An Architectural Tour of Nigeria’s Mosques
Abuja National Mosque during the Harmattan | © Kipp Jones / Flickr
Nigeria has diverse cultures, languages, as well as religious beliefs. It is estimated that about half of its 170 million population are Muslim, with a significant number of these in the northern part of the country. While many monuments have been built as places of worship, there are some that stand out for their exquisite architectural designs. Here are some of the most beautiful mosques in Nigeria.
Abuja National Mosque
The national mosque in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, was built in 1984. It is located at Independence Avenue in the Central Business District. The mosque is among 50 most beautiful religious centres in the world, according to Hongkiat Survey. It has a gold-coloured dome and four minarets. Facilities within the mosque include a conference centre that can hold 500 people, an Islamic library and an Islamic school. The mosque is open to the general public – most muslim and non-muslim – except during prayers.
Bashir Tofa Mosque
The Bashir Tofa Mosque is located in the Gadun-Albasa area of Kano. It was named after Bashir Uthman Tofa, a one-time presidential aspirant in Nigeria. The mosque is said to be the most beautiful mosque in Nigeria.
Kano Central Mosque
The Kano Central Mosque was originally built in the 15th century. It was destroyed in the 1950s and later rebuilt with the help of the British. The usual practice is for the Emir of Kano to lead Friday prayers in this mosque. It is located in the Fagge area of Kano, on Abuja Road. It has a distinct green-coloured dome and two minarets.
Ilorin Central Mosque
The Ilorin Central Mosque was originally built in 1981 and then rebuilt due to dilapidation in 2007, by builders from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria. It is has a capacity for 20,000 people and it is said to be the second largest in Nigeria. The mosque is situated at the Oja-Oba area of Ilorin and has several domes and four distinct minarets.
Damaturu Central Mosque
The Central Mosque of Damaturu is located in the north-eastern part of Nigeria. The mosque, also known as Yobe Central Mosque, has several bell-shaped domes of olive-green colour and four distinct minarets.
Lagos Central Mosque
The Lagos Central Mosque is located in the heart of Lagos Island, on Nnamdi Azikwe Street, a few kilometres away from Tinubu Square in Lagos. The mosque was built in 1841 and used to be the national mosque until Abuja became the federal capital in place of Lagos.
Aiyepe Central Mosque
The Aiyepe Central Mosque was inaugurated in 2014, and is built on an area of 30,000 square metres, with the mosque building itself covering an area of 6,400 square metres. The mosque is said to have capacity for 5,000 worshippers at once and is reputed to be the largest in south-west Nigeria.