King Hussein Ben Talal Mosque

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The King Hussein Ben Talal Mosque, in Amman, Jordan, a.k.a. King Hussein Mosque, was inaugurated on Tuesday, April 11, 2006. The mosque can accommodate 5,500 worshipers, making it the largest mosque in the country - and replacing as the National Mosque, the King Abdullah I Mosque in Abdali, Amman, which since the 1980s has been the official mosque from which live broadcasts of Friday sermons and Ramadan iftar activities are aired on Jordan Television.

The four-minaret mosque, built in the Islamic architectural style prevalent in Bilad Sham, has a primary praying area characterized by arches, vaulted ceilings and Umayyad-style ornamentation carved in Jordanian stone.

The fa├žade of the mihrab is made of rare kinds of wood, which were used for the first time in 300 years in the Islamic world; while a team from Balqa Applied University's Islamic Arts Faculty created the mihrab, the focal point in a mosque that directs worshippers towards Mecca.

The mosque also presents a covered 2,000sq.m outdoor praying area with a similar 10-metre-high vaulted ceiling can accommodate 2,500 worshippers. Directly above part of the outdoor and indoor halls is a two-wing 350sq.m area dedicated as praying hall for women, with a capacity for 350 worshippers.

Offices, lecture halls, a library and other facilities are on the first floor of the mosque, which sits above King Hussein Gardens Park in the Dabouq neighbourhood. The mosque also hosts the Hashemite History Museum, which displays belongings related to the Prophet in the possession of Jordan such as a letter he sent Hercules, king of the Byzantines, in the early days of Islam.

This newer structure should not be confused 1924 Ottoman-like structure referred to by locals as Al-Husseini Mosque, more officially known as King Hussein Mosque or Grand Husseini Mosque. Rebuilt by the late King Abdullah I on the site of an ancient mosque built originally in 640 AD by Omar ibn Al-Khattab the 2nd Caliph of Islam, it is also speculated that this older mosque resides on the site of the Byzantine Cathedral of Philadelphia.

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