Shah Faisal Masjid
The shah Faisal Mosque is the largest mosque of Islamabad, Pakistan. It is superbly situated near the Margalla Hills, represents an eight-faceted desert 'tent' supported on four towering minarets.
It has sloping roofs, an opulent marble face and four towering minarets. The complex also houses the Islamic Research Centre, library, museum, lecture hall, cafeteria and the offices of the faculty of the Islamic University situated there.
Building work on the masjid started in 1976. Costing an estimated SR 130 million, it covers an area of 53,821 square feet [5,000 sq m] and can accommodate 10,000 worshippers and a further 40,000 in the adjacent squares.
Necessity of a Grand mosque was felt in the newly developed capital of Pakistan. This lead to the building of the Faisal Masjid. After careful consideration a site for the proposed mosque was selected at the foot of Margalla hills on the axis of Islamabad. The late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia during his visit to Islamabad in 1966 liked the idea of the construction of a grand Mosque as well as the site and offered to bear the expenditure of the Grand National Mosque Project. Accordingly, this Grand National Mosque has been named after the late King Faisal.
In order to select a befitting design of the mosque, an international competition was organized in 1969. All the leading architects of the Muslim World were invited to submit their designs and out of the several designs received from various countries. The design of Mr. Vedat Dalokay, one of the leading Turkish architects was adjudged to be the best. Hence the Masjid is designed by him.
The Islamic University is located in the Mosque grounds and the first floor under the courtyard in the East with facilities of Library, Conference Room, Printing Press and Cafeteria. It is functioning with seven hundred students from within and outside the country. An Islamic Research Institute is also associated with the University.
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