Mosque of Rome
|Mosque of Rome|
Outside view taken in 2006.
|Architect(s)||Paolo Portoghesi, Vittorio Gigliotti, Sami Mousawi and Nino Tozzo|
The Mosque of Rome (Italian: Moschea di Roma) is the largest mosque in Europe.     It has an area of 30,000 m2 (320,000 sq ft) and can accommodate more than 12,000 people. The building is located in the Acqua Acetosa area, at the foot of the Monti Parioli, north of the city. As well as being the city's mosque, it is the seat of the Italian Islamic Cultural Centre (Italian: Centro Culturale Islamico d'Italia).
In addition to being a meeting place for religious activities, it provides cultural and social services variously connecting Muslims together. It also holds wedding ceremonies, funeral services, exegesis, conventions, and other related events.
The mosque was jointly founded by the exiled Prince Muhammad Hasan of Afghanistan and his wife, Princess Razia and was financed by Faisal of Saudi Arabia, head of the Saudi royal family, as well as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The project was designed and directed by Paolo Portoghesi, Vittorio Gigliotti and Sami Mousawi.
Its planning took more than ten years: the Roman City Council donated the land in 1974, but the first stone was laid only in 1984 (1405 AH), in the presence of then President of the Italian Republic Sandro Pertini, with its inauguration on 21 June 1995.
The structure is intended to be integrated into the surrounding green area, with a mix of modern structural design and omnipresent curves. Lights and shades are blended in order to create a meditative climate, and the choice of materials, like travertino and cotto, evoke traditional Roman architectural styles. The interior decor is mainly made of glazed tiles with light colors, with the recurrent Qur'anic theme "God is Light".
The current Imam of the mosque is the Egyptian Muhammad Hassan Abdulghaffar; Abd Allah Ridwan is in charge of the Cultural Centre, to which the management of the complex is entrusted. Former Imams include:
- 1983–1993: Muhammad Nur al-Din Isma'il
- 1993–2006: Mahmud Hammad Shwayta
- Buyers, Christopher (August 2009). "The Barakzai Dynasty - Nasser-Zia, Rahmani, Ziai, Ziyai - Genealogy". Royal Ark website. Christopher Buyers. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
- Coppa Alessandra, La moschea di Roma di Paolo Portoghesi, Federico Motta Editore, 2003. ISBN 88-7179-375-7
- Mosque of Rome (Italian)