What I Learnt at Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque
All the splendour of the place held no significance when I realized that all this would be over one day and what would remain is Allah, the Almighty.
By Afia Salmana
Recently I got the opportunity to visit the beautifully designed Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The building complex is a vast area covering more than 12 hectares of land and its construction is diversely influenced by the Arabian, Persian, Mughal and Moorish Islamic architectures.
When one sees this beautifully designed mosque, it’s impossible to not feel awe, as it is designed in gold, marble, semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, etc. bought from around the globe. The main prayer hall even consists of the world’s largest hand woven Persian carpet.
No doubt, I was impressed by all the grandeur of the physical structure of the Mosque; however there was something else which was more captivating about this place when I looked at it from the spiritual aspect. It was rather a humbling experience contrary to what most of the visitors there might generally experience.
When I strolled in the mosque’s grounds, I could see a small and simple tomb beside it and a melodious recitation of Quran could be heard from the premises of the tomb. Upon my enquiry, I realized that it’s the final resting place of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding President of the UAE who actually initiated the construction of this mosque and that, the Quran recitation is carried out day and night, with the intention that God sends the reward to the deceased president. When you look at his grave, you’ will see nothing, but flattened ground with no adornments. This made me realize the reality of life and its temporal nature.
After seeing the grandly designed and architected structure of the mosque , I was so overwhelmed by this simple sight. All the splendour of the place held no significance when I realized that all this would be over one day and what would remain is Allah, the Almighty. Our false pride holds no meaning or value in front of Allah’s greatness and glory. All of us will one day die and what would become of us- same as what became of the one who is laid in that plain and unnoticeable grave just beside the fancy and attention garnering mosque. What juxtaposition!
Surely it’s true whatAllah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Quran) is the truth” [Fussilat 41:53].