Following my early night, I was once again woken by the morning prayer. To which after tossing and turning, I could not fall back asleep. So I got out of bed at 5am, which isn’t ridiculously early for the Jordan family, who leave for school at 6am and work at 6:30. The days start earlier here, due to the early starts helping to avoid the heat of the day. The shops are generally open from 8am-12pm, then closing for the afternoon and opening again 4pm-midnight. But school starts at 7:30am and finishes at 2pm.
After heading to the gym with Louise at 6:30am, definitely a record time for me! We headed to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, it was a great privilege to experience the extent to their religion and culture. We were incredibly lucky for a kind lady; Sister Naima; to tour us around, explaining everything in such great detail.
The quality and detail of the architecture is overwhelming, with the Arab’s using global materials to create the most oare-inspiring buildings. Every wall within the mosque has Arabic written just under the ceiling, which translate into positive religious versus, one translating into, “God, don’t cover up my heart after you have guided me”.
The total capacity for people to prayer within the Grand Mosque is 20,000 people, with the total size being 416,000 square meters. Men and women pray separately, and they pray in lines, touching shoulder-to-shoulder. This is to demonstrate everyone being on the same level and equal in every way.
Due to women having commitments at home, they have the ability to pray at home. Whereas Men are required to pray five times a day within the mosque. This makes the size of the mens prayer room huge in comparison to the women’s, with the capacity of the men’s being 6,600 compared to 750 within the women’s prayer room.
The chandelier in the featured image weighs 8 tonne, and is 8 by 15 metres in size. It is the second largest chandelier in the world, with Dubai taking the lead. Apart from my sheer amazement at the size and beauty of the chandelier, I wondered how an earth it is maintained. The light bulbs are changed by someone being lifted up in a crane, where the side opens up to a staircase leading to each section. It has never been taken down since it was placed up there in 2001.
To top today off, Naima was incredibly generous and gifted Louise and I the prettiest of habayas. We are now very prepared to be respectful during Ramadan next week. Heads up, they’re surprisingly cool, despite being black and covering the whole body. I think its the loose fit!