// Nahid is a passionate photography enthusiast based in Bahrain. She excels at capturing the beautiful landscapes, both urban and rural, and the people she encounters in her environment. For the beginning of the Muslim fasting month Ramadan, we are pleased to share Nahid´s beautiful images of the architecture of the Bahrain Grand Mosque.
You dance inside my chest
where no one sees you
sometimes i do, and that
sight becomes this art
What draws you to the arts?
“Art is for the soul. It’s a personal experience that enlightens you from inside. It’s a space where you become happy ‘within and without’. A soulful connection one can make with supreme power.”
What do you like best about your photography series of the Bahrain Al Fateh Moque?
“All religious architectural structures are unique in design. They are always impressively built, colourful and have intriguing patterns on the floors, windows, walls and minarets. Al Fateh Mosque is no exception. Its interior is designed in such a way that as the day goes by, the play of light and shadow is uniquely visible from every corner of the mosque. Once you enter the mosque, the vastness of this place makes you feel like a small ripple in the ocean. Its humble design is awe-inspiring.”
While our magazine is not religious or political, we do enjoy highlighting some cultural traditions and heritage. For the beginning of Ramadan today, we invited Nahid to share her series about the grand mosque of Bahrain, with its beautiful Islamic architecture.
Ramadan is the Muslim month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. It is believed by Muslims around the world that the first verses of Islam’s holy scripture, the Quran, were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during this time, the 9th month of the Islamic calendar.
The Al-Fateh Mosque (also referred to as Al-Fateh Islamic Center & Al Fateh Grand Mosque) is an important religious and cultural landmark in Bahrain, attracting visitors from all over the world. It serves as a center for worship, education, and community activities, with various events and programmes organized throughout the year, particularly during the Ramadan. It also houses the library of Ahmed Al-Fateh Islamic Center, with around 7,000 books. The mosque is open to visitors of all faiths and is a must-see destination for those interested in Islamic art and architecture.
Built in 1987 by the late Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Al-Fateh Mosque is among the largest mosques in the world, covering a vast expanse of 6,500 square meters and possessing the ability to host over 7,000 worshippers simultaneously. Its name honours Ahmed Al Fateh, who was the first of Bahrain’s monarchs and the progenitor of the ruling Al Khalifa family. As a side note, “Al Fateh” means “the conqueror” in Arabic, as he conquered Bahrain in 1783 and restored the nation’s Arab independence and sovereignty.
The mosque is located in a suburban neighbourhood of Manama. The mosque’s flooring and a portion of its walls are adorned with Italian marble. Its giant dome, which features twelve stained glass windows, is constructed from fiberglass and weighs 60 tonnes. The mosque’s stunning entry doors are crafted from teak wood that was imported from India. Additionally, the central chandelier, manufactured in Austria, is encircled by a multitude of hand-blown circular lamps that originate from France. Throughout the mosque there is Kufic calligraphy, a form of Arabic script that was developed in the city of Kufa, Iraq during the 7th century. It is one of the earliest forms of Arabic calligraphy and is known for its angular, geometric shapes and lack of curves.
In Nahid´s black and white photographs we admire the beauty of the architecture, design, and the special atmosphere created by the light in this impressive mosque.
Click on the photos to see the full image with title, some images are cropped for layout.
ALL PHOTOS © NAHID SULTANA
To see more of his photography visit Nahid´s Instagram page. We have previously featured Nahid´s documentary of the cultural architecture of Bahrain, which you may want to look up here.