First non-sectarian mosque to be built in Bahrain

The King Hamad Grand Mosque is being built on the instruction of king Hamad between the islands of Manama and Muharraq. The construction of the compound and its beauty and facilities pale into insignificance when the king attests that this new house of worship is destined to be used by all Muslims without exception; in his presentation yesterday, he stated:

King Hamad showing his Grand Mosque project to other dignitaries

وبما أن للمسلمين قبلة واحدة يتوجهون إليها في صلواتهم فسيكون هذا الصرح الإسلامي جامعاً للمسلمين جميعاً إن شاء الله تعالى
الوسط – ١٠/١٠/٠٧

As all Muslims pray in one direction, this new edifice will be for all Muslims without exception, inshallah.

This is excellent news which need to see the light and we must ensure that this vision is not once again hijacked by the sectarian effluent of our society.

When this mosque is completed and we see people from all sects in Islam praying next to each other, with a shared lead in prayers and its calls, then King Hamad can be assured that his place in history is not only assured, but elevated considerably by this action.

I hope that this is indeed the case and my interpretation is correct. It is projects like these which bring the community together and should act as a gateway to correct the sectarian imbalance we suffer from in a practical sense, rather than just empty words uttered by high and low officials which are never more than media fodder.

This project is very much JustBahraini endorsed and approved.

  • eyad the great
    10 October 2007

    we don’t need more mosques, and we certainly don’t need more reclamations to the see.

    I personally want a nice beach, if any one wants to win my vote get me a beach, a nice sandy beach.

    i cant believe the amount of money that is being wasted on useless Mosque, and in every Mosque you will find 2 raws of people praying except for Ramadan.

    I would have loved to see King Hamad Grand institute of Science or something, or another Health care center to support the Old Salmanya that ran out of beds recently.

    mas5ara wallah.

  • ammar456
    10 October 2007

    Although the gesture of a mixed mosque is great, I dont think it makes sense. I think the concept of building this grand mosque, 2 minutes away from Al Fateh Mosque, is a bit silly.

    Its not like the people are short of places to pray. Its not like the people scramble to find a place to perform their holy duties.

    I know some people are living in broken down houses with torn down facilities though. Why can’t we build a new town and give homes to the people who really need them? And I don’t mean having to go through the Ministry of Housing, I mean “heba” to the poor people who are living in unfortunate conditions in such a rich country. Seriously. How about, as Eyad said, an institute of science? A recreation center? A new hospital?

    I have more than enough places to pray. God bless our King and طول العمر ان شاء الله but we really could use something else besides another mosque. Something the people can actually use and something we lack. No, not a mosque. No, not a fountain. No, not a new monumnet. Something we can use. Give me another corniche. A new public park. Give me a beach I can swim in! Give me something..

    Just another question, more technical, I guess. Sinna and Shiaa athaan is 10-15 minutes apart approx. When do they start prayers? Arithmetic average of the time?

  • isa
    10 October 2007

    You guys are such pedants! Sure, ceteris paribus, building a beach, an institute or a hospital is more economically and socially beneficial. But such myopia and shortsightedness renders your position, indeed, too naive!
    This mosque could potentially be an icon for a united Bahrain. Isn’t a great deal of the inefficiency and injustice occuring on a daily basis in our beloved little island brought about or protected by sectarian tension. These chains have crippled us for so long, and I am perhaps being naive in expecting their instant demise by such a project. Yet, I dare to ask what if it could in fact lead to such a goal, would that not make it worth every single dime spent on every single brick in every single aspect, economically, politically, socially..etc?
    I suspect the answer is yes, and I hope that would with-hold your cynicism and pessimism.

  • eyad the great
    10 October 2007

    Isa, I adore your patriotism and respect you Passion but the world isn’t very pink and nice, this has been the problem with Arabs from day one, covering and over glorifying things.

    People are happy with what ever mosques they have, the ones that pray in mosques at least, but people need to be treated when they are ill, I can pray anywhere even in the middle of the street, but when I need an operation i expect a bed in hospital.

    It is a good Idea I admit it, but this is not the right time, the streets are boiling and the corruption is killing every one, last thing we need is a mosque.

  • simon columbus
    10 October 2007

    People don’t need a non-sectarian mosque, they need a non-sectarian mind.

  • mahmood
    10 October 2007

    It’s a step in the right direction though. If it is genuine, which we all hope it is and there is no reason to disbelieve it.

    Our main overarching problem is sectarianism unfortunately and this I think should be attacked first. This attack; however, need not be in a linear fashion as it should not stop other developments which taken together will create the whole we are all longing for.

  • mohammed issa
    11 October 2007

    I don’t have a problem with building a mosque, but it’s the size massive, i don’t see Fateh mosque full, even if it becomes, they can just make Fateh larger and make it open to everyone.

    I would love to see two sectarian “figures” like Al-S3eedi and Al-Deeri there, for example.
    Who will be Imam?
    Now that’s the trillion dollar question!
    To me, this looks like a an expensive experiment, we can only hope it will be successful.

  • mdc
    11 October 2007

    Well it sounds like a nice idea and a step in the right direction, BUT if it were going to work, it would already exist in practice???? Maybe something on a smaller scale with the difference going to fund a women’s shelter, homeless shelter, health clinic etc; all the things that all Bahrainis should band together to support and accommodate.

  • john
    11 October 2007

    Hey Mahmood,

    I was wondering if you could discuss a few of the details here. As I understand there are slight differences in the way people pray, does that impede the ability to have communal services? Does the Imam say exactly the same things during both prayer services, does he say them the same amount of times? is it as basic as a difference in the positioning of the arms during prayer? forgive my ignorance, this is something I am really curious about in the context of the communal service.



  • MoClippa
    11 October 2007

    Good gesture… Though I don’t see why they didn’t just convert Fateh mosque. We have too many mosques in the country as it is.

    While we’re on the subject of too many mosques, they need to also start regulating the noise pollution. I have over 5 mosques in my neighborhood that can all be heard clearly (two of them sound like someones in the room talking to you), and they all go off on prayer sermons together. Some of them even take liberties to either read Koranic verses, or rant over the megaphones on Fridays. They really need to regulate it, the system is abused and over saturated beyond reason.

  • ammar456
    11 October 2007

    isa; icon for a united bahrain? possible. but think of it this way, since when was it restricted for sunnis to pray in shiaa mosques, or shiaa to pray in sunni mosques? they do it all the time, ive prayed in both mosques. youre talking about something that exists already, and its being labelled as “an innovation”. only difference is that now its under the label “mixed mosque”.

    if it was about the symbolism, they could have just converted al fateh.

  • redbelt
    11 October 2007

    Ammar habeeby,
    it exists, and possible, but people don’t. Because this is labeled one thing and that is labeled another. Simple.
    But label this as a mosque for both and both sects CAN go to it because it is AIMED at them. Basic marketing 101. Talk to your target audience.
    So Mahmood I am 100% with you on this, Kudos to the king. A wise move indeed. I don’t mind if we pray differently in that mosque, I don’t mind that we will not agree on some religious issues. The fact that you are next to me, sitting on the floor discussing things removes the notion of you as opponent and instills the idea and feeling that we are friends, neighbors, comrades, Bahrainis.
    At least it will make each sect know more about the other on a public level, theoretically removing the fear from the unknown element.
    And you guys all know this is the only way to go for a better Bahrain.

  • mohammed issa
    11 October 2007

    I still think that those excellent photos will make great post cards and stamps.
    Congrats to stamp collectors :p

  • eyad the great
    11 October 2007

    yeah, since this is going to happen regardless of what we saym, they need to really look into some issue’s,

    shiaa pray 10-15 minutes after Sunna.
    Eid is never the same day, so we will have 2 eid prayers.
    who is going to be the Imam?

  • mahmood
    11 October 2007

    These are all symantics, not the real issue and could be overcome not by “one side winning” but even come to an arrangement of consent that the Athan would be broadcast alternately, as it takes people some time to get to the mosque after the Athan is called and to align themselves after ablutions etc, but that time the Shi’a time would have come, so there is no problem in both praying together.

    Even without that, Eid prayers in Mecca are done at the same time and everyone prays behind the imam there and various scholars have approved this.

    So it’s not as if there is no precedent, there are many in fact, which leads me to believe that the non-political objections raised are moot.

  • yvonne dettwyler
    12 October 2007

    eyad the great

    I agree, you are right. However it is a beginning you must admit. Hopefully. The best idea would be a combined mosque with a madrassa attached teaching poor children free of charge from Kindergarten onwards, old British Grammar School style. till University level. School teaches boys and girls. Schools should be equipped with the latest IT such as PC for students. The building costs for the Mosque should be reduced (diminish a little lavish decorations) and used instead for this school.
    If anyone has enough influence with H.M. The King, why not discuss this project benefitting your children, your country, your future. Education is beneficial. Religion should be taught twice/week by well educated teachers, excluding fundies.

  • mohammed issa
    12 October 2007

    روى أحمد وأبو داود والنسائي وابن خزيمة عن أنس :أن النبي (ص) قال:” من أشراط الساعة أن يتباهى الناس في المساجد ” أي يتفاخرون بتشييدها ويراؤون بتزينها

    Enough Said!

  • Jeremy
    20 October 2007

    Is the Al Fateh mosque Sunni or Shiite then?

  • mohammed issa
    20 October 2007

    It’s Sunni

  • voic
    21 October 2007

    Asalaam Alaykum, how can you have this way in a Masjid when it is haram to pray with shia? please answer!
    From IslamQA;
    If this Shi’i believes in the tenets (‘aqeedah) of Shi’ism, such as regarding the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) as kaafirs, hating Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them) and other corrupt beliefs that they hold, then the truth should be explained to him. If he gives up (these false beliefs), then he can pray with you. If he does not give up those beliefs after you explain the truth to him, then he should not pray with you, and you two Sunnis should pray together. But if he thinks that he is a Shi’i (and he does not follow their kufr beliefs), and he loves Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, and thinks well of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), then he can pray with you and is not regarded as a kaafir.

    Question # 22033

    Shaykh Dr Khaalid ibn ‘Ali al-Mushayqih

  • mahmood
    21 October 2007

    And you actually believe this deranged shit that you bring it up here? If you do, “Umm Ahmed”, you’re in dire straits indeed.

    Ask the good “Dr” what he got his “doctorate” from and then ask him to shove it if these are in fact his “beliefs”.

  • bilady al bahrain
    27 October 2007

    Do you want to know more about this,or you do know more and want to share, please go here.

  • MD
    7 November 2007

    Bahrain’s new non-sectarian mosque is indeed a step in the right, non-sectarian, direction, but when it comes to the issue of ‘at-atqreeb bayn al madhaahib’ perhaps a reality check is in order here.

    Sunni and Shia Muslims have for decades prayed together in London’s Regent Park Mosque; true, it being an open and free society there are ‘sectarian’ mosques (and other places of worship) in the UK, but most aren’t.

    Meanwhile in Bahrain, Awali Interdonimational Church has been just that, interdenominational, since its inception three decades ago. Likewise, St. Christopher’s Cathedral (Anglican) encourages joint worship between Christians of all denominations.

    Similarly, St. Andrew’s Church in Abu Dhabi hosts a wide range of congregations from across the theological spectrum, including congregations who, theologically speaking, are far more distant from Anglicanism than ‘Twelver’ Shi-ites are from the four main Sunni madh-habs.

    Methinks there’s a lesson to be learned here. . . .

  • tess
    11 November 2007

    Mahmood, could you imagine a unified world in which people experience God as a mere inner treasure?

    And would it be possible that churches, mosques, sjoels, temples etc. become places where people seek the connection to their hearts instead to a God?


  • Lee Ann
    13 November 2007

    I think Arab leaders are all about the grand gesture…the more monuments and buildings built in their honour…the longer their name will be in the public mind long after they are dust. Fear of death and being forgotten are the sole reasons for building anything with your name on it…..tack it on a religious symbol and your gold for a few hundred years…if not a couple of good centuries.

    Shah Jehan built his testimony to love for his wife on the sweat blood and tears(and deaths) of the common labourer…nobody remembers that…they just see I pretty building associated with a mans love for his wife….ahhhh…pass the kleenex.

    I agree that there are plenty of other things King Hamad could do with his money and willingness to be remembered long after he is gone….how about spend a little more(or a lot more) towards educating Bahrainis properly in the schools…with 5 kids in the public school system I am still shocked 20 years after my first child brought home her first textbooks at the blatant ignorance and myopic view of the world presented in them. Not to mention the english has always been taught by teachers that dont speak, write, or understand it well enough to teach it. A country is only as good as its educated or noneducated masses. Just a thought.

  • m.noor
    22 November 2007

    This is even a stronger (slap/spit in the face, piss down the neck, kick up the groin 😥 ) than the recent Nafoorah (Water Fountain) in the middle of the sea near Juffair.
    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD do something good that the people CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN benefit from ❗

    If you’ll spend BD 1,000,000 to build this mosque, I’ll gladly tell you to buy me a Sayyadeh (praying mat) for BD 1 💡 ; and then spend the rest BD 999,999 on a housing project to provide decent roofs for us: Bahrainis for the next upcoming 2-3 years.

    Please forgive my temper, but this is just PLAIN frustrating! 👿

    It’s like having someone who is filthy (for lack of a stronger word 😉 ) rich and who’s supposed to look after you, but all he bought you – for being a good & loyal boy – is a one-million-dinars framed Painting (which is not refundable nor transferable, btw) to hang in your living room… while he KNOWS that all you really need is a one-dinar walking stick because you’re FUCKING BLIND!?! 😎

    So, there you are banging into the walls of your living room without a walking stick, knowing that there is a framed Painting hanging around somewhere, but – too bad – you can’t see (utilize) it! 😐

    But, what the hey, Thank You Very Much 😉 . Being thankful for what you have is everything… (too late?) 🙄

    قال مسجد قال
    ضحكتني والله
    شر البلية ما يضحك

  • Paul Armerding
    9 February 2008

    Just as a matter of interest, does anyone know how many mosques we have in the Kingdom of Bahrain?

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