Imam Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab Mosque (also called the Qatar State Mosque) is the national mosque of Qatar.
As the largest mosque in Qatar, Imam Abdul Wahhab, also known as the Qatar State Grand Mosque, was inaugurated in 2011. Its simple lines and graceful arches are nonetheless eye-catching, and characteristic of Islamic architectural tradition. The mosque houses three libraries, separate prayer and ablution halls for men and women, and special halls for Quran memorisation, and can hold over 30,000 worshippers.
The sandstone mosque commands impressive views of the Doha skyline, with its succession of arches and domes marking the mosque as the largest in the country. Earth coloured marble flooring keeps worshippers cool during the heat of summer, while corridors covered by small domes offer shade. The mosque consists of a total of 93 domes, some of which sit atop the prayer niche or mihrab and the prayer hall. Religious instruction is offered throughout the year, in addition to a robust calendar of social, educational and cultural programs.
The State Grand Mosque was built by Qatar’s founder, Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani in memory of his father. It is named after Imam Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the reformist preacher and scholar from Saudi Arabia who is credited with founding Wahhabism, which puts forward a purist interpretation of Islam. Prevalent in both Qatar and Saudi Arabia, adherents are known as salafis, and focus on the oneness of God, with venerating saints or visiting tombs frowned upon.
Entry is open to all visitors, regardless of religious affiliation, during non-prayer times though organized tours are recommended. Everyone must remove their shoes prior to entering the mosque. Visitors must be sure to dress conservatively, and women are provided with scarves to cover their heads, and where needed, abayas. Food is not allowed inside, and as with all houses of worship, visitors should be respectful and decorous. Children under the age of seven are not allowed, and photography is strictly prohibited in the ladies’ praying area.