Mosques of Oman and Ibadi Prayer
As a Muslim backpacker, I make it a point to pray in a major mosque in some of the cities we visit. I knew that they belong to the Ibadi sect, but didn’t know that the actions in the prayers were slightly different from rest of the region.
The first mosque I went to was Sur Mosque for Friday noon prayers – Zuhr.
I noticed a few people did not fold their hands which I wasn’t sure of the reason. In fact, a lot of them did not. The people folding hands were mostly workers from South Asia and only a few Omanis. When it came to finishing the prayers the saying of peace was only said once rather than twice. While starting Sunnah prayers, I also noticed that they did not do Rafajdan (raising hands upto the ears or shoulders) at the start of prayers. Despite the differences they are tolerant people and I did not feel uncomfortable even for a second.
A lot of mosque around Oman are named after the king – “Sultan Qaboos Mosque”, but the grandest and the most stunning of them all was in Muscat.
Looking closely, the minaret were distinctively different from many other parts of the middle East.
While leaving, I couldn’t help but take a low exposure photo to bring out the design of the dome.
The women side is nice, but not as grand as the mens side
As soon as I entered the mosque, I felt peace and comfort with the hint of aroma and cool natural breeze that was flowing through the hall. It felt as I was being drawn to further inside.
The Mutrah Souq area has a sizable Shia population and the dome of this mosque reminded me of the mosques in Iran. The reflection at night on the water made it even more beautiful.
There are a few small mosques around the Sultan Qaboos Palace, and this one was probably the most striking.