Shaikh Zayed Mosque

May be Shaikh Zayed Mosque is the first of its kind - a mosque for tourism. Situated in Abu Dhabi, UAE, it has got many first places in the record book. The main attraction of the mosque is its fusion design, which includes the Indian, African, Western and Arabian designs. If you are in search of a place where you can pray in peace and be near to Allah, you are in the wrong place if you are at SZ mosque. At SZ mosque, you can wonder at the huge chandeliers hanging from the roof, watch the beautiful designs on the walls and pillars and walk on the biggest hand woven carpet in the world. The truth is, you will not know all these until you reach there.
Shaikh Zayed Mosque.
That was the case with me too. Everyone who have visited the place before told me it was like visiting a museum. I didn't believe it. A mosque has got to be a mosque. So we decided to go. It was a two hour journey through which Aisha slept, as usual. Finding the parking lot was a bit difficult as they are constantly redesigning the area and the navigators couldn't do anything to help us. So helping ourselves with what little knowledge we have got on directions and positions, we at last found a way to the parking place. I don't think shopping malls have better parking lots!!

Contrary to the dress code in other places in the country, modest clothing is mandatory inside the mosque. For those in sleeveless and short dresses, the officials provide abhayas and thawbs. It was amusing to see people taking pictures of themselves in arabic style dresses.
Aisha was busy running through the big halls, long corridors and spacious gardens. She wanted to swim in the pool, but that was not permitted. She loved the ablution area very much. The main hall of the mosque opens for prayer only during Jumua (Friday) and Eid prayers. The rest of the prayers are conducted in smaller halls to each side of the big hall.
Ablution Area.
We went in search of prayer halls after ablution. It was a long way. We prayed Asar and Magrib from the mosque. Aisha joined us in Asr prayer, but during Magrib, she was hungry and thus querulous.
Prayer Hall.
The designs on the wall and the floor, the inscription of Allah's 99 names on the wall facing the Qibla, the carpet, the chandeliers and the blend of Mughal architecture in the design are splendid which makes you feel like you are walking in a medieval palace in India. 

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