The largest mosque in Central Asia has opened in Kazakhstan’s capital, Nur-Sultan.   

Kazakhstan’s first president Nursultan Nazarbayev attended the Friday (August 12) opening of the mosque, timed to coincide with 24th anniversary of the city’ foundation.

Online news agency Central, citing Nazarbayev’s spokesman Aidos Ukibay, says representatives of clergy, diplomatic corps, public and media attended the mosque-opening ceremony.

Kyrgyzstan’s AKIPress says the mosque is located on Mangilik El Avenue near the EXPO and Mega Silk Way malls.   

The mosque spans an area of almost ten hectares, and is topped by a 90-meter central dome and eight smaller domes.  The mosque surrounded by four minarets with 130 meters in height each.

The white structure took three years to build and is large enough to accommodate up to 235,000 worshipers. 

Around 70 percent of Kazakhstan's more than 19.247 million people are Muslim.  Most are followers of the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam.

This mosque dwarfed Dushanbe’s Central Cathedral Mosque in Tajikistan, which reportedly can hold more than 130,000 worshipers

Before that, Dushanbe’s Central Cathedral Mosque was considered the largest mosque in Central Asia.  

This US$100 million project has been implemented under direct control of Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.  The Persian Gulf kingdom of Qatar has reportedly put up 70 percent of the cost of the project, with Tajikistan raising the rest.

President Emomali Rahmon began construction of Central Asia’s largest mosque not far from downtown Dushanbe in October 2011, a month after officially raising the country’s flag on a 165-meter flagpole in Dushanbe.

Tajik leader demonstrated a hidden skill when he took control of an excavator to start digging the foundation for the building.

Dushanbe’s Central Cathedral Mosque is located in the area of 12 hectares and in addition to the prayer halls the Mosque also features library, museum and social halls.  The mosque is reportedly able to accommodate 133,000 worshipers.  

An official opening of Dushanbe’s Central Cathedral Mosque has been postponed since 2019.  Tajik authorities say the mosque is the bilateral international project of Tajikistan and Qatar, and according to international practice, the official opening ceremony will take place with the participation of both parties.