Great mosques around the world

Enjoy this visual pilgrimage of mosques around the world. From

Afghanistan and China, Saudi Arabia, Germany, India, Thailand and Egypt, to Peru,

Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, these incredible centres of

faith are testimony to the spread of Islam across the world.

Mosque in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA: One of the 1,300 mosques in Jeddah, the second largest city in Saudi Arabia and one of the principal gateways to the Holy City of Mecca.

Mosque in Pattani, Thailand

PATTANI, THAILAND: Thai Muslim women pray during the special Eid ul-Fitr morning prayer at the Central Mosque of Pattani in the southern province of Pattani, Thailand. The beautiful mosque is the largest in Thailand. Pattani is one of the four provinces of Thailand where the majority of the population (88%) are Malay Muslim.

Mazar e Sharif Mosque Afghanistan

MAZAR-E-SHARIF, AFGHANISTAN: Afghan men pray at the Blue Mosque. Mazar-e-Sharif means "Noble Shrine", a reference to the large, blue-tiled mosque around which the town is built.

Lakemba Mosque Sydney Australia

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Lebanon-born Imam Sheik Safi addresses the sudience during a Q&A during the Lakemba Mosque Open Day in Sydney, Australia. Also known as the Imam Ali Bin Abi Taleb Mosque, it is one of the largest mosques in Australia.

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

BRUNEI: The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei is considered one of the most beautiful mosques in Asia Pacific and unites Italian and Mughal architecture styles. Named after Omar Ali Saifuddien III, the 28th Sultan of Brunei, the mosque dominates the skyline of Bandar Seri Begawan. It was built in 1958.

Umayyad Mosque

DAMASCUS, SYRIA: A file photo from 2005 shows a German tourist admiring the minaret of the 8th century Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria. After the Arab conquest of Damascus in 634, the mosque was built on the site of a Christian basilica dedicated to John the Baptist also honoured as a prophet, Yahya, by Muslims.

Central Mosque, N'DJAMENA, CHAD

N'DJAMENA, CHAD: The Central Mosque is a dominating feature of N'Djamena, the capital and largest city of the central African nation of Chad.

Dongguan Mosque in Xining, China

XINING, CHINA: Muslims wait to attend Friday prayers in the rain at the Dongguan Mosque in Xining, China. Dongguan Mosque is the biggest mosque in Qinghai Province. It was built in 1380, and now boasts a history of more than 600 years. The mosque is not only famous for its magnificent architecture but also as a religious education center and as the highest learning institution of Islam.

Leeds Grand Central Mosque

LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM: The Leeds Grand Central Mosque looms above the city's Burley area.

The Grand Mosque

MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA: A view of the minarets and domes of The Grand Mosque.

Mosque in Kashi of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China

KASHI, CHINA: Muslims pray outside a mosque in Kashi of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwest China. Kashi is an oasis city which has been noted in ancient times along the old silk road as a political and commercial centre. It is the hub of an important commercial district, bordering Russia, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan with Pakistan to its south. The Islamic Uygur ethnic minority group constitutes the majority of its population.

Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo, Egypt

CAIRO, EGYPT: A view of the inner courtyard of the Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo, Egypt. The mosque, built by Ibn Tulun, the Abbassid governor of Egypt from 868–884, in 876 AD. It is one of the largest mosques in the world with an inner courtyard large enough for most of his army and their horses and the 13th century fountain in the centre of the courtyard continues to provide water for ablutions before prayers.

Mosques in Salah ad-Din Square, Cairo, Egypt

CAIRO, EGYPT: The Mamluk 14th century madrasa and mausoleum of Sultan Hassan and other later Ottoman mosques dominate the Salah ad-Din Square, a central roundabout below the Citadel in Cairo, Egypt. Despite being known primarily for its Pharaonic monuments, some almost 5,000 years old, the country has a rich Islamic heritage. The various Muslim dynasties, which ruled the country since its capture from the Byzantines by the Muslim Arabs in 639 AD until the demise of the Ottoman Turks at the end of the First World War, have left the country with hundreds of splendid buildings erected by the ruling elite of more than 1,200 years.

Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha on The Citadel of Cairo, Egypt

CAIRO, EGYPT: A boy flies a kite in sight of the mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha on The Citadel of Cairo. This mosque, along with the citadel, is one of the landmarks and tourist attractions of Cairo and is one of the first features to be seen when approaching the city. The mosque was built by Muhammad Ali Pasha, an Albanian commander in the Ottoman army largely considered the founder of modern Egypt, in memory of Tusun Pasha, his oldest son, who died in 1816.

Khadija Mosque in Berlin, Germany

BERLIN, GERMANY: The Khadija mosque in Berlin, Germany was built by Ahmadiyya Muslims and opened in 2008. It was the first mosque to open in east Berlin.

Imam-Ali mosque at the Aussenalster in Hamburg, Germany

HAMBURG, GERMANY: Children play outside the Imam-Ali mosque at the Aussenalster in Hamburg, Germany.

DITIB-Merkez Mosque in Duisburg, Germany

DUISBURG, GERMANY: A general view of the DITIB-Merkez Mosque in Duisburg, Germany. It is Germany's fourth largest mosque, capable of accommodating 1,200 worshippers.

Cheraman Masjid, Kodungallur, Kerala, India

KODUNGALLUR, KERALA, INDIA: The Cheraman Masjid is said to be the very first mosque in India, built in 629 AD by Malik lbn Dinar at the behest of Rama Varma Kulashekhara, a Chera dynasty ruler, who converted to Islam during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad. He is thought to be the first Indian Muslim. Kodungallur is widely believed to be the site of the ancient port of Muziris, which was a sea port until it was destroyed by the great flood of the Periyar River in 1341. The mosque is built in the traditional Hindu architectural style. Today, many non-Muslims visit the mosque for prayers and are known to initiate children to letters here.

Ponnani Juma Masjid. Ponnani, Kerala, India

PONNANI, KERALA, INDIA: The Grand entrance gable and balcony at Ponnani Juma Masjid. Ponnani, a port city located north of Cochin, was inhabited from first century AD, and it was a religious centre of temples and mosques. The Ponnani Juma Masjid was built in the 1500s. The fantastic displays of mosques such as this one may have been a direct response to the Portuguese efforts at destruction of the Muslims’ trade dominance and their faith.

©Donald Fels / Published in ‘Mosques of Cochin’ by Patricia Tusa Fels, Mapin Publishing.

See slideshow: The Heritage Mosques of Cochin

Jama Masjid in New Delhi, India

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Indian Muslims pray during morning prayers at the Jama Masjid in New Delhi, India.

Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, Banda Aceh, Indonesia

BANDA ACEH, SUMATRA, INDONESIA: The Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, Indonesia, was designed by an Italian architect and built by the Dutch colonial administration as a token of reconciliation following their destruction of an older mosque during the Aceh wars. It was completed in 1879. The mosque survived the 2004 Asian Tsunami that devastated most of the city of Banda Aceh.

Mosque in Isfahan, Iran

ISFAHAN, IRAN: One of the stunning mosques of Isfahan, a city in central Iran that was the capital of Persia from 1598 to 1722.

Read more on Isfahan

Kadhimiya Mosque in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, IRAQ: Iraqi Shia Muslims walk around the holy Kadhimiya mosque in Baghdad, Iraq. The Kadhimiya mosque is one of the main mosques for the Shia faith.

Imam Abbas mosque in Karbala, Iraq

KARBALA, IRAQ: An Iraqi woman prays as Imam Abbas mosque is seen in the holy Shiite city of Karbala, south of Baghdad, Iraq. Karbala is famous as the site of the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali. The mosque, known to Shias as the Al-Abbas Mosque or Masjid al-Abbas, is the mausoleum of Al-Abbas ibn Ali, the martyr's loyal half-brother.

Mosque in Avivim, northern Israel

AVIVIM, ISRAEL: A mosque in the Lebanese village of Maroun el-Rass in Avivim, northern Israel.

Mosque in Darajat, Israel

DAREJAT, ISRAEL: Photovoltaic solar panels provide electricity to a mosque in the Bedouin Arab village of Darajat in Israel's Negev desert.

al-Aqsa mosque, Jerusalem, Israel

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL: Birds fly over al-Aqsa mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock Islamic shrine as seen from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

King Abdullah I Mosque in Amman, Jordan

AMMAN, JORDAN: The King Abdullah I Mosque in Amman, Jordan was built between 1982 and 1989.

Great Mosque in Almaty, Kazakhstan

ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN: Islamic worshippers gather outside the Great Mosque during Friday Muslim prayers in Almaty in the central Asian republic of Kazakhstan. It was completed in 1999 after six years of construction on the site of an old mosque. Under Soviet communist rule, religion was suppressed in Kazakhstan and many other countries of the former USSR.

Mosque in Seoul, Korea

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Muslims enter the Seoul Central Mosque in Seoul, South Korea. The only mosque in Seoul, it holds lectures in English, Arabic, and Korean.

Mosque in Beirut, Lebanon

BEIRUT, LEBANON: The Mohammad Al-Amin mosque is located in Martyrs' Square in downtown Beirut. The blue-domed mosque is inspired by the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

CASABLANCA, MOROCCO: The Hassan II Mosque is the seventh largest mosque in the world. Standing on a promontory of reclaimed land, looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, it can accommodate 105,000 worshippers for prayer at a time. The architecture has strong Moorish influences and is similar to that of the Alhambra and the Great Mosque of Cordoba in Spain.

Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, Morocco

MARRAKECH, MOROCCO: The Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, Morocco. Its minaret is nearly 70 metres high and was built under the reign of Caliph Yaqub al-Mansur of the Almohad dynasty in the 12th century.

Ponsonby Mosque in Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: The Ponsonby Mosque in Ponsonby, Auckland, was built in the 1970s. Islam first came to New Zealand in the 1870s with the arrival of Muslim Chinese gold prospectors. Later waves of Muslim immigrants came from India, Eastern Europe and Fiji.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman

MUSCAT, OMAN: The awe-inspiring Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman, is built from 300,000 tonnes of Indian sandstone. It took six years and four months to build and was finished in 2001. It can accommodate a maximum of 20,000 worshippers including a separate prayer hall for women. The Grand Mosque has the second-largest prayer carpet and chandelier in the world.

Faisal Masjid in Islamabad, Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN: The Faisal Masjid in Islamabad is the largest mosque in Pakistan. It is named after the late Saudi King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz, who financed its construction.

Wazir Khan Mosque, Lahore, Pakistan

LAHORE, PAKISTAN: Pigeons fly over the Wazir Khan Mosque in the walled city of Old Lahore in Pakistan. The great mosque was built by built by Hakim Shaikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari, court physician to the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who later rose to the status of governor. Construction began around 1634–1635 and lasted seven years.

Mosque in Tacna, Peru

TACNA, PERU: A mosque in Tacna, Peru. The city is home to a large number of Pakistani families.

State Mosque in Doha, Qatar

DOHA, QATAR: The State Mosque in Doha, Qatar, is now officially known as Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab Mosque. It can hold a congregation of 30,000 including separate enclosures for men and women.

Qolsharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin in Kazan, Russia

KAZAN, RUSSIA: The Qolsharif Mosque in the Kazan Kremlin in Kazan, Russia. At the time of its original construction in the 16th century, it was believed to be the oldest mosque in Europe outside Istanbul. Named after Qolsharif, a religious scholar and Imam of the Khanate of Kazan, who died in 1552 defending the mosque against Russian forces of Ivan the Terrible. It was rebuilt and inaugurated in 2005. Kazan is in Tatarstan, a federal subject of Russia in the Volga Federal District.