Wherever they are nestled — may they be in Oman’s glorious mountains or busy cities — they all prove to be some of the country’s impressive sights. These domes and their complementing minarets tell stories of amalgamated architectural styles and designs all with the intention to impress.
As the country celebrates the holy month, worshippers are going to mosques by the thousands. As the faithful spends more time on their preferred places of worship, it would also be the best time to pay attention to the details of the great structures that serve as the dwelling place to call upon Allah.
The different Masjids of the Sultanate have their unique, matchless looks. The beauty of their domes and minarets vary but their elegance remains. For some, it’s the calligraphic inscriptions that make them interesting. For others, it’s how the marbles were layered together. And there are those that you have to see what’s on the inside first to truly understand what treasure trove of sight they keep — from the sparkling chandeliers to the awe-inspiring carpets that give out different ambiance.
The domes in Oman have different designs, colours and styles. They vary in sizes, shapes and other attributes primarily depending upon the vision of the Ministry of Awqaf in agreement with the regional features where the mosques are located. The design parameters given to the company assigned to complete the tasks also add to the magnificent forms the mosque eventually takes.
People see these architectural marvels almost every day, not many taking notice of its details, while the others are already in love with these lovable domes that define the culture and tradition of this land. They are all products of years of hard work, where experienced artisans came together, guided by the watchful eyes of acclaimed designers and architects to bring out the best feature a mosque can ever possess.
Today, most of these mosques also become landmarks of the places where they’d been erected.
The most stunning and imposing look that a dome can warrant is, no doubt, the Grand Mosque in Athaiba. It is a place that sees thousands of worshippers every day. With the Ramadhan bidding adieu to the first ten days of fasting, the number of people visiting the mosque has increased several folds.
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque’s domes were designed in a unique way and decorated with tiles bearing flower patterns, taking a cue from the Persian style of ornamentation.
The dome was created to impress, adorned with a 14-metre high chandelier that accommodates as many as 1,122 lamps. The Grand Mosque houses the largest single prayer carpet with 28 colours making it a truly distinct house of worship from other mosques.
The Masjid Muhammed Al Ameen in Bausher was opened to the public in June 2014. It boasts one-of-its-kind domes that illuminates at night.
From a distance, its distinct blue hue provides a spectacle in the evening especially to those who ascends or descends the Amerat heights or those passing to and from Muscat to Seeb via the Express Highway.
The domes are adorned by crescent moons on top — the moon being an important sign to Islam.
Muttrah too is home to some very interesting domes. From those located in Sidab fishing hamlet facing the sea to the many mosques that adorn the sea road — they were all marked by their own, truly unique characteristics.
A quick trip from Fanja all the way to Nizwa also opens one’s eye about the glory of Oman’s domes. But sometimes, to appreciate their unique beauty, one has to pay attention first to the details.
By Kabeer Yousuf