Top 10 Biggest Mosques In Nigeria
Looking for the biggest mosques in Nigeria? Well, you are in the right place.
With over 48.9 percent of Nigeria’s population being Muslims according to a December 2012 report, the need for large mosques to accommodate the ever growing number of Muslims has never been more important.
With a capacity of 4,000,000 worshipers, the Al-Haram Mosque in Saudi Arabia is the largest mosque and religious gathering center in the world. The mosque which is located in Mecca is known to be the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad and regarded as the holiest city in the Islamic religion. It is also known to be the pilgrimage destination for all able Muslims. The pilgrimage known as the Hajj is held in the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Duhul-Hijjah.
In this list, we are going to talk about the 10 biggest mosques in Nigeria including their locations.
The Largest Mosques In Nigeria
1. Abuja National Mosque
Taking the first place on our list is Nigeria’s national mosque. The Abuja National Mosque was built in 1984 and is located on Independence Avenue. You can get to this destination from anywhere from Zone 10 to Wuse Zone 3.
The mosque is known to be one of the most beautiful and well-constructed mosque in Nigeria and it gets this commendation for a reason. Its golden dome glitters in the sun showcasing its beauty and architectural marvel. The mosque also features four minarets and amazing interior décor.
The mosque doesn’t just serve as a center for prayers; it also has a library, a conference hall, and a religious school.
Unlike Christian praying centers, the Abuja National Mosque is open to the non-Muslim public for exploration, although you would have to step out during congregational prayers as remaining there goes against the rules.
2. Shitta Bey Mosque
Located in Ereko Street, Lagos Island, Lagos, the Shitta Bey mosque is known as one of the oldest mosques in Nigeria. The Shitta Bey Mosque was built in 1892 by Joao Baptisa da Costa and took a year to complete
The mosque was named after its founder Sierra Leonean-born Nigerian Mohammed Shitta Bey who contributed to the construction and completion of the edifice. It is one of the finest constructs of ecclesiastical architecture in Nigeria, it is also considered to be one of the important historical legacies of Nigeria because it signifies the propagation of Islam in Lagos and the acceptance of Western education by the Muslim community in Lagos.
The mosque which has only 1 Minaret was constructed with only concrete, granite, and marble, it was designed in Afro-Brazilian architecture by renowned Brazilian architect Joao Baptista da Costa.
Although completed in 1892, the mosque was formally opened in 1894 with several dignitaries such as the then Governor of Lagos and the first Oba of Lagos present at the opening ceremony.
The mosque reportedly cost about 3000 euro to erect which could be a bigger sum if you calculate it with the value of today’s money. Today it is considered an architectural marvel with a great interior and exterior design.
3. Gobarau Minaret
Considered to be the oldest mosque in Nigeria and the first multi-storey building in West Africa, the Gobarau Minaret is a 50 ft minaret located in Katsina state in Nigeria.
The minaret is part of a big mosque and is considered to be over 600 years old. Although there is a conflict between scholars about the exact date the mosque was constructed, it was supposedly constructed by the first Muslim King of Katsina possibly from the 16th to 18th centuries.
The minaret was previously constructed to serve as a mosque and a learning center, but due to poor maintenance over the centuries, it is now occupied by animals and birds. It now serves as a tourist attraction center and a national monument.
The minaret was expected to undergo a renovation of its structure, but the project had been halted since 2015 and the mosque still remains under maintenance.
The 3-storey minaret is considered to be the oldest mosque in Nigeria and the whole of Africa.
4. Ilorin Central Mosque
Considered to be the pride of Ilorin, the Central Mosque is not known only as a center for religious prayers but also as a tourist center which attracts many tourists from every part of Nigeria and Africa due to its beauty and architectural design.
Before the construction of the present Central Mosque in Ilorin, there was another in the same area, which was established in 1820. The mosque was, however, unable to accommodate the growing Muslim population and the need for a new central mosque could no longer be overlooked.
In 1977, the construction of a new mosque began under the directive of the 9th Emir Alhaji Zulkarnaini Gambari, it was planned to reflect the status of Ilorin as a city of Islam and also accommodate the growing Muslim population thereby making it one of the biggest mosques in Nigeria.
Renovation began in 2007, in an attempt to bring beauty back to the mosque as it had been in a bad condition over years, with cracks on the walls and floors.
The renovation not only made the mosque as beautiful as it once was but also added more features such as a car park, an Islamic library, and a well-equipped hall, matching it with the world-class design of the Abuja National Mosque.
5. Lagos Central Mosque
Once known to be the national mosque of Nigeria, the Lagos Central Mosque is a sight to behold. The large mosque which features a fantastic architectural design was built between 1908 and 1913, although the mosque has undergone several renovations and the current mosque was opened for use in 1988.
The old mosque which was developed by the Jamat Muslim Council of Lagos was demolished in 1983 to give space for the new mosque. Funding was raised by members of the mosque who saw the need to enlarge the mosque and add several utilities to its structure.
The new mosque which takes a land space of about one acre is located around the Nnamdi Azikiwe Street in the city of Lagos. The mosque consists of four minarets, two tall ones, and two small ones
During the renovation of the mosque, several new features like a parking garage for members, an office block, a reference library, Islamic center and a flat for the Chief Imam were added.
The large mosque also serves as a tourist center attracting mostly Muslim tourists in the city of Lagos.
6. Syrian Mosque
Located in Ikoyi, Lagos, the Syrian mosque is one of the biggest mosques in Nigeria. It has world class facilities including a sports area, restaurant and a garage for members.
The mosque is very spacious with the ability to accommodate hundreds of worshippers. The mosque also serves as a tourist attraction and is opened 24/7 to worshipers and the non-Muslim public.
7. Maiduguri Central Mosque
Completed under the directive of the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai el-Kanemi, the Maiduguri Central Mosque is an architectural edifice which took over 60 weeks to complete.
The mosque which is now the pride of Borno state has once been ugly, old and unfitting for worship due to a superstition which halted building plans. It was once believed that prominent individuals whose lineage is traced to the old Kanem Borno Empire will die if any attempt was made to modernize, expand or reconstruct its original architectural look.
However, the new Shehu of Borno saw the need for a new mosque worthy of Borno and he kept contacting the then Governor of Borno state, Ali Modu Sheriff who eventually signed the contract for the completion of the mosque in 2011.
The construction of mosque which once halted for 23 years was completed in 14 months and cost about N876 million.
The mosque is today an architectural marvel attracting prominent Muslims worshippers and tourists to its multi-purpose hall.
8. Lekki Central Mosque
Located in the bustling neighbourhood of Lekki, Lagos, the Lekki central mosque is known to be the biggest in Lekki. It is also one of the biggest in Nigeria and normally packed full with Muslim worshippers during the month of Ramadan.
The mosque offers a praying center for Muslim worshippers who visit the mosque to say their jummah prayers, salah and also take weekly lectures.
The mosque is also a go-to destination for tourists due to its one of a kind architectural design and beauty.
9. Great Mosque of Kano
Located in the second most populous city in Nigeria, the Great Mosque of Kano is an architectural edifice that attracts thousands of tourists to its marvelous halls. The mosque which is the largest in the city is also one of the major tourist attractions in the city.
The mosque was specifically built to accommodate a large number of Muslims as most of Kano’s population is made up of Muslims.
The great mosque was not as amazing as it was today as it was once built with mud in the 15th century for Muhammad Rumfa. The final mosque was built with British Sponsorship and includes state of the art facilities to enable Muslim worshippers to carry on their religious duties in a comfortable environment.
10. Bashir Uthman Tofa Mosque
Concluding our list is the Bashir Uthman Tofa Mosque which is named after Alhaji Bashir Uthman Tofa. Alhaji Bashir is a politician who contested in the June 12, 1993, presidential elections He is also known as a businessman, an oil trader and an industrialist. He owned several prominent companies and made a large impact in the city of Kano and therefore the mosque was named after him.
The mosque which is located in Gandun Albasa, Kano is known as the second largest mosque in Kano and one of the largest mosques in Nigeria. The mosque boasts of a marvelous architectural design with state of the art facilities.
The mosque is also a tourist attraction in the city of Kano, attracting both Muslim and non-Muslim visitors.
That’s it on our list of Top 10 biggest mosques in Nigeria. If you did notice, most of these mosques are located in the South-West and the Northern part of Nigeria which is no surprise as these areas have the largest concentration of Muslims.