Known as Al Rayyan Mosque, the Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Mohamed Al Abdulrahman Al Thani Mosque has opened for public prayers.

Located opposite the Racing and Equestrian Club, Al Rayyan Mosque is the second largest mosque in Qatar with sky high minarets of up to 60 metres and 39 metres high domes, covering an area of over 9,000 square metres. As many as 2,500 worshipers are able to pray in this mosque.

HE Sheikh Abdulrahman Al Thani donated a sum of QAR36.8 million for the construction of the mosque after he had signed an agreement with Badr Al Haziq Company – Qatar chapter. Rich with Islamic architecture and designs, Al Rayyan Mosque has been completed within 17 months.

As you enter the mosque, there is a large square-like open space of pillars that lead you to the prayer hall. There are multiple door entries to the prayer hall on each side of Al Rayyan Mosque – each with a shoe shelf. The central area for prayer of a mosque is the prayer hall, which is called a musalla, meaning ‘place for prayer’. The prayer hall of Al Rayyan Mosque is a large open space, fitting over 2,000 worshipers. Like most mosques, the architecture in the prayer hall however the ceiling is exhilarating in design and architecture. Where the pillars meet the ceiling is the name of Prophet Muhammed, beautifully outlined as calligraphy on the ceiling. A huge chandelier hangs down from ceiling, which is scripted with the words of the shahada, ‘La ilaha ila Allah, Muhammedun rasulu Allah‘, which means, ‘There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God’.

Within the walls and pillars of the prayer hall, there are bookshelves – wooden book stands known as rihal – holding copies of the Quran. The mosque consists of a large collection of Qurans, with at least 100 books available for the public. Besides copies of the Quran, a variety of religious reading material is available at the mosque, regarding children rights, animals rights and more. There are chairs to assist the elderly or disabled worshipers who have difficulty with mobility.

The prayer halls is equipped with high technology, enabling good communication between the imam and the worshipers. In addition, the prayer hall can serve as a place for Islamic gatherings, allowing religious lectures or lessons after prayers. Within the prayer hall is the mihrab, which is an ornamental indentation in the wall, marking the direction of the qiblah, which is the fixed direction of the Kaaba in Mecca in which Muslims should face during prayers. The mihrab is shaped like a doorway and decorated with tiles to make the space stand out. Next to the mihrab is the minbar, which is a raised platform in the front area of the prayer hall, from which sermons or speeches are given. It includes a short staircase leading to the top platform, which is sometimes covered by a small dome.

The female’s prayer hall is much smaller in space than the main prayer hall, fitting approximately 50 worshipers. However, the hall is air-conditioned and equipped with chairs for the elderly and the disabled. In addition, female worshipers have a collection of at least 20 Qurans to choose from.

With only approximately 50 parking spots, the parking area for Al Rayyan Mosque is quite small for the thousands of worshipers the mosque can attain. However, the parking area is expected to expand as Al Meera Hypermarket is opening next to door to the the mosque, allotting more space for parking.

One of the most beautiful structures to see in Qatar are the mosques (commonly referred to as awqaf) which have the tendency to influence any sight-seer. Although a modern Islamic Country, Qatar has a rich heritage with a thousand mosques. Some of the buildings are open to anyone who wishes to know more about Islam and the traditions of Qatar.

One of the most popular mosques in Qatar is Fanar, Qatar Islamic and Cultural Center which is also known as Abdulla Bin Zaid Al Mahmoud Islamic Cultural Centre and the Spiral Mosque. Standing off the Corniche along Grand Hamad Street, the mosque is visible from all the angles of the Corniche. Fanar is also an Islamic and cultural centre. On the ground floor, there is a shopping area, where one can experience the real essence of Islamic tradition. Anyone wishing to learn Arabic, can access the classrooms, free-of-charge. The Fanar mosque used to be the largest mosque in Qatar, until 2009, when the State Mosque was built. However, Fanar is currently the highest mosque in Qatar.

The State Mosque, Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahab Mosque, is the largest mosque in Qatar. It’s built in an area of about 19,550 square metres on three levels with a land area of 175,000 sq m, fitting more than 10,000 worshippers for prayers. The mosque has 28 major and 65 minor domes. The mihrab contains two domes. The mosque has three main gates. The mosque is named after the reformist, pioneer and Muslim theologian of the 18th century, Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahab (1703–1792). Born in Najd, Saudi Arabia, Ibn Abdul Wahab advocated purging Islam of what he considered to be impurities and innovations. His great movement, popularly known as Wahhabism, is the dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia.

Author: Ola Diab

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