Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Grand Mosque - Kuwait

The Grand Mosque
The Grand Mosque, Kuwait City

Come back at 5:30…” the security guard said as he turned us away at the front entrance. Civil had already  been told by another security guard that morning to come back at 5 pm.

Here we go…prepare for the run around…. I thought cynically as we wandered down the road to grab a coffee while we waited. Figures…Kuwait.

There isn’t much surrounding the Grand Mosque except office buildings and a few small shops, but it is located closely enough to the souk to wander over.

Happily, and somewhat shockingly, when we arrived back at the Mosque at 5:20 pm, and were promptly whisked into the changing area to don Abayas to enter the mosque.  We were rushed through to meet the group, just before entering the Grand Mosque’s Prayer Hall. Of course they started early…

All of my annoyance washed away the moment we stepped into the Prayer Hall. Whatever hoops were needed to jump through were worth it.

There are so many aspects to the room that are absolutely breath-taking; from the golden ceiling to the plush royal blue carpet decorated for prayer.

The Carpet

In theory, there should be one outlined space for each person praying, but during Ramadan when the main prayer hall in the mosque is open for people to pray, there isn't enough space for each person to have their own. The guide informed us that about 5,000 people will pray inside the mosque, with another 155,000 inside the courtyard and the surrounding streets during Ramadan. 

The ceiling was one of the most beautiful aspects of the room. From inscriptions to gilded iron and painted tiles, it is a stunner. The pillars holding up the ceiling are absolutely beautiful as well.
Pillar & Ceiling
The Dome

A question that was burning on my mind, was: "How do you change the light bulbs?" The tour guide promptly answered my question with a small laugh and showed me the mechanical ladder to hoist the people up to do maintenance, including cleaning the ceiling as well as changing the light bulbs.

The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable, and had many little secrets to show us about the room, in addition to educating us about prayer practices and the Islamic faith. The tour is wonderful and very enlightening.

Truly, this is something worth doing in Kuwait!

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