This study examines the smart mosque as a concept, developed through innovations in materials and technologies adopted to provide thermal comfort conditions and energy- efficient environments, in order to promote a sustainable mosque. The paper first provides a theoretical underpinning of the smart solutions applied in historical mosques with a critical review of its philosophical and practical framework. Second, it will examine the efforts made by the Gulf states authorities in the last decade to pursue smart mosque projects in the region, by reviewing a number of possible smart solutions which can be applied to the mosques in order to achieve sustainability in design. Although this concept is relatively new, this paper will argue that there are many historical mosques in the wider Islamic region, as well as those from the Arabian Gulf, that responded to the prevailing environmental conditions, within the technological and scientific constraints at the time, wherein the ‘smart design concept’ was evident in its design through its architectural and interiors programs. This paper concludes that although, historically, mosques’ architectural features addressed environmental issues, current designs, particularly in the Gulf region, have many shortcomings when faced with current environmental concerns. © 2019 Institution of Engineering and Technology. All rights reserved.