DUBAI â€” The government of the booming emirate of Dubai has decided to build the worldâ€™s first museum dedicated to the life and legacy of Prophet Muhammad (s).
â€œIn the history of Dubai, this museum will stand as a shining milestone as it will give the world an opportunity to learn about the life and message of Prophet Muhammad,â€ Omer bin Suleiman, the managing director of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, told the official WAM news agency.
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum, also the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, has asked the Authority, only formed this week, to immediately proceed with the museum plan.
The museum, believed to be the first of its kind in the world, will be dedicated entirely to the life of prophet Muhammad.
It will chronicle the life of the prophet and introduce the visitors to the main stops including his marriage, the beginning of Godâ€™s revelation, the demise of his wife Khadijah, the incident of Al Israâ€™a and Al Miâ€™raj, migration to Madinah, the conquest of Makkah and the prophetâ€™s death.
There will be a special section on hajj and the fundamental aspects of Islam.
The aim is to introduce the world to the inspiring life of Prophet Muhammad and how he changed the course of human history.
Sheikh Mayed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the chairman of the Authority, said they decided that the Prophetâ€™s (s) museum should be the first project undertaken by the new body.
â€œThe project also clearly indicates that Dubai is keen on playing its role not only as a bridge between the East and the West, but also between the Islamic world and the rest of the world.â€
Abu Dhabi, another member of the oil-rich, seven-member UAE federation, is home to what is believed to be the third biggest mosque in the world.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque, named after the UAE late founding father, is built on a 9.5-metre high hill so it is visible from far.
It covers an area of 22,000 square meters, has four 107-metre tall minarets, 82 domes of seven different sizes, 96 columns inside and 1,048 outside and can accommodate more than 40,000 faithful.
Two rooms next to the main prayer hall, with a 1,500-capacity each, have been reserved for women, who can follow sermons delivered by prayer leaders on giant television screens.
The mosque is an architectural masterpiece built 100 percent with Italian marble and decorated with thousands of rare and semi-precious stones, some encrusted in marble.
The centerpiece is a 6,000 square meter hand-made Iranian carpet which weighs 45 tones, said to be the biggest in the world, and cost more than 8.5 million dollars.
Another breathtaking piece is a huge crystal chandelier in the main prayer hall, one of seven German-made chandeliers costing more than eight million dollars.
It is 10 meters tall, 10 meters wide, and weighs nine tons.