Mosques and shrines of Mosul

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1932: a Yezidi shrine to the left and the Great Mosque of al-Nuri minaret to the right

The mosques and shrines of Mosul, Iraq are of varied ages, the oldest being the Umayyad Mosque from 640 AD.[citation needed]

The following mosques and shrines were destroyed by Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) in 2014, after their takeover of the city: Prophet Yunus (also known as Jonah's Tomb); Prophet Jerjis; Mashad Yahya Abul Kassem; Prophet Seth; Prophet Daniel; Hamou Qado.

The Umayyad Mosque[edit]

The future "Umayyad" Mosque was the first[vague] in the area occupied by modern-day Iraq.[citation needed] It was built in 640 AD by Utba bin Farqad Al-Salami after he captured Mosul during the reign of Caliph Umar ibn Al-Khattab.[citation needed]. The only original part extant to recent times was the remarkably elaborate brickwork 52m high minaret that leans like the Tower of Pisa, called Al-Hadba (The Humped)[citation needed][clarification needed] It was largely destroyed during the Battle of Mosul.

The Great Mosque at Nur al-Din[edit]

The Great Mosque was originally built under Nur al-Din al-Zangi Atabeg of Damascus, who occupied Mosul in 1170 after taking control from his brother Saif el Din Ghazi bin Qutb al-Din al Zingi. It may have been a development of a previous Mosque.[1] All that remains from this complex are the minaret, two mihrabs, an inscribed marble slab, and some stucco decoration.

The elaborate 52′ (15.5m) brick minaret that leans like the Tower of Pisa is called Al-Hadba (The Humped). The Great Mosque was destroyed June 21, 2017, in what Iraqi forces claim to be by Isis militants.

The Great (Nuriddin) Mosque[edit]

The Great Mosque was built by Nuriddin Zanki in 1172 AD next to the Umayyad Mosque. Ibn Battuta (the great Moroccan traveller) found a marble fountain there and a mihrab (the niche that indicates the direction of Mecca) with a Kufic inscription}}.[citation needed]

The Mosque of the Prophet Jonah[edit]

Prophet Yunus Mosque

On one of the two most prominent mounds of Nineveh's ruins, rose the Mosque of the prophet Jonah, the son of Amittai. When built, the mosque replaced an Assyrian Church believed to be the burial place of Jonah and called Jonah's Tomb. Also, Assyrian King Esarhaddon (681-669 BC) previously built a palace on the site.[2]

This shrine on the site of a Christian church was a short distance away from the built-up walls and gates of Nineveh. In the middle of the mosque stood a sepulcher, covered with a Persian carpet of silk and silver, and at the four corners, great copper candlesticks with wax tapers, besides several lamps and ostrich eggshells that hung down from the roof. A whale's tooth, appropriate to Jonah's well-known adventure at sea, was said to be preserved there.

It was one of the most important mosques in Mosul and one of the few historic mosques in the east side of the city.

On July 24, 2014, the building was blown up by the Islamic State[3][4], damaging several nearby houses. They stated “the mosque had become a place for apostasy, not prayer.”[3]

In March 2017, after ISIS was driven out, a system of tunnels about a kilometer long was found under the mosque. Although all moveable items had been removed there were still Assyrian reliefs, structures and carvings along the walls.[2]

The Mujahidi Mosque[edit]

The Mujahidi Mosque dates back to 12th century AD, and is distinguished for its beautiful dome and elaborately wrought mihrab.

The Mosque of Jerjis (Saint George)[edit]

The Mosque of Jerjis is believed by Muslims to be the burial place of Jerjis (known in Christianity as Saint George). It was made of marble with beautiful reliefs and was last renovated in 1393. The explorer Ibn Jubair mentioned it in the 12th century, and it is believed also to embrace the tomb of Al-Hur bin Yousif. The court of the ruler at the time of Ummaveet (Bany ummayya) is thought to be not far from this mosque.

On July 27, 2014, the Jerjis Mosque was destroyed by Islamic State.[5]

Mausoleum of Yahya Abu al-Qasim[edit]

Situated on the right bank of the Tigris, it is known for its conical dome, decorative brickwork and calligraphy engraved in Mosul blue marble of the 13th century.

On July 23, 2014, the Mausoleum of Yahya Abu al-Qasim was destroyed by Islamic State.[6]

Qara Serai (The Black Palace)[edit]

Qara Serai are the remnants of the 13th-century palace of Sultan Badruddin Lu'lu'. It was the court of the ruler of Mosul at the time of Uthmaneets. The Turkish meaning of the name is "black palace". The place was famous at the time when the Jaleeli dynasty ruled Mosul early in the 18th century; the Persians invaded Kurdistan and progressed towards Mosul, besieging the city. However, the city resisted and after a long siege, Nader Shah decided to turn back without invading the city. Command and control was based here.

Prophet Seth Shrine[edit]

A shrine to Seth existed in the city but was destroyed on July 26, 2014 by Islamic State.[7]

Prophet Daniel Shrine[edit]

A Tomb attributed to the Prophet Daniel was destroyed in July 2014 by Islamic State.[8][9]

Hamou Qado Mosque[edit]

An Ottoman-era mosque in Mosul's central square and dating from 1881 was destroyed by Islamic State, because it contained a tomb that was visited every Thursday and Friday by local Muslims.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Iraq Significant Site 047 - Mosul - Minaret of the Great Mosque of Nur al-Din and Mosque al-Nuri". 
  2. ^ a b Lloyd, Anthony (2017-03-20). "Inside the Assyrian palace revealed in fight for Mosul". The Times. Retrieved 2017-03-20. (Subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ a b "ISIS destroys Mosque of Biblical Jonah, Prophet Yunus". 24 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "ISIS militants blow up Prophet Jonas' tomb in Iraq". RT. 25 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Islamic State destroys ancient Mosul mosque, the third in a week". 27 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "ISIL destroys Mashad Yahya Abul Kassem mosque located west of Mosul". 23 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "ISIS destroys Prophet Sheth shrine in Mosul". Al Arabiya News. 26 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Clark, Heather (27 July 2014). "Muslim Militants Blow Up Tombs of Biblical Jonah, Daniel in Iraq". Christian News Network. Retrieved 28 July 2014. Al-Sumaria News also reported on Thursday that local Mosul official Zuhair al-Chalabi told the outlet that ISIS likewise “implanted explosives around Prophet Daniel’s tomb in Mosul and blasted it, leading to its destruction.” 
  9. ^ Hafiz, Yasmine. "ISIS Destroys Jonah's Tomb in Mosul, Iraq, As Militant Violence Continues". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 July 2014. The tomb of Daniel, a man revered by Muslims as a prophet though unlike Jonah, he is not mentioned in the Quran, has also been reportedly destroyed. Al-Arabiya reports that Zuhair al-Chalabi, a local Mosul official, told Al-Samaria News that “ISIS implanted explosives around Prophet Daniel’s tomb in Mosul and blasted it, leading to its destruction." 
  10. ^ "ISIS destroys beloved mosque in central Mosul". Rudaw. 
  11. ^ Gianluca Mezzofiore. "Iraq: Isis destroys 19th century Ottoman mosque in central Mosul". International Business Times UK. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Mosques in Mosul at Wikimedia Commons