Built on reclaimed land, almost half of the surface of the mosque lies over the Atlantic water. This was inspired by the verse of the Qur'an that states "the throne of God was built on water". Part of floor of this facility is glass so worshippers can kneel directly over the sea; above, spotlights shine at night from the top of the minaret toward Mecca These features were specifically requested by King Hassan II, who declared, "I want to build this mosque on the water, because God's throne is on the water. Therefore, the faithful who go there to pray, to praise the creator on firm soil, can contemplate God's sky and ocean."
It also includes a number of modern touches: it was built to withstand earthquakes and has a heated floor, electric doors, and a sliding roof.
The mosque displays strong Moorish influence and the architecture of the building is similar to that of the Alhambra and the Mezquita in Spain. This and the old Tin Mal Mosque are the only mosques in Morocco open to non-Muslims. Non-Muslims may view the interior on hour-long guided tours that depart several times daily.
Work on the mosque was commenced on 12 July 1986, and was intended to be completed for the 60th birthday of the former Moroccan king, Hassan II, in 1989. However, the building was not inaugurated until 30 August 1993.
All of the granite, plaster, marble, wood, and other materials used in its construction were taken from around Morocco, with the sole exceptions of some white granite columns and the glass chandeliers, both of which come from Italy. Six thousand traditional Moroccan artisans worked for five years to turn these raw materials into abundant and incredibly beautiful mosaics, stone and marble floors and columns, sculpted plaster moldings, and carved and painted wood ceilings.
- List of largest mosques
- List of mosques
- Islamic architecture
- Islamic art
- Timeline of Islamic history
- Casablanca location map
- Pictures of Hassan II Mosque December 2003
- Pictures of Hassan II Mosque April 2001
- The Hassan II Mosque by Frederic Mitterrand
- Hassan II Mosque Article from Sacred Destinations, with photos and satellite view