The mosque of Hassan II or the Grand Mosque of Hassan is a mosque in Casablanca city, Morocco. It is the largest mosque in the Moroccan kingdom and the seventh-largest mosque in the world.
At 210 meters, its minaret is the tallest building in Morocco and the tallest minaret in the world; on top of it, laser beams point towards Mecca, assisting worshippers in positioning themselves more precisely during prayers. A total of 105,000 worshippers can gather for prayer: the prayer hall can hold up to 25,000 faithful, while the esplanade can hold up to 80 thousand.
The Building of the grand mosque of Hassan
The Hassan II Mosque, finished in 1993, was structured by French architect Michel Pinseau and constructed by Bouygues. The mosque is developed on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The floor is constructed of glass, allowing worshippers to see the ocean below and worship over it. The walls are constructed from handcrafted marble. The roof of the Mosque is movable, allowing worshippers to see the constellations at night. Excluding the imported white granite columns and Murano glass chandeliers from Murano, nearly all of the materials used to construct the Mosque are Moroccan.
The historical development of the grand mosque of Hassan
The concept of the mosque arose following the death of King Mohammed V in 1961. King Hassan II asked the best artisans in the country to come forward and present plans for a mausoleum to honor the late king. It took 7 years to complete, with large numbers of craftsmen and laborers working 24 hours a day. The building was initially planned to be done in 1989, in time for Hassan II’s 60th birthday; however, the construction was not finished on time, causing the inauguration to be postponed. The formal inauguration was scheduled for the 11th Rabi’ Al-Awwal of Hijra 1414, which corresponded to August 30, 1993, the eve of Prophet Mohammed’s birth anniversary.
Visiting the Hassan II mosque as a non-Muslim
Muslim visitors are welcome to enter the mosque of Hassan II for Friday prayers and daily prayer times. The mosque is one of the very few open to non-Muslims; nevertheless, guided trips serve as the only way for non-Muslims to enter the mosque, and only at certain periods. These tours are given in English several times a day. There is no admission fee to be outside, but there is an admission fee to see the inside of the Hassan II Mosque with a guide.
How to dress in the Hassan II mosque
Women are not required to cover their hair; however, both men and women must wear clothing that covers their shoulders and chest and is sufficiently long to conceal their knees. Shorts and short-sleeved shirts are not permitted. It is also forbidden to smoke, eat, or drink while visiting the mosque.
The museum of the grand mosque of Hassan
A small museum is connected to the masjid. It goes into great detail about the mosque’s geometrical patterns and wood carvings. There are no admission fees.
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