Grand Mosque of Kairouan

The Grand Mosque of Kairouan is Islam’s 4 holiest site – after Mecca, Medina, and Al-Aqsa – and one of the largest mosques in Africa. Spread over 9000 sq. m. in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Kairouan, the mosque (and the town) was founded by Uqba ibn Nabi, the conquering Arab general, in 7th century AD.

This is a final parting photo before leaving the Grand Mosque of Kairouan – the arches forming layers and adding depth given the angle of the shot. (Aug 2017)

No doubt a magnificent structure – but that day my thoughts were occupied by a philosophical question of why some places of worship bar entry to a group of people based on their gender or religion. While the observation is factual and quite simplistic, I am sure the reasons are not. It makes me wonder about the nature of the faith itself when a “house of God” bars entry to any group based on religion or gender or caste.

Whatever the reasons, I wandered around a bit aimlessly grappling with this question… But then I asked myself – why do I feel the need to stand in front of the altar to say my prayers?

So, I took my photos, said my prayers silently at the doorstep, and left thanking God for this opportunity to see this majestic, wonderful place.

A mental note to myself – life is good to you, when you keep it simple… 🙂

Related: Layered



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