The National Mosque in Abuja is an incredible religious structure, that combines the political, economic and religious themes of Abuja. As the capital of Nigeria, Abuja is the power seat where national legislative and judicial systems take place. The National mosque Abuja is the official Government mosque for the federal republic of Nigeria.
The Abuja National mosque has become one of the most visited tourist and religious establishments in Nigeria. Similarly, there are several tourist attractions in Abuja and the national mosque is a significant edifice. Plus, the presidential villa and other top national buildings are also situated in the capital of Nigeria.
Brief History of the National Mosque, Abuja
In the year 1984, the religious structure was constructed because it was inferred that there should be a major religious centre in Nigeria’s capital city. Hence, the national mosque and also the National Christian centres were built.
At first, there was a resident Islamic leader known as the Imam who was in charge of the mosque, but when he died, a new leadership system was established at the national mosque. This was done with the authorization of the national Islamic bodies in the nation who felt it necessary to further establish religious guidance at the mosque.
Thus, Prof. Shehu Ahmad Galadanci who is referred to as the Murshid has been coordinating religious and organizational activities at the mosque to ensure that everything is running smoothly. He is supported by other imams, Prof. Ibrahim Ahmad Maqari, Sheikh Ahmad Onilewura and Dr Muhammad Kabir Adam since he assumed office in 2017.
The first Friday Jumat service held at the mosque was in 1991. Here, it was properly commissioned and had top religious leaders, scholars and prominent political leaders in attendance. Ever since the national mosque has continued to serve one of the best Islamic religion lectures to the visiting populace.
This is done by the desire for advancement and also the need to reach out to a lot of people in major Nigerian languages. Therefore, messages are exhorted in about six racial languages, including Arabic which is the official Islamic dialect.
Major Islamic festivals such as Eid-El Kabir and Fitri are celebrated at the National mosque amidst great rejoicing, events, lectures and intense prayers.
Reason for constructing the National Mosque in Abuja
The National Mosque Abuja was built as an emblem of the Islamic heritage in Nigeria. Thus, the mosque welcomes Muslims all over the region for daily and special prayers including the Jumat service on Fridays.
Architectural layout and features
The National Mosque in Abuja is a very large structure that is remodelled and designed when necessary to further reflect tourism and religious sacredness. First, in 1985 the Aim construction firm finished the entire design plan and building of the national mosque.
The building is designed with a cone-shaped dome on the rooftop with a major entrance that leaves you amazed upon your arrival. You will not need anyone to directly inform you that the building is a remarkable pointer to the Islamic religion in Nigeria.
In addition, there are Arabic writings on the outside walls of the building. The four pillars are high enough to make you gaze in awe at the archetypal blends of the national mosque. The environment is so clean and serene, plus there are lawns and various amenities at the national mosque in almost all corners.
Again, the building is painted in white with a golden touch in major areas, plus it is a representation of international pilgrim destinations like Saudi Arabia or Mecca.
Looking further into the interior of the building, there is a historic holy book, the Quran which is placed in the front space of the mosque. The interior has a religious outlook, with neatly laid rugs, golden lighting and glass windows. Without a doubt, the view is so mind-blowing and will make you feel lost for words at this stunning sight.
The innermost area ushers you into a more relaxing setting, where people gather to offer prayers. Indeed, the national mosque was perfectly designed to represent the impact and importance of the Islamic religion in Nigeria.
Who can visit National Mosque, Abuja
Anyone can visit the national mosque in Abuja for sightseeing. Although, during the prayer sessions or important religious gatherings at the mosque, you are allowed to enter the facility if you are a Muslim.
Furthermore, since it is a major tourist destination in Abuja, you can add a tour to this region to your bucket list. Thus, further information will be communicated to you on visiting times if you are a tourist.
Best time to visit the National Mosque in Abuja
You can visit the National mosque at any time when prayers are not ongoing as a tourist. Besides, Muslims can come into the building for major events and religious practices from Mondays to Fridays.
Opening times at the National Mosque in Abuja
The national mosque in Abuja is open 24 hours a day from Mondays to Fridays. Also, tourists can come in from 8 am – 1 pm every day, or wait for prayer times to end before visiting the mosque as directed.
The guest capacity of the National Mosque, Abuja
Currently, the national mosque in Abuja can take up to 25000 individuals who want to visit for prayers. Plus, the environment is spacious and conducive to accommodate that number of guests without any problem.
At the mosque, certain religious workshops and conventions are held annually. Also, the location is used for parties and other celebrations from time to time.
Also, the seminar rooms are quite large and can welcome up to five hundred people for meetings, symposiums and events.
Things to do at the National Mosque Abuja
Take a tour around the grand religious edifice
Beyond prayers and sacred worship, the National Mosque Abuja is also a sight to behold. From the massive entrance to the inner buildings and decorations, there’s so much you should see.
Also, walking around the large set is a great way to engage in sightseeing, discover Islamic orientations and also tour the spacious facility. Furthermore, some guides give you historical hints about the mosque and help you learn about the essence of this amazing tourist attraction in Abuja.
Join other Muslims at the prayer ground
It is the official Muslim praying ground in Nigeria. On prayer days or other religious moments, you can visit the mosque and also take part in prayers going on at the facility. Since the mosque accommodates thousands of visitors at a time, you can use the facilities and also benefit from prayer sessions held by renowned Islamic leaders every day.
Attend Islamic seminars
Furthermore, lectures and conferences are held at the mosque, which you can be a part of to learn more and receive spiritual guidance. Although these meetings are held at specific times, it does not leave out partakers from the benefits of the lectures.
Mostly, special prayer sessions and sermons take place during major periods like the Ramadan fast season. Thus, it serves as a period to reflect, learn and pray if your tour to the national mosque falls within this period.
Besides, learning from great leaders gives you the chance to gain insights and spiritual direction.
Visit the Islamic library and conference centres at the national mosque
At the national mosque, there is a library which has a collection of Islamic books, materials and contents that you can sit to read for knowledge increase. It has become the number place for the Islamic learning facility. Also, the contents are updated from time to time to meet the needs of visitors like you with desires for religious mastery.
There are written books by distinguished Islamic leaders you can read, books on the history of Islam, the holy Quran, and other research contents that have been stored over the years. These materials will be very useful for you who need deep insights into the Islamic religion or want answers to certain questions either on a research or individual basis.
Likewise, there is the main conference centre where Islamic meetings are held, if you visit during a major symposium, you can as well join and benefit from the session. Plus, you can just view the centre and take notes in case there is no other reason to go into the place.
Shop for Islamic souvenirs and materials at the mosque stores
The national mosque has a mart where you can purchase various gifts, items and clothing. There is a shop where the female hijabs, abayas, scarves and male wears are sold. Plus, the stores also sell items you can obtain such as prayer mats, the holy book, northern clothes and other needed religious materials.
Buy street foods in small shops at the national mosque
Abuja’s highly recommended dried suya known as kilishi is sold around the National Mosque Abuja. You can decide to buy pieces of this delicious snack or also get dried peppered meat slices known as suya.
Discover the Islamic religion from a wider perspective
As the national mosque continues to receive tourists and worshippers yearly, it is a great avenue for you to engage and find out more information about Islam.
Hence, there is a training school at the centre where learning takes place, you can choose to be a part of this if you are near the region. Or you can visit the national mosque just to discover more religious components and interests
Things That are forbidden at the National Mosque, Abuja
As a non-Muslim, you are not allowed to come into the facility when prayer is going on.
The mosque forbids distractions and focuses on the vital embracing of core values. Therefore to maintain order, tourism is not allowed during prayer hours. Also, during Islamic holidays when activities take place, you can not your the region due to the massive influx of worshippers that have gathered solely for celebration and ultimate reverence for Allah.
You are only allowed to come into the national mosque with the appropriate clothing.
Indecent and revealing clothing is not allowed at the national mosque, therefore as a tourist, you need to wear the right attire. This also includes covering heads for ladies and wearing long non-skinny trousers for men.
Illegal activities are not allowed to take place at the national mosque
Partying, alcohol intake or substance abuse is prohibited at the national mosque. Therefore you should not visit the place with any narcotic, or cigarette or aim for unnecessary entertainment.
Also, littering the environment of the national mosque is not allowed
Keeping the environment clean is one of the most valued aspects of the mosque. Therefore as a visitor, you are forbidden from throwing waste all around the facility. This means that you can make use of the bins provided and also use the restrooms for your convenience.
Also, you are not allowed to take photos of certain spots
For reasons best known, pictures are not allowed in certain regions. Thus, you should follow all stated regulations and ensure that you adhere to keeping the sacredness of the worship centre.
Failure to meet all of the stated rules will lead to ejection from the facility accordingly.
Location of the National Mosque, Abuja
The National Mosque in Abuja exists along 1012, Independence Avenue, Abuja.
Directions to the National Mosque in Abuja
From the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, the national mosque is 25km which is estimated as a 45-minute to one-hour drive.
Also, with the use of a Google map, you will be able to get to the national mosque directly from your location.
Then, from the National Assembly at Three Arms Zone in Abuja, the national mosque is a 10 minutes drive directly from Mohammed Avenue in Abuja.
Facilities at the National Mosque, Abuja
The National Mosque has the following facilities that have been installed for you to see and utilise;
- An Islamic Library
- Shops and stores
- Conference centre
- Lodge for Islamic leaders
- Restroom facilities
- Parking spaces
- Islamic learning centres
Nearby tourist attractions along the National Mosque in Abuja
Other places you can tour in Abuja as well as the national mosque include:
- National Assembly, Abuja
- Aso Rock
- National Christian Centre, Abuja
- Central Park, Abuja
- Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja