List of the oldest mosques in the world

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Mosque of Uqba, founded in 670 in Tunisia
Juma Mosque of Shamakhi, founded in 743-744 in Azerbaijan

The designation of the oldest mosque in the world requires careful use of definitions, and must be divided into two parts, the oldest in the sense of oldest surviving building, and the oldest in the sense of oldest mosque congregation. Even here, there is the distinction between old mosque buildings that have been in continuous use as mosques, and those that have been converted to other purposes; and between buildings that have been in continuous use as mosques and those that were shuttered for many decades. In terms of congregations, they are distinguished between early established congregations that have been in continuous existence, and early congregations that ceased to exist.

To be listed here a site must:

  • be the oldest mosque in a country, large city (top 50), or oldest of its type (denomination, architectural, etc.);
  • be the oldest congregation of its type (denomination).

Oldest mosques[edit]

Building Image Location Country First Built Denomination Notes
Quba Mosque Masjid al-Quba.jpg Medina Saudi Arabia 622 Islam Oldest mosque site, but building largely rebuilt in the late 20th century.
Al-Masjid al-Nabawi Mescidi nebevi.JPG Medina Saudi Arabia 622 Islam Site of pilgrimage. Contains Muhammad's tomb. Largely rebuilt and greatly enlarged in the late 20th century, whilst retaining at its heart the earlier construction of the Ottomans, and landmark green dome.
Masjid al-Qiblatain Al-Qiblatin Mosque.jpg Medina Saudi Arabia 623 Islam Mosque of the two Qiblas
Huaisheng Mosque Huaisheng Mosque Dec 2007.jpg Guangzhou China 627 Islam The Huaisheng Mosque is the main mosque of Guangzhou. It has been rebuilt many times over its history. According to tradition it was originally built over 1,300 years ago in 627AD by Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas who was an uncle of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and was named in memory of Muhammad.
Old Jumma Masjid Of Kilakarai or Baadhan Masjid of qum or Pattanam KilakaraiJummaMasjid.jpg Kilakarai India 628 Sunni Constructed by Yemeni merchants and trade settlers in the pre-Islamic period in the Pandiya Kingdom and ordered by Baadhan (Bazan ibn Sasan), Governor of Yemen at the time of Muhammad, after they accepted Islam in (625-628)AD. This mosque was rebuilt in the 11th century after Saheed War. It is the oldest mosque in India.[citation needed] Bazan Ibn Sasan, Tamim Ibn zayd al ansari, Ibnu Batutah, Nagoor Abdul Cadir, ervadi Ibrahim Sahib, Sultan of Ottoman Murad and other Islamic scholars visited this mosque and Ibnu batutah said in his travel notes "it is the place where most Arab settlers live and I am surprised to see them living as in an Arab land"[1]
Jawatha Mosque Jawatha Mosque in Al-Ahsa (2007).jpg Al-Kilabiyah Saudi Arabia 629 n/a Has recently been renovated and prayers are still held in this mosque.
Masjid al-Haram Kaaba mirror edit jj.jpg Mecca Saudi Arabia 630 Islam Site of Haj pilgrimage and direction (Qibla) of Muslim formal prayers; rebuilt many times, notably 1571 by the Ottomans and late 20th century by Saudis, further radical enlargement under way since 2010.
Cheraman Juma Masjid Cheraman Juma Masjid.png Kodungallur India 629 Islam The first mosque in India. Named for Cheraman Perumal
Great Mosque of Kufa Kufa Mosque, 1915.jpg Kufa Iraq 639 Shia
Mosque of Uqba Kairouan's Great Mosque courtyard.jpg Kairouan Tunisia 670 Sunni rebuilt in 800s
Cheraman Juma Masjid Cheraman jumamasjid.JPG Kodungallur India 629 Sunni Locally considered to be the first mosque of India; reliability of sources unclear
Imam Hussain Mosque Kerbela Hussein Moschee.jpg Karbala Iraq 680 Shia reconstructed several times, including in 1016
Al-Aqsa Mosque Al-aqsa-mosque01 cropped.JPG Jerusalem Palestine 705 Sunni and shia Al-Aqsa and Bayt al-Muqaddas, is the third holiest site in Islam and is located in the Old City of Jerusalem. The site on which the silver domed mosque sits, along with the Dome of the Rock
Al-Zaytuna Mosque MinaretMosqueeZitounaTunis.JPG Tunis Tunisia 709 Sunni
Umayyad Mosque Umayyad Mosque.jpg Damascus Syria 715 Shia, Sunni National Mosque
Imam Ali Mosque Meshed ali usnavy (PD).jpg Najaf Iraq 977 Shia, Sunni Shrine of first Shia Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib, and fourth Sunni Rashidun Caliph.
Great Mosque of Xi'an Chinese-style minaret of the Great Mosque.jpg Xi'an, Shaanxi China 742[2] Although remains date mostly from the 18th century,[3] the Mosque was founded in 742[4]
Kazimar Big Mosque
Kazimarbigmosque.JPG
Madurai India 1284 Sunni, Hanafi Shadhili Second Mosque in Tamil Nadu.
Juma Masjid Mosque
Juma Masjid Mosque on Grey Street(Dr. Yusuf Dadoo)-20140223-.jpg
Durban South Africa 1881 Islam First Mosque to be built in Kwazulu Natal.

By country[edit]

Afghanistan[edit]

  • Haji Piyada, built in the second half of the 9th century, oldest Islamic building in Afghanistan [5]

Armenia[edit]

  • Blue Mosque, Yerevan, built in The Yerevan region had been under the control of various Muslim rulers since the incursions of Timur in the 14th century. From the second third of the 18th century, it had been a province of Iran (ruled successively by Nadir Shah, Karim Khan Zand and the Iranian Qajar Dynasty), before it fell to the Russian empire in 1827.

For the mosque's construction, various dates from the mid-18th century are cited in literature. As reported by 19th-century traveller H.F.B. Lynch, the Blue Mosque was commissioned to be built during the reign of Iranian ruler Nadir Shah (1736–47) by Husayn Ali Khan. George Bournoutian names Husayn Ali Khan as the patron of the building, but places his reign in the years 1762-83. According to Vladimir M. Arutyunyan et al. construction started in 1760 and was completed under Husayn Ali Khan in 1764-68. The building was the main congregational mosque for the city. When Yerevan was captured by Russia in 1827 it was, according to the cataster drawn up by the Russians, the largest of its eight functioning mosques. The building consisted of the main prayer hall, a library, and a madrasa with 28 cells, all organised around a courtyard, with the overall complex occupying 7,000 square metres of land. There is a single minaret at the main portal, in keeping with contemporaneous mosques, and there is no evidence that there were more minarets. Due to the secularist policies of the Soviet government, religious services at the Blue Mosque were stopped and in 1931 it was used to house the Museum of the City of Yerevan. In the latter half of the 1990s the mosque underwent a heavy restoration, funded by Iran, that U.S. State Department employee and foreign service officer Brady Kiesling criticised for being aesthetically damaging in his travel book. Islamic religious services have now resumed within the Blue Mosque, which is the only operating mosque in Armenia. The Museum of the City of Yerevan is now housed in a purpose-built building on another site.

Australia[edit]

  • Central Adelaide Mosque, the oldest major city mosque built in 1888. However, the first mosque in Australia was built at Marree in northern South Australia in 1861.[6]

Bangladesh[edit]

  • Sixty Dome Mosque, built in the 14th century, one of the oldest mosques in Bangladesh

Brazil[edit]

Canada[edit]

China[edit]

  • Great Mosque of Xi'an, built in 742, but oldest mosque in China is the Beacon Tower mosque of Guangzhou being built in 627.[8]

Egypt[edit]

France[edit]

Germany[edit]

  • Berlin Mosque, built in 1924, oldest mosque building in Germany

Ghana[edit]

India[edit]

Indonesia[edit]

Iran[edit]

Iraq[edit]

Jerusalem territory[edit]

Malaysia[edit]

Mali[edit]

Netherlands[edit]

Niger[edit]

Nigeria[edit]

Oman[edit]

  • Masjid Mazin bin Ghadouba, foundations date to the 7th century, oldest mosque in Oman

Pakistan[edit]

  • Nivin Masjid, Lahore - 1465

Saudi Arabia[edit]

Singapore[edit]

Somalia[edit]

South Africa[edit]

Spain[edit]

Sri Lanka[edit]

  • Masjid al-Abrar, built in the first century of Hijra in Beruwala, Sri Lanka. The date has been carved in its stone pillars. It is situated in western province of Sri Lanka.

Syria[edit]

Taiwan[edit]

Tanzania[edit]

Thailand[edit]

Tunisia[edit]

Turkey[edit]

  • Hagia Sophia, built in 537 as a Christian church, later converted to a mosque in 1453, now a museum since 1931

United Arab Emirates[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]

Yemen[edit]

  • Great Mosque of Sana'a, built in the 7th century, possibly oldest mosque
  • Al-Janad mosque, built in the 7th century, possibly oldest mosque

See also[edit]

External links and references[edit]

  1. ^ Gibb & Beckingham 1994, pp. 814–815 Vol. 4.
  2. ^ China By Shelley Jiang,pg. 274
  3. ^ Fodor's China edited by Margaret Kelly, pg 618
  4. ^ Geography of China: Sacred and Historic Places By Britannica Educational Publishing, pg. 181-182, Kenneth Pletcher
  5. ^ "City of Balkh (antique Bactria) - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  6. ^ "Afghan cameleers in Australia - Australia's Culture Portal". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  7. ^ Mesquita Brasil: Nossa História in Portuguese.
  8. ^ Britannica Educational Publishing; Kenneth Pletcher (2010). The Geography of China: Sacred and Historic Places. Britannica Educational Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 9781615301829. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  9. ^ Behrens-Abouseif, Doris (1993). "Early Islamic Architecture in Cairo". Islamic Architecture in Cairo: An Introduction,. The American University in Cairo Press. p. 47.