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Faisal Mosque is a mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan. It is located on the foothills of Margalla Hills. The mosque features a contemporary design consisting of eight sides of concrete shell and is inspired by a Bedouin tent.
See the fact file below for more information on the Faisal Mosque or alternatively, you can download our 19-page Faisal Mosque worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The master plan of Islamabad was inspired by Greek architecture. The plan is triangular and was developed on a grid system with its apex towards the Margalla hills.
- The region covers 351 square miles and is divided into eight functional zones. These are the administrative sector, diplomatic enclave, commercial zones, forest belt, national park area, residential sector, special institutions, and industrial zone.
- The mosque is named after King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia, who visited Pakistan and liked the idea of the mosque and then bore the expenditure as a gift to the people of Pakistan.
- The impetus for the mosque began in 1966 when King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz supported the initiative of the Pakistani government to build a national mosque in Islamabad during an official visit to Pakistan.
- In 1969, an international competition was held in which architects from 17 countries submitted 43 proposals.
- The winning design was that of Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay.
- Construction of the mosque began in 1976 by National Construction Limited of Pakistan, led by Azim Khan, and was funded by the government of Saudi Arabia, at a cost of over 130 million Saudi riyals (approximately 120 million USD today).
- King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz was instrumental in the funding, and both the mosque and the road leading to it were named after him after his assassination in 1975.
- The mosque was completed in 1986 and used to house the International Islamic University. Many conservative Muslims criticised the design at first for its unconventional design and lack of a traditional dome structure.
- The concept that Dalokay achieved in the King Faisal Mosque was to present the mosque as a crown for the modern capital, Islamabad, where he developed his concept based on Quranic guidelines.
- The context, modernity, monumentality, and valuable heritage from recent generations to the coming ones are the main design considerations that helped Dalokay to achieve the King Faisal Mosque.
- Moreover, the mosque is not close to boundary walls like other mosques, but instead is open to the land. Dalokay’s design was unusual; he used an Arabic tent design instead of having a dome to resemble and be an extension of the Margalla Hills.
- The geometric concept was taken from the Kaaba. As Dalokay said, “The main theme in the design of the Shah Faisal Mosque is the joy of living”.
- Dalokay started the layout strategy taking into consideration the two main axes to the city, with the main building of the mosque organized symmetrically.
- A large fountain raised on a platform leads to the entrance in the east, preceded by a main courtyard.
- The construction of the mosque began in 1976 after a $120 million grant from Saudi King Faisal, whose name the mosque bears.
- The unconventional design by Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay was selected after an international competition.
- Without a typical dome, the mosque is shaped like a Bedouin tent, surrounded by four 260 feet (79 m) tall minarets.
- The design features eight-sided shell-shaped sloping roofs forming a triangular worship hall which can hold 10,000 worshippers.
- Combined, the structure covers an area of 54,000 square feet and dominates the landscape of Islamabad. It is situated at the north end of Faisal Avenue, putting it at the northernmost end of the city and at the foot of Margalla Hills, the westernmost foothills of the Himalayas.
- It is located on an elevated area of land against a picturesque backdrop of the national park. The largest mosque in Pakistan, the Faisal Mosque was the largest mosque in the world from 1986 until 1993, when it was overtaken by mosques in the MENA region.
- Faisal Mosque is now the fourth-largest mosque in terms of capacity. It is a major tourist attraction and is considered a contemporary and influential feature of Islamic architecture.
Faisal Mosque Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Faisal Mosque across 19 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Faisal Mosque worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Faisal Mosque which is a mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan. It is located on the foothills of Margalla Hills. The mosque features a contemporary design consisting of eight sides of concrete shell and is inspired by a Bedouin tent.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan Facts
- Fascinating Facts
- Turkish Architect
- FMIP Timeline
- True or False?
- Pic on a Pin
- Mosque Tour
- Dalokay Quote
- FMIP Essay
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