After breakfast I journeyed to The Grand Mosque of Kuwait.
I was going to walk but ended up taking a taxi at the insistence of the hotel concierge when I asked for directions to the mosque. He explained the walk is not an easy one and would take me over an hour. A doorman walked me to the sidewalk and flagged me a local taxi because they’re cheaper than hotel taxis. He found me one – the driver saying it would cost me 1.50 dinar. He used a meter. But the meter was less than what he quoted me.
Lesson#1 for the day. Follow the price on the meter, not what the driver says.
After a short drive, that I’m sure I could figure our how to walk it, I arrived around 10:00am to my destination.
I was greeted by security as I walked into the side entrance.
He asked me where I was from. I told him Canada. He indicated to follow him. I did. He brought me to a nice glass atrium where he announced to staff I was from Canada. The staff offered me water, juice, cookies, tea or coffee. As I looked around I could see I was in the tour guide location. I was next dressed in an abaya and head scarf. I was told to sit and wait. I asked if I was getting a tour? They said yes. Wait 10 minutes.
My tour guide arrived. I was the only one in her tour! She then ushered me along to get started! I discovered I wasn’t the only one on a tour! School trips were also there!
Before entering the mosque we removed our shoes.
When we entered I was completely in awe of how beautiful the room was!
Video of the room….
Looking up at the dome. It is decorated with the 99 names of Allah, as well as with three verses from the Ghafir Chapter in the Quran.
The carpet is from Egypt. The color blue is for the ocean, beige for sand.
The 4 gold chandeliers (each next to a marble pillar that holds up the dome) are from Italy and weight 1 tonne.
Note the little booths at the base of pillar. These are set up for Quran Competitions. These booths were all around the room. Students recite from the Quran and compete for a final grand prize.
On the pillars and around the room are lights from Germany made of raw crystal.
The Niche is the first part of the mosque to be made, as it it positioned to face Mecca. Here is where prayers are read facing into the niche so that the voice then reverberates back into to all corners of the mosque so all can hear…
The chair and the pulpit are for Friday sermons. Sermons told by the Khutbah are to tell a moral story from the Quran. Nothing political. If it is political, the Khutbah can be put in jail. As well, the sermon must be short. Usually a half hour. I was allowed up onto the pulpit to view the room…..
Next is the room for distinguished guests. This room took 2 years to build – every detail is handmade.
Walking towards the room:
Video of the room:
The carpet is Persian…..very soft…….
The doors made of teak.
Looking out at the main room.
The wall art is the dome and towers of a mosque…..
The blue writing up in the top is only for palaces.
There are seven copies of the Quran written under the reign of the third Caliph, Othman Ibn Affan. They are spread over the world. There is one in Turkey. There is a copy of one of the pages from one of the Quran in the room.
The ceiling is so beautiful. Ornate and delicate.
We then left the mosque and walked back across the courtyard to end the tour.
Close up of the Syrian lamps decorating the outside corridor…
I was returned to where we started in the glass atrium room. I said thank you and goodbye to my tour guide (who I realized had to come from home to give me my tour – that was why I had to wait) as she rushed off to be back home with her two small children. She was friendly but very quiet. There was very little small talk between us. Except when I asked her if she had children! She told me just a little bit about them! That was the most she said about anything other than telling me details about the mosque and directions to the souk.
I returned the abaya and head scarf. Said my thanks to the staff for a wonderful morning (the tour was free!) and headed for the souk….