Mosul’s First Mosque

Explore the storied history of the Umayyad Mosque

Al-Ghad Radio

The Umayyad Mosque is a historical mosque, centrally located in the heart of Mosul.

It is the first mosque of the city, the second in Iraq, and the fifth in the whole Islamic world.

The First Block by Moyasser NasseerAl-Ghad Radio

In 22 AH, 642 AD Arfajah B. Harthama Al-Bariqi erected its first structures, during the reign of the Muslim Caliph Umar bin Al-Khattab.

Rehabilitation and Architecture by Moyasser NasseerAl-Ghad Radio

According to the Maslawi historian Abdul Wahid Dhanoun Taha, the mosque was later expanded and rebuilt in the Umayyad period by Marawan Ibin Muhammad; it has since been known as the Umayyad Mosque.

Removal and construction by Ahmed ShanshelAl-Ghad Radio

In the latter half of the seventh century AH, the city of Mosul and its historical treasures were ravaged by numerous calamities. 

The first of which was at the hands of the Mongols in 660 AH/ 1261 AD, as they demolished many of the city’s neighborhoods and temples, and destroyed their great walls and fortresses.

Forgotten by Moyasser NasseerAl-Ghad Radio

The great Umayyad Mosque fell into disrepair, its structure collapsed and its sections fell throughout.  

Adding to its demise, a corner of the mosque was used as private residences, and the mosque became a pile of rubble.

The Last Remnants by Ahmed ShanshelAl-Ghad Radio

During the early reign of the Ottoman Empire, the site of the mosque became further removed from the city's cultural and commercial hubs. 

 But after the Ottomans took over Mosul, people started to visit the area of the mosque and reopen its shops, including the land around the mosque itself, which was rebuilt by Kuazons (people producing mud-stone ovens).

Witness the wars by Moyasser NasseerAl-Ghad Radio

In 1225 AH/ 1810 AD, the mosque was demolished and its reconstruction was undetaken by Hajj Muhammad Mussafi Al-Dhahab. 

It then became known as the Mosque of Al-Masfi, and it is still known by this name to date.  

The Masfi Mosque by Photographed by Ahmed ShanshelAl-Ghad Radio

Unfortunately, in modern times the Umayyad Mosque has fallen back into a state of neglect.

Before ISIS took over the city, some community efforts attempted to restore parts of the mosque, but the occupation forced the work to come to a complete halt. The deterioration continued; its dome was broken, its minaret was destroyed, and many of its walls collapsed. 

Mosul's First Mosque by Moyasser NasseerAl-Ghad Radio

The Umayyad Mosque Mosque, 2020, From the collection of: Al-Ghad Radio
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