Located on the Atlantic Coast approximately 90 km south of the capital city Rabat, Casablanca is the largest city, not only in Morocco, but the Maghreb. It is the nation's chief port, and the business and financial center of the country.
Originally known as Anfa, the city of Casablanca started out as a small settlement. It was renamed Casa Branca by the Portuguese who took control of the city in 1468 CE/872 AH. They rebuilt the city and changed its name to "Casa Branca" Like Casablanca, a term that came into use when Portugal became part of the Spanish Kingdom, it means "White House." In 1755/1168 AH the city was largely destroyed by an earthquake and abandoned by the European population. It was rebuilt by Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah, during whose reign the harbor became essential to sugar, tea, wool, and other trade. From 1912 to 1956 the city was part of the French Protectorate, who continued to use the Spanish name. The first governor, Marshal Lyautey developed the ambitious plan to may the city the economic capital of Morocco. In 1953 Michel Écochard devised a linear extension plan that would stretch between the ports of Casablanca and Mohammedia.
The low buildings of the medina contrast starkly with the skyscrapers of the new city. According to the World Population Review, the 2015 population of the city itself was significantly over 3 million, with the population of the metropolitan area being estimated at approximately 5 million.
A rich suburb, Enfa is an upper class residential district, with few public or community buildings. Individual villas with extensive landscaping form the dominant type of housing; a few condominiums or town houses are now developing along the east side of Enfa, linking its environment to the more public character of Casablanca. The idea of the project is rooted in the custom of Saudi Royalty to build small mosques which attached to their residences wherever they live.
A small mosque of a capacity of 400 faithful was originally built attached to the Prince's summer residence, established in Enfa 1979. An overflow of use of the first mosque led the Prince to build a much larger mosque of a capacity of 5000 worshippers attached to the old mosque. The idea of a religious and cultural complex was introduced by the architect and accepted by the client, and then developed by specialists into a program for an educational, research and religious center focusing on the human sciences in Islam. Housing and community facilities were introduced to generate income and to maintain the facility.