06 July, 2011

The King Hussein Bin Talal Mosque, Amman

West of Amman, in one of the most beautiful and most scenic places of the city, is the: King Hussein Bin Talal Mosque. Commissioned by King Abdullah II, in memory of his father, the late King Hussein, it was designed by the Egyptian architect - Dr. Khaled Azzam and built in 2003-2006; and was inaugurated on April, 11th, 2006. The mosque might look small from a distance and might look simple at first glance, but go near it and enter: it is very large and spacious; a masterpiece and one of the finest modern mosques in the Middle East.

King Hussein Bin Talal Mosque - click on map to enlarge
Situated on a hilltop in Dabouq, with wonderful views all around, is the Al Hussein National Park, which encompasses 700 Dunoms (700,000 sq. m) and extends all the way down to King Abdullah II Street. Another park in the mid-southern part of the city, similar to this but smaller, is the King Abdullah II Park.

The Royal Auto Museum  and the Children's Museum are near by; and  other cultural and recreational facilities. I have noticed a variety of birds and insects in the park; and some interesting lizards.

 During week-ends, this park is very crowded. For those who like quietness, it is best to come here during week-days. Except for security or political reasons, most mosques around the world can be visited by non-Muslims - as long as the visitor can follow Islamic etiquette and rules for entering mosques.

Built in the Islamic, Omayyad-Ottoman architectural style, but very much Ammanesque in look, the mosque has four minarets and one large dome.

From a distance, the minarets look small; but, when near, they are quite large.

The white walls of the mosque with the brown minarets and dome, add to the mosque's uniqueness and beauty.

While the green, coniferous trees all around, give it a serene, comforting atmosphere.

It is now the largest mosque in Amman, capable of accommodating thousands of worshipers at one time: reportedly about 5,500 worshipers. There is also a library and lecture halls on the first floor of the mosque.

Worshipers can pray inside, and if it is full, thousands can still be accommodated outside under a vaulted ceiling.

All the walls outside are covered with the classic white, Jordanian stone that makes the mosque blend very well with the city.

Inside, is very serene with soothing colors. With beautifully, finely constructed: floors, ceilings and arches. There is a women's prayer area above part of the indoor and outdoor halls, which can accommodate at least 350 worshipers.

White and brown are the dominant colors of the mosque. The mihrab is made of rare types of wood. The many chandeliers inside, carefully chosen and well placed - blend very well with the aesthetic beauty of the mosque. 

Reportedly: except for indoor furniture and technical facilities, all the material used for the building of the mosque are from Jordan.

Within, there is a museum: the Hashemite History Museum, which displays Islamic artifacts; and belongings related to the Founder of Islam.

If you look at the mosque closely, you will realize how much talent and the superb craftsmanship that must have been used to create the very fine: walls, dome, minarets, windows, doors, ceiling, arches and floor.

The best time to visit and appreciate the mosque is during week-days and in the evenings. There will be very few people then, in the mosque and around it.

At the the same time too, when the sun sets, you will be able to watch the mosque with all the lights within and around it - on; a spectacular sight.

Outside - there is ample parking space around the mosque; and many benches for relaxing on. Down the Park, there are shops that sell handicrafts and a cafe. And there are playgrounds very suitable for families and children. Not far from here too, are shopping malls.

Like most parts of Amman, around the mosque is very clean and well kept.

Work is still going on around the mosque and in the park; with more facilities being added and more trees being planted.

The park now is one of the greenest areas of Amman; with many recreational facilities. With the mosque, up on the hill, the most visible and most prominent.

Many times, I have been asked on why a mosque should be grandiose. Most places of worship for all religions, are grand and majestic. To Muslims, the whole Earth, is, for us - sacred and one large mosque; but, should a special place be designated for prayers, then it should be a place worthy of that One Creator to be worshiped.

+ More reading on the Mosque and the Park here
+ More photos of the Mosque on Flickr

+ Other Wonderful Places in the Kingdom of Jordan:
The River Jordan
The Dead Sea
The Citadel
The Roman Theater
* Jerash
Kahaf Ahl Kahf