|Great Mosque of Kufa|
The Great Mosque of Kufa, or Masjid al-Kūfa (Arabic: مسجد الكوفة المعظم), located in Kūfa, Iraq, is one of the earliest mosques in Islam. It was constructed in the middle of the 7th century after the Caliph Omar established the city. The mosque contains the remains of Muslim ibn ‘Aqīl - first cousin of Husayn ibn ‘Alī, his companion Hānī ibn ‘Urwa, and the revolutionary Mukhtār al-Thaqafī.
Over the years, the mosque has been redeveloped a number of times. It is surrounded by a trench and once possessed an arcade of marble columns that extended 20 meters in length. It measured approximately 100 square meters with the side of the qibla organized into five aisles and the others arranged into two. According to early sources, the aisles were demarcated by masonry block columns that rose to the height of the mosque's flat roof. Creswell writes that the design was reminiscent of an apadana, an architectural structure referring to a "Hall of Columns" for Persian kings.
Today the area of the building measures approximately 11,000sqm and features an elegant gold dome and Saffavid tile work from the 17th and 18th centuries. Twenty-eight semi-circular towers support the exterior wall; it is speculated that they date to the early Islamic period. Excavations carrid out by Iraqi Department of Antiquities revealled that although these towers stretched two meters into the ground, they were being stabilized by another set of differently sized towers beneath them, that at one point belonged to an earlier mosque on the site. Additionally, the excavations provided evidence that the qibla side of the mosque is structurally connected to the west wall of the Dar al-Imara.
The mosque contains nine sanctuaries and four traditional locations. It has four minarets and it served by five gates.
The Mosque is revered for many reasons:
- It was the place where ‘Alī was fatally struck on the head while in Sujood
- Contains the tombs of Muslim ibn ‘Aqīl, Hānī ibn ‘Urwa, and Mukhtār al-Thaqafī
- There are markers within the mosque indicating the locations for where the court of ‘Alī used to preside, where he was claimed to perform miracles, and where ‘Alī ibn Husayn and Ja‘far as-Sādiq used to perform Salah
- Islamic traditions relate that Adam established the mosque, that it was later the dwelling place of Noah and that this was the place where he built the Ark
- Traditions say that 12,000 Prophets had performed Salah within this mosque, including Abraham, Noah, and Muhammad on the Night of Ascension - all are marked within the mosque
- It was from this mosque that the diluvium of Noah started submerging earth, as well as being the place from where the water was re-absorbed according to Shī‘ah belief - also marked within the Mosque
- Shī‘ah Imām Ja‘far as-Sādiq said that up to twelve miles of land in all directions from the mosque are blessed by its holiness.
- Ja'far al-Sadiq was also recorded as remarking that the "mosque in Kufa is superior to that of Jerusalem" and that "performing two prostrations of prayer here would be better for me than ten others at any mosque."
- There are also traditions which state that performing one prayer in this mosque is the same as having performed one thousand prayers elsewhere, and performing one obligatory prayer here is equal to having performed an accepted Hajj
- The Secretariat of Al-Kufa Mosque and it Shrines describes the mosque as being one of the sole four dignified mosques to which Muslims must travel, and that it comes in third place after the Kaaba and the mosque of Prophet."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "Great Mosque of Kufa". ArchNet. http://www.archnet.org/library/sites/one-site.jsp?site_id=7590. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "General Facts and Numbers". The Official Website of Secretariat of Al-Kufa Mosque and it Shrines. http://masjed-alkufa.net/english/news.php?readmore=3. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "The Establishment of the Mosque". The Official Website of Secretariat of Al-Kufa Mosque and it Shrines. http://masjed-alkufa.net/english/news.php?readmore=4. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
- ↑ al-Qummi, Ja'far ibn Qūlawayh (2008). Kāmil al-Ziyārāt. trans. Sayyid Mohsen al-Husaini al-Mīlāni. Shiabooks.ca Press. pp. 66–67.
- ↑ Gold, Dore (2007). The Fight for Jerusalem. Regnery. p. 91. ISBN 978-1-59698-029-7.
- ↑ al-Qummi, Ja'far ibn Qūlawayh (2008). "8". Kāmil al-Ziyārāt. trans. Sayyid Mohsen al-Husaini al-Mīlāni. Shiabooks.ca Press. p. 47.
- ↑ al-Qummi, Ja'far ibn Qūlawayh (2008). "8". Kāmil al-Ziyārāt. trans. Sayyid Mohsen al-Husaini al-Mīlāni. Shiabooks.ca Press. p. 44.
- ↑ "The Establishment of the Mosque". The Official Website of Secretariat of Al-Kufa Mosque and it Shrines. http://masjed-alkufa.net/english/news.php?readmore=4. Retrieved 2009-03-01. "It is the one the sole four dignified mosques, to which Muslims must travel, and it comes in the third place after the Mosque the Kaaba, the mosque of Prophet"
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