s porticoes courtyard and courtyard can house another 40,000, 50,000 and 200,000 respectively. The mosque has the third largest capacity of accommodating worshipers in its adjoining grounds, only after the Masjid al-Haram ( Grand Mosque) of Mecca, the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Prophet's Mosque) in Medina.
Construction of Faisal Mosque was made possible with the generous help of late King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz, whose name the mosque bears. In 1966, during an official visit to Pakistan, King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz supported Pakistani Government's initiative to build a national mosque in Islamabad. In 1969, an international competition was held and 43 proposals form 17 countries were submitted. Design from Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay was selected. In 1976, National Construction of Pakistan, led by Azim Khan, commenced the construction of the mosque. The government of Saudi Arabia, led by King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz, provided a funding of approximately 130 million Saudi riyals (120 million USD)for its construction. During the construction of the Faisal Mosque, King Faisal was assassinated, and the mosque was named after him in his tribute. In 1986, the mosque was completed.
The Faisal Mosque was design by Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay, who won an international competition. The mosque boasts of a very unique and unconventional design. It doesn’t have a conventional dome found in many other mosques. Instead, it is shaped like a Bedouun tent, with four 260 feet (79 m) tall minarets surrounding it. The triangular worship hall of the mosque features eight-sided shell shaped sloping roofs. In the beginning, the unique design of the mosque drew criticisms from many conservative Muslims, for its lack of a traditional dome structure. But the completed mosque's scale, form, and setting against the Margalla Hills has thus silence the criticisms. Vedat Dalokay won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the project
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