Bringing Back Life To The Past: 5 Mosques In Saudi Arabia Being Restored To Their Former Glory
The Islamic house of worship, the mosque, is much more than that, especially during the early years of Islam. It was also the place to settle disputes, form councils, and much more, so with Saudi Arabia taking steps to protect its heritage, it was a matter of time for the country to look at those early mosques that saw so much history over the years.
As part of the second phase of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s renovation project to restore historical mosques, five early mosques over the country will have new life breathed into them once more.
The project’s main objective is to bring these five mosques back to their former glory, retain their architectural design, renovate any damage found, and improve them with the constructive support they need. This work is so that they can perform their original function once more and hold onto their historical value.
The five mosques are Al-Bay’ah Mosque, Al-Khidr Mosque, Al-Fath Mosque, Abu Anaba Mosque, and Al-Jubail Mosque.
Built at the request of Caliph Abu Ja’far al-Mansur in 761/2, the Al-Bay’ah Mosque’s site is significant as it’s supposed to be the spot where the Prophet Mohammed and his allies from Madina, also known as Al-Ansar, met secretly.
Located in the Wadi Mina, It’s also the spot where they pledged their allegiance to the Prophet and confirmed that they were followers of Islam. Pledge also means Bay’ah in Arabic, hence the name. The mosque will keep its relatively small size of 457.56 square meters, which can accommodate only about 68 worshippers.
Situated 66 km from the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the Al-Khidr Mosque will be able to accommodate about 355 worshippers after its renovations, thanks to an expansion during the restoration process.
The mosque was built over 700 years ago, and there are conflicting stories behind its name. Some sources state that a man who had the name Khidr and lived in the area built it and gave it his name; other sources claim that the religious figure Al-Khidr was the first person to set foot in that place, so a mosque was made on that location to honor him.
Built on a small peak near the foot of Mount Sela’, the Al-Fath Mosque is one of seven mosques in the area. and the largest one of the seven. Its spot is located where the Prophet’s tent used to be during the “Battle of the Trench,” which has a panoramic view over the whole battlefield.
It was originally constructed between 705 and 711 CE and was restored several times during the ages. However, it fell into disrepair and was neglected for some time, which means that this building will need a lot of work.
Abu Enaba Mosque
Little is known about the mosque, only that its original construction happened sometime 900 years ago. Located in the Haret El-Sham area in Jeddah, the mosque is expected to be able to accommodate over 360 worshippers due in large part to some expansion that will happen during the mosque’s renovation.
According to The National, there are stories that claim that there used to be a “grape pergola” there in the place where the mosque stands today built by a man named Othman Zaki Omar. if that story were true, it would make sense because grape translates to Enab in Arabic, hence the name.
The final entry on the list is the Jubail Mosque. Built 300 years ago, the mosque is located in Taif city and mainly held Friday prayers due to its small size. It had and will continue to have a maximum occupancy of 45 worshipers after the planned restoration process.
The mainly stone mosque was put to the side after years of use due to the accessibility and larger size of nearby mosques, providing a better experience instead of the cramped one the Jubail Mosque had.
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