Hassan II Mosque - Second Largest Mosque in the World
The Hassan II Mosque is the second largest mosque in the world and is located in Casablanca, the economic and business capital of Morocco. Michel Pinseau, a French architect, designed the Hassan Mosque and its accompanying minaret. Pinseau designed the building in such a way that it is able to endure earthquakes. At night the minaret has lasers that shine in the direction of Mecca. Today, the minaret is considered the tallest in the world, standing at 689 feet or 210 meters.
The construction of the mosque began in 1986 and was completed in 1993. This was four years over the due date, which was meant to be in 1989 on King Hassan II's 60th birthday. Most of the materials used for the building of the mosque originated from Morocco but there were some materials, like the glass chandeliers and granite columns that were imported.
The mosque stands on a prominent piece of land that rises up on the shore of the Atlantic and provides visitors with the most spectacular views of the ocean. It was decided by King Hassan II that the mosque should be built on this location because of a verse found in the Qur'an, which says that God's throne was built over the water. The King wanted worshippers to be able to see God's creations like the ocean and the sea.
Up to 25,000 worshippers can be accommodated inside the mosque, where they pray on a glass floor. This special feature of the mosque allows worshippers to kneel and pray over the sea. A further 80,000 people can fit into the courtyard that surrounds the Hassan Mosque. The Hassan II Mosque has a number of modern features that have been included to provide worshipers with added comforts. This includes heated floors, a roof that slides open so the sky can be seen and electric doors.
There are many mosques in Morocco most of which are closed off to people who are not of the Muslim faith. The Hassan II Mosque differs in that way, allowing visitors of all faiths the opportunity to come in and view the inside of the building. There is only one other mosque that functions similarly to the Hassan Mosque and that is the old Tin Mal Mosque. Visitors can come to the Mosque and enjoy a guided tour that lasts for about one hour. There are a number of tours that take place throughout the day - so make this one of your stops when visiting Casablanca.