Are there ever words to completely state the grandeur and elegance and serenity of The Grand Mosque? This is in total acquiescence that it is one of the most beautiful places I have been lucky to grace my presence with. There are no defenses, no reasons. There is only beauty.
Located in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest in the country which can accommodate 40,000 worshipers. More than its immensity, it is impressive in its immaculate facade when you first glance at the mosque and enter the area. There is no admission fee, however wearing proper clothing (abaya is lent to visitors for free) must be ensured as a form of respect to the place of worship. Upon setting foot inside, you can feel instantly the passion and creativity poured in the designs from the biggest to the smallest of details. This is beauty, in photos:
There is something so inexplicably peaceful in places of worship, be it a mosque or a temple or a synagogue. It must be the power of silence, the prayers unspoken and the depth of faith. It must be the chorus of chants. It must be the oneness. It must be the photos and statues of the gods the people are praying to. It must be its rejuvenating qualities. It must be the sophistication or the minimalism of patterns. It must be the state of surrendering. It must be the wholeness of it all.
The human soul is hungry for beauty… When we experience the Beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming. Some of our most wonderful memories are beautiful places where we felt immediately at home. We feel most alive in the presence of the Beautiful for it meets the needs of our soul. For a while the strains of struggle and endurance are relieved and our frailty is illuminated by a different light in which we come to glimpse behind the shudder of appearances and sure form of things. In the experience of beauty we awaken and surrender in the same act. Beauty brings a sense of completion and sureness. Without any of the usual calculation, we can slip into the Beautiful with the same ease as we slip into the seamless embrace of water; something ancient within us already trusts that this embrace will hold us. -John O’Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace