May 2003
Middle East;May2003, Issue 334, p58
The article focuses on various mosques built by Omani ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said in Oman. While creating an atmosphere where business and commerce thrive, Sultan Qaboos has not neglected the spiritual and intellectual sides of his country's character, recognizing that in order to ensure comprehensive, balanced development equal importance must be afforded to both the material and the spiritual aspects of life. This integrated approach is illustrated by the fact that since the dawn of the renaissance period, which began with his accession to power in 1970, Sultan Qaboos has made provision for the construction of a number of large mosques at his personal expense. The first Sultan Qaboos Mosque was built in Ruwi, in the 1970s and followed by the construction of several others in other major Omani towns and cities. As the capital of Muscat developed and its educated and prosperous population increased, Sultan Qaboos decided the time had come to build a Grand Mosque which could be a major landmark of Islamic architecture in the historic city. Every architectural element of the interior combines features of traditional Islamic arts and crafts, frequently in a contemporary manner. The outer walls are ornamented with engraved design, which include depictions of plants, as well as geometric shapes and Koranic verses in the Thuluth calligraphic script. The Grand Mosque, is a remarkable spiritual and architectural tribute to the distinguished and noble heritage of Islam.


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