Look: Inside Dubai's historic mosque that is over 120 years old

The magnificent Grand Mosque whispers the tale of a bygone era

by

SM Ayaz Zakir

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Photos by Shihab
Photos by Shihab

Published: Fri 8 Dec 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 11 Dec 2023, 2:28 PM

In the old district of Bur Dubai, lies a historic mosque, Grand Mosque Bur Dubai, that has stood tall since its construction in the year 1900. This magnificent place of worship whispers the tale of a bygone era.

When observed from the exterior, it presents itself as a magnificent fortress, featuring a towering minaret that soars to a height surpassing 70 metres, making it a distinctive landmark. However, once inside, the interior unveils itself as a truly captivating spectacle.

Touring the grand mosque

Dar Al Ber Society conducts regular mosque tours for residents and visitors with an emphasis on promoting Islamic culture and tourism.

Ismail Lewis Bullock, head of the mosque experience, Dar Al Ber Society said that even before its construction this place served as a ‘Khuttab,’ a place for imparting Islamic education and learning the Quran.

“The mosque underwent renovations in 1960, becoming slightly smaller to make way for a market and other developments. Further enhancements took place in 1990, giving the mosque a modern interior while preserving its rich history,” said Bullock.

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With 45 small domes and 9 large domes, the mosque's architecture is unique, creating an awe-inspiring sight for visitors. Massive chandeliers hang from the large dome which illuminates the prayer area with different shades of yellow and gray.

The interior is adorned with over 50 pillars designed like ancient wind towers, contributing to the mosque's cooling system. Massive arch windows, exceeding 10 feet in height, and intricate dome artistry add to its captivating features. Inside the prayer area, 23 prayer rows can accommodate up to 1200 faithful.

Besides the primary prayer area, there lies an open area surrounded by restrooms and the ablution section. This space serves as a nostalgic journey through time, offering a glimpse into the open courtyards of ancient days.

Clarifying misconceptions

The initiative aims to foster a greater understanding of Islamic values and principles among people of all backgrounds. The regular tours of the mosque clarify the misconceptions about Islam. “Tourists have expressed newfound understanding and appreciation of Islam as they learn about the religion,” said Bullock.

The guided tours lead visitors through the mosque's various sections. It's not just a tour, it's an invitation to engage in an open dialogue about Islam, where questions are not just welcomed but encouraged. “Visitors are guided through the mosque's various sections, including where the Imam delivers the Khutba, the prayer calendar, and the significance of the five pillars of Islam,” said Bullock.

“The visitors to the mosque can ask basic questions about Islam,” added Bullock.

Open for tours for visitors are from Sunday to Thursday, between 9:15 am and 11:30 am, the mosque welcomed 500 students from a local school on Wednesday.

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