A white palace, Hazret Sultan Mosque in Nur-Sultan

Nazerke Makhanova | Live the World

November 23, 2022

The Hazret Sultan Mosque is one of the most beautiful mosques of Kazakhstan, a famous attraction of Nur-Sultan city and the second-largest mosque in Central Asia. Every tourism agency or professional guide would suggest you visit this unique structure. Definitely, Nur-Sultan city has a lot of things to show the visitors and newcomers. If you ask me, what else is worth seeing here, I would say: in the heart of Nur-Sultan’s most visited touristic area you will see an eye-catching white palace, the Hazret Sultan Mosque. 

Kazakh’s belief in ancient years

Every time I meet a foreigner in Kazakhstan, I hear a question, which I may say is among the top questions people ask about Kazakhs. What is the religion of the Kazakh people? First of all, I would like to add that nowadays, Kazakhstan is stated as a religiously tolerant country that lets people practice faith in any religion; nevertheless, if we turn to history and facts, as of 2009, there was about 93% of Kazakh people who practice Islam. What did Kazakhs believe in before Islam? Traditionally the belief of nomadic population, the ancestors of modern Kazakhs, was Tengrism. Shortly, it was about believing in the sun as a faceless God, and in the spirit of nature: earth, plants, trees, rocks, fire, and, most importantly, in heaven. Additionally to that, they used to believe in the power and support of the deceased ancestors. 

© iStock / Yerbolat Shadrakhov

Who is Hazret Sultan?

Islam entered and held on in Kazakh land in the X century and was actively practiced with the teaching of the famous Saint Khoja Akhmet Yasawi. His mausoleum is located in Turkistan, South Kazakhstan. Yasawi’s name is known to every Muslim and each person who belongs to the Turkic ethnic group. He was a teacher and a preacher of Islam as a religion. Apart from his honorable name, he was also called Hazret Sultan, which means ‘Holy lord.’ So nowadays, not only the mausoleum is dedicated to him, but also one of the most popular attractions of Nur-Sultan city bears the name of Yasawi – Hazret Sultan

© iStock / Yerbolat Shadrakhov

The mosque's interior

The mosque is located in an area of 11 hectares and can accommodate around ten thousand people. Its doors officially opened in 2012. The architecture of the mosque is made according to the Islamic rules with Kazakh traditional ornaments. There you can see unique things such as a gigantic chandelier, which weighs 3 tons and a silver Qoran that was made in Moscow. In XIV century Amir Timur (the last of the great conquerors of nomadic Eurasian Steppe) brought the Qoran of XII century to Kazakhstan. Nowadays, the Qoran book with 40 kg of weight is placed in Hazret Sultan Mosque and is considered as one of the oldest originals holy books in the world. 

© wikipedia.org / U.S. Department of State

The mosque's rules

People who see the mosque from the outside are amazed by its size and beauty. Those who enter inside compare it with the palace of the King. If you have seen the Turkish series “the Magnificent century,” you would definitely feel like you are in the palace of a Sultan. It is a tranquil and peaceful place, a home of God to Muslims, a place to pray and think. There are no restrictions to visitors entering the site; however, women will be asked to cover their heads according to the Islamic rules. At the entrance, you will be asked to take off your shoes, and there are many shelves where they can be stored safely. There you will be offered to cover yourself with a cape given at the mosque. Please follow the rules, and you will be welcome to step on the floors and stairs, which are all covered with carpets. 

© iStock / Yerbolat Shadrakhov

What is around the mosque

Apart from catching everyone's attention with a call to prayer, this mosque is definitely worth seeing it both from the inside and outside. It is free of charge and open to any visitor. It is located in an area with other interesting attractions, such as the Kazakh Eli monument, the national museum of Kazakhstan, and the Pyramid – the palace of Peace and Reconciliation.

In that touristic corner, if you are looking for a place to have a quick stop with coffee and a snack, in a 5 min walking distance, you will find a coffee chain called the Glorias Jean's Coffees. Honestly, the pearl of the touristic corner is the white palace, Hazret Sultan Mosque, which is the most exciting and money-saving option for tourists. Do not miss out on visiting it! 

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