Great Mosque of Sanaa - Yemen

 

Great Mosque of Sana'a (Arabic: الجامع الكبير بصنعاء‎ Al-Jāmiʿ al-Kabīr bi-Ṣanʿāʾ) is an ancient mosque in Sana'a, Yemen, just east of the old Ghumdan Palace site. Dating to the seventh century, it was reportedly built in part from the materials of the Ghumdan palace. This was destroyed by Caliph Uthman because he feared it could be used as a stronghold for a rebellion.

Local legend traces the mosque's history to the period of Muhammad. The building has undergone several renovations in later centuries. An important archaeological find was the Sana'a manuscript, discovered here during restoration in 1972. It had some early versions of the Koran.

According to local legend, the Prophet Muhammad was associated with the mosque's planning and construction around 630 AD (6 AH), though there is no evidence to support this. Sana'a was central in the propagation of the Islamic religion in the post-Hegira period, when most pre-Islamic structures were destroyed. Many of the archaeological finds discovered in the Great Mosque substantiate its construction to the era when the Prophet was alive. The traditional history of his life places him in the period when the Ghumdan Palace and the cathedral were demolished, and the material recovered from them was used to build the mosque.

Its confirmed history dates from 705 to 715 (86-96 AH), when the Umayyid Caliph al-Walid I expanded the mosque to much larger dimensions. The interior stone arcades of the flat roofs of the mosque are stated to be of the Byzantine architectural features of the Axumite Empire. An inscription in the pre-Islamic language of the region, in a stone arch support, a reused piece, connects it to Byzantine architecture. Another inscription found in the courtyard of the mosque dates to 753 AD, of the Abbasid period.

Two minarets were built: one on the east side was constructed in the early 9th century, and the one on the west was built in the 12th century. Floods twice caused substantial damage to the mosque, after which it was totally renovated. Karmatis invaded the city in 911 and damaged the mosque.

Much restoration was done in 1130 by the Isma`ili Queen Arwa ibn Ahmad. She was responsible for the elegantly sculpted ceilings of the mosque's eastern, western, and northern wings. She was closely linked to the Fatimid dynasty in Egypt. The mosque's western minaret, which she had built, is similar to those of the mosques of the same period built in Cairo.

In the early 16th century, the mosque was renovated with a domed square structure and the paving of its courtyard.;

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address: Jami' Kabeer
Bab al Yaman, صنعاء، Yemen

Map for Jami' Kabeer

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