Id Gah Mosque, Kabul, Afghanistan

This mosque is considered to be the second largest mosque in Kabul where more than one million people could be conveniently accommodated for the Id congregations at any one time. It is near the Bridge known as Mahmud Khan Bridge and the National Stadium in Kabul. These two places are in the wealthier places in Kabul city. Id Gah is an open ground where Muslims gather on the two Muslim festivals, Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha to offer prayers in the form of congregation. This ground is also used as a parking lot for trucks and Lorries which transport goods from Kabul to Peshawar and vice versa. This Id Gah was built sometimes in the 16th century, but the exact year of construction is not known.

The Mughal soldier Babar invaded India and ordered that mosque be built to propagate Islam in this part of the region. He ordered his men to bring valuable stones from Punjab, Sindh and the adjoining areas and then called the Persian designers to draw plans to build a beautiful place where people would love to offer prayers on the occasion of the two Muslim festivals, to celebrate religious ceremonies which are attended by the Kings and other eminent dignitaries and elite of the area. In 1919, the Amir of Afghanistan Habibullah declared independence of his country.

Id Gah was completely modernized in 1893 or a little earlier by King Abdul Rahman Khan. Another version relates that the Id Gah was built by Jahangir by using the local material as Kabul was rich in Mughal design. The Emir of Afghanistan had passed an order that those who failed to offer prayers in the mosque would be fined ten Afghani Rupees. He ordered that registers be kept in the mosque for the attendance to know who was present and who was absent.

Id Gah was constructed in a rich area of Kabul and reproduces the rich inheritance of the area. This Id Gah is visited by people from far flung areas to admire its design and its finish. The color of this place is Beige and white with four Minarets, in the front, with two neighboring the complex dominant arch and the other two on each side of the higher arch. Similarly four arches have been erected on the other side of the Id Gah in the same fashion and a smaller minaret in center of the roof in different colors. There is a vast courtyard area which is capable of holding a lot many people who came to offer prayers on the special occasions. The length of the mosque is massive while its width is thin. The mosque is glorified by 18 arches along its stretch to enter the mosque.

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Afghan men listen to a Muslim cleric delivering sermons during Eid-al-Fitr prayers inside in Kabul

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