The Hassan II Mosque, also known as the Grand Hassan II Mosque and Hassan II Mosque, is a mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. It is the largest mosque in Morocco and the third largest mosque in the world, after Mecca’s Masjid Al-Haram and Medina’s Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi (Prophet’s Mosque).
The minaret is the tallest structure in Morocco and the tallest minaret in the world, at 210 meters tall; on top, laser beams aim towards Mecca, allowing worshippers to position themselves more correctly during prayers. The prayer hall can accommodate up to 25,000 worshippers, while the esplanade may accommodate up to 80,000.
The Building of the Hassan II Mosque
Bouygues built the Hassan II Mosque, which was designed by French architect Michel Pinseau. The mosque is built on a hill with a view of the Atlantic Ocean. The floor is made of glass, allowing worshippers to look and pray over the ocean below. The walls are constructed from marble. The roof of the mosque is retractable, allowing worshippers to see the stars at night. Except for the imported white granite columns and Murano glass chandeliers from Murano, near Venice, practically all of the materials used to build the Mosque are Moroccan.
The History of Hassan II’s Mosque
After King Mohammed V died in 1961, the idea for the mosque arose. King Hassan II requested the country’s most talented artists to submit designs for a tomb to memorialize the late King Hassan II. It took seven years to complete, with thousands of artists and laborers working around the clock. The structure was meant to be built in time for Hassan II’s 60th birthday in 1989, but it was not, therefore the opening was postponed. On the night of Prophet Muhammad’s birth anniversary, August 30, 1993, the formal opening was scheduled for the 11th Rabi’ Al-Awwal of Hijra 1414.
As a non-Muslim visitor
The Hassan II Mosque is open to Muslims for daily prayer and special Friday services. The mosque is one of the few open to non-Muslims; nonetheless, guided tours are the only way for non-Muslims to enter the mosque, and only during particular hours. These tours are given in English several times a day. There is no entry fee to be outside, but there is a fee to see the interior of the Hassan II Mosque with a guide.
Etiquette and Dress Code in Hassan II’s Mosque
Although women are not expected to cover their hair, both men and women are required to wear clothing that cover their shoulders and chest and are long enough to cover their legs. Shorts and sleeveless tops are not permitted. When attending the mosque, it is also forbidden to smoke, eat, or drink.
Museum of the Hassan II Mosque
The mosque is connected to a small museum. The mosaics and wood sculptures in the mosque are exquisitely detailed. There are no admission fees.