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4 of Saudi Arabia's Historic Mosques

A virtual introduction to these beautiful holy sites that carry millenia of history!

With Ramadan here, every day is presents itself as an opportunity to reflect more, gather with loved ones more, and connect with one’s faith. Indeed, practicing Muslims across the globe are making time to worship and reflect at their local mosques during this holy month, and it is no different in Saudi Arabia, a country that is home to historic mosques, many that have in fact been around for over a millennium, and some of which date back to the time of Prophet Muhammad and his companions. Let's take a look at four of the kingdom's most notable mosques.

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Al Kou’ Mosque

Located near Al-Muthanna village, in Taif, Al-Kou' Mosque is famous for its link to the time of Prophet Muhammad. Al-Kou' translates as "elbow," referring to the belief that Prophet Muhammad leaned on a stone in that same area and left a mark. He was also believed to have made a stop at a farm in the area where Addas offered him a bowl of grapes. Pilgrims also make their way from Mecca to visit the area for its other iconic landmarks such as Al-Qantara Mosque. Some refer to Al-Kou' Mosque as "Hazrat Ali Mosque," believing that Ali, the prophet's cousin, was also in the area during that time period.

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Al-Bajli Mosque

Al-Bajli Mosque is another iconic mosque situated in Al-Qudah, south of Taif. Dating back to the time of Prophet Muhammad's farewell pilgrimage, the mosque is named after Jarir bin Abdullah Al-Bajli, a great companion of Prophet Muhammad, whose final resting place lies within the area. The original structures of Al-Bajli Mosque consist of stone blocks and juniper tree trunks for roofing. The mosque also has prayer halls for men and women, and a Qur'anic school, with recent expansions. It has since been reconstructed and expanded with new prayer halls, an imam room, ablution facility, and a cemetery.

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Al-Jummah Mosque

Al-Jummah Mosque is a mosque in Medina dating back to the time of Prophet Muhammad. During the Hijra, the Muslims' journey from Mecca to Medina, Prophet Muhammad and his companions stopped by Wadi Ranuna' region to observe Jummah prayer. The mosque is said to be built around where the prayer was observed. In fact, Al-Jummah Mosque was renovated various times during the Umayyad, Abbasid, and Ottoman eras, with the latest efforts carried out by King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz. Presently, it now has the capacity to hold 650 pilgrims, with its current design inspired by Ottoman architecture. It also has accommodation for the imam and muathan, Qur'anic schools, libraries, and a female prayer room.

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Al-Shafi’i Mosque

Al-Shafi’i Mosque is one of Jeddah's oldest structures with a rich history dating back to the time of Caliph Omar bin Al-Khattab. Named after Imam Muhammad ibn Idris Al-Shafi'i, the mosque is reminiscent of the city's old architectures at the time, consisting mainly of mud plaster and stone blocks. In addition, parts of Al-Shafi’i Mosque were discovered to have been renovated throughout different eras.

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