The State Mosque of Qatar, now officially called Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab Mosque, opened for Friday prayer for the first time today, ahead of National Day celebrations on Sunday.

Security was tight, with police directing traffic & parking, metal detectors in front of the entrances, and numerous plainclothes officers mingled among the congregants. 

After prayer, a large crowd thronged the center of the mosque as the prominent sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi made his exit. The Emir of Qatar was reported to be in attendance, but I didn’t catch a glimpse of him. 

Guards at the mosque told me that it would be closed for the rest of the day, as well as on Saturday, but would be open to the public – Muslims and non-Muslims alike – as of Sunday (National Day).

And yes, there is a dedicated space for women to pray.

Credit: All photos by Omar Chatriwala

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