Daily Dose of Beauty: Grand Faith
Daily Dose of Beauty: Adding a bit of light to the darkness as we get through the pandemic together.
This series features travel photos and stories from my archives, shared with you as we shelter in place.
April 23rd, 2020
Today, we’re returning to Oman (after Tuesday’s introductory post). I’m sharing the beauty of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque on this first day of Ramadan 2020.
Construction of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque began in 1994, with opening day following seven years later on May 4th, 2001. Named after the previous Sultan of Oman, who ruled for nearly 50 years from 1970 to 2020, the mosque stands proudly on 103 acres in Oman’s capital city of Muscat. Being relatively new, the sandstone still gleams, reflecting the images of everyone coming and going for prayer, reverence and barefoot tours of this magnificent site.
Two features of the Grand Mosque’s interior take your breath away upon entry: the Persian carpet under foot and the chandelier hanging above. Weighing in at 8.5 tons, the chandelier glows with the light of more than 1,000 bulbs. Not until you get closer do you see the hundreds of thousands of crystals, each individually sparkling while collectively transfixing all those underneath. The ornate design hangs within an intricate dome that enhances the entire effect.
The Persian carpet of the prayer hall rivals its fancy roommate with its own weight and intricacy. The carpet weighs 21 tons and holds 1.7 billion knots, all hand-tied using naturally-dyed wool and design motifs of Iranian origin. Made in the region of Mashhad, it is signed and dated in the tradition of Iranian rug making.
The Mihrab displays an elaborate network of Islamic geometric and floral designs with Arabic typography.
Inside and out, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque tells an incredible story of imagination, purpose and faith made possible only through community. To those observing Ramadan, and to people of all faiths and none, may we find more strength and hope in community as we continue to get through each day together.