In accordance with the Quran verse in which Allah the Almighty said “His throne was on the water”, the late HM King Hassan II had intended the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca to be an outstanding religious, cultural, historical and tourist monument; a monument capable of immortalizing his name, as his predecessors who ruled Morocco had done. But in building this mosque, he also kept the promise made to his father, the late HM King Mohammed V, to build a large mosque on the water.
The construction of the mosque began in 1987 and was completed in 1993. This project was designed by the French architect, Michel Penso, under the supervision of the French group Bouygues. All Moroccans have contributed, according to their means, to the process of financing a building destined to become a spiritual high place within the economic capital, as is the case in many other Moroccan cities such as Fez, Rabat or Marrakech.
Urging Moroccans to contribute to the financing of this project, Hassan II said: “This mosque could have been built and its budget could have been allocated. But having read the hadith of the Prophet, peace and salvation be upon him, in which he said: “whoever builds a mosque where the name of Allah is continually mentioned, Allah builds him a house in heaven”. Thus, I had the idea of having the Casablanca mosque financed by all Moroccans, if only by the donation of a single Dirham.
Unlike the mosques that Islamic countries abound in, Hassan II Mosque is located by the sea. It overlooks the Casablanca shoreline over a vast territory of about 9 hectares. It is the largest mosque in Morocco and the second largest in Africa, but it is ranked 13th in the world.
The Hassan II Mosque, whose architecture is inspired by the Arab-Islamic and Andalusian style, includes a large prayer room that can accommodate 25,000 people, a courtyard for 80,000 people, as well as an ablutions room, water courses, a Quran school, a library and a museum. It is decorated with Zellige, mosaics, colored porcelain and marble. Its minaret is 210 meters high, making it the highest religious structure in the world and the one equipped with modern technologies allowing the automatic opening and closing of its roof, in addition to laser beams with a maximum range of 30 kilometers towards Mecca, a place of pilgrimage and holy city for Muslims.
The minaret of the Hassan II Mosque is equipped with a fast elevator that allows 12 people to reach its summit in less than a minute.