Today was another wonderful day. Today we visited the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Using the word grand doesn’t give this beautiful place justice. Besides being so large it was also extremely beautiful. The grand mosque had beautiful architecture, stained glass windows, and carpets. Parts of the building came from all over world. Places like Iran and India. Our tour guide joked that even the tvs aren’t Omani and were made in the China. The only Omani product were the stain glass windows. Those were beyond beautiful.
When going to the mosque one must be very conservative. They ask the women to cover the hair and observe the long dress/ skirt rule as well as covering their arms. We took our shoes off and placed them as well as our belongings in a cubby outside the mosque. Our tour began in the women’s prayer room. The room was much smaller than the men’s room. Our tour guide explained the reason for this was because women take care of the children during the day and don’t have as much time as the men to come to the mosque to pray. The mosque is only for ages 10 and up just to keep it clean. Children have the tendency to not to the opposite of that. Our tour guide was a very passionate Muslim women which I have never met before and I loved it. She had so much passion and absolutely loved hearing her speak. She explained the color of the carpet was bland and less elaborate than the men’s room because men won’t be distracted by colors and patterns like women would be. The carpet was still beautiful, but nothing compared to the men’s carpet. We learned that the mosque took 26 years to build. They started in 1995 and completed in March of 2001. And hundreds of men and women contributed to this beautiful building. The entire build can hold about 20,000 people!
After learning a little about the women’s prayer room. We headed to the men’s room. Our tour said we would be taken aback and she was right. It lived it up expectation. Everything was beautiful even the air conditioners we pretty. They had about four hanging chandeliers and the largest in the middle was so big that there was a stair case in the middle for those who cleaned it. We learned that at this mosque the Imam (the equivalent to a pastor or priest) makes announcements to the men on Fridays. The actually studying of the religion is done in the schools.
The last stage was a Q and A where they served coffee and dates and we were able to use our new skills. The women asked us to ask them any questions we had to clear up any misconceptions. That may have been my favorite part. I learned so much about Islam and culture. Come back tomorrow to hear about the Q and A.
I hope everyone gets the chance to experience The Grand Mosque. It was a great experience and I am grateful I got the chance to experience. Like I said come back tomorrow to learn a little more about Islam and Oman. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to comment. Follow my instagram to see many more pictures.