(Urdu: بادشاہی مسجد) or the ‘Royal Mosque’ in Lahore, commissioned by the sixth Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671 and completed in 1673, is the second largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia and the fifth largest mosque in the world. Epitomising the beauty, passion and grandeur of the Mughal era, it is Lahore’s most famous landmark and a major tourist attraction.
Capable of accommodating 5,000 worshippers in its main prayer hall and a further 95,000 in its courtyard and porticoes, it remained the largest mosque in the world from 1673 to 1986 (a period of 313 years), when overtaken in size by the completion of the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. Today, it remains the second largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia and the fifth largest mosque in the world.
Read more: Badshahi Mosque
One of the reasons why I love living in Lahore.
tumblr, laying down some deep wisdom today
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Banksy’s Christmas Card
‘If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed’
If Joseph and Mary were making their way to Bethlehem today, the Christmas story would be a little different, says Father Ibrahim Shomali, a parish priest in the town. The couple would struggle to get into the city, let alone find a hotel room.
“If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed,” says the priest of Bethlehem’s Beit Jala parish. “He would either have to be born at a checkpoint or at the separation wall. Mary and Joseph would have needed Israeli permission – or to have been tourists.
“This really is the big problem for Palestinians in Bethlehem: what will happen when they close us off completely?”
Since the writing of the above article, Israel has authorized the construction of more than 2,600 homes in Givat Hamatos which means that for the first time in the 2,000 year history of Christianity, Bethlehem and Jerusalem will be completely cut off by illegal Israeli settlements. Bethlehem is now surrounded by 22 settlements, all built on stolen Palestinian land.
More than 170,000 Palestinian Christians live under Israeli occupation in the West Bank, without proper political representation, freedom of travel, equality before the law, and many other civil and human rights. The occupation does discriminate between Christians and Muslims — they both suffer the same.
Added here in consideration of religious belief used for political gains and water.
I quite literally gasped when I saw this. The Selexyz Dominicanen bookstore in Maastricht, the Netherlands is housed in a renovated Dominican church dating back to 1294. “The infusion of old and new was brilliantly executed by architectural firm Merkx + Girod who managed to highlight the grandeur of the original church and preserve it’s majestic atmosphere by positioning a colossal walk-in steel bookcase asymmetrically in the church.” A necessary addition to the perpetually-growing travel list.
Believe in books.
SUPERSTITION is typically a pejorative term. Belief in things like magic and miracles is thought to be irrational and scientifically retrograde. But as studies have repeatedly shown, some level of belief in the supernatural — often a subtle and unconscious belief — appears to be unavoidable, even…
To find that healthy dose of delusional thought.
If Jefferson’s greatest political legacy was the Declaration of Independence, this pure, precious moral teaching was his religious legacy. “I am a real Christian,” Jefferson insisted against the fundamentalists and clerics of his time. “That is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.”
What were those doctrines? Not the supernatural claims that, fused with politics and power, gave successive generations wars, inquisitions, pogroms, reformations, and counterreformations. Jesus’ doctrines were the practical commandments, the truly radical ideas that immediately leap out in the simple stories he told and which he exemplified in everything he did. Not simply love one another, but love your enemy and forgive those who harm you; give up all material wealth; love the ineffable Being behind all things, and know that this Being is actually your truest Father, in whose image you were made. Above all: give up power over others, because power, if it is to be effective, ultimately requires the threat of violence, and violence is incompatible with the total acceptance and love of all other human beings that is at the sacred heart of Jesus’ teaching. That’s why, in his final apolitical act, Jesus never defended his innocence at trial, never resisted his crucifixion, and even turned to those nailing his hands to the wood on the cross and forgave them, and loved them.
Is the story of Jesus just a tool to keep the masses in fear and to accept abuse by those in power over resources?
Nothing but the hand of God has made this possible for me. For all of you who get riled up when I mention God and you want to know which God I’m talking about, I’m talking about the same one you’re talking about. I’m talking about the Alpha and the Omega. The omniscient. The omnipresent. The ultimate consciousness. The source, the force, the all of everything there is. The one and only, G-O-D. That’s the one I’m talkin’ about.