Sharjah: The number of mosques in Sharjah, long celebrated as the City of Minarets, has now reached 3,092 spread.
These include ancient heritage landmarks as well as modern mosques that have come to be recognised for their stunning engineering genius and architectural styles, ranging from Andalusian, Fatimid, and Mamluk to Ottoman, Moroccan and traditional Arabic ones.
The latest figures from Sharjah’s Department of Statistics and Community Development show that the city of Sharjah, including Al Hamriyah and Abu Musa Island, now is home to 2,380 mosques while the Central and Eastern regions of the Emirate respectively boast 448 and 264 mosques.
Guided by the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Sharjah has ensured that every single part of the Emirate, feted as the Cultural Capital of the Arab and Islamic world, has a mosque to cater to the needs of the faithful.
These mosques do not just serve as places of worship five times a day, all year around, but also work as centres of Islamic learning, knowledge and guidance for everyone.
Sharjah’s mosques are distinguished for their grand architectural splendour, boasting distinct style of cavernous domes, pulpits, awe-inspiring arches and columns, complete with their charming calligraphic designs and complex and ornate inscriptions that celebrate the majesty and beauty of Islamic civilisation and teachings.
Mosque libraries project
Under the guidance of the Sharjah Ruler, the Emirate has been successful in its unique cultural project of ‘mosque libraries’ covering a number of areas such as origins and history of Islam, study and interpretation of the Holy Quran and Hadith (Prophetic traditions and guidance) Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), study of the Prophet’s life, Arabic language and literature, children’s books, books on society and religious sermons etc, to promote the true teachings of Islam as well as consolidate a culture of reading.
As the Emirate once again celebrates its rightly earned reputation as the ‘City of Minarets’ that is now home to more than 3000 mosques, it has stepped up efforts to preserve its ancient heritage mosques that represent rare models of Islamic architecture, engineering and culture. After all, some of the oldest and rare historical mosques in the UAE are to be found in Sharjah.
Building bridges of understanding
The mosques in the Emirate are not merely places of worship offering peace and spiritual comfort to the faithful, they also reflect the emirate’s approach to the faith, spreading the message of love and tolerance and building bridges of understanding between cultures.
The beautiful Al Noor Mosque, for example, is distinguished for its classical Ottoman style and facade that attracts attention with its slender minarets and domes defining the Sharjah skyline. The mosque is an architectural marvel and is truly breathtaking when it is lit up at night.
Sharjah Grand Mosque
The majestic Sharjah Grand Mosque that the Ruler of Sharjah inaugurated in 2019 has come to represent a new landmark and architectural icon that sits right at the centre and top of the throne, as it were, of the Islamic Culture Capital.
The grand architectural edifice is a unique and ultimate example of modern Islamic art, including the creative use of woodwork and Arabic calligraphy, in addition to the distinct design of the mosque.
The mosque boasts as many as 81 domes and two minarets 75 metres in height. The height of the main dome reaches 45 metres in height with a diameter of 27 metres, which makes it a unique architectural masterpiece as well as a must-visit destination for all cultural tourists in the country.
The Sharjah Grand Mosque also houses a huge library that thousands of books covering various branches of Islamic sciences and the noble Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him. The mosque has two areas designated for ablution, with 352 ablution facilities, in addition to two external ablution facilities. Six water connections are provided in the parking area.
The mosque is equipped to receive hundreds of non-Muslim tourists and visitors daily as well as all those interested in knowing and studying about Islam. The Sharjah Grand Mosque also houses a museum, a gift shop, an outdoor walkway along the mosque’s external wall as well as an Islamic garden with a number of fountains and waterfalls. There are enough open spaces for visitors and families to rest.