In the capital city of Islamabad, is located the Faisal mosque of Pakistan. Turkish architect, Vedat Dalokay designed the beauty of Islamabad. It is situated at the north end of Faisal Avenue and at the foot of Margalla Hills. The second largest in Pakistan, being Badshahi Mosque located in Lahore. The fifth largest mosque in the world is also Badshahi mosque. The initiative of the Pakistani government to build the national mosque of Pakistan in Islamabad was supported by King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz during an official visit to Pakistan in 1966. In the background of Faisal Mosque, the Margallahills enhance the mosque’s beauty. Faisal Mosque is decorated superbly. It symbolizes hope and aspirations for the new nation. The mausoleum of the late President Zia ulHaq is located adjacent to the Faisal Mosque.[irp]
In 1969, Turkish Architect Vedat Dalokay won the international competition in which architects submitted proposals. He won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, for the project of Faisal Mosque. In 1976, Azim Khan led the construction of the national mosque. The construction of Faisal Mosque was funded by Saudi government at a cost of approximately SR 130 million ($35 million). The largest mosque in Pakistan was named after the late King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz in his honor. In 1986, Faisal mosque was completed with an exceptionally distinctive and large mosque design.
There is a huge capacity in Faisal Masjid. The main prayer hall can accommodate 10,000 worshippers at a single time and the porticoes can accommodate 24,000 and the courtyard 40,000. The adjoining grounds can also accommodate another 200,000 worshippers. The Faisal Mosque covers an area of 54,000 square feet. The design of Faisal Mosque lacks the dome found commonly in a masjid’s design. The design of Faisal Mosque is Modern and Unique. It gives the traditional look of an Arab Bedouin’s tent. It has four minarets and large triangular prayer halls. The minarets are thin and long, just like in the Turkish traditional culture’s design. Faisal Mosque’s shape is an eight-sided shell inspired by a desert Bedouin’s tent
It’s not only a place of worship. The Faisal Masjid is among one of the sightseeing places of Islamabad. Winter is a better time to visit the Faisal Mosque as summers are very hot in Pakistan. The entrance of the mosque is free and only an attendant is paid for the safety of the shoes. Non-Muslims are also allowed but requested to avoid prayer times and Friday prayer.[irp]
Although the mosque is not a picnic point families, foreigners and students are welcomed to visit. Dancing, singing and making noise inside the Faisal Mosque is suggested to be avoided. The famous and recognized icon of Islamabad is Faisal Mosque.