Massalikul Jinaan mosque, the largest mosque in West Africa, was inaugurated this Friday, with tens of thousands of people converging in Dakar for the occasion. Religious and political leaders were also in attendance for the event.
The mosque has a Carrara marble exterior and five minarets, the tallest of which is 78 meters. The interiors also have a gold-leaf dome, giant chandeliers and decorations hand-drawn by Moroccan workmen. An Islamic institute, residence, and museum are scheduled to be added in the future. The mosque is capable of hosting 30,000 worshippers: 15,000 inside and another 15,000 on an outside esplanade.
The mosque was built by the Mouride Brotherhood who is one of the four important Sufi brotherhoods.
Work on the mosque began 10 years ago. The land on which the mosque is built was donated by the government.
The name of the mosque means "The Paths to Paradise". It is derived from the title of a poem by Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba Mbacke, the 19th-century founder of the Brotherhood who is revered as a saint. The mosque was completed in September for €30 million from private donations while the government contributed lighting, sanitation, and roadworks worth €10.5 million.
Header Image Credit: RFI