Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mosques of Oman: Zulfa Mosque


I'd like to review different Mosque facilities available in Oman for the ladies. Not every Mosque was built with us in mind, and in some cases the women's facilities were a second thought. Some non-Muslim readers also asked if I could post photos of the insides of the Mosques as well. I will try but most of the more impressive Mosques have seperate areas for women to pray so unless the areas are totally abandoned (rare) I have to get MOP to take the pics. He doesn't tend to photograph everything that would be of interest to someone unfamiliar with a Mosque so forgive and here goes our first attempt at capturing some images of Zulfa Mosque, whose exterior is one of my all-time favourites. I'll post exterior majority pics someday when I am there in the daytime. Zulfa tends to be a Mosque for travellers on Sultan Qaboos highway coming out of Seeb and situated on Al Qasr roundabout, it is always busy in the evening. Its splendid green and gold domes and brightly lit arches make it one of the most beautiful Mosques in Oman from the exterior. It is not open to non-Muslims but technically, a non-Muslim woman COULD (provided she was covering her hair and dressed Islamically out of respect) go into the women's section here, as it isn't a Mosque, but a unconnected prayer hall. I wouldn't recommend this though, because not every Muslim woman in Oman is informed about what Islam allows in the way of non-Muslims, so better to avoid.My husband says the men's side is very clean in all facilities, has soap and tissue, and is open to all Muslims: Ibadhi, Sunni, Shia. He took these photos of the interior of the men's side of the Mosque for me. The exteriors, even on the woman's prayer hall, are beautifully decorated. I will take photos in the daytime sometime, but I always seem to wind up here at night. [NOTE: the gate to this Mosque does get locked around 10-11 pm and doesn't open until before fajr] so it isn't a 24 hour Mosque all year round, except maybe during Ramadaan.For the women's section, one part of the design I DO like, is that the bathrooms and the wudu area are seperate. There is one building with toilet facilities, and another for the washing we do in order to make the prayer. This keeps the area clean and nice smelling. The wudu area is lovely and useful, and the toilet area is acceptably clean by my Western standards. Soap always and occasionally tissue are available. There is also a drinking water machine in the wudu area. I apologise for not taking pics but this area is always filled with women when I wind up here and so I don't get a chance to take a nice picture.This is the inside of the women's section. It is big enough to fit a decent group of women, nice, clean. Nothing overly impressive interior-wise but calm and bright. Children udner eight are allowed in this Mosque as it caters to travellers, and the women who do attend it more regularily are very kind and friendly even when they thought I was just someone pretending to be Muslim to sneak in to take pics;D

1 comment:

Noor said...

MashAllah its so pretty <3 I also love looking at mosque. South Asia has some magical ones.