South Africa is known as much for its natural beauty as its multi-cultural society of various religions, races and ethnicities. The Culture Trip takes a look at the most beautiful mosques in the country, all of which are steeped in history and tradition.
The Nizamiye Mosque is considered the most beautiful mosque in South Africa and is the largest mosque in the southern hemisphere. The mosque and complex was established by Ali Katircioglu, a retired Turkish property developer, and completed in 2012. The Nizamiye Complex houses a mosque, school, dormitory, shopping center, clinic and traditional Turkish restaurant and bakery, welcoming visitors from all religions and nationalities. The magnificent mosque is modeled on the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, Turkey and accommodates up to 3,000 worshipers. The impressive exterior features four minarets that extend 55 meters into the Johannesburg skyline, and are each decorated with a unique design. Inside, the mosque features marble columns and a majestic 31-meter high dome decorated in exquisite Turkish art, which is emulated on the carpet below. The walls are covered with Turkish ceramic tiles painted in beautiful floral designs and Arabic calligraphy.
You’ll find the Habibia Soofie Mosque in the predominantly-Muslim neighborhood of Rylands in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. The mostly green and white complex contains a mosque, madressa and cemetery. The masjid was established by Hazrath Soofie Saheb,who traveled from Durban to Cape Town, and was completed in 1905. The mosque features several tall minarets and a large central dome, while the ornate interior is decorated in gold and white latticework.