It is the most beautiful religious building in the world, which is the monument of a century, also the dream of the nation, which was built by the will of the great king late Hassan II. It took seven years and roundabout ten thousand artisans to build up the mosque resulting in a beautiful building that is a blend of ancient Moorish architecture with the innovation and equipment of the 20th century. It has the world’s largest minaret ranking the mosque itself at number seven. The minaret is 700 feet tall, a lighthouse indeed throwing its light towards the Atlantic Ocean. Finally, by the hard work of 2550 men, the final touch was given to the mosque.
The mosque is located on the Boulevard Sidi Mohammad Ben Abdallah in Casablanca. The building is built partially on land and partially on the ocean. The two large water breaks were built to prevent erosion by the ocean waves reaching the height of 10 meters.
Madrasa and other places
Madrasa is the other structure inside the mosque where students sit down and recite the Holy Quran. Madrasa occupies an area of 4850 Square meters. The mosque also consists of bathhouses(hammams), a museum of morocco history, and a very large comprehensive Islamic library. The mosque also comprises a garden that has 41 fountains. This garden surrounds the mosque where many of the families visit for the picnic, and also, it is an excellent attraction for the tourists.
History of the Mosque
It all started with King Hassan II’s death, which had ordered the most capable artists of the country to put forward there for the departure of the king and to provide him a monument. He advised them to make such a structure that should reflect the beauty of nature as well as should be an honorable achievement. “I wish Casablanca to be endowed with a large, fine building which it can be proud of until the end of time, I want to build this mosque on water because God’s throne is on water “these were the final wordings of the great king Mohammad V. The work started in 1986 and took seven years to achieve the desired results finally. With the hard work of ten thousand artists and craftsmen. The construction cost estimated was to be 717 million dollars.
The mosque displays the unfinished elements of the Rabat and Koutoubia mosque in Marrakesh. There are also some features from the old Roman fort.
Its layout is of the basilican plan, which is different from the T-shaped plan used in North Africa.
The building comprises a blend of Islamic and Moroccan architecture, which features an urban design. The building is 200 meters in length while 100 meters wide. Granite, plaster of Paris, marble, and wood were used in the construction, which was extracted from the morocco itself. Some imported materials were also used, which included Italian white granite and some chandeliers, which were 56 in numbers.
Roundabout six thousand Moroccan artisans worked many years to create the finest piece of art, which included beautiful mosaics, stone, and marble floorings, as well as painted wood carvings and ceilings. This mosque also has some extraordinary horseshoe arches and the Muqarnas ceiling. The sound system is fitted in such a way that it is not visible from the outside but is hidden completely.
The ablution rooms
It has a vast ablution room which has numerous hammams in which a soap made up of the mixture of egg yolks, and plaster is placed for the people.
The central hall
The hall is centrally heated, providing an amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean. The hall is decorated in such a way that it looks elaborate and elegant, which reflects the hard work of six thousand masterminds working on it. The hall is so large that it can simply accommodate thousands of worshipers at a time.
The prayer hall
The hall is 200 meters in length while 100 meters in width, having three Naves in a perpendicular direction to the qibla wall. The central Naive is 40 meters while the other side ones are shorter, having 27 meters.
Pillars and the roof
pillars are 13 meters in height with a square shape. The roof is retractable, which in the daytime enlightens the mosque with the sunlight, while at night, the worshipers can pray under the twinkling stars and the glowing moon. The roof weighs 1100 tons, which takes an opening time of 5 minutes to form the closed position. The roof is covered with very reliable aluminum tiles.
The minaret of the mosque is 210 meters tall, which is the largest in the whole world. It has a laser beam that can be operated electronically and is pointed towards Mecca. The light of this beam can enlighten the area of 30 kilometers in its path.
Hassan II Museum
The museum displays the traditional Moroccan arts and the leftover material that was never used in the construction of the mosque, like carved Stucco and painted wood ceilings. The museum opened after the completion of the construction of the mosque.
After ten years of the construction of the mosque, it was observed that the structure of the mosque is showing signs of degradation. It was observed that the walls are being eroded due to the high waves reaching up to several meters above the shore. Saltwater was entering the porous concrete making the steel rust. In April 2005, after the research of three years, high-grade steel was combined with the concrete just to decent the chloride attack, hence restoring the walls.
Before visiting the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca, one should keep in that tours are available in all languages. There is nothing to worry about if you are a Muslim or not. You have to cover your knees and shoulders before entering the mosque. But before entering the mosque, take off your shoes and put them in the small bag provided to you at the entrance.