Located in the heart of the KAUST compound is its magnificent and ornate mosque, the King Abdullah Grand Mosque. It’s a large and beautiful building which I pass by every day but I had never had the good fortune to see from the inside.
Until the other day! A friend arranged a tour and I was lucky enough to tag along.
One of the students at the university serves as the imam, and makes himself available to the community for tours, questions, and conversations. He patiently led our group through the mosque and explained aspects about the mosque and different prayer customs. He even extended a generous invitation for us join the Ramadan iftar gatherings at the mosque.
One of the key points he wanted to get across to us was that everyone is welcome to visit the Mosque. He explained how he hopes that every person who lives or works at KAUST will come to visit the mosque no matter what religion they follow. Tours for groups can be arranged quite easily – and this is the preferred visit method for non-muslims. The other thing to note is that it is preferred if women are dressed conservatively – we visited in our abayas.
The mosque is spiritual center of the community that can house 1500 worshipers at any given time. I felt very fortunate to not only see this beautiful space, but to be within it’s walls during the holy month of ramadan. There is certainly something powerful and spiritual about it.
Here are a few pictures that a few of my fellow tour groupies took of the Mosque:
[UPDATE: December 2015] If you would like to arrange a visit to the mosque, you can email the Community Information Center at cic [at] kaust.edu.sa. Please give them at least 5 days notice to arrange the visit.
**Special thanks to the two co-conspirators who helped me in writing this post. Thanks also for letting me use your photos!