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Old Images of the Crowded Hassan II Mosque Esplanade Resurfaced

Khadija Boufous Khadija Boufous
Spirituality & Religion
28th March 2023
Old Images of the Crowded Hassan II Mosque Esplanade Resurfaced
The photos are outdated (Twitter)

The Claim

The image shows 800,000 people gathered in Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca for the Tarawih prayers on March 25, 2023.

Emerging story

Social media users have widely circulated an image claiming it shows 800,000 people recently gathered for the Tarawih prayers in Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. 

The users claimed it was taken on March 25, 2023.

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A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar investigated the claim and found it to be misleading. The image is outdated and previously surfaced in 2016 with a similar claim.

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Old Images of Hassan II Mosque

The image is composed of two different photographs. Using Image Reverse Search tools, Misbar’s team discovered that both pictures are outdated.


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The pictures were uploaded to Reuters’ image store on August 5, 2013. According to the source, they show prayers on Laylat al-Qadr during the holy month of Ramadan on the esplanade of  the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. However, Reuters did not mention that the images show 800,000 worshipers praying.

“Laylat al-Qadr is the anniversary of the night Muslims believe the Coran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad.”

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

The Hassan II Mosque

Hassan II mosque, located in Casablanca, has a unique aspect of the design as the mosque is constructed partially on land and over the Atlantic Ocean. It covers a vast area of nine hectares. 

The building, built with supplies from around the country, has a moorish design aspect throughout its architecture.

The Moorish designs are considered as a symbol of Islamic architecture developed in the western Islamic world. It is known for its elaborate ornamentation, which includes colorful tilework and plasterwork patterns, abstract geometry, floral-inspired motifs and Arabic calligraphy, horseshoe and multifoil arches. Some of the best examples of Moorish architecture exist in Spain and Morocco.

According to Morocco World News, the mosque’s construction began on July 9, 1989, following the instruction of the late King Hassan II. The construction work was completed on August 30, 1993. However, an article in the Independent providing tips for tourists mentioned the construction took six years, adding that 12,000 workers were part of the process. 

Meanwhile, other websites suggested work started on July 12, 1986, and was conducted over seven years mentioning that 1400 men worked during the day and another 1100 during the night.

The Independent and other sources confirm that the space outside has the capacity of 80,000 worshippers, and there is room for 25,000 more inside under a retractable roof, which makes the site able to accommodate 105,000 devotees. However, no reliable sources confirmed that the mosque could house 800,000 people.

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Misbar’s Classification


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