Mosques serve as community centers, prayer halls, and places to teach the Quran. They were also historically a place to attend classes in theology, literature, physics, and chemistry.
In addition to minarets and domes that initially served functional roles more than aesthetic ones, water pools and ablution fountains were later incorporated in many mosques' designs.
Water has notably been used in traditional Islamic architecture across southern Spain, North Africa, the Middle East, and as far as India.
Here are 10 mosques that were made to look like floating structures:
1. Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Brunei
This floating mosque was named after the 28th Sultan of Brunei and is located at the very heart of Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei. The main golden dome of the mosque dominates the skyline and can be seen from anywhere in the city.
It was open to worshippers in 1958 and has been serving as the country's landmark ever since. This place of worship and tourist attraction is one of the most magnificent mosques in southeast Asia.
2. Hassan II Mosque, Morocco
The Hassan II Mosque is the largest mosque in Morocco and one of the largest in the world. It was open for worshippers in 1993 in Casablanca, with the capacity to accommodate up to 105,000 worshippers. The mosque is also home to the world's tallest minaret at 210m.
It is believed to be entirely built from raw materials of Moroccan origin. Part of the mosque's prayer room is made of glass so worshippers can bow and prostrate in prayer directly over the sea.
3. Kota Kinabalu City Mosque, Malaysia
The architecture of the Kota Kinabalu Mosque and its blue and golden dome is inspired by the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia. The floating mosque is partially encircled by a man-made lagoon, where visitors can go on paddle boat rides to take photos and a closer look at that common tourist attraction.
The mosque was open to visitors in 2000, with a capacity to accommodate about 12,000 worshipers.
4. Melaka Straits Mosque, Malaysia
5. Tanjung Bungah Floating Mosque, Malaysia
The Tanjung Bungah Floating Mosque in Penang is the first floating mosque to be built in the sea in Malaysia.
It is one of the most important landmarks of Penang and is big enough to accommodate 1,500 worshippers.
6. Crystal Mosque, Malaysia
The Crystal Mosque, one of the biggest and most famous mosques in Malaysia, is located in Wan Man Island near Kuala Terengganu. It was open to the public in 2008, with a capacity to accommodate more than 1,500 worshipers.
The dazzling exterior of the mosque is covered in steel, glass, and crystals, earning it its captivating sparkle, while its minarets are made of pure crystals.
7. Putra Mosque, Malaysia
This pink granite mosque overlooks the scenic man-made lake of Putrajaya and is its most distinctive landmarks.
The design of the mosque is a blend of Persian Islamic architecture and local Malay craftsmanship. It was open for worshippers in 1999 and can accommodate about 15,000 people.
8. Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque, Malaysia
This small, yet famous mosque, is located in Kuala Ibai Lagoon near the Kuala Ibai River, and was the first floating mosque to be built in Malaysia.
It was open to the public in 1995, with a capacity to accommodate about 2,000 worshippers. Its design was inspired by Moorish architecture and is best seen during sunrise or sunset.
9. Masjid Al-Salam Puchong Perdana, Malaysia
The mosque overlooks placid waters and is unique for its architecture and golden domes. The building has a capacity to accommodate up to 4,000 worshippers and was open in 2006.
10. Ar-Rahma Mosque, Saudi Arabia
Masjid Al Rahma and Fatima Al Zahra Mosque, is one of the most popular landmarks in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah. Overlooking the Red Sea, the mosque appears to be floating when the water level is high.
The only floating mosque in the kingdom was open to worshippers back in 1985.