Great Mosque of Brussels, Belgium

The Islamic and Cultural center in the capital city of Brussels is in the well-known park called Cinquantenaire Park. The Grand mosque of Brussels, which is the oldest mosque in Belgium is also located in this park.

The design of the mosque was planned and drawn up by the famous Belgium architect Ernest Van Humbeek in the stylishness of the Arab culture to construct the oriental area in the Belgium capital, Brussels as far back as 1880. The mosque and the Islamic Center were not given due attention as far as maintenance was required, which resulted in the weakening of the mosque and the Islamic center. This happened in the 20th century

The king of Belgium had gifted a place to the then king Faisal Ibn Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arab when he visited Belgium, so that the Muslims living in Belgium could construct a building to offer their religious duties. This had also become necessary because the Muslim population was growing fast and they needed a place where they could gather on Fridays and other important Muslim festivals

The mosque was reconstructed with the funding of Saudi Arabia and it was completed in 1978 when the then King of Saudi Arabia, Khalid Ibn Abdul Aziz inaugurated the mosque. The plan was drawn by the Tunisian architect BOUBAKER.  At the inauguration ceremony Baudouin was also present.

The premises have a school and Islamic research center which creates awareness about Islam among the Muslims and the non-Muslims. The management also arranges lectures both for adults and children so that they can implement the Islamic sharia in their lives.

1

2

3

4

5

Big mosque Brussels

7

Big mosque Brussels

Big mosque Brussels

Advertisements

Star Mosque, Bangladesh

This mosque is known by the name “STAR MOSQUE” because it is decorated with blue star all around. This mosque is in Dhaka in the area of Armanitola. The mosque was constructed on the orders of Mirza Golam Pir in the first half of the 19th century.

This mosque was originally built with three domes, but later it was completely refurbished by a rich business by using expensive and beautifully designed tiles of various colors of different patterns. Ali Jan, who renovated the mosque spent extravagantly on beautifying the mosque and for this purpose he imported  tiles from Japan and England with the intention of giving a fantastic look to the mosque both from inside and outside. .Two additional domes were added to the mosque in 1987 on an extension to the northern side keeping in mind that the appearance of the mosque remains unaffected.

The mosque was originally built with three domes and five entry points. The front side of the mosque has three gates to enter the mosque while on the northern side and the fifth one on the southern side. Out of the three domes the central dome was bigger in size while the two side domes were smaller. Ali Jan, a businessman again renovated the mosque in the 20th century by adding a courtyard. This mosque is an exemplary example of chinitikri mosaic built in outstanding   blue star mosaic. This is how the mosque came to be known as “STAR MOSQUE”.  Another extension of the prayer hall and the addition of two more domes came into existence, with the help of Archeology Department. The courtyard was laid with China Clay tiles by using dual approaches of chinitikri and solid colors. They also used cut clay tiles and made different designs of different colors using white dressing. The cupolas and the exterior are decorated with different colored star designed clay tiles

The floor of the mosques is decorated with Chinitikri design of tiles in different patterns of glassy slates. The Mihrab and the doors are beautifully ornamented with flower designs. The design of plants is again seen on the interior of the courtyard walls.

The Mosque was renovated in the early 20th century which was again financed by the businessman, Mr. Ali Jan and a new courtyard was constructed in the eastern part of the mosque which was ornamented with Chinitikri work,  pattern built with shattered china ceramic bits. This Place is the example of Chinitikri pieces of mosaic ornamentation, very rarely seen in the present times. The Bangladesh Ministry of Religious Affairs appointed a two member commission to extend the prayer hall and build two new Domes, which were completed in due time period. The domes and the exterior surface are decorated with star shaped china clay in different colors.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

Sixty Dome Mosque. Bangladesh

This is a mosque built in Bangladesh city of Sunderban forests in the 15th century. This place was located by a saint whose name was Khan Jahan Ali. The exact place is Bagerhat district. He preached Islam and has the privilege of building more than a dozen mosques in this area during the rule of Sultan Nasiruddinn Mahmud Shah. The foundation of the mosque was laid in 1442 and was completed in the year 1459. This is how it took 17 years to complete. This mosque served the purpose of a prayer place for the Muslims as well as the Madrasa and the assembly hall where people gathered to discuss different problems of the area and their individual matters with one another. This mosque has been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations organization known as UNESCO.  This mosque is considered to be the most impressive mosque in the whole of the sub-continent

The town where this mosque was built is about 200 km from the main capital city of Bangladesh, DHAKA, in the District of KHULNA.  The town is known as Bagerhat.

The sixty dome mosque is built with thick walls in the Tughlaq design and the roof of the mosque is like a roof of a hut which shows that this roof was rebuilt in the later time. The mosque measures 160 feet by 108 feet in length and breadth. There are 77 dome arranged in seven rows of eleven domes each and the four domes on each corner of the mosque.. There are four Minarets on each corner. The front Minarets are used to give the call for prayers.  Internally the mosque is divided into many sections with the help of arches and these arches are made to support the roof of the mosque.

The big prayer hall has been provided with arches in the East, South and North for airing and light which looks very sober and gentle.

In the Bangla language ‘Shat Gumbaj Masjid’ which is taken as sixty Dome Mosque. As stated above there are 77 domes on the top of the prayer hall and sixty stone pillars which support the domes.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Shahi Eidgah, Sylhet, Bangladesh

Sylhet is a division of Bangladesh and it is the biggest city of the district with 500,000 inhabitants. It is a lush green area in the country with tea plantation and forests all around. The Sylhet valley is bounded by two beautiful rivers by the name Surma and the Kushiara. These rivers get water from the various streams which lie in the north and the south of the rivers.

The valley provides refuge to many birds that travel to this area during the winter season from the Serbian region across the Himalayas where there is very cold weather. Sylhet is a very rich city after Dhaka and Chittagong because people from western countries remit huge amounts to their family members. This city has many posh residential areas where rich people live.

Shahi Eidgah is an open ground where Eid congregations are held. Sylhet is situated in the North Eastern sector of the country. The capacity of the ground is to cater for more than 100,000 people at one time. This eidgah is the largest place in Bangladesh where so many people can offer Salah at one time. The walls around the ground give a look as if they are the walls of the fort. This ground is used by the Muslims for offering prayers on the two festivals of the Muslim Ummah which are Eid-ul Fitr and Eidf-ul-Azha. This place is located on the top of a hill, which gives a gorgeous look.

The Eidgah was built by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in the 17th century. The ground contains a big Mihrab in the center of the wall which gives the direction of the QIBLA, with smaller Mihrabs on either side of the main Mihrab.  People can enter the ground from the three gates with beautiful Stands which give a fantastic look to the place. The people visit this place quite often and it is mostly used for the two Muslim festivals when congregational prayers are held.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Munshibari Mosque, Comilla, Bangladesh

The Munshibari is a town in the district of Comilla in Bangladesh. This place was occupied by the Munshis who came to settle in this area in the early 18th century. The Munshi family originally migrated fromTurkey and other Middle Eastern countries.  These families somehow managed to collect land revenue from the local inhabitants.

The Munshibari family started business in the field of jute with the British East India Company. In order to establish themselves in the area they started developing the area with the establishment of schools, mosques and other constructions which are still intact.

The mosque was completed in 1891. The initiative to build the mosque was taken by the elder family member whose name Abdul Hamid Munshi. The Imam of the mosque then started calling people to offer prayers and in this way the mosque also arranged Friday congregations regularly.

The construction of the mosque was commenced by the local people which clearly depicted Islamic way of design. The hall of the mosque had a mihrab, where the Imam stood to lead the prayers. They also made arrangement to build the minber from where the Imam delivered the Friday sermon. This mosque was also equipped with the room for the scholars who lived there for research in the field of Islam. The small management of the mosque also facilitated the students by providing a library in the prayer hall.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Momin Mosque, Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Momin mosque is situated in Pirojpur, Bangladesh. The design of the mosque has been developed in such a manner that it has been completed with wood and without the use of nails. The main participants in its construction were carpenters and Arabic script writers.

A rich person in the area of Burirchar, Momin Uddin Akon started its construction with the labor force of 20 which was completed in seven years. The archaeological section of the Bangladesh government announced that this mosque is a national legacy and took the responsibility of its up-keep and conservation. It was renovated in 2008 by the department of the government but this resulted in a change in its look.

The idea of building a mosque came to the mind of Momin ud din when he had to travel on foot quite far away to offer his prayers. He started building the mosque with bricks, but soon realized that the hole in the neighborhood was built with wood. He abandoned the idea on constructing the mosque with bricks and employed 20 workers and entrusted them with the task of erecting the mosque with wood.  He travelled far and wide to learn about the design and architectural theme of building the mosque. For this purpose he had started learning Arabic language, Islamic calligraphy. The whole mosque was planned, designed, layouts and colors by Momin himself.

The mosque was badly damaged in the last two three decades when the grandson of the original founder of the mosque started creating awareness, by writing articles in various newspapers and magazines to preserve the mosque.

The prayer hall of the mosque is rhombus in shape measuring 7.47 by 3.55 meters size. The wall of the prayer hall is 15 cm thick fully made of good quality wood.  One can enter the mosque from the east where the door is made of two panel door. The mihrab is made facing the QIBLA. The prayer hall is built on a raised platform.  The roof of the mosque is supported by six wooden pillars in length which are five inch thick on all four sides and similarly three columns of the same size made of same quality wood covering the width.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Darasbari Mosque Dhaka, Bangladesh

This is one of the historic mosques in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka built in 1479 during the rule of Shamsuddin Yusuf Shah who ruled the country during the 7 year period starting from 1474 and culminating in 1481.

The mosque is in extremely bad condition without roof and there is no one to look and maintain it. The mosque is typically Bengali style mosque from the very beginning. Although the mosque was built of red bricks which was very good looking and stylish in those times, but the carelessness of the people of the times thereafter, the mosque’s maintainenace has been totally neglected due to which the roof of the mosque has been broken and the verandah has collapsed.

The name given to the mosque was provided from the Darasbari because there is a Madrasa in the vicinity of the mosque.  The mosque comprises of two pieces of construction that is a verandah in the East as you enter the premises and a room towards the West which could be called a prayer hall. The mosque has been laterally divided which makes its way from east to west. The original plan of the mosque design had many domes built on the prayer hall, but as the time passed many have been destroyed mainly due to non-attention towards the maintenance of the mosque. These domes could be retained if proper care had been taken. The mosque has first floor built situated in the most North West corner and can be approached from the stairs which are in the outer skirts of the main mosque.

There is a difference of opinion on the use of the first floor. Some researchers are of the view that the first floor was built for ladies while others opine that it was exclusively for the members of the ruling elite.

The interior and exterior of the mosque is one of the finest decorations to be found in the region. The outer walls are adorned with different patterns made of earth or mud as some people may call. The interior of the mosque has been made of bricks with different styles and designs such as roses, flowers etc. As the time passed the inner and outer walls have lost their attraction, because as stated earlier, no one took care to maintain and protect the structure of the mosque and so was the case with the internal and external decoration.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9