The Mosque Sultan Qaboos in Oman
Sultan Qaboos Mosque, with its blue and gold dome, gets a view of the city center near the fort and is visible from the street. It was built in the second century by Abdulla bin Mohammed Al lbadi. This is where Imam Warith bin Ka'ab recognized the need for education and intellectual training to grow the society. The mosque was rebuilt in 1970 under the name of Masjid Sultan Qaboos. The visit of this so impressive place, which permit you to admire its many and complex decorations, is a unique and exciting experience.
The Sultan of Oman is considered a political "enlightened" for the Arab world. He is a great lover of flowers and horses. He built the Sultan Qaboos University, specialized in scientific faculty, and built the Great Mosque of Sultan Qaboos in Muscat: one of the few open to tourists, with a unique carpet, 60 by 70 meters, handmade by 600 Iranian women.
We need remember that in the Sultanate of Oman is taking place a real social and cultural revolution for the last 40 years. It is the work of Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said. At the heart of development, the desire to preserve the traditions but also to favor the coexistence between cultures.
The Sultanate of Oman is today one of the countries most able to foster a real dialogue and a fruitful cooperation between the Islamic and Western world. The political action carried out by Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said produced, over the last forty years, a real "Nahda" (renaissance) of the Country.
The war in the region of Dhofar, in the south of Oman and on the border with Yemen, absorbed, in the late '60s, almost the half of the country's resources for military spending. In that period, only the 5% of population were literate and were only 3 small schools, with 900 students, and only one Hospital.
Since 1970, when Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said took the leadership of the country, there was a real revolution, summed up with these numbers: in 2002, schools have become 1187, students 629.000. There were also created many qualified universities, the first in 1982.
The development of Oman occurred in full respect and in total preservation of traditions and different identities and cultures, which are in the Sultanate: an example of "mestizo" where important communities, such as India and other countries, have found full reception, soon became integration.
The country's development and the implementation of big works - like the motorway from Muscat to Salalah and the big Sultan Qaboos Mosque - was not only limited to the economy sphere but, mainly, to the promotion and realization of social structures to improve the quality of life.
The challenge taken up by Sultan Qaboos bin Said has been to transform the resources from oil and gas reserves in shares of lasting development for the country. Muscat, the capital, is a fascinating city, rich in history and green, where tradition has merged harmoniously with the progress brought by the discovery of black gold. The modern city, which develops in a series of neighborhoods connected by an efficient motorway system, contrasts pleasantly with the oldest, walled.
The Importance of the Mosques in the Arab World
The mosque is the place of prayer for the faithful of Islam. The word comes directly from the Spanish "mezquita", which in turn originated from the Arabic word "masjid". The mosque is the place where you make the sujūd, the prostrations, which are part of the dutiful gestures that have to make the faithful in prayer.
As a place of prayer, the mosque does not have indispensable elements, but only these useful for the purpose. In fact, it is possible to pray also in the open air, or in any house, provided that the land reserved to the purpose was defined by some object (rug, mat, mantle, rocks) and as much as possible frees from dirt. This is because - as indeed for all intended action under the Islamic law – it is required the state of purity, obtainable by partial or complete bathing of the body, while the place of prayer must be free from material that may contaminate those who are about to enter into contact with the deity.
The mosque has a sort of apse or niche, which in the humbler places of worship, can be simply drawn on a wall or indicated by some object in the prayer in the open air, which indicates the direction of Mecca. It is considered the first Muslim shrine dedicated to the worship of unique true God (Allāh).
Although not essential, a mosque can often have also a pulpit (minbar) from which will speak a particular Imām who offering the exegesis of the Koran passages.
The prayer is valid if it is accomplished within determinate moments (awqāt) of the day, marked by apparent movement of the sun. For this a special responsible (muezzin from Arabic mu'ādhdhin) reminds everyone, from the high of a tower construction (minaret: from the Arabic manār, "lighthouse") - through a ritual chanted call (adhān) - that from that moment onwards is required to pray (at home, outdoors, in the mosque). To those who are far from the minaret and cannot have any reason to hear the voice of the muezzin - now aided by loudspeakers - sometimes they are showed broad white cloth, clearly visible from afar.
Feature of every mosque is the lack of human or animal representations, because not approved by Islam. For the need of purification, both in the interior and immediately adjacent to the mosque is often present a fountain.
The decorations are therefore at most related to the plant world, but usually there are mosaics or inscriptions, which report verses from the Koran trace out with calligraphies considered particularly "artistic", so the West talks about "arabesques."