“The soul has been given its own ears to hear things the mind doesn’t understand” Rumi. As Islamic architecture provides a constant insight of beliefs and practices to Muslims throughout history. Also, it perfectly adapts and responds to varied cultures and traditional practices in the areas it exists in. So, in this article we’ll view various examples of Islamic architecture buildings and see how they blend with their surrounding country environment. We’ve searched the globe for the most eye-catching examples of Islamic architecture that are diverse in form yet delightful in core. As the most important building type in the Islamic architecture is the mosque, which is the center of Islamic culture and society, so the article will present various mosques in various forms. So, get ready to set your soul free and open your mind to gaze at these different mosque architecture styles around the world.
Delightfulness in Diversity of Mosque’s Architecture
The Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali
Described as the largest mud-built structure in the world and one of the early mosque examples. The Great Mosque of Djenné is definitely one of the most unique religious buildings in Mali that flourished as a great Islamic center of commerce, learning and congregational prayer. Moreover, it’s one of the finest examples of Sudano-Sahelian architecture style. To illustrate, what marks this style is the use of mud bricks and adobe plaster with large wooden-log support beams. These beams also act as scaffolding for reworking and involves the local community building. So, everything from its minaret-structures to its walls is constructed from mud. Therefore, this mosque is a true example of Muslim architecture blending with regional techniques.
Nasir Al Molk Mosque, Iran
One of the most elegant and most photographed pieces of Islamic art and architecture that are found outside Isfahan in southern Iran of the 19th century. The hypostyle mosque features many elements of traditional Islamic architecture like iwan arches and a central fountain for ablutions. However, we can trace some features of European influence found in the mosque decoration, which spread in Iran in the time of construction of the mosque. Some of these western influences included stained-glass windows and colorful tiles which were relatively rare in Islamic architecture back then. The designers Muhammad Hasan-e-Memar and Muhammad Reza Kashi Paz-e-Shirazi created a space where light and worship intertwine. So, when you experience the mosque from inside, you will find yourself surrounded by a rainbow of colors.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Turkey
Sultan Ahmed is an Ottoman mosque located in Istanbul, built between 1609 and 1616 and famously known as the Blue Mosque, Sultan Ahmed’s mosque architecture features traditional Islamic designs. Therefore, it was designed with the idea of making the mosque have an overwhelming size, majesty and splendor. Moreover, the interior of the mosque is an absolute delight of more than 20,000 blue breath-taking tiles. The Blue Mosque is one the greatest feat of Ottoman architecture.
Xi’an Great Mosque, China
The Great Mosque of Xian serves over 60,000 Chinese Muslims in the Xian area. Founded in 742 during the Tang dynasty, the mosque was the religious center for Arab merchants operating in China. Unlike the Islamic architecture in Arab countries, the Great Mosque of Xian has neither domes nor minarets. The style is almost wholly Chinese, except for the Arabic lettering and decorations that list the 99 names of God and verses from the Qur’an. So, the mosque is a gorgeous blend of Chinese and Muslim architecture, one of the most distinctive mosque architecture styles around the world and an Islamic-Chinese traditional mosque.
Jama Masjid, India
It was where the city’s Muslims traditionally gather for the communal Friday prayer; Jama Masjid is Arabic for “Friday mosque. Moreover, it’s one of the largest mosques in Old Delhi, India. Its construction started in 1644 and completed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The construction of the mosque’s courtyard was in red sandstone. The mosque’s courtyard is also so huge as it can accommodate 25,000 devotees at one time. This mosque is an impressive example of Islamic Mughal Architecture.
Complex of Sultan Hassan, Egypt
Massive yet elegant, this grand structure is one of the finest piece of early Mamluk architecture in Cairo. Built between 1356 and 1363, the Complex of Sultan Hasan included a madrasa, congregational mosque, and mausoleum. The mosque stands out not only as means of prayer, but as a symbol of unity as its courtyard opens from each of its sides into iwans where followers of the four schools of Sunni Islamic thought would learn. This building combines strength and splendor, elegance and beauty, as well as a multiplicity of decoration. The complex of Sultan Hassan is a Mamluk Architecture gem.
Qolşärif Mosque, Russia
Qolşärif Mosque was first constructed in the 16th century in the Muslim-dominated Khanate of Kazan. After its destruction which shorty followed its construction. The mosque was rebuilt in a more modern style in 2005, so it’s not stuck in the past. However, the dome-shaped administrative building that flanks the prayer hall gives it an edge with soaring teal-topped minarets the new mosque design connects the old Kazan Khanate with modern Russian and Islamic architecture.
Cologne Central Mosque, Germany
The mosque was built in 2009 and is the largest and grandest mosque in Germany. It is a prime example of modern Euro-Islam architecture. To clarify, it features two minarets where each minaret is 55m high and a dome of glass and concrete structure. The complex is mainly characterized by the prayer hall, which consists of several shell-like walls. In the center these walls build the light-flooded dome. The mosque a perfect example for contemporary mosque architecture.
Malacca Straits Mosque, Malaysia
Built in 2006, this beautiful structure gives the impression of floating Mosque in the water if viewed from a distance. Its 30-meter minaret works as the guide for water crafts, boats and air ships to stride safely across the sea. The mosque has a Middle-Eastern dome with four corners of turrets decorated with Malaysian roof lines. The large double equilateral archways that formed at the mosque’s main entrance and provide openings to the prayer hall.So, when you visit it you will enjoyed the amazing atmosphere and fresh breeze coming from the ocean. This mosque is a mix of Middle Eastern and Malaysian architectural motifs and stands out for its novel design and color scheme.
Bait Ur Rouf Mosque, Bangladesh
Designed in 2005 in Bangladesh, the mosque operated with donations from the community. So, Use of local materials and craftsmen were primary. Ventilation and the play of light make this neighborhood mosque a refuge for spirituality as the mosque breathes through its porous bricks. The mosque received an Aga Khan Award for Architecture and became an inspiring Traditional Islamic Architecture case. It’s definitely one of the magnificent mosque architecture styles around the world.