Baitul Mukarram – The National Mosque of Bangladesh
The national mosque of Bangladesh, Baitul Mukarram, is situated in the heart of the busy city of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Dhaka is the largest city in Bangladesh with a population of 11 million. It is also one of the most populous cities in the world.
Followers of the Islamic faith consider a mosque to be the primary place of worship where Muslims gather together for prayer. Mosques reflect traditional Islamic architecture and are recognized world-wide for their importance to the Muslim community. In addition to the importance mosques have with regard to worship and prayer, they also serve as places to learn about Islam and to meet fellow believers. With this in mind, it is clear that Baitul Mukarram, being the national mosque of Bangladesh, is of significant importance to Muslims in the area.
Due to the rapid growth of the city of Dhaka in the late 1950s, the need arose for a large capacity mosque to care for the increasing Muslim population. The Baitul Makarram Mosque Society was established in 1959 to oversee the project. The land that was selected for the mosque complex is close to the central business district of the city and easily accessible. The mosque complex of Baitul Mukarram was designed by the architect T Abdul Hussain Thariani and has several modern architectural features, while still beautifully preserving the traditional principles of mosque architecture. Construction began on 27 January 1960 and has been carried out in phases.
The mosque complex includes shops, libraries, offices and parking areas. The main prayer hall has an area of 26,517 square feet with an additional mezzanine floor on the eastern side which measures 1,840 square feet. The prayer hall has verandas on three of its sides. The mihrab (niche in wall of mosque showing the direction of Mecca) is rectangular instead of the more traditional semi-circular design and ornamental decoration has been kept to a minimum. The gardens with rows of fountains are beautifully maintained. The architectural style of Baitul Makarram closely resembles the famous Ka’abah at Mecca, distinguishing it from other mosques in Bangladesh.
When you travel to Bangladesh, be sure to take time to include a visit to the impressive Baitul Mukarram mosque in Dhaka.