For someone who’s living in Bahrain for around 10 years, it’s kind of embarrassing to say that I haven’t been to Al Fateh Grand Mosque, one of the country’s top tourist destination, until recently.
Honestly speaking, I wanted to visit Al Fateh Mosque for the longest time now but I just couldn’t find the right time to do so. It’s either my schedule does not permit me to go, I had no one to go with, or it simply slips my mind and I’ll be reminded about it whenever I pass by the mosque on the way home.
Or maybe it’s just me making excuses because, as a lazy person, I tend to laze around and cuddle with my bed whenever possible.
You understand my feelings, right? Come on. I’m sure I’m not the only one!
When you ask the locals and expats living in this tiny island about the location of the grand mosque, they’ll answer you right away with “Juffair!”. Some would repeat it like “Juffair, Juffair” while bobbing their heads from side to side.
It’s a really huge structure along King Faisal Highway which makes it difficult to miss. Just drive along the road from Manama to Juffair and once you see a huge mosque, you’ll know it’s the one!
I had a minute or two to admire the mosque from the outside up close. It’s extremely hot during the month of July, not to mention we were out there at around 11 AM, it gave me the urge to run and find shelter in an air conditioned room.
Before entering the mosque, we were given an abaya and a hijab for us to wear. Men, however, can enter just the way they are. And, you know what’s great? Wearing an abaya was part of my bucket list as well as visiting the grand mosque. So, I was happy that I was able to hit two birds with one stone!
Also, when we visited, there were little to none inside the mosque. I mean, people. There were no people. Basically, we got the mosque to ourselves and we were able to appreciate the structure and the ambiance of the mosque even more.
I mean, just look at how charming it is.
Stepping inside the mosque gives you a feeling of entering a different dimension. You won’t be able to prevent yourself from saying “wow”. I even held my breath for a few seconds because, really, the interior is absolutely beautiful. You will, for sure, take a couple of pictures before proceeding to walk with your tour guide. Maybe, if there were so many people, I wouldn’t feel the same way.
It was amazing! You can tell how well it’s been taken care of. I loved how soft the carpet was. It felt so comfortable I could imagine myself laying down on it. The air was not stuffy and the whole place was quiet.
Speaking of tour guide, you/your group will have an assigned guide as you go around the mosque. Our guide, Mr. Ali, was very cool. He inserts funny stuff here and there while sharing new information to us. He told us so many things such as the ablution, materials used to build the mosque, weight of the dome, the designs inside the mosque, how much was used to build it, how long the construction went, and so on. He even discussed other things with us which isn’t really part of the tour but I guess that’s what you get when you’re interested to know more. It was truly interesting.
Did you know that the huge dome on top of the mosque weighs over 60 tons (54,431.1 kg)? That’s 9.07185 times the weight of a typical African bush elephant! It’s constructed entirely of fiberglass and is now currently the world’s largest fiberglass dome!
Well, I didn’t even know about that. How cool is it knowing that it’s part of the world’s largest?
Also, you know that prayer you hear from the mosque at certain times? The one you hear from the speakers? We were able to witness it too and it took 10-15 minutes for people to gather and pray in the mosque.
Obviously, to respect the people who were praying, we decided go outside and take photos of ourselves. It’s because we’re in abayas, okay? You don’t get to wear one everyday.
That’s pretty much how my visit to Al Fateh Grand Mosque went! Although I feel like I wasn’t able to explore it entirely (since I saw a second level), for me, it’s still a good experience. At least, I was able to learn something and I was able to see something amazingly beautiful!
I can now finally say that, in my 10 years of living in Bahrain, I was able to visit the grand mosque! I wonder which place will I get to visit next?