22 November, 2010

Sample old Mosque of Hadhramaut

Due to its being a center of Islam and intense spirituality; due to it having been a home and preaching ground for several ancient Prophets; Hadhramaut has many old mosques. Some, are very old; dating to hundreds of years back. Tarim may have many magnificent mosques; and many old ones. Traveling through Hadhramout - you can see many old mosques in any of its main other main towns or old villages, too. Most, are very similar. Built of mud bricks, stones and gypsum. All, are  are painted white.

The minarets were built shorter but still as elaborately as those of mosques of today.

As old as this mosque is, it still stands strong. With the meager resources people had long ago, and as simple as these mosques may seem - the thick colonnades, arcades and walls, ensured the mosques would last for long.

The thick walls too, guaranteed that inside the mosque would be cool during the hot seasons and warm during the cold ones.

Inside too, all these old mosques are painted white. And are well ventilated. Intricately built openings and windows allow air and light to filter through the whole inside.

Outside, the walls are always kept white with plastered crushed gypsum and limestone.

Almost all these old mosques, have burial tombs within the mosques or as in most cases - outside, next to the mosque as these.

Within these tombs are buried men, who long ago were venerated and highly regarded due to their vast religious knowledge or their being very spiritual. Most of who were sayyids.

The mosque featured here is in Naqa'a, a small village near the town of Ghail Bawazeer, about thirty kms. east of Al Mukalla. It is said to date back to five-hundred years. Now, there is a new, modern and much larger mosque nearby, but people still pray in this small mosque. A mosque that has outlasted generations and which has a long history. Just like many other similar very old mosques in many other parts of Hadhramout.