Malé Friday Mosque
Located opposite the Medhu Ziyarat, tomb of Adul Barakat Yusuf who led the Maldives to Islam, is the Malé Friday Mosque. It is one of the oldest, dating back to 1656, and one of the most ornate mosques in the city due to its unique sea culture architecture. Malé Friday Mosque was built with coral boulders and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. The impressive religious building also has a beautiful interior with intricate decorations and scriptures from the Quran on the walls. Adorned with intricate wood carvings and beautiful lacquer work the interior is a sight to behold. Tourists who want to see the inside of this mosque need to get permission from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs located at the Islamic Centre (though this can usually be obtained at the door) . This mosque is open to visitors throughout the day except during prayer times as it is still in use.
The Islamic Centre, also known by its official name of Masjid-al-Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam, is an architectural landmark in Malé. Opened in November 1984 by President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the centre is home to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, an Islamic library and the Grand Friday Mosque – which is one of the largest mosques in the Maldives and Southern Asia catering to over to 5,000 people. The stunning crisp white architecture of the centre contrasting with gold features has become a major tourist attraction in the capital of the Maldives, Malé.
The Grand Friday Mosque
Built with the help of Pakistan, Brunei and Malaysia, the Grand Friday Mosque was opened in 1984. Housed within the Islamic Centre, the golden dome of the Grand Friday Mosque is the most dominant feature of Malé’s skyline and can be seen from the harbor. For years the dome was the tallest building until the title was taken by the telecommunication towers. Inside the mosque you’ll find intricate wood carvings and Arabic scriptures on the walls, a massive contrast from the stark white walls outside. The mosque is open to the public to view between 9am and 5pm, except during prayer times when it is closed to non-Muslims.