09 May, 2011

Masjid: Mosques of Sudan

Sudan's history, has for long been very much influenced by three things: the River Nile, religion, specifically: Islam; and foreign powers wanting to influence events in it, especially Egypt. Sudan is overwhelmingly Muslim; with the south now separating, northern Sudan will be even more so. Many people outside Sudan do not know that in the much in the news: Darfur, nearly everyone is a Muslim; and that Darfurians are some of the most devout Muslims you will ever meet. Of all the Muslim countries, Sudan seems to have the most mosques with varying architecture; some mosques are very simple and some are intricately built. Most of the well known mosques in the country are in the fast expanding and booming capital: Khartoum.

Map of Al Khartoum - click on it to enlarge
Khartoum is large and is actually three cities fairly spread out that make the whole: Khartoum proper, Al Bahri in the north-east of main-Khartoum and Omdurman in the north-west of it.
Khartoum proper is the largest and is the administrative seat; north-east of it is Khartoum Bahri with some light industries; and just north of it, is another industrial area, with some light industries.
Omdurman is more Arabic in look and atmosphere with many shops and narrow streets; it has one of the largest markets in Africa. It too, has may mosques, some of which are the most beautiful in the country.
Masjid Hajjah Sou'ad, Khartoum
Mosques in Sudan, especially in Khartoum, can be colorful and many have unique architecture.
Masjid Al Burhaniyyah, Khartoum
As Islam has a long history in Sudan, many of the mosques have been around for hundreds of years.
Masjid Al Gjeyf, Suakin
Suakin has a glorious past. It was once ruled by Pharaohs. It has also been ruled by Ottomans; and was once the largest port in Sudan. To see this old port city, is to go back into thousands of years of history. A history that is said to include people from the Hadhramout; during Ibn Battuta's visit to the area, the king of the Beja was called Al'Hadhrabi, most likely - he was a Hadhrami.
Masjid, El Obeid
El Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan, is right in the center of Sudan; it is one of the most arid settlements on Earth. It has to rely for outside supply for its water.
Masjid, Abubakar Al Sid'diq,  Al Bahri
Of the three parts of Khartoum, Bahri, has many factories and workshops;  and a few mosques.
Masjid Sheikh Buraj Zariba
In any part of Sudan, especially the large cities, there are mosques. Some, very old. They form the central and focal point for people; especially, for men.
Masjid, Al Kurru
Al Kurru, in ancient upper Nubia, is known for its past Nubian pharaohs; and for its old ruins of tombs and pyramids.
El Fashir, Darfour
Darfour's population, is almost entirely of Muslims; west of Khartoum, El Fashir is the largest town. The city has a long history, but very sadly, now, El Fashir has become the center for one of the worst humanitarian missions in Sudan. Very hopefully, this part of Sudan will achieve peace.
Masjid, Malakal
On the banks of the White Nile, north of Sobat River, is the small town of Malakal. At the front-line of the Sudan conflict for a long time, hopefully now with peace, Malakal can settle down.
Masjid, Wau
The second largest city of Southern Sudan, green Wau, is in one of the most beautiful spots of Southern Sudan. All Wau needs, is peace and proper planning for it to be one of the most attractive places in Sudan.
Masjid, Karima
Hundreds of kilometers north of Khartoum; is the sleepy, little town of Karima. A short distance from it, is the impressive, old archaeological temple complex at the foot of Jebel Barkal – the holy mountain of the old Egyptian and Nubian Pharaohs.
Masjid Jame'e Al Kabeer, Grand Mosque, Khartoum
One of the most picturesque, most beautiful and most intricately built mosques in Khartoum is in the center of the city: the Al Khartoum Grand Mosque. It was built about one-hundred years ago by the Turks; and is the largest mosque in the city capable of holding thousands of worshipers.
Masjid Farouk, Khartoum
Masjid Al Farouk is said to be the second largest mosque in Khartoum. It too, is another beautifully built mosque in the old style.
Of the old mosques' minarets and domes in Khartoum, most have the old classical 'masjid' look..
Masjid Al Mathaar, Khartoum
But some mosques, like the Masjid Al Mathaar, with its differently styled minaret and dome, are easily noticeable.
Masjid Sheikh Gareeb'Allah, Omdurman
The Gareeb'Allah mosque is one of the most well known mosques in Khartoum; it was built in 1929 by Sheikh Gareeb'Allah. It has been renovated and enlarged a few years ago.
Blue and White Nile, Khartoum
The Blue Nile and White Nile rivers merge at Al'Morgaan, Khartoum, to form the Nile River. The Blue Nile, which supplies most of the water of River Nile, flows from Ethiopia's Lake Tana. With the present separation of South Sudan, it does not pass through the South. The White Nile, the longer of the two, originates from Lake Victoria in East Africa, through Uganda.
Masjid Al Nileaen, Omdurman
The Nile dominates Khartoum and when the Blue Nile meets the White one, the colors of the two waters meeting and then merging - are different and very clearly visible. It is near this confluence of the two rivers that one of the most known and most spectacular mosques of Khartoum is: Masjid Al Nileaen, which is near a number of other mosques. Inaugurated in 1983, it is too, today, one of the most easily recognizably mosques in the world.
Masjid Al Noori, Khartoum
Another new, outstanding mosque in Khartoum is the Al Noor mosque; reportedly built by Gulf countries. It has a very Turkish look about it.
Near Eritrea, is Kassala town, in Sudan's lush, scenic Kassala State. It is known for its spectacular rocks, hills and the Taka mountains; and its many trees. It is also known for its variety of juicy, tasty fruits. The Atbara River, which is fed by the Gash and Tekeze rivers, flows through this State. The Gash River (Nahar Al'Qash) sometimes referred to as the Mareb River, flows from central Eritrea; and the Tekeze River (Nahar Satit), rises from the Ethiopian Highlands; both these rivers flow through Kassala State, are very important to it and are some of the reasons of what make Kassala unique in Sudan.
Masjid Khatimiyya, Kassal
In a suburb of Kassala, is perhaps the most distinct, recognizable man-made structure in the town - the Al Khatimiyya, mosque-tomb, dedicated to the son of the founder of the Al'Merghaniyya organization:  Seyyid Muhammad Hassan Al'Merghani.
Divided by the Nile, Khartoum is a city of many bridges. Apart from the many mosques in the city, it has many bridges that help its six or so million inhabitants to easily move. About thirteen bridges and still more being planned, that connect parts of Khartoum proper, Omdurman and Al Bahri. In between these three parts of Khartoum is an island: Tuti Island - which is where the Blue Nile and White Nile merge to form the Nile. Tutti is now connected by a bridge; sadly, in a way, this bridge and the planned development of Tuti, spoil the tranquility and the pristineness of the Island.  Not far from the many mosques, Khartoum has a number of cathedrals and churches too.
Mosques and cathedral, Khartoum
There are many people from Hadhramaut or their descendants living in Sudan; especially in Khartoum and Port Sudan. With peace now possible, very hopefully, Sudan can now use its many natural resources and gifts to rise; and allow its people to settle and thrive. A people who are among the friendliest and most hospitable on Earth. A people who have been denied, for long, a proper environment to use their full potential. A people who - in-spite of their many tribal, cultural and religious differences - have to live and coexist together. With each other. Because they are all one: Sudanese.

+ Islam Finder Sudan 
+ Muslim Population
+ Some of Sudan's Mosques
+ Flickr
+ Vit Hassan
* Al Bab Sudan
* WikiTravel Khartoum