Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When our adventure began to become a pleasent experience....

Sultan Qaboos Grande Mosque, Bawsher, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Basically one of our first sights after being treated to the sights and sounds of Muscat's hospitals and jails, and being homeless, was Sultan Qaboos Grande Mosque, in the area of Bawsher just before Al Athaiba in the Capital of Oman, Muscat.
I'd been to this Mosque before as a teenager, but this was Boxie's first time going. And after all that happened to her on our trip "I really just want to see one nice Mosque" was her wish. It came true one early morning in Muscat:)
Even though I truly love the reader of Quran here, and the beautiful Masjid, I don't really go here even for Taraweeah since, well, firstly, I am actually not the biggest fan of fancy expensive Mosques beyond to look at them. Secondly, as it is Government built Mosque, it is an Ibadhi Mosque. Not that they mind at all if Sunni or even Shia come to pray here in congregation, or that I mind praying in congregation with Ibadhi, it is just, since I say "ameen" out loud and Ibadhi don't and believe that breaks their salat, I find it is just more polite of me to go to taraweeah in the Rahman Mosque in Shatti or something if I am in Muscat. Plus the dawah people here (don't get me wrong, they're great for the non-Muslim tourists) always think I am a newbie to Islam and inundate me with "how to make wudu" pamphlets, and "woman in Islam" ect...
Boxie veiwed through the parking lot gate
Men's wudu area
detail of the men's wudu area's gorg. ceiling
stairs leading to the women's wudu area
door leading to the women's prayer hall (nice chandelier, carpet ect, but we didn't take pics)
 I really liked the carved windows of the men's prayer hall.
Birds nesting above the shoe rack area
 When you first come into the Sultan Qaboos Grande Mosque the first thing you notice is the amazing tiled ceiling and (in my opinion gaudy) central crystal chandeliers.
 Which are just BEYOND massive.
 Next you may notice the world's second largest carpet (Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Mosque now holds the title but honestly, that carpet there is ugly, so who cares whose is bigger, I think the design at SQM is nicer):
Not my photo. I didn't take a picture of the carpet inside.
Now I may not like the CENTRAL chamber's chandy's I DO however like the wooden ceilings and smaller chandliers to the sides where all the Qu'ran and Islamic book niches are.
My personal favourite shot.
Those windows I liked so much from outside?: the inside
detail shot of the interior tile work.
the masjid guards  give the room a little "scale"
the tile work to show the direction of the Qiblah. my camera doesn't do the colours justice.
Below, Boxie outside the main prayer hall. Sultan Qaboos Grande Mosque has ALOT of minarets. You can hear the adhan from here very very very far away.
 Going to the Masjid gardens:
hehehe Boxie I borrowed your blue al gatwa shayla;p
 The sound of the birds singing here is so loud, mashaAllah.
Boxie sitting pretty in one of the many shaded marble pathways leading around the Masjid grounds.
 This area was particularily pretty and I suppose can be used on Jummah days if the main men's prayer hall gets too full.
Veiw of the nice shaded parking area (it was getting too hot for us to wander around, still not used to the humidity of Muscat back then):
 And then veiw of the Masjid, driving away:
From this point on, our travels became easier, alhamdulilah, and we started to be normal tourists, instead of damsels in distress all the time;)


New Wife said...

mashaAllah very beautiful. when i took an architecture class, we did an overview of "islamic" architecture. This mosque seems to have a sample of every single characteristic we talked about :-P

I like the peaked arches with the stripes, they remind of the masjid in cordoba.

also the cut windows are just so intricate and beautiful. I would love to have something like this maybe made from wood in my home one day inshaAllah. it would make beautiful patterns of light and be something to look at like artwork.

Anonymous said...

What is al gatwa shayla can you put a pic on how to wear it?pls