Wednesday, 3 November 2010

A visit to the Blue Mosque

View of the Blue Mosque
This week I visited the Mosque of the Martyr King Abdullah bin Al-Hussein, also known as the Blue Mosque because of the beautiful blue dome.

As tourist (non-Muslim), you are not allowed in through the main gate. There is a complete separate entrance, located "underneath" the Mosque. You have big signs so you cannot really miss it. We went through a typical bazaar (also doind charity work) with all kind of Jordanian souvenirs and handcrafts. This is where you pay the entrance fee (2JD - resident or not) and where women can borrow and put on the Abaya (traditional black clothing that women wear over their clothes). Note that this is not optional - as women (I was with other female friends) we needed to put it on. I will also say that it is synthetic and it's very very hot to wear - so I cannot imagine what it is like in the summer. 


We went up the stairs and arrive in the Gallery.

Main Entrance to the Mosque

This is an open yeard that has a capacity of 6000 worshippers. The floor is covered with octogonal tiles forming lines that direct worshippers toward the Kiblah (direction of Mecca, towards which Muslims turn in prayer). Engraved as well on the external walls are Quranic Verses.

We first visited the Women's Place of Worship - we were not sure that we were allowed into the Men's, but yes we were. The Women's area is quite small and can house 500 worshippers.

 To the right the Mihrab - niche that turns toward Mecca

We then went to the Mosque's Nave (Men's area). It can host 3000 worshippers and is very impressive. 

I could't take many pictures, because there were men praying, sleeping, sitting and talking and there was also a lecture going on. I didn't want to seem intrusive. You can notice the same kind of patern on the carpet that shows the prayer direction as outside.

Sorry about the quality of some of the pictures, but I was taking without flash (to not disturbe) and with Bibs wanting to run around it wasn't that easy!

When we bought our ticket we were given a very nice booklet that explains all there is to know about the Mosque and its construction (that is where I have taken most of the info from).

The last thing we visited was the Islamic Museum. There are other places to see like the Conference Hall or the Library, but Bibs was a bit fed up and hungry so we had to hurry.

Can anybody tell me what this is??
 It is a small museum, where there are antics, coins, stone engravings etc. all in relation to Islam.

It is an interesting visit to make, and I believe the only Mosque in Amman that can be visited by non-muslims. As usual I have more things to visit - a trend in Jordan for me - so I'll go back and look out for some more.  I hope I haven't made any mistakes with the translations and meanings - if I have please let me know!

One last thing, opening times: we visited between 12:30 and 2pm, and I know it opens in the morning (8am-11am, if not mistaken) - but I don't know if this changes during the year, as I doubt that one can visit during prayer times. Not really sure of this.


Ehab said...

I haven't been to the mosque in a long time, and I have never seen the Islamic Museum before, thanks for reminding me to go visit...

Scoop said...

Very interesting! Since traveling to Dubai, I have become more interested in the Muslim culture. I observed that too, how those women must roast in the heat underneath their black garments.

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